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Ham Radio Classes Begin Saturday

Two local amateur radio groups are set to offer ham radio training sessions.

Licensed ham operators can use their radios to talk with people around the world for pleasure.

They also provide vital community services. Local instructor Don Lafreniere says they play an integral role in the CopperDog 150…

We are there at each of the crossings, sending in reports of any injured dogs to the veterinary team. We’re keeping track of the number of dogs on the sleds, and the timing of those dogs, and reporting back to race officials, so they know the locations of the different dogsleds along the route.

Local hams provide communications services at other events, including the Canal Run. They assist in search and rescue operations. In times of severe emergencies, when other methods of communications are offline, amateur radio operators with batteries and generators fill the gap…

It is a volunteer system, so you’re not required to do this. But, in the spirit of what amateur radio is about, we all are prepared to have equipment ready to deploy.

Classes sponsored by the Keweenaw County Repeater Association and the Copper Country Radio Amateur Association take place between 9:00 and noon over the next three Saturdays at the Franklin Township Hall. The cost is $25, which includes the FCC license application fee, and lunch before the licensing test at the final session.

For more information, or to sign up, email Don Lafreniere at va3djl@gmail.com.

To learn more about local amateur radio, listen to Todd VanDyke’s Copper Country Today interview with Don and Simon Lafreniere here.

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