Topanga HAMS Participate in Radio Field Day

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin      July 8, 2022

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Topanga HAMS Participate in Radio Field Day
Field Day volunteer members of T-CEP and the Topanga Disaster Radio Team (DRT) (from left ) are Mike Sage (standing), Norm Goodkin and James Grasso (seated), Keith Tomlinson, Terry Cox, Bryce Anderson, and HAM volunteer from Orange County Roya Fouladi.
Natural disasters can disrupt the internet and cell phone service, making it nearly impossible to communicate using conventional methods. If the “Bad Thing” happens (fire, earthquake, Zombie Apocalypse), count on Topanga’s HAM operators to be on the air 24/7 to listen for and relay vital information. Topanga’s radio teams even use the newest tech, Win Link Global Radio®, which is capable of operating completely without the internet—automatically—using smart-network radio relays. This year, to use and learn those skills, the Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness (T-CEP), the DRT and the Disaster Communications Service-22 (DCS-22) of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station joined with thousands of Amateur Radio operators in Canada and North America to practice their emergency communication capabilities in the annual Field Day exercise coordinated by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
T-CEP volunteer James Grasso monitors the custom patch board that links HAM radios to repeaters for ARRL Field Day weekend, June 25-26.
Every year on the fourth weekend of June—this year, from 11 a.m. on June 25 to 11 a.m. on June 26—the T-CEP and DRT teams set up extra antennas at the Emergency Operations Center in Topanga to reach as many stations as possible.

Among the participants at this year’s Field Day was ‘HAM Whisperer’ Norm Goodkin, Topanga locals James Grasso, Bryce Anderson, Eric Fitzgerald, Keith Tomlinson, Terry Cox, Mark Sage, and Roya Fouladi, who came all the way from Orange County.
The Field Day is also a competition, where more than 35,000 contestants from all over the United States and Canada compete ‘off the grid’ to see how far their direct radio contacts can go without using repeaters.

“It was a North American contest,” wrote James Grasso of T-CEP. “I had several contacts in Hawaii, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Georgia, most of the Canadian Provinces and probably [more than] 35 states. I suspect that among all of us we hit all 50 states and likely all the Canadian provinces.”
The Topanga teams also boast capabilities to send messages via Win Link Global Radio Email®️, “which is a network of amateur radio and authorized government stations that provide worldwide radio email using radio pathways where the internet is not present.”
For more information regarding Field Day or the Disaster Radio Team, contact DRT@TCEP.org.
To learn more about Amateur Radio: emergency-radio.org.
For more information on getting a ham license in the greater L.A area, contact Norm Goodkin at hamclass.goodkin.net.
Annemarie Donkin
      July 8, 2022

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