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Last Updated: Jun 28th, 2017 - 15:27:24


LETTERS FROM READERS: Learn how amatuer radio helps the community
By GUEST WRITER/Letter to the Editor
Jun 28, 2017, 15:25

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently declared the week of June 18 as Amateur Radio Week in the State of Arkansas.

More than 8,000 Arkansas citizens are licensed amateur radio operators. Many play an important role as volunteers of the Weather Bureau, Office of Emergency Management and many hospital networks as emergency communications networks.
Arkansas amateurs can play a vital role in informative communications in the aftermath of ice storms, tornadoes or other disasters within our state.

Crossett is home of N5SEA, The Southeast Amateur Radio Club, hosting several VHF and UHF repeaters, both analog and digital. We are a small group of licensed amateurs interested in the advancement of the radio hobby and would like to increase the interest in our area.

Most people have heard of “HAM Radio” in one way or another and many think of it in terms of older technology in the way of tubes and old radios with tall towers and huge antennas — and yes, we do still use those. While the amateur hobby does still both use and encourage this older technology as a means of learning and communication, there is also the latest in digital technology in both audio and video transmission. Amateurs can now communicate via satellites, bounce signals off of the moon and use the internet as a communications link.

Did you know that today you can get on the air with digital technology and communicate worldwide with a handheld “walkie talkie” with the entry level technician amateur license and minimal investment in radio equipment?
The technician license can be obtained by taking a test that requires basic understanding of the FCC rules and regulations and radio operation. The testing can be done here locally by licensed amateurs in a small group setting. There are currently three license levels, technician, general class and extra class. Each class has specific privileges on the amateur radio frequencies.

You can contact any of the local amateur operators to get more information on how to get involved and become part of the amateur radio community. We strive to be helpful, encourage anyone that interested to learn and contribute to the amateur radio hobby. It’s fun, it’s very educational and you can connect with the rest of the world via radio communications.

You can contact: Bill Gifford, W5GIF at 870-500-5455, Scotty McCay, AB5SM at 870-540-7368, Jerry Brantley, N5ADJ at 870-364-5335 or Don Lemley, ND5RL at 870-723-6884

Scott McCay
Crossett