Bulletin Staff Report

Brownwood area amateur radio “ham” operators joined hundreds of thousands of their counterparts around the world Saturday in their annual Field Day, a 24-hour test during which operators attempt to make contact with as many of each other as they can.

Field Day, which was first held in 1933, is sponsored by all three International Amateur Radio Union regions. But John W. Lawson of Brownwood said Field Day also provides non-ham radio operators with an opportunity to become involved and to learn how they stand ready to provide emergency communications during times when other means fail due to natural disaster or emergency.

The Brownwood Field Day operations are being staged at the old church in the 1900 block of Calvert Road, between Brownwood Middle School and the baseball parks.

Lawson said members of the public are welcome to stop by and “get on the air” with a special station that has been set up using a call sign of a local ham who recently upgraded his license.

Field Day operations are established in a variety of sites, Lawson said, ranging from remote locations to modern emergency operation centers of local governments.

Lawson said hams are able to get on the air in very short periods of time without commercial power — and in remote areas — to create a lifetime in times of emergency.