HAPPENING NOW: Local hams reach out to neighbors near and far on Field Day

(WSB photos)

With a field full of antennas and a parking lot full of trailers and tents, three local ham-radio groups are teaming up for this year’s Field Day, which continues into the night and until late tomorrow morning on the north side of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). It’s a chance to educate the public and also part of a nationwide contest.

As Greg (W7GFW) was doing while we were there this evening, the radio operators are logging as many contacts as they can make. Different atmospheric conditions and different radio bands make for varied chances to reach others far and near. There are two main ways to make contacts, we’re told – either “search and pounce,” seeing which frequencies have activity and jumping in, or “run a frequency” – choose where you’re going to hang out and wait for others to come find you.

Ham radio continues to grow in popularity, we learned from Eric Linxweiler, who showed us around and explained much of what was going on. All ages, too – he works with Scouts and says his troop has several newly licensed hams. Another aspect of Field Day is testing out your setup and equipment, with an eye toward being able to operate off the grid in case of catastrophe:

Hams have long been working on disaster response – Cindi Barker explained one program they’re working on at Field Day, involving volunteers relaying messages from region to region, email sent over radio waves, to help reconnect people if disaster breaks regular communication methods:

You’re welcome to stop by tomorrow morning before Field Day ends around 11 am – they even have a tent where visitors can “get on the air” and see what it’s like. But if you can’t get out there this weekend, reach out any time to the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club (one of the three Field Day participating groups, along with the Puget Sound Repeater Group and Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service).

4 Replies to "HAPPENING NOW: Local hams reach out to neighbors near and far on Field Day"

  • Dad June 26, 2022 (6:01 am)

    Does this event happen with any frequency?

    • WSB June 26, 2022 (11:27 am)

      Ha ha. Yes, annually!

  • Jim June 26, 2022 (10:03 am)

    Not as big as the old Alaska Communications towers that used to be up their way back when, but bet they still work.

  • Quentin June 27, 2022 (11:37 am)

    We made contacts all over the country and even into other countries. We had a blast !

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