Contact: John Graves June 14, 2014
Phone: (513) 777-2228
West Chester Amateur Radio Group to Host Field Day to Test Nation’s ER Radio Communications; VOA Museum Open June 21
The West Chester Amateur Radio Association (WCARA) will join thousands of ham radio operators nationwide June 28 and 29 for Field Day. Field Day is an annual, comprehensive evaluation of our nation’s emergency radio capabilities. John Graves, WCARA vice president, said the purpose of the event is to train operators and demonstrate the capability of local amateur radio operators to conduct emergency radio communications off the power grid for an extended period of time. Field Day testing begins Saturday, June 28 at 2 p.m. and runs continuously for 24 hours until Sunday, June 29 at 2 p.m. The public is invited and visitors can operate a radio station for themselves. The event will be held at the north end of the VOA museum building at 8070 Tylersville Road in West Chester. “There is a reason the government likes us,” said Graves. “We can get through when no one else can. Amateur (ham) radio operators are especially active during hurricane season and during disasters such as the recent landslide in Washington, Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina.” WCARA operates radio station WC8VOA from the historic VOA Museum building. With more than 700,000 hams radio operators in the U.S., there is ample opportunity to experience the thrill of a long-distance radio contact, said Graves. A unique operating capability the West Chester group has is using the 7.2 meter satellite dish in front of the building for earth-moon-earth (EME) communications. Ham operators can bounce a signal to the moon and back and talk to people at very high frequencies. The radio group plans eventually to have two, 80-foot towers to hold station antennas. Two temporary transmitters are now in operation. Radio club meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the VOA museum building, with work sessions Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Visting ham and prospective ham radio operators are always welcome. For more information, go to www.wc8voa.org or contact Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Anyone interested in learning more about amateur radio or making high-frequency contacts is invited to join us,” said Graves. “We’re a friendly group always looking to welcome new members. This is a unique club because we have highly technically-oriented members who are experts in their fields.” The group will have four operating transmitters and a computer logging system to send results to the American Radio Relay League at the event’s conclusion. The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will be open for tours Saturday, June 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12. For more information about the museum, go to www.voamuseum.org.