Amateur Radio Field Day this weekend focuses on emergency communication




FAIR LAWN – Members of the Northern New Jersey amateur radio clubs will participate in the National Amateur Field Day Exercise, which begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 and ends on Sunday, June 24, also at 2 p.m.

Since 1933, amateur radio operators across North America have established temporary “amateur” radio stations in public places during Field Day weekend to showcase the science and skills of amateur radio. The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. Over 45,000 “hams” from thousands of places participated in Field Day in 2017.

Participants for the day in central Jersey include the Carteret Volunteers Amateur Radio Club in Carteret Park, the Cherryville Repeater Association in Milford, the New Providence Amateur Radio Club at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club in South Plainfield, and the Tri-County Radio Association on the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside.

For more than 100 years, amateur radio has allowed people from all walks of life to experience electronics and communication skills, as well as providing free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without having to need a cell phone or internet.

Field Day demonstrates the ability of amateur radio to operate reliably in any condition from almost any location and to create an independent communication network. Amateur radio operators train and prepare to support emergency communications by providing radio links when other communication channels are not functioning.

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This year’s event is particularly poignant following the impact of hurricanes in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico; the latter, which left critical communications to the sole responsibility of amateur operators in the first critical days after the storm.

“In the event of a disaster, we learned that cell phone towers wouldn’t work and that amateur radio operators play a huge role when that happens.” said Rob Roschewsk, head of the North New Jersey chapter of the American Radio Relay League. “Amateur radio operates completely independent of the Internet or mobile phone infrastructure and can be set up almost anywhere in a matter of minutes. That’s the beauty of amateur radio during a communication failure.

“Hams can literally throw a wire up a tree for an antenna, connect it to a generator, solar or battery-powered transmitter, and communicate effectively with others,” Roschewsk added. “In today’s electronic DIY environment, amateur radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and many other scientific disciplines, and is a tremendous asset to any community during disasters if the standard communications infrastructure fails … amateur radio remains contemporary and more important than ever. ”

Anyone can become a licensed amateur radio operator; there are more licensed operators in the United States today than ever before. For more information, contact Ed Efchak at or or visit

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