Tri-County Amateur Radio Club to Work Ham Radio Field Day
Fort Worth, TX, June 19, 2012 –(PR.com)– Public Demo of Emergency Communications June 23-24.
Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiberoptic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Azle and Fort Worth “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend.
Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications. On the weekend of June 23-24, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Azle and Fort Worth area ham radio operators and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about as hams across the USA will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
In preparation for the event, the Azle Mayor and City Council will issue a proclamation on June 19 declaring Amateur Radio week in the city of Azle, in recognition of the ongoing cooperation between the Tri-County Amateur Radio Club and the City of Azle. The Tri-County radio operators maintain a ham radio station in the Azle Fire Chief's office to help with backup communications in the event of a disaster. The group promotes participation with the Tarrant County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), and with the National Weather Service Skywarn program.
This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long "Amateur Radio Week" sponsored by the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, "When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year's event.
"The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications,” said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. “From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to tornadoes in Missouri, ham radio provided the most reliable communication networks in the first critical hours of the events. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available. We need nothing between us but air.”
In the Azle and Fort Worth area, the Tri-County Amateur Radio Club and the Disaster Relief Emergency Communication Team will combine forces with the Parker County Baptist Disaster Relief Communicators, and will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Ash Creek Park on June 23, 2012 from 1pm to midnight. They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes. Ash Creek Park is located at 605 SE Parkway in Azle.
In preparation for the Field Day event, the Tri-County club members have held work days to design and build simple wire antennas and baluns. The wire antennas are lightweight, and ideal for portable and field operations. The baluns help minimize intereference between the several stations that will be operating at the Field Day site. Stations will include several stations demonstrating Skywave propogation techniques (refracting radio waves through the atmosphere), satellite communications, digital (computer) communications over the air, and morse code. A special station for getting on the air (GOTA) will be open to members of the public to try their hand operating and contacting distant stations around the USA and Canada, under the guidance of a radio coach.
Amateur Radio is growing in the US. There are now over 700,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non- emergency community services too, all for free.
To learn more about Amateur Radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams. See what modern Amateur Radio can do. They can even help you get on the air!
For more information about the Tri-County Amateur Radio Club, contact:
Tri-County Amateur Radio Club of North Texas WC5C
Contact via Email
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