ISU to host amateur radio presentation

September 26, 2011

"Amateur Radio is Alive and Well -And Needs You!" will be presented at Indiana State University's Cunningham Memorial Library on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

The interactive, hour-long event will provide the basics of amateur radio, also known as ham radio, and how to become licensed, said Steve Hardin, interim chair of the library's reference/instruction department.
John Van Sandt, the amateur radio emergency service coordinator for Clark County, Ill., will be presenting.

Van Sandt, a resident of Marshall, Ill., has been interested in ham radio since the late 1950s. He is a retiree of various engineering jobs and an experienced ham operator.

"He's one of the most active amateurs in the area," said Hardin. "He has the highest class of license."

Hardin emphasized the importance of ham radio, even with today's advanced technology.

"Even with cell phones, there's still a place for ham radios," he said. "When the cell phone towers go down, they're useful."

Hardin also dispelled stereotypes associated with the hobby.

"A lot of people think ham radio is only for nerds or tech geeks, and ham radio isn't like that," he said. "Ham radio is really fun. You can meet people from all over."

Van Sandt will discuss the necessity of ham radio when disasters strike and other communication systems become unusable. Special emphasis will be placed on Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

The free program is open to students and community members of all ages.

During the week following the presentation, classes will be offered to become a licensed ham radio operator. Classes will take place in the evenings from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, and end with an operator exam.

Contact: Steve Hardin, interim chair of Reference/Instruction Department, Indiana State University Cunningham Memorial Library

Writer: Bethany Donat, media relations assistant, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3773