Ham ra­dio ‘Field Day’ tak­ing place this week­end

Times Standard (Eureka) - - LIFESTYLE -

Mem­bers of the Hum­boldt Am­a­teur Ra­dio Club are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the na­tional Am­a­teur Ra­dio Field Day this week­end. Due to the COVID-19 virus, op­er­a­tors this year will be tak­ing part from their home sta­tions.

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, 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. More than

Pic­tured is a glimpse of a past Hum­boldt Am­a­teur Ra­dio Club “Field Day.” This year’s event is tak­ing place at op­er­a­tors’ homes due to the pan­demic.

35,000 peo­ple from thou­sands of lo­ca­tions par­tic­i­pated last year in Field Day 2019 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 David Is­gur, com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for the Amer­i­can Ra­dio Re­lay League, the na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion for Am­a­teur Ra­dio. “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.”

Any­one may be­come a li­censed am­a­teur ra­dio op­er­a­tor. There are more than 725,000 li­censed hams in the United States, as young as 8 and as old as 100.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Field Day or am­a­teur ra­dio, contact www. hum­boldt-arc.org or visit www.arrl.org/what-isham-ra­dio.

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