Local amateur radio enthusiasts are looking for ways to give back



Bryan County Estates Judge Sam Davis spends much of his personal time sitting in front of an electronic bank of lights, sounds and receivers listening and speaking with people he has never met.

Davis is one of 15 people who belong to the Coastal Amateur Radio Team, a group of local amateur radio enthusiasts. Also known as amateur radio, amateur radio is a designated band of radio frequencies used for the exchange of non-commercial messages.

In the case of the local CART members, the team started out as a way to give back to a group of local veterans known as the Wounded Warriors.

The Wounded Warrior Project is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to “honoring and empowering wounded warriors” in the armed forces of the United States. Wounded Warriors are military personnel injured in combat anywhere in the world.

Davis said local radio amateurs got involved in the project in 2011, when the Fort McAllister Sport Fishing Club hosted a sport fishing at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Wounded Warriors to show their appreciation for them. sacrifices of warriors.

“We offered to provide them with communications, just in case they needed it for emergencies or other needs,” he said.

From there, Davis said, the idea arose to expand the club’s offerings to provide rescue communications during weather-related and other emergencies.

“The team approached Bryan County commissioners and offered to set up an emergency communications capability that could be used in the county where communications were disrupted.

“During a hurricane, if a cell phone tower were destroyed or normal communications were interrupted for some reason, CART members could provide emergency emergency communications to the county. We would use our expertise and install the equipment. at no cost to the county. “

The Estates Judge said the county was very receptive to the idea and CART members are now looking for ways to fund the roughly $ 7,000 it would cost for the equipment needed to set up the a first-class local emergency communication capability. Davis said the group will investigate grants and other sources of funding.

While helping in an emergency is important, Davis also said he enjoys talking to people around the world.

“I made lifelong friendships through amateur radio contact,” he said.

Davis maintains a base site in his Richmond Hill home and a mobile facility used in his car. Her home installation includes communications equipment and a 150-foot antenna hung between two oak trees in her yard.

Amateur radio operators are licensed and each license upgrade allows the use of extended radio frequencies, Davis said. Potential amateur operators must pass an exam demonstrating that they understand the basic concepts of radio communications before obtaining their license.

“Someone could get started in amateur radio for as little as $ 500. It’s a fun hobby. “

And which opens ways to create a world of friendships.

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