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 campout, 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.
Key things to accomplish prior to start of FD is to get on the air and do a station checkout, send a few CQs and check your station and also listen for intermod and interference issues. Saturday morning is critical to have help to get antenna up, and power to all stations so they can perform some tests and make a few QSOs to test the station.
Formal operation of field day begins at 1800 UTC Saturday 12 Noon, and running through 2059 Sunday at 1:00PM. We will also need help taking things down on Sunday.
Three Rules for field day:
1. Have fun come and get involved setting up and operate. Come and sit down at a station and get involved. Come help and setup and learn how to set up a military mast and pole kit. Come and learn how to use a different radio setup, help log QSO’s. Help the station captains on Friday, come on Saturday help set up and get on the air… Enjoy the social aspects of getting together with other Hams. Help your new ham Get On The Air (GOTA), Invite family friends to field day. Come on, Sunday to help pack up and get the park cleaned up. If you brought something for FD come by and pick it up prior to 3:00PM on Sunday.
2. Field day is like camping you may not always have everything you need, but you need to be creative and flexible. If you think you’ll need it, bring it with you. If you think we could use it bring and we will see if we needed it or not. Field day is not a script; it is more like a self-organizing event. It may or may not go as planned, but it is fun when it all comes together. Station captains will need tables, chairs, and tent. If you are operating in the EMA tent it has air conditioning, and has power so you will not need a generator, but you may want a fan or may even a power strip. If you are in the EMA tent bring more coax because you are now in a central location so you may need longer runs of coax. If you are camping bring bug spray, light,etc. Everyone take notes and do lessons learned on what worked and what could have been better.
3. Don’t get hurt – Be safe. Plan for bad weather, stake things down as best as you can. Plan on wind and rain. Have something to cover your equipment up with and secure it. Like a Rubbermaid tote to put you radio and headset, computer in if we get bad weather, bring a trap, if you are in the EMA tent you may not need this. Think safety mark the guy wires and stakes in the ground. If we have bad weather Barry Buelow is the supreme leader what he says goes, we shut down or have to bug out we will do what he says…
Have Questions here are the people to go to?
· Field layout: Rod Blocksome (plan for generators and antenna placement)
· Antenna Stubs and filters: Steve White, Rod Blocksome
· Station captain help – Mike Hynek setup, antenna questions….
· Pole kits – bring them, Rope bring them…. We will need them.
· Field setup and coordination, lead Dan Hoffmann – NØXZK (Dan will have safety tape all stakes and antenna – help coordinate setup and support station captains) help determine the boundaries 1000-foot circle outer operation circle. If you need a laptop or help with the logging software contact Dan has laptop please contact directly… Logging software is N3fjp.com/fieldday.html the club has a site license, meaning we can install it on as many computers as we need. The registration code 30422 with our club call. Dan also got our site on the ARRL site index. Dan a crew will most likely be the Friday night overnight team and watch the site and guard the equipment and setups.
· Power and generators: Bryan McCoy and John Leclair – Power and generators. If a station captain wants to bring a generator feel free… I am not sure we will need addition generators. But remember field day is helping test emergency power and a battery backup station, and extra generator is a good idea. Remember the EMA tent comes with power generation. Joe Spinks, Mike Hynek and also Rod Blocksome plan to bring generators to use.
· Field Czar – Gregg Lind
· Promotion lead – Tim Busch
· Scott Haney – EMA tent coordination and setup
· Porta-potties – are provided by Action services 319-362-2442 order 2 one by the EMA tent the other by the pavilion – will come on Friday.
· Hydration Crew – Water and pop – Dave/Ethan Mortensen (KDØLYA/KDØOIL)
· Dave WAØZZG- photos and group photo during the Saturday Dinner break.
· Food and dinner on Saturday — no volunteers have come forward?
Bryan McCoy and Mike Hynek are looking to bring a Gator or quad to help move items to the field we do not want to drive on the field with cars, and limit this to the EMA truck with the tent. If someone has a Gator or quad please contact me at the meeting this week. I would like to have 2 vehicles and trailers for FD.
Please work with the following station captains if you wish to operate. Most if not all of stations will need more people to operate and they could use your help setting up and tear down, and operating. So how can I sign up come and operate. So for example if you are a CW operator and want to work a night shift look at the list come to field day on Saturday and talk to the host of the station and schedule with them.
STN BAND MODE ANTENNA Station Captain
GOTA 40 & 20m Phone Trap Dipole ; TBD (We NEED a GOTA captain!!!)
1 80m CW Horizontal Dipole Need a Captain.
2 75m Phone/Digital Horizontal Dipole Bob Klaus, NØYWB
3 40m CW Horizontal Dipole Bill Caldwell, NØLNO
4 40m Digital 1/4-wave Vertical Charlie & Tim Snodgrass
5 40m Phone Horizontal Dipole Guy West, NØMMA
6 20m CW Horizontal Dipole Joe Spinks, AAØKW
7 20m Digital Half-square; Vertical Pol. Charlie & Tim Snodgrass
8 20m Phone Horiz. Dipole Mike Hynek, ACØPB
9 15m CW Moxon Beam; Horiz. Pol. Steve White, Sr., NUØP
10 15m Digital 1/4-wave Vertical Steve White, Jr., KU1W
11 15m Phone 1/4-wave Vertical Wyatt Dirks, ACØKRA
12 10m CW 1/4-wave Vertical Steve White, Sr., NUØP
13 10m Digital 1/4-wave Vertical Steve White, Jr., KU1W
14 10m Phone 1/4-wave Vertical Barry Buelow, WØIY
15 Satellite Phone Yagis Wyatt Dirks, ACØRA
16 6m Phone Horizontal Yagi Rod Blocksome, KØDAS
17 2m Phone Horizontal Yagi Rod Blocksome, KØDAS
18 70cm Phone Horizontal Yagi Rod Blocksome, KØDAS
In 2015, several area clubs collaborated to launch the largest Field Day site ever in Iowa. With 19 transmitters plus another for new hams, our FD15 site was the largest in the USA.
Many participants of the event took time for a photo from the view from the fire truck’s boom.
N0CKR took a little time off to overfly the site for some photos.
Governor Branstad signed a proclamation declaring the last week of June Amateur Radio Week in Iowa.