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Bloomington Amateur Radio Club Invites Public To Field Day At Flatwoods State Park
Updated June 8, 2018 7:32 AM
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(GOSPORT) - On the fourth weekend of June every year, over 35,000 amateur radio operators, often called hams, get together with their clubs or friends to set up and operate ham radio stations, practicing emergency communications from remote locations. It's called Field Day, sponsored by ARRL (American Radio Relay League).

Bloomington Amateur Radio Club (BARC) will host Field Day on June 23-24 at Flatwoods State Park, 9499 Flatwoods Road, Gosport. It's just west of Ellettsville, just east of McCormick's Creek State Park. (Turn on to Flatwoods Road at the intersection of Indiana State Road 46 at Richard's Small Engine Repair.)

Activity begins after 2 pm Saturday, June 23 and ends 2 pm Sunday, June 24. The public is invited. Learn how amateur radio works and is used during emergencies. Aspects of amateur radio are highlighted. Try the "Get on the Air" radio station. Field Day is a picnic, a campout, especially practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, fun!

In addition to practicing emergency communications--operating radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions--the contest part is simply to contact as many other ham radio stations across the US and Canada as possible. BARC members use these same communications skills events at the Hilly Hundred, Monroe County Fall Festival, Wonderlab Museum, marathons, bike-a-thons and fundraiser walk-a-thons such as for the American Cancer Society--all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities.

Despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems-or maybe because they are complex-ham radio is called into action again and again to provide communications in crises. Hams are well known for communications support in real disaster situations. In Monroe County, BARC members often provide assistance to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Monroe County Emergency Management office. BARC also aids the National Weather Service Indianapolis office during storms and severe weather by holding emergency radio networks and offering assistance of trained weather spotters.

What is the ARRL?

The ARRL is the 150,000-plus-member national association for amateur radio in the USA, and is the primary source of information about ham radio. ARRL Headquarters is in Newington, Connecticut.

What is amateur radio?

Often called "ham radio," the Amateur Radio Service has been around for a century. It's grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications technology. Ham operators range from youngsters to grandparents. Astronauts and a rock star or two are hams. Most are typical folks who enjoy learning and being able to transmit voice, data and pictures through the air to unusual places, both near and far, without depending on commercial systems. The amateur radio frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where an individual can develop and experiment with wireless communications. Hams not only can make and modify their equipment, but can create new ways to do things.

For information about Field Day contact Jimmy Merry at 812-391-2661 or kc9rpx@arrl.net.



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