ARRL Field Day: “Hams” take it to the streets June 26-27
Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana - Amateur Radio activities are growing and many radio operators, often called “hams,” will be showing
off their capabilities June 26-27 at The Gazebo near the public boat launch on Arthur Teague Parkway on the Bossier City side of the Red River.
Thousands of Amateur Radio operators will be Erecting radio stations at community parks, campgrounds, schools and emergency centers around the country, they will hold a “Field Day” showing their emergency communications capabilities while having fun talking and texting to friends with their radios.
Far from fading in the age of cell phones and Internet,
Amateur Radio has been growing in the US and 2009 saw over 30,000 new
people became “hams.” Figures from the ARRL, the national
association for Amateur Radio, show consistent growth for the past five
years. The technical skills of hams also improved as almost 50% of
American Amateur Radio operators now go beyond the entry level FCC
licensing requirements and pass the more difficult testing to earn
higher class federal licenses. There are now more than 682,000 Amateur
Radio operators in the US, and 2.5 million around the world.
In past months, many reports of ham radio operators
providing critical communications in emergencies have been in the news.
From Haiti to California, during floods, fires, earthquakes, tornados
and other crises, Amateur Radio volunteers are providing emergency
communications for many rescue and recovery groups. Amateur Radio
operators are often the first to report critical information to
responders in the first hours of crisis situations. FEMA, DHS, the
National Weather Service, and emergency management offices include
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) operators in their
communications plans. On June 26-27, the public will be able to meet
and talk with the hams and see for themselves what Amateur Radio is all
about. Using everything from Morse code to modern digital and satellite
systems, voice communications and even Web-radio hybrid capabilities,
they prove “It’s not just your Grandfather’s radio anymore.”
Several of the local Shreveport/Bossier amateur radio operators have deployed in the past during times of disaster, when normal communications were disrupted.
The amateur operators will construct temporary, emergency
style radio stations around the country for the weekend and send
messages in many forms -without the use any other infrastructure that
can be compromised in a crisis. Over 35,000 Amateur Radio operators
across the country participated in last year's event. To learn what
modern Amateur Radio systems can do, go to www.ARRL.org/fieldday.
There you can find information about the locations the Amateur Radio
operators will set up in your home area. They can even help you get on
For more info
Steven Lott Smith
Shreveport Amateur Radio Association 2010 Field Day Chairman