Photo: Amateur radio operators make contacts during an ARRL Field Day event two years ago. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
If you visit the Olive Branch City Park this weekend, you may see a tent set up with antennas standing nearby and guys (and gals) wearing headsets and speaking into microphones. They’re amateur radio enthusiasts and will be taking part in what’s called the ARRL Field Day.
ARRL stands for American Radio Relay League, an organization that connects amateur radio, also called ham radio, operators across the country.
This weekend’s event serves two purposes. One is a bit of a contest between the ham operators to get as many “contacts” between other ham operators in the 24-hour period, from 1 p.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday, and to see where the contacts are located.
The second purpose is to test the ability to set up and operate emergency radios to aid the population and emergency responders in case a catastrophic event takes place. If there is a loss of electric power, radio can operate with generators to continue communications.
The Olive Branch Amateur Radio Club is organizing the annual event, which this year is being held at the Olive Branch City Park. The local Civil Air Patrol is also involved in the event as it is also involved in emergency services. For more information email Jim Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 901-383-3104.