Community

Radio club has a field day open to all

The Island County Amateur Radio Club is offering the public a chance to meet and talk with ham radio operators and see for themselves what the amateur radio service is about.

As part of this event set for the weekend of June 27 and 28, non-licensed persons may also make contacts with other amateur radio operators around the U.S. and the world.

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 from Whidbey Island will construct emergency stations in the Rhododendron State Park, 502 W. Patmore Rd., Coupeville. The event, open to the public, starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and ends at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The Island County Amateur Radio Club will join with thousands of amateur radio operators who will be showing off their emergency capabilities. 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.

Their slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t!,” 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.

“We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore,” said Julie Mercer, president of the ICARC. “The communications that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives when other systems failed or were overloaded. And besides that, it’s fun!”

The Island County Amateur Radio Club offers education and help to all people interested in ham radio. The club also provides radio support to numerous community events including the Coupeville Water Festival, Whidbey Island Triathlon, Tour de Whidbey, Oak Harbor Fourth of July parade, Island County Fair parade, and more. For more information on ICARC, visit www.w7avm.org, or call 679-3127.

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