Ham radio class April 14

MANCHESTER – An introduction to Ham Radio and class will be offered on Saturday, April 14, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Manchester Red Cross Blood Center, 425 Reservoir Ave., Manchester.

The class is open to everyone across New Hampshire and the surrounding area, but registration is required. For information, contact Mitch Stern at 1-800-639-1766, W1SJ@ARRL.NET, or at www.hamclass.net.

Ham Radio, or amateur radio, allows people to communicate via radio over distances up to thousands of miles. Ham radio allows you to speak to many people, either individually, or all at once, as opposed to dialing a number and leaving a message. The draw of amateur radio is reaching out and meeting new people on the radio people from all over the community or all over the world who often have similar interests.

Ham Radio forms a large community network, much like Facebook. Conversations can easily take place among many participants. And the conversation is free – no bill at the end of the month.

Ham radio is invaluable in protecting you and your family during disasters when power, phones and Internet will all go down. Smart phones rely on a complicated infrastructure of wires, fiber and equipment. Lose a few key pieces of that network and little will work. But Ham radio continues to operate as it only requires a battery and wire antenna. Ham radio played a key part in providing communications in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma

and Maria in the Caribbean last year and Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, which struck closer to our area a few years ago.

While ham radio’s primary mission is to serve the public in emergencies, most of the activity is enjoying conversation with others. Some like to talk, others would rather listen and experiment. While talking the radio, ham operators get very good at communicating a critical skill which could bring needed relief one day. There are more 5,000 amateur operators in New

Hampshire. They get involved in many communication events, ranging from disasters to community events like parades. Many local amateur operators from our area also provide tactical communications for the Boston Marathon each year.

Before anyone can transmit, they must receive an FCC license. A test is given to prove that you understand rules and regulations, safety and basic electronics. Knowledge of Morse Code is no longer required.

The April 14 class will provide training for the first license level. Students can continue upgrading with a course on the next day. Demonstrations of amateur radio operation will be shown throughout the day.