Imagine sitting in your home talking to people in distant lands, some you can’t pronounce and have no idea where on the earth they are. Imagine hearing people living in places currently being discussed on the evening news. Imagine being able to provide local weather or storm conditions directly to the National Weather Service. Imagine being able to assist with communications for local parades, races and other civic events. Imagine talking to an astronaut as they circle high above the earth. These are just a few of many things amateur radio operators (hams) do on a daily basis throughout Highland County, the United States and the world.
Amateur Radio has been around since before the early days of broadcast radio. Hams have been the driving force behind such inventions as the transistor, computer and cellular telephones.
Amateur radio operators come from all walks of life-country music stars, missionaries, students, farmers, business people, housewives, politicians and just plain everyday folks. They are all ages, genders, income and educational levels and nationalities. They say “Hello’ in many languages and in many ways-where it’s by voice, morse code or digitally on computers.
Some hams are attracted by the ability to communicate across town, around the globe or even with astronauts on the International Space Station. Some serve their communities with a back up source for communications to their local governmental agencies and officials. Others like to build and experiment with electronics. Others like using the convenience of technology using digital communications. Mostly all enjoy the relationships developed over the airwaves with people whom become friends-some whom will never be met face to face.
To learn more about amateur radio, the Highland Amateur Radio Association will hold an “Introduction to Amateur Radio” seminar on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Hillsboro First United Methodist Church. The program will start at 2 p.m. and will provide speakers talking about the hobby and how one can earn an amateur station. Based upon the amount of interest, the Club anticipates forming a class leading to the license examination. More information may be obtained from HARA President Lee Bishop, 937-393-1627 or John Levo 937-393-4951.