Saturday, June 28, 2014

ARRL field day is Today and Tomorrow

What is the ARRL?

And what is Field Day?

Well, if you are a Ham (Amateur Radio Operator) you know and are eagerly gearing up for a fun weekend of operating your radio to make contacts with other hams all across America and around the World.

ARRL is the American Radio Relay League and is the premier Amateur Radio Association in America.  

To visit the ARRL Website, HERE'S THE LINK.

Field Day is observed annually in June and is the largest 'on the air' event in Amateur Radio.

This year Field Day will begin on Saturday June 28 and end on Sunday June 29.

Hams will be operating round the clock on those days.  Yes, even all night.

During the entire 24 hours of Field day you will will find Hams sitting at their radios and communicating by phone (voice), digitally, CW (Morse Code), EME (earth moon earth bounce), satellite communication with the space station, and more. WOW.

So what exactly IS Field Day? you ask.

Field Day is when hams participate in a contest to contact as many folks around the country and around the world as possible.  It is also an emergency preparedness exercise and a fun time with other hams in their club.

They do this by going on the air for 24 round the clock hours using only battery, solar, or generator power instead of the usual plug in the wall commercial power


Basically because it is a good way to test their equipment-- since this is usually how they have to operate during disasters, floods, hurricanes (such as Katrina), and other events when commercial power is down.

During disasters Hams set up portable antennas, power up their radios, and go on the air to help the police, firemen, rescue squads, search teams, etc.

ARRL Field Day is held annually in the US and Canada with over 35,000 amateurs involved either individually or in groups.

If you are a Ham you already know about Field Day and are likely participating.

If you are not a Ham (Amateur Radio Operator) you are invited to attend the Field Day nearest you. You will be welcomed with open arms and will be shown what is happening. In so doing, hopefully you will catch the 'bug' and become a Ham.

For those of you who can't attend a Field Day in person but have a Short Wave radio, you might hear some of the activity as you tune the dial.

Hint: The Bands on which you are most likely to 'find/hear' the Hams will be 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters as well as the 70 CM band.

But don't just sit by your Shortwave radio, go to one of the thousands of sites that will be up and running in the US and Canada.  You don't have to stay all 24 hours but do drop in and see what is going on.  You will be amazed.

To find a Field Day Site near you, there is a nify 'locator' on the ARRL website.  HERE'S THE LINK