Rick wrote: > I was listening to people making field day contacts yesterday and heard > stations saying "Alpha 4" or "Alpha 3" as part of their information. > These were not part of their call signs. > > To what do these refer? > > Thanks. > > Rick
It's part of the information exchange that is required to validate a contact as part of Field Day. Each station must log the contacted station's information.
The first half of the first part is a number, signifying the maximum number of simultaneously operating transmitters. The second half of the first part is a letter, signifying the classification: A = Club or a non-club group of three or more persons set up specifically for Field Day. B = A Field Day station set up and operated by no more than two persons. C = Stations in vehicles capable of operating while in motion and normally operated in this manner. D = Stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using commercial power. E = Stations operating from permanent or licensed station locations using emergency power. F = An amateur radio station at an established Emergency Operations Center activated by a club or non-club group. Thus, a station sending "4A" would be a club station (or station with 3 or more non-club operators), with up to 4 simultaneous transmissions. See http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2008/fd.html for further detail.
The second part is the ARRL/RAC section, as defined at http://www.arrl.org/contests/sections.abv.html.