Ra­dio clubs hold Win­ter Field Day at Tel­lus

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Area ra­dio clubs met at Tel­lus sci­ence mu­seum in Cartersvil­le for their Win­ter Field Day Con­test.

The North­west Ge­or­gia Ama­teur Ra­dio Club of Rome and Cartersvil­le’s Etowah Val­ley Ama­teur Ra­dio Club faced off in the first of two an­nual events. The other is sched­uled for June.

Ama­teur ra­dio field day events are held to test emer­gency com­mu­ni­ca­tions pre­pared­ness. Mem­bers demon­strated sev­eral modes, in­clud­ing send­ing and re­ceiv­ing Morse Code. Mu­seum vis­i­tors could fill out a form with their name and send it in the code, which works re­li­ably un­der the worst trans­mit­ting and re­ceiv­ing con­di­tions.

They also used Sin­gle Side Band, which al­lows voice com­mu­ni­ca­tions over long dis­tances. Large elec­tronic dis­plays in the mu­seum showed the con­di­tions of the ra­dio spec­trum used in the event and vis­i­tors could par­tic­i­pate as ra­dio op­er­a­tors.

“One of mis­sions of the club is to ad­vance the gen­eral in­ter­est in ama­teur ra­dio to the com­mu­nity,” said Alan Scheibe, vice pres­i­dent of the Etowah Club. “The two clubs were able to share with over 270 peo­ple dur­ing the event. Over half were young peo­ple who were gen­uinely in­trigued by learn­ing how to send their name in Morse Code.”

Demon­stra­tions of Very High Fre­quency (VHF) and Ul­tra High Fre­quency (UHF) com­mu­ni­ca­tions modes were also part of the event. Largely used for voice com­mu­ni­ca­tions within a 60- to 100-mile ra­dius, the modes can be used with the in­ter­net to make con­tact all over the world. Some mu­seum vis­i­tors en­joyed re­ceiv­ing and send­ing a text mes­sage on their cell phones from one of the sta­tions.

Ama­teur ra­dio pro­vides a pri­mary com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nel dur­ing times of storms, hur­ri­canes, and other nat­u­ral and man-made dis­as­ters through the Ama­teur Ra­dio Emer­gency Ser­vice (ARES).

Club mem­bers also set up a portable sta­tion pack­aged in a “Go Box,” which in­cludes its own power source and can be quickly loaded in a ve­hi­cle and trans­ported any­where emer­gency com­mu­ni­ca­tions are needed.

Con­trib­uted

Mem­bers of lo­cal ama­teur ra­dio clubs demon­strate a va­ri­ety of emer­gency com­mu­ni­ca­tions dur­ing their Win­ter Field Day at Tel­lus sci­ence mu­seum in Cartersvil­le.

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