Yes, Camilla Corona, the chicken that went into space as mission mascot for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), spent last weekend in La Honda Gardens, hanging out with local ham radio operators for Field Day.
Camilla was not the only important visitor last weekend. More than 80 people dropped by to see the successful raising of an emergency radio communications system in beautiful downtown La Honda. Other visiting dignitaries were members of La Honda Fire, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and offficials from the ARRL (American Radio Relay League).
In this exercise of quickly setting up emergency communications, La Honda's radio club made contact with more than 400 other stations around the country, including one 6,000 miles away in Slavko Celarc, Slovenia! Using a combination of (La) Honda generators and solar power, these hams operated the radios for 24 straight hours to make as many contacts as possible. Using only three gallons of gasoline all weekend, they averaged about 17 contacts per hour, or one every 3-1/2 minutes.
This was not only a fun social event, but a critical part of living in more isolated areas like the coastside. In the event of a large, or possibly even small, emergency, our ability to communicate with the outside world can help save lives and provide support to those in need. If you didn't stop by the event this year, plan on visiting the next full weekend in June 2013. In the meantime, find out how easy it is to become a ham radio operator, and join the local club to participate in various events all year long. It's a great activity for all ages, and provides a vital service to the community. www.sc4arc.org