June 26-27, 2010 was the annual Amateur Radio Field Day,
a nationwide emergency drill and operating contest.
All the Ham Radio organizations across the country, and many around the world,
use this as a chance to check all their emergency communications gear to make
sure it works and the new members know how to use it.
I participated with the
San Jose Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
(SJ RACES), a volunteer auxiliary of the City of San Jose's Office of
Up to 24 hours of setup time are allowed from 11AM Friday to 11AM Saturday.
Then there's an operating contest from 11AM Saturday to 11AM Sunday,
where each site is competing for points with other similarly-configured
sites with the same number of stations.
Field Day is also a chance to promote Amateur Radio as a hobby.
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
gives bonus points for documented efforts to get publicity.
SJ RACES not only attempted it but delivered by getting on the 6PM and 11PM
news on KNTV/Bay Area NBC 11.