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RARS Field Day is on June 22-23
Setup on Friday, June 21
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RARS FIELD DAY 2024

Dates: June 22–23, 2024


Location: Raleigh Police Club, 3500 Leonard Road, Knightdale

The Raleigh Amateur Radio Society (RARS) invites all interested persons to participate in our annual Field Day operation.

This page describes our plans for Field Day 2024. We will update it as our plans evolve, so check back often. It was last updated on May 14, 2024. See the Operators and Loggers section below to sign up to operate or log (or both) in any of the stations listed below. See the Antenna Launchers section below to sign up for Antenna Mast Training Day on June 8.

Welcome to Field Day!

ARRL Field Day is the single-most popular amateur radio operating event of the year in the US and Canada! Around 35,000 radio amateurs (and the friends and families of many of them) head out into the field, set up temporary stations, and make as many contacts as they can in a 24-hour period.

Field Day combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. It demonstrates ham radio's science, skills, and service to our communities and our nation.

Field Day is also a great, low-stress introduction to contest-style operating and DXing. You do NOT have to be a member of RARS or any amateur radio club to participate in RARS's Field Day operation! You do NOT even have to have a license. In fact, we will have a special “Get on the Air” station for newly licensed hams and even non-hams to, you guessed it, get on the air!

The Big Picture

We will be operating at the Raleigh Police Club, 3500 Leonard Road, Knightdale, a location at which we have operated many times before. Please see this map for directions.

We will be operating in Class 9A, a club station with as many as nine transmitters on the air simultaneously (not counting our Get on the Air station and "free" VHF station).

We will convene at the site to start setting up at 10:00 am on Friday, June 21. We expect to work until dinner time on Friday and then reconvene at 10:00 am on Saturday to finish the set-up before the operating period starts at 2:00 pm, when all stations should be ready to go on the air. The operating period runs for 24 hours from 2:00 pm on Saturday until 2:00 pm on Sunday. We will operate all night, working in shifts, depending on band conditions and availability of operators and loggers. We start tear-down right after the end of the operating period on Sunday.

Volunteers

We need volunteers. Lots of volunteers. Read the descriptions below and then contact either of our Field Day Chairs (at the bottom of the page) to let them know what you want to do. You can, of course, volunteer for multiple roles.

Band Captains

Each station has a Band Captain. The Band Captain is responsible for the overall operation of the station — making sure it is properly equipped and staffed, that it is operated in accordance with FCC and Field Day rules, and that the log is maintained and that people are recruited to help set up, operate, and take down the station and antennas.

Stations in Tents The following are the Band Captains for each station:

  • 80/15M Phone — Curt Phillips W4CP
  • 80/15M CW — Marty Young W4MY
  • 40M Phone — John Brier KG4AKV
  • 40M CW — Dale Pendelton W4AUV and Bob Conder K4RLC
  • 40/20M Digital — James Merolda KE4DRN
  • 20M Phone — Andy Peterson AA9P
  • 20M CW — Brantley West K4CBW
  • 15M Digital — Devin Hedge KN4FVH
  • 10M Phone — Akhil Athawale KQ4JPF
  • Satellites — John Brier KG4AKV
  • "Free" VHF — Billy Janke KE4VNC
  • Get on the Air Station Mentor — Fin Gold NC4FG

In addition to the stations, we have "Band Captains" to lead the non-operating activities that are so crucial to a successful Field Day:

  • Set-Up — Everyone
  • Antenna Launchers — Leader: Mike Elks KN4GUN and Team
  • Hospitality/Public Information Table — Fin Gold NC4FG
  • Drinks & Snacks — Richard Kroeger N1FUA
  • Education Bonus — Richard Kroeger N1FUA
  • Tear-Down — Everyone

Operators and Loggers

Operators and loggers work in pairs, doing pretty much what their names suggest. Operators and loggers will often switch roles during a shift or from shift to shift. Only one of you needs to have an amateur radio license appropriate to the frequency you are operating on.

