Local News

June 22, 2014

Ham radio operators show off for Whitfield County residents

Public demonstration of emergency communications is Saturday

Thousands of ham radio operators will be showing off their emergency capabilities this Saturday.

When trouble is brewing, ham radio people are often the first to provide critical information and communications. On Saturday, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with amateur radio operators and see for themselves what the amateur radio service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code, hams from across the USA will hold public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.

This annual event, called Field Day, is the climax of the week-long Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and back yards around the country. Their slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t,” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, the Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

“We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore,” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. “The communications networks that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives in the past months when other systems failed or were overloaded.”

In the Whitfield County area, the Dalton Amateur Radio Club will be demonstrating amateur radio at Smith Chapel United Methodist Church, 1721 Smith Chapel Road in Tunnel Hill. Antennas will be set up around 10:30 a.m. with the radio communications expected to begin at 2 p.m. The public is invited to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.

To learn more about amateur radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.


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