Radio Field Day at WHS this Saturday


Preparing for a long night, Bob WB6AGE and his portable antenna on a mountaintop, practicing emergency comms. Photo courtesy of Bob Cosentino.

Submitted by Ron Wright

Follow the signs to visit our operating stations at the Wahkiakum High School baseball fields this coming Saturday, June 24, anytime between noon and 5 p.m. to experience what emergency communications are like between our county and the rest of the world. We have two stations going this year: one will show digital comms, the other will demonstrate both CW (aka "morse code") and voice. This is the annual "ARRL Amateur Radio Field Day" where stations from all over the world attempt to contact as many others as they can between 11 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday (PDST local).

This practice is for one component of our county emergency services communication plan: communication with the state Emergency Operations Center, and the rest of the world. Our second component uses the VHF stations we have set up at every fire hall in the county. Our third component, demonstrated in the photo, is the ability to place a transmitter/receiver nearly anywhere in the county it might be needed. Together, these three components provide backup communications during an emergency: gather at your local fire hall to get info onto the system, the info is forwarded to our county EOC in Cathlamet, then the info is directed to the appropriate system outside our county: This could be to a friend or relative anywhere in the world you want to assure, to the State EOC for county needs, to the Red Cross, or to the federal support system.

Last week we completed our latest test of our local system (second component) where each of our nine local county stations contacts every other station. All went well, and we picked up a few more incremental improvements we can make to become even better. Thank you, hams for making this happen: Bob WB6AGE, Steve K7SH, Pat KI7ORS, Jim KG7WSQ, Glenn KJ7UMW, Ron W7ERY, Peter WR8Z, and Steve W7WOG. If you would like to join us, or get your Amateur Radio license, visit our website at


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