Radio hams participate in national exercise.

About 25 local “hams” from the Ozark Mountain Amateur Radio Club recently participated in a 24-hour event to exercise the emergency capabilities of amateur radio.

The annual field days of the Amateur Radio Relay League were June 27-28. The local hams set up operations at Pizza Express.

Many times during natural and man-made disasters, ham radio is the only way to communicate with local authorities. During the exercise, local members made contacts through voice and Morse code with approximately 500 stations throughout the United States and Canada. All stations in the exercise operated on battery or solar power for the entire 24 hours.

As part of the weekend events, local volunteer examiners administered tests to license or upgrade existing licensed operators. One person earned the technician level (entry level) and three upgraded from the technician to the general level license.

The annual field day is the climax of the weeklong amateur radio week sponsored by the ARRL. Its slogan, “Ham radio works when other systems don’t!” is more than just words to the hams as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis

The next club activity will be at the Texas County Fair from July 15-18. Willie Adey, president of the club, extends an invitation to anyone interested in amateur radio to visit the club’s booth at the fair to see a station in operation and get more information.

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