Since 1933 ham radio operators across North America and around the world have established temporary radio communications facilities in public locations on Field Day weekend – the fourth weekend in June – to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio. Field Day communications are accomplished using emergency power and under conditions which simulate how we might provide communications during a major disaster. More than 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2017.
For over 100 years, Amateur Radio – sometimes called ham radio – has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications technology and to provide free public service to their communities. Amateur radio public service has been especially prominent in times of major disaster when power, telephone and internet infrastructure are destroyed or inoperable. Radio amateurs played invaluable roles and undoubtedly saved many lives during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in the 2003 Barriere fire in the interior of British Columbia and during the Caribbean hurricane season of 2017 – especially in Puerto Rico. The beauty of ham radio in a communications outage is that hams can throw up a wire in a tree, connect it to a battery or solar powered radio and instantly communicate halfway around the world.
Although sometimes thought of as outdated technology, amateur radio, is anything but outdated! In fact, amateur radio is increasing in popularity as a way for people of all ages to explore and experiment in electronics, physics, meteorology, and a number of other scientific disciplines. Recently, radio amateurs have played major roles in the development of communications satellites and digital communications systems. Traditional radios used by hams have been vastly transformed with the addition of computer technologies to allow for a variety of digital communications methods which can, among other features, connect from remote locations to internet nodes.
IN 2018 THE MID ISLAND RADIO ASSOCIATION FIELD DAY SHOW CASE EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY, JUNE 23 AND SUNDAY JUNE 24 AT THE PARKSVILLE COMMUNITY BEACH PARK. ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ARE ENCOURAGED TO VISIT FD 2018.