Lower Murray Amateur Radio Club celebrates 100 years
Geoff Osborne and Peter Fauth say radio can be more than just a hobby –
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South Australia’s oldest amateur radio club, the Lower Murray Amateur Radio Club, will celebrate its 100th anniversary next Wednesday.
To mark the centenary, the club wants to promote its various activities and offer its services as a secondary communication source during the upcoming Murraylands floods.
Club president Peter Fauth and club secretary Geoff Osborne stressed that amateur radio could help the community in disasters.
Mr Osborne said the club was involved in the local Country Fire Service.
“When fighting a fire around Tintinara, the CFS found that there were quite a lot of blind areas, and as they couldn’t talk to each other, they used the channel 48 repeaters,” he said.
“A repeater is equipment that repeats broadcasts, allowing them to reach a much larger area than a hand-held or car radio can do.
“Amateur radio gives organisations another level of communication.”
In regard to the impending floods, Mr Fauth said that if there were any difficulty with the floods and triple zero got overwhelmed, amateur radio operators could call whoever was needed.
Apart from the club’s potential role in disaster management, Mr Fauth, Mr Osborne and club treasurer Andrew Thiel want to re-invigorate the club.
This involves seeking bigger clubrooms than what they currently have at Johnstone Park and letting the community know about the club’s different activities.
Mr Fauth became interested in amateur radio when a good friend took him on a fox hunt in Adelaide.
But no animals were harmed in the making of this experience.
In amateur radio, a fox is a transmitter that someone hides.
The aim is to find it.
One fox was hard to locate, as it kept moving: someone had put it on a model sailing boat to avoid detection.
Another transmitter was placed underneath a pram – with baby – that a lady was pushing around.
Of course, approaching a mother to ask if there was a transmitter under her baby was awkward, to say the least.
Mr Fauth enjoyed the social aspects of amateur radio and said that some of the club’s meetings could be like a men’s shed.
Having said that, women are also welcome to join the club, which is proud to have had the first female amateur radio operator in Australia.
In 1936, Betty Geisel became the first licensed YL – amateur radio speak for “young lady”.
Mr Osborne’s interest in electronics and flying model aircraft led him into amateur radio.
He also liked teaching children about the club’s activities.
“Around three years ago, as part of the STEM program, a local school wanted to listen to Jupiter,” he said.
“The sun’s quite loud, and you can hear its crashes and bangs.
“But Jupiter is the noisiest planet in the group.
“It was easy to set up the equipment to listen at the local clubrooms.”
In the Lower Murray Amateur Radio Club, members may be interested in radio, electronics and computers or be CB operators.
Mr Osborne said that even some members who liked running did so while finding the “fox” in a fox hunt.
Who would have thought that amateur radio is actually good for the waistline?
The club’s next meeting will be at 1pm next Tuesday, December 13, at Johnstone Park.
Anyone wanting to discuss or learn about radio, computers and electronics is welcome to attend.
More information: Peter Fauth 0433 763 197 or Geoff Osborne 0438 447 270.