Amateur radio enthusiasts take home new skills following field day

Updated: Jun. 23, 2019 at 3:26 PM CDT
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ARCHER CITY, Texas (TNN) - In the event of an emergency, a group of amateur ham radio enthusiasts wants to be prepared.

The Wichita Amateur Radio Society spent almost 24 hours communicating with other stations across the country, each member testing out their skills on the microphone.

“At its core, it’s emergency preparedness," said Chuck Schotta, the Wichita Amateur Radio Society president. "Being able to go out into the field in less than optimal conditions, set up and provide communication services.”

Amateur Radio Field Day is a national event held each year since the seventies. Each group will get points based on the number of contacts with other stations made, what kind of power source they used, and the number of antennas and wires strung.

The goal is to simulate as many real-time conditions as possible for an emergency because in a real emergency, time on site is unpredictable.

“It’s a great tool to get across the country in a state of emergency,” said society member Chris Bussey.

This is Bussey’s second field day with the organization. He manned the radio for a majority of the event, making connections with those from California all the way to Washington D.C.

" [It’s] exhausting, but fun contacting people all across the country," said Bussey.

As the name suggests, no one at the event had any professional experience; just a passion, and an F-C-C license.

“You can talk at the radio at your house, you know, and that’s great. But, you know, it’s really more fun having a group that you can get together and pal around with,” said Schotta.

The Wichita Amateur Radio Society meets every third Thursday of the month. Click here for more information on the organization, and how to get involved.

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