Ham radio field day demonstrates science, skill and service

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The field Day crew: left to right: George Szadis, Michelle Mann, Bill Mann, John Huffman, Paul Gooch, Randy Gauvin, Tom Marshall.

LIVERMORE – Members of the Bass Hill Repeater Group and Franklin County Amateur Radio Emergency Service spent the weekend, June 23 and 24, in a field near Round Pond in Livermore, participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise. 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.

For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes 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 to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2018.

Locally, BHRG/ARES members arrived Saturday morning at the Field Day site to set up antennas and a generator and run power and antenna cables to a small camper used as a temporary radio station or “ham shack.” Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and non-stop for the following 24 hours, members made radio contacts with other operators across North America and Canada. Using voice and Morse Code, they made over 400 contacts.

Operators this year included Tom Marshall, Farmington; Bill and Michelle Mann, Monmouth; John Huffman, Waterford; George Szadis, Winthrop; Randy Gauvin, Farmington; and Paul Gooch, Wells.

Anyone interested in getting involved in ham radio is welcome to contact the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency at 778-5892 for more information.

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