Man in backpack preparing to ascend mountain with a beaconing radio tower atop.


Winter Field Day (WFD) 2022

W0MOC achieves a club record for contacts and claimed score in 2022

Updated: February 21, 2022

On a cold January afternoon, intrepid members of the Missouri Outdoor CLub descended on a farm in Warrenton, MO to set up camp for Winter Field Day. The team set to work erecting tents and wood stoves to keep the operating spaces comfortable. Strings of lights weaved through the tent ceilings to provide light. Tables displayed a range of radio gear and cables snaked between the equipment. Outside, wires and poles sprouted from the frozen ground, giving rise to an array of antennas. The camp buzzed with activity as connections were checked and rechecked. Logging software appeared on laptop screens. Our two outdoor radio stations were ready for Winter Field Day.

At 1900 UTC, 1:00 PM central standard time, W0MOC started calling CQ on two radio stations. Over the next 24 hours the two stations were rarely idle. Six club members and one guest operator traded off, employing SSB, CW and digital modes. The club operators were Adam, W7FIZ; Gregory, W7KNG; Joe, WA0O; Scott, WZ0W; Tim W0TRR; and Travis, W0DTM. Rob, KC0ECQ operated SSB for a few hours as a guest as well. Our stations comprised an Icom IC-7300 and an 80m end-fed half wave wire, used for SSB and digital modes, and a Yaesu FT991A with a DX Commander 80-10m vertical antenna, which was used for SSB and CW. Both stations performed well, and we completed the 24 hour operation with 449 SSB contacts, 399 on CW, 56 on digital modes including PSK31 and JS8Call. Our combined total of 904 contacts, 14 band/mode multipliers, and bonus points for alternative power sources resulted in a claimed score of 39,552 points. The team worked at least one contact in each of the 48 contiguous states, and six Canadian provinces.

In addition to the radio activity, the club enjoyed the camaraderie associated with a group outdoor event. Our host, Travis, W0DTM, provided a delicious lunch on Saturday, consisting of grilled pork steaks and deer bratwurst. Saturday evening, club president Gregory, W0KNG kept us fortified with a delicious back of chili cooked on the chow tent’s wood stove. Sunday morning found Travis’s youngest daughter whipping up the best scrambled eggs one ever enjoyed. While the operators tapped, typed, and croaked out more and more CQ calls, the other club members passed the time in the warmth of the ops tent swapping stories, enjoying a few beverages, and shouting encouragement and cheers at the newest multiplier added to the log.

After two years of operating WFD as a club and four years as a team, we are still refining our approach. Our greatest improvement in the 2022 operation over previous years was keeping the stations running for the full event period. There was only about an hour and a half of idle time in the wee hours of the morning. Overall, the Missouri Outdoor Club claims success in this year’s Winter Field Day event, and we look forward to carrying our experience forward into future years.