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The Telegram
  • Ham radio operators to show off for Herkimer Co. residents

  • Thousands of ham radio operators will show off their emergency capabilities this weekend. “Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies, including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events worldwide. D...
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  • Thousands of ham radio operators will show off their emergency capabilities this weekend.
    “Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies, including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events worldwide. During Hurricane Katrina, amateur radio — often called ham radio — was often the only way people could communicate, and hundreds of volunteer hams traveled south to save lives and property,” said Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association Treasurer Chris Bouck. “When trouble is brewing, ham radio people are often the first to provide critical information and communications.”
    Throughout the weekend the public will have the opportunity to meet and talk with ham radio operators and see for themselves what the amateur radio service is about. Showing the newest digital and satellite capabilities, voice communications and historical Morse code, Bouck said hams from across the United States will conduct public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities.
    The annual event, called Field Day, is the climax of the weeklong Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio.
    Using only emergency power supplies, Bouck said ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country.
    He said the hams will prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of telephone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.
    The Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association will demonstrate amateur radio in a field near the home of Hank and De Crofoot on Kilts Hill Road, Little Falls. They invite the public to come and see ham radio’s new capabilities and learn how to get their own Federal Communications Commission radio license before the next disaster strikes.
    “We hope that people will come and see for themselves, this is not your grandfather’s radio anymore,” said Allen Pitts, of the American Radio Relay League, in a news release. “The communications networks that ham radio people can quickly create have saved many lives in the past months when other systems failed or were overloaded.”
    There are 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the U.S. and more than 2.5 million around the world.
    Through the American Radio Relay League’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies, all for free.
    To learn more about amateur radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.
    For more on the Fort Herkimer Amateur Radio Association contact association Past President Hank Crofoot at 823-2993 or Bouck at 429-3927 or cbouck01@twcny.rr.com. Information on how to become involved in amateur radio is available by contacting Bouck or the American Radio Relay League at 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111, by calling 1-800-32-NEW HAM or by visiting www.arrl.org.
    Page 2 of 2 - More than 34,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last year’s Field Day event.

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