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SEK ham radio club members hold monthly meeting to make global c - KOAM TV 7

SEK ham radio club members hold monthly meeting to make global connections

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"Some of the things I remember most are talking to Europe and France and England. I've talked to France and England quite a bit."

Talking, but Pittsburg resident Joe Porter does not mean in the traditional sense. He is an amateur, or ham, radio operator. He exchanges messages through the airwaves with basic equipment, a lot of which is made by hand.  

"What we call home brew, where you build your own little kits and radios and connectors and that kind of things," said Jeff Chancey. "You use the Altoid tins, old wire."

Chancey started the Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club several years ago. He, Porter and the other members meet every month to make connections, talk Morse Code and even go over emergency capabilities.  

Members say that ham operators have played an important role in emergency disasters, such as the Joplin tornado.  

"One of the mottos of ham radio is 'when all else fails, there's ham radio,'" said Chancey.

And the aspects to the craft are endless.  

"For young people, it is just a fantastic hobby," said SEK Amateur Radio Club member Jack Dock. "It could keep them interested for years."

Porter agrees. After all, it was during his high school years when he met a ham operator and fell for the craft.

"I was led back into his ham shack, as we call it, which was a room in the house where he had all his radio equipment, and I was so fascinated that he sit down and just talk to somebody just about anybody in the world, and I thought boy I'd like to do that."

Decades later, Porter still gets excited about who and where his next connection will be.


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