Group gathers for Amateur Radio Field Day

Ham radio operators say they will be busy through Saturday night and into Sunday afternoon communicating with other ham organizations throughout the country.

"Despite the proliferation of cell phone, satellite and modern digital communications, any time theres a natural disaster or a manmade event such as 911 ham radio operators step up to the plate and provide emergency communications to more local community", Berkowitz said.

Oldest licensed Winona radio operator John Kowalik has been a member since 1953, and said Ham Radio in Winona has been around for 40 to 45 years. Most members of the club do amateur radio communication as a hobby. "Ham radio is for making friends". Whitley County "hams" will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities the weekend of June 24-25.

The Columbia Amateur Radio Association participated in the drill at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School in Ellicott City. He believes one of the reasons is because it has become simpler to get a license, which is acquired by passing an examination. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio's people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.

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Czaikowski said he's been a ham for 54 years and he sees more people becoming hams than 50 years ago.

"You contact them on the air, you exchange signal reports", said Rocker, "Then you get a confirmation".

On the subject of why they're called ham radio operators, Christovich insisted it had nothing to do with ham.

"I call it real time texting or real time email", Alan Swinger, club member, said.

  • Sidney Guerrero