Radio Club holds a 24 hour field exercise

Radio Club holds a 24 hour field exercise

Radio Club holds a 24 hour field exercise

Tens of thousands amateur radio operators or "hams" set up "temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service" to local communities and the nation, according to the National Association for Amateur Radio website.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the operators set up a shop Saturday at two different locations in Howard County.

Amateur radio, sometimes known as ham radio, is an interesting way of communication because it can reach great distances without the use of the internet or phones. The event also showcases the importance and use of amateur radio in emergency situations or disasters.

Club member Tom Christovich said about 30,000 ham radio operators from around the country took part in the drill, which was sponsored by the American Radio Relay League.

It's also a contest of sort against other amateur (ham) radio operators. Members of the North Augusta Belvedere Radio Club, which covers Aiken County, are participating in the exercise and taking shifts during the weekend.

Ham radio operators are amateurs with licenses from the Federal Communications Commission.

Amateur Radio is growing in the US. In order for a contact to be made there must be an exchange of information between operators.

"Hurricane Katrina was a big showcase for hams, many of whom traveled to the South in a volunteer effort to save lives and property", Christovich said.

One member recalls a disaster when demonstrations like this one became reality.

Rocker has been operating ham radios for almost 40 years.

Saturday is what the organization calls 'Field Day'.

"No one really knows why we're called hams, but one theory is that operators like talking - like show business hams - you know, hamming it up", he said.

Field day wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.

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