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Owensboro Amateur Radio Club Reaches Out to Younger Audience

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/2/13) - The Owensboro Amateur Radio Club has been a non-profit corporation in the Commonwealth since 1954. The club is a medium for training operators and for exchanging idea between members to increase knowledge about the ham radio to the public.

Ham radios, more popular in the past than they are today, are used by designated radio frequency for recreation, emergency communication, and exchanging of messages using Morse Code and the International Phonetic Alphabet.
 
Amateur radios were formerly popular for emergency services, but that has shifted over the years to entertainment purposes, says club member, Walt Shipman.
 
“We still use them during emergency situations in Owensboro and Daviess County,” Shipman said. “They provide communication to emergency workers and also weather reports.”
 
In order to operate the radios on a frequency, technicians have to be licensed, which is determined by a test. The club helps members taking tests for new licenses and also to renew licenses. Members also practice their Morse Code techniques. The language containing dashes, dots, and spaces, can be very difficult to new learners.
 
The club hosts a children’s program at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History where kids can learn the Phonetic Alphabet while making crafts.
 
“We are trying to get younger folks interested,” Shipman said Thursday. “It’s where it starts.”
 
The Owensboro Amateur Radio Club Vice President, Bob Spears, agreed, saying that the club’s members are getting older and might need younger people to take their places some day.
 
“You know what they say, ‘When all else fails, amateur radio will still be there’,” Spears said.
 
For more information on the Owensboro Amateur Radio Club, visit: www.k4hy.net.

Taylor Riley
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Taylor Riley

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