Vienna Park in southern Monroe County will again be the site of the MCRCA Field Day (FD) activities. FD is the nation-wide event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to test the mettle of ham operators – are we prepared for a true communications emergency?
The manner in which the test is conducted has made FD THE operating event of the ham radio calendar each year for time immemorial. FD is a challenge – a contest if you will, where teams of hams across the country and Canada set up temporary sites and portable stations just to see who can make the most contacts. The MCRCA event will begin Saturday morning around 9:30am when we will gather at the park for set up. The operating event begins at 2:00pm and will run 24 hours until 2:00pm Sunday.
It is tradition for the MCRCA to invite all of our family members to Vienna Park Saturday night for a family picnic. This will be held at 6:00PM, and members are asked to bring a dish to pass. The MCRCA will furnish the drinks.
FD is the time we can hone operating skills, both on phone and CW. We expect to have two operating stations on the air full time during the event, with operators working shifts. Everyone is welcome, and new operators are encouraged to jump into the fray with the old timers. Two persons will man each station per shift, and operator and a “duper”.
The operator’s duties are pretty obvious, as the operator is the person on the air, either phone or CW. The less obvious task is that of the duper. This person enters the contacts into a really great (read simple) computer program to keep track of the logging duty and to insure no duplicate contacts are made, hence the name “duper”. Duper and operator can share duties, and using shifts insures that no one is overworked. Although it is often found that when “on a roll” teams don’t want to break away when contacts are coming in at a fast pace.
It is fun, and if you have never thought of yourself as a “contester” you might find that you really like it. And when you are done, we can assure you that you will find that you can copy better at home in times of high noise and terrible interference. Your skills really do improve.
We will also host a Visitors’ Tent this year to introduce the general public to FD, ham radio, and to answer any questions about the event and ham radio in general. Those who wish to assist in greeting visitors and talking about ham radio will find fun in working in the Visitors’ Tent.
There is room for everyone at the MCRCA Field Day.
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