Field Day 2018
The Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club is proud to co-host Field Day with our sister club, the Victoria Amateur Radio Club, at the Pavilion in the Yorktown City Park. Field Day is an annual amateur radio event held each year on the last full weekend of June. This year, the dates for Field Day are June 23 and 24 and we will gather at the Pavilion across the street from the Yorktown City Park. We will begin to gather between 9 and 10 am on Saturday, wrapping up just after noon on Sunday. Although ARRL sponsors a contest for the event, the main focus for our clubs is to test our ability to set up quickly and efficiently as well as ensuring that all of our equipment is working properly. The event will be open to the public and we would like to extend a special invitation to the area’s first responders. While we hope such an event would never occur in our area, we all know that sometimes cell towers, land lines and other methods of commercial communications can fail for various reasons. This is where the Amateur Radio community can be of help and we would like to share our capabilities with the area’s first responders so that everyone is aware of what we can offer each other in the event of an emergency or communications failure. We would like to invite the general public to attend, as well, to see just what makes amateur radio different from CB radio. Many people hear the phrase “Amateur Radio” and think of the Dukes of Hazzard or Smokey and the Bandit. Just a bunch of good old boys talking to each other over radios. Although amateur radio does feature good old boys talking to each other, it can also be something quite different. Over the past few decades, amateur radio has expanded to include other methods of communication. Before we had internet, amateur radio has been able to use computers in conjunction with our radios to send video, photos, text, spreadsheets and more, and link those communications all over the world without wired connections. A perfect example is events like the Texas Water Safari. This event takes place over a very large portion of South Texas and cell service has not always been reliable at many of the checkpoints along the river. Amateur radio has been able to use their computers in conjunction with their radios, a system known as packet, to create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing all of the crucial information and pass that information all along the river. In more recent years, amateur radio has been able to incorporate the use of smartphones and Google Sheets to share a similar spreadsheet, which works with the Excel spreadsheet, up and down the river. One of the main purposes of amateur radio is to provide communications in the event of an emergency that disables normal communications. Another purpose of amateur radio is to be able to communicate across vast distances, depending on weather conditions, repeater link systems and an individual’s level of licensing. The Amateur Radio Relay League, a nationwide organization that promotes the use of amateur radio, sponsors many contests throughout the year, promoting various methods of communications. Amateur radio operators also participate in events like the Texas Water Safari, marathons, bike rides, boating races, etc., providing communications along the course, ensuring the safety of the participants and enjoying the camaraderie of the event while staying in practice using their equipment. Some people may have seen an episode of “Last Man Standing” where amateur radio provided an interesting history lesson simply by allowing one of the characters to talk to a group of individuals at the same time without having to collect their contacts and set up a group chat on a phone. Amateur radio was also featured on a recent episode of “NCIS” where the agents were able to ask for information from a vast unknown group of people with radios and get information to solve their case. With amateur radio, one can experience communications with people that one has never met before who may have something interesting to input to a conversation. For more information visit www.ccarc.info or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Coleto Creek Amateur Radio Club and the Victoria Amateur Radio Club would like to thank the City of Yorktown for the use of the facilities to make this event a success.