Welcome to the Big Island ARRL News update.
Top Story: ARRL Field Day 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Content supplied by Joseph Speroni (AH0A), ARRL Pacific Section, Section Manager.
Accessed on 02 April 2020, 0455 UTC, Post 1380.
Source (email from Joseph Speroni):
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10:40 AM (8 hours ago)
Many ARRL Section Managers have been meeting frequently on ZOOM in
March. One subject has been Field Day 2020 in the Covid-19 pandemic.
There’s consensus on encouraging Amateurs to participate in Field Day
from home, if there is no other safe alternative. It’s an opportunity
to demonstrate communications on a wider scale among communities. To
make our neighbors aware of our abilities! Perhaps HOA’s with antenna
restrictions can be approached to permit operations during this
Jim Siemons (W6LK) the East Bay Section Manager, part of our ARRL
Pacific Division published suggestions to his members that apply equally
well to us. It’s reproduced below.
Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have
been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned
activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and
“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an
opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,”
ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t
about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to
develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current
Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will
impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in
Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus
situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social
distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city
park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the
Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the
situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication
demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals
and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that
still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities:
Encourage club members to operate from their home stations on emergency
power (Class E).
Use the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep
in touch during the event.
Family members interested in operating Field Day and unable to
participate as part of a larger group may want to consider setting up a
portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna.
One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any
interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the
ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more
public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus points you may
have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be
unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do
be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind
them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with
them in the future.
The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all
amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact
with local or state public health officials for their advice and
guidance on hosting Field Day activities.
Demonstrating an understanding of the health crisis we all face and your
willingness to adapt will show that you and your club or group are good
working partners with local or served agencies.
“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not about adapting
the situation to your operation, it’s about adapting your operation to
the situation that presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something
different. Learn something new about how you prepare. It may be a
challenge, and you may have to ask yourself if you’re up to the
challenge. We hope to hear you on the air over the June 27 – 28
weekend.” — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND
Everyone, please take care of yourselves!
Jim Siemons, W6LK
East Bay Section Manager
ARRL Pacific Section
Section Manager: Joseph Speroni, AH0A