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'Hams' get dialed in for field day event

 

Last updated 7/1/2018 at 7:40am

Shane Gibson photos

Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club members Roger Moynihan (K6RPM), left, and Ron Patten (KG6HSQ) begin making contacts with other amateur radio users at the start of the annual Amateur Radio Field Day event at William H. Frazier Elementary School June 23.

FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club held Field Day 2018, an emergency preparedness exercise lasting 24 hours, from June 23, 11 a.m. till Sunday, June 24, 11 a.m. at Frazier Elementary School's athletic field.

Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

During emergencies and natural disasters normal modes of communication such as telephones, cell phones and the internet usually become overloaded and fail. Amateur Radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur Radio is well-known for its communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations.

The club also assists in community events such as the Fallbrook Avocado Festival and parades.

A variety of ham radio antennas are set up at William H. Frazier Elementary School for the Amateur Radio Field Day event.

During the recent Lilac Fire, the Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club's repeaters (repeaters re-transmit radio signals to extend range) were used by local radio operators with vantage points from at home or mobile, observing the fire and road conditions, to provide supplementary information to North County Fire, and to provide verified information from North County Fire from a radio operator stationed at headquarters.

The radio transmissions could have been heard with a radio scanner or with a smartphone app or computer, from audio streamed via the internet. Information at http://www.fallbrookarc.org/index.php/gener/listen.

Amateur radio operators must pass exams that test their knowledge of electronics and communication procedures in order to get licensed by the FCC. Once licensed they are issued a unique call sign and have earned the privilege to use frequencies in the radio spectrum that are allocated for the amateur radio Service. Some of these frequencies are for short-range communications while others are capable of contacts over distances of thousands miles. There are over 727,000 licensed hams in the United States.

 

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