Field Day

What is Field Day?

Field Day is an exercise in Emergency Communications sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and held each year on the 4th full weekend of June.  It is an opportunity for hams to practice their preparedness to provide emergency communications if the need should arise. And in many cases that translates into setting up temporary amateur radio stations – transceivers and antennas, and shelter for radio operators – literally in a field.  

Field Day is also a contest.  Points are awarded for the number of on-the-air contacts made, and bonus points are given for achieving certain objectives.

Field Day officially begins at 14:00 (2:00 PM) Friday afternoon, 24 hours prior to the actual “on air” portion of the exercise, which begins at 14:00 Saturday and runs for 24 hours, ending at 14:00 Sunday.  All equipment must be put together in the 24-hour setup period.
How W2CRA does Field Day

As mentioned in our “About Cherryville” page, the club is associated with Hunterdon County’s Office of Emergency Management. As a result, for many years the club ran Field Day at the County Complex located on Route 12 just west of Flemington. However, as was done last year, Field Day 2018, will be run at the Riegel Ridge Community Center in Milford.  

Participating in Field Day is an important tradition for CRA. It’s a total club effort and all members, regardless of experience or license class, are strongly encouraged to participate. And though we try to earn a lot of points, nowadays our orientation is more toward getting many operators participating rather than focusing on the “contest” aspect of Field Day. We’re out to have fun operating and relishing the experience. 

Not many years ago we were in it to win, and we used to set up an elaborate operation. These days, though, we keep our setup fairly simple. Instead of putting up towers with beam antennas, we now string wire antennas and set up a couple of other “non-tower” anten