Happy Sunday morning to all. If you are a league member, this months QST has a great pullout section in the middle for Field Day 2021. I wanted to open a dialogue regarding bonus points for meeting certain criteria for the event. Some of these are "gimme's" while others we have always struggled with to either get someone to spearhead the effort, or if it could even apply to our circumstances. What follows is a list of various bonuses up for grabs, and what we have done historically:
1. 100% emergency power: this is a automatic for us since we run on generator power for the event
2. Media Publicity: I have typically submitted a formal press release to the various news outlets around June 1, so this is also automatic
3. Set up in Public place: We can debate this one, but we typically consider the Roth Park a public place during those events
4. Public Information Table: We have set this up in years past, usually with various flyers we can get from the ARRL. We skipped last year, but should be able to do this again, especially if we setup a GOTA table were we can combine efforts.
5. Message to ARRL section manager or SEC: to the best of my knowledge, we have NEVER done this in this past. With the recent changes in formal ES Nets on Wednesday, I am hoping one of our club members might have the time to research this in the full ARRL Field Day packet and see if we can try it this year (so, yes, looking for a volunteer)
6. W1AW Field Day Message: this is another automatic. we have stations with digital capability setup and have always copied this
7. Message Handling NTS/ICS-213: another items we have never done in recent history. If someone wants to raise their hand for this one also, like the Message to the ARRL section manager, we have just never been a club that passes formal messages.
8. A Satellite QSO: I have all of the gear, but have never successfully executed a satellite QSO before. All we need is 1, and there should be half a dozen active FM birds by the end of June (2 supposed to lunch in May yet). I can bring my gear if someone wants to try, but just know, it's difficul on a normal day due to congestion on the satellite repeater, on Field Day it is significantly more challenging.
9. Natural Power QSO: we have never done this one either. 5 QSOs needs to be done off of 100% natural power (batteries can be charged from solar, wind, etc, just not fossil fuel). Read the ARRL Field Day packet for more details on this one.
10. Site visited by Invited Elected Official: this is one we have occasionally taken advantage of, but it would be nice if someone in the club could reach out to any elected official, we'll need a photo as proof they were there.
11. Site visited by Invited Agency Official: another one we have checked off in the past, but not every year. Maybe our County EC could stop out? Anyone want to reach out with an official invite?
12. Education Activity: this is another tough one. while we have done things in the past, soldering a PL connector does not qualify. It is also difficult to "heard the cats" on the Saturday of Field Day. But it is also a missed opportunity. The education section does not need to be long, but it should be germane to Amateur Radio. Maybe someone could give a presentation on getting started in DMR with a hotspot?
13. Youth Participation: Yet another bonus score we have never taken advantage of in recent times. It really could coincide with a GOTA station, basically, getting youth involved in making QSOs. The scoring is a little involved, but maybe a scout troop might be interested in stopping out, especially if they were working on a radio merit badge?
14. GOTA Bonus: we have had GOTA stations in the past. the tough part is finding a general or extra class operator(s) to man it during the event. We have interest in setting up a GOTA station. We have the club rig for doing this, along with antennas and whatever else we need. We just need a few participants to act as control point operator since we might have technician class operators wanting to try HF, or even unlicensed individuals who might want to try it out. So yes, volunteers are needed for this.
15. ARRL Field Day Web App for Submitting Score: another gimme.
16. Safety Officer Bonus: We have done this in the past, but not consistently. If you get QST, there is a page on safety notes and checklists. We would need someone to raise their hand to be the designated safety officer. Please review the full ARRL packet for additional details. You can still operate during the contest, but ultimately, you have the power to stop operations if safety becomes a concern.
17. Social Media Bonus: another gimme.
ok, that was a lot to throw at you all, but I am hoping that it generates some interest in taking on some of the bonuses that are out there which we dont usually chase after. I look forward to your comments!