SELINSGROVE – For KC3JXL, AB3ZI and K3MD, Saturday was a day to picnic, camp and train for emergencies with the rest of the world on the 73rd World Amateur Radio Day in Selinsgrove.
Nearly 35 Amateur Radio Operators, or HAM Radio Operators, gathered in the Township of Monroe Recreation Area to discuss the hobby, new equipment and to keep abreast of the global event.
“Today is a fun and important day for radio operators,” said John DiLiberto, 46, of Wilkes-Barre. “We learn new things and train for emergencies when there may not be electricity. “
DiLiberto uses his call alias of KC3JXL.
Radio operator LeAnn Koons, 37, or AB3ZI, of Plains, said she was interested in HAM radios because she was able to talk to people all over the world.
“You can see what’s going on all over the world,” she said. “It is also something that can come in handy in any type of emergency and there is no electricity.”
Susquehanna Valley Amateur Radio Club vice-chairman John Thompson, also known by his radio calling alias K3MD, said he had operated a HAM radio since 1969.
“I have spoken with people as far away as Japan,” he said. “We are here today to test the equipment and discuss.”
The event began at 2 p.m. Saturday and continues until 2 p.m. Sunday.
According to various published reports, on September 16, 2017, HAM radio operators played a major role in communication with Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria swept through the island.
In order to become a licensed operator, a person has to take a few steps.
Federal law requires a license. There are three types of licenses: technician, general and extra. Each has different levels of radio frequency access, according to Thompson.
A person is expected to study on their own and then take a test, which is offered at the Northumberland County 911 Center on the third Saturday of each month.
Prices for a HAM radio can range from $ 750 to $ 12,500, Thompson said.
Antennas for HAM radios vary and can be a simple wire stand to a full stand on a pole. HAM radios use the antennas to send signals called Earth Moon Earth (EME).
The EME signal, or moon bounce, is a communication technique that sends radio waves from an earth transmitter directed by reflection from the moon back to the earth.
Thompson said there are 700,000 operators in the United States and 4 million worldwide in more than 300 countries.
For more information on how to become a SVARC member, visit www.svarc1.com.