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  Rules for 2017

Purpose: To foster Ham camaraderie, field operation, emergency operating preparedness, and just plain on the air, outdoor fun in the midst of winter for American, Canadian and DX Amateurs. Don't let those winter doldrums keep you locked up in the house...get out and play some radio!!

When: Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Sunday. For 2017, the dates are January 28th and 29th. Station set-up may commence no earlier than 1900 UTC (2pm EST) on Friday, January 27th. Station setup may consume no more than 12 hours total. How & when you schedule/spend those 12 hours is up to you.

Bands: All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters.

Modes: Any mode CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc...

Suggested Frequencies: (to make it easier for entrants 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.

Entry Categories:(see further clarification in "definitions" below)
Indoor: Operation from inside a remote, insulated, heated (or cooled, depending on your local weather), and weather-protected structure where an Amateur station is normally not available. (Park buildings/cabins, community center, EOC, senior center, club shack, etc) Outdoor: Operation from a location partly or fully exposed to the elements and at least 30 feet away from your normal station location and not using any part of a previously erected antenna system or ham station. A campground, park pavilion, canopy, picnic table, tent, pop-up camper, or a backyard shed/tent/deck, etc may be used. Operation from a non-insulated car/truck/van/boat (mobile or not) is considered "outdoor".
Home: Operation from inside a home or inside another structure attached to a home that could or would be the usual location of an Amateur station (garage, sunroom, etc), generally using a previously erected antenna system. A "Home" entrant may still be eligible to claim the "alternate power" bonus if not using commercial power. Use of any pre-existing (on site) or permanently installed antenna system or station components renders your station a "Home" station.

Entry Class: Your entry "class" is a number designated by the number of stations in your entry that are capable of simultaneous transmission. (Explained further in summary below)

Exchange: Your WFD exchange will be a combination of your "class" and "category" and your ARRL section as described below, using an appropriate letter designator or phonetics (examples: 1I, 2H, 5I, 6O, 3H, 9I, etc) In short: Call sign, Class + Category, ARRL Section. (Example: K4YM this is KB8X, we are Two Hotel, Ohio ...or in CW: K4YM de KB8X TU 2H OH... KB8X this is K4YM, thank you, we are Twelve India, West Central Florida ..or in CW: KB8X TU 12I WCF)

In Summary: There are only 3 Categories of entry: Indoor, Outdoor and Home as described above and in the definitions. Your entry class will depend on the number in your exchange. That number will be determined by the number of station capable of simultaneously transmitting at your WFD site. If you only have one station set up, but plan on using it on several bands and modes (example: 160-2m, CW, SSB, FM, Digi, etc), the number in your exchange would be "1".If you have 10 stations set up and operators working at all of them, regardless of bands and modes, the number in your exchange would be "10". If you have only two operators, but have two HF stations set upand a third and possibly a fourth station dedicated to VHF, UHF or a Satellite contact, your exchange number would be "2", as one op would have to leave a station idle to make contacts on the other. In other words, don't count a station where one station has to be left idle to make contacts on another. Once you decide upon your number of stations (class), you must use it for the duration of the contest. There are no points awarded for number of stations and it does not effect your score.

QSO Points: 1 point per Phone QSO, 2 points per CW and Digital QSO. Busted exchanges will be penalized by 1 additional point for each missed exchange or callsign. Duplicate contacts (same call, band and mode) will not be counted, but will not be penalized.

Mode and Band Multipliers: Count 1 multiplier for each mode operated per band. For example, operating CW and Phone on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters, CW and PSK31 on 20m, FM on 2meters and 440MHz would be a total multiplier of 12x.

Power Output Multipliers: >100W = 1x, 100W or less = 2x, QRP = 4x(QRP defined below)

Bonus Points:

  • 1. You may claim 1500 bonus points if no commercial power is used in powering your WFD sattion. (see "alternate power" definition below) Your "logging-only" computer may use any available power.
  • 2. You may claim 1500 bonus points if your operation is "Outdoors" (see definition below).
  • 3. You may claim 1500 bonus points if your operation is not a "Home" operation (remote).
  • 4. You may claim 1500 bonus points for making a QSO via Satellite (once only. see Satellite rule)

  • Example: Operating outdoors on your back deck table more than 30 feet from your usual station without commercial power and using a temporary WFD antenna, set up within the allowed timeframe, would be 1500+1500 = 3000 bonus points (outdoors, no commercial power), while operating from a campground tent using commercial power and making one Satellite QSO would be 1500+1500+1500 = 4500 bonus points. (outdoor, not home and Satellite).
    Note: There must have been at least 1 valid QSO in order to claim any bonus points. This is to ensure that someone claiming bonus points without actually making any contacts cannot win a category. Bonus points may not be claimed unless all stations covered in your entry qualify as well.

