Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Planning For the Fourth

This Saturday is the annual Amateur Radio Field Day. The day when all ham radio operators are to go out into the boonies and set up a radio transmitter. And a receiver too.

The idea is to contact as many other hams as possible using all the ham bands that are available to us. You have a formal exchange of call signs and number of transmitters at your site, as well as your state.

All this information is logged into a formal log book, which is now a computer data base. Years ago they used to use paper written logs. Ones with spiral metal binders on the top.

All stations worked will be scored based upon a uniform set of rules and the folks with the most points will be awarded big certificates from the American Radio Relay League. The scores are handicapped by the number of transmitters found at any one location or call sign. Winners get their club and station listed in the QST Magazine, along with their total point score.

This is of course the formal part of the day, but the more informal part is the party like atmosphere that goes on in the background during the day. No we don't all get slap happy drunk or anything like that. But folks are interacting all day, with fellow hams that they may only see once a year on this day.

So that is the plan for this weekend. Oh and the Saturday night picnic is to be BarBeCue chicken and baked potato, with side dishes provided in pot luck fashion. I am on the cooks committee. Which should be fun. Perhaps I will run a radio for a period of time as well.

Just as soon as this is over, we will be leaving to return to the lake. For the entire week and following weekend that includes the fourth of July.

The Lake will really come alive with activities during this time. And most of the neighbors will be at their summer homes as well. Should be another good time this year. In fact, I am planning on a good time no matter what.

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