TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Members of the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise this weekend at United Steelworkers Grounds on East Quinn Avenue in Terre Haute.
Since 1933, amateur radio operators across North America have established temporary amateur radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public.
For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.
David Brown is Chairman of the 2021 Field Day event. “I think it’s a cool hobby. I mean, I got the bug. I just started in January. I didn’t know what ham radio was in November and I got my first little handheld radio and I would listen to the guys.”
Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 36,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2019.
“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,” Sean Kutzko of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio, said. “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.”
Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in the Wabash Valley.