Copperas Cove Repeater Assocation has a field day
By LYNETTE SOWELL
More than 20 amateur radio operators took part in a 24-hour field day this past Saturday.
During the last weekend in June every year, the American Radio Relay League holds a field day, when participants nationwide log in and tune in to see how many contacts they can make as possible, locally and thousands of miles away.
This year, the operators made over 300 contacts during the 24-hour event, with the farthest contacts being Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Virgin Islands, New York and Northwest Canada.
Operators paired up to operate a digital radio station, with one logging the contacts and the other operating the digital program and speaking to operators on the other end of the signal.
Generators powered the radios, as if there were a real-life power outage.
If the area’s digital capabilities are disabled during a disaster along with other resources such as electricity and other vital services, radio operators will play a vital role in keeping the community connected to the outside world.
There was also an equipment trailer outside with a solar panel and bank of batteries available for use.
The practice exercise has the operators compete against other radio operators nationwide in the event, which ran through Sunday morning.
Operators earned points, from the number of contacts they made during the exercise, to the type of radio they used.
To become a “ham” radio operator, one must pass a test to become a licensed operator and also select a call sign.
The annual activity is an event that the Copperas Cove Repeater Association. Those who are interested in more information about operating a radio can visit the association at one of its meetings. The group meets at Lil Tex Restaurant at 8 a.m., the first Saturday of each month, with the next meeting being Saturday, July 3.