Field Day 2023

An Invitation

The David Sarnoff Radio Club has participated in ARRL Field Day for over 20 years (stats) and we consider it a part of our club preparedness training. It is, also fun.

Last year’s Field Day (held at former Red Cross field)

The Event

WHEN: Setup on the morning of Saturday June 24. Operating Saturday 2 PM to 1:59 PM on Sunday June 25, 2023 . Setup includes antennas to raise and radios to test! (Early arrivals at 9 AM, in full swing by noon.)

WHERE: “Old Rockingham Site”– unused Somerset County park land off Route 518, Georgetown-Franklin Turnpike, one mile north-east of Rocky Hill, NJ
Lat/Lon 40.403496, -74.613757

WHO: Club members, family, friends, almost anyone who asks to help.

WHY: For fun and learning and teaching and trying!

This year we will try a new operating location at the top of a local mountain/hill.

Rough Schedule

  • Until June 20: Groups make preliminary drawings, determine needs, folks check out radios
  • Tuesday June 20: Club Meeting. Before meeting, group trip up to site. After regular program present plans
  • Sometime: Portajohn arrives
  • Friday 23rd: Possible begin setup— put ropes in trees, mark out parking
  • Friday 23rd: Those who can copy the ARRL Field Day Bulletin (100 points!)
  • Saturday 24th: 10 AM or so… Arrive, set up stations. Begin charging solar batteries.
  • Possibly pause at noon for lunch (BYO was plan in past) and check in
  • Safety check
  • Saturday 24th: 2 PM Contest Begins. Solar power contacts take priority.
  • Satellite contacts, GOTA, training
  • Dinner, Coffee Pot
  • Sunday 25th: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Sunday 25th: 2 PM contest ends, assemble logs, clean site, go home

Participants and Interests

Here’s a link to our members interest survey results: HERE

What does the site look like?

We have chosen a site very near Princeton, in Franklin Township, Somerset County, NJ. It is at the top of “Tenmile Run Mountain” a piece of land which was once the site of “Rockingham”, the house that George Washington used as his last wartime headquarters. The historic building itself has been moved to a new site on Kingston-Rocky Hill Road, about 2 miles from the hill site, by the D&R Canal.

The hilltop site is now county open space.

Lot 26, Old Rockingham Site:
There is a parking lot of about 1/3 acre, with fine gravel, surrounded by open woodland. Elevation is about 300′, about 40′ higher than our Sand Hill repeater location. Photos, maps and other information about the Old Rockingham Field Day site are available


The location is wonderful for antennas. Trees are all around. But there are a few concerns:

  • We are in open space, so there may be wild animals wandering by.
  • There are no rest rooms. We need a reasonable solution to this situation.
  • Multiflora Rose grows around the parking area. Queen Anne’s Lace also grows on and near the parking lot. “Handling [its] foliage, especially wet foliage, can cause irritation and vesication.”( Due to these and unknown hazards, long pants and sleeves, and perhaps boots are needed to erect, adjust and bring down antennas.
  • Tick repellent is advised.
  • Lightning could easily strike this high point. Safety procedures are needed for thunderstorms.
  • There isn’t much shade in the parking area, we will need tents or tarps. Wind may be a problem too, though the parking area near the Grassy Knoll has afternoon shade and some wind protection.
  • There is ‘some’ poison ivy, but not in the parking area.

Next Steps:

There’s lots more planning that needs doing! Members can check the club e-mail list for opportunities.

Get On The Air (GOTA) station for new hams

Field Day is all about learning new things and trying things out.

The ARRL Field Day rules (get PDFs) allow us to set up one “free” station so that Technicians, Novices and New Hams can operate a station of their own. The “GOTA Station” uses the same site as our regular club station but it has its own callsign and contacts made by it count 5 points per contact… that’s more than our regular station contacts.
GOTA operators can use any band and mode when a properly licensed supervising Control Operator is with them. Other hams can participate as “Coaches” for GOTA operators, teaching them how to work a pile-up, understanding how contest contacts work, etc. But all contacts must be made by GOTA operators!

