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Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club members enjoyed a weekend of cross talk with others far and wide

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – With antennas of all types spread out at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara, the conversations were on last weekend.

The Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club was powered up and working remotely for a 24 hour period. It was a National Field Day.

They tested equipment and transmitted to other radio operators locally and thousands of miles away. Board member Warren Myers was among the members setting up antennas of different heights and spans.

"We got a lot of our members out putting up their own stations and having a lot fun.  We also drew in a lot of the public. We had a bunch of scouts, girls and boys that learned what a radio is and a chance to operate on a radio," he said.

Visitors stopped by at the waterfront set up and asked "are you talking to aliens?  Of course we're not. We are talking to other amateur radio folks," he said.

Contact was made to all 50 states, Canada and the UK.

He said, they had "very effective radio operations." Myers said nearly all the 50 states were contacted. He often connects from his equipment to radio operators outside of the United States.

The club has been around since 1920.

In addition to hobby use, in an emergency the operators will be able to replay vital updates from different areas or a disaster zone, especially if cell phones are down.

They also work with the Civil Air Patrol on searches and monitor large ships and tanker traffic in the Santa Barbara Channel where there could be risks to marine life. Some of the date is sent to the Scripps Institute in San Diego where marine biologists keep track of ships that might high whales feeding or migrating in the area.

Recently the amateur radio operators were told they were no longer going to be able to use their equipment site at the Vic Trace reservoir in Santa Barbara. The hilltop location was ideal for their work and outreach to other towers. The city is going to replace the water source in the coming years. A new location has been sought.

For more information go to: Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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