ARRL Field Day 2019

By JohnyMac

In five days the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Field Day will commence at 1400 hrs. Saturday June 22nd and run till 1400 hrs. Sunday. Field Day is a big event for all Amateur Radio operators and clubs across North America.

Looking at the ARRL site they write:

“Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.”

If you have been meaning to get into ham radio take the time to attend one of the many field day events put on by your local area club. To find a Field Day event do an interwiz search for your counties Amateur Radio club. Once found go to their site and if they are participating in the event, I am sure there will be an invitation to the event. The ARRL also has a location finder located here but beware that at this time the ARRL may not have all of the locations for the event uploaded. I would try both – Interwiz search and using the ARRL locator.

ARRL continues to explain the objective of the event as…

“To work as many stations as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20,15 and 10 Meter HF bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit, but are not eligible to submit entries.”

Okay, with that all reported, how many American Partisan readers have their amateur radio ticket? If you do not, it is time to stop adding to your gun safe and seriously think about working towards getting it.

I have a very good friend who is a prepper, not part of my group, who keeps telling me that he has a transceiver and when the SHTF happens he will figure it out – Bovem de stercore!

It’s like running a gun, practicing patrols, or testing TC3 techniques; you will fall flat on your face unless you learn now before the bullets start flying.

Several years ago, my 13 year-old neighbor stopped by to see what mischief old JohnyMac was getting into. I was in my radio shack and when he walked in with a newly opened can of Cola-Cola, and a fist-full of chocolate chip cookies that he probably got from MrsMac. He asked me, “what are you doing John?”

I patiently explained to him that what he saw was communication when SHTF happens. Well he being a home schooled young lad knows all about SHTF. Then he pulled out his cell phone and explained to me that his cell phone was all he needed when the SHTF happened.

Well out came the dry-erase board and a 1-hour lecture on how he was mistaken. MrsMac being sorry for my drafted student, brought out more cookies, death in a can for my student, and some unsweetened iced tea for me. An enabler for sure.

Once my student had endured my lecture, he had one question and asked “Well my cell phone has email and text capabilities.” Viola! just my case in point. I explained to him so does amateur radio. WITH NO USER FEES.

Since like me, he has his frugal roots in the old country of Scotland, his sugar induced interest immediately perked up and he said. “Okay, show me.” Which I did.

The next day he came over again (Damn chocolate cookie junkie if you ask me) and asked me how he could get an amateur radio license. I shared with him the following.

  1. Buy the ARRL Technicians Text Book,
  2. Register on-line with the ARRL, and
  3. Download to his cell phone a Technicians Exam app.


  1. Once a week read a chapter in the ARRL Textbook. Then answer the exam questions through-out the week which are located in the back of the text book.
  2. While waiting in the reception area of his doctors/dentist office, driving with his folks to grandma’s, or at church when nobody was looking; pull out his SmartFone and open the exam app. Then start answering the exam questions for the Technicians Ticket. These questions are all multiple-choice questions by the way.
  3. Once he had read 50% of the chapters in the textbook, sign-in to his new ARRL account and go to the section where you can take practice exams. “When you consistently gets 85% or better on the practice exams”, I told him, “then you will be ready for the actual exam”.

Within eight weeks he had his Technicians Ticket. One month later he had his General Ticket and was a voting member of our radio club – Not bad for a by then a 14-year-old!

After stacking wood for me and other projects more in line for a 14-year-old he had earned enough money from my shallow pockets to buy a HF transceiver.

My point is…If a 14-year-old chocolate chip cookie junkie can do it…So can you!

In closing, we hold a once a month ERIN/Unchainedpreppers net. Typically, the second Sunday of each month. The purpose of the net is to test our equipment and report on any local drama’s that might affect other folks on the net. Typically, the net lasts 30 to 45-minutes. If you would like to find out more information, e.g. date, time, and P.A.C.E., the information is posted on the Radio Board of my site, UnchainedPreppers. You do not need to join the site as you can access the information as a guest.

73 & God Bless



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