Hello everybody and welcome back to my blog! Today we are going to talk about probably the biggest amateur radio event of the year, FIELD DAY!!! Field day is a 24 hours event where stations setup stations, either one or twenty, and operate for the entire 24 period. The objective of field day is to work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands except for 60, 30, 17 and 42 meters and to learn how to operate in sub optimal conditions. Field day is open to all stations under the ARRL/RAC field organization and countries in IRAU Region 2. Stations in other regions may be contacted for credit but they are not eligible to submit entries. So when is field day? Field day is always the fourth full weekend in June from 1800 UTC on Saturday until 2059 UTC on Sunday. This year(2015), field day is on June 27th and 28th. Once field day is over with, log submissions must be postmarked or emailed by 2059 UTC on July 28, 2015.
There are six main categories for a field day station, A-F:
- Class A is a club Or non-club portable station that is setup AGA location where a permanent station is not setup and not using commercial power. These stations consist of at least three people and one or more transmitters. In one of the field day events that I participated in, I once made contact with a field day station that had 30 different transmitters. I can only image what that field day site looked like and how big the group was because the field day site has to be setup with a 300 meters(1000 feet) radius. This includes all of the radios, antennas, generators, etc. And each of the radios mist be operated the entire 24 period. There is a sub class of class A which uses alternate sources of power other than commercial or motor driven generators like solar power, water driven generator, etc. Also maximum transmitter power for the battery sub class is 5 watts.
- Class B is a one or two person operation. It has basically all the same things available to it as the class A except the GOTA station or the free VHF station. Class B also has a battery sub class just like class A does.
- Class C is a mobile station. This class is for a radio that is mounted inside of a vehicle and is the normal way that the radio is operated. Class C includes land, see and air vehicles. If the radio is being run by the motor during the 24 or 27 hour period, it also qualifies for the emergency power bonus, but not the 5 multiplier.
- Class D stations are home stations that are operating from a permanent or licensed station location and uses commercial power. Class D stations may only count contacts made to class A,B,C,E and F stations.
- Class E stations are home stations that permanent stations but are being powered by emergency power. Class E stations may count contacts with all other classes.
- Class F station is a station that is operated at an established emergency operation center. This class may US equipment that is either permanently or temporarily put up for field day. Class F may also claim the emergency power bonus but does not have to use it for its operations, it only has to be tested during the field day period.
Field day is a very fun event to participate in. I’ve participated in a few of them, even used my calling one year. We did fairly well on scoring, nowhere near the top or anything, but we had fun. The first year that I participated in it, I still had my no code technician license so it was the first time that I was able to talk on the HF bands. The first contact that I made was to a guy in South America! It was pretty exciting, especially for my first contact. I went on to make several more contacts during my two hour time slot, stations from all over the US and beyond. If you ever have a chance to go to a field day setup, I urge you to do it. Jump in and get your feet wet!
As always, I want to thank yall for coming and reading my blog. Please like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Please share my blog with your friends, hams or non hams alike. I’m not sure what we will be talking about on my next post. If you have been following my blog for a while you might remember that my wife and I are foster parents. This week we found out that two of our boys will be leaving us and going to live with a family member. They are our first placements and have been with us the longest out of any of our kids so far, so it is kind of hitting hard. Please forgive me if I don’t have a post out on Sunday like I normally do. I have asked a friend of mine to write up a guest post about his experience at ham-com since I am unable to attend this year; we will see if he is able to do that for me or not. Until my next post, be safe and 73…