Loudoun Amateur Radio Operators Begin Field Day Emergency Exercise

Starting at 2 p.m. today, dozens of Loudoun Amateur Radio Group members will participate in an emergency communications training exercise known as Field Day 2018.

The 24-hour event features FCC licensed amateur radio operators–known as hams—in constant national and international radio communication using generator or battery powered equipment. The exercise simulates conditions that would be experienced during a disaster or emergency scenario.

This year’s event it at Franklin Park west of Purcellville. The public is invited to tour the radio stations and even participate in making over-the-air contacts.

“Field Day weekend involves more than 35,000 volunteer amateur radio operators across North America practicing our skill in communicating when all else fails,” LARG President Jeff Crawford said. “This family-friendly event is open to the public and we especially invite young people with an interest in science and technology to come by and get on the air with the help of one of our members.”

The event will feature seven radio stations operating on distinct frequencies, including one via satellite and others exclusively using Morse code. Organizers also plan a radio station to allow young people to talk to far-flung radio operators while under the supervision of LARG’s trained and licensed members.

The Amateur Radio Relay League, the national organization with which LARG is affiliated, sponsors Field Day competitions in multiple categories. The Loudoun group frequently places first or ranks among the top of hundreds of clubs in the nation in those contests.

Field Day begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23 and continues through the night without interruption—rain or shine—until 2 p.m. Sunday. The LARG site is located near the athletic fields overlooking Franklin Park Arts Center, at 36441 Blueridge View Lane.

Visitors are welcome during regular park daylight hours.

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