Amateur Radio Club holds field day June 28-29

Contest simulates emergency setting, using voice, using voice, digital and Morse code modes in the United States and Canada

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  • Bill Carley, KC2ZFO, of Middletown, surveys the Field Day camp from atop the Cronomer Park observation deck in the Town of Newburgh deck amid the array of beam antennas and long wires set up by the Orange County Amateur Radio Club. The annual contest will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29.



— The Orange County Amateur Radio Club will be “camped out” at the top of Cronomer Hill Park in the Town of Newburgh on Saturday and Sunday, June 28-29, participating in the largest ham radio contest of the year.

The public is invited to visit during the contest weekend, to see and hear emergency communication operation in action, during the annual contest called “Field Day," sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for Amateur Radio.

Year 2014 holds special significance as the 100th anniversary of the founding of ARRL.

'No commercial power'
Batteries, generators, solar power, radios, lap tops and antennas are set up within one day, enabled and tuned up quickly.

“No commercial power” is one of the rules, as the contest purpose is to prove messages can be sent in many forms without use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

Simulated emergency
Thousands of amateur radio operators across the United States and Canada, as clubs and as individuals, participate in this fast-paced effort to make as many contacts as possible during the 24-hour period, in a simulated emergency setting, using voice, digital and Morse code modes, recording them all in the club’s contest log.

Visitors can see the Field Day being set up on Saturday morning, as well as hear the contest message exchanges.

The contest begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, and runs around the clock until 2 p.m. Sunday.

Club members take shifts at several camp operating positions, to cover all the amateur radio bands from the lowest to the highest frequencies, even ham satellite contacts.

As day turns to night, contest operators are challenged to keep the contacts going as radio wave propagation changes.

Essential information
Visitors may actually participate on the air, by talking on the “GOTA” (Get On The Air) demo station, and pick up literature on Amateur Radio at the public information table.

Exams for ham license upgrades will be administered by certified volunteer examiners.

The entrance to Cronomer Hill Park is on Route 32, Town of Newburgh, between Shop Rite Plaza and Route 300.

More information on Amateur Radio can be found at the club website www.ocarc-ny.org or at www.arrl.org.

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