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ARRL Ham Radio Field Day June 2024

June 21 June 23 PDT

Field Day is ham radio’s open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

Help Contact as many stations as possible on the 160-, 80-, 40-, 20-,15- and 10-Meter HF bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions.

Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit, but are not eligible to submit entries.

Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.

Field Day 2024 is June 22-23.

During the fourth full weekend in June, the eyes of the amateur radio community turn towards the annual Field
Day operating event. From its beginning back in the 1930’s as an event to test the field preparedness and emergency
communications abilities of the burgeoning amateur radio community, Field Day has evolved into the largest on-the-air
operation during the year. In 2022, entries were submitted by almost 5,000 clubs, groups and individuals from across
the US and Canada. These logs showed participation by nearly 30,000 individuals and almost over 1.2 million contacts
were reported during the brief 24-hours of the event.
Field Day is officially an ‘operating event,’ not a contest. The purpose remains today as it did in the beginning:
to demonstrate the communications ability of the amateur radio community in simulated emergency situations.
Groups across the continent use Field Day as a literal “show and tell” exhibition. At sites from the tundra of Alaska to the
sandy beaches of Puerto Rico, amateur radio brings together its resources to show officials in government and various
agencies what “amateur radio can do.”
Many clubs use ARRL Field Day as the focus of their annual calendar. Many hams that are not otherwise
interested in contesting or DXing find themselves meeting various challenges to help their club run a successful Field Day
operation. It is the thrill of the “non-contest contest” that brings out the best in thousands of amateurs who under most
circumstances choose not to otherwise participate in the various sponsored contests throughout the year.
What makes a good Field Day? Ask that question at any hamfest and you will probably receive a different answer
from each person you interview. We offer a few basic ideas to keep in mind as you contemplate a Field Day operation.
First, and foremost, Field Day should be a fun activity. Field Day serves as one of the biggest introductory “drawing
cards” we offer in trying to expand interest in our hobby. A Field Day that is technical in set-up may well produce a good
score. But remember that a Field Day that practices the “KISS” principle (Keep It Simple, Silly) is more likely to attract
interest and participation than one which is run like a hard-core contest operation.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the technical planning and preparation to ensure the operation is a good
demonstration of what hams can do. It does mean that you should consider incorporating a wide-range of activities and
“jobs” which will encourage participation. Yes, 40-meter CW will probably be a great way to rack up points. But make
certain that there are things for the non-CW inclined members of your group to do. Standing around watching one or
two operators make all the contacts is a sure-fire way to kill enthusiasm among your group.
For example, several years ago our local club put up its highest Field Day score ever. We had first-class stations
and used outstanding operators on the “prime bands.” They put in 18-20 hours of hard-core contest-style activity. The next
year our club score fell approximately in half. But the number of people who actually made a contact using the club call
went from eight to thirty-six. Both years described above offered a successful result (one on points, the other on
participation). Is success measured as The Journey, or The Destination? Only your group knows for sure.
This brings us to the second major point: a successful Field Day is well planned.
Planning entails a wide range of things when it comes to Field Day. But they all start at a commonsense point: set
realistic goals for your group. Plan your operation to bring out the best in your club members. If your club is primarily
comprised of non-code operators, then set goals which allow their interests to be highlighted. If your club has lots of
experience in various modes and operating conditions, plan a more challenging test for your group. For example, the latest
digital modes (including FT8) are allowing beginner operators and small stations the ability to enjoy the hobby in
ways never before envisioned.
While many people will be important to your Field Day operation, the key person during the entire experience –
from selection of the site to the submission of the score – will be the Field Day Chairperson or Coordinator. This
person needs to be a good organizer with the ability to delegate responsibility. The responsibilities are many: site selection,
securing “band captains” for each transmitter/station, how to best utilize the operating site, helping solicit operators,
equipment, computers, generators, assisting in public relations/outreach, safety issues, training operator, education and
much more. The Field Day Chairperson needs a good working relationship with the club membership and officers. It’s
also helpful if they have some previous Field Day experience. Many clubs use an experienced Field Day Chairperson along
with an assistant chairperson who is in “training” to assume the job down the road. Cross training leaders from year to year
is essential to maintain continuity when the “regular chairpersons” have other commitments.
How you organize your group for Field Day will depend on the number of participants and size of the operation
