In America each year, the fourth full weekend in June, amateur radio operators around the country set up in fields, public shelters, and parks around the United States, and simulate emergency communications as they strive to contact fellow amateur operators (also known as “ham radio” operators, or hams).
There are about three million ham operators licensed around the world, with 750,000 licensed hams in the USA. Hams are credited with being leading inventors and technical experts who brought us the Internet, the cellphone industry, email, 5G, and many television personalities, business leaders, engineers, scientists, noble prizewinners, politicians, astronauts, and heads of states are amateur radio operators.
Ted Rappaport, David Lee/Ernst Weber chaired professor and founding director NYU WIRELESS, hosted a field day operation in Riner, VA, using his station radio call sign N9NB, (firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as the public for educational demonstrations of amateur radio. There were demonstrations from ham radio operators who will be making contacts using morse code (CW), voice, and data under emergency power.
Rappaport said “Field day is a wonderful weekend where ham operators around the US hone their skills in communicating under emergency conditions. This activity is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the amazing capabilities of amateur radio to the public. I was 14 when I sent morse code in my first field day in Richmond, Indiana, and the magic of radio from that weekend led me to pursue my passion for wireless communications throughout my life. This hobby offers great fun, public service, and is vital for providing a vast platform that can excite children to learn about engineering, and can lead them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
There were demonstrations using the high-frequency shortwave frequencies with rapidly deployed antennas (these frequencies travel around the world using the ionosphere) as well as VHF and UHF frequencies.
Other demonstrations included communicating using low earth orbit satellites (LEOs) to other ham operators. Other participants at N9NB Field Day operation include N4HY, Bob McGwire, a professor in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech, and North Carolina high school teacher Nate Moreschi, N4YDU.
Also scheduled to participate was University of North Carolina college student Tucker McGuire, W4FS. He will be demonstrating satellite and UHF communications with a portable, solar-powered radio system. Newly licensed Jeff Armistead, KN4FEB, will be heading up our “get on the air (GOTA) station” that is available to those interested in making contacts under the supervision of a licensed operator. Gordon Garret, K1GG, will also be assisting with the Morse code and data communication during the weekend.