AHWAHNEE — If you’d like to learn more about what hams or licensed amateur radio operators do for fun, you can visit members of the local group at their annual Field Day event on Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26, 2022, scheduled this year at Wasuma Elementary School in Ahwahnee.
The school is located at 43109 Hwy. 49 (see map below).
And, if you’re lucky, you might even get to use their radio equipment to communicate with other licensed hams at similar events being held the same day around the United States.
An American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day Guide for this year’s event states that since the 1930’s Field Day has been an event to test the field preparedness and emergency communications abilities of the amateur radio community. Over the years, Field Day has turned into the largest on-the-air event on the ham calendar.
Terry Burley, president of the local Mountain Amateur Radio Club, said “operators look forward to testing their skills and showing the public what amateur radio can do. In recent years, however, Field Day events mostly emphasize contesting, points earned and standings among stations in each operating class.”
“Today, our purpose is to contact as many stations in the nation as possible to win points for the local club,” he added.
National Field Day is a 24-hour event that begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, and ends the following day at noon. Club members work in shifts throughout the 24-hour period.
Bonus points that add up on Field Day include points per transmitter, media publicity, setting up in a public place, providing an information table, not using power from commercial mains or petroleum-driven generators, having your site visited by an elected official, and involving youth 18-or-younger and several others.
Burley said the Field Day event is free to the public which he encourages to drop by and experience a “Get on the Air” opportunity. Free refreshments will also be available that weekend, he added.
According to Burley, the Mountain Amateur Radio Club was formed in 1983 and today claims about 50 members. Ham operators are not limited by age and you don’t have to be a ham to join the club.
“The club will help new members learn what they need to obtain their FCC license which is also regularly administered by the club,” he continued.
The club meets monthly at the Sierra Senior Center in Oakhurst, gathers socially every Thursday morning for coffee, etc., at a local restaurant and engages with members in a 2-meter networking session every morning at 7 a.m. For more information about the local ham club and its community service activities, call Burley at 408-310-9648.
Photos by Bob and Janine Burgess, MARC members.