Audrain County residents interested in learning the many aspects of HAM Radio communications can do so in this Saturday’s Field Day 2016 held at Lakeview Park in Mexico.
The event is hosted by the 20-30 members of the Audrain Emergency Communications, Inc.
Set-up begins at 10:30 a.m. and the group plans to start a full 24-hour broadcast at 1 p.m.
The club will be competing against other clubs across the nation as it earns points with contacts made and in several other ways during the event that ends at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Club members will take turns keeping the broadcast on-air during the full day.
There will be two radios set up and running featuring phone (voice), Morse (CW), and digital (email) bands.
Along with an informational table and a chance to ask questions, a GOTA (Get On The Air) rig will be set up for the public.Those interested, who do not have a HAM license, can learn how to broadcast on the rig.
“The whole thing is open to the public,” said AECI Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Carlyle. “Anybody’s welcome to come in and say hi and learn why we do what we do.”
The club’s focus is providing emergency communications to Audrain County law enforcement officials in case of a communications outage or a massive power outage.
The group also does weather spotting as several memebers or certified storm spotters.
Recently, a repeater was installed on the Country 96 tower, allowing AECI to give first hand reports to the National Weather Service when it issues storm warnings.
Grant money helped pay for the repeater project. The building was provided with a $2,000 grant from the Griffin Foundation, the repeater radio came from a $5,000 grant from the Edmonston Foundation, and $13,000 grant from the AP Green Foundation purchased the new antenna and its components. KXEO Radio, Incorporated (owners of KWWR) allowed the group to place the building at its backup tower site northwest of Mexico to house the new radio and it’s hardware and install the aerial on the tower.
The other AECI officers are Ron Hutsel, president, and Dr. Bill Jolly, vice-president. AECI is a not-for-profit group with a 501(c)(3). Learn more about the club by visiting http://www.aecimo.org/