By Peter Miller
It's official! June 18-24, 2012 is Amateur Radio Week in Connecticut.
With the hobby's biggest yearly event - Field Day - just days away, Governor Dannel Malloy has issued a proclamation honoring ham operators for their dedication, readiness and assistance to the public during times of need.
Governor Malloy cited last year's two weather disasters, Hurricane Irene and the destructive October snowstorm, as examples of ham radio in public service.
In both instances, ham radio assisted public safety officials while regular communications were affected by power and telephone outages.
"These same individuals have further demonstrated their value in public assistance by providing free radio communications for local parades, bike-a-thons, walk-a-thons, fairs and other charitable public events," he stated.
This weekend, June 23-24, is Field Day, a ham tradition that is part contest, readiness exercise and social event rolled into one.
The object is for participating stations to exchange basic information with other stations in the U.S. and Canada. Groups are divided into catagories based on the number transmitters and whether they have generators, batteries or other power sources.
In Connecticut, 19 groups have registered for Field Day so far, according to the American Radio Relay League in Newington, which sponsors the event. Locations and details of each operation can be found at the ARRL.org website.
Hartford area locations will include:
- The Newington Amateur Radio Club, operating at Cedarcrest Hospital;
- The Bloomfield Amateur Radio Club, at Talcott Mountain State Park;
- The Meriden Amateur Radio Club, at Marcus Cooke Park in Wallingford.
Visitors are welcome at most sites, and hams are generally glad to show off their radio and antenna configurations.