Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of
June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC
Sunday. The purpose of field day is to allow over 35,000 amateurs to
gather with their clubs, friends or simply by themselves to operate
with the idea of collecting as many contacts during the given time
period as possible.
Organizations like Wood County Emergency
who provide emergency communications to their communities use field
day both as an excuse for an amazing family camping weekend and as a
practice exercise to test their abilities to setup their equipment in
emergency-like conditions, using only emergency power like batteries,
generators, and solar arrays. WCEC uses this contest each year to
practice communications using voice, digital, wired, and wireless
forms of communication. A great deal of time is spent experimenting
with new equipment and ideas to improve setup time and communications
During field day WCEC members get a chance to make
contacts on frequencies that they normally don’t use and to practice
using equipment that they don’t own themselves. In addition, the
contest is used to demonstrate to the local community and its elected
officials the capabilities of these trained and licensed Amateur Radio
Operators who spend hours training for that ultimate disaster when
normal communications has failed to function or is over-taxed.
This is a clip from Field Day 2009 recorded at Big
Creek State Park near Polk City, Iowa. Beginning at approximately
time-stamp 20 seconds you can hear one of WCEC's operators being
received in Iowa. Listen for the phrase, "CQ CQ Field Day, Whisky
Charlie Eight Echo Charlie, Five Alpha, West Virginia, Whisky Victor."
"CQ Field Day" means "Calling any operator working Field Day." "Whisky
Charlie Eight Echo Charlie" is our group's callsign, WC8EC. "Five
Alpha" is a code meaning that we were operating five simultaneous
stations (on five different frequencies) on battery power. "Whisky
Victor" is WV, for West Virginia.
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