Field Day 2011

My husband Peter is a ham. Yes, he is a funny guy but he’a also a ham radio operator; call sign AG3R. (It’s formally called Amateur Radio.) I am a lapsed ham (KA3DOX) and haven’t operated in a coon’s age. This weekend is busy for me with the fair, but it’s also Peter’s favorite time of the year – Field Day! FD is a competition, but more than that it’s a practise for hams to prepare for emergencies. Groups of people all over the US are out and about in fields and parks and town centers and backyards using generators or car batteries to power their radios and make contacts with other US hams. (I imagine the other hams in the world take a vacation as this is one big contest!) He and his club set up in a park, stringing wires (antennas)

and sprinkling tents (stations) all over the available space.

It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work. Peter takes it all very seriously and is a great operator. He is a code man – ( … —… ) – he loves to send and receive Morse Code at breakneck speeds! He takes cat naps in the back of our SUV and will be “on the air” for as long as he hears other operators.

If code sounds like “Greek”, there is also “phone” and the hams that like that use a microphone and talk in English. ;-D

The Amateur Radio clubs in your area want you to come and visit, and you can also get on the air if you want! If you operate, you bring extra points to the contest and who knows, you might discover a new hobby; it is a lot of fun. Here is the site for the ARRL, which is our national organization and runs Field Day. Check out their site or google Field Day and see if you can find a group to go see/hear. The contest runs through about noon on Sunday, depending on your time zone.

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