you plan. One helpful hint is to appoint an individual to head up each station /mode/ band. These “band captains”
should be responsible for planning their individual station, working in conjunction with the Field Day Chairperson and the
other stations planned. Band captains shouldn’t be expected to do it all, so make certain each has plenty of help for set-up,
operating and taking down the site.
There are two criteria that determine your Transmitter class. First, you must be able to transmit a signal on the
total number of band/modes that you claim simultaneously. For example, if you claim 10A, you must be able to transmit
10 different signals at the same time (remember that a band/mode counts as a separate band). Changing the band-switch to
another band does not count as a “different signal.” If you are claiming 10 transmitters, you need 10 stations capable of
operating at the same time – remember operating means sending AND receiving. Second, you must actually have them on
the air simultaneously at least once during the event.
In 2008, the ARRL added an online Field Day Station Locator application on the web. It remains a huge success
(over 1500 stations post their information each year). To participate, have someone from your club or group log on to the
ARRL web at www.arrl.org/field-day-locator and click on the “Add A Station” link to input the required data. You can
also visit the same site to search for Field Day locations in your area. There is no individual preregistration required to
participate, and clubs are not required to register their information, but the locator tool is an excellent way to help new
or visiting amateurs in your area to find where they can come join in on the Field Day fun!
As you plan Field Day, don’t overlook the wide range of bonus points that are available. Since 2005, all entry
classes are eligible for some type of bonus points. Check the rules to see which bonus points you can earn!
If you are operating in a category that requires emergency power, you may receive a 100-point per transmitter
(up to 20 transmitters) bonus if your entire operation is emergency powered. If you use commercial power for some of
the equipment, sorry, you don’t qualify for the emergency power bonus. GOTA and the free VHF station are not eligible
for this bonus. And all entries must operate at least one transmitter to be classified in the event (no zero-A entries).
Are you operating in a public place (mall parking lot, a local park, in front of the fire department)? Don’t forget
the 100-point bonus. Add in a table, some amateur radio informational handouts, and some volunteers answering
questions for visitors, and you have another 100 points for an Information Booth.
Sometimes there is confusion as to the bonus for media publicity. Invite the local media outlets (television, radio,
and newspapers) to your event. Your group can qualify for the 100-point media bonus if the media actually covers your
Field Day event. This is a change from previous years rules. And don’t overlook the 100-point Social Media bonus for
actively engaging on at least one of the standard social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter (#ARRLFD),
Instagram (for example). It’s another way to reach the community at large in today’s media age.
Educating the state and local government officials, and representatives of agencies, with which you may work in
an emergency is part of the Field Day goal. You may claim a 100-point bonus if an elected or appointed local or state
governmental official visits your site as a direct result of your invitation. A second 100-point bonus may be earned if
a representative of one of the agencies which we serve (such as American Red Cross or Salvation Army) visits your
site as a result of a direct invitation from your group. Two things are required to earn this bonus: your must formally
invite officials to visit the operation and one (or more) of them must visit. Maximum bonus is 100 points per category
(100 for an elected official and 100 for an agency official – not 100 points per official). ARRL/ARES officials do not
qualify your group for this bonus.
Part of any real emergency will be handling formal traffic for the agencies we serve. Field Day incorporates this
into the exercise in two ways. First, 100 points are earned by sending a formal message from the club to your ARRL
Section Manager or Section Emergency Coordinator. The message must be originated during the Field Day period.
Why not have one of your club’s experienced traffic-handlers work with someone just learning how to handle traffic
involved in this part of Field Day
You should also be ready to garner points for originating, relaying, or receiving and delivering formal
messages during the Field Day operation. You can gain up to 100 points (10 points each for up to 10 messages) as well
as incorporating another segment of your club into the operation. You can’t double dip – so don’t include the ARRL
SM/SEC message as one of these messages, since it already receives a separate bonus.
During any actual wide-scale emergency, W1AW will broadcast situation bulletins during the duration of the
event. To allow groups to practice using this source of information, a 100-point bonus is awarded for copying the special
W1AW Field Day bulletin. You must copy this special bulletin over the air during the Field Day period. It won’t be
sent out as an email or posted to an ARRL web page. It takes some planning on how to accomplish this at your Field Day
site, but it is another available bonus category. The W1AW schedule is found in this packet with the rules. The same Field
Day bulletin will be transmitted on the West Coast from K6KPH (schedule included with the W1AW schedule).
