National Field Day 2014
- Field Day is officially an operating event not a contest. The purpose remains today as it did in the beginning: to demonstrate the communications ability of the amateur radio community in simulated emergency situations. Groups of ham use Field Day as a literal “show and tell” exhibition. Amateur radio brings together its resources to show officials in government and various agencies what “amateur radio can do.” The Field Day brings together new and experienced hams for 24 hours of operating fun. 15 - 16 September 2014, time to start gearing up for National Field Day 2014.
What is it?
Field Day is an emergency preparedness excercise that allows ham radio operators to test their emergency skills. The event also serves to raise awareness about the Amateur Radio Service. The goal is to simulate emergency conditions by setting up "in the field" and operate using emergency power and to make contact with as many other Field Day stations as possible.
Operators set up stations that run off of battery and generator power and use antennas strung over trees or portable masts which is easy to setup. It is important to have a back up station ready for portable/mobile/ use. They are the last link of communication when all else fails.
When is it?
Operations will commence at 18:00 hrs MST on Monday, September 15th and continue until 21:00 hrs MST on Tuesday, September 16th 2014.
Who is invited?
Anyone and everyone, young and old, are encouraged to come visit the MARL National Field Day site. If you're an experienced operator and want to come help operate, please do! If you're new to the hobby, or know nothing about it, this is a fantastic opportunity to come learn more about it and see hams in action!
The benefits of such a system to emergency relief operations should be obvious. In fact the system has demonstrated it’s value time after time during earthquakes, forest fires and other disasters. And all of this capability is provided by volunteers who continuously hone their technical skills and acquire/build/maintain their own equipment. These skilled radio engineers and operators along with their equipment combine into a seriously important resource for emergency communications. And the annual event that tests their readiness is called “Amateur Radio Field Day”.
For Amateur Radio operators (Hams) Field Day is a big deal. In addition to exercising their ability to set up and operate a massive emergency communications network the event also has some fun aspects. Field Day is also a big challenge where stations compete to make the most contacts on as many frequencies and modes as possible.
And there is the social aspect that usually involves food and ancillary outdoor family activities. This is also the major Amateur Radio annual public awareness event. If you are interested in learning about Amateur Radio or more specific radio communications technologies and techniques then visiting your local Field Day site should net you the information you seek. You can sit at home and theorize, but when you get out in the field, sometimes you need to re-form your ideas around reality. You will find many knowledgeable people who will welcome you and be happy to answer your questions. You might even get invited to stay for lunch and/or dinner.