By Debbie Postalwait

After being down for sometime, the N8LGY 145.450 Repeater is back on the air. For ham operators in the Grantsville/Calhoun area, this is great news.

Non-hams can listen in by tuning their scanners to the frequency 145.450.

The N8LGY Repeater, which is located on the Mount Zion Ridge, is now fully operational. There are some minor adjustments still being made to fine tune it. There are also plans in the very near future to link the N8LGY Repeater to the Ambler Ridge Repeater in Roane County, (frequency 147.210), giving operators from the Grantsville/Calhoun area, a greater distance in which to communicate with other hams.

Many people may be wondering what is Amateur or Ham Radio? Or others may be wondering who can be a ham radio operator and why become a ham.

First and foremost, amateur or ham radio is a wonderful and exciting hobby and an excellent service. It exists in nearly every country of the world. There are numerous radio frequencies allocated to the amateur service throughout the world, making it possible for ham operators to communicate worldwide. Being able to communicate worldwide helps to promote international goodwill. Ham operators can also stay in touch with friends and family members near and far.

Anyone can become a ham radio operator. It is for people of all ages and from all walks of life. You do not have to be technically inclined to be an operator. All you have to do to become a ham operator is pass a simple 35 multiple choice question exam.

You will then be granted a Technician license and a call sign from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). This will allow you to start transmitting on the 6-meter, the ever popular 2-meter, numerous microwave frequencies, and some satellites.

From there, it is very easy to upgrade your license to a general license, which opens up even more radio and frequency privileges. There is one more class of license that you can obtain from the FCC. This class is the Extra class. This gives you full operating privileges on all amateur band frequencies.

There is something for everyone in amateur/ham radio. The reasons and benefits for being a ham radio operator are endless. Ham operators are well known for helping with communications during times of emergencies and natural disasters. When all other forms of communications fail, hams can get the messages through.

A lot of radio operators belong to amateur radio or ham clubs. These clubs provide a wonderful service during special events throughout the community. They help provide the communications during parades, bike races, and marathons. It is a great way to meet new people.

If you have any questions or comments, or would like additional information about amateur/ham radio or becoming a ham radio operator, please contact me at KC8QFI@yahoo.com. Enjoy listening and see you next time!

"73's" KC8QFI

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