It’s Time for Field Day!

Logo for ARRL 2024 Field Day

On the weekend of June 22-23, 2024, in locations across the country, amateur radio operators and clubs will participate in ARRL Field Day. So what exactly is Field Day? According to ARRL Radiosport and Regulatory Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, “It is part emergency communications exercise, part social gathering, part open house for ham radio – it is what the local club makes of it. No matter what goal your activation has, ARRL hopes it is a safe, fun, and rewarding event for each club.”

Here in the metro-Richmond area the primary field day operations is facilitated by our friends at the Richmond Area Telecommunications Society (RATS). And, as in pervious years, the event will take place at the Laurel Recreation Area, 10301 Hungary Spring Rd., in northern Henrico County. Information can be found at the RATS Summer Field Day information page. Many of our DDXG members will join in the activities.

As a kid, even before I was a licensed ham, I remember my Dad (WA3JTU, SK) making the trek to the field day location of the local central Pennsylvania club. Later, because we had a military surplus 10KW generator (before home generators were cool), Dad would participate from the home station. And every year non-hams, or hams who had not been active for a while, would find their way for the social gathering, the learning available, to get on the air, or just for the hot dogs and hamburgers. There will even be testing available if you are becoming a ham or upgrading your license.

2023 DDXG DX Ladder Results

During the January 2024 meeting Tom, N3GTG, DDXG President and Ladder Chair presented the results of the TWO 2023 DX Ladder competitions. Beginning in 2023 a second ladder competition was added allowing those members with significant DX history to compete with a chance to earn recognition for activity within a calendar year. We are calling the new ladder competition the SUPER LADDER.

Original Ladder

Lauren, W4LEW, was presented with the plaque for her winning performance in the original ladder. While only active in chasing DX for about the last three years, she has consistently brought a strong game to the competitions. Congratulations Lauren!

Super Ladder

And our esteemed member, and recipient of the very first DeSoto Cup, W4DR, Bob, proved that he continues to be a force when it comes to DX activity. Bob was awared the plaque as winner of the new Super Ladder. Congratulations Bob!

2024 DDXG Board of Directors

The Dominion DX Group installed the 2024 Board of Directors at the January meeting. Returning for another year in service to club are Tom (N3GTG), President, Sheila (K4WNW), Vice-President, and Lauren (W4LEW). John (KX4QC) will serve as Secretary for 2024. And Jim (WY4O) remains on the board as a Director. We appreciate the dedication of these club members and their support for the club.

L-R: Tom, N3GTG, President; Lauren, W4LEW, Treasurer; Sheila, K4WNW, Vice-President; John, KX4QC, Secretary; and, Jim, WY4O, Director

Club Call Earns DXCC Challenge Award

Members of DDXG, with the consent of the trustee, may operate under the DDXG club call, K4VAC. Logs are maintained and uploaded to ARRL’s Logbook of the World (LOTW). During the October meeting Bruce, WD4LBR, who is the trustee, showed off the DXCC Challenge plaque recognizing that the club call had met the requirements of the DXCC Challenge,. According to the ARRL website, “The DXCC Challenge Award is earned by working and confirming at least 1,000 DXCC band-points on any Amateur bands, 160 through 6 meters (except 60 meters).” Thank you to Bruce and all club members who take the time to work new DX for yourself and for the club.

Sheila, K4WNW, Achieves DXCC Honor Roll

At our June meeting we celebrated our long time member, and current Vice-President, Sheila, K4WNW, on achieving ARRL DXCC Honor Roll. The DXCC Honor Roll is earned by amateurs who submit confirmation for contacts reached within the numerical top 10 of the overall number of entities on the DXCC List. As of 25 Jun 2023, there were 340 current entities on the list, with 331 being required for the Honor Roll.

Sheila keeps her eyes open for new opportunities to add to her DXCC numbers by monitoring the DX news for upcoming DXpeditions. And she shares this information each month through her Upcoming DX presentation. This presentation is distributed to club members, and is also made available to all interested amateurs via the DDXG website. You can find the Upcoming DX from the current meeting in the right column of the home page of this website.

