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Ham radio buffs to gather at Field Day

CHIMNEY POINT Thousands of ham radio operators across the country will be showing off their emergency capabilities over the weekend of June 28-29, including the Addison County Amateur Radio Association. Addison County hams will set up a simulated emergency station at the Chimney Point Historic Site in Addison, near the Lake Champlain Bridge. They invite the public to come and see ham radios capabilities and learn how to get their own FCC radio license. Hours for the station will be 2-8 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Over the past few years, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications in emergencies world-wide. During Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio often called ham radio was often the only way that people could communicate. Hundreds of volunteer hams traveled south to save lives and property. When trouble is brewing, ham radio operators are often the first to provide critical information and communications. During this event, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with local hams and see for themselves what the Amateur Radio Service is about. This annual event, called Field Day, is the climax of the week-long Amateur Radio Week sponsored by the ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools, and back yards all around the United States. This is an opportunity to practice emergency communications without relying on phone systems, internet, or commercial power sources, all of which can be compromised in a crisis. More than 30,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated in last years event.

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