“Radio Hams” from Queen Anne’s Join in National Deployment; Public Demo of Emergency Communications, June 22 and 23

IMG_3118 E (400 x 286)Queen Anne’s Amateur Radio Club “hams” will join with 35,000 amateur radio operators in the US and Canada who will be demonstrating their communications ability to their communities in a simulated emergency situation. Known as “Field Day,” it is the single most popular 24-hour on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. Radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups, or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.

The objective of this field day exercise is to contact as many stations as possible on amateur radio frequencies and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions.

The Queen Anne’s Amateur Radio Club (QAARC) invites the public to witness the club members in action as they operate under simulated emergency conditions to contact other amateur radio operators.

All of the “on-air” action takes place at Bloomfield Farm at Rt. 213 and White Marsh roads just north of Centreville starting at 2 pm on Saturday, June 22, and ending at 2 pm on Sunday, June 23. Before the 24-hour operating period, the club members will be erecting antennas, getting portable power in place, and setting up receiving and transmitting equipment.

The public will have the opportunity to obtain information about amateur radio, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES), and how to disable tone squelch and use carrier squelch on channel 1 of Family Radio Service radios (FRS). FRS is an option for neighborhood emergency communications as well as emergency use by hunters, hikers, and cyclists.

Youth and adults may even have the opportunity to operate the ham stations, talking to another person far away.

While some amateur operators will be contacting others by voice, some amateurs will be demonstrating their proficiency in using the International Morse Code to make contacts. Still other amateurs will be available to discuss with visitors all aspects of amateur radio as a hobby as well as its use in emergency locations where electrical power and cell phone use might be out of commission.

Our club uses these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fund-raisers such as walk-a-thons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls, and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities that are used to hone skills. This month, the club will be participating in Art of the Deal in Centreville (June 15) and providing communication for the Two Rivers Bike Ride (June 29) to benefit the Wye River Upper School.

For more information, contact Mike Widdekind, N3ZHA, QAARC President, 410-739-8718, michael.widdekind@atlanticbb.net. Check the club Website at www.qaarc.org.