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Upcoming Roswell event celebrates amateur radio
by James Swift
June 25, 2014 05:18 PM | 3424 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Take note, hams. The North Fulton Amateur Radio League will hold its annual field day event in Roswell Saturday and Sunday.

The event is coordinated through the American Radio Relay League. For the last two years, the league event has had the highest attendance of any field day outing in the nation.

“It’s a great place to see new things and new types of equipment, and how computers work along with ham radios to enhance the hobby,” said league executive board member Jim Paine.

Paine, a former Alpharetta city councilman, said he has been fascinated with ham radio since his childhood.

“Amateur radio is a hobby a lot of people thought was on the way out years ago,” he said.

New computer technologies, however, have made ham radio popular with a whole new generation of hobbyists.

Founded in 1973, the league now has more than 300 members.

This year, stations will be set up for Roswell attendees to speak with fellow field day celebrators all across the country. Attendees can also view high-tech, digital devices and even a ham station that communicates through an orbiting satellite.

Alpharetta and Sandy Springs support vehicles will be on display, with presenters showing how ham radio operators can communicate with public safety agencies. Boy Scouts can also earn radio merit badges at the event, while hungry ham enthusiasts can enjoy a cookout dinner later in the evening.

Joining the league at the event will be members of the North Fulton Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

On field day, former service emergency coordinator Tom Koch said, members of the organization will provide demonstrations of nonconventional communications.

“Basically, we demonstrate the emergency capabilities of amateur radio at field day,” he said. “When cells are down and the Internet is down and local public safety communication systems are down, ours will still work.”

The significance of amateur radio, he said, was demonstrated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“The only communications coming out of New Orleans, for at least the first day or two,” he said, “was through a ham station in the Tulane University Hospital.”

The 24-hour demonstration will begin Saturday at 2 p.m. at Waller Park Extension at 160 Dobbs Drive. More information on the event can be found at

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