Field Day

The Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club actively participates in the annual American Radio Relay League Field Day event that occurs the fourth full weekend in June every year, rain or shine. This is a premier annual event where we get out of the ham shack at home and the club house, and practice the art and science of setting up portable stations running on emergency power sources at a remote location, then use those stations to make contact with other stations. While many consider it to be another amateur radio ‘contest’, this event is unique in that its theme is centered on one of the most important functions of the amateur radio community – the ability to communicate in a relatively independent and self-sustaining way, i.e., independent of any municipal or commercial infrastructure (commercial power, telephone networks, etc.), which would likely be inoperative or severely overloaded in the event of a major disaster. ARRL's Field Day Information pamphlet states:

Object: To work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and in doing so to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. A premium is placed on developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the general public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio.

We invite guests, including licensed amateur radio operators and prospective amateur radio operators, and anyone just interested in seeing what it's all about, to come out and enjoy the experience with us! We'd love to have you out to share the true spirit of amateur radio, experience the art and joy of making contact with other stations over the air, and enjoy the fellowship of a summertime social event with like-minded folks!

SVARC will be participating in Field Day from the Clarke County Fairgrounds located at 890 West Main Street, Berryville, Virginia 22611 (see map below).

Some antenna work by members of the SVARC crew out at the Clarke County Fairgrounds during Field Day 2012.

Field Day 2012

This Year's (2017) Plans

The current plan is to complete most, if not all, antenna work starting around 7 PM EDT, Friday, June 23rd, and to complete general setup of the stations starting around 9 AM EDT on Saturday, June 24th. We plan to have 3 or 4 HF stations under the Ruritan pavilion at the front of the fair ground, and a 6 meter station set up in the ticket office under separate generator power. On-air operations begin at 2 PM EDT, and go through 1:59 PM EDT June 25th. Following the end of operations, tear-down and clean-up will commence and last as long as it takes to return things to the state they were in prior to commencing set-up tasks.

If you plan to join us, please be prepared for outdoor weather. While the operating positions are sheltered and the fair ground well manicured and is generally a very comfortable outdoor venue for such activities, consider that it may be a more pleasant experience to have sunscreen, rain gear, and / or bug spray to maximize your comfort during your visit. Also, if you are coming to help with setup tasks, work gloves, eye protection and work clothes are advisable.

If you aren't going to be in the area for Field Day, perhaps there's another club or organization near where you will be. The ARRL has a Field Day Locator tool that can be searched based on location to see if there's a known event occurring in the vicinity of the searched criteria.

Field Day,
Mar 22, 2017, 4:14 PM