Amateur ‘HAM’ Radio Field Day is June 23 & 24

The Scott County Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the National Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 23 and 24 at 1 p.m. at Roosevelt State Park Overlook. Since 1933, HAM radio operators across North America have established temporary HAM radio stations in numerous public locations during Amateur Field Day to showcase the science and skill of HAM.  This event is open to the public.

For over 100 years, amateur radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone, computer or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates HAM radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network, and in some instances a communication life-line. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in the 2017 Field Day exercise.

“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 Dave Isgur 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 and can interface with tablets or smartphones and can be set-up almost anywhere in minutes during a communications outage.”

HAM radio operators can throw a wire in a tree to use as an antenna, connect to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate with someone half-way around the world in minutes. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself environment, HAM radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology and numerous other scientific disciplines. It is also a vital asset to any community during a disaster should the standard communication infrastructure not be available.

Anyone can become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed HAMs in the United States alone with operators ranging in age from five years old to 100 years old. With clubs like the Scott County Amateur Radio Club it’s easy for anyone interested to get involved right here locally.

For more information about the 2018 Amateur Radio Field Day, or the Scott Count County Amateur Radio Club, contact Mike Vaughn at 769-241-1976 or scottcountyarc@gmail.com. You can also visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.