BY JAIME YARBROUGH
The Del Norte Amateur Radio Club function of FCC licensing are able to utilize specific areas of the radio frequency bands. These radio bands are broken up into hundreds of allocations for police, fire, military, AM-FM, TV, commercial applications, etc., etc., To be able to use many of them special knowledge is required and only some hams can use certain frequencies. There are FIVE classifications for ham radio … Novice, technician, general, extra, and advanced.
The greater the knowledge (through testing) the greater access to other bands. There are several ‘band classifications’ which require different methods of propagation which use different types of antenna’s.
Depending on weather and atmospheric conditions different frequencies and their respective antenna’s have greater signal strength and propagation (like bounding of various layers in the atmosphere.) Telephones, both land lines and cellular use various methods as well but are usually dependent on electricity. The don’t require a lot but if an electrical grid goes down emergency communications could be affected. Ham radios use electricity as well but by their nature they have been developed from the use of battery’s. Of course the battery’s need to be charged and that can come from an electrical grid, or a car battery, or a solar panel or a wind generator. Satellites are an additional utility that applies to both but even they can be susceptible to failure or attack in an emergency or military attack.
The amounts of combined grants that go into the tower and the associated radio equipment for the upgrade to our emergency profile is about $30,000. This also includes equipment at Red Mountain in Klamath and Camp Six above Gasquet.
The tower was erected a couple weeks back and secured to new guy wire anchors. Saturday, October 12th, several new antennas will be mounted using the Del Norte Fire Protection District hook & ladder truck which will be required to reach the 75′ height. The actual lift will take place between 10:30 and 11:30 AM
The new tower and antenna’s will multiply the reach of the Radio Club and the county in the case of an emergency. Both the Red Cross and grant money through Cindy Henderson at the Office of Emergency Services are making this upgrade possible.