Ham Radio Field Day

In this 2012 photo, Tom Pettit, then 10, left, reacts after making a contact on a ham radio belonging to dad Herb, right, at Camp Catalpa during the annual American Radio Relay League Field Day. Also pictured is Josh Richardson, then 11. 

Members of the Central Kentucky Amateur Radio Society(CKARS) will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 22-23 at Camp Catalpa in Richmond. Amateur Radio “Field Day” starts at 2 p.m. Saturday and ends 2 p.m. Sunday.

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 and all are encouraged to attend and even operate. 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 a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone 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. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2018.“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 Byron Perkins, CKARS President, “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,” Perkins added.

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.”

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as Central Kentucky Amateur Radio Society(CKARS) it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Madison County.

CKARS has finished either first overall or 1st in their Field Day class in Kentucky for over a decade. Come and visit us and see the different facets of "Ham" radio to include Morse Code.

For more information about Field Day, contact Byron Perkins, 859-200-2984, sandridge01@gmail.com or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.

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