‘Hams’ will be on the air for Field Day

By John Dilmore

In the event of major emergencies, effective modern communications networks are often among the first systems to go down. When that occurs, those left ‘on the air’ are often amateur ham radio enthusiasts, called ‘hams’ for short. Most communities, including ours, are home to groups of such enthusiasts, and never know when they might come to depend on them.
In addition to serving in many non-emergency capacities, such as providing communications for various community or sporting events, hams here and elsewhere stand ready should disaster strike.
Once a year, groups across the nation stage AARL (American Amateur Radio League) Field Day events, which give them a chance to practice and stage informal contests. The events also give the public a chance to come out and see what hams are all about.
The Northeast Texas Amateur Radio Group is inviting the public to attend their local field day, which will be held at noon Saturday, June 24 at the Atlanta Fire Department, 606 South Louise Street. There is no cost to attend.
AARL Field Day events have been held annually since 1993, and today, Field Day is the most popular “on-the-air” event in the United States and Canada, with more than 35,000 hams expected to participate this year.
“Field Day is a picnic, a camp-out, practice for emergencies, and informal contest and most of all, fun,” according to information from AARL. “It is a time when many aspects of amateur radio come together to highlight our many roles. …
“It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate amateur radio to the organizations that amateur radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public.”
Field Day’s informal contests involve hams attempting to contact as many other stations as possible, and also operating their equipment in less-than-ideal situations. 

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