Hammin’ it up



Larry Vines, member of the Blount County Amateur Radio Club, invited members of the Southeastern AM Radio Club to the first-ever ‘HAMFEST Tailgate’ at Palisades Park recently. He wanted not only to showcase the beauty of Palisades Park, but to network the Southeastern Club participants with Blount County Amateur Radio Club members.

Public service is one of the reasons amateur radio exists. Many HAMS have volunteered their time, equipment, and knowledge to support local, regional, and international response and relief work in times of disaster. During a natural disaster or emergency, cell phones, regular phones, the Internet, and other systems are down or overloaded, and amateur radio can still get messages through. Topics discussed at the meeting included emergency management and becoming more effective during times of emergencies, both locally and nationally. The gathering allowed the 25 members attending the opportunity to swap equipment and stories and form new friendships.

An amateur radio operator engages in two-way personal communications with other operators, on radio frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States and the International Telecommunication Union worldwide. They are granted an amateur radio license and call sign by the FCC when they pass an exam on radio theory and operation. To find out more, visit w4blt.org.