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Ham Radio Winter Field Day 2023

January 28, 2023 @ 9:00 am 3:00 pm PST

TCARES will participate in Winter Field Day January 28th 2023

We will be in Columbia State Park at the Historic School House! (north of the park)

We will operate from some picnic benches with Vertical antennas. We will have at least 2 stations, one 2 Meter and one HF on 40 Meters, and maybe more. Join thousands of hams across the USA in making contacts for the Winter Field Day contest.

This event location in Columbia California has been selected due to its location at a lower elevation in the county and the weather should be fairly good and in the low 60’s in temperature. Measurable rain during the morning might cancel the event, but so far the forecast looks promising.

  • ALL are welcome to come
  • New Hams, Old Hams, Wanna-be-hams
  • Come watch, learn, or operate
  • Bring a portable station if you want
  • Measurable Rain in the morning will cancel the event or reduce participation.
  • Arrive between 10 AM and noon, we may be done by 2PM.

FREE Pizza Lunch from St Charles Saloon for all who are there by 11:30 AM… ish..

Watch this video from our event last year!

Winter Field Day is a communications exercise. WFD is held on the last full weekend in January. WFD can be worked from the comfort of your home or in a remote location. You can participate by yourself or get your friends, family, or whole club involved. Winter Field Day is open to participants worldwide. Amateur radio operators may use frequencies on the HF, VHF, or UHF bands and are free to use any mode that can faithfully transmit the required exchange intact. Similar to the ARRL’s Field Day, bonus points are earned in several ways, including using non-commercial power sources, operating from remote locations, satellite contacts, and more.

Winter Field Day is sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association. We passionately believe that Ham radio operators should practice portable emergency communications in winter environments as the potential for freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards present unique operational concerns. WFD is formatted to help increase your level of preparedness for disasters and improve your operational skills in subpar conditions. Click here to read more about the history and purpose of winter field day.

Winter Field Day Association

View Organizer Website

Columbia State Park Historic School House

22890 School House St
Columbia, California 95310
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

Winter Field Day 2023 Rules

Notable Rules for Winter Field Day 2023

  • All stations are limited to a maximum of 100 Watts PEP.
  • All logs must be in the Cabrillo format and submitted online at www.winterfieldday.com
  • Mexico stations should us MX as their location identifier.
  • We have added a 4th category M for Mobile / Mobile stationary stations.
  • We have added an added an additional Antenna bonus.

Eligibility: All licensed amateur radio operators are encouraged to participate. Radio operators in the United States and Canada will use the designated location identifiers set up by the ARRL and RAC field organizations. Operators in Mexico will use MX as their location identifier, and all other operators outside of North America will use DX as the location identifier. All participants are encouraged to submit a log of stations worked.

Objective: To set up an amateur radio field station and successfully make multiple contacts. Successful participants are those who can set up their equipment and correctly log the designated exchange during the operational period explained below.

Operational Period: Winter Field Day is always held the last full weekend in January. For 2023, it will be held on January 28th and 29th. The 24-hour operational period starts at 1900 UTC on Saturday, the 28th and ends at 18:59 UTC on Sunday, the 29th. Stations may begin setting up no earlier than 19:00 UTC on Friday before. However cumulative set-up time shall not exceed 12 hours.

Entry Categories: A WFD operation, regardless of the number of stations operating under one call sign, must be in the same physical location. All station equipment, including antennas, feed lines, and accessories used, must be located within a circular area, whose diameter does not exceed 1,000 feet (300m).

You must choose which category you are going to operate in. If operating as a group under one call sign, all stations in your entry must fit the category you choose. We have added a new category this year. Many participants that would have been an Indoor or Outdoor station last year will now fall under the Mobile / Mobile stationary category.

