Radio operators 'ham' it up at Aiken field day

Radio operators 'ham' it up at Aiken field day

Radio operators 'ham' it up at Aiken field day

"It helps the community in time of need even though we have cell phones and all the modern technology".

They typically will use electrical power from generators, wind power, or solar power.

Five men spent Saturday afternoon and most of the night in Greater Ottumwa Park trying to make contact with other amateur radio operators across the USA and Canada and Sunday morning they were back at it.

The event was held in Martinsburg, but there are hundreds across the nation.

Many people get into ham radio as a hobby, but operators like Yvette Cuevas know it can also be used in times of emergency. "The ham guys on microphones can't do that".

Those interested in becoming a certified ham radio operator can visit the Rockford Amateur Radio Association page here.

Tim Ramsey, another ham and club member, said he likes Morse because "it's crisp and there's never any static".

Amateur Radio is growing in the US.

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Czaikowski said he's been a ham for 54 years and he sees more people becoming hams than 50 years ago.

One member recalls a disaster when demonstrations like this one became reality. To most, it sounds like a foreign language, but it's communication on a basic level.

Reap said there are also contests around the world to make worldwide connections through ham radio.

Christovich explained that while there is no disaster scenario for the drill, members are able to work on their communication skills as well as have a little fun.

On the subject of why they're called ham radio operators, Christovich insisted it had nothing to do with ham.

"It's going really well", said club president Derek Hawk, "by about midnight we'd made a contact with every state in the USA, and we've made 575 total contacts so far".

This is a 24-hour event that started at 1 p.m. Saturday and will go until 1 p.m. Sunday.

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