tiptrot.com March 19, 2018

Radio Club holds a 24 hour field exercise

26 June 2017, 12:34 | Cynthia Sparks

Wrecks around the county were causing grid-lock traffic everywhere

Wrecks around the county were causing grid-lock traffic everywhere

"This exercise shows how amateur radio can provide emergency communications by relaying messages in the event of human or natural disasters when no other means of communication are available", organizers wrote in a press release.

They typically will use electrical power from generators, wind power, or solar power.

On the weekend of June 24-25, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Whitley County ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the US will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.

The event was held in Martinsburg, but there are hundreds across the nation. All equipment in use Saturday afternoon is owned and maintained by members, whose motto is, "Ham radio works when other systems don't".

It's free to watch and HAMs will be on site to explain the hobby to visitors. "The ham guys on microphones can't do that". All ham radio operators have to take classes in order to sit for a Federal Communication Commission license.

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio's people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.

"Hurricane Katrina was a big showcase for hams, many of whom traveled to the South in a volunteer effort to save lives and property", Christovich said.

He's been able to make contacts as far as Saudi Arabia and Yemen. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year's event.

"I call it real time texting or real time email", Alan Swinger, club member, said.

The club's drill runs non-stop until 2 p.m.at the Emergency Communications Center in Charlottesville.

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