LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Across the nation, this weekend was Winter Field Day for thousands of amateur radio operators, which also known as ham radio operators. The event happens around this time every year, and here in Lexington, the Bluegrass Amature Radio Society (B.A.R.S.) participated again for another year.
The goal during Winter Field Day is to make as many contacts, over 24 hours, with other stations set up across the country. To do this, operators use specific bands of radio frequencies set by the FCC, and on top of that, they try to make these contacts while entirely off the grid.
Bart Breeding, with B.A.R.S., says, "We're operating strictly on generator power, and we do have one station that's operating off of solar power. So, we do not use the commercial power grid."
Along with trying to make contacts, Winter Field Day is also an excellent opportunity for radio operators to make sure their equipment is running smoothly during cold conditions. This time is also used as practice for when severe storms or disasters strike and take out power and other forms of communication.
"This can be the only communications between the various either government entities or outside to areas that are not affected by the storms, so that's what we're preparing for using this equipment," says Breeding.
According to Breeding, the Bluegrass Amature Radio Society also takes part in another Field Day that occurs in the summer and is hosted by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
If you would like to learn more about ham radio, Breeding says their club holds meetings on the first Monday of every month starting at 7:30 and is located at the American Red Cross building on Newtown Pike.