Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 22nd & 23rd, 2024

Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association, Inc. members will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise from 2 pm June 22nd to 2 pm June 23rd. 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.

Hams from across North America ordinarily participate in Field Day by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations to demonstrate their skill and service. Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, brings people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities. Field Day highlights ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent, wireless communications network. Some hams will also use the radio stations set up in their homes or taken to their backyards and other locations to operate individually or with their families. Many hams have portable radio communication capability that includes alternative energy sources such as generators, solar panels, and batteries to power their equipment. This year’s event is also noteworthy given that a particularly active hurricane season is predicted.“Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” Ham radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others.”

During Field Day 2023, more than 40,000 hams participated from thousands of locations across North America. According to ARRL, there are more than 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the US and an estimated 3 million worldwide. Among the tenets of the Amateur Radio Service is developing and practicing skills in radio technology and radio communications and even contributing to international goodwill. Hams range in age from as young as 9 to older than 100. A self-study license guide is available from ARRL: The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual (www.arrl.org/shop/Ham-Radio-License-Manual) and for Kindle (https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B07DFSW94G).

“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,” Isgur added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

“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 Herkimer County, the Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association, Inc. will demonstrate Amateur Radio in a field near the home of Hank KB2VLP and De Crofoot KB2VLO on Kilts Hill Road, Little Falls, on June 22nd and 23rd, 2024. They invite the public 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 http://www.arrl.org/emergency-radio-org. The public is cordially invited to meet and talk with the hams and see what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!

For more information, contact association past president Hank Crofoot, KB2VLP, at 315-823-2993 kb2vlp@localnet.com or treasurer Chris Bouck KB4CMF at 315-429-3927 cbouck01@twcny.rr.com.

Information on how to become involved in Amateur Radio is available by contacting Chris Bouck, KB4CMF, at 429-3927 or from the ARRL — the National Association for Amateur Radio, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111 or by calling Toll-free: 1-888-277-5289.

Visit ARRL on the web at http://www.arrl.org/home.