The race takes place this weekend so that local amateur radio users reach out to as many other radio enthusiasts as possible.
A local group of amateur radio operators will represent Glynn County on Saturday and Sunday on National Amateur Radio Day at Blythe Island Regional Park.
“We’re going to go out and take batteries or a generator, plug in radios and tie cables to trees or poles, which allows us to communicate in times of disaster,” said Mel Hayden, who will be attending the event.
Amateur radio, also known as amateur radio, allows people of any profession to experience how a radio works and to communicate with other users around the world.
Amateur radio offers the attraction of easy access, as it can operate without relying on the Internet or a cell phone network. The field day event aims to demonstrate the ability of the amateur radio operator to operate in all conditions and from any location.
Hayden said the event is a chance to both enjoy the hobby and to train in case a disaster strikes in the area.
Although not an official competition, Hayden said the nearly 35,000 domestic entrants are becoming competitive, trying to reach as many contacts as possible from 2 p.m. Saturday to noon Sunday.
“The purpose of this event is not only to make as many contacts as possible, but you are operating under very unfavorable conditions,” he said.
Hayden, who grew up in a military family and lived overseas when his family was stationed overseas, said his passion for ham radio started the first time he saw it.
“My dad took me to a military ham site and I fell in love with it,” he said. “When I was 11 in 1957, I knew right away that I was going to be a ham.”
The radio came in handy in an emergency. The Amateur Radio Service helped New York City agencies stay in touch after the command center was destroyed on September 11. The service also came in handy during Hurricane Katrina, when all other communications failed.
“Hams can literally throw a wire up a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” said Sean Kutzko of the American Radio Relay League, the national association. radio amateurs, in a press release. Release. “Hams do this by using a layer of the earth’s atmosphere as a kind of mirror for radio waves.”
Glynn County is home to hundreds of licensed amateur radio users, most of them for their jobs, Hayden said. The nearly 50 members of the local amateur radio group enjoy amateur radio as a hobby.
But even though it’s a form of entertainment, Hayden said there’s a serious side to using ham radio as well.
“If this area was devastated, God forbid, we would be on air to contact the authorities and get help here,” he said.
Operators during the day in the field are limited to 100 watts of power. Normally allowed to use 1000 watts as licensed amateur radio users, the 100 watts limit during the event simulates the shortage of power available in an emergency.
“But 100 watts, you can go around the world with that,” Hayden said.
The public is welcome to attend the weekend’s event, said Hayden, and he encouraged parents to bring their children.
He said that for those particularly interested, the group will be able to put them on the air.
“We will have a radio station installed and an operator who will guide you and allow you to make contact,” he said.
The four operators present in the field will work all night to try to reach the contacts. Last summer, the local group reached nearly 500 contacts, said Hayden, and each contact is worth a point.
“You try to get as many points as possible, to show that you really have the ability to communicate,” he said. “That you can get help and reach other people. “