FAIR LAWN, NJ - Individual members of the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise beginning at 2PM on Saturday, June 27 ending Sunday, June 28 also at the same time. Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary radio stations in public locations during Field Day weekend to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. Over 36,000 "hams" from hundreds of locations across North America participated in Field Day in 2019.

Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Ham operators train and prepare to support emergency communications by providing radio links when other communications channels are not working.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s event will be markedly different from year’s past. With coronavirus prohibiting large public activities, hundreds of north Jersey “hams” will take to their backyards and other locations to operate individually using a variety of emergency power supplies. During the lockdown, active hams have been on the air more than usual in keeping in touch with each other while the public has been largely isolated. Practicing personal radio skills is a hallmark of ham operators and this year’s Field Day will put these individual skills especially to the test. The Fair Lawn club expects at least half of its membership to be participating.

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This year's event also coincides with the arrival of a rather active early hurricane season, which in many cases, leaves critical communications solely to the responsibility of amateur operators in the first critical days after a storm strikes. “In disasters, we've learned that cell towers won't work, and ham operators play a huge role when that happens.” said Nomar Vizcarrondo (callsign NP4H). “Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly throw a wire in a tree or mast for an antenna, connect it to a generator, solar or battery-powered transmitter and communicate effectively with others,” Vizcarrondo added. "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, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down....amateur radio remains contemporary and as relevant as ever". 

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator; there are more licensed US operators today than ever before.  And local clubs make it easy for anybody to get involved.

For more information contact Ed Efchak at wx2r@arrl.net or visit www.FairLawnARC.org or the local ARRL Northern New Jersey Section site at www.nnj.arrl.org.