Amateur Radio Field Day demonstrates science, skill, service
Event coming to Templeton June 25-26
– Members of the Paso Robles Amateur Radio Club will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on the weekend of June 25-26 at the Templeton High School Jack Allen Practice Field, 1200 Main Street, Templeton. The event is open to the public.
During the event, radio operators across North America establish temporary radio stations in public locations to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. It is a 24-hour emergency preparedness exercise and demonstration of the radio amateurs’ skills and readiness. The day demonstrates amateur radio’s ability to work reliably under adverse conditions from almost any location.
Paso Robles Mayor Steven Martin proclaimed June 19-26, 2022, to be Amateur Radio Week in the City of Paso Robles, in appreciation of the many volunteer services provided to the community. Field Day is the culminating event of the week.
The event has been an annual tradition since 1933. More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in 2019 activities. Though COVID-19 has disrupted the event over the past two years, participation in 2022 will be back on track.
For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also called ham radio — has enabled people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, and to provide a free public service to their communities in emergencies. This is especially crucial when cell phones and Internet services are disrupted during a disaster.
While technology has changed, the goals of the service remain constant. “It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate…” said David Isgur, communications manager for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “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 independently of the Internet, landlines, or the cellphone infrastructure, and can also interface with computers, tablets, or smartphones. It can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the advantage of amateur radio during a communications outage.
“In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines,” Isgur said. “In addition, Amateur Radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”
Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100. And with groups such as the Paso Robles Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for everyone to get involved right here in Paso Robles.