Follow-up: Winter Field Day 2024

Winter Field Day 2024: A Recap of Teamwork

As the fog lifted and the echoes of the last CQ calls of Winter Field Day (WFD) 2024 dissipate, we take pride in our club’s participation. This year’s WFD was unique, not just in the airwaves we conquered but in the objectives we set out to achieve.

A number of operators were present to help with this year’s WFD including: Chad KF0CZD, Tom K0TLS, and Lance N4LDB, who steered us through various frequencies and modes. Steve KB0WSV, Chan KB0ECO, Kevin KF0HSF, Matt KE0ZRX and Ray WB0HHM visited the WFD site at Lake Vermillion State Recreation Area, contributing to the event’s success. To those we might have inadvertently overlooked, know that your involvement was just as appreciated.

Adhering to the WFD guidelines, we ventured onto the 40, 20, 15, 10 and 2 meter bands on FM, SSB and CW, from 19:00 UTC on Saturday January 27th until 18:59 UTC on Sunday January 28th, the last full weekend in January. We are now in the process of submitting our logs before the deadline at 11:59 UTC on March 1st. In total W0ZWY logged 400+ contacts during the 24 hr. event.

The Evolution: Objectives Over Points

This year brought about a transformation in WFD, with a distinct shift from scoring points to fulfilling objectives—a change that reflects on the essence of what WFD is all about. It’s a testament to the evolving nature of WFD that the Winter Field Day Association advocated for this change, though it was made progressively to ensure everyone’s on board.

Goal Setting: The Heart of WFD24

The removal of bonus points in favor of listed objectives underscores the WFD’s true intention: it is a Communications Exercise, not a contest. The objectives for 2024 were straightforward yet challenging, designed to spur participants to learn and experiment. The opportunity to test new equipment and modes, such as generators, solar power, multiple antenna setups, and digital modes like Winlink, was particularly enriching.

Our club embraced the objectives, learning and growing in the process. Whether we used alternative power sources for the first time or honed our antenna rigging skills, every challenge pushed us beyond our comfort zones—simulating the unpredictability of real-world emergency scenarios.

Preparing for the Future: Beyond WFD24

The club eagerly awaits the publication of logs and results by the first week of June, but it is the feedback and constant improvement cycle that truly captivates us. We’re reminded that the objectives of future WFDs will continually evolve, possibly requiring us to work in teams, communicate with home stations, or even operate from multiple locations, much like the unpredictability of disasters.

Parting Thoughts…

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all operators and visitors who participated in WFD24, in addition to the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks for the great facility at Lake Vermillion. Also thank you to the Winter Field Day Association for coordinating the entire event.

Did you work any stations for WFD? Remember to submit your logs, if you haven’t already. Until then, let’s look forward to Field Day this summer and Winter Field Day 2025 and all the exciting challenges it will bring. Good luck, and 73!