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WAKE FOREST — The Franklin County Amateur Radio Club participated in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise last weekend.
Members of the club met Saturday and Sunday at the intersection of Moore’s Pond Road and U.S. Highway 401.
The event was open to the public, with club members helping guests learn about amateur radio.
Amateur, or ham, radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day since 1933 to “showcase the science and skill of amateur radio,” according to a release. Ham radio operators “provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet,” the release said.
More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated last year in Field Day 2019 activities.
“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said David Isgur, communications manager for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate.
“Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.
“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter, and communicate halfway around the world,” Isgur added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves.
“In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines. In addition, amateur radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”
For more information on the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club, visit http://www.fcarc.net.