Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Operators Demo Emergency Communications

The Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club invites people of all ages to participate in the nationwide 2024 Amateur Radio Field Day at Chase Palm Park this weekend. (SBARC file photo)

Local radio operators to participate in national Field Day exercises at Chase Palm Park on June 22-23

By Levi C. Maaia

Despite the ubiquity of Internet-enabled cell phones, email, and text messaging, every year, whole regions find themselves in the dark, or worse. Wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, storms, ice, and other disasters often leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent communications service that has never failed has been amateur (ham) radio.

On the weekend of June 22-23, the public will have a chance to meet and talk with Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club (SBARC) operators and see for themselves what the amateur radio service is about, as radio operators across the nation will be holding public demonstrations of emergency communications abilities as part of the nationwide 2024 Amateur Radio Field Day.

Every June, more than 40,000 amateur radio operators throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate amateur radio’s science, skill, and service to our communities and our nation. Field Day combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in amateur radio.

Using only emergency power supplies, radio operators in all 50 states and Canada will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools, and backyards. Their slogan, “when all else fails, amateur radio works,” is more than just words to the operators as they prove they can send analog and digital communications without the use of phone systems, the internet, or other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

SBARC, established in 1920, has a long history of promoting education and emergency preparedness through amateur radio. SBARC is a non-profit, public benefit corporation organized to promote education for persons interested in telecommunications, to disseminate information about scientific discoveries and progress in the field, and to train communicators for public service and emergency communications. SBARC also encourages and sponsors experiments in electronics and promotes the highest standards of practice and ethics in the conduct of communications.

This year, the SBARC Field Day site will feature several stations set up for worldwide, direct radio communication as well as our local radio repeater system. The public is welcome to observe and learn at the information table available on site.

Members of the public interested in learning more are invited to visit the SBARC Field Day site at Chase Palm Park on Saturday, June 22 from 11:00 AM through Sunday, June 23 at 11:00 AM. Santa Barbara amateur radio operators will contact thousands of other stations throughout the US, Canada, and the world using a variety of wireless techniques, including the use of frequencies from shortwave though microwave bands and amateur radio satellites in orbit.

For more information, including directions to the SBARC Field Day site at Chase Palm Park, visit

Encourage your friends and family to visit and learn about the vital role of amateur radio in our community and nation.

Edhat Reader

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