The Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club actively participates in the annual American Radio Relay League Field Day. This event occurs the fourth full weekend in June every year, rain or shine. We get out of the ham shack at home and the clubhouse, set up portable stations running on emergency power sources at a remote location, and use those stations to make contact with other stations.
Use the link above to view or download the flier.
Not just another contest
Some think of Field Day as just another Amateur Radio contest. However, its theme centers on one of the most important functions of Amateur Radio – the ability to communicate independently 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 the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 Meter HF bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, 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.
Come on out!
We will invite guests, including licensed 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! Come share the spirit of Amateur Radio, experience the joy of making contact with other stations over the air, and enjoy the fellowship.
Plans for Field Day 2021
SVARC will participate in Field Day from the Clarke County Fairgrounds located at 890 West Main Street, Berryville, Virginia 22611. This address is on Route 7 Business, north side. Do not confuse the community center (on the south side of Route 7 Business) for the fairground; if you see a pool and tennis courts, you’re on the wrong side of the road!
We will complete most, if not all, antenna work starting around Noon on Friday, June 25. General set-up of the stations starts around 9 AM EDT on Saturday, June 26. As always, we will set up under the pavilion at the front of the fairgrounds. On-air operations begin at 2 PM EDT, and continue through 1:59 PM EDT June 27. Following the end of operations, we will tear down and clean up. We will leave the site as clean as, or cleaner than, we found it.
Last year, due to continued Coronavirus concerns, we limited our operation to two HF stations, but we will return to 3A class this year.
Also due to Coronavirus, aggregate scoring was allowed for Field Day 2020. This was intended to be a one-time rule change, but ARRL has decided to keep it for 2021. Individuals may conduct their own Field Day operations (using their own call signs, not the club’s) and submit their scores to ARRL individually, indicating the club name with their entries. Those individual scores will be published, and the club score will be combined with all individual entries identifying Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club in their entries, regardless of Class, resulting in an aggregate score for SVARC – the entry for the SVARC operation at Clarke County Fairgrounds, plus all individual entries that include the club name with those entries.
If you plan to join us, please prepare for inclement weather. The pavilion provides shelter for the operating positions and the Ruritan club members maintain the fairgrounds very well, but it’s an outdoor venue. We highly recommend sunscreen, rain gear, and bug spray to maximize your comfort during your visit. Planning to stay overnight? Have warm clothes available in case it gets chilly. Also, if you are coming to help with set-up, we recommend that you bring work gloves, eye protection, and work clothes.
If you aren’t going to be in the area for Field Day, perhaps there’s another club or organization event near where you will be. The ARRL has a Field Day Locator tool with which you can search for a nearby event based on your location.
Each Field Day brings new challenges and lessons learned for improved performance. We’ve made improvements in equipment for a better operating environment, and continue to make other improvements. We also have new club members, some of whom have never experienced Field Day. So, to all of those new (and veteran) members and guests, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! Get ready for a great weekend of fun as we head into Field Day 2021!
CLICK HERE for a report and photos from our 2020 Field Day.
Here’s a slideshow from a past SVARC Field Day: