Ham radio operators plan local field day

Dick, call leters AD7AF, makes Morse Code contacts during last year's event.

NAHCOTTA - Pacific County Amateur Radio Club members are again testing their emergency communications gear and their operating skills in this year's North American Field Day event.

The public is invited to observe amateur radio at work and to take part by sending an e-mail to a friend or relative via radio or by learning how to make contact with another radio station in North America. One radio station is dedicated for use by the public and for amateurs who don't normally operate on the short-wave bands. Another station is dedicated for public demonstrations and educational activities.

Official operations begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 27 and continue non-stop until 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 28 at the Nahcotta Mooring Basin of the Port of Peninsula and at the adjacent Morehead Park. The best time to visit the operation is Saturday midday through late afternoon. Stop by the information booth for a brochure and get directions to the other activities or ask about becoming a licensed radio operator yourself. There's good parking available at the port.

In addition to the radio stations dedicated for public participation, the club will have a voice station at the port and a Morse Code station at Morehead Park. These two stations will have elaborate antennas set up and will be operating around the clock to see how many other stations in North America they can contact. Last year the local club again had the highest score in the state of Washington in its class.

Other stations operating for shorter periods on Saturday afternoon will send messages to public officials and make long distance contacts via Amateur Radio Satellite. All of the operations that you see will be using emergency power and be independent of the public utility. Last year, the Morse Code station operated entirely from batteries with no recharging or use of a gasoline generator.

This event is a good opportunity to find out how amateur radio can help the next time we have a big storm that knocks out power, telephone, and Internet, for example. Come join in the fun, learn something about amateur radio, and cheer us on. For more information check the club Web site, (www.qsl.net/w7rdr), or call Bob Cline, Emergency Communications Radio Officer at 665-4496 or Dick Lemke, club president, 665-2438.

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