LOCAL radio amateurs have been keeping active during lockdown by meeting up on the air each morning, checking that everyone is in good health, and chatting about who else around the world they have been contacting.
Current projects are always a hot topic of conversation with the sharing of ideas, hints and tips, as many of us have interests in electronics.
As normal radio club meetings are not possible at the moment, radio hams meet up on Zoom (the video conferencing app) and are joined by friends in the UK and from further away including the USA and Tunisia. Usually, a pre-advertised radio related talk is given followed by a more general discussion.
Radio amateurs enjoy a hobby with many facets and interests are varied.
Always at the forefront of technology, the first amateur satellite was launched in 1961. Mike from Westbrook (pictured top)talks to people around the world using a geostationary satellite via a small dish in his garden.
Lee from Lymm, likes to transmit using Morse Code. A piece of wire forms his radio aerial among the trees in his garden.
Jeff in Runcorn, has his radio and personal computer connected together to send messages around the world in seconds.
Robin from Lymm became a radio Amateur two years ago at the age of 12. He continues to use his passion for radio, keeping in touch with fellow radio amateurs and studying for the next level of his license. Robin is also an RAF Air Aadet and enjoys taking part in joint air cadet and amateur radio exercises. He also helps with radio communications training of other air cadets.
Milly (Altrincham Grammar School for Girls) and Katie (Lymm High School) both of Oughtrington Explorer Scouts, decided to become radio amateurs for their Duke of Edinburgh skill challenge. They continue to use the hobby to communicate and have taken part in several radio events organised by the club.
Becoming a radio amateur has never been so easy! Online courses can be used to accompany a book to explain what amateur radio is all about and the entry level exam referred to as the “Foundation Licence” can also be booked and taken online.
What happens after Lockdown?
Warrington Amateur Radio Club meets in Grappenhall at the Bellhouse Club premises where they have a self contained club room with a separate radio room and meeting room used for lectures and training courses. When it is safe to have public meetings again, arrangements are in progress to welcome the influx of newly licensed radio amateurs and those who have had their interest rekindled in the hobby as a result of Lockdown.
Further reading and information can be found online:
Warrington Amateur Radio Club site www.warc.org.uk
The Radio Society of Great Britain www.rsgb.org.uk
British Amateur Television Club www.batc.org.uk
Amateur Satellites UK www.amsat-uk.org
Schools talk to astronauts on the International Space Station via amateur radio https://youth.be/2CcrQ9chotU