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Ham radio operators will stage Field Day

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Local amateur radio operators will participate in Field Day June 28-29 to test their emergency communication readiness.

It will go on for 24 hours as part of a larger exercise throughout North and South America and the Caribbean as a means of practicing preparedness for natural or manmade disasters.

“This is a very big event in the world of this hobby,” said David Greer, publicity chairman for Capital Amateur Radio Society (CARS). “It’s something a lot of people in clubs look forward to.”

Stations typically put equipment in public locations such as parks and use emergency generators for power.

“This is to simulate a disaster-type situation,” Greer said. “This year there’s a new wrinkle.”

Ham radio stations are now permitted to operate from state Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs). Members of the Frankfort club will set up stations at the Kentucky EOC in the Boone National Guard Center, where they are “very fortunate” to have a permanent set-up. Three stations are located within the EOC and one or two will be in a communication trailer outside the EOC, giving Frankfort four or five amateur radio stations for the 24-hour period. Greer says they may not all be active the entire time.

“Each contact will be very brief,” Greer said of the transmissions that will be sent from station to station. He says the event will turn into a contest by 2 p.m. Sunday, determining which station can contact the most locations. “Some stations will have made thousands and thousands of two-way contacts.

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