A Visit to HacDC’s 2014 Field Day

Over the weekend, Washington D.C.’s ham radio club, HacDC, in coordination with ham radio clubs across the country, hosted a Field Day.  A Field Day is a communications event where the club’s members demonstrate emergency communications, emailing without an Internet, and bouncing radio signals off of the moon. It ran for just over 24 hours, beginning at 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 28th and ending at 2:30 pm on Sunday, June 29th.

HacDC is located on the third floor of the St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St. NW, at the intersection of 16th and Newton Streets, NW. It is the only open ham radio club in the District of Columbia.

HacDC practices with the D.C. Department of Health in their emergency preparations. They also provide willing volunteers to teach staff about radio communications and to man hospital emergency communication teams. Among the things they demonstrated or discussed at the Field Day were:

  • Bouncing radio signals off of the ionosphere to talk long distance;
  • Practicing emergency communications in the event of a total infrastructure break down, like email and text communications;
  • Setting up their own internet, totally independent of the big one;
  • Learning about ham radio; and,
  • Practicing contacting satellites via handheld radios

During my visit, I got to see an attempt to pick up signals from the International Space Station and look at the antennae farm on the roof of St. Stephen’s. I also learned that there used to be an active ham radio club at the Soldiers’ Home, but that that was a few years ago. I also learned that Maryland has some very active ham radio clubs, particularly in Baltimore and Frederick County.

You can learn more about HacDC from their Website.

IMAG0610(HacDC members on the roof of St. Stephen’s listening for transmissions from the International Space Station)

Explore posts in the same categories: Communications, Social clubs

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