Field Day is just four weeks away, and the final countdown has begun. Some of you are old hands at Field Day, but for those of you who may not have attended one in the past, I’m providing some Frequency Asked Questions below to help you get ready:
Q. I’ve heard that Field Day is the highlight of everyone’s year. Is it possible to overdose on fun?
A. Yes! This is actually a frequent occurrence, especially for those who haven’t participated before and who may be unused to fun in such high doses. Symptom of FDO (Field Day Overdose) include general euphoria, feelings of superiority over non-hams, and impatience while waiting for the next Field Day to begin. There is no cure for FDO, but symptoms may be alleviated (or heightened if you desire) by attending as much of Field Day as possible.
Q. Where and when is it going to be?
A. Our Field Day will be at the Concord Rod & Gun Club, 74 Strawberry Hill Road, Concord, MA. Look for the “Field Day” sign at the entrance. The operating period starts at 2:00 PM on Saturday, June 22, and runs for 24 hours.
Q. Will there be anything to interest me?
A. We’ll have stations operating on CW, voice, digital (FT-8!), satellite, and VHF. There will be at least one hidden transmitter for a fox hunt. A messaging station will let you send radiograms for free anywhere in the U.S. And, as usual, our gourmet food team will be serving up an epicurean dinner.
Q. I don’t have a license. Does that mean I won’t have fun?
A. Your lack of a license may mean you’ll have even more fun! Our Get-On-The-Air (GOTA) station run by Andy, KB1OIQ, will give everyone, licensed or not, young or old, to get on the air and make contacts. Tell your non-ham friends to come by and see what they’re missing.
Q. I’ve got a Technician license. Does that mean I won’t be able to operate the main stations?
A. Not at all! This year we’ve got a special station just for Technicians that will let you operate using your privileges on six and ten meter SSB. Technicians may get on the air on any of our stations (CW, voice, digital) on any amateur frequency as long as a properly licensed control operator is in charge.
Q. I just realized that Field Day is only four weeks away! What should I being doing now to get ready?
A. Here are some suggestions for what you should do as the big weekend approaches:
1. Treat your Field Day clothes with Permethrin. This is an insect repellent chemical that will give you good protection against ticks and other biting insects. It’s probably a good idea to treat all your clothes with this, not just those you’ll be wearing at Field Day.
2. Read the “Field Day By The Numbers” article on pages 76-77 of June QST to get some preparation suggestions.
3. Brush up on your CW.
4. Volunteer for Field Day jobs. Dale, KB1ZKD, our Field Day safety officer, sent an email about needing assistants – this would be a good way to learn all about Field Day safety and general ham radio safety. Our antenna setup is scheduled for Friday, June 21, from noon to 5:00 PM, and we can always use help putting them up. No experience necessary. To take care of visitors, we’ll need a few “Field Day Ambassadors” who can escort them around to the various stations and explain the operations. Contact me or Andy, KB1OIQ, to volunteer.
5. Attend the PART club meeting on Tuesday, June 18, for a complete briefing on Field Days planning and operations.
See you at Field Day!
73, George, K1IG
Field Day Chairman