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Calling All Hams

Mike Murphy of KA8ABR in Dayton adjusts the top of a radio antenna on the campus of the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting

“It’s important to understand that our current mobile technology is wonderful when it works. The fact is that for it to work requires countless devices and circuits. Even a simple phone call across town will route your conversation in such a way that it will pass hundreds of points of potential failure. Most of the time all works flawlessly, but during storms or other disasters, we have already seen that it can fail. The simple point-to-point amateur radio communication is something we just might want to keep around. The time will certainly come when we will need it.”

Those are the words of Jack Dominic, executive director of the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting, located in West Chester, Ohio. And if you want to know about the amateur radio communication that still works when others fail, then visit the National VOA Museum in Ohio on the weekend of June 27-28. On the front lawn of the museum, the West Chester Amateur Radio Association will be demonstrating its expertise in providing critical communication during emergencies.

The West Chester group of amateur radio – ham radio – operators – has about 50 members, and on June 27-28 they will join about 30,000 other ham radio operators nationwide for the American Radio Relay League’s annual Field Day. Its purpose is to provide a comprenhensive evaluation of America’s emergency radio capabilities as well as inspire a new generation of ham radio operators.

Among other things, the West Chester “hams” will show how local amateur radio operators can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, Internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis. So if you are in the West Chester region the last weekend in June, you might stop by the Radio Relay League’s Field. And while you’re there, visit the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting.