Amateur Radio “Field Day” June 22 and 23 Demonstrates Science, Skill, and Service
May 31, 2019
Members of the Santa Fe Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 22 – 23, at Ensor Park on 183rd Street between US-169 and Ridgeview in south Olathe, KS. Since 1933, federally licensed Amateur Radio operators across North America establish temporary radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the STEM skills of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend anytime from 1 PM Saturday till 1 PM Sunday.
For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service . Field Day demonstrates the Amateur Radio service's ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location, and on that weekend, Field Day creates an independent communications network that spans the entire North American continent and beyond. 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. Amateur 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 the Amateur Radio Service during a communications outage.
Amateur Radio Operators 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. “Amateur Radio Operators do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, Amateur Radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific (STEM) disciplines. In addition, Amateur Radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”
Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in the Kansas City area.
For more information about Field Day or Amateur Radio, check out sftarc.org or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio .