PHOTOS: Ham radio field days

‘Ham’ radio operators Brian Machesney (left) and Paul Gayet with the Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont club speak with another station using Morse code during the annual ARRL Field Day, a three-day event held last weekend in Williston. The group made 3,675 contacts with other hams around the country over the weekend, despite ‘remarkably poor radio conditions,’ according to club leader Mitch Stern. This year, the group asked for donations to COTS based upon the number of contacts it made. Field Day is a national event where clubs from all over the U.S. and Canada set up radio communication centers, literally in the field. The center is totally self-contained and the club brings in all the radio equipment, antennae, shelter in the form of tents and food while producing its own power from generators and batteries. The idea is that if there was a severe disaster in which all power and communications were knocked out, such as Hurricane Katrina, such stations would still allow communications in and out of stricken areas. Field Day is also a friendly competition in which stations vie for the highest number of contacts and points from these temporary stations.

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Observer photos by Al Frey

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