Recently, the Highland County Highland Amateur Radio Association concluded its Introduction to Amateur Radio class with a highly successful Federal Communications Commission license examination session. The examination session not only saw students from HARA’s class, but also individuals from Dayton, Cincinnati, Chillicothe and Washington C.H. drawn to Hillsboro for the tests.
According to club president Pat Hagen, recent wild fires, tornados, hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters have caused many Americans to look to alternatives to computer, land line and cell-based communications should a disaster hit their area rendering local communications infrastructure unusable. Additionally, civil unrest causing communications disruptions may also play into obtaining a license to use radio frequencies in time of need.
Because of the number of local residents requesting information about how amateur radio can be used in times when all else fails, the club decided to hold an entry level license class leading students to their licenses following the completion of a Federal Communications Commission examination. Plus, many realize amateur radio can be an enjoyable way to communicate over the airwaves with other licensed individuals either across town or around the world.
Hagen said the amateur radio service is one of few services authorized by the federal government to test and issue licenses and police its own ranks on behalf of the government. He further said that previously when HARA conducted classes they relied on other amateur clubs to administer tests to its students. In 2020 the club decided to form its own team of certified examiners and applied to administer and directly submit test results to the FCC for license issuance. Following the commission’s authorization, now successful license candidates receive their licenses and federally assigned call signs within hours instead of days or weeks and no longer have to travel to Detroit or other cities to be examined.
It is an honor to be recognized with this authorization. Tom Mongold heads the HARA examination team consisting of 12 local amateur radio operators, most with the highest grade of the three FCC amateur radio license levels.
Those successfully completing the course and receiving a license and call sign were: Kevin Fauber, Leesburg, KE8RVS; Steve Frazier, Washington C.H., KE8RVK; Seth Hawthorn, New Vienna, KE8RVO; Joe Holdren, Leesburg, KE8RVL; Rindy Matthews, Leesburg, KE8RVP; Chris Osborne, Hillsboro, KE8RVJ; Stella Wardlow, Leesburg, KE8RVQ; and David Wolfenbarger, Hillsboro, KE8RVM.
Also receiving their first licenses were Larry Jones of Washington C.H., KE8RVN; and Chad Houck of Cincinnati, KE8RVR.
Currently licensed Jennifer Ritter of Hillsboro successfully upgraded her present license to the next highest grade and was granted worldwide communications authorization. Osborne and Hawthorn also successfully earned their general class licenses in addition to their technician class entry license. Seaman’s Jared Schupert, KE8GAD, became the area’s latest holder of an amateur extra license, which is the highest license granted by the Federal Communications Commission.
The Highland Amateur Radio Association was officially formed in 1974 from a base of about 20 local amateurs who frequently met to discuss the radio and electronics hobby. Through the promotion of the amateur radio service the club has grown to approximately 130 members from all corners of Highland County. They are members of a fraternity of approximately 800,000 fellow hams throughout the United States and 29,000 in Ohio. The local club was recently recognized as one of the leading amateur radio clubs in the nation.
More information regarding amateur radio and how to become involved can be found on the American Radio Relay League’s www.arrl.org website or by contacting HARA Information Officer John Levo at 937-393-4951.
Submitted by John Levo.