Enter the park at the traffic light just south of the Burke Lake Golf Center on Route 123. Look for tents immediately on the left of the road before the park entrance.
The annual “Field Day” is organized nationally each year by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Visitors are invited to see the hams in action and have their own radio experience at the “Get on the Air” (GOTA) station where licensed hams will help you to make a contact. Who knows how far you may get?
Field Day gets licensed hams out of their home stations and into outdoor tent stations, simulating requirements for portable, off-the-grid communications in case of emergency. Amateur radio operates independently of any other communication utility and has proved its value in many disasters. Many hams have certifications for emergency communications in support of public agencies, and ham radio is a resource recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Local ham clubs support the Marine Corps Marathon and many other public service events throughout the year.
VWS operates several transmit-receive stations from tents during the event. Power is provided by portable generators, batteries and solar panels. Over several frequency bands, two-way contacts will be made over any distance from miles to overseas. Satellite-relay contacts will also be made. National and International participation assures lots of action on the airwaves.
The modern ham operates in Morse Code, voice and digital modes. The digital modes allow hams unrestricted wireless texting to other hams anywhere and independent of the Internet. All operations are supported by a local-area network for logging contacts.
There are over 700,000 Amateur Radio operators in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Their slogan, "When all else fails…” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year's event and nearly 1.3 million contacts were logged.
VWS hopes that people will come and see for themselves how modern ham radio works and what a great hobby it is with a great group of people. There are many license levels for becoming an operator, and plenty of help available to pass the tests. There is no longer a Morse code requirement to be licensed. To learn more about Amateur Radio, visit ViennaWireless.net
Field Day is a contest, an emergency preparedness exercise, a public relations demonstration, a great event for clubs, and a fun way to get on the air.
The Vienna Wireless Society participates in this event every year at Burke Lake Park. Operators set up stations that run on battery or generator power and use antennas strung over trees or portable masts. The setup will consist of two Morse code, two voice, as well as a VHF station. There will be periodic contacts with orbiting satellites and a "Get on the Air" station for visitors to try their hand at operating.
Equipment setup begins at Burke Lake Park Friday afternoon June 24. Operations will commence at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 and continue until 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26.
Young and old, families, technology clubs and scouting groups are encouraged to visit the Vienna Wireless Society Field Day site.