Anyone who has ever wondered what ham radio is all about has the opportunity to learn at Amateur Radio Field Day. The free event will be held from 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25 until 2 p.m. Sunday June 26 by local amateur radio clubs.
The Amateur Radio Club of Columbia County will hold its event at the Grovetown Lions Club, 105 Whisky Road, while the Amateur Radio Club of Augusta field day will be at Blythe City Hall, 294 Church Street.
“People can come out, and we’ll guide them through opportunities to talk on the radio to people around the world,” says Rusty Welsh, the Columbia County club president.
During the annual event, amateur radio operators across North America establish temporary ham radio stations in public locations to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio. The goal is to test preparedness skills, including deployment and operations of equipment, and to contact as many other amateur radio stations around the globe as possible during the 24-hour period.
Ham radio operators provide a critical public service for the community during times of disaster, and they can provide reliable communications when the normal infrastructure is offline or overwhelmed. Licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and trained in the art and science of radio communications as well as basic electronics theory, amateur radio operators own and maintain their own communications equipment and are prohibited by federal law from receiving payment for services.
“A lot of people have no idea what amateur radio is, but we want people to know we’re here,” says Chris Clark, the Augusta club president. “We pride ourselves on being an educational club. We do a lot of community service during events and emergency situations in the area.”