Submitted by Ron Wright
Every September, amateur radio clubs hold a contest to see who can talk to other operators in the state’s 39 counties and to see who can make the most contacts outside the state. We call it the “Salmon Run”. To learn more, visit our operating club team at the baseball field behind the track at Wahkiakum High School anytime from noon on Saturday, September 18 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 19.
To increase our contacts this year, we decided to install a “super antenna”: a horizontal loop antenna with a length of more than three football fields, strung between the lampposts of the ball field. The construction team was made up of people used to leading engineering projects, but since Bob WB6GE was the last to dodge, he was tasked with telling us what to do, with Steve K7SH as “foreman”. The antenna is mounted easily. And the results of the first tests were spectacular. In the middle of the day, the 80 meter strip is usually only useful for around 300 miles. In our tests using a low output power of 9 watts (normal is 100 watts), we had good reception reports from the east coast of the United States – that’s 10 times farther than an antenna normal to one tenth of the normal power used! Wow – needless to say there was a bunch of “old kids” jumping in to celebrate.
The emergency operations communication plan for amateur radio in our county has two missions: 1) Local communications using FM frequencies in which we collect concerns and situation updates from fire stations and fire stations. rovers and pass this information on to the county emergency operations center in Cathlamet. 2) Remote communications where we get information to the outside world and bring information back to Wahkiakum County. The Salmon Run is a test of this second mission from the school site. We also currently have 10 amateur radio operators in our county who can perform similar long distance communications from their homes.
Normal procedure for anyone in our country during a major emergency is to first connect with your local fire station. The professionals there know how to best assist you and provide you with the necessary communications. Amatuer radio systems and operators are there to help your fire station emergency responders. To prepare for the “big one,” our amateur radio club – N7WAH – and Beau Renfro of the Wahkiakum County Emergency Services, are on the final round of obtaining amateur radio communications equipment at every fire station in our area. county. When this back-up system is complete, every fire station in the county will be able to speak directly with all other fire stations and with the EOC, without interfering with their emergency channels.
If you would like to get involved with our county emergency services, please contact Beau Renfro at the courthouse or email him at [email protected]
If you would like to learn more about amateur radio in our county, or get contact information, please visit our website at https://n7wah.net/