Amateur radio enthusiasts tune in to Marietta | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo of Doug Loyer Richard Miller, President of the Marietta Amateur Radio Club, watches club member Matt Pooler make contact with another station.

MARIETTA – The Marietta Amateur Radio Club participated in the annual 24-hour American Radio Relay League (ARRL) event over the weekend.

Held from 2 p.m. Saturday until 2 p.m. Sunday, ARRL Field Day was a national event in which amateur radio operators (better known as ham radio operators) and radio clubs alike. contacted as many other resorts as possible to stay tuned and it was an opportunity for the club members to come together and share their passion for the hobby.

Field Day is an annual event sponsored by the ARRL which is the national association for amateur radio, said Richard Miller, president of the Marietta Amateur Radio Club. The ARRL was founded in 1914 and is the 150,000-member national association for amateur radio in the United States. Radio amateurs come from all walks of life. They can transmit voice, data and images over the air, use the Internet, lasers, microwave transmitters and satellites.

“Essentially, the annual Field Day event is a practice competition to prepare for an emergency,” Miller said. “We’re going to take shifts and keep dialing in and making connections to see how many we can get. “

Amateur radio operators play an important role in emergency communications and preparedness in the United States, Ohio State, and other local government agencies.

Most of the time, phones, cell phones, the Internet, long distance lines, and satellite phones work well to get a message across, but they all have to go through many vulnerable spots and need electricity to function. When these systems fail, amateur radios are used because amateur radio operators can directly connect and talk with other operators as each station is completely independent. They can connect across town or around the world. In disasters and emergencies, they can be counted on with confidence.

There are over 2,000,000 amateur radio operators in the world, 600,000 in the United States and over 28,000 amateur radio operators in Ohio. The FCC governs licensing for amateur radio operators and there are now three classes; technician, general and extra.

The local Marietta Amateur Radio Club was established in the 1920s and the clubhouse at 618 Hartline Road in Whipple was built in the 1960s. They currently have 28 members. Members have their own station number and the club has its own, which is W8HH.

There are many aspects of the amateur radio hobby that make it interesting. Some like to talk with people on the street or communicate with relatives in another state. Others like to network with a group of operators at the same time. Amateur radio operators can even bounce their signals off the moon. There are also those who like to build their own equipment and experiment with it.

“I became interested in amateur radios because of my radio knowledge” said Bob Eddy of Newport. “You turn on the radio and see what happens, whether it’s the next state or across the ocean somewhere. “

Eddy, the club’s vice-president, was the half-owner and general manager of the 93.9 FM radio station in St. Marys.

“I love my amateur radio hobby because it is a challenge” Eddy said. “It’s hard to put into words. It really is kind of an adventure.

Eddy said he was more interested in long distance connections. He makes brief contacts to see what he can pick up. It will get their call letters, location, first name, and then it will move on to the next connection.

Matt Pooler, of Parkersburg, has been a licensed amateur radio operator since 2005 and has been a member of the club for approximately 10 years.

“Being on amateur radio is a kind of rush” Allowed Pooler. “It’s a bit like fishing and casting a line. You never know what you are going to get.

Pooler went on to say that he enjoyed learning how to be on air and what it took to make it work, saying it was really a lot of fun. For this weekend’s event, he had to make sure everything was ready including the generator, getting the positions ready, the computers ready and making sure all the connections to the towers were correct.

For the day’s event in the field, the transmitters and receivers were to be powered by generators. The idea is to operate in an emergency type environment… to work in conditions that are far from ideal.

“Amateur radio is a big hobby. Before the computer phase, it was the ultimate dream of electronics, to have an amateur radio license ”, says Ben Berendts of Marietta. “You used to build your own equipment and go on air to see it work. “

Berendts, who has been a member of the club since the mid-1970s, added that he can make contact just about anywhere in the world depending on the time of day and conditions, although he must keep in touch. mind what time it is in other parts of the world.

As for the language, Berendts said this is generally not a problem since English is pretty much the spoken language and is taught as a second language in many countries. He can speak German and Vietnamese and that helps too.

“What I take away the most from ham radio is the relaxation, talking to people in different places and the challenge of building your own equipment.” said Berendts. “It’s phenomenal.”

Those interested in learning more about being an amateur radio operator can visit or to learn more about joining the Marietta Amateur Radio Club, contact Richard Miller at 740-373-4191 or attend a club meeting which is held on the second Tuesday. monthly at 7:30 p.m. at the clubhouse at 618 Hartline Road in Whipple.

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