Local Amateur Radio operators reach out to the


CALHOUN, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Amateur Radio enthusiasts gathered on the weekend of June 25 to participate in the Annual Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day.

The Northeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club Field Day had the opportunity to engage with participants while communicating with amateur radio stations from all over the world. The activity demonstrated the fun, educational and challenging attributes of amateur radio.

The W5WZ Amateur Radio Station logged on the airwaves to see how many people they could make contact with for this annual emergency preparedness drill.

“Amateur operators across the United States and Canada exchange pieces of information as an example on what would be used in a critical communications emergency, and we do this for fun,” President of the Northeast Louisiana Amateur Club, Scott Dickson, said.

Not only is it a lot of fun, Dickson says ham radio skills are important in emergencies like natural disasters.

“Across the country, stations are large and small, and they can participate without having a fixed location. A single tornado can take out a single cell tower, and it can affect thousands of square miles.”

And a ham radio station would provide a more accessible resource for emergency services.

Ham can build an antenna out of a roll of wire. Hook up a radio up in the car to a 12 volt battery or even a portable radio and make the communications happen.

Texas, Main, Los Angeles, Ohio, New Hampshire, Missouri were a few of the states that were part of the list they came in contact with in the closing 12 minutes of the contest.

Co-signed Amateur Radio volunteer, Jim Wilhelm joined the hobby five years ago. He says ham radio license allows you to communicate without the internet or cell towers.

“We got a phone to do that, and yes, that’s true, but first of all, if that phone doesn’t work, you can’t talk. Now, we can still talk on our radio. The power went out, and we got our battery, and we can power up our radios and still operate.”

The Northeast Louisiana Amateur Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Geneva Academy, 715 Cypress Street, West Monroe, LA 71291.

If you would like to contact the W5WZ Amateur Radio Station click here.

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