Amateur Radio event this Saturday

Kari Scott
June 24, 2017

One tried and true option is for amateur radio operators to roll into action.

During the past several years, area ham radio operators have provided communications during unexpected emergencies such as Colorado wildfires where cellphone service often is not available.

Local ham radio operators plan to set up Saturday and Sunday at Fort Borst Park in Centralia.

During this year's event, volunteer members of the three-county communications organization will be demonstrating amateur radio using the group's fully equipped mobile communications trailer. Field day operations start at 1 p.m. Saturday followed by a potluck supper on site at 5:30 p.m.

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The local club will be one of over 2,000 nationwide participating in the American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) Field Day.

"Activating in this way provides us with the opportunity to exercise our own procedures", Bryan said. Field Day demonstrates ham radio's ability to work reliably under emergency conditions from nearly any location without commercial power. First, participants hone their skills of establishing communication on worldwide frequencies in the wake of a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado, or hurricane that has destroyed the infrastructure of normal communications, disabling phone service and the Internet. They try to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn how to operate radio gear in abnormal situations and less-than-optimal conditions. There will also be a demonstration of low-power transmission that uses as little as five watts, and operating radios with solar-powered batteries.

The event is the most popular on-the-air event in the United States. "We always say when all else fails, ham radio".

The technology has been used since the 1930s and there are more than 700,000 licensed operators in the country, according to ARRL. The group also works communications for the Half Marathon, Chick-fil-a road race, the cross country races at the Wood County 4-H Fairgrounds, and numerous other races throughout the year.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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