Ham radio in the news: more than a hobby, ten-year-old ham, GEARS

Jerry Wetzel, W3DMB, with some of the QSL cards he has collected over the years.

For some, ham radio is more than a hobby.
Jerry Wetzel has relayed messages to scientists and military personnel at the South Pole from his amateur radio station in Butler and provided a vital communications link to people in the path of hurricanes. He has talked with astronauts aboard the International Space Station who are ham radio operators.

At age 10, Trenton girl is among youngest amateur radio operators.
When many kids her age are learning texting abbreviations such as ROFL or IYKWIM (“if you know what I mean”), 10-year-old Sierra Saylors is focused on KK4RJW. That’s her call sign, the collection of numbers and letters issued by the FCC that identifies her as a legitimate ham-radio operator.

Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society turns a hobby into community service.
While historians still debate who actually invented radio, one thing is certain: Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society is keeping the airwaves of ham radio buzzing. The Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society, or GEARS, was organized Aug. 13, 1939 by a group of 11 radio buffs in the Northern Sacramento Valley.

Amateur radio in the news: 11/18/12

This edition of “Amateur Radio in the News” features a story on how a young ham in Ireland helped prevent an airline disaster and how electrical engineering students in New Mexico are getting licenses and using amateur radio as a basis for their senior projects.

Ham radio fan saves U.S. bacon by spotting Sandy mayday call. Amateur radio fan Benny Young, from Tyrone, was tuning in on his hut-based hobby when he heard a ‘mayday’ call from a plane over the Atlantic. But the United Airlines captain, en route from Dublin to Boston, wasn’t able to reach flight controllers in the US. Benny, 29, picked up the pilot’s distress call and managed to get it passed on to emergency services. Here are a couple more reports:

Mentor guides NMSU engineering students as they construct amateur radios. Faculty adviser Robert Hull, Professor Vojin G. Oklobdzija and mentor David Hassall, WA5DJJ, mentor these senior engineering students as they complete their senior project – getting their amateur radio licenses and building QRP rigs.

EU standardizes “hamtagonistic” power line network tech. BPL just refuses to go away. I don’t know why Europe is so keen on this technology, which has failed to gain any traction at all here in the U.S.

Amateur Radio in the News – 10/18/12


Sunita Williams, KD5PLB

Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, is currently the commander aboard the International Space Station.

Ahmedabad students to make ‘space call’ to Sunita Williams. Sunita Williams, an Indian-American (right), will speak to students in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India at some point between November 12 and November 16. The article says that Williams, KD5PLB, is an avid ham radio operator and “has talked to a number of groups from around the world during both her space travels.”

Qatar to host amateur radio festival. An amateur radio festival will be held in Doha, Qatar, sometime in Decembler. According to The Penninsula, “This festival will include a contest between amateur radios from all over the world. The event dubbed the first of its kind in Middle East will take place in conjunction with the National Day celebrations. About 100 amateur radios (sic) from across the globe will be invited to the festival and the competition, besides a host of officials and experts.”

Amateur weather spotter recalls chasing destructive Dexter tornado. Last spring, a tornado tore through Dexter, a town not ten miles from me. Jeff, KN8A, the amateur profiled in this article, took part in the SkyWarn activity. It’s a good article on how one ham does his part.

Whitby Amateur Radio Club does double duty as road crew. Now this is really a public service! More amateur radio clubs should consider pitching in like this.


Amateur radio in the news – 10/05/12


Nate Brightman, K6OSC, is the head ham on board the Queen Mary.

Shore Patrol: 95-year-old runs a tight ship in Queen Mary amateur radio room. Nate Brightman is in charge of the amateur radio station on the Queen Mary. Brightman, who turns 95 on Tuesday, was the inspiration for putting a radio room on the iconic ship.

In an article on new state laws, the Hartford Courant reports that licensed ham radio operators are now exempt from the ban on using hand-held mobile devices while driving. Perhaps if you’re fighting this battle in your state, you could contact the CT section manager for more information.

Man’s ham hobby becomes a business. Byron Nelson, KD8KQC, has transformed his hobby of being an amateur radio operator into a business selling and repairing ham radios.

Field Day in the news for 2012

Newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations all over the country covered Field Day last weekend. Many wrote stories before the event, many after. Below, are only some of the stories that appeared after the event.

Amateur radio operators practice communications as hobby and …
KY3 – SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — When disaster strikes, communication often breaks down. Without cell phones and the internet, most of us would be lost. But a fraction of …

Amateur radio operators provide lifesaving communication and …
KSPR – Local operators assist in disaster situations and help to spot storms.

