Field Day 2023
Hey, do you know about your ham radio club’s Field Day?
It’s “ALL HANDS ON DECK,” and you are requested to attend.
Field Day is an annual amateur radio exercise encouraging emergency communications readiness, and there’s no better way to prepare than Field Day. In the US, Field Day is the largest emergency preparedness exercise with over 30,000 operators participating. It’s always the fourth full weekend of June, and this year it begins on Saturday, June 24th and continues for 24 hours to test operators’ abilities to provide emergency communications.
Field Day is a test of rapid deployment of radio equipment in conditions ranging from tents in remote areas to operations inside Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs). Emergency and alternative power sources are highly encouraged, since electricity and other public infrastructures are often the first to fail during a natural disaster or severe weather.
To gauge the effectiveness of each participating station, Field Day is also a contest among clubs both regionally and nationwide. We’ll operate for twenty-four hours straight, requiring scheduled relief operators to keep stations on the air. We’ll need hams of all ages, on all bands, in all modes – voice, CW, digital, etc. at all hours. There’s even a “Get-on-the-Air” station for hams who have never participated in Field Day before. And we’ll have tee-shirts for anyone who makes contacts.
This year, our Field Day will again be conducted at the Saratoga County Fire Training Center located at 6010 County Farm Rd, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. That’s just down the road from the Fairgrounds where we have our hamfests – and next door to the county Animal Shelter. There will be food – dinner on Saturday evening about 6pm.
Antenna setup begins on Friday the 23rd at 3:00 pm and takes about three hours. On Saturday morning, we complete the antenna setup and begin setting up radios, generators, laptops, and other equipment. Once the equipment is tested, antennas positioned, and radios tuned, we wait — until the official start of Field Day at 2:00 pm.
At 2:00 pm, the fun begins — all of our radios come alive, with operators calling “CQ CQ CQ” making contacts with other FD stations around the country. Contacts are quick with a very brief exchange and continue until 2pm on Sunday afternoon. It’s an exciting time! On Sunday at 2:00, all operations cease, the gear is packed up, the antennas taken down and the log files submitted to the ARRL for processing.