Big Island ARRL News, 14 September 2017, 2120 hrs, UTC, Post #310.


Reporter:  Darren (Stacy) Holbrook (KH6OWL)-ARRL Public Information Officer-Honolulu.

Please click link to read the full article.


This well-crafted article from Darren Holbrook (KH6OWL) should be passed on to anyone interested in becoming a licensed amateur radio operator.

The role of amateur radio operators in providing emergency communications support and gathering ground level data for first responders has been well-documented in the media ever since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left millions of dollars in damage and lost lives in their wakes. Amateur radio operators have a long tradition of supporting emergency management personnel in both natural and man-made disasters.  Many of us still remember how Hawaii’s amateur radio community responded to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Iniki 25 years ago.  This scenario could happen again.

Darren adds that anyone who wants to serve their community in a direct, positive way should become a FCC-licensed amateur radio operator.  He lists several reasons for becoming a radio amateur:

  1. “Being aware of emergencies
  2. Staying connected in emergencies
  3. Helping out neighbors and your communities
  4. It’s a fun and enjoyable hobby
  5. There is a community of people, clubs and organizaitons
  6. Amateur radio is very flexible (different modes and frequencies)
  7. The operators are trained.  For the most part, these operators are self trained and active hams are very knowledgeable.
  8. A lot of operators have their own power supply and can operate at anytime in case of loss of local grid power
  9. It is  cheaper than you think
  10. You don’t need to know Morse Code anymore”

“There is an old saying, when all else fails ham radio gets through.  Ham radio is unique in the radio communications field.  All other communications are confined to specific channels in one specific frequency band, low power limits,  and are confined to one mode (except for CB and its confined to two modes.)”

Following this general introduction, Darren explains the process of getting licensed–from formal classes to the actual exam conducted by Volunteer Examiners.

Speaking of preparing for unforeseen events, Hawaii Island radio amateurs will participate in several exercises in September and October 2017:

Hawaiian Islands Grid Madness.  This VHF/UHF simplex event will be held on Sunday, 17 September 2017, from 1300 to 1700 (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.).  For more information, please visit

Radio Day II.  The second annual ARES Radio Day event will be held on Saturday, 30 September 2017, at the “Great Organic Lava Farm”, otherwise known as GOLF or the Kapua Farm Lots Golf Course.  For details, contact Kim at

2017 Simulated Emergency Exercise (SET).  Hawaii amateur radio operators will participate in the 2017 SET on Saturday, 21 October 2017, from 0800 to 1300 HST (8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)  The scenario will be the Great Aleutian Tsunami, which will have a disastrous impact on all Hawaiian Islands.  All amateur radio operators are invited to participate in this exercise.  For more information, contact

Please send your Hawaii Island Amateur Radio news items to at least two weeks prior to your event so I can notify our local print and broadcast media in a timely manner.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section