The Portsmouth Radio Club (PRC) began a two-day Field Day event June 25-26 at the Mound Park shelter house. According to PRC, Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the United States.
More than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups and or friends to operate from remote locations. The event is coordinated through the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the primary source of information about what is going on in ham radio, providing books, news, support and information for individuals and clubs.
Russell Jett, president of PRC, said global communication is possible through amateur radio.
“We can talk around the world with nothing more than a 12-volt battery, or a generator, a little bit of wire,” Jett said. “We can go to several different meters, and we have had members that have talked to people in Australia, and everywhere else in the world. We had one guy last year that had a 12-volt battery and he talked for four and half hours, and he talk all over this country with it.”
“We are putting up a piece of wire right now, and its 105 feet, no special antennas or anything else other than that,” Jett said. “Right now you don’t have to have code to get into amateur radio, a lot of people think you do, you do not.”
David Blanton, a member of PRC, said it’s an enjoyable event.
“This is pretty big deal in a lot of ways,” Blanton said. “I enjoy being a part of it. We get together, laugh and talk and see how many states we can actually contact at any given time.”
The amateur radio test is given regularly at the American Legion Post 23 in Portsmouth.
“We give testing the first Monday of every month at Post 23 American Legion. The testing is free, and if they want to get into amateur radio they can come down and talk with us, and we will give them a book to study,” Jett said. “Once they get that book, and study and take their test, we can have their license for them within three to four days. Then they can get their two meter radio, which is about a $40 radio. That will give them two-meter four -40, and then if then with more time and money they can get a 10-meter radio and they can talk around the world. On 10 meters I have talked to people in Japan and everywhere else, and that is just with a wire.”
Jett said they have member as young as 12 years old, so everyone is welcome to be a part of PRC.
“We would like to have anybody come in and see what we’re doing. We look for anybody to come out, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts,” Jett said. “It is free would glad to talk with anybody about what we are doing.”
The Field Day event will run from the afternoon of June 25, through 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 26.
Steve Scarberry, a member of the Portsmouth Radio Club, participating in the annual Field Day amateur radio event held at the Mound Park shelter house in Portsmouth June 25-26
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.