Field Day

For anyone new to Field Day and is unfamiliar with what Field Day is, I’ll quote the ARRL,

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada.  On the fourth weekend of June of each year, thousands of radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN! 

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities.  It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar. 

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.

This year we will be setting up several stations that will encompass a lot of the areas of the hobby, we will have CW, digital, and voice. We will be doing this on VHF and HF. For some newly licenced operators, you might have not experienced HF or are just getting into it. This would be a great time to get on those bands.

For all newly licensed operators, we will have a Get On The Air (GOTA) station. If you’ve received your license since July of last year, or have been away from the hobby for a long time, or anyone else who doesn’t have a license, you can operate with us on the HF bands regardless of your current license. You will be able to do this with the help from the Grand Valley State University Amateur Radio Council as they will be there to help you to Get On The Air!

This is a joint event with GVSU and GRARA and we couldn’t be happier to be with them! They are a bunch of great people and we’re looking forward to everything the future has for us.

We will be starting off this event by having breakfast just down the road at Murphy’s Family Restaurant (4963 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale, MI 49401). We will be meeting there at 9am on Saturday June 26. If you are planning on attending breakfast please respond to this email so I can let the restaurant know how many of us will be there. After we are done we will be heading to the Field Day site at the GVSU Allendale Campus (Ravine Center (RAC) 4310 W Ravine Center Dr, Allendale, MI 49401) to set up all of our radios and antennas. The set up will formally begin at 10am but we’ll start as soon as we can following breakfast. We will have a lot to do as we’ll be setting up five different stations all around our site. All help is appreciated.

This will begin the mad rush to get everything ready for operating for the event. The main event starts at 2pm and will go for 24 hours. You can show up any time during these 24 hours to operate, doesn’t matter if it’s right at the beginning, in the middle of the night, or sometime on Sunday before 2pm, we’ll be there!

Later that Saturday at 6pm we will have a potluck dinner. GRARA will be bringing the hot dogs, hamburgers, paper plates, utensils, and condiments. Everything else is up to you. This is a good time to come and socialise with us. While we may encourage you to get on the radio, it’s not a requirement. We just want our members to come and have a good time.

At the end of the event, we will be taking everything down. This happens surprisingly quickly, but we need just as much help as it was to put it all up.

If you know of someone who might be interested, bring them along or let them know!

June 4th Meeting

This month we will be having our monthly meeting following the Ray’s Roadkill and Potluck Dinner at the Hudsonville Fairgrounds (5235 Park Avenue, Hudsonville). The dinner starts at 6:30pm. There is always plenty of food to be had!

“Bring a dish to pass and join the fun, “Eyeball QSOs,” entertainment, awards, and surprises. Hot dogs and burgers supplied.”

This is something we do every year and is a very enjoyable event. Come back the next day and enjoy the IRA Hamfest from 8am to Noon.

VE Testing Location

Our license exams are back at the “Red Cross”

Our testing location is at 1050 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (map)

Examinations will be held the second Friday of each calendar month. Registration begins at 6:00pm and testing follows at 6:30pm.

Please see the the License Testing page for more info and what is required before attending a testing session.