dullara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 4

Field Day

A New Endeavor!

As you know, one of the driving forces in DELARA Field Day-ism was to move to the ARC station, where antennas and most of the equipment was already in place. This cut down dramatically on the “Whipped Puppy” syndrome affecting operators during those hot, sunny tear-down phases.  Still, there was work involved at the ARC last year, and then there was the horrific “BUZZZ” that put a dampter on our enthusiasm. After much consideration, this year things will be a lot easier for all! Thanks to George Hafler, our networking/remote computing wizard, we will now be able to operate Field Day in the comfort of our own homes- all operating at whatever time is convenient.  Here’s the deal: In this groundbreaking software system, all operators check into the DELARA Field Day website whenever they have the opportunity.  Each operator then sends a series of reports, “K8ES 4F OH 4F OH TU”  or by voice, “This is Kilowatt 8 Echo Sierra, your report 4 Foxtrot, Ohio that’s 4-fox Oscar Hotel…goodluckinthecontest!”. After entering, say, 500 of these at his/her own leisurely pace, the operator then can log off, and continue his weekend with friends and family.  Now, here is where the magic comes in: George’s computer system then used multiple “Autonomous Otto” units (See Joe Fischer’s Column) to operate the existing radios at the ARC station. To eliminate dupes and maintain integrity of the logs, each Otto will electronically grab one of your reports, and as it works a station will automatically dupe and send the report. When Otto runs out of your reports, he (it?) moves on to the next user until he/it has worked through all of our messages (or as many as will fit in the 24 hours period.) This completely removes our concerns about “butts in seats” and about hornswaggling operators for those pesky overnight shifts.  It keeps all radios functioning for the 24 hour period or until it is in danger of running out of reports.   Should that happen, the lead Otto will wake George from his afternoon nap, and demand more reports. We have studied the rules extensively, and nowhere in the booklet does it suggest that actual humans have to operate the controls. Likewise, the rules don’t specifiy from where the reports originate, only that they’re sent over radios within 1000 foot circle.  So, as you may expect, DELARA’s world-class Field Day efforts again kick the door open on a great new era in FD or even contest operating!!