Ham radio operators hold Field Day at county museum

The Wood County Amateur Radio Club will hold a field day Saturday and Sunday at the Wood County
Historical Museum.
Ham radio operators will start stringing their antennas Saturday around noon, and be ready to sign onto
their sets around 2 p.m., according to club President Bob Willman.
For visitors to the field day, the ham operators will be set up in the Boom Town area next to the
blacksmith shop. Visitors should plan to stop by Saturday afternoon or evening.
"I’d be surprised if we ran all night," Willman said, guessing most radio operators will sign
off by midnight Saturday. He wasn’t sure how many would continue on their sets on Sunday.
He called the event "a bunch of guys having a lot of fun."
Willman, of Bowling Green, has been operating ham radios since 1971, when as a novice he had to use Morse
code. Over the years, he’s talked with other ham operators around the world, including South America,
Africa and Antarctica.
Sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), tens of thousands of hams across the country will
head outdoors this weekend to operate without the comforts of home.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has proclaimed Saturday "Amateur Radio Operators’ Appreciation Day"
across the Buckeye State.
"When all else fails, amateur radio gets through" – and local amateur radio operators will
demonstrate how at this year’s Field Day.
QST, a popular amateur magazine calls Field Day "the most popular on the air operating event in
amateur radio".
From tents, trailers, parks and emergency communication centers, ham stations using non-commercial power
will demonstrate the effectiveness of amateur radio during emergencies.
The Federal Communications Commission and Homeland Security praise the value of amateur radio in times of
national emergency.
In the days after Hurricane Katrina, amateur radio was the only means of communication in the affected
areas.
Field Day operators rely on batteries, generators, and in some cases "go green" with wind and
solar power to run their rigs or charge their batteries.
Various modes of communication are in operation such as voice, digital, and cw.
A wide assortment of antennas, including "homebrewed," aim the signals to the sky.
All kinds of radios from vintage to modern day, running on as little as 2-watts or less to more than 100
watts of power, will be on the air.
The stations also compete nationally for the greatest number of contacts.
According to George Henzler, ARES District One emergency coordinator, "Short of an actual emergency,
Field Day proves the far reaching capabilities of amateur radio during times of disaster when
telephones, the Internet, cell phones along with electrical power are down. You only have to look back
at the winter ice storms in Kentucky where communications and power were off line for days to see the
need and importance of amateur radio as a life saver."
Field Day is voluntary with the hams using their own gear.
In Wood County at the museum, amateurs will be on hand to answer questions and explain how easy it is to
enter the exciting hobby of amateur radio.