Ham radio operators to set up station
Littleton-based group takes part in global field day
Members of the Littleton Radio Amateurs, often called ham operators, will set up their equipment at the senior shelter in Cornerstone Park on June 28. For 24 hours, they will join others around the world in the Amateur Radio Relay League's field day activities.
The focus of field day is to demonstrate emergency communications without the use of phone systems, the Internet, power grid or any other link that could be knocked out in case of an emergency.
Locally, the Littleton club members will set up and operate a number of positions and use a number of methods to make contact with other amateur radio operators. Operators will use voice communications as well as Morse code to transmit the messages. The operators at the station will not use commercial power nor communicate by telephone or the Internet.
Many men and woman take up amateur radio as hobbies. The first step is to pass the tests and obtain a license. Then, it is up to the newly licensed operator to obtain the equipment that will operate on the frequencies set by the Federal Communications Commission for amateur radio operations.
Contacts for an amateur radio operator can range from someone across town to an operator in a country halfway around the world.
Field day is an annual ARRL event. The league is an international amateur radio organization, and its website states more than 35,000 amateur radio operators around the world will be operating and communicating from remote locations during field day activities.
Amateur radio operators, often called ham operators, have stepped up to provide emergency communications for years.
When an emergency knocks out phones and other regular communications, amateur radio operators often set up and operate their equipment to provide a communication link for emergency personnel. Another service is sending “I am OK” messages to families of area residents. All the services are provided free of charge.
Amateur radio operators provided communications links during last year's floods, plus they have provided backup communications for the American Red Cross and even the International Space Station.