Ham radio operators from the SPA Amateur Radio Association in Hot Springs will participate in a national amateur radio exercise from 1-6 p.m. Saturday at the Garland County Department of Emergency Management facility parking lot, 401 Mid-America Blvd.
The event is an annual amateur radio activity organized since 1933 by The ARRL, The National Association for Amateur Radio in the United States.
"Hams from across North America ordinarily participate in Field Day by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations to demonstrate their skill and service. Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, bring people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities. Field Day highlights ham radio's ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent, wireless communications network," a news release said.
"Some hams from Arkansas will also use the radio stations set up in their homes or taken to their backyards and other locations to operate individually or with their families. Many hams have portable radio communication capability that includes alternative energy sources such as generators, solar panels, and batteries to power their equipment," it said.
This year's event is also noteworthy given that a particularly active hurricane season is predicted.
"Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers," Bob King, W5LVB, President of the SPA Amateur Radio Association, said in the release.
"Ham radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others," King said.
During Field Day 2021, more than 26,000 hams participated from thousands of locations across North America. According to ARRL, there are more than 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the United States and an estimated 3 million worldwide.
Among the tenets of the Amateur Radio Service is developing and practicing skills in radio technology and radio communications, and even contributing to international goodwill, the release said.
Hams range in age from as young as 9 to older than 100.
A self-study license guide is available from ARRL. The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual is available at https://bit.ly/3HLiBuf, or for Kindle, https://amzn.to/3QBQi5s.
For more information about ARRL Field Day and ham radio, contact the SPA Amateur Radio Association by email at [email protected] or visit http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.