AARL Field Day Hosted by Duval ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services)

THIS IS NOT A PREPAREDNESS MEETING, but is being posted for those with their Ham Radio license.  This is a simulated situation showing how amateur radio works / makes contact during a situation.  This is also a great way for those who do not yet have a license to learn about Amateur Radio which is often used in emergency communication.   

Take Atlantic Blvd east, past Regency, past Girvin Rd, past Kernan Rd, to the Intra Coastal Waterway bridge.  The property is on the left side (heading east) directly across from the Tattoo parlor.  There should be a sign saying “FIELD DAY”.

Hosted by Duval ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) http://www.duvalares.org

FIELD DAY WEEKEND IS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, JUNE 28-29

Thousands of participants throughout North America and the United States start operating at 2pm Saturday, June 28th for 24 hours.  Portable station set-up starts Friday.  Portable operations not setting up in advance may operate bonus hours at the end.  

Plan to participate in ARRL Field Day.  Use your home station or operate mobile or portable. Attend a group Field Day operation. Field Day is a great opportunity to learn more about installing and tuning antennas. 

Acces:  www.arrl.org for Field Day rules and information. An ARRL Field Day Locator is available via  http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator  with details on group efforts.

Todd Lovelace, K1KVA invites all to the wooded field at 13723 Atlantic Blvd.  This is on the north side of Atlantic Blvd. between the Intracoastal Waterway and San Pablo Rd.  Set-up starts Friday and operation is around the clock from 2pm Saturday until 2pm Sunday.

Access:  http://www.duvalares.org for details.  

FIELD DAY CATEGORIES:

A--Groups operating from a portable set-up using generator or other emergency power sources.

B--One and Two person set-ups using generator or other emergency power sources.

C--Mobile operation.

D--Operators from home stations using ordinary power.  (May not contact other operators using Class D)

E--Operators at home stations using emergency power.

F--Operations from emergency operations centers or relief agency HQ stations.


 FOUR STEPS TO OPERATING A SIMPLE FIELD DAY:

Operate 40, 20 and 15 meters using only two wire dipole antennas. If you add two additional dipoles for 80 and 10 meters, all five basic HF bands are covered using four antennas.  Rules permit additional contacts with the same station on different bands and also using different modes (SSB, CW, Digital).

Install two dipole antennas hung using tree limbs or other supports. Cut one dipole for 20 meters and another for 40 meters.  The 40-meter dipole also works well on 15 meters to allow coverage of three HF bands using two dipoles.  Use copper wire and short PVC segments with small holes drilled as insulators.  Any size wire will work.  Thin nylon twine works well to keep dipoles up for the weekend.  It is easily tossed over tree limbs using fish sinkers, an old padlock or other similar weight. If you only have a single support, attach one end of the dipole to it and slope the other end down to ground level.  For wires close to the ground, mark with survey tape or other visual warning.

Next, install a coax feedline from the antenna location to your operating position.  One coax line can be used with a barrel connector to alternately feed multiple antennas though you may need to change the feed when shifting to another band. Use RG-58 coax jumpers between the dipole center feedpoints and a PL-259 connector at ground level. A coax barrel connector or an antenna switch allows hook up of the proper antenna to the transmission line.

Set up your transceiver and station accessories like a computer, microphone, keyer, lights, fans, etc.If you plan to operate in category A, B or E, set up a generator.  Common generator outputs are 120 volts AC and 12 volts DC. A 120-volt AC generator output hooked to a plug-in battery charger that feeds a storage battery will power rigs that operate directly on 12 volts DC. Locate the generator outside and well away from radios to minimize noise.  A wall or building as a baffle between the operator position(s) and generator is a big plus. 

OPERATING PERIOD: 2pm EDT Saturday until 2pm Sunday. Those not setting up in advance may operate until 5pm Sunday.

FIELD DAY CONTACT EXCHANGE: 

Number of transmitters, category, ARRL Section.  EXAMPLES:Voice: "3 A Northern Florida"CW: 3A NFL

BAND SELECTION:   Twenty meters is generally the most productive daytime band.  If you find 20 meters too crowded, try 15 meters or 40 meters. Change bands often. After 9PM EDT or so, 40 meters is the primary band.  If ionospheric conditions allow good 15 meter propagation, that is the band to be on.  If 15 meters is hot, check ten meters too.  Eighty meters is generally best from midnight local time until 8 or 9AM Sunday.  Alternate between 40 and 80 meters during overnight hours.

LOGS AND ENTRIES:  A computer can be part of your station but is not necessary. Computer logging and station control software is helpful but paper logs are also OK. Include the date, time, mode, frequency band, call of each station worked, the exchange you send and the information that you receive.

EXAMPLES:  June 28  1818Z SSB 14 MHZ  W4XYZ 1D NFL 2A GA           June 28  1820Z CW  21 MHZ  W4ABC 1D NFL 3A KY

If you make many contacts, keep track of stations worked to avoid duplicate contacts.  Use computer software or paper "dupe sheets." You may contact a station once per band and mode.  For example the same station may be logged on 20 meter CW, 20 meter SSB and 20 meter digital.

After Field Day is over, send your entry to ARRL.  Most entrants submit a list of station contacts sorted alphabetically by band and mode.  Submit your score to ARRL via Internet or postal mail.

ALTERNATIVE POWER SOURCES:  A low-powered transmitter hooked to solar panels through a 12-volt storage battery is an example of an alternative power operation.  Using a stationary bicycle to generate power is another possibility.   Bonus points and/or multipliers may apply.

BAD WEATHER:  Bad weather is a part of Field Day in northeastern Florida. very rough stormy weather has affected FD weekends during the past decade: 50 mph winds, hail, six inches of rain in six hours, lightning/thunder, etc. 

Have a plan in case rain and lightning threaten.  If you are operating portable, have a tarp ready. Shut down and cover the generator if bad weather approaches. Put exposed electronic gear away. Get inside a building or in your vehicle.

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  • Ben

    You do not need a ham radio license to attend this event and you do not need a license to talk on the radio during this event. This is a great way to try ham radio before taking time to study for the test or buying equipment.

    June 25, 2014

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