Ham radio classes coming up
Would you like to help in emergencies or natural disasters, such as the flood of 1997 or the fires of 1996?
Ham radio operators throughout Carson Valley and surrounding areas were called out during these emergencies and will 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 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 80 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 and 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.
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 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, March 3. For information on the classes or ham radio in general, write the Carson Valley Radio Club at PO Box 2892, Minden 89423, or visit the website at http://www.qsl.net/cvrc/ or call Flanagan at 267-4900.
“With the uncertainties of the year 2000 coming up, perhaps it’s finally time to get that ham radio license you’ve been thinking about,” he said.
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