|2021 ARRL Field Day
Saturday, June 26 - Sunday, June 27
W6YX Participation in the 2021 ARRL Field Day
The Stanford Amateur Radio Club (call sign W6YX) will participate in Field Day, the annual emergency communications preparedness exercise, this year held June 26 and 27. Field Day is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL, arrl.org), the national association for Amateur Radio (a.k.a. "ham radio").
The Amateur Radio Service creates a corps of Federally licensed radio operators who volunteer their skills to assist public safety agencies in the event of a disaster or other incident. Amateur Radio operators must pass a Federal examination and be issued a FCC radio license, which grants licensees "operating privileges" - such as the right to use high power transmitters (over a thousand watts), different modes (such as voice, Morse code, digital, and even television), and thousands of frequencies. In addition to their technology know-how, these trained volunteers provide important communications resources in disasters, locally and globally.
During Field Day, ham radio operators set up in local parks, at shopping malls, or even in their own backyards, and get on the air using generators or battery power. Field Day was designed to test operators' abilities to set up and operate portable stations under emergency conditions such as the loss of electricity, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc.
Ken Dueker, Director of the Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services, has said,
"We want the community to know that in the event of an emergency, ham radio operators will be ready to assist in any way we can. In major disasters during which time normal telecommunications services are disrupted, Amateur Radio has served as an important resource to local relief efforts, working with police, fire, the Red Cross, and other agencies."
Field Day is a serious test of skill, but it is also a contest for fun and the largest "on-air" operating event each year since it began in 1933. During the weekend, radio operators try to contact as many other Field Day stations as possible, simulating emergency message handling.
The Stanford Amateur Radio Club will hold Field Day at Site 530, a location near the famous Stanford Dish, and will be operating during a 24-hour period. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 concerns, the event won’t be open to the public this year.