Capital Region Amateur Radio “Hams” to Practice Emergency Operations During Annual Field Day
Ham Radio Operators from the Greater Capital Region will join thousands of their colleagues across America to operate under emergency communication conditions during the Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 22 and 23. Field Day begins at 2 pm EDT on Saturday, June 22nd and continues for 24 hours until 2 pm EDT Sunday, June 23rd.
The East Greenbush Amateur Radio Association will participate in Field Day, operating under emergency conditions at the Masonic Lodge Hall, 710 Columbia Turnpike in East Greenbush, NY. Members of the public are invited to stop by to learn more about Amateur Radio and to experience operating a ham radio themselves.
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. (a listing of area locations can be found in the attachment to this release)
For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also 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 or emergency, independent of regular communication networks such as landlines, cell phones or the Internet.
Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location by creating an independent communications network. More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated last year’s Field Day activities.
“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 John Fritze, K2QY, of Delmar, New York, who is the ARRL Eastern New York Section Manager.
“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 telephone systems and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes.
“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,” Fritze added.
In today’s electronic do-it-yourself environment, Ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines.
In addition, Amateur Radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down. For example, when Hurricane Maria knocked out normal communications throughout Puerto Rico in September 2017, it was Amateur Radio operators who provided emergency communications across the island and to the mainland, coordinating rescue efforts and delivery of emergency supplies.
Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. Today, there are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100. There are many local Amateur Radio clubs in the Greater Capital Region that are ready to help new Hams get licensed and on the air. They are easily found by visiting the American Radio Relay League’s website at: http://www.arrl.org/find-a-club.