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HAM radio club invites public to on-air event

24 June, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Simon Thompson
  • Amateur Radio 'Field Day'set for June 24-25

The Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club Field Day 2017 runs continuously from 2 p.m. Saturday through 2 p.m. Sunday at Little Creek Reservoir Park in Toano.

Amateur radio is the one type of communications that does not fail in a disaster.

Fisher said anyone can become a licensed Amateur Radio operator.

Local hams operating out of the Flagler Beach fire station are mindful of recent flooding and tornadoes in the middle of the country, forest fires in Alberta, Canada and even the quake in Nepal, all of them finding Ham Radio operators ready to provide emergency communications with unprecedented and extraordinary capabilities.

Everyone is invited to watch or participate in the event, which is put on by the Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association. "You've got to have a license before you talk on these frequencies".

Field Day is a 24-hour event where amateur radio operators can contact other operators around the world.

The group will only use battery backup and solar power, conditions similar to what one would find in a natural disaster. Public demonstrations of this independent communications network will also include the actual building of radio equipment for the digital age at a "makers" table. Riffle said it is a good opportunity for individuals, but also for groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4-H clubs. First, participants hone their skills of establishing communication on global 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. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up nearly anywhere in minutes. "In that time, it's grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications technology".

The NARA is setup to provide communications separate from the 911 center and have tested communications with the state emergency operations center at Camp Dodge and with the National Weather Service in Johnston.


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