Field Day slated
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008 5:17 pm
The Messenger. 06.26.08 Field Day operations for amateur radio operators has been set for Saturday and Sunday at the Obion County Fairgrounds main building, located behind the Obion County Rescue Squad building on Sunswept Drive in Union City. Field Day is an opportunity for amateur radio operators to hone and practice radio communication skills under emergency conditions. That means portable electrical generators are used to supply power for the radios. Alternate sources of power, such as solar and battery, may be used as well. It also means running a 24-hour continuous operation in temporary facilities. Communications with as many other Field Day operators as possible are also made during this period, a spokesman said. Operators exchange information relating to the size of the group operating and the number of stations used. Written messages are also part of the exercise, according to the spokesman. Utilizing both radio and Internet communications provides an efficient way to ensure health and welfare messages are delivered anywhere in the world in a timely manner. Ground to satellite to ground communications will also be used, as will Automatic Position Reporting Service, another new mode and one which allows operators to track the location of other stations as they move while communicating. While the technology that will come into play will no doubt prove exciting for those taking part in the event, the purpose of Field Day is to exercise capabilities before a disaster strikes and incapacitates phones, Internet services and local communications. For a community located in the middle of the New Madrid fault, Union City appears to be a prime area for “the big one” that will replicate the events of 1811, when Reelfoot Lake was formed. The Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club intends to be prepared to provide emergency communications for the community should the area experience an earthquake or any other disaster. The club’s capabilities allow members to provide local and long distance communications that can be utilized for sending health and welfare messages around the clock by several methods. Messages can also be sent and received from Nashville and Washington, D.C. Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club is a nonprofit organization of volunteer amateur radio operators who meet at the Obion County Public Library at 1221 East Reelfoot Ave. in Union City the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact president Glenn Snow at (731) 479-1971 or Jamie Hall at 886-6869. The public is welcome to attend the upcoming Field Day, Snow said.