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There’s Still More to Do for ARRL Field Day!

06/29/2011

The radios, antennas and the food might be put away after ARRL Field Day 2011, but there is still plenty of work to do to close the books on this annual operating extravaganza. According to ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, the fun may be over, but many details need to be completed. “Thousands of Field Day entries will be received at ARRL headquarters over the next 30 days,” he explained. “The focus now is doing what is necessary to make sure the individual and group Field Day summaries and submissions are handled accurately and efficiently.”

Participants are encouraged to submit their required summary sheet using the online submission application found at www.b4h.net/cabforms. Provided for several years by Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, this simple web form allows you to submit the summary sheet directly to the ARRL. The form walks you through all of the required information for accurately reporting your submission, accurately scores it for you, sends a copy to the ARRL (as well as saving it in a master Field Day database) and provides the sender with a copy for their records.

“There is no ‘contest robot’ for processing Field Day entries, so if you choose to not use the web form, but rather simply e-mail your submission, you will not receive an automated receipt or feedback,” Henderson said. “This is one strong reason for using the web applet -- it lets you accurately and easily submit the basic information, ensuring your information is correctly reported.” Participants using the website still must send their supporting documentation to ARRL, either by e-mail or regular US Mail.

Because there is no contest robot, compiling the list of “Logs Received” is a manual process. “The list is generated only once daily, and it initially only includes those submissions received via the web applet” Henderson continued. “Approximately 75 percent of the more than 2600 Field Day reports are received via the web application. ARRL Contest Branch staff must process the others manually. This involves printing out a hard copy of a non-applet e-mail submission, then manually doing the data entry when logs received via regular mail are also processed. Due to other duties of the staff, this may take up to four weeks after the log submission deadline passes. It is frustrating when someone calls and asks if the submission they mailed was received and we cannot give them an answer. There is no way to easily search the numerous bins of paper entries to find a specific entry.”

Henderson noted that once all paper and non-web applet summaries are processed, a combined list of all “Logs Received” is posted to the ARRL website. Any problems with missing or inaccurate data are handled once that list is posted. If your group submitted its report via the web applet, you can look to see if it was received by checking the list found here. Look for the section tagged “Other Reports.” Keep in mind that since it is a manual process, the list may not be updated daily.

“Once your summary sheet and supporting material is submitted, do not forget to share your Field Day story with others by posting your pictures and details to the ARRL Online Soapbox,” Henderson said. “The soapbox is an excellent way for you to tell your story. We frequently use the material in the soapbox to find quality photos for the Field Day articles that appear in QST and on the web.”

The report submission deadline for 2011 ARRL Field Day is 11:59 PM (EDT) on Tuesday, July 26.



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