From Daryl Stout@HURRICAN/THUNDER to All on Sat Apr 1 00:06:00 2017
HAMS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
Many individual hams and local Amateur Radio Clubs work on a regular
basis with a variety of community organizations. In most cities, hams
are affiliated with local disaster preparedness agencies. But they also
work with other groups such as the March of Dimes, providing
communications for walkathons, bikeathons, etc.
Hams also provide communications for such large-scale events as the
annual New York City Marathon and the 1,000+ mile Torch Runs for the US
Olympic Games. Hams do all this without payment. Federal law bars them
from accepting any compensation for the service they provide. It's all
done for the satisfaction of helping their neighbors.
Is one of your neighbors a ham? Amateur Radio operators (hams) don't
look different from anyone else, so how can you tell if one of your
neighbors is a ham? One tell-tale sign could be a big antenna on the
roof or in the back yard (though it could also be a CB antenna,
satellite "dish" or big TV antenna).
Another hint could be callsign license plates on the car. Amateur
callsigns in the US begin with A, K, N or W, have one or two letters
followed by a number from 0 to 9, then one to three more letters
[Examples: W1AW, N2BFG, KK5AA, AC2T]. Many states issue special
license plates to amateurs in recognition of their service to the
If you think a neighbor is a ham, ask. If the answer is yes, you might
ask to see his or her station, or "shack". There, you'd see
transmitting and receiving equipment, certificates and cards confirming contacts with different parts of the world.
Is that big antenna really important? In a word, yes. While it's
possible to get on the air and make hundreds of contacts with a fairly
simple wire antenna, hams who want to be certain their signals get
through put up bigger antennas to direct their signals to certain
points. This is particularly important, say, for "phone patches" with servicemen overseas. These let people at home talk by phone - via radio
- with loved ones half a world away.
WHAT ABOUT MY TV?
While signals from Amateur Radio transmitters may occasionally seem to
cause interference to TV's and stereos, so do CB sets, computers,
vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, medical devices and countless other
things. In most cases, though, the problem is actually in the TV or
stereo. Manufacturers of consumer goods generally cut corners on costs
by leaving out the inexpensive filters that can eliminate most