ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
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; fund-raisers such as walk-a-thons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities.
But 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”)
For Mohawk Amateur Radio Club Field Day is usually an all out effort for most club members. We are very fortunate to have a fantastic Field Day site. We have a 72’ tower with 2 tri-banders located on a hill in Templeton, MA. This site is in very low noise area on Norcross Hill Rd.
We also make good use of our club trailer that is parked at the same location. Club members bring their own radios from home usually the day before Field Day.
We always have plenty of great food, fun and lots of banter. We all pitch in and work our favorite bands using our favorite mode of operation.
The first ARRL Field Day was held on the second Saturday in June 1933. The winner of the contest was the W4PAW team who scored 1876 points. The initial event, organized by F. E Handy, was such a hit with the amateur radio community that it became an annual tradition, with 1942 through to 1945 being the only years that Field Day hasn’t been held, due to World War II.