The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 18, 2013

Amateur radio enthusiasts to host convention on weekend

GENEVA TOWNSHIP — Aaron Miller is ready for any emergency.

With a portable antenna and a generator, Miller is ready to go old-school with his HAM radio system in case of a large scale emergency.

The Ashtabula County Amateur Radio Club will host a 24-hour convention on communications under emergency conditions Saturday and Sunday at the Geneva Township garage on North Avenue. The event will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday and end at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Miller, president of the club, said he is working hard to pass down the knowledge, know how and passion for ham radio to the younger generation, knowing that someday they could be crucial to emergency communications and possibly save countless lives.

“We are working hard to raise the number of contacts we have so we can get up and running under emergency situations,” Miller said. “This is a generator and portable antennae set-up to test our skills in those emergency situations.”

Ham radio uses multiple frequency allocations to operate from just above the AM bands and microwave and satellite channels. This communication is available in all conditions, Miller said, when the internet, cable and even mainstream radio are off air.

There are more than 400 licensed amateurs in Ashtabula and Lake counties, and getting involved is as simple as attending a meeting of a local ham radio club, Miller said.

“We have eight licensed ham radio amateurs just in Geneva,” he said. “I think people are getting interested and involved because of the way the world is right now. The shape of the world has everyone thinking about communication and how it works, and ham is perfect for emergencies.”

Miller said the amateurs take their work with radio very seriously.

“We can step in and provide — free of charge — emergency communications for the city and county in an emergency situation,” he said.

  Everyone is invited to the free ham radio convention, Miller said, even if it’s just to see what ham is all about.

“The event is free and we invite anyone and everyone to stop by,” he said. “We are happy to talk with anyone.”

For more information on the Ashtabula County Amateur Radio Club, email Miller at kb8vgd@live.com or call 645-0489.

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