Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hams to talk at library

The Fauquier Amateur Radio Association (FARA) is presenting an introduction to amateur radio operation at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in the John Barton Payne community hall.

Representatives from the association will talk about amateur radio activities and how to get a license. They will also demonstrate radio techniques using some of the radios available on the market today. The program is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about this popular hobby.

Amateur radio operators, also known as “hams,” enjoy a variety of radio communication activities, from simple Morse code to amateur satellites and linking over the Internet. There are more than 2.5 million hams of all ages worldwide who communicate with other hams for fun, but they also play an important public service role as well.

Amateur radio operators provide emergency communications during disasters, often serving as the first link between stricken communities and the outside world when normal communications are suspended.

Some operators experiment with new radio technologies and with helping in the development of long-distance broadcasting, while others have fun competing in contests with other radio hobbyists of all ages and from all over the world.

A license from the Federal Communications Commission is required to operate a ham radio, but the testing requirements were recently updated. Among the changes, the requirement to learn Morse code has been eliminated. By learning some simple operating rules and developing a basic understanding of radio, it is easier than ever to pass the amateur radio license test and to begin talking to the world.

Members of FARA will show a multi-media presentation, answer questions, and demonstrate some of the various types of amateur radio operating during the upcoming program. Information about local radio club membership will also be available.