The Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association held its annual field day on Lowndes Hill Saturday morning. The event is held nationally by members of the American Radio Relay League.
Groups from across the country spend 24 hours trying to make contact with as many other groups as they can in Canada or the United States. Treasurer Dick Wilt said members can take a lot from their hobby.
"Ham radio is just personal satisfaction, really. You can get on under normal conditions any given time of the day or night, you could talk to Australia, the West Coast, Africa, Russia, any country you can think of that has amateur radio," said Wilt.
While ham radio operation is fun, it's not the only purpose the club serves. Groups around the country don't get set up somewhere convenient. They try to get away from any power grid, and show that they can operate wherever needed in a pinch.
"The purpose of it is to get your club out, set up all your equipment, and operate under emergency conditions. We're operating now on a generator. We're completely independent of any main power or anything," Wilt said.
That's a service that's not been lost on government here in Harrison County. The county commission has a memorandum of understanding with the club, and they'll be on hand to support the county in case of an emergency.
"We sign it, they sign it, any communications, you can call us. We will furnish operators, and if need be, the equipment also," said Wilt.