Members of the Fayette County Amateur Radio Club will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise June 25-26 at the Scout Hut behind the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church Office, 170 Lanier Avenue East in Fayetteville.
Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public 4-5 p.m. Saturday and all are encouraged to attend.
For over 100 years, Amateur Radio – sometimes called ham radio – has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide free public service to their communities in times of disasters. Despite the internet, cell phones, email, and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed is Amateur Radio. These operators, often called hams, provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even the International Space Station.
Local hams also provide backup communications for local events such as walks, runs, cycling and even hot air balloon events. They are also involved with the Fayette County Emergency Management Center, the 911 Call Center, the Amateur Radio Research League and the National Weather Service.
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. This is done by using the layers of the earth’s atmosphere to “bounce” or reflect radio waves thousands of miles. In today’s do-it-yourself environment one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous scientific disciplines is becoming a ham operator. And these operators become a valuable asset to the whole community during disasters.
Over the weekend of June 24-25, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Fayette County Ham Operators and see them communicating with other ham operators all over the United States. Last year over 35,000 hams participated. For more information on Fayette County Ham Radio Club’s Field Day, June 25-26, please visit http://www.arrl.org/field-day.