By Tatiana Ortiz

The term KC4MMR could be heard repeatedly inside a nearby tent on the grounds of Davis Park in Brandon. Every year on the fourth full weekend in June, a national association called American Radio Relay League conducts a Field Day contest to give Amateur (ham) Radio operators an opportunity to practice emergency communications capabilities and more, which became established in 1933. An affiliate of the American Radio Relay League and partner of the West Central Florida section called Brandon Amateur Radio Society joined in on this exercise that occurred June 24-25.

During this event, Amateur (ham) Radio operators across North America established temporary stations in public locations to demonstrate the science and skill of it. This free event taught visitors how to communicate without using cell phones or the internet. They also learned about Amateur (ham) Radio and had a chance to speak with people throughout the United States and around the world. Others also learned Morse Code.

“Those in attendance gained various benefits such as friendships, continuous learning and the ability to communicate when the cellular, phone and internet goes down,” Scott D. Irwin, Brandon Amateur Radio Society president (W8UFO) said.

In total, 44 individuals participated in this event with 25 of them being visitors. Brandon Amateur Radio Society made 306 Morse Code contacts. They also attained 365 radiotelephone contacts with all of the United States except Alaska, Hawaii and South Dakota. The entire group reached 650 stations as well.

For more than 40 years, this society served areas in Hillsborough County such as Brandon, Valrico and more. It provides public service and emergency preparedness communications as well as license classes and radio operator training programs. It specifically provides support for the Community Roundtable’s Brandon Fourth of July parade and the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Office of Emergency Management through their work with Hillsborough County ARES/RACES.

To learn more about Brandon Amateur Radio Society, visit

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.