Ham Radio Field Day this Saturday through Sunday

The event celebrating amateur radio begins 10 a.m. Saturday and runs a full 24 hours through 10 a.m. Sunday.

Ham Radio Field Day is this weekend in Juneau at the Fire Training Center across from the DMV.

"If somebody comes out and is really interested in being a ham radio operator, we can get them on the air and let them talk if they want to try it," according to David Bruce with the Juneau Amateur Radio Club. "We're also giving exams in the afternoon at 3 p.m. for anybody that studied up."

The event starts 10 a.m. on Saturday and runs through 10 a.m. Sunday.

"We have a radio setup there, and our people will be making contacts all over the United States and Canada. The American Radio Relay League has divided the U.S. and Canada into somewhere around 400 different segments. Our goal is to contact each one of them. Last year, we got all but one or two, and we're going to try to get them all again this year."

Bruce also explained why HAM radio is more than just a hobby, and - in part - why they hold Field Day.

"One of our obligations is emergency communications in a disaster. For the most part, it's a hobby, but if an emergency comes up, then we're expected to get on the air and move traffic; we're sort of the radio of last resort. If we have a big disaster, your antennas and stuff will likely be off the air along with emergency services like police and fire. We'll still be there, because we practice setting up off the power grid with our own power supplies and our own equipment. A lot of hams have them in their car so they can move around and get to good locations. We do support for the first day or so of a big emergency."

If you're a ham radio enthusiast or if you're interested in learning more, stop by for Ham Radio Field Day at the Fire Training Center this weekend.

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