Are you here? 24-Hour Amateur Radio Field Event Makes Contact | News

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On Saturday at Camp Catalpa Park, members of the Central Kentucky Amateur Radio Society (CKARS) kicked off the 24-hour Field Day event to test their emergency preparedness using their amateur radio equipment. making as many contacts with other radio stations as possible.

CKARS has set up six stations under the park’s tents and pavilions. Two stations strictly used Morse code while the other four stations used voice.

The club used this event to test its ability to contact others. Points are awarded to the club for each contact made, and bonus points can be awarded according to different criteria.

According to Byron Perkins, president of CKARS, the club has established more than 3,500 contacts with stations around the world.

When an operator made contact with a station, they recorded the call sign, number of operators, and location. This year, the furthest contact was Japan.

The stations also operated on different bands depending on the time of day. For example, operators used 20 or 40 meter bands during the day, while 80 meter bands operated at night.

For bonus points, one station was solar-powered while the others were powered by generators.

Other bonus points were awarded at CKARS for being visited by a reporter and providing information packets at each station.

According to Perkins, operators would take shifts to ensure each operator was properly rested during the 24-hour event. The operators needed enough rest to serve the 50 visitors passing through the stations.

Any visitor could learn about amateur radio, including the bands the radios used, the generators that powered the stations, the satellites that helped the radios make contact, and more. The visitors also included Madison County officials and emergency management officials, which awarded the team bonus points.

Part of the National Amateur Radio Association (AARL), CKARS merged into two clubs in 1991 and has over 75 members in total. For most of the club’s existence, Team CKARS has finished first in its Field Day class at Kentucky.

However, CKARS won’t know how they fared until the AARL releases the results several months from now.

There are more than 775,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the United States and nearly 10,000 in Kentucky, all participating in Field Day. With clubs like CKARS, it’s easy for anyone to get involved right here in Madison County.

For more information on participation, contact Byron Perkins at sandridge01@gmail.com.


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