Rick Nichols
Special to The Gardner News
Ensor Park and Museum southeast of Gardner at 18995 W. 183rd Street will be the scene on June 23, 24 of Field Day. This is a 24-hour event amateur radio operators across North America will be participating in to test their ability to quickly set up their equipment and begin transmitting and receiving messages over the air under simulated emergency conditions.
Beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday and continuing until 1 p.m. Sunday, members of the Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club will be communicating with other amateur radio operators by way of Morse code and computer modes or by simply using their voices. In so doing, they will be demonstrating their readiness to swing into action the next time there is an emergency where communication is an issue or could prove to be difficult later on.
“Amateur radio operators, commonly called ‘hams,’ are known for their ability to provide communications in the aftermath of disasters ranging from floods to tornados to earthquakes,” Jim Andera, club member with call sign K0NK, said. “When other communications systems fail or become overloaded, amateur radio operators can still communicate and provide support to disaster-relief operations.”
Area residents are not only invited but encouraged to drop by and watch the SFTARC hams at work as they make contact with other hams, some situated hundreds of miles away, during the course of this annual exercise sanctioned by the Amateur Radio Relay League. Along that line, there will be one station where people unfamiliar with the world of amateur radio will be able to get on the air (GOTA) and communicate with amateur radio operators under the supervision of an experienced operator.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ensor Park and Museum will be open both June 23, 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. for free guided tours. The focal point of this eight-acre complex is the two-story home where amateur radio pioneers Marshall Ensor, W9BSP, and his younger sister Loretta, W9UA, were raised, but other attractions include a vintage peg barn, quaint outbuildings and farm implements from days gone by.