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Photo courtesy of New River Valley Amateur Radio Club

Amateur radio operators take part in a prior NRVARC Field Day event.

The New River Valley Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on Saturday, June 22, from 1 and 7 p.m. at Randolph Park in Dublin.

Since 1933, the annual Field Day sponsored by the American Radio Relay League has provided an opportunity for amateur radio operators (often called “hams”) to gather with their radios and antennas in a field-type operation simulating emergency operations.

Local individuals from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Dublin, Pulaski, Pearisburg, Floyd and more will join with thousands of other amateur radio operators across the country demonstrating their emergency communication capabilities during Field Day weekend.

This event is open to anyone interested in electronics, communications or just wanting to explore a new hobby. It’s also a great opportunity to explore the real-world application of the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math.

Amateur radio has constantly evolved as a scientific hobby and emergency communication service for more than a century. From Morse code, to speech, to digital communications, the NRVARC has evolved with technology to be ready to serve the public since 1958.

The NRVARC built and maintains two repeaters to support on-the-air communication in the New River Valley, and works with other hams in the area to provide communications for local events such as parades and sporting events. Helping with these events allows us to practice our emergency communications skills and rapid deployment exercises. Our equipment is independent of cellular or internet technologies, making communication more resilient in disaster situations.

During Field Day operations you will get to witness, and possibly participate in, communications with other stations throughout the United States and Canada using a wire and less power than a 100-watt light bulb.

Amateur radio continues to grow in the United States. Anyone may become a licensed amateur radio operator after passing a qualifying exam. There are now more than 725,000 amateur radio licensees in the U.S. and more than 2.5 million around the world. Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies, and nonemergency community services too — all for free.

Please drop by the Randolph Park picnic shelter area anytime during this Field Day to look around, talk with hams, or for a personal tour. The park is located at 5100 Alexander Road, near the I-81 South Exit 98.

You can learn more about the club at https://www.n4nrv.org.

Submitted by Cam Coble

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