North Fulton Amateur Radio Operators Show Gear Used in Emergencies

'Ham' operators plan field day on June 25-26.

Weather disasters such as tornados that leveled homes and businesses in Tuscaloosa, AL and Ringgold make the work done by groups such as the North Fulton Amateur Radio League critical. When cell towers are down and power is out, communication can be nearly impossible.

Groups such as the North Fulton Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) team show how today's amateur (Ham) radio enthusiasts can provide a critical service.

The ARES team will join the North Fulton Amateur Radio League (NFARL) “Field Day” Amateur radio demonstration event Saturday, June 25 through Sunday, June 26 at Waller Park Extension, 160 Dobbs Drive, Roswell.  This free 24-hour event starts at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Amateur radio operators will demonstrate their operating skills and emergency communications capabilities. This is not the “Ham” radio you may think about from years past, said Jim Paine, a member of NFARL. The group will display and use the latest technology in radio gear to communicate to other ham stations across the world using the new digital modes, as well as voice and Morse code.

NFARL members won't be alone on Field Day, which is an annual event nationwide for amateur radio enthusiasts to show their skills at communicating by radio. Hundreds of clubs are involved across the country using their personally owned radio equipment and providing their own back-up electrical power. This network of amateur radio operators has been crucial to maintaining reliable communications during hurricanes, blizzards, tornados, floods and other events that may disable normal communications, NFARL said.

New for this year, the North Fulton Amateur Radio Emergency Service team will operate on the 2 meter and 70 centimeter bands, demonstrating the many ways radio amateurs can get the word out "when all else fails."

Last year, the North Fulton group placed first in “best attended” field day nationally with more than 250 visitors to the event site, including many local elected officials.

Club members will personally show visitors their radio gear and explain how it works. You can even participate as a guest.

For more detailed information and location map, check out www.nfarl.org. The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the.


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