2019 Summer Field Day

Field Day 2019 starts on Saturday, 22 June at 2 p.m. and runs 24 hours through 2 p.m. on Sunday, 23 June.

CARA will once again be supporting the Potomac Valley Radio Club's contesting effort. This year PVRC is operating with 14 transmitters at Glenwood Middle School, 2690 MD-97, Glenwood, MD 21738. CARA will run the Get on the Air station, giving non-licensed visitors and new hams who have had their license less than a year to operate HF alongside an experienced coach. We will also operate a satellite station and a welcome tent to give visitors information about the hobby and conduct tours of the operating site.

Stop by any time during the 24-hour event to see the biggest Field Day operation around! Specific operating hours for CARA's activities will depend on conditions during the event, but generally should be approximately from 2pm to 10 pm Saturday (tours will cease at dusk); and 10am to 2pm on Sunday.

If you would like a tour, to try your hand at making a satellite contact, or if you meet the criteria above and would like to operate at the GOTA station, t
here is no need to sign up ahead of time. However, if you would like to operate at a particular time or outside of the suggested hours, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

During the event you may wish to text the Activities Chair (703-405-5480) or the President (410-569-9797) to be sure someone gets your message.


About Summer Field Day

“Field Day is ham radio's open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.” ARRL Field Day page 

Members of the Columbia Amateur Radio Association (CARA) and the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC) have joined forces to put on the biggest Summer Field Day event in the area, with the call sign W3AO. A dedicated group operating on every available band using voice, digital modes, and CW (Morse code) has won its class each year for 20 years in a row. And our “Get on the Air” (GOTA) station is always a popular destination, giving visitors and new hams a chance to experience ham radio with an experienced coach as a guide -- we’ve helped everyone from a 5-year-old to a young-at-heart 80-year-old make their first HF contacts.

Field Day is an experience for both the eyes and the ears! Check out some of the sights and sounds here:


2019 Winter Field Day

In January 2019, a hardy group of CARA members put their emergency operating skills to the test and set up a 3-station outdoor operation at Cedar Lane Park in Columbia, Maryland. This was our first Winter Field Day and we had a blast! We operated for 24 hours nonstop, welcomed dozens of members and guests, and helped some new hams and non-hams get on the air for the first time on HF. There is a lot more to the story -- and photos, too -- in the Winter Field Day Article.