TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Throughout the weekend, the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association used only generators, radios and other methods to communicate.
One of the main reasons for this exercise was to help prepare for situations in which cell towers might lose service or power.
From Hoosier State to the other side of the Earth, the Association has endeavored to reach as many people as possible using ham radio or ham radio. This was part of the field of amateur radio. Many people stayed awake during the night trying to pick up a signal from different corners of the earth.
“I think we managed to hit Australia. We had guys working all night,” said David Brown, president of Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Field Day. “When night comes, the other side of the world kind of opens up because the sun is in a different place. When it goes down, the spread changes so we can activate different places.
Others say it’s more of a competition with others across the country, but it’s a way to test their gear for emergencies like hurricanes, fires and floods.
“Just a few years ago, Puerto Rico was completely devastated by hurricanes and the only means of communication they had was amateur radio operators,” said Leroy Sedgwick, president of the Wabash Valley Amateur Radio Association. They went there and stayed there for months to communicate.
There are challenges when communicating with people from different countries like language and time barriers, but when using amateur radio, they don’t run into these situations as often as you might think.
“Generally the guys that are on the, from different countries, a lot of them speak English if they’re on hand,” Brown said. “I will go on and hear the guys speak English. So it’s just a question of whether they are multilingual.
During their field day, the group was able to connect with over 1,100 people around the world.