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Ham it up!

Phil (Rob) Schweitzer and Connie Klecker, both from Hudson and members of the SCVRA, manned the Ham radio a few years ago during the annual event. Submitted photo

A club where everyone involved is a "ham" will participate in an annual Field Day at Hoffman Park this Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23. The public is welcome to come watch.

St. Croix Valley Radio Amateur Annual Field day will be hosted in River Falls by the St. Croix Valley Radio Amateur group (SCVRA), a group founded in the mid-1970s of amateur ham radio operators.

Ham radios can range in size from hand-held radio devices, resembling walkie talkies, to stationary radio fixtures.

They serve as means to communicate with other ham radio operators short distances to around the world. Since they operate on a different bandwidth, they are also instrumental in emergency situations.

For this national event, organized by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Lou Grueb, the president of SCVRA, said the "objective of it is to have hams get out, set up communication capabilities under, what you might say, emergency conditions and see how many other hams you can contact to talk with."

SCVRA will have one site, while other groups around the country can have multiple sites.

Each group tallies how many sites they talk to and submit their number to the ARRL, which publishes the results in their monthly magazine.

"There will be a lot of rapid communication," Grueb said. "You don't spend very much time talking to people here."

Anyone is welcome to come see the challenge, he said, adding: "Kids can come out and (we can) get them on the radio."

The event will be 1-5 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and 8 a.m. to noon, Sunday, June 23.

For more information, visit the group's Facebook page

See the June 20 edition of the Journal for the complete article.