Alachua County ham radio volunteers to compete this weekend

The North Florida Amateur Radio Club will participate in this weekend’s nationwide Field Day radio competition at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center.
The North Florida Amateur Radio Club will participate in this weekend’s nationwide “Field Day” radio competition at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center.
Courtesy of NFARC

The North Florida Amateur Radio Club (NFARC) will participate in this weekend’s nationwide “Field Day” radio competition at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center.

This event is open to the public and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, and 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 23, at the Cuscowilla Lodge (210 SE 134 Ave., Micanopy). There will be amateur radio stations set up, brochures available and a tour guide.

NFARC is part of the nationwide Amateur Radio Emergency Service and serves Alachua County Emergency Management during shelter operations in disasters. A 100-foot portable radio tower, in addition to the club’s 35-foot tower, will be used with antennas in the competition and will be on display for visitors.

This radio competition demonstrates how ham radio functions without the internet or cell phone infrastructure and how reliable amateur radio is from almost any location and under any circumstances.

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Last year, the NFARC earned first place in the nation for their emergency operations center-affiliated segment of the contest. In a 24-hour period, the club made over 1,200 radio contacts. This weekend, they will operate four different shortwave radio stations at once, which can reach throughout the world.

Those interested and willing to volunteer for Alachua County disaster communications are urged to join the club. Membership to the club is free. Click here to go to the NFARC website.

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