Category Archives: News

Amateur Radio Fans ‘Ham’ it up During Festival

Published: January 14, 2007
By BOBBY HARRELL, staff writer

Lakewood, S.C. – Antenna equipment was among the wares on display during Saturday’s Hamfest.

Emmie Patience, of Belton, lived out her name during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. She was on her ham radio for eight days straight, acting as net manager for a network of radio operators during and after the hurricane, which devastated parts of Puerto Rico, South Carolina and North Carolina.

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The Fellowship of the Hams

Published Saturday, January 6, 2007
By Amanda Pennington
The Daily Pilot

Amateur radio operators can ham it up, but they’re quick to help in an emergency, as a local sailor found when he was stranded.

Gordon and Suzy West have made friends all over the country and all over the world, but not necessarily because of extensive world travel.

The Costa Mesa couple are “hams.” Antennae jut out from the roof of their house, and there’s a room dedicated to two-way and worldwide radios, screens, transceivers and other gadgetry. Gordon West has been a licensed ham radio operator for over 40 years, his wife for about 30 years.

Ham radio is more than a hobby for the Wests and their fellow hams — a fellowship they called a fraternity. It’s a way to stay connected in times of crisis.
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Holding the Torch for ‘Dead’ Morse Code

Published December 31st, 2006
By Miguel Helft, The New York Times
E-Commerce Times

“Freed from all pretense of practical relevance in an age of digital communications, Morse will now become the object of loving passion by radioheads, much as another ‘dead’ language, Latin, is kept alive today by Latin-speaking enthusiasts around the world,” Paul Saffo, a fellow at the Institute for the Future, wrote in his blog.

It may be the ultimate SOS. Morse Code is in distress.

The language of dots and dashes has been the lingua franca of amateur radio, a vibrant community of technology buffs and hobbyists who have provided a communications lifeline in emergencies and disasters.

That community has been shaken, however, by news that the U.S. government will no longer require Morse Code proficiency as a condition for an amateur radio license. It was deemed dispensable because other modes of communicating over radio, like voice, teletype and even video, have grown in popularity.

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Radio Operator Celebrated for Helping Save Sailor

10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, January 9, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

A Riverside ham radio operator was hailed as a hero by the family of an American sailor who was rescued in the South American sea and arrived safely back in the United States on Tuesday.

Michael Morales, 55, was a lifeline to the family of Ken Barnes, who was adrift for three days more than 500 miles from the Chilean coast after a storm disabled his yacht.

Barnes, 47, of Newport Beach, attempted to become the first solo sailor to circle the globe from the West Coast. He left Long Beach on Oct. 28 and ran into a fierce storm that damaged his 44-foot ketch. Barnes called for help Jan. 2 and was picked up Friday by the fishing trawler Polar Pesca 1, backed by Chilean navy aircraft.
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HAM Operators Practice for the Times they’re Needed

Saturday, January 6, 2007
By Curt Hodges
The Jonesboro Sun

JONESBORO — While the Internet, cell phones and other modern means of communications are the hot things today, amateur radio is still the old standby.

During disasters, when all electricity is gone, ham radio operators are still the first-line crew — after practicing for the time they will be needed.

They’re all volunteers, giving of their own time, equipment and other things, said Jack Richardson of Jonesboro, a longtime amateur radio operator and retired as Craighead County’s director of emergency services and preparedness.

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Arkansas Radio Club Making Great (Air)waves

By Matt Doran

Becoming a licensed amateur radio operator in 1968, when hobby radio was in its “infantile” stages, proved a fateful decision for Brighton Township’s Jim Kvochick.

As a young man, he landed a job with a radio station because employers there figured he could pass the commercial radio test if he’d passed his amateur radio test, he said. Now 54 years old, Kvochick has been able to leverage his hobby of exploring technology into a position as a technology consultant for AT&T, a job he said he enjoys.

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Unlike FCC, Fans say Morse is Here to Stay

By Brian Albrecht, Reporter

The Plain Dealer
– – . – – – – – – – . . – . . . – . – – .

If you can read this — it means goodbye — you’re conversant in Morse code, a language of dots and dashes that has linked people around the world for more than 150 years.

Recent action by the Federal Communications Commission, however, may prompt some to wonder whether this historic format of radio and telegraphy will soon join hieroglyphics in the dusty locker of dead languages.
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These Kids are the Next Wave for Ham Radio

By KATE PERRY, Staff writer

SCHENECTADY — Forget instant messaging. Amateur radio was the thing for some kids across the country Sunday.

In Schenectady, you could hear a young voice over the scratchy static coming from the transceiver — a radio that can transmit and receive — set up in the basement of the Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium.

“Hi — I’m Carter, and I’m wondering what age you are and what grade you are in. Over,” said an 11-year-old calling out from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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