Amateur radio operators set up for the annual Field Day at Northfield Center
The Nordonia Hills area was “radioactive” the weekend of June 26-27 when members of Amateur Radio “HAM” from PrepNet, a local emergency preparedness group, participated in the annual Field event. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Day.
Field Day began in 1933 and has grown into an annual event with nearly 40,000 amateur radio operators participating this year across the United States, its territories, and Canada.
The purpose of Field Day is to simulate the operation of radio stations under emergency conditions and to contact as many other stations as possible. It also allows experienced operators to teach beginners and educate the public about this wonderful hobby and its rich history of public service.
Seven licensed operators from Northfield Center and Sagamore Hills, ages 13 to 72, operated three stations continuously for 18 hours. The stations were installed in the Northfield Center Gazebo. Confirmed voice and Morse code contacts have been established with 47 states, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and 5 Canadian provinces.
The stations were heard so well that several foreign countries made contact with the group including those from Europe, Africa, South America, the Canary Islands and rare contact with the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
Early Sunday morning, the group waited for the International Space Station to pass through the clear and dark sky. When he was spotted, a hand-held radio was used to transmit a signal to activate a Russian radio repeater on board the station, which was used to attempt further Field Day contacts.
Amateur radio has always been successful when all other communications have failed under emergency conditions. This Field Day event marked the fourth time that the PrepNet Group honed their technical skills outside of their home stations. They are ready, willing and able to use these skills to help communities in Nordonia Hills and beyond, whenever the need arises.