ARRL Field Day
ARRL sponcers a 24 hour contest called " Field Day." The basics are, you cannot
use commercial power, it is for 24 hours on the last full weekend in June, and you try to make as many contacts as possible.
There are many ways one can, not use commercial power. Some common ways are, battery, wind, solar,
fuel powered generators,and hydrogen fuel cells. Remember that this has to match what power your radio uses. ( never
try to directly plug a 12Vdc radio, into a 120Vac outlet.) If you are using a 12Vdc radio (most are.) then use a power
supply that will take the powersupplied, and convert it to the power you need. ( most comon is 120Vac to 12Vdc)
So now you have this power thing figured out, why do we even have this contest?
Well, in the case of a TRUE EMERGANCY, commercial power most of the time is not available. The purpose is to test your
emergancy ability to run your station, and get out on the air. Most people run a portable station away from home
for Field Day. A common setup includes a power source for the radio, a antenna system, a transciever, a way to modulate
your radio (i.e. microphone, or morse code key), and a means for logging your contacts.
Okay, so we understand why, and I have the ability; why the contest? The main
reasons is to varify your station works as planned, and to practice information exchange. In a real emegancy, we would
need to be proficiant at sending, and receiving very important information. To do this well, we need to practice.
So why is it so popular? Most people go camping to do this, and often times Bar-B-Que.
So we combine Competative Ham Radio, with Camping, and Bar-B-Queing. Add fishing, and I'd be in Hog Heavan ( Pun Intended).
The reason it is for 24 hours is, this is the time when power is usaully restored to at least some areas of a community.