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Amateur radio club to rendezvous in Plains


The members of the Clark Fork Valley Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 22-23 at Fred Young Park in Plains. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for Amateur Radio in the U.S.. There are over 170,000 FCC-licensed Amateurs that are represented by the ARRL, which provides books, news and support as well as information for individuals and clubs, special events, continuing education classes and other benefits for all members.

Often called "ham radio," Amateur Radio has been around for a century. It has grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves alongside every other means of communication. Members of Amateur Radio range in age from youngsters to grandparents. The Amateur Radio frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where you can develop and experiment with wireless communications.

ARRL Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the U.S. and Canada, with more than 35,000 radio amateurs gathering with their clubs and friends, to operate from remote locations. Field Day is a picnic, campout, practice for emergencies, informal contest, and just plain fun! Many of the different aspects of Amateur Radio will come together and highlight the many roles that work together. The ARRL Field Day is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how Amateur Radio could serve in an emergency situation when cell towers or internet are compromised.

“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect," said David Isgur, communications manager for the American Radio Relay League. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes,” Isgur continued.

Amateur Radio can be set up as easy as elevating a wire over a tree branch to act as an antenna, connecting a battery powered transmitter, and possibly communicating halfway across the world. Anyone can become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. The Clark Fork Valley Amateur Radio Club is eager to help anyone interested get involved right here in Sanders County. There is a Facebook page or you can contact Eli Corrigan, club president, at (406) 407-5510.


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