Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,

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Emergency Fair

Yesterday was the Emergency Fair in Allenwood. All the local emergency units got together to show the public what they do. The Milton Amateur Radio Club was there, and I came along with them.

After getting parked and out of the mud, we gathered together and set up a dipole antenna. It was my first experience setting up an antenna before, so I had open ears and eyes to absorb as much as I could. I was designated as a guy wire person. I stood at the South-West corner and held a steady grip on the green-rope guy wire as the tower rose higher and higher into the air. Then we unwound a long, thin copper wire and hoisted it up with a pulley. That wire was our antenna.

That thin wire is what transmitted our voice, data, and images all across the country. It also received signals from places like Michigan, Tennessee, and Canada. It's amazing how many different signals we picked up. It's also weird to think that these kinds of waves are passing us every day and we are totally oblivious to them. There is so much information in our immediate environment that our senses can receive, but also a lot that we cannot. It makes me wonder how much is really there that we cannot see or hear...

Anyway, after the antenna was in place, we spent the rest of the day chatting on SSB (single-sideband - a form of AM), playing around with PSK31 (a digital/data mode), SSTV (slow-scan TV), and CW (Morse code). It was fun! I made my first HF contact (under the callsign of one of the club members). The only other time I've actually talked over the radio was in April at the Berwick meeting where we were demonstrating radios to the cub scouts. I am getting really excited to get set up so I can listen in on some nets and contacts and learn the language and culture of amateur radio. Hopefully that will be soon... :)
Tags: ham radio

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