ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
Field Day is a picnic, a camp out, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN! It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.
The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions. We use these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fund-raisers such as walka-thons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities. But despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems — or maybe because they ARE so complex — ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur Radio people (also called “hams”) are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations.
Detailed information on what Field Day is can be found at this ARRL web site - FIELD DAY INFORMATION
ROARS will participate in Winter Field Day (Jan 28-29) for the first time, much more pleasant than the summer. We will set up our Field Day camp at a the old location across from the CalFire station off Dye Road. ARRL Winter Field Day info is here.
Antennas of all types are used. This is our main tower and Yagi, and a 7' helium balloon that lifted a 300' wire antenna. Steve Stipp (president) awards Chris Yanez a special prize for the hours of effort to make the balloon antenna work.
A loop antenna and a vertical. Not shown was a satellite Yagi. Chris Yanez (KK6WJE) brought all home made antennas from the loop to the balloon. Impressive!
A tower for a multi-band dipole, and another tower with both a 20M vertical and a dipole. Note the safety cones. We were big on safety.
Steve Stipp (closest) and other ROARS folks on the air and playing with a multitude of gadgets. Three HF systems were available all Field Day, plus much other experimentation.
And guests! Boy Scouts learning the basics, a likely new member and a reporter from the Ramona Sentinel, among others. Don Scott (KF6AUP) shown here gave guests hours of instruction.
We had a low power (5 watt) station on the air, and a great Saturday evening hosted dinner and chat time!! Social time is the best part of a Field Day (Did I really say that, or is that QRM?)