‘When all else fails,’ there’s amateur radio
Helena Independent Record – Amateur radio remains part of the emergency communications system, but another appeal for the users is being able to do a lot of things with different gadgets.

Amateur Radio Operators Prep for Disaster
WAAY – The technology was invented nearly a century ago, but today, these radios can be the most effective form of communication when disaster strikes.

‘Hopping and popping’ on radio in Live Oak
Appeal-Democrat – Microphones in hand, fingers at the radio dial, the amateur radio operators … About a dozen members of the Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club joined radio hams …

Amateur radio operators connect Anderson to the world at training
Anderson Independent Mail – Ham radio operators from Anderson County spent Saturday telling the world about the 90-degree weather in Anderson.

Amateur radio operators have a busy weekend at SCCC
New Jersey Herald – NEWTON — When Kelly Leavitt wanted to send his stepdaughter in Florida a message Saturday afternoon, he didn’t reach for his cell phone to instantly text her …

Amateur radio operators prepare for disasters at the 5th annual Field ...
Billings Gazette – When disasters strike, ham radio and amateur radio operators are sometimes a … The club, a group of about 60 amateur radio operators, have helped out local …

Radio club practices craft for Field Day
Lawrence Journal World – The Douglas County Amateur Radio Club on Saturday had its annual Field Day, when amateur radio members practice their skills by making contacts all over …

Ham radio preps for disaster
Times Record News – Members of the Wichita Amateur Radio Society operate radios to contact other sites across the United States …

Amateur radio operators participate in field day
Janesville Gazette – Carl Cramer and about 15 members of his ham radio club, the Greater Beloit Amateur Radio Club, have been camped out this weekend at Thresherman’s Park …

Ham radio operators stay in practice
BlueRidgeNow.com – A handful of ham radio operators, with the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Club, tapped on keyboards or messaged Morse code across the wires during Field Day, …

Amateur Radio Field Day Held in Bend
KTVZ – BEND, Ore. — Amateur radio is a hobby for most people interested in communication, and this weekend, several people in Bend participated in a national …

Amateur radio operators demonstrate hobby
Marshfield News-Herald – Members of the Marshfield Area Amateur Radio Society gathered at the Miller Recreation Area shelter Saturday and Sunday to hone their skills and show off …

Amateur radio still proving useful in an emergency
YNN – It can’t exactly be described as a lost medium, but as new communication technologies have evolved, amateur radio has been pushed to the back burner. But as …

Amateur Radio Operators Often Help In A Crisis
WDEF News 12 – It may seem just like another hobby to most, but Amateur Radio operators, known as Hams are often called upon in a crisis. And the Bradley County club has …

Huntsville area ham radio operators have a ‘fun’ time during a mock …
al.com (blog) – Enlarge Dave Dieter Field Day is the climax of the week-long “Amateur Radio Week for the national association for Amateur Radio. Using only emergency power …

Amateur radio enthusiasts ready for emergencies
Dothan Eagle – To the average person, ham radios may seem like relics – ties to the first half of the 20th century useful only for nostalgic reasons.

Debby heightens significance of amateur radio
WJTV – GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) A weekend of “field day” activities for the Mississippi Coast Amateur Radio Association and the Jackson County Amateur Radio …

Local amateur radio enthusiasts practice their emergency response
Norman Transcript – Throughout the U.S. and Canada, ham radio enthusiasts spent 24 hours over the weekend practicing for emergency situations like Norman’s April 13 torna.

Amateur Radio Operators Participate in Nationwide ‘Field Day’
Patch.com – Saturday event at Horton’s Point Lighthouse was a blend of ham radio fun and emergency preparedness.

Small Town Amateur Radio Society participates in Vilonia field day
Log Cabin Democrat – A mobile weather spotter, James Cope of Vilonia, was in his vehicle seven miles south of the city on April 25, 2011, when he “had eyes on the tornado” that …

Debby Heightens Significance of Amateur Radio
ClaimsJournal.com – A weekend of “field day” activities for the Mississippi Coast Amateur Radio Association and the Jackson County Amateur Radio Association gained significan.

