Petrie: Amateur Radio ‘Field Day’ demonstrates science, skill, and service

On June 24-25 amateur radio operators around the world will be dusting off their equipment and heading to the outdoors to get some fresh air.

Members of the Saguaro Nights Amateur Radio Club from Arizona State University will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise in the mountains of Pine, Ariz.

Cody Petrie

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio.

This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

The annual field day event provides amateur “ham” radio operators the chance to test their equipment and operating skills in the great outdoors. Ham radio isn’t just about building equipment, talking to and meeting people from all around the world, it’s also about providing communications in the event of a disaster.

It is said that “when all else fails… amateur radio.”

When all other forms of communication fail ham radio operators can, and do, provide emergency communications for free. Field day is an excellent way to hams to practice this skill and for the public to see them in action.

The Saguaro Nights Amateur Radio Club at ASU has existed for three years and has helped many new hams get on the air and begin their journey of ham radio.

For over 100 years, Amateur Radio has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network.

Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2016.

Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. And with clubs such as the Saguaro Nights, it’s easy for anybody to get involved right here in Scottsdale.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in visiting the Saguaro Knights, or any other ham club this Field Day, contact Ross Tucker at or visit

Editor’s Note: Cody Petrie is a member of Saguaro Nights Amateur Radio Club from Arizona State University.

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