THE SUN CHRONICLE.com –
More than 100 amateur radio operators will come together in Mansfield and Wrentham to compete in the World Radiosport Team Championship in July.
The two towns are among 16 Massachusetts communities chosen to host the amateur radio, or “ham radio” as it’s often called, competition in which 59 two-person teams will attempt to contact as many stations around the globe as possible in 24 hours using voice, Morse code and digital transmissions.
The contest, held every four years, is designed to help operators prepare for real-world disaster situations, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, during which cellular networks were overloaded and radio was one of the only means of communication.
But, the contest also allows the 118 contestants to experiment with new technologies and methods, as well as network with other operators based in New England, event co-chairman Randy Thompson said.
“WRTC2014 is much more than an international sporting competition. It is also an opportunity for these great operators to meet each other, often for the first time, after years of radio contacts,” Thompson said in a news release.
“It also allows radio amateurs within New England to interact with some of the top operators from around the globe, and to demonstrate the international appeal of amateur radio.”
Thompson said to ensure all teams have an equal chance at winning, all stations will be required to use identical antennas from the same geographic region, which will eliminate all variables except operating ability.
Gary Powers, president of the Sturdy Memorial Hospital Amateur Radio Club, said members of his club won’t be competing, but they’ll help set up and run the event.
The 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship will be held July 9-14 on private properties, state parks and town-owned land in towns along the Interstate 495 corridor.
In addition to Mansfield and Wrentham, operating sites will be set up in Devens, Assonet, Berkley, Dighton, Pepperell, East Taunton, Plymouth, Carver, Leominster, Medfield, Cohasset, Hingham, Norwell, and Hollis, N.H.
EMILY O’DONNELL can be reached at 508-236-0340, at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SCMansfield.