Here are some things from the “GOTA FAQ” on the ARRL Field Day website:

Q. What is the GOTA station?
A. It is an opportunity for any Technician or Novice licensees, newly
licensed amateurs, other generally inactive licensees, and
non-licensed persons to experience first-hand the fun of amateur radio
by allowing them to GET ON THE AIR (GOTA).
Q. I am an active Novice or Technician licensee. May I operate the GOTA station?
A. Yes. The GOTA station may be operated by any Novice or Technician
licensee, under the terms of their license privileges, or under the
supervision of a control operator.

Also: The generally inactive licensee provisions pertain to someone who
holds a General or higher class license but has been inactive. The intent and the spirit
of this station is to provide an opportunity for persons to gain on-the-air experience and progress to operating the regular club stations in the future.

Newly licensed means since the previous year’s Field Day

So, if you are a Tech, you can operate the GOTA every year. If you upgraded to General, you have to be either long-term inactive or a “newly licensed” operator.

The GOTA station may have several different antennas and different radios to learn to operate.

Bonuses We Will Try For

  • 7.3.1. 100% Emergency Power: 100 points per transmitter classification if all contacts are made only using an emergency power source up to a total of 20 transmitters (maximum 2,000 points.)
  • 7.3.2. Media Publicity: 100 bonus points may be earned for obtaining publicity from the local media. A copy of the actual media publicity received (newspaper article, etc.) must be submitted to claim the points.
  • 7.3.3. Public Location: 100 bonus points for physically locating the Field Day operation in a public place (i.e. shopping center, park, school campus, etc).
  • 7.3.4. Public Information Table: 100 bonus points for a Public Information Table at the Field Day site.
  • 7.3.5. Message Origination to Section Manager: 100 bonus points for origination of a formal message to the ARRL Section Manager or Section Emergency Coordinator by your group from its site. (Message passing also has a bonus, 10 per message passed)
  • 7.3.7. Satellite QSO: 100 bonus points for successfully completing at least one QSO via an amateur radio satellite during the Field Day period. Groups are allowed one dedicated satellite transmitter station without increasing their entry category. Satellite QSOs also count for regular QSO credit. Show them listed separately on the summary sheet as a separate “band.” ( Stations are limited to one (1) completed QSO on any single channel FM satellite.)
  • 7.3.8. Alternate Power: 100 bonus points for Field Day groups making a minimum of five QSOs without using power from commercial mains or petroleum driven generator. This means an “alternate” energy source of power, such as solar, wind, methane or water. This includes batteries charged by natural means (not dry cells).
  • 7.3.9. W1AW Bulletin: 100 bonus points for copying the special Field Day bulletin
  • 7.3.10. Educational activity bonus: One (1) 100-point bonus may be claimed if your Field Day operation includes a specific educational-related activity.
  • 7.3.11. Site Visitation by an elected governmental official: One (1) 100-point bonus may be claimed if your Field Day site is visited by an elected government official as the result of an invitation issued by your group.
  • 7.3.12. Site Visitation by a representative of an agency: One (1) 100-point bonus may be claimed if your Field Day site is visited by a representative of an agency served by ARES in your local community (American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local Emergency Management, law enforcement, etc.) as the result of an invitation issued by your group.
  • 7.3.13. GOTA Bonuses… see rules
  • 7.3.14. Web submission: A 50-point bonus may be claimed by a group submitting their Field Day
    entry via the web app. Available to all Classes.
  • 7.3.15. Field Day Youth Participation: A 20-point bonus (up to a maximum of 100 points) may be earned for each participant age 18 or younger at your Field Day operation that completes at least one QSO.
  • 7.3.16 Social Media: 100 points for promoting your Field Day activation to the general public via
    an active, recognized and utilized social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). This
    bonus is available to bona fide Amateur Radio clubs and Field Day groups that welcome visitors
    to their operation. Individual participants do not qualify for this bonus. Club websites do not
    qualify for this bonus. Available to all classes.
  • 7.3.17 Safety Officer Bonus: A 100-point bonus may be earned by having a person serving as
    a Safety Officer for those groups setting up Class A stations.