Amateur Radio Club to Participate in Field Day | Arts & Culture
The Wireless Society of Southern Maine, an amateur radio club that meets in Gorham and Scarborough, will participate in their first Field Day at the Wassamki Springs Campground on the weekend of June 25-26.
“Field Day is about setting up a portable station and operating on emergency power for 24 consecutive hours,” says Charlie Shepard, President of the club. “It’s a time when many aspects of amateur radio come together, and its also a great way to highlight our many roles to the community.”
The first Field Day, sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, was held in 1933 as a way to encourage emergency communication preparedness. Each year since, clubs across the US and Canada have used Field Day as a way to polish their operating skills and practice the rapid deployment of communications equipment. Today Field Day is the largest single emergency preparedness exercise held in the country, and the most popular amateur radio activity.
Each year over 35,000 amateurs gather with their clubs, or operate individually.
“During the event, the club will try to meet specific goals which are outlined by the American Radio Relay League,” says Shepard. These include handling and delivering messages, making contacts with other amateurs using a variety of modes like voice, telegraphy, and digital, and operating exclusively on emergency power. Others goals involve using renewable energy, contacting stations via satellite, and promoting the hobby to the public with information displays and educational activities. Each goal accomplished earns points toward a final score.
“That’s what makes it fun,” adds Shepard. “Field Day is not only a good way to exercise our emergency preparedness, but its also competitive. In the end, we can compare our scores with other clubs across the state, and since this is our first year, we’ll have a mark to improve on for next time.”