Running power on Field Day

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KM4LKC, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know many are gearing up for Field Day. It appears that several clubs around SW Florida are deciding to run amplifiers like the ALS-600. I am sure seasoned club pros have lost many hours of sleep developing the best possible score for this "non-contest" event ;)

    I am curious...does the reducing the power factor multiplier from a factor of 2 to a factor of 1 really make the amplifier worth it?

    7.2. Power multipliers: The power multiplier that applies is determined by the highest power output of any of the transmitters used during the Field Day operation.
    7.2.1. If all contacts are made using a power of 5 Watts or less and if a power source other than commercial mains or motor-driven generator is used (batteries, solar cells, water-driven generator), the power multiplier is 5 (five).
    7.2.2. If all contacts are made using a power of 5 Watts or less, but the power source is from a commercial main or from a motor-driven generator, the power multiplier is 2. If batteries are charged during the Field Day period using commercial mains or a motor-driven generator the power multiplier is 2 (two).
    7.2.3. If any or all contacts are made using an output power up to 150 Watts or less, the power multiplier is 2 (two).
    7.2.4. If any or all contacts are made using an output power greater than 150 Watts, the power multiplier is 1 (one).
    7.2.5. The power multiplier for an entry is determined by the maximum output power used by any transmitter used to complete any contact during the event. (Example: a group has one QRP station running 3 Watts and a second station running 100 Watts, the power multiplier of 2 applies to all contacts made by the entire operation).
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our club stays at 100W, and puts up good antennas. We can run a frequency and maintain a high QSO rate. There's no possible way that adding an amp would allow us to double our rate, and that's what would be needed for the amp to result in an increased number of points.
    WB5THT, WA7PRC and WF4W like this.
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wouldnt give up the x2 multiplier for an amp. 100w is more than enough for stateside operation if good antennas are used...

    2000 CW contacts = 4000 x 2 (power) = 8000
    2000 CW contacts = 4000 x 1 (power) = 4000

    They would have to double the contacts of a non-QRO operation in order to get the same number of points.
    N2EY likes this.
  4. W4WTS

    W4WTS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Never mind the logistics of providing the additional power to run an amp....sure seems simpler to run low power in the field.
    KM4LKC likes this.
  5. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Put up a better antenna, rather than use an amplifier.
    WB5THT, KU4X, KC8VWM and 1 other person like this.
  6. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    One year out club ran 500 watts, 2 each KPA500's and two each Honda Generators. We also ran good antennas.
    My buddy and I decided to run QRP field day from my house. We ran strictly CW. Great antennas. We took first place in the Atlantic division.
    This was not a goal, it just happened. We had a lot of fun doing and are going to do it all over again this year.

    Run QRP battery power, run only 5 watts and make sure you use very good antennas. If moving up in the ranking is what you want, this is the answer.

    He and I used only one radio, Elecraft KX3. We never changed modes, only CW.
    Barry, KU3X/QRP
    WB5THT, KU4X and KP4SX like this.
  7. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This says it all. And I think I have seen other posts that indicated running low power on batteries with really good antennas was the best way to maximize contact points.

    I am a little surprised at the number of groups that operate with more than 150 watts.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    KU4X and KU3X like this.
  9. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Field Day has lost its original purpose which was to simulate actual operating conditions in the event of a regional disaster. So, sure, run 1.5 KW if you can. Make sure you wear the T shirt, and enjoy the food.....none of which are likely to be the case following a catastrophic event.
    K7MH and KC8VWM like this.
  10. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think so.

    I also think if there were no contests and no "killerwatts" the amateur radio hobby would recover the vitality that made it great, because the greatness is in the innovation that comes in getting concepts right, from figuring things out, from making things.

    I started in amateur radio when the Technician Class license encouraged building things to get on-the-air, and figuring things out.

    Field Day still could be all about operating off "the mains" and exposing the public to the varieties of fruits of amateur radio interest.

    Innovation is achieved by innovators.

    The government allocated spectrum to us for us to be a resource.

    This is how I see it.

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