On June 27th, several participants from Adams County ARES took part in the annual amateur radio Field Day at Veterans Park located in Brighton, Colorado. Once every year, amateur radio operators across the country establish temporary ham radio stations, usually in a public place such as a park, shopping center parking lot, etc., for several reasons. One of which is to practice setting up a temporary operating position, such as might be needed during a disaster scenario, usually using emergency power (such as batteries or generators). Another reason the “hams” do this would be to contact as many other “hams” as possible during the 24 period, earning points, which I guess also turns this activity into a contest. Another reason is to try to showcase amateur radio to the public, so they are aware of “ham” radio and it’s capabilities. This reason, as well, introduces new people to ham radio, and tries to generate interest in those that may have thought about becoming involved in amateur radio.
The group met at 10AM and began the setup. In the group were Norm, KB1SGJ, Eric, KD0QCJ, Derick, KC0LCD, John, KC0JPO, Jeff, KD0LDR, and Jim, KE0CKF. Jack, WM0G, the Colorado Section Manager, even managed to squeeze us into his already packed site visits. Even though we were only there for a few hours on Saturday, we had fun setting up the antennas, radios, and associated equipment, and then making contacts to prove to ourselves everything worked.
In short order, we had Norm’s G5RV HF antenna setup along with a dual band antenna for VHF/UHF. We also setup a Buddipole antenna that belonged to Eric.
Than we begin setting up radios. Norm had brought his Yeasu FT-897D for HF, John had brought along his Kenwood TS2000 which was our VHF/UHF radio and Eric had brought along an Icom IC-718 HF radio. Once the antennas and radios were setup and operating, we then began trying to make contacts.
We made several contacts, and even passed an National Traffic System message to Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, inviting him to our Field Day site. He got the message and within an hour of getting the message, arrived, just in time for lunch, which was pizza, courtesy of Norm.
At about 1500 (3PM), we decided that we had proved that we, as an ARES group, could, if needed, set up and be operational on HF as well as VHF/UHF, providing effective communications in a field setting. We didn’t stay long, but proved that we could do it if needed. We began taking everything down, and packing up our gear, and a good time was had by all. Next year, maybe the full 24 hours?