Local hams to promote Rocky Fork State Park


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On Saturday, Sept. 9, members of the Highland Amateur Radio Association will participate in the 10th annual Ohio State Parks On The Air amateur radio operating event.

Local club coordinators Lee Bishop and Jeff Collins said the event was conceived 10 years ago by the Portage County Amateur Radio Club and has grown into a popular amateur radio activity with hundreds of Ohio licensed hams and thousands of other amateurs throughout the world participating. The event was developed with the full support of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with three goals – promote public awareness of amateur radio and Ohio’s beautiful state parks system; contribute to the recognition that Ohio has a very diverse and wonderful ecology; and promote camaraderie within the ranks of Ohio’s Amateur Radio Operators.

The event also serves as a training exercise allowing amateurs to practice their emergency communication skills as well as giving many new hams an opportunity to experience the thrill of long-distance communications.

Sept. 9 also marks the monthly club breakfast get together at the Hillsboro McDonald’s. That happens at 10 a.m. Following it members will journey to Rocky Fork State Park where arrangements have been made to spend the afternoon and early evening operating their radio equipment from the old concession stand at Fisherman’s Wharf. They will operate two completely separate stations during the event using a variety of equipment and antennas.

Club president Dave Tourtelot said that once on-site they will connect simple wire antennas to their amateur radio equipment and start making contact with other amateur radio operators throughout Ohio, North America and the world. Additionally, they will attempt to establish contact with similar operations from all of Ohio’s 83 state parks. Tourtelot said neighboring clubs in Blanchester, West Union, Chillicothe and Washington C.H. will be operating from their nearby state parks. He also noted that Indiana is hosting amateur radio operation in its state park system that day. Local club information officer John Levo said he is working with a radio club in Tennessee to arrange a contact between Rocky Fork State Park and the Tennessee Rocky Fork State Park near Erwin, Tenn.

Anyone with an interest in amateur radio is invited and welcome to visit the site during the day. The event runs from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Levo said anyone wishing additional information about the event or to learn about amateur radio is urged to contact him at 937-393-4951.

The Highland Amateur Radio Association is a club with a membership of over 100 individuals with an interest in radio communications and technology, electronic and propagation experimentation and emergency communications support to local and state government as well as civic organizations. The club is celebrating its 40th anniversary and has participated in many amateur radio related activities during 2017.

Submitted by Highland Amateur Radio Association.

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