What a difference a year makes, Winter Field Day is better than ever

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290 QSOs, 40 states, plus Canada and Puerto Rico contacted, several DX entities. Winter Field Day’s 2016 effort was the best ever for our club, and most of us only operated for about five hours.

After last year’s Winter Field Day disaster, I figured our club wouldn’t even bother participating in 2016. We had a miserable performance, logging less than 60 QSOs, operating from permanent stations at a local EOC. After the event ended, we couldn’t even submit our score because the folks at SPAR had apparently disappeared, or just didn’t care.

I wrote a particularly scathing rant here on the blog about it. Other operators across the country were equally annoyed, and they decided to do something about it. The Winter Field Day Association was formed by an eager group, and they immediately began getting word out for the 2016 event using forums and social media.

The effort worked. We operated four stations on battery/generated power from a horse farm in Kershaw County. I worked from our trailer station, where we cleared more than 100 QSOs in several hours. I can only recall one instance in which we had to explain what Winter Field Day was all about. Nearly every caller knew the proper exchange, which has been simplified since the association took over the event. It was like operating during a lighter version of Summer Field Day.

As for our club’s attendance, we counted some 23+ club members and interested amateurs. Keep in mind, we held our event almost an hour away from the city of Columbia proper, so folks had to travel a considerable distance just to get to the site. The nice turnout may have also had something to do with the beautiful clear weather and high 60s temperatures.

The folks at WFDA should be proud of themselves for keeping Winter Field Day alive. I’ll be interested to see how many logs get submitted this year.

Photos from our club’s event can be found on our website.

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