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Space ham: Local radio operators present program at library

SOUTH POINT — The Southern Ohio Amateur Radio Association is always trying to expand the interest in ham radio and does many public events to spread the word. But a recent request had the club reaching beyond the earth’s stratosphere.

Jan Gullett, Briggs Lawrence County Public Library Southern Branch children’s reading librarian, asked the members of SOARA to present a program about an introduction to ham radio, but with a bit of a twist.

It should focus on space communications to coincide with a special reading program offered at the library this summer for youth and adults about space.

“The presentation was a huge success,” Gullett said, “I had no idea that amateur radio was this diverse and encompassed so many different aspects of communications. I did certainly learn a lot.”

The local radio operators help the community by utilizing ham radio in emergencies and community events like the annual Ironton-Lawrence Memorial Day parade and can even talk to astronauts orbiting the earth.

Tim Nicely AC8VQ, president of SOARO, Mark Killen KD8QIH SOARA member and Treasurer of the Radio Museum in Huntington, West Virginia, Eddie Jenkins N8URU Lawrence County Amateur Radio Emergency Service EC, Teresa Killen KD8QIH, Keith Brooks N8DKB Remote Control Operator and Michael Love WB8YKS public information officer all participated in the evenings presentation and activities.

“This was an outstanding educational opportunity to showcase amateur radio and its capabilities concerning space communications as well as emergency services here in Lawrence County,” Killen said “The one and a half hour presentation went by quickly and was engaging with the audience.”

Nicely displayed an array of ham radio equipment and discussed it’s operation. Of course, how to become a ham radio operator was presented and a number of resources for additional information was provided.

“The dynamics of the evenings presentation was unprecedented for providing and in-depth look at the many opportunities for ham radio from, Across the Street to Outer Space,” said Love. He added that working with the Lawrence County Briggs Public Library staff was a great partnership and one that the club will continue to build on.

As an additional resource, the library has a number of publications concerning ham radio.