Claimed Score Tabulation: QSO Points x Power Output Multiplier x Bands/Mode Multiplier + Bonus Points.

Log submission deadline and contents: : Logs must be submitted to before 0000 UTC March 1st to be considered. All logs must be in Cabrillo format and should contain the following information:

Frequency: kHz, band, or a generic frequency for the band. Frequency accuracy is not used to judge valid QSOs.

Modes in the log: CW = CW, PH = Phone as in AM, SSB, FM, C4FM, DStar, Mototurbo, DMR, etc (..if the end result is voice transmission, it's phone). DI = Digital, as in RTTY, Olivia, Packet, PSK, SSTV, ATV (if the end result is text or pictures on a screen, it's digital).

Date and time: UTC/GMT (..need not be exactly accurate. Exception: QSO's time-stamped/logged outside the contest period will be disqualified).

QSO data required: Entrants's Call, Class + Category, ARRL/RAC Section---Call worked, Class + Category, Arrl/RAC Section.
Any station worked without an ARRL/RAC Section designator is to be logged simply as "DX" in the space alloted for the section identifier. DX entrants would give DX or their country as their "section" in their exchange.

Bonus Points:Please enter your calculated bonus points in the Cabrillo Soapbox comments as shown directly below with a short explanation. The soapbox is just above the main body of the log in the header.

The Cabrillo QSO template is as follows.
SOAPBOX: BONUS 3000 (remote location and generator power)(example)

---------------------------------------info sent-------- -------info rcvd---------
QSO:freq   mo   date              time    call       #Cat      sec ,     call             #Cat    sec   
QSO:3700  PH   1999-03-06  0711    K8XXX  12I         STX ,    WB5XXX    2H      LA    
QSO:7000  CW  1999-03-06  0711    K8XXX  12I         STX ,    K8UO          14I      LA    

Results will be posted on the Winter Field Day Association website ( as we check and score them. Your pictures, videos, description of operations and logistics are encouraged and welcome at both the website and the WFD Facebook group.

Further Definitions and Rules Clarafication:
Station Location Limitations: A WFD operation, regardless of the number of stations operating under one call sign, must be located in one physical location; ergo all station equipment, including antennas, feedlines and accessories used must be located within a 1000 foot (300m) circle at the site chosen. Rempte station operation (via internet link) is allowed, but may only enter WFD as a "Home" station (w/o bonus points) since a remote station, almost by definition, is previously assembled and operates off local commercial power.

Qualifying Alternate/Non-Commercial Power: Any power not connected to the comercial power grid...generator (stand alone or built into an RV), battery (which may not be re-charged from commercial mains while in use, solar power (yours), hydroelectric (yours, not the local power company), wind power (yours), etc. You may only recharge batteries in use using alternate power...generator, solar, hydro, wind, etc. Batteries, when not is use, may be recharged 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. In multiple station set-ups, that means all stations working under one call sign must do the same. If even one station in a multi-station set-up uses commercial power, the group may not claim the bonus.

Station accessories & power requirements: Your logging-only computer/device may use any power available ( a real time emergency there'd likely be little contest type QSO loging going on). If you are claiming an "alternate power" source for bonus points, any peripheral device that assist in making of WFD QSOs must also run on an "alternate power" source. Simply put, if your computer is used to generate the transmission of or decoding of WFD QSOs and you're claiming alternate power, it must also run on alternate power. This standard also applies to any other external devices used in making or decoding transmissions like CW keyers, tablets/iPads, voice memory keyers, soundcard links (rigblasters, etc), equalizers and audio filters (timewave, etc).

QRP: CW = 5 watts maximum carrier. Phone/Digi = 10 watts peak power.

Multiple Transmitter Limitations: The use of more than one transmitter on a single band & mode is prohibited. Operation of multiple transmitters at different physical sites is porhibited (see station location limitations above).

Indoor: Operation from inside a building or structure at another temporary, remote (away from home) location where amateur radio equipment and antennas are not typically available, including community centers, park buildings/cabins, etc. If it has a permanent roof, windows, doors and walls, it's indoors. Indoor stations, already eligible for "remote" bonus points, may also claim "alternate power" bonus points if not using commercial power.

