The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.

The People News
Special Report






Amateur Radio.... Not Just A Hobby

by Alexandra Edwards

The ability to communicate with others across the nation and across the world has become so much easier and less expensive over the past couple of decades. Whether it is by land phone, cell phone or Internet, by simply pressing a few keys, we can talk to someone on the other side of the world as clearly and easily as our next door neighbor. We have certainly come a long way since the Pony Express and the telegraph. The invention of radio made it possible to communicate over the airwaves. The first wireless operators were landline telegraphers who left their office to man the coastal stations. Radio communication is still widely used today by the military, law enforcement and emergency services. During the 1970's and early 80s' Citizens Band radios (CB's) became very popular especially with road commuters and had its own language. Today the CB no longer seems to be an essential car accessory.

There are many people who find communicating over the airwaves an enjoyable and valuable pastime. For many years, amateur radio enthusiasts across the globe have been getting together in their communities and forming amateur radio clubs. Here in Bradley

Alexandra Edwards

County, Tennessee, Cleveland Amateur Radio Club (Call sign W4G2X) formed in 1962, is still growing in leaps and bounds with currently 88 members. The club meet at their clubhouse located at 560 Johnson Boulevard on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. At their last meeting it was announced that club membership well exceeded that of other counties the size of Bradley. Club president, Ray Myers (Call sign W4VRM) said that he hoped membership would continue to grow and wished to encourage young people to become involved with amateur radio.

Also known as "Ham radio" a nickname said to be used by early radio enthusiasts getting on the air to ham it up, amateur radio operators make friends around the world by way of two-way radio stations. They communicate by using voice, computers and Morse code. Radio signals can either be bounced off upper regions of the atmosphere or by satellite depending on how far away signals need to travel.

Hams not only operate from their home (hamshack) but also from their cars, boats or at the clubhouse. Some also like to build their own radios and antennas, many of which are hand-held radios that can fit into their pocket.

It is also possible for hams to exchange pictures of each other using television.
On October 15th, CARC invited local boy scouts to their clubhouse for the annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA).

CARC  member, Fred Hamby (K14EZC) exhibited two hand-held radio transmitters which could be constructed with limited electronics background and at minimal cost. The scouts were also given the chance to talk to other distant scouts using the club's radio equipment and were furnished information on requirements to obtain entry-level Technician license from the Federal Communications Commission. The skills learned by the boy scouts attending the Jamboree on the Air event will help prepare for the radio Merit Badge. Myers said, "we want to encourage young people to see how much fun amateur radio can be. You can not only build antennas but once you acquire the skills you can actually construct your own receiver."

To become an accredited member of Amateur radio it is necessary to obtain a license from

Above, 10 year old Emily Bishop in her Ham Shack.

Below, Emily on the day she passed the General Class and Amateur Extra Class exam. Also in the picture are the VEC's that gave Emily both exams, they are in order Fred Hamby (KI4EZC), Jack McCarty (WA5CHJ), Bill Derrick (KF4OZO), Ray Myers (W4VRM), Ed Elkins (KT4IV), Bob Gault (KD4NEC) and Emily (W6EMB).

the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) one of 16 organizations sanctioned by the Federal Communication Commission. Anyone interested in  obtaining a license must begin with a Technician license and complete a 35 question multiple-choice written examination on operating procedures, basic electronic theory, frequency privileges, and operating practice.

A Technician license holder receives limited operating privileges to amateur bands above 50 MHz. Other License classes are Technician plus, General, Advanced and Extra, each allowing greater airwave privileges.

Amateur radio license examinations are offered on the third Saturday of each

month at the Cleveland clubhouse.

CARC past president, Bob Gault (KD4NEC) said, "The club promotes high standards of amateur radio among our members and participates in various activities in our community. Many of our members are members of Amateur Communication Service, a part of the the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency."

The club's recording secretary Mike Bishop (NM9B) has reason to be proud of the accomplishments of his ten year old daughter, Emily Bishop (W6EMB). As one of the youngest members of the Cleveland Amateur Radio Club, Emily has not only passed the licensing test for Technician class license but also for General and Amateur Extra class. She has also passed the Morse code test. Her licensing status enables her to be a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator for the Federal ARRL of which she is a member.  Emily is also an auxiliary member of the TN Army MARS (Military Affiliate Radio Station) where her call sign is (AUX4EB), a member of ACS (Amateur Communication Service) the YLRL (Young Ladies Radio League) and an Associate member of SERA (SouthEastern Repeater

Association).  Emily has been featured in articles on the ARRL website and in World Radio Magazine. Mike Bishop said, "Emily has taught me more than I could ever teach her. She loves helping people and loves the Lord more than anything in this world." Emily has proven that young age is no obstacle to achieving expert status among radio operators and is an example of what can be achieved by one so young.

Through their participation in organizations like Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), The Cleveland Amateur Radio Club have been recognized for providing communications for noteworthy events such as the deadly fog bound I-75 pile-up involving 99 vehicles and the evacuation of Charleston when a railway tank car carrying a toxic substance sprung a leak.  CARC members are trained for all kinds of emergencies by participating in  "care drills" in schools and public buildings so that during an emergency they will be able to assist law enforcement and Emergency Management with communications.

Bradley County's amateur radio operators are a great asset to the community and should be commended for the work they do.