ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada.
On the fourth FULL weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public.
SARA will be participating in Field Day 2019 from Entergy Park located near Carpenter Dam in Hot Springs. If you will be in the Hot Springs area, join us! We’re planning a multi-transmitter setup on HF with opportunities for visitors to get on the air. How many stations we operate will be driven by how many turn out to participate. Operating hours will be Saturday, June 22 from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. (approximately). Our talk-in frequency is 146.880- (PL 114.8).
The club will have water bottles on hand, but no food will be provided.
Our next meeting is scheduled for May 14 at 6pm. Bob (AB5N) will be presenting on the topic of Utilizing Electric Vehicle Batteries. Sounds very intriguing… Make plans now to join us and find out more about this very interesting project.
What is portable operating? Why would I want to operate outside of my home shack? What would I need to get started? Our next meeting scheduled for April 9 at 6pm will include this discussion and more. Make plans now to join us for this conversation!
SARA held its 3rd meeting of 2019 on March 12. Wayne (WA5LUY) gave an informative overview of local repeaters and their locations, configurations, and possible uses in support of our local communities. A brief recap:
W5LVB (146.880) is located on West Mountain in Hot Springs. This repeater has wide VHF coverage over Garland County. This machine is in place to serve weather events that may require activation of a SkyWarn net, but is also available to local amateurs when not in emergency use. This machine is linked full-time to KA5WPC (146.715) near Mt. Ida.
W5LVB (444.600) is located on West Mountain in Hot Springs. This repeater has wide UHF coverage over Garland County. This machine is in place to serve as a backup to the 146.880 machine, but is also available to local amateurs when not in emergency use.
WB5SPA (147.180) and WB5SPA (442.350) are located atop St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs. These repeaters belong to SARA and are available for use by local amateurs. These repeaters have a smaller usable footprint than the West Mountain units due to antenna height and placement, but have good coverage around Hot Springs and near-located areas.
KA5WPC (146.715) is located near Mt. Ida on High Peak Mountain. This repeater has wide VHF coverage over Montgomery County and beyond. This machine is in place to serve weather events that may require activation of a SkyWarn net, but is also available to local amateurs when not in emergency use. This machine is linked full-time to W5LVB (146.880) in Hot Springs.
KA5WPC (444.475) is located near Mt. Ida on High Peak Mountain. This repeater has wide UHF coverage over Montgomery County. This machine is in place to serve as a backup to the 146.715 machine, but is also available to local amateurs when not in emergency use.
KA5WPC (52.910) is a 6m repeater located near Mt. Ida on High Peak Mountain. This repeater offers regional coverage over SW Arkansas. This machine is in place to serve as a backup to the 146.715 machine, and is also available for use by local amateurs.
Thanks to the owners and trustees of these local repeaters and to Wayne (WA5LUY) for his continued efforts in maintaining all of this equipment!
Additional local repeater information can be found here.
SARA held its 2nd meeting of 2019 on February 12. Pat (W5VY) gave an excellent presentation on using meteor scatter for ham radio communications. Basically, meteor- scatter work is performed by bouncing radio signals off the ionized trails produced by meteors burning through the ionosphere. Getting started in meteor scatter does not necessarily mean spending a large sum on extra equipment. In fact, you can use a homemade antenna similar to the one presented by Wayne at the January club meeting. If you want to find out more, this is a good place to start.
SARA’s winter field day gathering was held at the Family Park with a good showing of attendees and participants. Those in attendance included Stephen (KG5VXF), Drew (KG5UFU), Scott (K5UYN), Alex (KG5PLY), Daniel (KI5BGM), Frank (N5WEM), Dale (W4NBF), and Chris (W5TCB). The club operated as One Oscar (one transmitter, working outside) for approximately 3 hours making a total of 101 contacts. Bonus points were garnered for working outside, away from home, using no commercial power for transmitting. Thanks to operators Daniel, Drew, and Chris for their efforts.
Field Day is not just for summertime anymore. Winter Field Day, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), will take place over the January 26-27 weekend. The annual event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. According to the WFDA, getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place each June during ARRL Field Day.
Several members of SARA will be gathering on Saturday afternoon, January 26, to participate in Winter Field Day. We will plan to start gathering around noon at the Family Park off of Airport Road. Anyone is welcome to participate. We will plan on operating until around 4pm or until the weather forces an end to the activities. If you have an HF rig, field antenna, or equipment that you want to put through its paces, please bring that with you. Any questions or input may be forwarded to Chris (w5tcb at arrl.net). Dress for the weather, come on out and join in!