Radio amateurs from the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club will take part in a National Amateur Radio Exercise “Field Day” from 2 p.m. Saturday June 25 to 2 p.m. Sunday June 26 at the Sussex County Fire Academy (114 Morris Turnpike, Newton). The objective will be to contact a maximum of stations on the high frequency bands 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters, as well as all the bands 50 MHz and more, and to learn to operate “in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions,” according to ARRL, the National Amateur Radio Association. The ARRL has conducted this exercise since 1933.
Radio amateurs from across North America 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 reach across borders, brings people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities,” the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club said in a statement. “Field Day highlights the ability of amateur radio to operate reliably in all conditions from almost any location and to create an independent wireless communication network.”
Some Sussex County participants will also use the radio stations set up in their homes or taken to their backyards and elsewhere to operate individually or with their families. They may also use portable radio communications which include alternative power sources such as generators, solar panels and batteries to power their equipment.
This year’s event is also notable given that a particularly active hurricane season is expected.
“Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communications infrastructure, including cellphone towers,” said club president Kelly Leavitt (call sign KE2L ).
“Amateur radio operates completely independent of the Internet and telephone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly elevate a wire antenna up a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others,” Kelly added.
During Field Day 2021, more than 26,000 amateur radio operators participated from 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.
Among the principles of the amateur radio service are the development and practice of skills in radio technology and radio communications, and even the contribution to international goodwill. Amateur radio users range in age from nine to over 100 years old.