Groups for many years have used alternative power sources rather than commercial or petroleum-derivative
powered generators to run part of their Field Day operation. To encourage this, an easy 100-point bonus may be earned by
making at least five QSOs using a “natural power” source. Solar, wind, water power, methane or grain alcohol all
qualify here. (Sorry, dry cell batteries are not considered alternative power).
Field Day is a time of experimentation and demonstration for many hams. Two rules encourage groups and
individuals to broaden their scope during the weekend. If you complete at least one QSO via one of the amateur
satellites, you earn a 100-point bonus. The contact must be directly through the satellite between the two earth bound
amateur stations, not relayed through a system that uses a satellite uplink system. A dedicated satellite station does
not count as an additional transmitter towards your group’s total. The total bonus is 100 points – not 100 points for each
satellite that you contact. Also note that since 2007 Field Day you are allowed only one QSO on any single channel FM
satellite. A QSO with the ISS does not qualify for the bonus since it is not an Earth-to-Earth contact. However, if the
astronauts on the ISS participate in Field Day (as they have during the past few years) I bet the excitement of that contact
energizes your whole Field Day operation, and this QSO (groups are lucky to contact them once, if at all) can be counted in
your total QSOs for the mode used.
An easy bonus to earn is the Educational Activity Bonus. Eligible groups will receive a 100-point bonus for
having a formal educational component associated with Field Day. It doesn’t have to be a formal “classroom” session
per se, but it must be a structured activity to broaden the knowledge base of participants. Some groups may decide to
have a hands-on activity of teaching people the proper way to solder coax connectors while another group may decide to
teach about proper grounding techniques and electrical safety. Other groups have had a visiting agency, like the American
Red Cross, offer abbreviated First Aid or AED Training. This activity can be broad enough to allow people to learn how to
do something new but should have active involvement of participants. It must be more than a simple demonstration of
an activity. Standing around watching someone send CW won’t qualify. But teaching people how to make digital QSOs,
and then letting them try their hand at it would. Maybe bring along some supplies to build a 2-meter J-pole or 15-meter
dipole that participants can take home with them! Be creative but keep in mind, this must be more than a passive
activity to watch or s static display to read. See the FAQ on this bonus in the FD packet.
If your Field Day group is operating in the Class A or F category, and are at least a two-transmitter entry, you
have two more ways of adding operating excitement to your event. Groups at 2A or 2F (or higher) may add a dedicated
GET ON THE AIR station (GOTA) that uses a call sign that is different from the primary station call. This station
may be operated by any amateur licensed within the last year. In addition, it may be operated by those holding Novice
licenses or by those considered “generally inactive licensees”. Non-licensed individuals may participate in this station, but
only under the direct supervision of a properly licensed control operator. It may be operated on any Field Day band (HF
or VHF) or mode, provided it is under the direct supervision of a control operator that has license privileges that
includes that band and mode. The complete guidelines are found in Field Day Rule 4.1.1. as well as in two FAQs in this
Starting in 2023, there is no limit to the number of QSOs made from the GOTA station. Each QSO made by
an operator at the GOTA station is worth 5 points, regardless of the mode (CW, Digital or Phone) used. The
calculation for the GOTA bonus has also been simplified as detailed below.
If there is an experienced mentor/coach supervising at least 10 contacts made at the GOTA station, a single
100-point bonus will be earned. There are a couple of guidelines. The coach must supervise at least 10 contacts to
earn the bonus points. Also, the mentor/coach may only advise GOTA operators, but is not allowed to make the
QSOs or perform functions such as logging. They can talk the operator through the contacts but can’t make the QSOs
for them. Remember that the GOTA station does not count as an additional transmitter when calculating your operating
class for Field Day and is not used in determining the number of transmitters for that bonus. It also does not affect your
dedicated VHF/UHF station if operating at class 2A or higher. The GOTA station gives out the same exchange as its parent
station but MUST use a unique call sign.
For those in your club who are more VHF/UHF-oriented, any group operating as a Class A (regardless of the
number of transmitters) may also include one dedicated VHF/UHF station. This will allow those licensees to
participate fully on their favorite amateur bands above 50 MHz. This dedicated VHF/UHF station does not count as an
additional transmitter towards your group’s total and does not qualify for the 100 points per transmitter bonus.
Your group may operate more than one VHF/UHF station during the event. If you do, the first VHF/UHF transmitter does
not count towards your transmitter total, but the rest do count to increase your operating classification.
Getting youth involved in amateur radio is always important. Beginning in 2005, we added a new 100-point
maximum bonus known as the Youth Element bonus. For all Classes except B, you earn 20-points for each person
(age 18 or younger) who completes at least one QSO. Class B may earn eith

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