Ham Radio Communications Expo this weekend near Emmaville

Check out the emergency communications exercise on Blue Lake, near Emmaville, June 25-26.

Amateur radio operators participate in the ham radio expo in June 2018 on Blue Lake.
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo
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Witness how amateur radio operators perform during emergencies Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 at Blue Lake in Hubbard County.

For only the second time since 2019, with COVID-19 causing many operations to be canceled, more than 30,000 ham radio hobbyists across the nation will be operating portable radio stations using emergency power in an annual exercise to test emergency preparedness.

One of those stations will operate from the Freitag property, 17484 County Road 40, near Emmaville and north of Park Rapids.

Open to the public, it begins at 1 p.m. Saturday and ends 24 hours later. Families with kids and public officials are encouraged to drop in.

The American Radio Relay League, the national organization for radio “hams,” sponsors the event to demonstrate how amateur radio operators can help when normal lines of communication break down during such disasters as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and fires.


The exercise also enables hams to test their equipment in a simulated emergency, using no main power lines. Power must come from temporary sources like batteries, solar panels and gasoline generators. Local hams will be contacting other emergency stations throughout the country.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz proclaimed the weekend as Amateur Radio Operators Recognition Days, recognizing hams and their organizations for their support and assistance during emergencies, weather spotting and education programs.

The estimated $3.5 million facility may be under construction as early as May-June 2023.

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