Field Day is a nationwide ARRL sponsored event on the fourth full weekend of June where the San Antonio Radio Club (SARC) sets up in a field environment to simulate the operation of amateur radios under emergency conditions. While there is a contest aspect to Field Day, the real objective is to give members experience operating in an austere environment like those that may be faced in emergency situations. Just as important, SARC locates itself for Field Day such that SARC is bringing ham radio to the general public.
SARC owns a large tent that is the center of operations. Six folding tables are set up in it along with a lot of folding chairs. Four High Frequency Stations are set up and operated simultaneously. A Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency Station is also set up and operated simultaneously. A Get-On-The-Air (GOTA) is set up and operated. The purpose of the GOTA station is to get newly licensed ham radio operators on the air and members of the general public. In fact, under supervision of an appropriately licensed ham radio operator, members of the general public can operate any of the radios. Power to the radios, lights, and logging computers are provided by four (4) emergency generators owned by SARC. SARC also owns a portable trailer mounted beam antenna and many other antennas. An antenna farm containing a mix of SARC and member owned antennas are set up in the vicinity of the tent. While SARC owns some radios as a club, many of the radios at Field Day are member owned.
Field Day is 24 hour operation that includes all of Saturday night. SARC insures that no one starves. Catered BBQ is served for Saturday night super. Since it is usually hot during Field Day, plenty of water is kept on site as well.
The result is that SARC sets up radios under a tent in a field environment with emergency generators and temporarily erected antennas. Contacts are then made and logged. SARC has operated from the field adjoining the City Hall of the City of Shavano Park who have been great hosts and friends of amateur radio.
Field Day 2020
For SARC, this year’s field day will be limited to members operating from home. We normally move all of our equipment and operations to Shavano Park. However, this year, construction in Shavano Park and the COVID regulations have changed the normal.
Picture from Field Day 2019