HAM radio drill in Longview to test global communication - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

HAM radio drill in Longview to test global communication

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

It's an old hobby among radio enthusiasts, but it's one that could be a life-saver. 

It's called HAM radio and this weekend radio operators are holding a 24-hour-drill to test their ability to communicate on a global scale. The event is called International Field Day.

For 24 hours, ham radio operators in Longview will talk to other operators around the country and around the world.

"Primarily in the U.S., but we do make contacts all over the world. Department of homeland security chief reiterated the importance of ham radio as a backup communications," says Longview HAM operator Gary Lewis.

In a crisis, if national communications go down or become overloaded, HAM can quickly be up and running.

"Over the years I've talked to over 220 countries around the world. Considering the equipment we've got: the mobility of our radio and our antenna, we could get on the air with a portable generator in probably an hour or so, something like the minutemen were back in the day," says HAM operator Dennis Smith.

Even morse code is practiced.

Now HAM transmissions can even be made hand-held.

"We also have some modes that involve the internet as the long haul, we use computers," Lewis says.

Less than the wattage of a light bulb is enough.

"I worked a station in Venezuela, it was 18 watts," Smith says.

A longtime operator, Smith once took a chilling message from the infamous Jonestown.

"I talked to those guys on my radio just before they had their mass suicide. In the background I could hear all the children screaming and laughing, its just something you'll never forget," he says.

International Field Day will end at 1 pm tomorrow, exactly 24 hours after the drill began.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Smith County inmate dies after being removed from life support

    Smith County inmate dies after being removed from life support

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 2:37 PM EST2017-11-21 19:37:14 GMT
    Smith County Sheriff's Office: Today just prior to 11:00 am, Inmate Quincy Butler was removed from life support at a local hospital. Quincy Butler subsequently expired as a result of his previous injuries. Smith County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Quincy Beavers held an inquest and ordered an autopsy to be conducted at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas.  Per standard Smith County Sheriff's Office protocol, the Texas Rangers are conducting an independen...More >>
    Smith County Sheriff's Office: Today just prior to 11:00 am, Inmate Quincy Butler was removed from life support at a local hospital. Quincy Butler subsequently expired as a result of his previous injuries. Smith County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Quincy Beavers held an inquest and ordered an autopsy to be conducted at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas.  Per standard Smith County Sheriff's Office protocol, the Texas Rangers are conducting an independen...More >>
  • Dog's head sent for rabies testing lost in mail

    Dog's head sent for rabies testing lost in mail

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 12:32 PM EST2017-11-21 17:32:38 GMT

    An East Texas veterinary clinic says they're out of thousands of dollars and the health of their staff was put at risk after a package containing animal parts scheduled for rabies testing allegedly went missing.

    More >>

    An East Texas veterinary clinic says they're out of thousands of dollars and the health of their staff was put at risk after a package containing animal parts scheduled for rabies testing allegedly went missing.

    More >>
  • Woman suspected of Anderson County stabbing arrested

    Woman suspected of Anderson County stabbing arrested

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 11:01 AM EST2017-11-21 16:01:54 GMT
    Ashley Nicole Whiteside (Source: Anderson County sheriff's office)Ashley Nicole Whiteside (Source: Anderson County sheriff's office)

    On 11/16/2017 at approximately 8pm, Investigator Andrea Karriker was contacted by Patrol Deputy Matthew Hester in reference to a stabbing that had just occurred.

    More >>

    On 11/16/2017 at approximately 8pm, Investigator Andrea Karriker was contacted by Patrol Deputy Matthew Hester in reference to a stabbing that had just occurred.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly