20 Cities in 20 Days: Newington Hosts American Radio Relay League | New
NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Newington is home to the American Radio Relay League, thee ARRL, and a destination for amateur radio operators around the world.
The headquarters of the organization are in Newington.
“Really, Newington’s goal in 1938 was to overcome the flooded Brainard Field station. The founder of the organization, Hiram Percy Maxim, found a beautiful property here in Newington and we have been there ever since, ”said Bob Interbitzen, Director of Product Development at ARRL.
The National Organization of Amateur Radios, or Amateur Operators, has existed for over 100 years. It was founded on the premise that this budding radio community of amateurs from across the United States would relay messages wirelessly from one place to another.
“At first it was like, ‘Let’s get a message from Hartford to Springfield,’ then all of a sudden it’s Hartford to Cleveland, and before you know it, we’re all across the country. And then this network of radio amateurs from all over the world communicates with each other, ”Interbitzen said.
There are now over 700,000 operators in the United States, 3 million worldwide, and most of them have a connection in Newington.
The most famous call sign in the world is W1AW, or as ham lovers know, Whiskey One Alpha Whiskey.
Remember that the original goal of the organization was person-to-person communication? Why would we need it now when almost everyone has a cell phone?
“Places like Puerto Rico and the Southeast where we have hurricanes and California wildfires, there continue to be instances where commercial communications systems fail and the amateur radio community is highly skilled, integrated. to the Red Cross, to its emergency operations centers and they are creating rapid networks to be able to bridge this gap as all commercial systems are being rebuilt or repaired, ”Interbitzen said.
Even though most of the people we know have cell phones and take it almost for granted that we can make calls easily, some people cannot.
“In some parts of the world, amateur radio service in the poorest countries is a critical and critical piece of emergency communications infrastructure and in the United States here we still have a large territory where parts of the countries are not. covered with cell phone towers and easy, ”Interbitzen said. “It’s a backbone of communications that goes under the radar. You almost don’t even know it’s happening because the goal of the amateur radio community is to connect the dots so that firefighters, police, hospitals, and medical staff can all communicate with each other in these gaps.
The American Radio Relay League, which has been sending messages for over 100 years, is reaching out from its home station in Newington to operators around the world.
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