Amateur Radio ‘Winter Field Day’ later this month will demonstrate science, skill and service

Members of the West Hudson Amateur Radio Club (WHARC) will participate in the national Amateur Radio Winter Field Day exercises, Jan. 28 & 29, at VFW Post No. 1302, 300 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.

Since 2006, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Winter Field Day to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio, as well as their own resilience under unpredictable weather conditions.

The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

WHARC members will set up temporary stations in the VFW hall to make contacts with other amateur radio operators around the world for 24 hours. Members of the public are welcome to visit between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday and between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

For more than 100 years, amateur radio — also called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Winter Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network.

“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” Larry Maleszewski, WHARC Vice President, said.

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” WHARC President Jim Miller said. “In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology and numerous other scientific disciplines. In addition, amateur radio is a huge asset to any community during disasters or emergencies if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

Anyone may become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as West Hudson Amateur Radio Club, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in the area around Kearny, Harrison, and East Newark.

WHARC was founded by local amateur radio operators in 2021 and has events, in person, and on the air every month. The club welcomes anyone with an interest in radio and electronics to join, regardless of whether they currently have an Amateur Radio license.

For more information about WHARC or Amateur Radio, visit www.wharc.org or www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.