Amateur Radio: Outstanding in the Field
If you're alive, you know that diasaster may strike anywhere at any time. Yes, government, national, state and local is supposed to be there; radio and television is supposed to be there; phone service is supposed to be there but time after time they ain't!
And that's where ham radio (amateur radio) operators step in. Scattered throughout the country, in deed the world, again and again, ham radio has filled the communication void where all else is failed. In the U.S. there are about 600,000 amateur radio operators each with their own independent radio or television station most of which are capable of reaching anywhere in the North American continent at almost any time of the day or night and at times anywhere in the world.
Once a year, hams have a nationwide exercise in emergency prepardedness and communication called Field Days. Field Days this year was held Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24. The Runestone Radio Club of Alexandrria with members from all over Central Minnesota held their communications exercise at the park in Osakis. The exercise is in a contest format with both individuals and clubs participating. The basic idea is to assemble radio stations using emergency power, get them on the air and communicate with as many other stations as possible within a 24 hour time span.
Field Day is sponsored by Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), a national organization representing amateur radio.
Andy Ring, ham radio operator KC0SAL, and Wayne Stevens, KD0AAA , chalk up contacts with other hams during Field Day 2007.
Above: AA0EV, Jay Wood of Alexandria is a long time member of the Runestone Radio Club of Alexandria. Left: George Schouweiler, N0RCL, and John Ross, W0JAR lend their support as Wayne Johanson, WA0EBZ, works on a radio.
Marrying the modern radio with a laptop computer, Jon Haaven, AB0BF communicates in the earliest form of radio communications, Morse Code.