Field Day Log Version 6.2 Upgrade Required, Together While Apart & Other Important Tips!

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Hi All,

I'm already starting to receive lots of Field Day e-mail, which is great! I'm very glad that you are all planning ahead! I'm also receiving requests for advice on how groups can best enjoy Field Day (and other contests) together virtually, while staying safely apart. Here are many of the common questions and my responses...

Must we upgrade to Field Day Log 6.2?

Yes, if you haven't already done so, please be sure all the Field Day PCs have been upgraded to Field Day Log 6.2 (released 1/8/2020). Previous versions will not accommodate the new Prince Edward Island (PE) section, so you will not be able to log those QSOs with PE until you upgrade.

As always, upgrades are free to registered users. You'll find the Field Day software here.

And the upgrade steps here.

Please don't wait until the last minute to install the software. There aren't any planned changes to the Field Day software before Field Day 2020, so go ahead and install it now.


How can our group enjoy Field Day together virtually, while staying apart?

Our NEMARC club hangs out together virtually for every major ARRL and CQ contest, so I have a lot of firsthand experience to share with this question! Since we won't be able to physically be together this time for Field Day, operating together virtually is our plan for Field Day 2020 as well.

Some folks enjoy contesting as a lone wolf, spending the weekend in solitary pursuit, but running with the pack and contesting together as a team has more than doubled the enjoyment for many in our club. We all operate from our individual homes and we each submit our own scores, but we thoroughly enjoy each other's company, as well as the fun of seeing our current club total and individual scores in real time on our leader board virtually. Very briefly, here's how:

- We have a text chat group that we set up on the free Discord app, which has evolved beyond contesting. It is our virtual clubhouse. Guys sign in almost every day to chat, alert members to DX, seek help and offer advice. This works beautifully during contests too, as there is lots of fun, encouragement, newer guys can ask questions and others can answer when convenient. Of course we have good natured banter and camaraderie, just as if we were physically together. The virtual clubhouse has become the backbone of our club in many additional ways that would take too long to explain now, but you can get a little more sense of how we use it from this video here.

- We use my free Club Score Processor, so we all can see how we are doing as a club, as well as individually, in real time. The real time leader board display that the processor creates is an automatically refreshing web page. You can be sure all club members keep the leader board and virtual clubhouse displayed on their desktops all weekend. Of course, there is friendly competition within the group, but the key, especially for new folks, is that they understand there is zero pressure and that more importantly, we are a TEAM, working together. Every QSO helps the group, so jump in and have fun!

With ARRL's 1,000 foot Field Day rule, I don't think ARRL will be combining individual scores to create a club total, but there's no reason you can't see how your club fares against other clubs in your region directly. Comparisons to other clubs aside, it is great fun to see how everyone in your club is doing throughout the weekend, evaluating results with similar setups, seeing if someone needs help, etc.

You'll find my free Club Score Processor here.

I have lots more information on how you can operate together virtually in this article that I wrote for ARRL (published in August 2016 QST) here.

I am very grateful for this question. These methods have thoroughly revitalized our local club over the last few years. Our membership is growing and we are more active and vibrant than ever. I know they will bring positive energy and lots of fun to your group as well!


Do you have a quick start video for new folks?

Please share this video with anyone looking to get comfortable with the Field Day software in advance of Field Day!


Can we use your software to update a common log file, with each of us operating from our individual homes?

Yes, you can configure my software to operate over the Internet and behave just as if all your PCs were on a Local Area Network (LAN) for distributed multiop. Details are here.

This feature doesn't apply to Field Day though. Field Day Rule rule 4.1 requires that all equipment (including antennas) must lie within a circle whose diameter does not exceed 300 meters (1000 feet).


Social distancing is unnecessary for our circumstances and we plan to network multiple PCs. How do we set up networking with your software?

You'll find those instructions here.

Do not wait until Field Day morning to configure your network. Problems easily solved in a relaxed environment can seem insurmountable when the clock is ticking!


I can't find my Field Day password?!

If you haven't already entered your registration information, please don't wait until the last minute to realize that you can't find your password (or register the Field Day software). If you can't find your password, Kimberly is happy to help, but the week leading up to Field Day gets crazy, so if you can't find yours, please e-mail us now.


I'm planning to operate digital. How do I set up the Field Day software for direct, automatic entry from the digital software?

If you plan to operate any digital modes, please make sure that you've interfaced your digital software with my Field Day software, so that when you log the QSO in the digital software, it is immediately and automatically logged in the Field Day software. Quick setup details on interfacing my Field Day software with a number of digital programs, including WSJT via JTAlert, FLDigi, N7YG, W4ELP and others are here.


Have Fun!

Whether your area requires social distancing or not, with the serious consequences of the virus to our demographic, staying apart and operating together virtually will likely be the most sensible and responsible choice for many of us in 2020. Please be safe, have fun, take this opportunity to learn to operate together virtually and Lord willing, I hope to work you on Field Day!


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And in response to the questions we always receive when we neglect to include the following in our e-mail announcements...


Package Upgrade Information...

If you have registered one or more individual programs and would like to upgrade to N3FJP's Software Package or N3FJP's Software Package and CD for full use of all our Amateur Radio software, we would be glad to apply the amount that you have registered so far as a credit towards that purchase. Please send us an e-mail directly and we'll let you know your balance.

N3FJP's Software Package includes more than one hundred programs for contesting, net management, general logging and other Amateur Radio related applications. In addition to full use of all these programs, registered package customers are also entitled to receive free passwords for any new software that is added to the package and free upgrades to existing programs. You'll find all the details on the Register Now page at www.n3fjp.com.


Donations are Gratefully Accepted!

And in response to the often asked question for which Kimberly and I are very grateful...

"I know your upgrades are free, but I also realize how much time and effort coding these enhancements and new programs take and that your pricing policy doesn't fully reflect that. Can I send you something to show my appreciation for your continued efforts?"

Yes, thanks so much, your continued support in any amount is very welcome and deeply appreciated! You can use this page:

http://www.n3fjp.com/donations.html

or send your contribution by mail, payable to Affirmatech Inc., to:

G. Scott Davis
118 Glenwood Road
Bel Air, MD 21014-5533

Thank you so much for your continued support!


Thanks!

As always, thanks for your kind words, support, linking to our web site and spreading the word about our software. Kimberly and I really appreciate it!

73, Scott
N3FJP
http://www.n3fjp.com

Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.

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