Mesquite, NV-

National Amateur Radio Field Day started today, Saturday, June 25, 2022. The event kicked off at 11:00 am and is going for a full 24 hours. The Members of the local Amateur Radio Club are participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise at the Mesquite Visitor Center. The Virgin Valley Amateur Radio Club will be at the center located at 460 N Sandhill Blvd.

The President of the Virgin Valley Amateur Radio Club, Phil Capizzi, stated in a media release, “Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio.”

The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. A Get On The Air (GOTA) station that is temporary is set up specifically for anyone wishing to talk to other stations throughout the United States and even other stations throughout the world.

Capizzi continued to explain field day by stating, “for more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.”

Amateur Radio Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Even in emergencies and natural disasters, the emergency responders and tactical groups use ham radio to correlate emergency management plans and relief operations for victims of emergencies.

Last year more than 35,000 people participated in the Amateur Radio Field Day with people contacted in all different states, countries, and locations.

“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said David Isgur, communications manager for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter, and communicate halfway around the world,” Isgur added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines. In addition, amateur radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 7 and as old as 100.

Both Mesquite and Moapa Valley have amateur radio clubs, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here. The cost is relatively cheap to take up this hobby and lifesaving activity. The cost for membership in the Virgin Valley Amateur Radio Club is $25.00 per person or $30.00 per family. The club is an affiliate of the Las Vegas Repeater Association. They meet every second Monday at Mesquite Fire Station 3. The meeting starts at 6:00 pm. For more local information visit their website at www.vvarc.net.

The Amateur Radio Field Day will be going on until Sunday at 11:00 am.

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