Coastside amateur radio “hams” to demonstrate emergency communications
On June 26 and 27, the local Coastside amateur radio ham group will participate in a 24 hour Field Day where thousands of North American hams demonstrate their emergency radio capabilities. Using radios powered by generators, batteries and other “off the grid” sources, hams will make contact with as many other hams as possible. Field Day starts at 11 am on Saturday June 26th and continues to 11 am Sunday. We typically make over 600 contacts dependent on the ionospheric conditions.
The event will be held at the Venice Beach parking lot at the west end of Venice Blvd. in Half Moon Bay. Look for the large antennas in the north parking lot area.
With thousands of hams on the air at one time, the airwaves get pretty crowded, making communication difficult. But the locals will still make contact with hams in almost every state, Canadian province and many other countries.
The point of this exercise is to show the public and local officials that, when the going gets tough, hams can get the message through. But it is also a fun event demonstrating our communications skills and equipment.
This Field Day is sponsored by the national Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), the umbrella organization for US hams. It is held every year on the fourth weekend in June. All hams and ham clubs are invited to take part. Ham clubs in Pacifica, La Honda and many cities over the hill will likely also participate. We get points for each contact we make as well as what kind of power we use, like solar, and several other special communication features.
The Public is welcome
Even the non-licensed public can participate as long as a licensed ham is present. Hams will gladly show off their equipment, antennas and procedures. We especially like to invite the younger generation to see how much fun ham radio can be.
Coastside hams are organized through the HMB Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), also sponsored through the ARRL and the city of Half Moon Bay. The Emergency Coordinator is David Richards. This group holds monthly meetings at the Ted Adcock Community Center on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm. There is an on-the-air net at 8:00 pm every Wednesday using the local repeater. The frequency is 149.285 MHz, positive offset with a pl of 114.8 Hz. All hams and wanna-be hams are invited to our meetings.
In addition to emergency communications, local hams provide help with community events including Dream Machines in April, the Pumpkin Festival in October and the Nights of Light in December.
More ARES info can be found at: http://areshmb.org