Friday, 24 June 2016 13:48

Ham Radio to the Rescue

By | News
STILLWATER — Saratoga County ham radio operators will join with thousands of Amateur Radio operators June 25 through 26 to fine-tune their emergency capabilities. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency radio stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Locally, this year’s event takes place at the Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater. Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday and continuing through the night until 2 p.m. Sunday, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Saratoga County ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is all about. At the same time, they can get a first-hand look at the site of the first American victory of the Revolutionary War in 1777. This annual event, called “Field Day” is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for Amateur Radio. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of both the National Park Service and the ARRL, the groups have established a year-long collaboration to encourage operation of ham radio stations within more than 400 national parks and sites throughout the US. The slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to these ham operators, as they send messages using the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and even historical Morse code. It is all done without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, fun. “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,” said ARRL’s Sean Kutzko. “In today’s electronic-focused world, 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 if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.” Local ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for state and local agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free. Visitors will see ham radio’s new capabilities and can learn how to get their own FCC radio license and get on the air. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit:
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