Saturday is Amateur Radio Field Day, a
nationwide event in which amateur, or ham, radio operators
gather to practice and showcase their skills. The Kodiak Island Amateur Radio Club and the
Kodiak Amateur Radio Emergency Service will participate in the event with a
demonstration at the Kodiak
KMXT's Erik Wander has more.
The Amateur Radio Field Day
event takes place Saturday at the Kodiak
Museum at Fort Abercrombie
from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Amateur Radio Field Day is held
annually during the last week of June. Ham radio operators across the country
gather in often remote places, set up emergency stations and attempt to contact
one another, thereby practicing and improving their proficiency. The event in
Kodiak includes demonstrations using authentic, fully restored vintage military
radios. Mike Dolph is the Kodiak Island district
emergency coordinator with Kodiak Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
1 41 sec. "This year, we've elected to ... with
addition to the vintage equipment, this year's showcase will feature
modern-day, conventional amateur radio setups for a total of three or four
stations operating simultaneously. Dolph said that in the age of cellphone,
text messaging, internet, GPS and other instant communications, ham radio
remains relevant, not only as a hobby, but as an emergency service. He pointed
to historical and recent emergencies and disasters, such as the flooding in
and Hurricane Katrina, as evidence of its continued usefulness.
2 50 sec. "In all of those incidences
... in Kodiak was by ham radio.")
was Nick Laktonen from the top of Pillar Mountain on the day of the 1964
order to become a ham radio operator, people must attain a license from the
Federal Communications Commission. Dolph said that FCC
requirements have changed in the last 15 years. Among the changes, the FCC has
done away with the Morse Code proficiency requirement, which Dolph said is
still practiced by some and still useful in certain circumstances.
3 50 sec. "Actually, a proficient ... still a
very productive mode.")
estimates that there are 20 to 25 licensed amateur radio operators in Kodiak
and said there are 10 active Kodiak Amateur Radio Emergency Service operators.
He said anyone wishing to obtain a license can study online at a variety of
different web sites, and then take the required FCC exam. Dolph said it may not
be as easy as it seems.
4 39 sec. "The exams on all the levels ... level
of license you have.")