Amateur radio operators set up shop at Rockingham County Fairgrounds


ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – This weekend, amateur radio operators show off their skills across the country on National Amateur Radio Day.

“Basically, it’s the biggest amateur radio event in the country. It brings us together to try to make as many contacts as possible in an emergency setup,” said Paul Helmuth, president of the Massanutten Amateur Radio Association (MARA).

The field day is a showcase of how the Independent Communications Network works.

“It’s something that, you know, people can learn at any age and continue to use throughout their lives,” Helmuth said.

This national event allows radio amateurs to practice their skills by creating stations and making contacts around the world.

“It teaches you a little bit more about science, which is great for that STEM student or ASD student you have,” Helmuth said. “It’s great for this Boy Scout because being prepared is part of this preparedness community and it’s a good thing for these kids to get their hands on.”

At the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, five stations are installed.

There is a telephone station which uses shortwave radio to talk all over the world, a morse code station and a digital station which uses computers to communicate are the top three.

Other stations include an “on-air” station where licensees give hands-on experience to those who are not us but are interested in amateur radio, and one that is for local communications.

“If we have an emergency where we have a communications outage, whether it’s widespread cell phone and public safety communications outages…we would be able to bring in radio amateurs to provide communications to security. public of the community,” Helmuth said.

If you want to learn more about amateur radio, the field day continues until 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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