Local radio operators taking part in nationwide weekend Field Day event


(WEEK) — Amateur radio operators across Central Illinois will take to the airwaves showcasing the science and skill of the hobby this weekend during Field Day.

According to separate releases, the Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club will be operating from the Shoppes at Grand Prairie while in Tazewell County, the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency will be open and radio equipment will be set up.

The 24-hour event will begin Saturday at 1 p.m.

The event showcases how amateur radio works reliably under any conditions from almost any location to create an independent communications network.

“Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with laptops or smartphones and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes,” according to Bob Inderbitzen, spokesperson for the Amateur Radio Relay League. “That’s the beauty of amateur radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Dawn Cook, Director of the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency, who also has a ham license, KD9EUF. “Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others.”

Among the tenets of the Amateur Radio Service is developing and practicing skills in radio technology and radio communications, and even contributing to international goodwill.

The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

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