Amateur radio operators set up shop at Rockingham County Fair Grounds

Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 8:38 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - This weekend ham radio operators are showing off their skills across the country in the National Amateur Radio Field Day.

”Basically it’s the biggest ham radio event in the country. It brings us together to try and make as many contacts in as much of an emergency setup as we can,” Paul Helmuth, president of Massanutten Amateur Radio Association (MARA) said.

Field day is a showcase of how the independent communication network operates.

“It’s something that, you know, people can learn of all ages and continue to use throughout their entire life,” Helmuth said.

This nationwide event allows amateur radio operators to practice their skills by setting up stations and making contacts all over the world.

“It teaches you a little bit about science this is great for that STEM student or that TSA student that you have,” Helmuth said. “It’s great for that Boy Scout because being prepared is part of that prep community and it’s a good thing for those kids to get their hands on.”

At the Rockingham County fairgrounds, there are five stations set up.

There’s a phone station that uses short wave radio to talk all over the world, a morse code station, and a digital station that uses computers to communicate are the first three.

The other stations include a “get on the air” station where those who are licensed give hands-on experience to those we aren’t but are interested in amateur radio, and one that is for local communication.

“If we have an emergency where we have a communications failure whether its widespread cell phone and public safety communication failures ... we would be able to bring in radio amateurs to provide communications to public safety to the community,” Helmuth said.

If you want to learn more about ham radio, the field day continues until 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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