Ham radio operators head to fairgrounds

From Local Sources

BRETZVILLE — The public is welcome at the Dubois County Park behind the 4-H Fairgrounds the weekend of June 22 and 23 to witness local ham operators honing skills during a 24-hour event.

The Dubois County Emergency Management Amateur Radio Operators will participate in the Amateur Radio Relay League field day event, which will run from 2 p.m. June 22, to 2 p.m. June 23.

The ARRL field day is a nationwide exercise — ham operators in Canada participate, too — that tests the amateur radio operators’ equipment and their ability to operate under adverse conditions, such as those that may occur during a disaster.

Amateur radio is recognized as one of the only viable communication means that would be available after a large-scale disaster. The Dubois County group will set up its radio equipment and operate from Shelter House No. 4 at the Dubois County Park behind the 4-H Fairgrounds a mile north of Bretzville off State Road 162.

The public can try operating an amateur radio or watch experienced local amateurs in operation as they communicate with stations around the country and around the world. Members of the group have made radio contact with locations from Poland to Australia during past events.

The local radio operators volunteer to be weather spotters and to provide communication during or after disasters, all by radio. They would be operational right after a disaster, even when all other communication is taken offline.

In excess of 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s field day event.

There are more than 725,000 amateur radio licensees in the United States and approximately three million around the globe.

For more information on the field day event or on becoming a licensed amateur radio operator, contact the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency at 812-482-2202. More information regarding the field day and the 1,000-plus participating sites around the nation can be viewed here.

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