HAM radio club hosts field day
Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday members of Carson Valley’s Sierra Intermountain Emergency Radio Association will participate in Field Day 2019 and make as many contacts as they can throughout North America in a 24-hour period. This annual event, sponsored by the Amateur Radio Relay League, prepares HAMs to assist during disasters.
During such emergencies, cell phone and Internet communications may be unavailable. For Field Day, HAMS are required to set up a radio station away from their home stations, using only off-grid power such as solar panels and generators.
Carson Valley’s club will set up their station in the RV parking lot of the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Not only will they vie for the highest number of radio contacts; they invite visitors to see how they contributes to Carson Valley communities.
Visitors can see first-hand how the station is setup and operated. There may even be an opportunity to pick up a microphone and talk to someone across the country, in Mexico or Canada. Teachers especially may find amateur radio a fun way to introduce electronics, physics, meteorology and other science subjects into their curricula.
The club’s trailer has three positions for operators and can quickly to provide communications wherever they are needed. While the club owns a repeater on Leviathan Peak that uses solar power, repeaters are restricted during Field Day. Instead, they will transmit on high frequency using portable antennas erected on site.
Besides Field Day, the club supports other community events. The weekend before Field Day, Ham radio operators will be following riders in the Pony Express Re-Ride as it makes its way across Nevada. The Death Ride, the Alta Alpina, and the Nevada Day Parade receive similar support.
While Field Day offers an opportunity for the public to see what HAMs do, those interested in getting their radio licenses and joining this dynamic group are welcome to attend the club’s monthly meetings 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at Carson Valley United Methodist Church on Centerville Road in Gardnerville.
SIERA offers classes and sponsors nets and get-togethers throughout the week. Schedules for these and other activities can be seen on the club’s website: http://www.cvhams.com. SIERA even has a Facebook page: http://www.Facebook/SIERA.