Members of the Penn Wireless Club took to Tyler State Park Saturday and Sunday for Field Day 2018, a 24-hour amateur radio competition that spans North America.
The annual competition allows amateur radio, also known as ham radio, operators to work on their skills to speak with other stations broadcasting around the continent and the globe. The event is designed to help test the skills of the operators in the name of emergency preparedness by setting up at a mobile station while disconnecting from the grid.
Penn Wireless Club member Howard Rubin said there were 7 stations broadcasting from Tyler State Park in Newtown Township over the weekend. They ranged between the types of equipment being used, were all run by generators, and sent their transmissions out through large antenna masts set up.
Inside a tent, Penn Wireless Club member Roy Thomas of Levittown was making contact on his radio to other stations. He also logged all his contacts entered them in his computer.
“This is about what works and what doesn’t,” Penn Wireless Club member Alex Lloyd Gross said.
Aside from the emergency preparedness aspect, the event also worked as a social gathering for the amateur radio operators, who are licensed by the FCC. There was food for the members as they worked to make contacts.
Penn Wireless Club meets the fourth Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Falls Township Municipal Building on Lincoln Highway. Rubin said the group also offers FCC license testing for a small fee.