2012-06-28 / Obituaries

Ham Operators Connect Putnam to the Outside World

Eric Gross


PEARL members Ken Garg of Southeast and Bill Ahrens of Mahopac (both standing) listen in as Jay Judell and Tom Rose of Putnam Valley communicate with a fellow ham radio operator thousands of miles away. 
Eric Gross PEARL members Ken Garg of Southeast and Bill Ahrens of Mahopac (both standing) listen in as Jay Judell and Tom Rose of Putnam Valley communicate with a fellow ham radio operator thousands of miles away. Eric Gross Two dozen members of Putnam’s Emergency and Amateur Repeater League (PEARL) tested their ability to communicate with the outside world last weekend during the organization’s annual 24-hour Field Day event.

Members spent the weekend at the Putnam Veterans Memorial Park in Kent to recognize what longtime member Alan Lounsbury described as the “world’s only failsafe means of communication.”

Jay Judell of Carmel, another long time member of PEARL, explained the organization operates under the auspices of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service by maintaining communication links in Putnam during storms, emergencies or radiological events.

During the 24 hours last weekend, ham radio operators communicated with others around the globe by use of generated power, solar energy and even Morse code.

Judell said the contest stressed “competitiveness while preparing for a natural or manmade disaster.”

Volunteers were in contact with others in Puerto Rico, throughout the U.S. and even communicated with someone sailing in the Atlantic.

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