Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club (FARC) members and their fellow amateur radio operators (“hams”) from across the nation are getting ready for American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day, the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the U.S. and Canada. A 24-hour affair in which amateur radio operators set up temporary transmitting stations in public places, Field Day 2017 begins at 11 a.m. June 24 and concludes at 11 a.m. June 25. FARC members and other local hams will use the athletic field at Frazier Elementary School (1835 Gum Tree Lane) for the event. “It’s mostly a preparedness exercise for if you had to go out and set up radios for an emergency,” said Ron Patten, vice president of FARC. “There are other social things involved, but that’s what the main premise is.” The “social things” include bonding with other hams and sharing ham radio’s science with the public as the event is open to everyone. “You don’t have to be a ham operator,” said Patten. “If you want to find out what it’s all about, you can stop by, and if you’d like, we can put you on the air.” Patten said more than a dozen clubs or groups in San Diego County will be participating in Field Day, which was established in 1933. According to the ARRL, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America will set up temporary transmitting stations. “It’s the busiest day of the year on the radio frequencies,” said Patten. “There will be wall-to-wall conversations, people calling out to make contacts on almost every ham frequency.” Field Day shows the importance of amateur radio and how it’s invaluable in terms of communications support in times of emergencies, when telephones, cell phones and the internet can become overloaded and fail, or when natural disasters take out communication equipment.