BOISE, Idaho – Amateurs from the City of Boise Auxiliary Communications Department in Boise participated in a nationwide amateur radio exercise. Which started from 12:00 p.m. on Saturday until 2:00 p.m. on Sunday June 27-28. The event is ARRL field day, an annual amateur radio activity organized since 1933 by the ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio in the United States.
Radio amateurs across North America usually participate in Field Day by establishing temporary amateur radio stations in public places to demonstrate their skills and service. Their use of radio signals, which cross borders, brings people together while ensuring essential communication in the service of communities. Field Day showcases the ability of amateur radio to perform reliably under any conditions from almost any location and to create an independent wireless communication network.
The Town of Boise maintains an active amateur radio station as part of disaster preparedness, business continuity (COOP) planning and also to ensure that radio operations skills are maintained in the event of a emergency.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s event will be very different from previous years. Maintaining public health restrictions and social distancing practices will limit group gatherings for Field Day. Instead, radio amateurs in southwestern Idaho will use radio stations set up in their homes or taken to their backyards and other places to function individually. Many radio amateurs have portable radio communication capability that includes alternative energy sources such as generators, solar panels, and batteries to power their equipment.
This year’s event is also noteworthy given the onset of a rather active early hurricane season. “Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communications infrastructure, including cell phone towers,” said Buddy Jacob, amateur radio operator and director of radio communications for the town of Boise – call sign K7HBJ. “Amateur radio operates completely independent of the Internet and telephone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in a matter of minutes. Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna up in a tree or on a pole, connect it to a radio and a power source, and communicate effectively with others, ”added Buddy Jacob.
During Field Day 2019, over 36,000 hams participated in thousands of locations across North America. According to the ARRL, there are over 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the United States and approximately 3 million worldwide. “Throughout COVID-19, hams around the world have continued to be on air to practice their skills, in part to help overcome social isolation and online fatigue,” the spokesperson said. ‘ARRL, Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R.