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Border to border: Ham radio operators set up outside courthouse

With blue skies shining over their event, The Southern Ohio Amateur Radio Association and the Lawrence County Amateur Radio Emergency Service said the annual Ohio Statewide Courthouses On the Air Special Historical Event was a success.

“It was a perfect day for the event with blue skies, sunshine, and a light breeze,” Mike Love WB8YKS, public information officer for SOARA and ARES, said.

The members of SOARA and ARES started early Saturday morning of Aug. 24 setting up all the required equipment for a successful on the air event.

The event was held outside the Lawrence County Courthouse and was to simulate an emergency situation in which there is a total communications failure of telephone, commercial radio, television, cell phone, and web access due to devastating weather.

And by the target time of 9 a.m., they had everything was in place and fully operational with high frequency capability, 2 m, 440 and digital radio systems set up. Soon, they were contacting their counterparts across the state and nation.

Plenty of visitors stopped by to see what is going on.

“One young man, Liam Basham, eight years old, a student at Dawson Bryant Elementary was very interested in ham radio,” Love said. “He spoke with another amateur operator via the Ironton 440 repeater.”

He was joined with his parents, Byron and Jeanie.

“They had commented he was really interested in ham radio and wanted to become a licensed amateur,” Love said.

He added that visitors were interested in the Lawrence County Museum and Historical Society’s members in 1800s-style outfits.

“The Conestoga wagon was also a very impressive addition and drew a lot of interest,” Love said. “Furthermore, we had representation from a historian discussing the local iron furnaces in Lawrence County. Yes, this was truly a special history making event celebrating Lawrence County and its courthouses.”
The event was the first ever completed across the state of Ohio.

It was truly a fun day for everyone,” Love said.