We just finished our Field Day operations, and we're having a disagreement on whether we qualify for the Alternate Power bonus. Our 1A (single transmitter, emergency power) station was completely solar powered for the duration of Field Day, which seems like it should qualify us for the bonus, but the wording of the 2014 rules makes it sound like it must be a separate effort from the main system.

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). The natural power transmitter counts as an additional transmitter. If you do not wish to increase your operating category, you should take one of your other transmitters off the air while the natural power transmitter is in operation. A separate list of natural power QSOs should be submitted with your entry. Available to Classes A, B, E, and F.

Can a 1A station qualify for the "Alternate Power" bonus?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This seems like a good question to actually ask the ARRL (and post the answer here, of course) since they're going to be the ones interpreting the rules, and I agree this part is unclear (especially given the existence of the power multiplier and the bonus 7.3.1. 100% Emergency Power). $\endgroup$
    – Kevin Reid AG6YO
    Jul 7, 2014 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @KevinReidAG6YO I went ahead and asked the ARRL for clarification. $\endgroup$
    – W5VO
    Jul 9, 2014 at 3:21

1 Answer 1


Of course you get the 100 points. You only used one transmitter, so there wasn't an issue of using more than your classification allowed.

What the next-to-last sentence of that paragraph is getting at, somewhat sloppily, is operations that only used alternate power briefly to make their 5 QSOs. For example, our group was 2A, using two transmitters full time under emergency power from a generator. For about an hour we took one of those transmitters off the emergency power and connected it to solar-charged batteries for the Alternate Power bonus. If we had kept going with two transmitters and added an alternate power transmitter we would have been using three transmitters, violating our 2A classification.

EDIT: the reason for pointing out that it counts as a transmitter is that some transmitters don't count. Neither the GOTA transmitter nor a transmitter used for satellite communications counts as a transmitter for determining the category.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have confirmed with ARRL HQ that this is the correct answer. $\endgroup$
    – W5VO
    Jul 9, 2014 at 3:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .