On Saturday, June 16, a group of amateur radio operators held an amateur radio event at the Galt Library called “Kids Day”.
The purpose of the event was to introduce children to amateur radio and let them talk to other children on the radio. This is a national event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Two stations complete with transceivers and antennas have been installed in the library.
A station was used by children to make contact with other stations. Nine children used this radio and had a great time talking to local radio amateurs. The radio used a repeater transmitter located on Bear Mountain just outside San Andreas. The transmitter is located at a higher altitude and has a wide coverage range. Jean Thuotte, KJ6IFN, guided the children on this radio.
The second station was used for another very interesting amateur radio event taking place at Byron Airport, “Parachute Mobile”. During this event, amateur radio operator Rob Fenn, KC6TYD, was parachuted from an aircraft at 13,300 feet. He carried a television camera to show his descent to the ground and also had a radio to make contact on the way down with amateur radio stations in the area.
The first contact he made was with the Galt library station. Many children, along with their parents and some library staff, watched the video as the ham operator stepped off the plane. The operator said “hello” to the kids and hoped they were enjoying their day with ham radio. They were delighted to see him come down as he spoke directly to them. Ron Russell, KG7OR, controlled this radio and the video stream on a computer.
Another activity for the children was a Morse code exercise. They were given a sheet of paper with the alphabet and Morse code characters for each letter. They coded and practiced sending their names with a Morse code key. Twelve children took part in this exercise. Tom Daley, WA6OSX, walked them through the process.
Galt Mayor Lori Heuer stopped by to watch the event and particularly enjoyed the moving parachute video. Before leaving, she joined all the radio amateurs for a group photo.
“I would like to thank Fred Coe, WB6ASU, owner of Bear Mountain Repeater, for allowing the use of his equipment for the event,” said Bob Schuldheisz, K6DGQ. “And a special thank you to Samantha LeBlanc and the library staff for their help and support during the success of Children’s Day in Galt.