Operator and Logger

We're looking for experienced phone, digital, and CW ops, and people who want to be. But even if you have NO EXPERIENCE, we will train you. You can begin by logging . . . simple, just typing into the laptop. Then, if you like, after participating up close, you can slide into the operator’s chair and make contacts yourself. Or, if you are eligible, we can send you over to the GOTA Station for a little training, first, if you would like.

It's an Antenna Party! In order to maximize points, we need enough operators and loggers for each station to keep as many stations on the air for as much of the 24-hour operating period as possible. Please sign up here so we have some idea who is coming. But even if you can't sign up now, just show up and we will try to work you into the schedule.

Antenna Launchers

"Antenna Launchers" are a critical part of Field Day. Working with the Band Captains, they are responsible for getting all of the necessary antennas—verticals, wire antennas, beams—into the air, properly oriented, and safely secured well before the operating period begins at 2:00 pm on Saturday.

Pictured to the right is the famous 52-foot high AB-577 “rocket launcher” antenna mast, formerly with the US Army. We plan on putting up four of these bad boys to support tribander HF beams, VHF/UHF beams, and an 80-meter doublet antenna. Sign up here for training on June 8 to learn how these systems work to help us with setup and take down.

The "Get on the Air Station"

We will have a special "Get On The Air" (GOTA) station to introduce you to operating in the high frequency bands or get you back in the game! Experienced mentors will be there to guide you.

Get Hooked on HF at Field Day!

You are eligible to operate in the GOTA station if you are any of the following:

  • Not a licensed amateur radio operator,
  • Any class amateur radio operator first licensed since the last Field Day (since the end of June 2023),
  • A Technician or Novice class amateur radio operator regardless of when licensed, or
  • A General or above class amateur radio operator who has been generally inactive on HF, regardless of when licensed.
Each GOTA contact counts as 5 points so we are looking for as many eligible operators as we can get to operate our GOTA station.

Fun, Food, and Fellowship at the Police Club Even though Field Day is not a contest, it sort of is, and the ARRL publishes the scores. We earn points by making contacts, and contacts made by the GOTA station are worth more points than contacts made by the main stations, so we would really like to have a lot of eligible operators this year. Plus, the GOTA station is located in the air-conditioned club house, so that's nice!

You can sign up here for GOTA station shifts, or contact Fin Gold NC4FG, the GOTA Mentor, or just show up, in which case we will get you on the air as soon as we can.

Hospitality

We need volunteers to staff the Public Information Table in the air-conditioned club house, where we will be welcoming vistors and feeding the Field Day crew, in addition to the GOTA station. We want the participants and the public visiting our site to feel welcome at our Field Day event, which is also RARS's annual “open house”. We will have food, snacks, and refreshments in the building to help keep our volunteers fed and watered. If it's hot out, the building has air conditioning to help folks keep cool.

Set-Up and Tear-Down

We always need extra help with set-up and tear-down, so even if you can't be there for any of the operating period, you are more than welcome to help us turn our Field Day site into a global communications center for the weekend on Friday and turn it back into open fields on Sunday afternoon.

Food, Fun and Fellowship!

Friday night we’ll have pizza for the Friday set-up crew, and Saturday night we’ll have a catered meal (including, but not limited to BBQ!!) for all the gang. Sunday lunch will consist of the abundant left-overs with additional food as necessary! And all day all three days, there will be lots of cold water, soft drinks, and snacks . . . calorie counting is NOT allowed!!

If Field Day sounds like a lot of work, it can be. But it is also a wonderful social occasion—a chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

In between set-up and operating and logging, there are lots of chances for fellowship with other great ham operators and to swap stories, hear about things you may not be familiar with, and just enjoy being around other people who agree that ham radio is a GREAT hobby!!

Contact Us!

Contact the Field Day Co-Chairs by clicking on either of our names below if you have any questions, suggestions, or want to volunteer. We hope to see you there!

Curt Phillips, W4CP
David Burt, W4OFO
RARS Field Day Co-Chairs

Field Day comes but once a year… DON’T MISS IT!!!


Dick Bitner Benevolent Fund
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