Field Day at park

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Newton Amateur Radio Association Inc., or NARA, will be participating in Field Day again this year from 1 p.m. Saturday until noon.

This year the Motor City Radio Club will be holding Field Day from Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 25 at Centennial Farm, 25797 3rd Street, Grosse Ile. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome. Organizers plan a Get On The Air station to allow young people to talk with other stations across the country while under the supervision of a trained radio operator.

Approximately 10 club members will be participating this year as they will be camping out at the park.

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Bechtel said participants will contact other radios on amateur frequency bands throughout the US, and maybe some in other countries. Bechtel said teams get extra points if they use an emergency power source like hydraulics or wind power. The amateur radio frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where you, as an individual, can develop and experiment with wireless communications. The event is aimed at ensuring ham operators are ready to assist in a potential disaster, but it also involves a friendly competition to see which club can make the most contacts over the 24-hour period.

"In their off-time they have a radio station set up as they go around the world", he said.

Field Day demonstrates amateur radio's ability to work reliably under any conditions from nearly any location and create an independent communications network. It is one feature that will be emphasized this weekend. "Freak storms reflecting a changing climate can knock out a cell phone tower, strip a telephone pole or flood a fiber-optic cable facility and we'll all be in trouble". "That is one of the reasons why the National Weather Service relies heavily on the amateur radio weather spotters". Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency services too.

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