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After Hours Operation


WA2WMR
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The rules say that if you don't start setup until 1800 on the first day, you can operate for 27 hours. Does anyone have any experience with this? How much activity is available in those extra 3 hours? Is it worth going with this plan of action?

 

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I've tried it both ways. Frankly, by the time you get to the end of the 24-hours you've exhausted the possible contacts. Also, most of the bigger groups, with bigger antenna setups have set up early because of the installation time needed for larger antenna arrays, and they're gone. The only real 'catches' left are the big gun home stations in Class D who, although being limited to 150 W, usually have insane antenna setups. The advantage here is that you can get them more easily because the pile ups are smaller. This said, I've never had more than a handful of QSOs then. My personal advice to people, take the time to build a good antenna array early and work your 24 hours solid. As to what I mean by a solid antenna array, I mean setting up for multiple bands and multiple directions (depending on where you're located in the country). So Lind, my long way of saying... better antenna work, op for 24 hours. But you knew all this already 😉

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My reason for asking the question had to do with the caboose. If the leave time going is 2PM and it's a 45 minute train ride, and the leave time returning is 11AM, operators would lose at least an hour on Saturday while on Sunday at least 3 hours would be lost. So it would require leaving on Friday and returning on Monday in order to operate a full Field Day. That would an extra day and add to the expense. If, however, the caboose rental started on Saturday and ended on Monday, ops would start setup in the caboose on the ride out, finish the antennas upon arrival, operate for 27 hours, break down at leisure and then return Monday, saving one day's rental. But if there is nothing to be had after 2PM on Sunday, it might not be worth it. But, then again, if one doesn't get crazy elaborate on the antenna setup, one would only lose the first hour of field day with a Saturday to Monday rental. Personally, I've had the most Field Day success on Sunday morning.

 

 

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