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Masonic Amateur Radio Club demonstrates ham radio hobby in Great Falls

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Posted at 12:29 PM, Jul 04, 2024

GREAT FALLS — On July 4th, the Masonic Amateur Radio Club gathered downtown to showcase their passion for ham radio. The event aimed to raise public awareness about amateur radio and its capabilities.

Keith Head, President of the Masonic Amateur Radio Club, explained the club's origins and goals, "We started doing this last year. This is a fairly new club. We've only been around for a little over a year, about a year and a half. So we're just doing it to promote public awareness for ham radio, amateur radio."

The demonstration coincided with a special event that allowed club members to connect with radio enthusiasts from the original 13 colonies, as well as France and Great Britain.

Keith Head elaborated on the event, "Ham radio operators from all over the country try to make contact with other ham radio operators who are designated in the original 13 colonies. Plus, they have two or three extras, including one in Great Britain and one in France."

Ham radio is no ordinary hobby. Operators can communicate with people not only across the country and the world but even in outer space.

Keith Head shared his recent experience, "It all depends on the atmosphere because radio waves bounce off the atmosphere. Just two days ago, I made a radio contact in Antarctica."

John Ross, Vice President of the Masonic Amateur Radio Club, highlighted the innovative aspects of the hobby, "My radio is plugged into a homemade battery, and I've got a solar panel hooked up to it. This particular configuration can run for hours."

Keith Head also pointed out the advanced techniques used by some operators, "There are guys who make contacts by bouncing radio waves off the moon back to Earth. It’s a very interesting hobby."

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While federal licensing is required to be a full member of the club, membership in the Masonic organization is not necessary. The club welcomes anyone interested in learning about ham radio.

Keith Head detailed the club's activities, "We meet twice a month, on the second Saturday for amateur radio license testing, and on the fourth Saturday for our general meeting."

John Ross expressed the excitement of making distant contacts, "Every time you make a contact, depending on where they're at, it's amazing to talk so far on so many watts to someone in a different part of the country or the world."

The Masonic Amateur Radio Club's July 4th event was a testament to the reach and fascination of ham radio, encouraging more people to explore this unique and expansive hobby.

For more information on licensing go to; click here to visit the Masonic Radio Club Facebook page.