The categories are:

  • H = Home: is defined as any station participating from their permanent livable residence or within 500ft of their Home regardless of operating inside or outside.
  • I = Indoor: is defined as any station operating away from Home but from inside an insulated, weather-protected building or structure on a permanent foundation. Indoor stations typically have plumbing, heating/cooling, and running water. Church, EOCs, a club shack, a cabin, and community centers are all examples that would be Indoor.
  • O = Outdoor: Outdoor stations are defined as operating from a partly or fully exposed building or shelter that does not typically have plumbing, heating/cooling, or running water available. Operating from a picnic table, park pavilion, tents, or under pop-up canopies are all places that could be considered outdoor. These are locations where you may have to provide your own heat source and/or protection from the elements.
  • M = Mobile / Mobile Stationary: These stations are defined as operations from a mobile or potentially mobile structure like an RV, car, van, sailboat, cargo trailer, mobile EOC, ETC. These are operating positions that may offer some sort of built-in heating/cooling.

Entry Class: Your entry class is a number designated by the number of stations in your entry that are capable of simultaneous transmission. Don’t count a station where one must be left idle to make contacts on another; do not change your category or class during the event.

Exchange: The designated WFD exchange is your call sign, your Class and Category, plus your location identifier. US and Canadian stations will use the ARRL / RAC Section as designated by those organizations. Mexico stations will use MX, and all other stations outside of the US will use DX. You must accurately copy and record the full exchange. Do not change your section during the contest. If your station changes sections during the event, such as a long haul trucker, your section is the first section you made a contact from.

Bands: All Amateur bands except 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters. To qualify as a band worked, at least 1 valid, two-way QSO must have taken place on the said band during the contest.

Modes: CW, Phone (includes SSB, AM, FM, DMR, C4FM, etc. If the end result is voice, it’s Phone), and Digital (includes PSK, RTTY, Olivia, Packet, SSTV, ATV, JS8Call and other soundcard modes. If the end result is text or a picture, it’s digital).

QSO Points: Phone contacts count as one point each, and all CW & Digital modes count as 2 points each. Busted exchanges will be penalized by one additional point for each missed exchange or call sign. Duplicate contacts (same call, band, and mode) will not be counted nor penalized.

Power Output Multipliers: The maximum permitted is 100 watts measured from the output of the final amplifier. QRP stations, as defined by transmitting less than 5 watts on CW or 10 watts on phone get a multiplier of 2. All other stations have a multiplier of 1.  100W or less = 1x, QRP = 2x

Multiple Transmitter Limitations: The use of more than one transmitter on a single band & mode is prohibited.

Band Multipliers: Each mode worked on each band counts as 1 multiplier. If you worked both CW and Phone on 20 & 40 meters, your total multiplier would be 4. If you operated CW and Phone on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters, CW and PSK31 on 20m, FM on 2 meters & 440 you would have a total multiplier of 12x.

Calculating Points: Scores are based on the total number of QSO points x Power Output Multiplier x Band / Mode Multiplier + Bonus Points.

Total Score = (# of QSOs x PO M x B M) + Total Bonus Points

Bonus points:

Alternative Power1You may claim 500 points if no commercial power is used in powering your WFD station. This means any power not connected to the commercial power grid. Generators, batteries, solar power, and wind are all possible sources of alternative power. You may claim this bonus no matter what operational category you are working under.

Outdoor: You may claim 500 points if you are operating outdoors. Every station operating in the Outdoor category should be able to claim this bonus. Any station that is operating in the Home category but chooses to set up outdoors, may also claim this bonus.

Away from Home: You may claim 500 points if you are operating in a location other than home as defined above. If you are operating under the Indoor, Outdoor or Mobile categories, you should be able to claim this bonus.

Antenna: You may claim 500 points if you are setting up an antenna(s) just for WFD. If you or any of your operating stations are using any pre-installed antennas you may not claim this bonus. Pre-installed antennas are defined as any antenna attached to anything that could be used day to day or was set up before the WFD set-up time. This includes home antennas, installed antennas on vehicles, cargo trailers and RVs, and, any other antenna that would be considered permanently installed.

Satellite2You may claim 500 points for making at least one successful satellite QSO. See the appendix below for more information on satellite contacts.