Hams succeed during national field day
Jackson Progress-Argus – The Butts County Emergency Communications Auxiliary participated in the national Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day event during a 24-hour …

Field Day offers radio club a chance to shine
Weatherford Democrat – Members of the Amateur Radio Club of Parker County took part in a worldwide Field Day Saturday to raise awareness for what the club does. Will Teague, left …

Field Day shows off ham skills
Ramona Sentinel – Amateur radio operators—usually referred to as “hams”—have long communicated with each other without the benefit of the Internet, cellphone towers or other …

Amateur radio operators prepare for ‘worst’
Sand Springs Leader – Tulsa area amateur radio operators gathered Saturday at Chandler Park to practice for a “worst case scenario.”

Yuma’s Amateur Radio Ops Demonstrate Emergency Capabilities
KSWT-TV – Yuma’s Amateur Radio Operators joined thousands across the country in demonstrating their emergency capabilities Saturday.

Lake of the Woods Amateur Radio Society makes connections …
Daily Miner and News – Members of the Lake of the Woods Amateur Radio Society were among thousands of ham radio operators across North America reaching into the airwaves…

Police Explorers Begin Amateur Radio Classes
The Missourian – When four young members of the Pacific Police Explorers Club signed up to take classes for the amateur radio federal license exam, Keith Wilson, Franklin …

Amateur radio operators prepare in case of an emergency
Kalispell Montana News – GREAT FALLS- When disaster strikes and all communication lines are down, its licensed amateur radio operators that step in to help, and many of them …

Amateur Radio Event Showcases Emergency Preparedness Skills
Emergency Management – More than 35000 amateur radio operators participated in Field Day and demonstrated the practical uses of ham radio during an emergency.

Local club practices emergency readiness
Jacksonville Daily Progress – Amateur radio enthusiasts gathered together on Saturday to test their emergency readiness. The Cherokee County Amateur Radio Club participated in the.

Emergency radio operators hone skills
Navarre Press – The Navarre Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Amateur Radio Club held a field day from 1 p.m. on June 23 until 1 p.m. on June 24 to test …

Is this thing on?
Maple Ridge News – The Mission Amateur Radio Emergency Services group braved the inclement … This year they joined in with the Maple Ridge Amateur Radio club station who …

Amateur radio connects Coweta County, world
Newnan Times-Herald – Online edition of The Times-Herald, Newnan and Coweta County’s Online Source. Find the latest local, state, national and international news. View and place classified ads online.

Amateur radio club tests emergency communication
Star Community Newspapers – A friend in radio broadcasting attracted Hansen to amateur radio frequencies while he was living in southern California. Just a few months after obtaining his amateur radio license and his own call sign, Hansen’s house was a victim of the Northridge …

When all else fails…Local Ham Radio operators give demonstration for Gordon …
Calhountimes – The Cherokee Capital Amateur Radio Society held its annual field day event in Gordon County on Saturday, June 23, 2012, where the club set up a three alpha station, using no commercial power, to demonstrate how communication could be established, via …

Hamming it up
Coeur d’Alene Press – This past weekend the world got a little smaller. Every fourth weekend in June since 1933 Amateur Radio operators (Hams) have participated in Field Day.

Hams’ Offer Information Lifeline When All Else Fails
The Epoch Times – Hams are the operators of amateur radio, the old-time tech that once connect people across oceans. Nowadays, hams are practically a stereotype—laid back, white-haired retirees who fiddle with dials and antennas, talking to fellow operators across the …

Ham Radio
Santa Ynez Valley News – Field Day is the annual test of radio operators’ ability to set up emergency communications under field conditions and operate solely on emergency power systems for 24 hours, said Ray Lischka, the emergency coordinator for Lompoc Valley Amateur Radio …

Ham radio operators hold annual Field Day exercise
Clay Today Online – But amateur radio operators in the area were on the air within hours after the hurricane hit.” As emergency coordinator for Clay County, Gray said, “We work through the Clay County Emergency Operations Center in Green Cove Springs as an alternative in …

Having a field day: Amateur radio operators contact Croatia
The Union of Grass Valley – The Nevada County Amateur Radio Club held a field-day event on June 23 and 24 at Empire Mine. More than 375 contacts with amateur radio stations all (read more)

Ham radio demo held
Shore News Today – The Shore Points Amateur Radio Club hosted Amateur Radio Field Day last weekend at the North End Observation Deck Ham radio operators from Atlantic County participated in the emergency preparedness.

