Field Day held for radio operators

BAZETTA -Every year, amateur ham radio operators nationwide set up camps to test their ability to communicate with others not only in the United States but worldwide.

One group, the Warren Amateur Radio Association, spent 24 hours at Mosquito Lake State Park as part of the nationwide field day where radio operators stayed on air from 2 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Warren Amateur Radio Club President Gary Grimes said the American Radio Relay League hosts the field day as a way for operating for emergency preparedness practice and readiness.

Grimes said the mock disaster conditions allowed the operators to see how many people they were able to be in contact with during the time period. He said he has made many contacts throughout the United States and in Europe at previous events.

“The objective is to contact other stations also holding field day operations,” Grimes said.

Grimes said this is the fourth year the Warren Club has taken part in the event at the park.

All contacts are logged on computers. Grimes said the ARRL will score the points and rank everyone by their classification. He said the local group is known as the 5 Alpha who are all running on different classifications.

The field day also offers the opportunity to learn to operate the radios, which are run on generator power.

“It is a really broad hobby and fun,” he said noting the event is held the last full weekend in June.

Jackie Williams of Windsor said she enjoys talking to others all over the country and all over the world.

” I have talked to people in Italy, Cuba and Germany,” Williams said.

She said she is able to operate as long as she can even in the middle of the night with the ranger checking on the group.

Williams said many people know the event is taking place and are prepared to answer the signals.

”I give them my call signal and they repeat it back and we log it in the computer to get points,” she said noting most speak English and have to identify their call number in English.

The club meets at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church on Park Avenue.