Photo by Eric Harrold/Fall River County Herald-Star
Bill Lippert (left), AC0W Board member from the Dakota Division (South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota) and Chris Stallkamp (far right), KI0D, ARRL Section Manager for South Dakota, present a certificate of recognition to Pete Burkett (center), Hot Springs Amateur Radio Club President.
By Eric Harrold
HOT SPRINGS – At its regular monthly meeting held on Tuesday, March 8, the Hot Springs Amateur Radio Club was recognized by the Amateur Radio Relay League, commonly known as ARRL, for its continued growth and contributions to the local community, which it serves.
The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio in the US, and is headquartered in Newington, Conn. At the beginning of the meeting, Bill Lippert, AC0W Board member from the Dakota Division (South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota) and Chris Stallkamp, KI0D, ARRL Section Manager for South Dakota, presented the award to Pete Burkett, Hot Springs Amateur Radio Club President.
The Hot Springs club was recognized for its support of ARRL as an affiliated club since March 28, 1962. In addition, its membership was recognized for providing communication support for various public service needs including Skywarn reporting, as well as serving as a resource to mentor new amateur radio operators including providing license classes and VEC (Volunteer Exam Coordinators) amateur radio license testing.
Amateur Radio is an important volunteer community communications service in circumstances where regular communication channels are inoperable or simply not available. In addition, HAM radio operators find it to be a fun hobby, in addition to the valuable community service it provides
Arlene Cravens, Assistant Secretary for the Hot Springs, club gave an example at the meeting on how HAM radio is reliable when other communication technology such as mobile phones aren’t in service. She was trying to contact club president Pete Burkett just prior to the meeting. She was in the Hot Springs area but in a location with poor cell reception, and although the call did go through, the two were unable to clearly hear each other. She was able to reach him on her 2 meter mobile from her car to his home through a repeater located on Mt. Coolidge.
Cravens resides about 8 miles from Hermosa, and says when her internet service is down, so is her cell service as she relies on a booster off of the internet in order to have cell reception at her home. Should her landline go down as well, her only means of communication is through HAM radio. She has a stand-by generator, and since many HAMS have battery back-up, communication is still possible, even when the grid is down.
According to Cravens, those who have high-frequency radios can talk around the world, depending on local atmospheric conditions, without using a repeater.
The Hot Springs club invites interested non-members to attend its regular monthly meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 at the Fall River County South Annex Building located at 709 Jensen Highway in Hot Springs. Inquiries may be directed to club president Pete Burkett at 605-673-3536.