Please join us this weekend, January 28-29, at the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) bunker, (located at 22 High Street, Windham, ME) for Winter Field Day!
We will be operating in the 1O category (club station with 1 full time HF transmitter), plus we’ll also be participating in a statewide Emergency Communications Exercise Saturday morning, from 9AM – 11 AM.
THURSDAY – 7:00 PM – Setup begins during the ECT Meeting, with antennas and trailer prep.
SATURDAY – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Statewide Emergency Communications Exercise (similar to the SET, but shorter in duration).
SATURDAY – 2:00 PM – SUNDAY – 1:59 PM – Winter Field Day on-air ops.
SUNDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities end, followed by breakdown of equipment and site cleanup.
We need lots of help to make this a success! Please click here to sign up for WFD Setup/Breakdown, Saturday’s EmComm Exercise, WFD On-Air ops, and Food!
Winter Field Day (WFD), which has taken place annually on the last full weekend in January, since 2007, has continued to grow in popularity each year. In 2022, the Winter Field Day Association processed over 2500 logs. This year’s Winter Field Day takes place January 28th – 29th.
Clubs and individuals from around the world activate for the event, many using it as an opportunity to practice portable emergency communications in winter environments, since the potential for freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards present unique operational concerns. Winter Field Day is formatted to help radio amateurs develop a higher level of preparedness for disasters and improve operational skills in subpar conditions.
Winter Field Day is a communications exercise that can be worked from the comfort of your home or in a remote location. Amateur radio operators may use any mode that can faithfully transmit the required exchange, on HF, VHF, or UHF bands. Like the ARRL Field Day, bonus points are earned in several ways, including for using non-commercial power sources, operating from remote locations, making satellite contacts, and more.
Complete rules can be found here. Combining this with the ARRL’s ongoing Volunteers On the Air operation is a great way to make contacts and get new operators on the air.
On the weekend of July 28-29, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine Emergency Communications Team will take part in their fifth Winter Field Day, operating as an outdoor station from the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) communications trailer. We’ll be setting up portable antennas, and run the entire 24 hours on emergency power.
Prior to the event, on Saturday, the WSSM-ECT will also be taking part in an emergency communications exercise, checking into the Maine Emergency Net, and exchanging simulated emergency traffic with adjacent counties and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), in Augusta.
Contest Period: 1900 UTC Saturday January 30th to 1900 UTC Sunday Sunday, January 31st, 2021
Bands: All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters.
Modes: Any mode that can faithfully transmit the exchange intact without a conversion table… CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc… (note FT8 & FT4 cannot).
Suggested Frequencies: (to make it easier to find each other) HF CW – 1810-1820, 3.530-3.550, 7.030-7.050, 14.035-14.055, 21.030-21.050, 28.030-28.040 HF SSB – lowest 30 kHz of the US General Class Phone bands (160m-15m), 28.400-28.425MHz (10m) 6m/VHF/UHF – adjacent to, but not on, nationally recognized simplex calling channels.
Exchange: Your WFD exchange will be a combination of your “class” and “category” and your ARRL/RAC section.
For 2021, we will not be operating as a group from a single location, due to COVID-19 cpncerns. Instead, we will take advantage of scoring changes for 2021 that allow members to participate individually, using their own call signs, and contribute to a club aggregate score.
To participate, please familiarize yourself with the WFD Rules to determine your entry category, log your contacts electronically, and enter: Wireless Society of Southern Maine as your club. Submit your logs according to WFD rules.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can setup outdoors and operate portable for either all or part of the event, or you can test out your home station and operate from inside. Whichever you choose, please share photos of your activation via email with: email@example.com and on social media using hashtag: #wssmwfd21
Join us this evening, January 21st, at 7:00PM on the 147.090 (+ / 100.0 Hz) W1QUI repeater, for our monthly meeting on-the-air.
On the agenda, we’ll be asking if participants have upgraded their ham stations recently or acquired any new gear since our last on-air meeting. We’ll also talk about Winter Field Day and how participants can operate from home and contribute to the club score.
As always, if you have HF capabilities, you’re welcome to join us on 28.455 USB for the After Net, immediately following our net on the repeater.
It’s hard to believe that Winter is almost behind us! It seems like just yesterday we were on the air for Winter Field Day, operating from the parking lot at the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA), in Windham, Maine.
This was WSSM’s third year competing in Winter Field Day, which is similar in many ways to the ARRL Field Day, as it takes place over 24 hours and encourages hams to operate outdoors “in the field,” but because of the season, it often takes place in extremely cold weather. Last year temperatures were below zero overnight and we were fighting propane bottles that were freezing up. That wasn’t the case this year, as the weather was surprisingly mild. Setup on Saturday morning was a pleasure without the freezing of extremities, and the weather was good for breaking down as well. Overnight, and into Sunday morning, we did experience some heavy rain, but it didn’t have any adverse effects on operating.
Using the call sign WS1EC, the WSSM team operated two stations for the entire 24 hours, on emergency power. Thankfully, we had the shelter of CCEMA’s communications trailer, which kept us warm and dry, and access to the bunker for food and restroom breaks.
The setup included an Icom IC-7300, connected most of the time to a 40m rotatable dipole, and a Yaesu FT-950, which was utilized either a 160m end-fed, or BuddiPole tuned to 20 meters. The band conditions were quite good, and contacts were steady. At the end of the day, we logged 455 QSO’s and worked almost every ARRL section.
Thanks for everyone’s help in setting up, breaking down, operating, and for bringing such good food to the pot luck! I’d like to also give a special shout out to Dave Feeney WN1F, for all his support over the years. By the time this is published, Dave will be retired from working as a Planner at the Cumberland County EMA. Happy retirement, Dave!