LIHUE — Members of the Kauai Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club on June 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during field day to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
For more than 100 years, amateur radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.
Field day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an indepen- dent communications network. Over 45,000 people at thousands of locations participated in the 2014 field day.
“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Steve Thatcher, president of the Kauai Amateur Radio Club. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate.”
Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of amateur radio during a communications outage, Thatcher said.
“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter, and communicate halfway around the world,” Thatcher said. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves.”
In today’s electronic do-it-yourself environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology and numerous other scientific disciplines, he said. “And is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down,” Thatcher said.
There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. And with the clubs such as the Kauai Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Kauai.
During the event there will also be a special workshop titled “An Introduction to Amateur Radio.”
The workshop will be held at the Nawiliwili Yacht Club in the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor, Lihue, from 9 to 11 a.m. The free workshop is primarily for newly licensed amateur operators, and reservations are required, but everyone is welcome to attend.
Info: Tad Miura, NH7YS, at ZSSQ@Hotmail.com.
To learn more about amateur radio, go to www.arrl.org or www.kauaiarc.org.