Amateur Radio Field Day is set for June 24-25; demonstrates science, skill and service

Members of the Auburn Area Emergency Communication Team (AAECT) participates in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 24-25 at 2840 Riverwalk Drive SE, Auburn.

The event is open to the public.

Since 1933, ham radio operators throughout North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio.

For more than 100 years, amateur radio – sometimes called ham radio – has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, and provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cellphone 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.

More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2016.

“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 Sean Kutzko 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, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Kutzko added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for…

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