TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Throughout the weekend the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association used only generators, radios and other methods to communicate.
One of the main reasons for this exercise was to help prepare for situations in which cell towers may lost service or power is lost.
From the Hoosier state to the other side of the Earth, the Association has been working to make contact with as many people as possible using amateur radio or ham radio. It was part of the amateur radio field. Many individuals stayed up overnight attempting to grab a signal from different corners of the earth.
“I think we’ve been able to hit Australia. We’ve had guys working all night,” said David Brown, chairman for Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Field Day. “When the night comes, the other side of the world kind of opens up due to the sun being in a different location. When it goes down propagation changes so we can activate different places.”
Others say this is more than a contest with others across the country but’s a way to test their equipment for emergency situations such as hurricanes, fires and floods.
“Just a couple of years ago Puerto Rico absolutely devastated with hurricanes and the only method of communication they had was ham radio operators,” said Leroy Sedgwick, president of the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association. They went down there and stayed there months on end communicating.”
There are challenges when communicating with people from different countries like language and time barriers but when using ham radio, they don’t run into those situations as often as you may think.
“Typically guys that are on the, from different countries, a lot of them speak English if they’re on hand radio,” said Brown. “I’ll get on and hear guys speaking English. So it’s just a matter of if they’re multi-lingual.”
During their field day, the group was able to make contact with over 1,100 people across the world.