Local radio operators gather
The Hillsdale Daily News – The Hillsdale County Amateur Radio Club Field Day was held recently. Here, Club member, Milt Bowers, communicated with various parts of the country and said between 600 and 700 contacts would be made by the end of the 24-hour period depending on …

Ham Radio in the News – 6/7/12

Glen Clayton, left, and Larry Ledford are the only two active charter members of the Cleveland Amateur Radio Club formed in March 1962. They are looking at some of the radio equipment in the clubhouse at 560 Johnson Blvd. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS

Cleveland’s Amateur Radio Club celebrates 50th year. The Cleveland Amateur Radio Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The first constitution of the club is dated June 22, 1952. The club will celebrate its history with different events throughout the year.

Ham fest brings together familiar voices. Some familiar voices got together Saturday in Hermon to meet some not so familiar faces. Members of the Bangor Chapter of the Pine State Amateur Radio Club took part in Ham Fest. It’s the 25th year for the event, which gives some ham radio operators a chance to see each other for the first time, even though they may have been talking to each other for years.

Amateur radio ‘hams’ still found up & down the dial. Amateur radio operators silently surround us, though they could be your only hope when other modes of communication fail.

Ham Radio in the News – 5/30/12

China/PhillipinesHam radio pulled into territorial dispute. China is using amateur radio to claim sovereignty of Scarborough Reef. The Chinese say that in 1990 a German ham was told  by the Philippine ambassador that the reef was not within Philippine territory.

Amateur radio essential tool. Behind the scenes at every Drivesouth Rally of Otago a team of local amateur radio enthusiasts works tirelessly to keep track of every car. Their support is vital to the three-day event, which started last night, as there is either unreliable or no cellphone reception where many of rally’s stages are held.

W6G Salutes Golden Gate Anniversary. The San Francisco Amateur Radio Club helped mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge by contacting other amateur radio operators this Memorial Day weekend.

Ham radio in the news – 5/15/12

These items are different from the usual reports of emergency communications. The first two are memories of family members who were hams, the third is a celebration of a club’s longevity……Dan

Sounding off as true listeners ham it up and tune in to a wave of nostalgia. Columnist reminisces about his father, who was an amateur radio operator.

Not for everyone. A visit to the family farm and the remains of a home-built tower triggers memories for letter to the editor writer. Back in the day, his two older brothers, Elliot and Tick, who were ham radio operators.

Radio club are on the airwaves for 65 years! The Ballymena (Northern Ireland) Amateur Radio Club has been transmitting since 1947 and last week they were officially recognised by Ballymena Borough Council for their 65 years of service to the community. What’s the first thing you notice in the picture below?

Ballymena ARC

Ballymena Mayor Hubert Nicholl welcomes Aubrey Kincaid (Chairman) and members of the Ballymena Amateur Radio Club to the Braid Arts Centre for a civic reception. INBT 19-804H


Ham Radio in the News – 4/18/12

Here’s the next installment of Ham Radio in the News….

Ham radio grows at Two Rivers. Sixth- through eighth-graders at Two Rivers School learned the intricacies of ham radio during a two-day, hands-on activity that turned part of the school into an amateur radio studio. It’s always nice to see a story about kids learning about ham radio.

Area amateur radio groups have common bond. This is a fairly typical story about how amateur radio operators provide emergency communications, but the reporting is decent, and it has contact info for both the clubs covered in the article and the ARRL.

‘Ham’ takes over city park. Wires were strung from tree to tree and from pole to pole at Brewton City Park Saturday when the Brewton Amateur Radio Union (WB4ARU) set up for broadcasting (sic) and demonstrations. The reporter didn’t get the difference between broadcasting and transmitting, but that’s OK. It’s still a good story.

Ham Radio in the News – 4/6/12

Knobs, Dials, and Crackles.  BBC Radio 4’s Today programme is producing a limited edition, digital radio – sold to raise money for Children in Need. Aspiring UK designers – and listeners with a touch of creative flair – are being encouraged to submit designs. For inspiration, reporter Nicola Stanbridge went to look at one of the country’s largest private collections of vintage radios.

Wales remembers young radio amateur who monitored and reported Titanic distress calls. As the Titanic was sinking in the North Atlantic, its more than 2,000 passengers and crew scrambling in the dark for lifeboats, a young man far away in Wales heard the ship’s distress calls on his homemade radio. The local Blackwood & District Amateur Radio Society will be using a special call sign to send messages on April 13-15 from Gelligroes Mill, where Moore built and operated his device.

Billy Burdette, K4NJS, SK. Mr. Burdette was a past member of the Spartanburg Amateur Radio Club and he was a current member of the Old Friends Amateur Radio Group. He was a dedicated amateur radio operator having the call letters K4NJS. Billy was a colorful figure attending dozens of hamfests over the years.