GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Residents are invited to try their hand at operating a ham radio and enjoying a cookout, when members of the Mid-Ohio Valley Amateur Radio Club hold their annual field day June 25.
The event will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the shelter at Mound Hill Cemetery in Gallipolis.
Bruce Riffle, of Leon, is vice president of the club and said field day is all about showing people what amateur radio operators do and what the radios are capable of.
“A lot of people think we are just nerdy old people sitting around doing Morse code,” Riffle said. “They don’t understand that during the derecho a few years ago, people with amateur radios could still communicate.”
Riffle, who also serves as the mayor of Leon, said it is not unusual for him to talk to people in Israel, Russia and China, all in one afternoon.
“If someone has never been around radios, we will have experienced operators there showing the different types of communication,” Riffle said. “We will let them operate the radios legally as third-party operators.”
In addition, Riffle said Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning will have a communications van at the field day. Members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and EMS are also expected to attend.
“We want to get the community involved,” Riffle said.
He added there will be smokers at the event, and pork loin along with side dishes will be served. Signs will be posted along the way to guide residents to the field day.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Amateur Radio Club was formed in the 1950s. Members meet the first Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at the Gallia County 911 communication center.
Membership is open to those who are licensed radio operators. Bob Adkins serves as president of the club, and Teri Burdell serves as secretary-treasurer.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.