Participate in the national ARRL Amateur Radio Field Day exercise June 24-25

PASO ROBLES — In appreciation of the many volunteer services provided to the community, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors proclaimed June 2023 to be Amateur Radio Month in San Luis Obispo County. For more than 100 years, amateur radio — also called ham radio — has enabled people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques and to provide a free public service to their communities in emergencies. This is especially crucial when cellphones and internet services are disrupted during a disaster. 

“In today’s electronic environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines,” said David Isgur, communications manager for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio. “In addition, amateur radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the normal communication infrastructure goes down.”

Ham radio functions independently of the internet, landlines, and the cellphone infrastructure, and can also interface with computers, tablets, or smartphones. It can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of amateur radio during a communications outage.

To demonstrate science, skill and service to the community, members of the Paso Robles Amateur Radio Club (PRARC) will participate in the national ARRL Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on the weekend of June 24-25, setting up their stations in the hills west of Templeton.

Field Day has been an annual tradition since 1933. On Field Day, radio operators across North America establish temporary radio stations in locations away from normal power and communications infrastructure to showcase the capabilities of amateur radio. It is a 24-hour emergency preparedness exercise to build radio amateurs’ skills and readiness. Field Day demonstrates amateur radio’s ability to work reliably under adverse conditions from almost any location.

Anyone with an interest in communications and electronics may become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 107. With groups like the Paso Robles Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for everyone to get involved right here in Paso Robles.

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