By Jim McDonald, Administrator (MAARC)—
YORKTOWN, IN—Members of Delaware County’s amateur radio community will join forces June 27-28 at Morrow’s Meadow for a 24-hour test of communications skills and emergency preparedness. Called “Field Day”, hobbyists will set up and operate portable radio stations and network with similar stations across North America. Hours of operation will be 2 p.m. Saturday through 2 p.m. Sunday.
“Since 1933, the amateur community has come together for the largest all-volunteer radio communications exercise in the world,” according to Gary Lee, administrator of the Yorktown Amateur (or Amateur) Radio Club, known as EMCOMM ECI (Emergency Communications for East Central Indiana.) “The Muncie and Yorktown clubs have worked together on other projects and we look forward to testing our skills on this project,” Lee continued.
It is called field day, as the stations will operate in situations that could be encountered in an emergency – man-made or natural – where everyday communication systems such as telephones or utility radios are rendered inoperative. While this is not a literal contest, stations like this will attempt to make as many contacts as possible within the given time frame.
Often, during natural disasters, amateur radio operators are the first to broadcast information to the world because their radios do not depend on the infrastructure to communicate.
Drew Bennett, president of the Muncie Area Amateur Radio Club, said nearly 35,000 amateurs across the continent are expected to take part in weekend activities. “We encourage the public to stop and visit us. We will have a transmitter set up just for the public to try their hand at speaking around the world. We will have licensed operators available to work with people who are curious about how we make contact on battery-powered radios with a wire stretched between two trees,” Bennett said.
Field Day is sponsored by the American Radio Relay League– a 100-plus-year-old organization representing the approximately 725,000 licensed amateurs in the United States (and on the International Space Station.)