Next Meeting: Jan 2nd at 7:30pm
Reminder: Clubhouse will be open early for those wishing to use the club's HF stations!!
Field Day 2019 and HSARC
Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.
What does this mean for HSARC members?
This means it's that time of year when we need to start planning a work day or two in preparation of this event. The generators will need to be serviced, filled with fresh gas and have their batteries charged so they are ready to run. The county's communications trailer will need a once-over to be sure it is still in operating condition. Antennas will need to be tuned and tested. Ads will need to be placed in the local newspapers and on local radio stations. Informational papers and flyers will need to be gathered up to distribute to the public as they attend the event. Arrangements should be made with local elected officials for their attendance at Field Day. Computers will need to have the latest revisions of the logging software and the broadband mesh network will need to be set up and tested for functionality with the logging computers and the club's new Wi-Fi.
Often this work is done by only a few members so any help would be appreciated. Even if you don't know anything about the specific area needing attention, we can always use somebody to hold tools, be in charge of the pencil or manage the electrical tape. If you show up....I am sure we can find something for you to help with.
For those that did not attend last year's Field Day, we were set up in on the library lawn between the book barn and the library. This is an excellent location and it provides ample parking for those that are attending. We will be using that location again this year.
Last year we had 6 club members that ran 2 separate stations for the duration of the event. Logging was done on a computer at each station that was connected to a stand-alone network that operated entirely on the ham band. Each computer logged into a single database on the network to provided real-time duplicate entry checks and up to date statistics of the event. A phone was added to each station for communication between operators without the need for somebody to run back and forth between them. These were VoIP phones and they also worked off the mesh network that operated on the ham band. We operated in the 2A class....meaning 2 stations operating simultaneously on non-commercial power (electricity provided by a gas powered generator). This setup worked pretty good and there will be a few refinements for this year's event.
We set up the county's communications trailer on the lawn and used it for one operating station connected to the club's portable tower and 20 meter beam. The second station was either Ernie (KEØDQU) working SSB or Tom (NCØK) working digital modes or Gary (KTØA) working CW....all of which were operated with their own equipment and antennas. Lon (WSØV) worked some 6 meter contacts from his van on Sunday morning.
Despite the rain and poor band conditions, those 6 operators logged 327 contacts and finished 91st out of ALL US and Canadian entries. This was the club's best finish in over 18 years.
Field Day is a great time for those with a Technicians license to get on the air and explore the HF bands....or for those without a license to see what ham radio is all about.
We need people to log contacts for those working the radios too. So put June 22-23 on your calendar and make plans to attend.....we would love to see you there.
Plan on attending the June meeting if you are willing to help out with setup, tear down or the work days as we will be putting a couple committees together and assigning tasks.