BY MATTHEW BAKER - KARC SYSTEMS OFFICER - AUGUST 19TH 2016
TITUSVILLE, Fla - ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event for Amateur Radio, held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
The event is to contact as many stations as possible and to learn to operate radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions. It is an excellent demonstration of how Amateur Radio capability can serve in an emergency, as well as the general public.
It was decided by the committee, that as KARC's first Field Day, we would operate two HF stations at 150 watts or less, and under emergency generator power. Our goals were so that at least one HF rig was being operated, and the emergency power element gave us a great way of testing out our capability to operate in the field.
We were lucky that within our club ranks, we had representation from the Valiant Air Command Museum in Larry Anders. He, along with Mike Williamson were crucial in helping interface KARC with the VAC and securing a great location right in front of the museum. It was a great location, under the shade of trees, in front of the public, and offered a safe place to shelter in the building if inclement weather were to threaten our event.
Finally, June 25th, the first day of the event, and setup was completed by our fellow members from the club. We were up and running with multiple generators, solar power, two canopies, two HF rigs, and a couple of GR5V antennas. The weather was perfect, and we operated well into the evening.
On June 26th, we setup again and had an pretty good day again, except for the threat of a thunderstorm and windy conditions. A call was made to disconnect the radios from antennas, cover with tarps and wait out a storm which actually just died out just before it hit our area. Resuming operations, we completed our second and final day!
During the two days of operations, we had quite a few visitors from the VAC drop by to see what we were up to, and they were given a tour and information about Amateur Radio. We even had one visitor from Europe that asked if we had a club patch that they could purchase.
There were no major hiccups during the event, but certainly a lot of little lessons learned that we will apply to the next ARRL Field Day. It was a nice event, help foster comradery and perform some public outreach.
We were able to claim 394 points for the event. Here is a summary of the results:
N1KSC ARRL Field Day Results (unofficial)
ARRL/RAC Section: SFL
Power Source(s): Generator (Solar was available but not used for radio)
Power Multiplier: 2X
100% Emergency power: 200
Media Publicity: 100
Public Location: 100
Public Information Table: 100
Submitted via the Web: 50
Social media: 100
Safety officer: 100
Total Bonus Points: 750
Total QSOs: 197 (All phone mode)
Claimed Score = 394 (197x2)