Ham Radio Operators Participate in National Readiness Exercise

By  | 

Amateur radio operators around the country are testing their emergency equipment in an annual event.

It's known as Field Day in the amateur radio community. The goal is to dust off emergency equipment and make sure it is ready when needed. in Lincoln, these volunteers are set up at Mahoney Park near 70th and Fremont.

Gregory Brown, a ham radio operator since 1961 said it is called a contest but in reality, it is more for socializing with people interested in the hobby. Of course, the group is hoping to have bragging rights, especially if they are able to establish communications in all 50 states, all the Canadian Provinces and some select areas in the world.

Hams set up antennas, generators, windmill and even solar panels to provide the power necessary to operate the radios, just as they may be needed after a disaster.

Brown said many of the same people at this year's Field Day are the same people involved in storm spotting locally. They are even testing some of the lesser used emergency generators and other items, owned by Lancaster County Emergency Management. If they discover something not working properly, it can be repaired so it is ready if needed for a real disaster.

The event is open to the public and anyone who may want to learn about the amateur radio hobby. There is even a special radio station set up to encourage people who are not hams to ask questions and even get the opportunity to be on the radio themselves.

Brown said they will be at the park and running their radios until noon on Sunday. Anyone interested in learning more, seeing what they are doing first hand, or even getting on the radio should stop by.