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Friday, March 11, 2011 

The importance of HAMM radio

As today's news is full of coverage about the tsunami that has effected the world. From swallowing towns in Japan to flooding hotels in Hawaii, and sucking four people away in California. It is important to stop for a minute and think about what can happen and what little we can do about it.

The force of nature is grand in the beauty it creates. From the amazing organization out of what is first conceived as chaos. Then there is the fury and devastation it reaps. To unleash primeval forces we cannot even hope to subdue.

One of the key phrases being used is " no communication". A lack of "communication" to areas. A key word that, communication. Many years ago this great country set up a system of radio that was manned by civilians who not only have a love for broadcasting but an interest in radio. This is the MARS system. A way of sending telegrams (telegrams sounds like something out of a black and white movie). I know this as when I was stationed overseas I sent a MARS gram once a month home to my family.

The MARS system is in my understanding an off shoot of the HAM radio groups. These are clubs of men and women who love broadcasting and radio. More of a love of radio and chatting world wide. By the use of relay stations and transmitters one can in essence send a message and talk to Europe, Asia, almost any where.

So how does this all relate to the Tsunami? Well it is communication. In a natural disaster here in the United States Ham radio operators go on the offensive, or alert. Rather called upon or not. Many see it as a personal duty to pay attention and man certain frequencies, passing on information. I have had the privilege of working with a couple of hammies. One who runs communication for fire jumpers in the summer when hey are called out to fight fires. The other through a love of radio and broadcasting. Both these gentlemen introduced me to alternative communication. A way to get in touch, pass on , or find things out.

Ham operators are very important and a highly under appreciated group of individuals. With out any pats on the back they provide a service that in times of catastrophe is under rated. In Japan the areas that are not reachable by road, do to the earthquake. Reports are being made on the situation to authorities by HAM radio operators. This is helping in the routing of supplies and aid to those who need it.

This being said it is not so hard to find one of these hammies. Look at the license plates on many vehicles. The call sign of many are used for custom license plates. A funny looking extra powerful antenna on the rear or top of the vehicle. then the biggest give away a funky looking, outrageously large, what appears to be an outdated television antenna in the yard. That my friend is a hammers life line.

So if you see this in the neighbors yard ask him or her. Then ask them if they could show you their set up. Most would be happy to do this. Then give them a huge thank you. For they will be transmitting when the government is not, and your cell phone is not being heard.

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  • I'm Devious Mind
  • From Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Good judgemnt comes from experiance. Experiance comes from bad judgement. Karma, its a bitch.
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