Despite modern technology like the internet, cell phones, cable TV, e-mail, even fiberoptics--the infrastructure needed for today's forms of communication can be taken down in seconds by a tornado, ice storm, or other severe storm conditions. That's when ham radio operators save the day.
The American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) Field Day begins at 1:00 o'clock this coming Saturday (6/25/2016) and continues for 24-hours from the parking lot at StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna.
Rutherford County Amateur Radio Emergency Services Coordinator Charlie O'Neal encourages the public to drop by during this period and see how effective long-distance and short hop communications are using volunteer amateur radio operators.
Field Day is the most popular amateur radio annual event in the U.S. and Canada. In fact, more than 35,000 ham operators will be making contacts during this coming weekend. The public is invited to come, meet and talk with the hams.
O'Neal warned participating local ham operators, "It's going to be hot with a very low chance of rain. The pavement always adds to the heat so plan to dress appropriately and stay well hydrated during the event."
He plans to pull the ARES trailer into place at the hospital on Friday evening and set up the HF antenna that goes with the HF drop kit that's on the trailer. The Kenwood TS-480 transceiver will be connected to the antenna on Saturday and that will be one operating point for Rutherford County's Field Day operation.
Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free. To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.