What is Field Day?
WHAT IS FIELD DAY??
It is the fourth FULL weekend in June, when Amateur Radio Operators from all over the country descend upon various locations and, in the course of 24 hours, turn them into communications sites, utilizing temporary antennas, emergency generators as well as the practical amenities needed for personnel to function (food, toilet facilities and shelter).
In these days of cell phones and beepers, we often take for granted the existence of a reliable communications system. However, in times of severe weather or catastrophic occurrences there is always the possibility that the normal commercial communications services will be unavailable. It is here that Amateur Radio can and does play an important role…and it is this aspect that Field Day addresses.. By combining the social aspect of a club function with the exposure to training for operating under emergency conditions, Field Day provides a “learning friendly’’ way to see how to quickly put up towers and antennas, how to layout power cabling and, most importantly, how to troubleshoot and fix anything that may go wrong (… it happens sometimes). All this, while ensuring the safety of all involved.
For those who have not been to a LIMARC Field Day before, the following is a summary of how we do it:
How LIMARC Does It
On the Friday, before Field Day Weekend, the “loading crew” will load the equipment for its journey to the Field Day Site, located behind the Nassau County BOCES, Rosemary Kennedy Center — on Oakfield Road in Wantagh (see map – or interactive Mapquest map) early Saturday morning, at 7:00 AM SHARP, setup will begin. Antennas are assembled, towers are put together and erected, power cables are put into place and connected to the generators to supply operating power to the site.
Remember… while towers and antennas are being erected, hard hats will be required for all on the field assisting with the raising of the antennas….the club has a number of hard hats to LEND out…but if you already have one, bring it with you to permit more people to assist (and, if you borrow one of the club’s hard hats, please return it to the container from which you got it).
While this is going on, the Station Captains are making sure all of the required equipment and shelter is in place for the stations which we will be operating. The food committee will be setting up the dining area as the setting up of the site creates large appetites.
After the antennas and towers are up, the hungry crew will partake in a Field Day Brunch.
Generally, prior to Noon, everything is setup, tested and ready for the 2:00 PM start of the operating portion of Field Day.
At that point the participants grab a quick hamburger, hot dog or pizza, followed by a brief tailgate session to review operating and safety procedures. The Field Day Proclamation is presented and at 2:00 PM sharp, the operators begin. This continues for 24 hours through Sunday afternoon, with the operating positions being filled by personnel around the clock.
On Sunday, at 2:00 PM operating ceases, final log files are exchanged (electronically, thanks to modern technology) to allow for a tally. The process of Saturday morning is reversed, and all equipment is dismantled and removed from the site and brought back to storage. THIS IS THE TIME WHERE WE NEED AS MANY VOLUNTEERS AS POSSIBLE. Most of the people who have been at the site all weekend are exhausted, and reinforcements are needed to help with the tear down.
For those of you who have never participated, this is a really good time to come down, help out and see how it all works.
What/who should I bring, What should I wear, what should I do… ?????
- Yourself and any friends (hams or not….it is great exposure for the hobby) and family.
- Ice (bags of cubes, blocks, frozen water in soda bottles etc)…
- Tools (if you have them… of course you have them, you’re a ham!)
- Screwdrivers (flat/Phillips)… from little bitty to mongo
- Sockets/drive (3/8 in. drive: 3/8, 1/2, 9/16) 1/2 in. drive: 3/4, 7/8) –deep sockets recommended
- Box/Combination wrenches (3/8, 1/2, 9/16, 3/4, 7/8)
- Vise Grips (really good for removing ground rods)
- Diagonal Cutters (for cutting wire ties)
- Tyraps (wire ties)
- PVC Tape
- Leatherman Tool (second only to micro-multiband VHF/UHF radios as the most worn object by hams)
- Pocket Sockets (Bob Villa is right…these are really great)
- Comfortable clothes (something you don’t mind getting dusty (if dry) or wet (if rainy… once in the millennium we do get some stormy weather)
- Comfortable shoes/boots/sneakers… NOTE: if you are planning on helping with towers and other heavy objects… shoes/boots are recommended.
- Hat, with visor
- Insect repellent, if it is muggy/buggy
- Help with set up
- Layout power cables
- Drive Ground rods
- Put up tents/shelters
- Man Hospitality tent…(we get bonus points for this)
- Operate… especially needed during the “off hours”
- HELP WITH TAKE DOWN ON SUNDAY…. Many hands make light (and quick) work.
- Bring and/or consume any alcoholic beverages on site, or come to the site after consuming same.
SO COME ON DOWN…. A FUN TIME IS GUARANTEED!!!
As always, we welcome volunteers, whether for an hour, a day or the whole weekend…there is something for everyone… for more info, please contact us at email@example.com
If you can’t participate that weekend on site, we always need talk-in stations.