Amateur radio operators (aka “hams”) from Highland and Clinton counties will participate in the largest on-air amateur radio event in the world the weekend of June 25-26. During this event know as Field Day, members of the Highland Amateur Radio Association and the Clinton County Amateur Radio Association will join tens of thousands of other hams from almost every one of America’s 3,076 counties in this test of the effectiveness of amateur radio communications in times of national, regional or local emergencies and public service events.

Field Day is an annual event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League and marks the one weekend of the year when licensed amateur radio operators throughout the United States and Canada take to the fields, parks, seashores and mountains to set up and test their personal amateur radio equipment and communication skills. Once a ham arrives at the Field Day site, antennas are erected, equipment made operational and some 30 hours are devoted to making contacts with other such installations throughout North America and the world. All of this is done without the benefit of permanent antenna installations or a connection to the commercial power grid. Everything at the site is powered by generators, batteries or other sources. According to CCARA member Paul Gehringer, this year will feature a station powered completely by solar panels mounted on the roof of a motor home.

According to Lee Bishop, president of the Highland ARA, this year’s event will be held at the Kathy and John Levo Family Farm, 810 Levo Rd., New Vienna. Bishop said the location is within yards of the highest point in Clinton County and a new Clinton County Emergency Management Agency communications tower. The site is also one of Ohio’s Historical Family Farms as designated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and one of about 20 in Clinton County.

Bishop invites the public, local officials or anyone interested in emergency communications or learning about ham radio to drop by the site anytime during the weekend. He states operations will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday and be operated continuously until the following afternoon.

Besides voice communications, contacts will also be made using Morse Code and other digital modes. A station will be set up for people without ham licenses to experience the thrill of talking to another person via amateur radio.

A joint picnic is planned for 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

For more information contact Bishop at 937-393-1627.

Submitted by Lee Bishop.

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