What is Field Day?

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what is field day...

The ARRL Field Day is conducted by the ARRL on the fourth full weekend every June. Field Day encourages the use of radio equipment outside of permanent buildings and using electricity, other then conventional means. 

Field Day has several purposes:

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Recruitment and training of new radio operators
  • Displaying ham radio to the general public

Unlike other contests or operating events, Field Day is rarely a single-man operation. In fact, Field Day is frequently used to highlight to the public, the virtues and utility of ham radio in an emergency situation.

Some Clubs demonstrate a wide range of technologies, including Single Sideband Voice, Morse Code, and a number of digital modes including APRS, Packet Radio, as well as Satellite Communications.

First and foremost, ARRL Field Day stresses emergency preparedness. During this exercise, entire radio clubs get involved and take "Field Day" literally, erecting numerous masts and towers, each bearing several antennas, in a field, parking lot or in a major park. Most Field Day operations use generators to provide power to the Ham Radio transceivers. 

The goal of the ARRL Field Day is to work, or contact, as many stations as possible throughout the 24 hour duration of Field Day. The Field Day exchange is one's Callsign, along with the number of stations in simultaneous operation at a Field Day site, followed by a letter "A" thru "F" designating the method in which the stations are being powered, such as generator, solar power, or conventional means then, the state or providence the station is transmitting from. 

 Dave Kossart (W9EPL), making contacts. 

Dave Kossart (W9EPL), making contacts. 

The best reason to participate?  Field Day is fun!

 Dave Lewis (WB9HWE), and his grandson Matt

Dave Lewis (WB9HWE), and his grandson Matt

Whether you are a hard-core contester, someone who likes to build antennas, a casual operator, or someone just curious about the hobby, there are enough things happening at most Field Day sites to capture your interest. If you have never operated, make sure to visit your group's GOTA (Get On The Air) station, (if they choose to operate one), and participate! After a few contacts with the aid of a control operator, we bet you'll be hooked!

The Challenge: The most challenging part of Field Day rests in the planning, preparation, and setup of the event. By the time you actually start operating, you will find stations on pretty well every HF band and mode to keep you busy. VHF/UHF activity and satellite operation also present unique challenges that will keep your group testing its limits of creativity.

The 220 MHz Guys ARC will be again taking part in Field Day this year. Why not get in on the ground floor? Stop in at P.J. Klems, or check into our Saturday night weekly net, and speak to our Club President & Field Day Chairman, Kelvin Jackson, W9BBQ.

 Our President Kelvin (W9BBQ), showing some Boy Scouts how to run the radio.

Our President Kelvin (W9BBQ), showing some Boy Scouts how to run the radio.