7/2/2014 7:23:00 AM Amateur radio operators 'have a field day' with 24-hour event
Amateur Radio operators, Dana Dore, left, and Richard Boller, both of Paulden, conduct a free 24-hour American Radio Relay League Radio Field Day Saturday outside the Paulden Community Center.
Dana Dore might forget a name once in a while, but he never forgets an amateur radio call number.
Dore conducted a 24-hour American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day Saturday next to the Paulden Community Center, from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday, along with fellow amateur radio operator, Richard Boller. Both men are Paulden residents.
Although the two men lived previously in Southern California and operated amateur radios there, they didn't know each other then.
"We might have communicated on the radio, but I don't remember seeing his call number before," Dore said. Like I said, Dore remembers call numbers. Once the two met in Paulden, they learned of their mutual hobby.
The public was invited to stop by Saturday's Field Day and learn more about amateur radios, often called ham radios. The men set up operations that included a travel trailer and awning, tables with several pieces of radio equipment and antenna, solar panels for power to the radios and a generator to power lights inside the trailer at night.
Dore said two other Field Days were set up locally - one in Prescott and one on Mingus Mountain at Potato Patch campground.
Dore and Boller both enjoy the hobby because they get to talk to interesting people in many locations.
"It's fun and it's a very generous group," Boller said of ham radio operators.
"You get to meet people you wouldn't normally meet or visit with," said Dore, who once talked to a ham radio operator who was the inventor of the sonogram, a diagnostic medical image.
During the Field Day, Dore enjoyed hearing from an old friend from Escondido. Calif., and a transmission from the ARRL home station, W1AW, although he wasn't able to make contact.
As Dore and Boller listened to calls from everywhere from South Dakota to Seattle to Florida, Texas and even British Columbia, Canada, they documented 65 two-way contacts. A one-way contact is simply hearing another caller or conversation, and a two-way call is actually making contact. Boller participated about eight hours and Dore 24 hours.
Dore has conducted several Field Day events from his Paulden home and has participated in events in Poway, California, where he used to live. All have been part of field days held annually across the U.S. and Canada the fourth weekend of June.
The Field Day functions as a contest in several primary groups and categories, and those with the most contacts and points wins. All individual and groups then submit their event's logs, which are published in the ARRL magazine.
More than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs and communities and often add other activities, such as a picnic and a campout. Dore and Boller plan to attend such an event called the Hamfest July 18-20 in Williams, which also features a large swap meet where enthusiasts buy and sell all types of radio equipment and supplies. The public is invited and it's a good way to start the hobby with used equipment.
For both Dore and Boller, amateur radio has been a hobby for several years and they are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission - Dore since about 1980 and Boller for 10 years. Boller also belongs to the Prescott Yavapai Radio Club and the Cottonwood Amateur Radio Association and attends weekly breakfasts and monthly meetings. Boller's wife, Mary Jo, got her license a year ago.
For more information visit the league's website at www.arrl.org.