Grimes County Amateur Radio Group, GCARG, call sign KG5PLK, participated in Field Day at VFW Post 4006 on Saturday June 25th. The event is an annual exercise held by amateur radio operators, hams, in the United States and Canada on the fourth full weekend of June. Its goal is to improve skills and test equipment needed for communication without relying on normal infrastructure such as cell towers, the Internet, or commercial power.
A generator and batteries powered the radio equipment and necessary fans outdoors in near triple-digit temperatures. Several types of antennas have been used, including: Those a few centimeters long found on portable radios; About 50 feet of paracord tied to a thread thrown over a tree branch with a fishing weight; A 40 foot telescopic antenna attached to a van and 100 feet of cable; A magnetic mount antenna seen on vehicles and a cookie sheet that works with a magnetic mount antenna if no vehicle is available. This method also works indoors and with other suitable metal objects.
Using multiple radio types and frequencies, GCARG members made contact with surrounding counties, California, Indiana, and Slovenia in Europe, more than 5,600 miles away. Plus, thanks to the generosity of Waller resident Stan Brown, GCARG members had the opportunity to tinker with period gear. The donated items had belonged to Brown’s father, Kermit Brown, KA6THA, a silent key. A silent key is a ham that has died.
The amateur radio hobby is open to all ages. More information at gcarg.org.