Calling all hams! Are you planning to participate in this year’s contest?
For some background, Field Day is a yearly amateur radio emergency preparadness exercise put on by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) since 1933. You and your team set up all emergency power, antennas, radios, etc., and try to contact as many other contest participants in the 24-hour window. It’s a lot of fun and three days with no sleep, and you get to get really good at (1) setting up radio equipment quickly, (2) passing bursts of traffic quickly and (3) finding nearly-inaudible stations hovering near the galactic noise floor.
I did Field Day for several years before I moved last year. Good times. Hopefully I’m not alone in this hobby, on this board!
No, but I did buy a vintage Turner SSB+2 microphone at the local ham radio club’s electronics flea market last weekend, because it looked cool. It now sits on my desk, and every so often I yell “Calling all cars! Calling all cars!” and “Evacuate the city! This is not a drill!” into it, like I’m in a 50’s movie.
[size=2]Yes, I am easily amused. [/size]
CQ CQ CQ! It’s been about 5 years since I started this thread. Maybe some of you have been inspired to take up ham radio! Maybe some new qt3 members have joined and happen to be amateur radio enthusiasts!
I’m really sad that I never got into ham radio, as my grandfather was a very active ham (kk4em). But I never lived in an area where I was likely to be able to reach him, and by the time he gave me a couple of his old radios, that whole “Internet” thing made the long-range communciation aspect of amateur radio a lot less fascinating. Plus, until I bought a house, the whole antenna thing was problematic.
I do regret that I didn’t make the time or effort then, though. Now he’s in a retirement home and can’t really set up his radios.
One of the coolest things about amateur radio callsigns is you can leave them in your will.
What I’m saying is, DennyA, now may be the perfect time to get into it. Set up a shack in your house, put up a little wire antenna (exactly as it sounds. It’s a wire running alongside your house). Get gramps to visit and teach you about radios. Invite him over regularly and learn the stuff. Then maybe you’ll get to carry on his legacy callsign. I think ham radio is one of the coolest anachronisms evar – even cooler than those people that get together and joust with PVC pipes at the Ren Faires.
Also, useful. Amateur radio communication has done a lot down in Haiti, e.g., where the infrastructure was flattened.