Maricopa Amateur Radio Association will be holding an annual emergency preparedness drill known as Field Day from June 23 at 11 a.m. to June 24 at 2 p.m.

The objective of this drill, with participants across North America, will be to make as many radio contacts as possible in a 24-hour period using equipment that is either solar or battery-powered.  Running “off the grid” simulates the loss of the power grid and tests radio amateur’s abilities to get emergency radio traffic passed in spite of the absence of commercial electrical power.  These field day events have been held across the country since 1933.

The local drill will be at the Maricopa Police Department substation at Copper Sky.  Portable antennas and radios will be deployed.  Anyone interested in amateur radio or emergency communications is welcome to stop by.  Interested parties may even operate the radio equipment under the supervision of licensed operators.

Amateur radio, often called “ham radio,” has been around for a more than a century.  In that time, it’s grown into a worldwide community of licensed radio operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications technology. It includes people of all ages and walks of life. Most U.S. astronauts have an amateur radio license.  Hams are just people who enjoy learning and being able to communicate around the world. Hams not only can build and modify their radio equipment but are responsible for inventing some of the modern electronic conveniences we use today

To obtain a license, radio amateurs must pass a series of tests on radio electronics, communications protocol, and operating practices, and answer questions on Part 97 of the FCC rules and regulations.  All ham radio activities are on a volunteer basis.

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