The Morongo Basin Amateur Radio Club welcomes you to and encourages your participation in the American Radio Relay League's annual Field Day Event! ARRL Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
2601 Sunfair Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1100 PDT Saturday and running through 1359 PDT Sunday. Field Day 2018 is June 23-24.
Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN! It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.
The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations
and less than optimal conditions.
We use these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fundraisers such as walkathons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities.
Despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems — or maybe because they ARE so complex — ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur Radio people (also called “hams”) are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations.
Field Day is an annual amateur radio exercise, widely sponsored by IARU regions and member organizations, encouraging emergency
communications preparedness among amateur radio operators. In the United States, it is typically the largest
single emergency preparedness exercise in the country, with over 30,000 operators participating each year. Field Day is always the
fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.
Since the first ARRL Field Day in 1933, radio amateurs throughout North America have practiced the rapid deployment of radio communications equipment in environments ranging from operations under tents in remote areas to operations inside Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs). Operations using emergency and alternative power sources are highly encouraged, since electricity and other public infrastructures are often among the first to fail during a natural disaster or severe weather.
To determine the effectiveness of the exercise and of each participant's operations, there is an integrated contesting component, and many clubs also engage in concurrent leisure activities (camping out, cookouts, etc.). Operations typically last a continuous twenty-four hours, requiring scheduled relief operators to keep stations on the air. Additional contest points are awarded for experimenting with unusual modes, making contacts via satellite, and involving youth in the activity
Field Day stresses emergency preparedness. Frequently, entire radio clubs get involved and assemble a portable radio station in a field or park. Some might use quickly deployable portable antennas while other might erect more elaborate radio masts and towers supporting several antennas. Generators or solar power provide electricity to amateur radio transceivers, which may be located in tents, cars, recreational vehicles, or other portable shelters.
Contest Activity and Rules
The contest aspect of a Field Day operating event is to contact as many stations as possible in the given time period (twenty-four hours, during a weekend, if setup commences before the contest starts, or 27 hours if setup commences at contest start time) using the portable station. Each station will exchange information with other participating stations. For the North American Field Day, the exchange consists of the station call sign, the name of the ARRL-recognized section from which the station is operating, and a class designator which indicates the number of transmitters concurrently used at the station and information about the type of electrical power source being used.
The contest portion of Field Day has two purposes. The primary purpose is to demonstrate the group's ability to plan operations that can be effective for an entire twenty-four-hour period, including operator endurance and adequate numbers of operators for a shift operation. The secondary portion is to demonstrate the technical proficiency of the station that has been hastily constructed for the purpose; in theory a better station will be capable of emergency operations in more dire conditions. Such a station will also be capable of making more contacts during the contest portion of Field Day.
The rules governing this activity are published by the sponsor of the particular Field Day exercise.
Promotion of Amateur Radio
Field Day is frequently used to attract significant publicity for amateur radio, and some clubs simultaneously demonstrate technologies including single sideband voice, Morse code, digital modes (such as RTTY, PSK31, and Winlink, among others), and communication via amateur radio satellite.