East Greenbush, NY – Residents of the Greater Capital District are invited to see and participate in emergency communication operations by members of the East Greenbush Amateur Radio Association (EGARA) during Amateur Radio Field Day which will be held nationwide during the weekend of June 24 – 25. This Open House event is a forum that demonstrates Ham Radio science, skill, and community service
Since 1933, amateur radio operators have held the annual event to demonstrate and test their emergency communication capabilities by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations. EGARA will hold its Field Day at the East Greenbush Masonic Temple at 710 Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush, NY beginning at 2 pm on Saturday, June 24th and continuing for the next 24 hours.
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. Amateur radio operators also provide emergency communications to their communities during disasters when regular communications systems fail because of severe weather or other disasters.
“When cell phones, the Internet and other communication networks are knocked out of service, ham radio has the ability to continuing working,” said EGARA President Tom Scorsone. “Many times when disaster strikes, it’s amateur radio that continues to provide reliable communications from almost any location, creating an independent communications system.”
Nationally, Field Day is sponsored by ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. During this year’s Field Day weekend, stations from all over the United States and Canada will use their shortwave radio systems to log as many contacts as possible. Last year, over 45,000 people participated in Field Day activities from thousands of locations across North America.
"During the Field Day, our local club members will demonstrate their capabilities and technology to give members of the public the opportunity to experience ham radio first-hand." said Scorsone. "Field Day is Amateur Radio's open house to the nation. We invite everyone to come see how ham radio works and how they can get involved.”
Scorsone said amateur radio can also be a great gateway for young people who are interested in career paths in the technology and engineering fields. The knowledge learned from being an amateur radio operator is further enhanced by the many new digital and computer technologies that are now being used. There is also no age limit required for obtaining an amateur radio license, and Morse Code is no longer required, making the licensing exam easier to pass. Currently, there are over 740,000 licensed hams in the United States, with some as young as age 5 and as old as 100. EGARA administers licensing exams locally three times each year.
“Ham radio brings with it an entire social network of people that are connected through their enjoyment of radio, sharing projects and ideas, mentoring, and a sense of community and belonging," Scoresone added. “There are also clubs such as ours where members can learn from each other and share their knowledge. We invite anyone who would like to learn more to stop by our Field Day event.”