Go on the air with ham radio operators at field day in Schaumburg

Ham radio operators from the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club will participate in a national amateur radio exercise from 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22, until 1 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

The event is ARRL Field Day (, an annual amateur radio activity organized since 1933 by ARRL, the national association for amateur radio in the United States.

The public is invited to attend the SARC event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at its operating site at 1406 N. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg. You’ll have the opportunity to see operators in action, and even get on the air with a licensed operator.

Hams from across North America ordinarily participate in Field Day by establishing temporary ham radio stations in public locations to demonstrate their skill and service. Their use of radio signals, which reach beyond borders, bring people together while providing essential communication in the service of communities. Field Day highlights ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent, wireless communications network.

Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club Banner at the entrance to Field Day site in Schaumburg. Courtesy of Dennis C. Calvey, KD9HIK

Many hams have portable radio communication capability that includes alternative energy sources such as generators, solar panels and batteries to power their equipment.

This year's event is also noteworthy given the recent severe weather season.

“Hams have a long history of serving our communities when storms or other disasters damage critical communication infrastructure, including cell towers,” said Dennis Calvey, publicity chair for the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club (call sign KD9HIK).

“Ham radio functions completely independently of the internet and phone systems, and a station can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. Hams can quickly raise a wire antenna in a tree or on a mast, connect it to a radio and power source, and communicate effectively with others,” Calvey added.

Additionally, the 11-year Solar Cycle has started to peak, leading to amazing Aurora displays and causing dramatic changes in radio propagation. Amateur radio operators work as citizen scientists to help collect and analyze data for research projects worldwide.

Volunteer amateur radio operators also work with local public safety agencies to provide additional communication during events such as marathons and parades.

During Field Day 2023, more than 18,000 hams participated from thousands of locations across North America. According to ARRL, there are more than 750,000 amateur radio licensees in the U.S., and an estimated three million worldwide.

Among the tenets of the Amateur Radio Service is developing and practicing skills in radio technology and radio communications, and even contributing to international goodwill. Hams range in age from as young as 9 to older than 100.

For information about ARRL Field Day and ham radio, visit the Schaumburg Amateur Radio Club website at N9RJV.ORG.

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