Outdoor: Operations from a location Remote to your normal at-home station and fixed antennas, such as locations with no permanent buildings, no insulation, no central heating/AC system, including campgrounds, park picnic tables, tents, some RVs (see above), lean-tos, etc. Comfort allownces are made for windbreaks, sun/rain/snow cover (canopy/tent/pop-up), and heat source (fire, pation heater, catalyst/propane heater, torpedo/kerosene heater, electric heater, etc), or cooling if needed. Operating from your pool deck or backyard screen gazebo would be considered "outdoor" as long at it's not attached to the house and you're more than 30 feet from your normal station. An open-air pavilion with no walls would be considered Outdoor as would a tent, canopy or canvas pop-up. An entrant using a plugged-in, fully enclosed, insulated and centrally heated/cooled motor-home or trailer would be considered "Indoor" although they may still be eleigible for "remote" and "alternate power" bonus points. A station set up thusly may still qualify for the "alternate power" bonus if not using commercial power, Conversely, operation from an un-insulated vehicle (car, van, boat or truck, mobile or not) would be considered "Outdoor". In order to claim the "Outdoor"bonus, ALL stations in your entry must fit the definition, no exceptions.

Home: Operation from a place where an amateur station is already or would be normally be established, whether it's your home or anothers person's, including any enclosed structure attached to the home (garage, deck, sunroom). Use of any pre-existing feed line or pre-mounted antenna system, such as a backyard tower/beam, roof antennas, or previously installed dipole/wire, or previously installed rig renders your station a "Home" operation. A home station may still claim "alternate power" bonus if using non-commercial power. Operation from another ham's home other than your own, from a seasonal rental ( your Florida/Arizona snowbird condo), or from a second home you own would still be considered a "Home" operation unless no equipment, antennas, or accessories were present before the stated WFD set-up time (in which case you'd be an "Indoor" entrant and eligible for the "remore/not at home" and possibly the "alternate power" bonuses).

Allowed Bands: The Amateur non-WARC band allocations recognized by the ITU, i.e. 160, 75/80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6,and 2 maters, plus UHF bands. To qualify as a band worked, at least 1 valid, non-solicited, two-way QSO must have taken place on said band during contest.

The WARC bands (30m, 12m, & 17m) and 60m are Off Limits for WFD QSOs as they are for any other contest. Entrants are strongly advised to avoid parking on recognized national simplex calling channels on 6m, VHF and UHF bands and use adjacent frequencies.

Satellite Contact Rules: Satellite contacts do not count as a new mode/band multiplier. Satellite contacts are limited to ONE ONLY per entry so as to not tie up satellite frequencies with stations calling CQ WFD. 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. A satellite contact is worth 1500 bonus points, "one time only". Making further contacts earns no extra points. if you complete a satellite QSO, be sure to note the bonus points as well as a short synopsis of the contact in the "SoapBox". Chances are very good that 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. Be considerate and comply.

Qualifying WFD QSO: You must copy the "full exchange" (with the exception of Satellite QSOs, see above). QSOs may not be solicited.. in other words: you may not call someone, use the internet (email, IMs, Facebook or spotting networks) or repeater/digipeater to request/suggest they meet you on any frequency for a WFD QSO or set up a QSO in advnce of WFD. The internet, Echolink, VOIP, IRLP, repeaters, digi-peaters and cross-banding are "Off Limits" and barred from use to make WFD QSOs as they are in all other contests, with the single exception of a cross-band satellite QSO. DO NOT park on the national VHF/UHF/6m calling frequencies to make QSOs. 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. No credit may be taken for QSOs involving, light, laser or LED unless the stations are more than 1000m distant from each other and the receiving station includes detection circuitry.

Qualifying WFD Modes: CW, Phone (includes SSB,AM, FM, Dstar, C4FM, Mototurbo..if the end result is voice, it's phone) and Digital (includes PSK, Olivia, Packet, SSTV, ATV and other soundcard modes. If the end result is text or a picture, it's digital).

Operator: Any person that operates a radio, keyboard, microphone or CW key, including logging assistance. This does not include non-operators, such as those who cook or serve food, but do not participate in the radio operation.

All rules governing amateur radio must be observed throughout.
Cabrillo Logs V3 is required to expedite scoring.
Bonus Points: The more details by you will help with scoring.
Although not required, we recommend the WFD Logging program by N3FJP.
W3KM also has excellent logging software

Any questions concerning the rules or submitting logs should be directed to or WFD FaceBook Group
Rules Update June 30,2016