2023 ARRL Field Day

Please join us on 24, 25 June at Vegsund County Park for the Annual ARRL Field Day!

The Isanti County Radio Club will be there with radios set up showing:

  • contesting
  • making long-distance contacts
  • communicating with digital modes
  • explaining emergency communications
  • other cool topics

Come learn about Amateur Radio and just hang out and have fun with us!

The ICRC Field Day begins at 10 am on Saturday and runs through the night until 12 pm Sunday.   Participants camp overnight in their personal campers, tents, or vans and provide their own meals, and beverages  There is no power grid electricity at the location.  Part of the emergency preparedness aspects demonstrated is using temporary lodging, emergency power to operate HAM radio equipment, making radio contacts locally and outside of the area, and preparing meals outdoors without electrical grid power.  The park does have restrooms.
ARRL Field day includes a DX fun contest for making contacts.

Other Information:

Update: (05/03/23)

Authorization to start using the park for setup on Friday June 23 at 6pm has been approved.  Also, a clarification was made that all vehicles, campers, screen tents, etc must remain on the asphalt.   No sleeping in tents – hard-sided RVs only.  (Yes, It would be a good question)  (bears?)

  • Cell phone users will find signal availability at the park spotty and may need to relocate to get a signal.
  • Participants should have contingencies in mind to deal with high winds for antennas, canopies, etc.
  • Severe weather may require cancelation or termination of the event. This will be decided by the SkyWarn team or Project captain on the ground at the time or before the event.
  • It is a small parking lot. Keep in mind that residents use the park for walking and recreation and will require adequate parking spaces near the building.   Field Day participants should set up on the West end of the parking lot.
  • Any tripping hazards ie guy wires or antennas should be marked with ribbons or cones.
  • Consider bringing fishing equipment, bicycles, kites, skateboards, or other playthings for children.
  • Mosquitos, bugs, and wood ticks can be a problem.  Be prepared.
  • There is little natural shade.  Be prepared to create your own.

Parking Area:

Designated Event Captain:

Erik Holm – KE0PMW

ARRL Field Day T-Shirts
ARRL Field Day Home

2023 ARRL Field Day Contest Rules


2023 Birkie-Kortie

2023 Birkie-Kortie

Another Birkie-Kortie year under the belt! This year was just as fun, or more, than last year! There were three of us from ICRC: me (KF0DEK), Shane (KD9NJJ), and Rick (KF0RIK). Rick was the new guy, and was set to work with me at the

Gravel Pit checkpoint but, due to a last-minute staffing issue, manned the Hatchery Creek (or “fish farm” or “hatchery river”, depending on the moment) checkpoint himself. He did great, though!

Fortunately, because of the recent snowstorm, course conditions were excellent, and the weather was gorgeous. Pretty cold in the morning, but rapidly warmed up to the lower 20s by the afternoon. Add to that, since Beargrease, I’m a bit better prepared, equipment-wise, and was able to spend the entire two days comfortably outside.

For the uninitiated, the Birkie-Kortie is two days of cross-country ski races. For amateur-radio purposes, our responsibility is to call in drop-outs to race headquarters, as well as other communication backup tasks.

I highly recommend doing this event. Aside from the obvious fun-factor, it builds radio experience (both operational, and coming up with solutions to communication issues).

More at my forum post [here].


2022 Birkie/Kortie Race

This February, I was fortunate enough to participate with a few Ham operators providing communication support for the Kortie/Birkie ski races. More specifically, as it was my first time, I opted to only go up on Friday and help out. I was up there with Shane (KD9NJJ), who originally notified our group of the event, but we were in two different checkpoints.

There were reportedly 3000 skiers for this, the first race of the two. Apparently, skiers come from all over the world to participate in this set of races (probably favoring the one Saturday, which is twice as long). This one is 26km. There are 3 stops (mine was the first) separating the race into 6km segments (with one segment being 8km). At each stop, racers could grab a water (or energy drink) from a volunteer holding out cups, or they could stop and get a snack (fruit, cookies), do equipment maintenance, and/or just take a break.

Some racers would decide that 6km was the extent of what they wanted to race, and quit at that point. That’s where the amateur operators would come in: We would write down the racer’s “bib” number, and the reason they were calling it a day (fatigue, medical, or equipment). We would radio back to “net control” these reports, usually in batches, so that the race officials back at the finish line had a good idea of who was no longer going to be coming across the finish.

This was an excellent “first-timer” event to learn and practice radio skills in an applicable environment. It was a lot of fun, the weather was perfect (10° and clear). I’m planning to go for both Friday and Saturday races next year.

2022 Birkie/Kortie Race – Gravel Pit CheckpointRace site: https://www.birkie.com/ski/events/kortelopet/