HWest Seattle Amateur Radio Club Field Day at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):
Members of the West Seattle Amateur* Radio Club are building our “radio city” at South Seattle College this weekend. The annual event is Field Day. Every June hams across the country take their radios outside and run them free of the electric grid. The public is encouraged to visit us anytime between noon on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday, this weekend, June 28th and 29th. Kids are welcome with their parents and are encouraged to try talking on our many radios. Find us at South Seattle College, 6000 16th Ave SW, near Olympic Hall and near the south parking lot on campus. Look for the tents and towers!
Joining with members of the Auxillary Communications Service (amateurs who work with Seattle Department of Emergency Management) and the Puget Sound Repeater Group, West Seattle Amateur Radio Club members will operate radios and communicate with other hams around the world from West Seattle. We operate using power we generate including solar panels and batteries.
We build our stations in the 24 hours prior to the event which starts about noon on Saturday. Every June tens of thousands of amateurs in North America practice emergency communication. We compete with thousands of other similar groups.
We encourage the public to think about how they will communicate, “when all else fails.” After superstorm Sandy, it became clear to many that self reliance, preparation and training should move to the top of your TO DO list. Your local ham radio community exists to help in times of emergency. We also support local events with communication support. Events like the West Seattle Grand Parade and many other Seafair events.
More than that, we encourage everyone to prepare themselves to meet their own needs. We teach classes for amateur radio FCC licenses. The initial license is often earned after just a weekend of work with our instruction team. These licenses open up a lifetime of learning about communication and technology.
The public is encouraged to visit our installation. We will have information on emergency preparedness so you can be ready for major storms, pandemic disease or the major earthquake which is overdue for our region. Seattle is one of the most vunerable places you could choose to live. It is also bursting with groups ready to help you survive the next event. Groups like the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club, West Seattle Be Prepared, Seattle Emergency Management. For general information on amateur radio visit American Radio Relay League – ARRL at www.arrl.org.
Just to move past some common misconceptions: There are more hams now than any time in history. This is not your grandfather’s amateur radio service. As a group, some of us just built our own software defined radios. The only analog part of these radios is the antenna connection. We are deploying a wide area microwave network and in doing so are learning mesh networking and how to offer services across our homebrewed internet. Knowlege like that will make hooking you printer up a snap next time. We routinely use digital modes that allow effective communication using 1/1000th the power needed just a decade ago. While some of us still employ large antenna arrays for worldwide communication, it is now possible to work the world with a very modest station.
* We are amateur, like Olympic atheletes are amateur. That is we are not paid, but we are very good at what we do.