Public Invited to Amateur Radio Field Day at UC Davis

An amateur radio handset in a hand
Members of the public have the opportunity to see amateur radio operators communicating around the world at a field day hosted by UC Davis. (Getty Images)

Four amateur radio clubs from Yolo County and Sacramento invite the public to a local field day where people can watch members participate in the largest on-the-air event in North America on Saturday, June 26.

Hosted by UC Davis, the field day will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be held on Russell Field on the Davis campus.

Local operators — who play a vital role in communications for major special events and emergencies — will test and showcase their abilities as they connect with other operators around the world. They will be among more than 40,000 radio amateurs in North America participating in field days organized by the ARRL, the national association for amateur radio. They are from:

From a field station independent of utilities and other amenities, about 25 local participants will communicate with other amateur radio operators around the world using voice, Morse code with its fast-paced beeps, and other digital forms of communications such as radio teletype.

Gary Matteson, a researcher in biological and agricultural engineering at UC Davis, is a leader in two of the participating amateur radio clubs and is a member of the UC Davis club.

He says amateur radio, which transmits and receives messages on radio frequencies set aside for noncommercial use, is a reliable and powerful means of emergency communications especially when telephone, cellphone and internet services are overloaded or damaged.

As part of its comprehensive emergency management program, UC Davis operates an amateur radio base station and has a repeater station.

Russell Field is located south of Russell Boulevard between California Avenue and Howard Way and immediately north of the campus tennis courts.

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