Sheila and husband Bruce, WD4LBR, also an Honor Roll member, are models of amateurs who give back to the community by sharing knowledge, “elmering” new and aspiring ham operators, and supporting our club community. Congratulations Sheila!!!

ARRL Field Day is June 24th

Each year amateurs around the country gather to participate in ARRL’s annual Field Day. According to the ARRL’s field day page, ‘The object of Field Day is to work as many stations as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 Meter HF bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, and in doing so to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. A premium is placed on developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the general public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio.”

DDXG does not have an event for Field Day; however, we do hold our June meeting one week early to allow our members to participate in their choice of Field Day activities. Most will join with our friends and fellow amateurs from the Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society (RATS) at their Field Day event. RATS will operate at the usual spot: Laurel Recreation Area, 10301 Hungary Spring Rd in northern Henrico County.  They will gathering at 10 AM local time Saturday, June 24 to begin setup, and will go on the air at 2 PM, operating from generator power as a class 2A station. More information is available at the RATS website.

Second DX Ladder Competition Added

Beginning April 1, 2023 the DDXG group has added a second DX ladder competition. Why a new ladder? The original ladder, which has been a competition enjoyed by DDXG members for many years, is a cumulative collection of band-countries recorded for a member since the member joined DDXG and began participating in the competition. Several of our members include DXCC Challenge and Honor Roll recipients. And we even have an ARRL DXCC DeSoto Cup recipient. Members who have made hundreds or even thousands of band-country contacts will likely not have a chance to place in the current DDXG ladder competition. While newer hams, or those recently elevating their license privileges or becoming active in the hobby again, may make lots of new band-country contacts – particularly during this new solar activity cycle.

Our new DDXG Super Ladder, will reset all member band-country totals each calendar year. So regardless of the history of activity, each member starts with a clean slate. And if the activity in our first month is any indication, every one will have fun chasing DX for credit in these two DX ladder competitions. Check the current month’s standings as of our latest club meeting by clicking on the “DX Ladder” link at the top of this page. Good luck and Good DX to all!

2023 Installation of Officers

L-R: Tom, N3GTG, President; Sheila, K4WNW, Vice-President; Jim, WY4O, Secretary; and, Lauren, WD4FMG, Treasurer

During the January meeting our long time club president, Sheila, K4WNW, handed the gavel to our new president, Tom, N3GTG. The club is incredibly grateful to Sheila for serving as our president for many years. And she remains active as our vice-president. Jim and Lauren continue in their roles as secretary and treasurer respectively. Here’s to a great 2023 for the club. How’s DX? It’s great! Consider joining DDXG! Visitors and new members are always welcome!

DDXG Ladder Champ

Our friendly club competition, the DX Ladder, allows club members to compete for the most new band-countries in a calendar year. For example, work a new country on three bands for three band-country credit in the ladder. Work an existing country on a new band, score a new band country.

Tom N3GTG, Lauren WD4FMG, and Sheila K4WNW

Our 2022 DX Ladder champ is Lauren, WD4FMG. Lauren logged an amazing 724 new band-countries. And she earned her DXCC on 10, 12, 17, and 30 meters in the process. DXCC, short for DX Century Club, is amateur radio’s premier award for confirming 100 countries. That’s quite a year Lauren! Congratulations!

Ladder chair, Tom, and club president, Sheila, presented the 2022 DDXG Ladder award plaque to Lauren at the club’s January meeting. And members are already off to chasing new band-countries for the 2023 calendar year. Interested in chasing DX?… why not join our club!

3Y0J – Bouvet Island DXpedition

This is the biggie! Bouvet Island is known as “the most remote uninhabited place on earth.” And as far as DX is concerned, this is the Clublog #2 most wanted entity.

The 3Y0J team is days away from arrival and commencement of operations. The best place to follow their progress and gain information on the operation is the 3Y0J facebook page. And you can visit the 3Y0J website at https://3y0j.no.

DDXG is proud to be a supporting club sponsor of the 3Y0J DXpedition.