Stray Signals

Barbara Bedell: Ham radio buffs invite public to Field Day – Times Herald

The Orange County Amateur Club will be “camped out,” so to speak, at Algonquin Park in Newburgh on June 24-25 and offering Field Day, which is the group’s biggest ham contest of the year.

The Algonquin Park is on Route 52 (Powder Mill Road) in Newburgh. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 24 and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 25, on frequencies nationwide, U.S. and Canada, “hams” will be using emergency power to compete in a 24-hour contest.

The public is invited to stop by and see ham radio in action, and even try talking on ham radio with the Get-on-the-Air (GOTA) station. In wanting to know more, especially where the “ham” came in, I found lots of material to study. Many credit Nikola Tesla as a major contributor. He was able to transmit signals from New York City to West Point. The Junior Wireless Club was organized in New York and later changed its name to the Radio Club of America. But according to one source it was the sinking of the Titanic that prompted new international radio laws which also affect amateur radio. The term “amateur” is used to specify persons interested in radio solely for personal use and without any financial interest. An estimated six million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. The name “Ham” is thought to have been created by using the first initial of three fans and members of an the early club in New York. As no one seemed to mind the name, it stuck.

The Field Day is always a fun day, and it always seems to stir interest in new amateur radio fans.

License exams will be at 10 a.m. June 24 at the park. For information, visit ocarc-ny.org.

Coming up

** The annual Salute to Freedom Day flotilla will be June 24. The event will honor Wounded Warriors, Gold Star Mothers and Fathers, Purple Heart recipients, veterans and invited guests. More than 30 yachts from the Cortlandt and Newburgh Yacht clubs will participate. This year, six to eight World War II veterans age 92-101 also will be in attendance, said Jim Williams, one of the organizers. along with Steve Kaufman and Capt. Brian T. Young, the chairman. In past years I can recall being at the Newburgh waterfront where numerous groups were gathered to salute, wave and cheer as the flotilla came up the Hudson. This year it will be led by a U.S. Army 3rd Aviation Detachment helicopter from Stewart Air Base. The flotilla starts from the Verplanck Steam Boat Dock at 11:10 a.m., reaching the Newburgh Yacht Club at 13:20 p.m. Other events were very much appreciated, certainly made me proud to be an American.

** The Greater Middletown Interfaith Council will conduct a prayer service to honor all first responders. It will be at 2 p.m June 25 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A reception will follow. An RSVP is appreciated this weekend to give the organizers an idea of how many to plan for. You can call Gary Texter at 733-5781 or visit prayerservicepfe@frontier.com.

This and that

** The United Way of Sullivan County is sponsoring a bus trip to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pa. on Aug. 9. Tickets are $35. The first paid will get the first seat on the bus. Reservations are required by calling the United Way office at 794-1771, or Patrice Held at 292-7074. The bus will leave the Monticello ShopRite Plaza at 9 a.m. Those going are requested to arrive by 8:30 a.m., and return around 7:15 p.m.

** The annual ShopRite campaign to raise funds for various veterans needs in the mid-Hudson is underway. Donations will be accepted at the checkout. All 34 stores in New York and New Jersey will be participating. Last year a total of $765,000 was raised and shared. Donations this year will go to the Orange County Veterans Food Pantry, Committee for the Families of War Veterans, Hudson Valley Honor Flight, Tri-County Council for Vietnam Era War Veterans, Tower of Hope, and Unified Military Affairs Council.

Barbara Bedell’s column appears daily. She can be reached at 346-3125 or by email: bbedell@th-record.com.

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