Amateur Radio Field Day set for June 24–25
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Local ham radio operators with the Cove Repeater Club along with the City’s Division of Emergency Management will participate in the national amateur radio field day exercise at High Chaparral Park, located at 1310 High Chapparal Dr.
The event kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 and runs until Sunday, June 25 at 1 p.m. It is open to the public.
“Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend,” said Gary Young, the city’s deputy fire chief and Emergency Management Coordinator.
In addition to the Field Day activities, Emergency Management staff will be on site to discuss disaster preparedness in our community as well as representatives from the Texas Department of State Health Services who will have information about programs from their agency.
Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations nationwide participated in Field Day in 2016.
“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Sean Kutzko of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”
“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Kutzko added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”
There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. For more information about Field Day, contact Deputy Chief Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.
Ham radio operators along with city emergency management personnel are holding an amateur radio field day at High Chaparral Park on June 24-25.