Field Day-2018: June 23 – 24

Amateur Radio “Field Day” June 23-24 Demonstrates Technology, Science, Skill, and Service

Members of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society (GEARS) will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 23-24 at Masonic Lodge, 1110 W East Ave, Chico.

Visitors are welcome on Saturday, June 23 from 10am to 5pm. Ham operators will have a demonstration station for visitors and will provide information on how to become a radio operator.

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the technology, science and skill of Amateur Radio.

The Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society (GEARS) was established on August 13, 1939, by eleven Amateur Radio operators from throughout the Northern Sacramento Valley.

Field Day is the single most popular amateur radio 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 walka-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”) are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations.

What is the ARRL? The American Radio Relay League is the national association for Amateur Radio in the USA, representing over 170,000 FCC-licensed Amateurs. The ARRL is the primary source of information about what is going on in ham radio. It provides books, news, support and information for individuals and clubs, special events, continuing education classes and other benefits for its members.

What is Amateur Radio Often called “ham radio,” the Amateur Radio Service has been around for a century? In that time, it’s grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications technology. Its people range in age from youngsters to grandparents. Even rocket scientists and a rock star or two are in the ham ranks. Most, however, are just normal folks like you and me who enjoy learning and being able to transmit voice, data, and pictures through the air to unusual places, both near and far, without depending on commercial systems.

The Amateur Radio frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where you as an individual can develop and experiment with wireless communications. Hams not only can make and modify their equipment, but can create whole new ways to do things.

For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2017. “It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Dave Isgur of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Kutzko added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”
Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. With clubs such as Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society (GEARS), it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Chico.

For More Information regarding Field Day-2018 in the United States; visit: http://www.arrl.org/