Carson Valley Radio Club offers ham classes |

Carson Valley Radio Club offers ham classes

Staff reports

Would you like to help in emergencies and natural disasters like the forest fires of 1996 or the floods of 1997?

Ham radio operators throughout Carson Valley and surrounding areas were called out during these emergencies and will be again whenever disaster strikes.

The Carson Valley Radio Club is one of only two amateur (ham) radio clubs in Carson Valley and is heavily involved in preparing local ham radio operators to assist during emergencies and other public service needs, said member Dick Flanagan. Flanagan is one of the founders of the Carson Valley Radio Club.

“For the past 70 years, whenever disaster has struck anywhere in the world, ham radio operators have often been the first and only source of communications into and out of the affected areas for hours or even days,” he said. “Preparing for such events is a big responsibility and one that CVRC willingly accepts.

“Some of our members establish sophisticated radio stations in their homes, with the latest equipment and high-performance antennas. Others equip their vehicles as all-terrain mobile communication centers that can move into disaster areas on a moment’s notice. Still others keep small walkie talkies with them for immediate communications.”

A common misconception is that a knowledge of Morse code is required to get started in ham radio. While this was once true, it has not been the case for over a decade. Over a third of all ham radio operators hold a technician class license, which does not require a knowledge of Morse code, Flanagan said.

In addition to providing continuing training for current ham radio operators, the Carson Valley Radio Club also holds free classes twice each year to prepare prospective hams for their technician class license. These classes typically run eight to 10 weeks and are held one night per week at the Minden/Tahoe Airport.

The next class is scheduled to begin Wednesday night, March 4.

A second class will be offered in September.

For more information on the classes or ham radio in general, write the Carson Valley Radio Club at P.O. Box 2892, Minden 89423, or visit the website at or call Flanagan at 267-4900.

“Perhaps it’s finally time to get that ham radio license you’ve been thinking about,” he said.

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