Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Amateur Radio Field Day?

Field Day is an annual national event sponsored by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League, the National Organization of Radio Amateur in the U.S.). Several hundred clubs nationwide participate in this event, which serves as a practical application of emergency operations, a fun contest, and a public service event for Amateur Radio.

Often served agencies, such as National Weather Service, the American Red Cross, Department of Emergency Management (DEM – formerly Oahu Civil Defense Agency) and others, join in with their exhibits.

For Amateur Radio operators, it is a fun get-together, and an opportunity to polish communications skills vital in an emergency. Ko’olau Amateur Radio Club (KARC) sets up their Field Day site on Friday and operates from 8 am Saturday until 8 am Sunday.

When and where is the event?

The KARC Field Day is held the fourth full weekend in June (for 2013, it is June 22-23) at the Kualoa Beach Park, which is located on a peninsula on Kaneohe Bay. The public & media are invited for exhibits and demos from 9 am to noon on Saturday.

The park has a spectacular setting. The golden sand beach is excellent for snorkeling and fishing. There are two campgrounds: Camp ground A is in a wooded area with a sandy beach and palm, ironwood, kamani, and monkey pod trees–used mainly for camping groups.  Campground B is on the main beach and perfect for Field Day operation; it has fewer shade trees, but a great view of Mokolii Island (locally called Chinamen’s Hat Island). Facilities at both sites include restrooms, showers, picnic tables and drinking fountains. Gas and groceries are available in Kaaawa, two-and-a-half-miles away. The gate hours are 7 am  to 8 pm; after 8 pm, you cannot enter or exit the park by car.  You are locked up for the night, although you can walk around the gate.

The Field Day site is located about half way through the Kualoa Beach Park. We will be at  the end of the “Group Event Area” which stops at a rest facility just as the C&C Public Camp Sites start. There is a small traffic circle in the road with one leg going off to the right to the park offices, one leg going straight and then a parking lot to the left. Park in this lot on the left and we will be between the lot and the beach. It will be easy to spot – look for two large gray tarp covered tents, three smaller white tents and some small camping tents. Oh, and some antennas up in the sky.

What will the Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) be doing?

We will cover almost every aspect of Amateur radio operations.  We set up antennas and  stations at the park and operate these for 24 hours, starting on Saturday at 8 am. This includes world-wide long distance HF (High Frequency) operations, satellite operations locally and to the mainland and VHF/UHF (Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency) operations locally and through an Internet link. The HF operations will include all modes, CW (Morse code), voice and digital. Frequently, community service organizations like DEM, American Red Cross and National Weather Service (Skywarn) are there to give information on their agencies, and on how they work together with Hams in an emergency.

What will visitors be able to do?

Visitors can do as much as they wish. This ranges from standing around and just watching all the way up to full participation and operating.  Even if a visitor does not have an Amateur Radio license, they can still operate the equipment under the supervision of “control operators”.  Oftentimes, Boy Scout troop members will operate the radios to earn their Radio Merit badges. We’ll have occasional Ham operators who will be on and off the air.  There will be a full time station on for the event. The short answer is that visitors are free to do however much and whatever they want. No limitations.

When are the major activities?

We will be going up to Kualoa Beach Park on Friday morning to move equipment to the camp, assemble the stations with the radios and antennas. This will take most of the day.

Saturday at 8:00 am we begin operating. The HF station, capable of international communications, will be “on-the-air” continuously for 24-hours.  Demonstrations and exhibitions for the public and press are scheduled on Saturday from 9:00 am to noon.

Introduction – Brief talk on Amateur Radio

Radio and Antenna Tour – Walk & Talk

Digital Modes – Radio Teletype (RTTY) Modes

Satellite Communications

Emergency Preparedness

Weather Spotting (SKYWARN) (and possibly REACT, DEM, and ARC Emergency Response Vehicles (for interactive viewing)

On Sunday at 8:00 am radio operation ceases and those left standing take everything down and load up the trucks.

Will there be supervision?

Guided tours through the Field Day site are available; camping is allowed. If you wish to camp with KARC, please contact us by the first week of May so we can let the caretakers know what to expect. Children must be supervised by their parents or chaperones, as members of the KARC and the EARC will be busy running the event!

How can the KARC be contacted?

Prior to the event, the club can be reached by e-mail at fd@karc.net. The club web site has information about our activities and members at www.karc.net. Beginning the Friday before Field Day, members at the site will monitor 146.52 MHz (simplex) frequency.

e-mail : fd@karc.net

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