Several amateur radio operators in Maryland took part in a 24-hour national preparedness drill.
The Yellow Thunder Amateur Radio Club participated from a Columbia County park Saturday in an on-the-air event with more than 35,000 other radio amateurs across the country.
Howard Thompson, with the Germantown Fire Department explained.
Ham radio, it's a tool the Rockford Amateur Radio Association says not a lot of people know about.
Those interested in becoming a certified ham radio operator can visit the Rockford Amateur Radio Association page here. "We're only missing a few section in Canada and they're not the heavily populated ones", said Hawk.
Saturday is what the organization calls 'Field Day'.
Tim Ramsey, another ham and club member, said he likes Morse because "it's crisp and there's never any static".
"The fastest way to turn a crisis into a total disaster is to lose communications", said Allen Pitts of the ARRL. Because ham radios are not dependent on the Internet, cell towers or other infrastructure, they work when nothing else is available.
One thing I learnt was that FM receivers don't need an AGC, since the volume of a signal is related to how much it deviates from the central signal, not how much signal there is, which is why the microphone gain setting on your radio determines the volume, not the level of power. Through the ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide both emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non-emergency community services too, all for free.
Amateur Radio is growing in the US. The public is most cordially invited to come, meet and talk with the hams.