24-hour amateur radio field day taking place this weekend

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 25, 2017

"If you lost cell phone communication, if you lost the ability even to charge your cell phone and you wouldn't have communication, ham radio has a separate infrastructure that it can use to provide communications anywhere, anytime", he said.

Rocker has been operating ham radios for almost 40 years.

"The cellphone is for calling friends", Newland said.

Newland is one of around 30 participants set up at the Aiken County Government Center for the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise this weekend.

He's been able to make contacts as far as Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Amateur radio is an important tool, as people can often still use it to communicate when all else fails, according to Steven Czaikowski, who was stationed in the Morse code trailer.

The objective is to work as many stations as possible during the field day.

Ham radio operators say they will be busy through Saturday night and into Sunday afternoon communicating with other ham organizations throughout the country.

"This exercise shows how amateur radio can provide emergency communications by relaying messages in the event of human or natural disasters when no other means of communication are available", organizers wrote in a press release.

One member recalls a disaster when demonstrations like this one became reality. There are more than 700,000 amateur radio operators in the United States.

A field day chairman said they plan to contact people in all 50 states.

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