The Highland Amateur Radio Association celebrates its 40th anniversary



The Highland Amateur Radio Association, a group of local amateur radio enthusiasts, recently celebrated their 40th anniversary with honors from the Ohio State Senate.

A proclamation signed by Senate Speaker Larry Obhof and Acting President Bob Peterson was presented at the club’s August 8 meeting, praising the association for its accomplishments.

According to HARA President Dave Tourtelot, the proclamation states, “The accomplishments of this organization are an excellent reflection, not only on the association itself, but also on every member who has come together to educate one another. and the community on the benefits and, in many ways, the necessities of amateur radio in today’s world.

There are nearly 500 licensed amateur radio operators in Highland County and throughout the region. The local club has over 100 members and has been recognized in the past as one of the premier amateur radio clubs in Ohio.

According to HARA vice president Jeff Collins, a successful bachelor’s class in 2016 saw more than 25 people in the region earn their first bachelor’s degree or upgrade to an advanced license. The club plans to hold another class early next year that will cover technician and general class licenses.

Those interested in learning more can contact HARA Information Officer John Levo by calling 937-393-4951, or Collins at 937-393-3115. HARA can be contacted by sending an email to

HARA’s award-winning “Monday Morning Memo” newsletter is distributed weekly to hundreds of “enthusiasts” in south-central Ohio, northern Kentucky and northwestern West Virginia, and features information on the various amateur radio clubs in the region.

According to club member Kathy Levo, although the club has been recognized for 40 years of existence, amateur radio operations in the region date back to the early 20th century, when wireless communication was in its infancy and all long distance communications were carried out in Morse code. Coded.

Fans in the region were on the air long before the government instituted a licensing process. However, in 1934, the late Virginia Barrett Layman became the first Highland County resident to obtain an amateur radio license issued by what is now the Federal Communications Commission.

Although most people think hams simply speak to every corner of the earth with simple radios and strange contraptions as an antenna, said Kathy Levo, hams were at the forefront of creating inventions often taken for granted.

According to the American Radio Relay League, radio amateurs have been leaders in developing ways to transmit voice instead of code over the airwaves.

Their inventions led to the development of radio for broadcasting information, entertainment, and two-way communications in the 1920s and 1930s.

Hobbyists were instrumental in the victory of WWII through the creation of the radar, walkie-talkie, and single-sideband radio transmissions, as well as providing a group of people with electronic knowledge to the armed forces , said Kathy Levo.

After the war, the invention of the transistor and the technology developed by a Cleveland hobbyist led to today’s cell phone.

During the Vietnam conflict, it was thanks to amateur radio and the MARS program that many servicemen serving overseas were able to stay in touch with loved ones in the United States.

Ham today is just as likely to use some sort of digital mode to make contact as it is to use voice or code, and some choose to make contact via satellites that rotate overhead. Earth.

There is even an amateur radio installed aboard the International Space Station, and is often used to give students the opportunity to ask a question directly to an astronaut.

Information for this article was provided by Kathy Levo.

Former Presidents of the Highland Amateur Radio Association are pictured with a proclamation from the Ohio State Senate. Standing, left to right, Bob McFarland, Ron Bogard, John Levo, Dave Tourtelot, Lee Bishop and Harley Maines. Seated, left to right, are Ted Ruble and Floyd Colville.

Senate proclamation honors HARA for its achievements

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