Mobile: You may claim 250 points if you are mobile during the event. This means you are moving / roving and using a vehicle mounted-antenna that can be operated while the vehicle is in motion. 

To claim any bonus points, all stations covered in your entry must qualify.

Miscellaneous Rules: 

  • All rules governing amateur radio at your location must be observed throughout the event.
  • All stations for a single log entry submission must be operated under one callsign.
  • Any mode used must be able to faithfully transmit the exchange intact without a conversion table. Stations can be worked once per band, per mode.
  • Entrants may not count for QSO credit any contact with anyone who is or was a participant in their WFD operation or is present at their WFD location.
  • All voice contacts are equivalent.
  • All non-cw digital contacts are equivalent.
  • QSOs may only be solicited during the contest and only via the airwaves. The use of spotting clusters, the RBN, APRS, and Winlink to solicit contacts will be allowed during the contest.
  • Cross-band contacts are not permitted (satellite QSOs cross-band contacts are exempted).
  • The use of more than one transmitter at the same time on a single band-mode is prohibited.
  • No repeater contacts are allowed including, DMR that may be transmitted through a repeater on the receiving end.

Log Submission Requirements

All logs must be submitted in the Cabrillo format and contain the proper exchange data. Logs must be submitted by 11:59 UTC on March 1st to be considered. Late entries cannot be accepted. If you find an error in log after submitting, just correct your log and resubmit. The corrected version will replace the original you submitted.

You must submit your logs online at winterfieldday.org

Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.

Results will be posted on the Winter Field Day website.


  1. To claim the Alternative Power bonus, batteries in use may only be recharged using alternate power. When not in use, batteries may be charged by any means available. WFD operations claiming the alternate power bonus must run all station equipment and accessories from an alternate power source, with the exception of the logging-only computer which may be connected to the power grid or any power source available.
  2. Groups are allowed one dedicated satellite transmitter station without increasing their entry category. Satellite QSOs do not count as a regular QSOs credit. Satellite contacts do not count as a new band / mode multiplier. You only get the 500 Bonus points. You do not receive any additional bonus points for contacting different satellites. A simple CQ (versus CQ WFD) is sufficient, and you should be prepared to give a signal report and your VHF Grid Square to the other station versus your normal WFD exchange. It’s likely the other station will not be a WFD contestant, and he will likely want a confirmation of the contact afterwards, especially if your location is remote. Please be considerate and comply.

Cabrillo Log Example

There MUST be at LEAST or more spaces between fields. Each line in the log must end with a carriage return and line feed. There must be at least one or more spaces following a colon in a line. The frequency for HF must be in kilohertz rounded to the nearest kilohertz. 3753 is fine, 3753.20 is not.

The callsign in the file name for the log MUST be the same as the callsign USED in the contest. If your event call is N8LOG, make sure your file name is N8LOG.log or N8LOG.txt

If your logging software is NOT connected to your radio, any in-band frequency is fine.

Date and times need to be in UTC and do not need to be exactly accurate

Please enter your bonus points in the Cabrillo Soapbox comments as show in the example below. Include a short explanation.

The main body must follow this format:

Created-By: N3FJP 
CLUB: Riverdale ARC
LOCATION: OH (arrl-section)
SOAPBOX: 500 points for not using commercial power (if applicable)
SOAPBOX: 500 points for setting up outdoors (if applicable)
SOAPBOX: 500 points for setting up away from home (if applicable)
SOAPBOX: 500 points for Satellite QSO (w/N8HM)
SOAPBOX: bonus total 2000
CLAIMED-SCORE: xxxx (your calculated total score including bonuses)
NAME: Mike Smith (contact person)
ADDRESS: 123 Main Street
EMAIL: mike@gmail.com

QSO: 3750 PH 2017-01-07 1911 N8LOG 1O OH WB9X 2H IL
QSO: 14070 DI 2017-01-07 2131 N8LOG 1O OH K6XXX 14I LA