From the President May 2019

From the President,

By the time you read this we will be coming into the month of June, and of course this means Field Day. For twenty-four continuous hours, on the fourth weekend of June, amateur radio operators gather together all across the country and attempt to make as many contacts as possible over the airwaves. We attempt to make all of these contacts under less-than-ideal conditions. Essentially, this is an emergency simulation. We amateur radio operators bring to bear the sum total of all our skills and knowledge in radio, electronics, and feed-line theory to get on the air. This is also a wonderful opportunity to bring this fascinating hobby to the public. We have the opportunity to show off all of our cool equipment and awesome operating skills. Field Day provides an opportunity to show how we can operate within our community to provide safety, education, and a place for youth to gather in a safe, professional, and positive environment.

So, with all of these interesting points of interest, why do so many people get on the air to participate? So many, in fact, it is almost impossible to find an empty notch on any of the main bands to make a call. Is it because they like the smell of generator exhaust and sitting in hot tents? Is it because they like simulating an emergency environment? I believe, the reason that so many people are on the air, is because Field Day is an informal contest. Field Day is also about radiosport. Some 86 years ago, the ARRL knew, that to draw a crowd, they needed to keep score. This gives radio operators the impetus, for example, to bring in youth to make contacts (5 youth contacts under the age of 18 = 100 points). There are many other categories to score points. It was not more than a few years ago the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club had held the top spot in the 2A category in Illinois. In fact, the SARC Field Day team held that top spot for many years. It is by collecting points in all the myriad categories that we can be sure we are touching all of the areas of society to have the greatest impact and influence.

We have all studied hard and continue to learn new techniques, modes and equipment using our licenses. Volunteering in public service helps give us an outlet to use these skills and help us stay in the public eye and promote the social good. When it comes to Field Day, volunteers are a little harder to come by. We have only three gentlemen that have stepped forward to volunteer for tent captains. They are:

Robert Kocourek – Single Sideband/Phone tent
Bob McIntyre – CW/Morse code tent
Robert Zuttermeister – GOTA/Get On The Air Tent

We still need a Field Day organizer to make this whole thing come together. I hope to hear from somebody to step forward. Let’s see if we can make an impact for the 2019 Field Day!


Geoff Stevens