Watch ham radio operators in action June 22-23

(Posted June 10, 2019)

The Madison County Amateur Radio Club will participate in a national emergency communications preparedness exercise June 22-23. The exercise, known as Field Day, involves setting up and operating emergency radio communications using amateur (ham) radio to communicate with similar operations throughout the country.

The club will conduct its 2019 Field Day operations from 2 p.m. June 22 through 2 p.m. June 23 at Deercreek Township Hall, 75 Middle St., Lafayette. Operations will include digital messaging, as well as voice and Morse Code communications. Madison County club members will demonstrate the “magic” of ham radio by contacting hams across the country while using wire antennas, low-power radios and emergency power.

The public is invited to come and see modern amateur radio technology in action and learn about the hobby. Club members will answer questions, provide literature and even help visitors get on the air. Best visiting times are 2-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.

Field Day is sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio, and has been an annual event since 1933. This year’s operations are expected to involve more than 40,000 ham radio operators from across North America. Often using only emergency power supplies, ham operators construct and operate emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.  Their slogan, “When all else fails, ham radio works,” is demonstrated by hams who can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. The event combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach and technical skills.

Modern amateur radio is a fast-growing hobby. Ohio is home to nearly 28,000 licensed amateurs in Ohio, over 750,000 in the United States and more than 2.5 million worldwide. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, volunteers provide both emergency communication for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency communications services to a wide variety of community and civic organizations, all without cost to the public.

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