Ham radio operators from the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club will be participating in a national amateur radio “Field Day” exercise from 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, to 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at the Sussex County Fire Academy (114 Morris Turnpike, Newton). The aim will be to contact as many stations as possible on the 160-, 80-, 40-, 20-, 15- and 10-meter high frequency bands, as well as all bands 50 MHz and above, and to learn to operate “in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions,” according to ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio. ARRL has been conducting this exercise since 1933.
Hams from across North America participate in Field Day by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations to demonstrate their skill and service.
“Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, bring people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities,” the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club said in a statement. “Field Day highlights ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent, wireless communications network.”
Some participants from Sussex County will also use the radio stations set up in their homes or taken to their backyards and other locations to operate individually or with their families. They may also use portable radio communications that include alternative energy sources such as generators, solar panels, and batteries to power their equipment.
This year’s event is also noteworthy given that a particularly active hurricane season is predicted.
“Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Kelly Leavitt, club president, (call sign KE2L).
“Ham radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others,” Kelly added.
During Field Day 2021, more than 26,000 ham radio operators participated from thousands of locations across North America. According to ARRL, there are more than 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the US, and an estimated 3 million worldwide.
Among the tenets of the Amateur Radio Service is developing and practicing skills in radio technology and radio communications, and even contributing to international goodwill. Ham radio users range in age from as young as nine to older than 100.
For more information about ARRL Field Day and ham radio, contact Kelly Leavitt, ke2l, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit arrl.org.