Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club to Hold Virtual Event This Weekend

During live video sessions on Facebook, MVARC members will demonstrate the many uses of ham radio

Ham radio equipment (Photo: Coharris/Wikimedia Commons)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Did you know that there are more than 725,000 licensed ham radio operators in the U.S.? In past years, many of them would gather for Ham Radio Field Day, an annual event for operators open to the public. This year however, because of the coronavirus, Field Day will take place in a virtual setting.

The Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club (MVARC) will hold its Field Day from June 27–28. MVARC members will be able to talk and exchange information while giving the public a chance to learn about ham radio’s uses and reliability.

What is Ham Radio?

Ham radio refers to frequencies on the radio spectrum that are open to licensed operators. These frequencies can be used to communicate with people around the world and even send messages during an emergency or disaster.

The term “ham” refers to amateur operators. It was first used as a derogatory term to describe those who were not very good with Morse code. Over the decades, its common use made it a term simply to describe people involved with amateur radio. And today, it is used by operators with a sense of pride.

Ham radio has been around since the 19th century. But it gained popularity in the early 20th century. The first official list of amateur radio stations was released in 1909.

When most people think of radio, they know two bands, AM and FM. But there are many more. On these much smaller frequencies, users can send code or voice messages. Modern computers now permit communication and the sending of information through digital means.

Licensing is required in many countries because radio waves go beyond national boundaries. In the U.S., licensing demonstrates expertise and skill. The licensing exam is approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

MVARC Field Day

As mentioned previously, MVARC will hold their Field Day event this coming weekend, June 27–28. The event starts Saturday at 11 a.m. and ends at the same time on Sunday. For its duration, ham operators will try to contact as many stations as possible around the country.

You can watch as operators practice their technical skills, conduct emergency preparedness exercises, and more.

To check out live video sessions, visit the MVARC’s Facebook page HERE. For even more information about the group, visit their website HERE.

ICYMI — CORRECTION: Van Dorn Street and 17 More Metrorail Stations to Reopen on June 28