Do you want to catch some waves?

   In Tennessee many people catch fish on our many rivers, lakes, and streams. Recreational sport fishing is big in our State. There are also many people in Tennessee who catch waves.  Yes, waves! I am not talking about ocean surfing waves or lake waves created by boats. I am talking about invisible air waves. 

  Did you know there are massive amounts of electromagnetic waves of radio frequency energy flying over your head right now?  Isn’t it time you catch some of those waves especially those waves that carry sound messages? The Roane County Amateur Radio Club (RCARC) thinks so and would like to invite you to join the great hobby of amateur radio operation.

  Amateur Radio or Ham Radio is a licensed radio service that enables you to communicate all around the world and even in outer space to the International Space Station with your own equipment.  Ham Radio has proven itself vital for emergency communications, technological advancement, and it is an incredible social hobby with over 750,000 licensed operators in the United States. There are about 20,000 licensed ham operators in Tennessee.

  You can start the ham radio hobby with a hand-held radio that costs less than $30 that you can buy on Amazon. There are several East Tennessee Ham Radio Clubs that support numerous 2-meter repeater systems (like cell phone towers) that will allow you to communicate as far as 50 miles away from your location using a 5-watt radio. The RCARC maintains a 2-meter repeater on Mt. Roosevelt overlooking the town of Rockwood for all licensed operators to freely use.  The 2-meter radio band is very active in our area and there you can make many contacts and make many good friendships with people who share this hobby.

  Ham Radio operation requires a minimum technician license that is easy to study for.  You can google and find free on-line courses with free practice exams. Study books are also available to buy on Amazon.  Almost all courses allow you to study the actual test questions with the actual answers.  How easier can it be?  The RCARC offers license testing on the second Saturday of each month at the Harriman Community Center at 10:00 a.m. The next test session is on March 9. Before the test date you must to go to the FCC website and register for your license.  When you register, you will be given an FRN number. You must present the FRN number to the test examiners to take the test.  The test will cost you $15.  

  Simply do some free on-line study and take practice tests for about one hour per day for a couple of weeks. Bring your FRN number and a $15 test fee to the test site.  Pass the multiple-choice test and catch the wave by joining the amateur radio hobby!!   

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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