Ham radio is such a colorful term, several explanations have arisen about how it began.
This annual event, called "Field Day" is the climax of the week long "Amateur Radio Week" sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. "You've got to have a license before you talk on these frequencies".
A group of residents will spend their Saturday communicating with others throughout North America. Public demonstrations of this independent communications network will also include the actual building of radio equipment for the digital age at a "makers" table. Temporary antennas are set up and an electric generator is brought in for the radio gear.
"The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications", said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. During Superstorm Sandy, for example, landlines were rendered unusable and cellphone service was disrupted. "We always say when all else fails, ham radio".
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Ham radio clubs have provided emergency communications during numerous disasters here in America as well as around the world. Bryan said amateur radio can step in during those early hours by relaying information to keep different agencies in touch.
Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country are expected to demonstrate this capability during this year's event. "A lot of people don't know amateur radio is out there, that there's communication going on that they don't know about".
Before the internet put us in the fast lane to global communication, there was another way to connect with people around the world.
Then keep your ears open for the sound of high-speed beeps and words like "CQ Field Day.CQ Field Day..." - especially if you happen to be in Groveland Community Park. There are more than 735,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100.
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