Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
When the lights go out – or worse, when the internet goes down as it did one night in May – it’s good to know there’s a network of amateur radio operators maintaining communication with police, fire and emergency services.
The Mohave Amateur Radio Club, with close to 100 members, has developed a countywide emergency communication implementing the best technology available, said Bill Smith, president and co-founder of the club 15 years ago.
About 30 club members participated in a field day at Lewis Kingman Park June 17 to show what they can do in an emergency situation with no power. Using generators, batteries and solar power and setting up an array of antennae, they were able to talk to people around the world.
“This started out as a garage deal,” said Charlie Abernathy, club parliamentarian and sergeant at arms. “We’d meet on Tuesday night. We called it ‘Nerd Night.’ We kicked around the name Mohave Professional Amateur Radio Group, but a lot of traditional hams (ham radio operators) didn’t like the ‘professional’ name. It’s a battle to be accepted in the amateur (radio) community.”
A lot of the older ham operators won’t recognize the new guys because they didn’t have to know Morse code to pass the FCC…
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