Local radio club to participate in Amateur Radio "Field Day"

COPPERAS COVE - Numerous local and state organizations will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 24 and June 25 at the City of Copperas Cove High Chaparral Park, located at 1310 High Chaparral Drive.

The event will run from 1 p.m. on June 24 continuously until 1 p.m. on June 25. The Field Day program is open to the public and free to attend. 

For 100-plus years, Amatuer Radio, or sometimes 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, all without needing a cell  phone or the Internet. 

“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.” 

With ham radios, anyone can throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect the radio to a battery-powered transmitter, and commnicate halfway around the world, Kutzko added. 

The radios use a layer of Earth's atmosphere as a 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, and is a  huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down,” Kutzko said.

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. Ages of the 725,000-plus hams in the U.S. range from five to 100 years old.   

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

For more information about Field Day, contact Gary Young (gyoung@copperascovetx.gov) or visit the event website.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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