From Small Beginnings
Brief History of the Guelph,
The last weekend in June comes and brings in "Field Day". On this weekend thousands of amateurs take to the fields and hills, setting up equipment operated only by emergency power, gas engines and alternators. Only certain hours may be operated (to make sure operators get some sleep).
Originally sponsored by the A.R.R.L. in Newington, Conn, USA, Field Day is distinctly a North American day. Trophies, certificates and prizes are given to the amateurs showing outstanding ability to operate under emergency conditions.
A newcomer to the KWARC in 1962, VE3CEA eyed with interest the KWARC Field Day set-up and marvelled that the group of amateurs did so well. In the time allotted they made as many brief contacts as possible.
In the September meeting of the club, 1963, VE3CEA Ross Carruthers said " we have nothing with which to recognize outstanding overall operation. We should have some reward to the highest scoring man". Thus was born the KWARC Field Day award. For over 28 years the Award has been presented to the winner at the annual banquet.
In the radio world today, outstanding operation is recognized by:
These prizes are welcomed by the winners but possibly not so much by the XYL's who have to polish the cups now and then.
Good sites are eagerly searched out and the Field Day must be well organized right down to the matter of food and shelter. Usually the weather in June is very good and the amateurs welcome the public to visit them and see what is going on.
The overall results are sent into the ARRL and duly published in the national magazine QST. It's very nice to see your club won the Class "X" operation.
Some clubs around North America have prepared their own certificates, mostly very well done. The walnut plaques used by some clubs show very fine work. Some clubs make a small charge to cover postage and shipping.
Field Day shows up deficiencies in equipment, in power supplies and in operation. Many an amateur has said "it's going to be different next year - just watch out". Field day with it's continuous transmission certainly does show up the weak points. It is usually a glorious weekend for "eyeball" QSO's, renewing old acquaintances and making new contacts. All in all a great deal of fun.
Some amateurs collect certificates and perhaps nothing is more startling then to visit someone's station, then find the walls of the rec room or basement completely covered by framed certificates. Some clubs, with a membership of only two amateurs may issue a very nice certificate. Incidentally there is a CHC certificate Hunters club.
The most important certificate is the DXCC, the long distance club. This may be obtained anytime, requiring only that the applicant work 100 foreign stations, all of which must be attested to, QSL cards must be registered to Newington, Conn. where they are thoroughly checked. Actually, it requires working about 135 stations, since some amateurs do not send QSL cards. Typical QSL cards are shown elsewhere in this book. Some QSL cards are very beautiful and are treasured items.
There are about 306 radio countries in the world and there is a great competition as to who made the "Honour Roll"., for those who claim having worked all the countries are grouped very close to the top.
Some countries do not have any amateurs and must rely on embassy staff now and then to have an amateur in their midst. Some countries may have to wait for a DXpedition to provide QSO's and QSL cards. Great competition is apparent when such an operation occurs and the pileups are enormous. Some amateurs file their certificates away and in their books, their work is very efficient and well worth the time of preparation.
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