This weekend my local Ham Radio Club, the North Richland Hills Amateur Radio Club (K5NRH), will be participating in the 2019 ARRL Field Day exercises.
Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. They invite the public to attend and learn about Amateur Radio Field Day.
Field Day was formed as a way to practice their skills as emergency communicators through community events, disaster response or weather related issues. The NRH Amateur Radio operators will be using skills to communicate with some of the other 700,000 licensed radio operators in this country.
This year Field Day will start this Saturday, June 22 beginning at 1pm and run thru 1pm Sunday, June 23, 2019.
This is a 24 hour event that is open to the public, which will be held at the NRH Fire Administration building located at 7202 Dick Fisher Dr. NRH, TX 76180.
We will be using the call sign W5R for our normal club activities and will be using K5R for our GOTA station.
More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated last year in Field Day 2018 activities. “It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said David Isgur, communications manager for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio.
“But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate,” Isgur said. “Ham radio functions completely independent of the internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage. 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,” Isgur added.
If you hear us on the air, please give us a shout. We look forward to hearing you on the air and if you are local and not a Ham already, please come by and learn more about ham radio and how to become a ham along with information about our club. We would love to see you and help you learn about being a “Ham”.
Ham radio operators play a vital role in helping meteorologists and emergency responders in storms like we experienced yesterday.
Ever heard a meteorologist on tv say, “…reported by a ham” or “from a local storm spotter”? These are ham radio operators who volunteer their time to help keep our community safe. Some hams will train to become storm watchers and form a network across the Metroplex to report weather conditions. These reports help meteorologists predict and track weather to more effectively warn you about potential dangers. Hams also report storm damage with your local EOC (Emergency Operations Center) listening in to take action and know where to send help.
Some hams train to become CERT certified. This means they are part of a Community Emergency Response Team. They participate in helping during emergencies, not just weather emergencies.
Finally, when cell towers and electricity are out, hams can still operate and get messages through. After Katrina, hams were often the only ones able to send and receive communication, the only ones who could let you know that your family survived and the only ones inside the storm damaged area that could receive your message that Aunt Sally needed meds or Uncle Joe has a heart condition.
Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as the North Richland Hills Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Tarrant County.
Come out on Saturday and learn how you can protect your community by becoming a ham radio operator. We would love to see you.