Loudoun radio amateurs begin the day’s emergency exercise in the field

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Beginning at 2 p.m. today, dozens of members of Loudoun’s amateur radio group will take part in an emergency communications training exercise known as Field Day 2018.

The 24-hour event features FCC-licensed amateur radio operators — known as radio amateurs — in constant domestic and international radio communication using a generator or battery-powered equipment. The exercise simulates conditions that would be encountered in a disaster or emergency scenario.

This year’s event at Franklin Park west of Purcellville. The public is invited to tour the radio stations and even participate in live contact.

“Field Day weekend involves more than 35,000 volunteer amateur radio operators across North America practicing our skill in communicating when all else fails,” said LARG President Jeff Crawford. “This family event is open to the public and we especially invite young people who are interested in science and technology to come and put themselves on the air with the help of one of our members.

The event will feature seven radio stations operating on separate frequencies, including one via satellite and others using exclusively Morse code. The organizers are also planning a radio station for young people to talk to remote radio operators under the supervision of trained and licensed LARG members.

The Amateur Radio Relay League, the national organization with which LARG is affiliated, sponsors Field Day competitions in several categories. The Loudoun Group often ranks first or among the best of hundreds of clubs across the country in these competitions.

Field Day begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 and continues non-stop all night, rain or shine, until 2 p.m. on Sunday. The LARG site is located near the sports fields overlooking the Franklin Park Arts Center at 36441 Blueridge View Lane.

Visitors are welcome during normal park daylight hours.


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