Local amateur radio operators will demonstrate their emergency communication capabilities Saturday, June 28, beginning at 2 p.m. and lasting for a full 24 hours.

Field Day is an annual preparedness exercise where local “hams” set up radio stations and antenna arrays in public or remote sites and make radio contacts with other ham operators throughout the USA and Canada. The Amateur Radio Relay League sponsored exercise is specifically designed to provide a yearly program for licensed amateur radio volunteers to practice and hone their emergency communication capabilities. More than 35,000 hams in the USA alone took part in last year's exercise.

To make the exercise interesting, points are earned for contacts made in various modes and power sources. Points are earned for CW (Morse code), solar power, phone (voice) and digital contacts. There is even a separate category called GOTA (get on the air) which is a special station set up for new or non-hams to make contacts with other hams taking part in the contest. In the years 2005, 2010 and 2012, the Pen Bay Amateur Radio Club came in first in their class in the state of Maine. No small feat. They hope to do the same again this year.

Many of the Pen Bay Club's hams are Certified Emergency Response Team members for Knox County.

The public is invited to visit the Field Day site and view the county's emergency communication trailer, and observe emergency procedures and capabilities. Also learn how to become a ham and join this team in order to help in the event of an actual emergency.

For further information contact Dr. Norman Smith, Sr. NY1B, at 354-6853.