(Gillette, Wyo.) On Saturday, the Northeast Wyoming Amateur Radio Association
held the first of two free events
aimed at getting young people interested in amateur radio.
"Everyone thinks: Well, I've got the internet. I've got a cell phone. I can
talk to anyone anywhere in the world that I want," said NEWARA'S Jack
Robison. "Yes, but you have to know who you're trying to get ahold of in
those places. Here, you can just grab the radio and start talking."
This is the first time the club has had their "Kids Day" at Wal-Mart, right
near Highway 59, where their 35 foot mobile antenna tower can be seen more
easily from the road. And they say it's their biggest turnout yet. Though
the weather surrounding Campbell County made it difficult to reach other
radio operators, kids were able to make seven contacts by the time the
event was nearly over.
"We can talk to the International Space Station," said Robison. "All the
astronauts up there are HAMs. Whether they're from here, or Great Britain,
or Russia, they're all licensed HAMs."
The weekend was also a "QSO party" for amateur radio enthusiasts. (QSO is
code for contact between two radio operators.) The contest was to see how
many counties in Wyoming they could contact in a given period.
Next weekend is Field Day in the same location at Wal-Mart. The club says
it's a lot of fun because you can contact anybody and everybody. They'll
operate for 24 hours from their temporary radio stations, practicing
emergency drills and showing anyone interested how to operate amateur radio.
"It's really about making sure people know how to use the equipment to
communicate with each other," explained Robison.
NEWARA works with emergency management often to help provide radio
direction during emergencies, and during high traffic events like the
Sturgis Bike Rally.
You can learn more about next weekend's annual Field Day by clicking here