DEATH VALLEY '49ers AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
DV49ARC - K6DVC
Hello, and welcome to yet another aspect of the Death Valley '49ers.
Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) has been around in some form since 1837, when Samuel Morse demonstrated the use of "lightning wires" and a new alphabet he created for electronic transmission, called Morse Code. The first transmission between Washington and Baltimore in 1844 read "What hath God wrought!" By 1861, telegraph wires linked the West and East Coast, and "wireless operators" transmitted information around the still growing United States. These transmissions also aided the combantants in the Civil War via the Military Telegraph Service. The picture is of an 1864 Telegraph Battery Wagon (courtesy of http://www.civilwarhome.com/telegraph.htm).
While a modification of Morse's code is used today in the form of International Morse Code, it is the base of all Amateur Radio operations, able to be heard even in the worst static, and over great distances. Today, Ham Radio utilizes all forms of electronic communication, from radios to television to satelites and the internet.
Death Valley '49ers Members include folks who continue this wonderful tradition of maintaining the wireless communications through the Amateur Radio Service. Each has taken at least one test to be licensed by the FCC in order to operate on special set-apart frequencies. They include people from all walks of life, men and women, young and old.
Amateur Radio has been vital in communications around the world, including emergency communications. Hams were responsible for communicating to the State Department regarding the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in the early 1990’s. Hams were responsible for continued communications during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, when all other sources of communication were down or destroyed.
Due in part to the historical aspect, part of the emergency communications and instructional opportunities, and in part to our continuing search for events in which our members can participate, the Death Valley ‘49ers Amateur Radio Club was created.
This club is open to all current members of the Death Valley ‘49ers who hold current Amateur Radio Licenses. Members who fit this criteria can participate in special event stations during Encampment, as well as other events during the year.
If you don’t have an Amateur Radio License, getting one is pretty easy. There are a number of good books to help you prepare for the first test, which is given by Ham clubs in your area almost every month. A good place to start is at the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) website (http://www.arrl.org/getting-your-technician-license).
Keep checking here to find out what events are scheduled in which you can participate.
We are currently working with Death Valley National Park Rangers to get Death Valley on the air during their Centennial Celebration of the Park Service. ARRL, in conjunction with the National Parks, are holding a year long special event called "National Parks on the Air." (NPOTA)
As a part of NPOTA, the DV49ARC will be holding multiple events in Death Valley throughout 2016, including Field Day. As soon as all details are finalized, the dates and times will be posted.