By Portia Williams
The Portsmouth Radio Club (PRC) held its annual Field Day event on Saturday, June 28, 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 and Canada.
PRC Field day began at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and lasts for 24 hours. 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 the Portsmouth Radio Club, said PRC has 25 members.
“What we are doing is holding Field Day. Field Day is when most of the Amateur Radio people will try to contact all of the other Amateur Radio people that they can just to see how far out they can get using their radios,” Jett said. “Our antennae are stretched from tree to tree, that’s how we communicate. We work off of a generator, mostly,” he said. “Some people are still working off 110. “The idea is, if all of the power went down, and we still wanted to communicate with somebody, we could do it, just by our generator, and our batteries, or whatever have you. So we’re just a radio club, nothing other than just a radio club, just talking to other radio people, and that’s it.”
He said amateur radio serves as a great source of entertainment.
“It is just a lot of fun. We get to talk to people all over the world. There is a gentleman with us that has actually talked to 186 countries just on amateur radio,” he said. “I have talked with people from quite a distance, some in Asia, some in Europe. It is just a fun hobby, that’s what it is.”
The three levels of amateur radio are tech, general, and the highest level is extra.
According to ARRL, the objective of Field Day is to work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit, but are not eligible to submit entries.
Jett said the PRC welcomes everyone to come to their monthly meetings.
“We don’t care if you are a man, woman or child, if you want to come down and get your license, and become a tech, come on down. Our meetings are the first Monday of every month, at 6 p.m. down at Post 23 in the basement. Come to one of our meetings and see what it is all about. We have a lot of fun,” he said.
He said 4-H Clubs and Girls and Boy Scout troops are welcome to come to the meetings as well.
For more information regarding The Portsmouth Radio Club, call Russell Jett at 740-935-2061. For Field Day information, visit the website at arrl.org.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.