‘Hams’ gear up for annual field test

Mark Rountree
The Leavenworth Times
Members of the Pilot Knob Amateur Radio Club will host their annual overnight event Saturday and Sunday at VA Park.

Amateur radio operators will practice their emergency communication skills and attempt to set some long-distance connections this weekend in Leavenworth.

Members of the Pilot Knob Amateur Radio Club will host their annual overnight event Saturday and Sunday at VA Park, located on the grounds of the Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth.

Members will begin operations at 1 p.m. Saturday and conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The public is welcome to the event and there is no admission charge.

The club is participating in the American Radio Relay League’s Field Day in which amateur radio operators practice their skills under primitive conditions. They will only be using generator-, battery- and sun-powered equipment and portable antennas.

The annual Field Day is designed as a trial run for emergency communication skills used during disaster situations, according to a press release.

The “hams” will be operating field radio stations to contact other “hams” anywhere in the world over a 24-hour period.

Field Day is billed as “the nation’s largest ham radio on-air event.”

“While it is a way for hams to get outdoors and have fun, more importantly it is a chance to fine tune emergency communication skills under some difficult conditions,” according to a press release. “The idea is to put together a self-sufficient, working station quickly and begin making contacts.”

The ARRL has been effective in establishing emergency communications during severe weather and other major disasters, according to a press release. The organization estimates that more than 40,000 “hams” from around the world participate in Field Day each year.

For more information about the event, contact Pete Jackson at 913-683-4064 or Rick Reichert at 913-727-3577.