Friday, June 22, 2007

Field Day 2007!

Since this blog has continued to get several local hits recently, I thought I would tell all of you about the most exciting activity going on this weekend. Forget Durham Rising.* The real action will be at Field Day. Actually, this is far from being just a local phenomenon, but I highly recommend participating where ever you happen to be.

For those of you who don't remember my reports on past years' activities, Field Day is a 24 hour period on the fourth full weekend in June where amateur radio operators get together and try to make as many contacts as possible, with other hams in the United States. While individuals can participate at home, many ham radio clubs get together in some location away from power lines and preferably not at the lowest altitude they can find and make it a community event. I have been an operator for 10 years now and I have not missed a Field Day since I started. Of course, part of the fun is to eat lots of junk food while you're operating and since my dad does the grillin' for OCRA, the club I hang out with for this, I am looking forward to an exquisitely prepared Boca burger. One other nifty thing that OCRA does is operate as if there were emergency conditions, using no more than 5 watts of power while transmitting.

All stations will be operating from 2pm Saturday to 2pm Sunday. Yes, that means in the middle of the night, I am likely to be operating in the middle of a field swatting at big bugs flying into my hair. One of the coolest things about Field Day is that anyone, regardless of whether or not they are a licensed operator, can participate. This also means that hams with lower license classes (Technician) can use High Frequency (HF) bands during that 24 hour period. This is potentially a great experience for those who want to experience this hobby, or service, first hand.

Again, there are clubs doing this all over the United States and Canada.

To see photographs of OCRA Field Days from the past couple of years, you can see my flickr sets.
*No, really, you can do both!

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