Dozens of Ohio amateur radio clubs and individuals will head to Ohio state parks, including Rocky Fork and Paint Creek, on Saturday, Sept. 11 to participate in the annual Ohio State Parks on the Air operating event.
The event, sponsored by the Portage Amateur Radio Club, not only calls attention to Ohio’s state park system, but most importantly serves as a training tool used by ham radio operators to prepare them for responding to calls from national, state or local government, or other public officials or agencies, when their communications assistance and expertise is needed, a news release from John Levo, Highland Amateur Radio Association (HARA) information officer, said.
During the event hams will go to various state parks, erect temporary antennas and stations and communicate with similar stations operating from other Ohio State Parks. Additionally, they will make contact with other hams throughout the world who are trying to work parks throughout the world involved with the International Parks on the Air Program sponsored by Europe’s World Wide Flora and Fauna Organization.
Currently, more than over 50 parks in the Ohio State Park system will be represented in the event, the news release said.
Locally, HARA will operate stations at Paint Creek and Rocky Fork state parks.
According to HARA President Pat Hagen, the station at Paint Creek will be located at the campground and the Rocky Fork station will operate either from the old concession stand at Fisherman’s Wharf or the campgrounds.
Additionally, HARA member and Ohio University student Blake Gall will set up a station at Lake Hope in Vinton County and a team of HARA members will operate as a ‘rover.’ That team will set up in one park, operate for a time, then tear down and move to another park where they will again set up, operate and tear down before moving to another park where the procedure will be repeated. During the eight-hour event they hope to activate five state parks in the Southern Ohio/Hocking Hills and Rocky Fork park clusters.
Another Highland County ham team is expected to operate from Pike Lake.
Hagen invited anyone interested in the activity, or in learning more about ham radio, to visit either the Paint Creek and/or the Rocky Fork location to learn more and view ham radio in operation. He said the equipment and antennas used will be of different designs at each location.
The Highland Amateur Radio Association is a nationally recognized club of more than 140 federally licensed amateur radio operators and others with an interest in electronics and radio communications living mostly in Highland County. Membership is open to anyone with a ham radio license or an interest in electronics or radio communications.
Information about the club can be found at www.facebook.com/highlandk8ho, firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting HARA Information Officer John Levo at 937-393-4951.
Information for this story was provided by John Levo.