Fayette County Amateur Radio Field Day demonstrates science, skill, and service

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Members of the Fayette County Amateur Radio Club prepare for Field Day. Photo/Joe Domaleski (KI4ASK).
Members of the Fayette County Amateur Radio Club prepare for Field Day. Photo/Joe Domaleski (KI4ASK).

Members of the Fayette County Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, at The Ridge Nature Area, 415 Burch Road in Fayetteville, Georgia.

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 free and open to the public. All are encouraged to attend.

The Fayette County Amateur Radio Club is an active organization of radio enthusiasts from all walks of life.  The club provides backup, auxiliary communications to Fayette County Emergency Services and public service communications to road races, bike events, walk-a-thons, and triathlons.

For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Pictured are (L-R) Ryan Bibby (KN4RQL), John Snellen (AI4RT), Brian Haren (W8BYH), Bob Gibler (NF5F), Jason Kirkbride, Tom Kirkbride (K1EOD); front, from left: Huey Kenmar (KI4NGD), Jeff Anderson (KK4BCH), Karen Gibler (KA5TFQ). Photo/Joe Domaleski (KI4ASK).
Pictured are (L-R) Ryan Bibby (KN4RQL), John Snellen (AI4RT), Brian Haren (W8BYH), Bob Gibler (NF5F), Jason Kirkbride, Tom Kirkbride (K1EOD); front, from left: Huey Kenmar (KI4NGD), Jeff Anderson (KK4BCH), Karen Gibler (KA5TFQ). Photo/Joe Domaleski (KI4ASK).

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 last year in Field Day 2018 activities.

“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 David Isgur, communications manager for 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,” Isgur 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 people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines. In addition, amateur radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

For more information about amateur (ham) radio or 2019 Field Day, please visit the Fayette County Amateur Radio Club website https://kk4gq.org, the club Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/KK4GQ/, or contact Joe Domaleski, KI4ASK at jdomaleski@gmail.com.

Mary Catherine Domaleski (KI4HHI) talks to a remote station in Delaware using Amateur (Ham) Radio in preparation for Field Day. Photo/Joe Domaleski (KI4ASK).
Mary Catherine Domaleski (KI4HHI) talks to a remote station in Delaware using Amateur (Ham) Radio in preparation for Field Day. Photo/Joe Domaleski (KI4ASK).

Field Day Schedule of Events

Saturday, June 22

2 p.m. – Field Day start

3 p.m. – Demonstration of Emergency Communications (KN4YZ & AI4RT)

4 p.m. – Demonstration of Winlink (W8BYH)

5 p.m. – Demonstration of APRS (KI4ASK)

6 p.m. – Special presentation (Club)

7 p.m. – Contesting tips (K1ZN & KV4UD)

Sunday, June 23

8 a.m. – Field Day reopens to public

2 p.m.- Field Day concludes

Ongoing Activities

• Get on the Air (GOTA) radio station – where members of the public can try ham radio

• 2 full powered contesting stations talking to radio operators around the world

• Mini FoxHunt (radio scavenger hunt) – to find a hidden radio transmitter

• Radio listening post – Shortwave, scanner, HF, VHF, UHF, Digital