Field Day: A Look Back, A Look Ahead

Looking back 16 years ago you can see when TARC began its dominance in participation in Field Day. The scoring attached put us at number 3 in the 2A category.

For all of you who have not participated in an ARRL Field Day at TARC, there are some things you must know:

· Field Day is always the last full weekend in June. This year June 22nd-24th are the dates, Set up will begin at the clubhouse early Friday Morning (8:00am) and continues all day until after sundown. Same starting schedule on Saturday with the on air operation starting at 2:00pm and running 24hours. The success of the operating part of Field Day depends on getting as much work done on Friday as possible so please find time to help. If not Friday, come for teardown on Sunday.

· It’s always hot. Water and work breaks are essential. Some of us have seen to many Field Days and we just can’t hit it as hard as we could in years past so we need your help.

· It always rains. Sometimes more, sometimes a lot more. Plan your wardrobe accordingly. When working set up, wear light colored clothes and not too much of them. Throw a towel in the car just because. Bring a dry shirt. It will be wet with sweat or rain or both.

· There’s always something that doesn’t go as planned. Keep Calm and Carry On. We have planned for every possible contingency,except the ones that we didn’t plan for. There will be centuries of Field Day experience at the site to overcome obstaacles to success.

· If you participate in Field Day you will always come away from the weekend a better operator, a smarter person and a more valuable amateur in service to your community in time of genuine need. This is not just another contest, although score is kept. This is the ultimate emergency preparedness exercise to make sure we are ready, when needed to answer the needs of a damaged communication system in times of natural or manmade disaster. This is what we do and why we have the spectrum to do it.

· There’s always good food. Food will be available noon Saturday, courtesy of Warren, W4WAR and dinner Saturday and breakfast Sunday from the hard work of Larry, KM4LEW and his wife Anna Marie who will be serving up smoked brisket and pot luck sides provided by many of you.

· We always make thousands of contacts, ranking high in our category, 2A, the category that has the most entrants. The last two years we placed sixth in the 2A category nationwide from among around 500 class 2A entrants. Though not the sole focus of the exercise, demonstrating the technical skills to deploy strong, working stations in the field as well as staff those stations with efficient and competent hams, round out the demonstration of skills needed to respond to an emergency.

· We always have fun!

This will be the best learning experience many of you will have in Ham Radio. It’s one thing to get a book, study questions and answers about this stuff, it is quite another to come out and learn how this stuff is done by having a unique hands-on experience. I look forward to seeing EVERYONE this weekend. You’ll work hard as you can, eat as much as you want and learn more than you know.

  • Biff, K4LAW
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