Field Day is ham radio's open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams
throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places
to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation.
It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical
skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since
1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.
"What Is Field Day" (Printable PDF Flier
The fake Chinese curse/blessing may you live in interesting times comes to mind when I consider the last few months. Global pandemic, civil unrest, plague of murder hornets, and even worse squirrels. I can turn on the rig and Guess what? Radio still works. So unless the President invokes 47 USC 606 we can still get on the air.
Field Day is the weekend of June 27-28. After pressure from membership, ARRL made a few concessions with temporary rule waivers for this year. They have encouraged the use of home stations, class D, by allowing them to log contacts with any other class of station. They will combine the results in a way that will show club numbers by individual stations. Just use “MARC/SPRC” when you submit your results.
The Mining Amateur Radio Club(MARC) and the St. Paul Radio Club(SPRC) are teaming up again to make this year even more interesting than before. Like the League we are concerned with protecting the health and safety of those participating in Field Day. Starting Wednesday June 10th phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan takes effect permitting outdoor gathering of 25 or less people. This may be further relaxed in the few weeks until our event.
At this time we are implementing a 2 prong approach. We will have ZOOM open for the duration and will be encouraging you to come and go from that portal as you please. I would like to see some good socializing and shenanigans as if we all we're all there in person. Self spotting is not permitted. If your webcam just happens to be pointing in the general direction of your radio and inadvertently happens to show your frequency display and someone makes a QSO, well I guess that's just an interesting coincidence. For those of you running home stations http://n3fjp.com/fieldday.html has the logging software we've been using for the club computers. The current version is 6.3 and the cost is 8.99, but you can try it for free with up to 30 QSO's before you need to register. Of course paper and pencil always works too. If you need help submitting your results to ARRL let me know and I should be able to answer your questions. Use your own call-sign with MARC/SPRC for the club name to get our credit from the League.
We are once again able to use the area on the south treeline of Benson's Airport in White Bear Township. The address is 5860 Hwy 61 N, White Bear Lake MN 55110. The pin is active on the ARRL http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator site. There will be space for tent or RV camping and aircraft tie-down. If there is bad weather we will have access to the main hangar building. I've ordered a port-o-potty. We should have sanitizer and wipes available. I am asking each of you to maintain proper social distancing and use of your own PPE as you feel appropriate for your needs and that of your fellow members. There will be no food or beverage provided this year. Our foodies cannot provide the level of sanitation and social distancing I feel we should maintain. Don't blame them, blame me if you want. There are many food options very near our location. We are not planning on running a dedicated GOTA station at this time, but if someone meets the criteria we should be able to find a radio to get them in front of for a while. I'm not sure yet if there is interest in VHF or non-CW digital at this time but if you let me know in the next few days that could happen or not, we'll see. The club stations will be available for use on CW and SSB, but we would like to keep them in well ventilated areas where proper distancing can be maintained. It might be the year to use wires in the trees with tuners instead of the big towers. It will be much easier to keep our distance for setup and take down. If you have a radio and would like to work from your vehicle inside the 1000' circle using the club call we plan to have generator power and antenna connectors for you to plug your rig into. I am also playing around with a remote server of sorts that I hope to get time to set up inside the circle so some of you can operate remotely from wherever you have internet. I have asked the contest manager at the League and he told me this would not violate the rules. We will be coordinating bands and modes onsite to stay within the rules.
This situation is very fluid and might change 18 times between now and 3pm Friday June 26th where I hope to find up to 24 socially distanced people helping us for the setup. When you go through your Field Day stuff if you happen to find a black chair that is not yours let me know so it can be returned to it's owner. Please send me your email message to firstname.lastname@example.org and I hope to hear from you soon with your ideas on how we can make this a successful Field Day. And by all means, lookout for those squirrels.