What is Field Day?
Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. Each year over 35,000 amateurs gather with their clubs, friends or simply by themselves to operate.
Field Day is designed to test operators' abilities to set up and operate portable stations under emergency conditions such as loss of commercial electricity. Most participants will set up their Field Day stations in parks, on town greens or even in shopping mall parking lots. The event is a serious test of skill, and a contest of fun, too. During the weekend, the radio operators try to contact as many other Field Day stations as possible, simulating the fast on-air skills needed to assist community officials and served agencies during an emergency. More than 35,000 Amateur Radio operators participated in last year's event. The first Field Day was held in 1933.
Following the recent storms that caused considerable hurricane and flood damage to different parts of the US, and disrupted regular communications between relief and other agencies in Florida, Texas and Louisiana, ham radio volunteers helped provide emergency communications utilizing portable radios and emergency power. Amateur Radio operators in every state are ready to assist if called upon as the summer storm season intensifies.
What's All That Stuff?
The most visible parts of the equipment at the Field Day site are the antennas. They operate on several different ranges of frequencies, which is why you can see several sizes of antennas. The radios themselves are in tents or RVs. Most of our operators are using computers to log their contact information so it can be verified later for the contest.