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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Amateur radio club to set up field day operations on Saturday

LA CYGNE – Texting a friend, calling a family member from the grocery store parking lot, sending email from a mobile phone. These are conveniences that we take for granted.


But the towers and networks that provide cell phone service are vulnerable, and in the event of a national or regional emergency a group of amateur “ham” radio operators would provide vital links across the airwaves.


To that end, Mine Creek Amateur Radio Club, a group of local amateur operators, is participating in American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day exercise on Saturday, June 22, in La Cygne City Park. Club members will set up in the park and begin contacting fellow operators up to thousands of miles away between 1 and 8 p.m.


The public is welcome to stop by the event and learn more about the club, amateur operators, and what they do.


Saturday’s field day is a national/North American annual event in disaster communications training, according to Ron Cowan, a longtime member of the group. Clubs and groups across the country participate in this 80 year old tradition.


The object is to put together a station and get on the air from parks, vacant lots,

county emergency operations center or maybe  someone’s  back yard. Operators then see how many other groups they can contact in a given time primarily using short wave frequencies.


More than 1,500  groups across the country will be participating, Cowan said.


According to ARRL, ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur radio people are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations. 


“The Amateur Radio Service frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where you as an individual can develop and experiment with wireless communications,” according to the organization. “Hams not only can make and modify their equipment but can create whole new ways to do things.”

For more information, go to the ARRL website, www.arrl.org .


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