HOWARD — The Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club invites the public to visit them during their annual Field Day Exercise on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23, near the Floral Valley Community Center in Apple Valley.
MVARC will be operating on emergency power attempting to make as many contacts, nationwide, as possible. ARRL Field Day is a nationwide exercise sponsored every year by the American Radio Relay League to help amateur radio operators prepare for possible deployment in case of emergency.
Amateur Radio, also known as Ham Radio, is gaining popularity. There are more licensed Amateur Radio operators now than ever. One of the reasons for the new surge of popularity is the Do It Yourself (DIY) aspect of the hobby. Young folk as well as old-timers are finding great pleasure building their own equipment and experimenting with Amateur Radio modes. New computer interfaces and Software Defined Radio have peaked the curiosity of our youth and attracts them to the Ham Radio hobby. Once they get their licenses many are finding that the old modes of operating, like using Morse code, are intriguing and challenging, and so more and more newcomers are learning Morse code. In fact, since the elimination of the Morse code requirement for a license, more people are actually using code on the air.
The Ham hobby includes many facets. Some build their own equipment. Some use wits over watts and make worldwide connection using as little power as possible. Hams text each other using digital modes without the need for an Internet connection. Many use their rigs to communicate through satellites orbiting the earth. There is something for everyone in amateur radio. In fact, it is a very family and educationally friendly hobby.
Amateur radio is more than a hobby, it is a service. The FCC considers amateur radio as a service. Amateur radio operators are often called into service when other communication systems fail. An example: Ham Radio was called into service during Hurricanes Katrina and like as well as last year’s derecho. In Knox County, the Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club activates a local network of radio operators to monitor all storms entering the county. They have the capability of reporting directly to the National Weather Service in Cleveland as spotters on the ground experience hail, high wind and heavy rain damage. Hams were called in to fill the gaps when communication failed during the Twin Towers attack and more recently when cell communication failed during the Boston Marathon bombings.
MVARC welcomes all comers to visit at the Floral Valley Field Day site. They will even let visitors have the chance to talk on their radios.
Published on June 19, 2013