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Hear about marvels of ham radio during Field Day event

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Amateur radio operators in Roane County will join “hams” from all across the country in a public demonstration of emergency communications during National Amateur Radio Field Day.

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The special weekend of events will be on June 25-26 at Fort Southwest Point, Kingston. The 24-hour demonstration will be from 2 p.m. Saturday until 2 p.m. Sunday.

This annual Field Day event is the climax of American Radio Relay League’s Amateur Radio Week.

Using only emergency power supplies, Roane County ham operators will join with others in constructing emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.

“We hope that people will come and see for themselves this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore,” said Allen Pitts, W1AGP, of the ARRL.

“The communications that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives when other systems failed or were overloaded. And besides that – it’s fun!”

The slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the hams, who will use the special weekend to prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s event.

Over the past few years, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America. These include the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other worldwide events.

During Hurricane Katrina, amateur radio was often the only way people could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer hams traveled South to help save lives and property.

During the weekend’s event, amateur radio operators will show the newest digital and satellite capabilities and voice communications combined with the historic Morse Code.

Roane County Amateur Radio Club welcomes the public to Fort Southwest Point to witness ham radio’s new capabilities and hear how to get their own FCC radio license before the next disaster strikes.

There are more than 685,000 amateur radio licensees in the U.S., and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free.

Visit www.emergency-radio.org for more about ham radio. For information in Roane County, contact Cliff Segar KD4GT at kd4gt@arrl.net, Jim White K4APY at k4apy@arrl.net — or visit the Roane County Amateur Radio Club website at www.ke4rx.org.