We’re excited to have the Tampa Amateur Radio Club (TARC) joining us at Gulf Coast MakerCon again this year. We’ve always had “Hams” at our maker festival, and believe they bring a fun, interesting and important element to our DIY Celebration of the Inventive Spirit.
TARC member Jon Rubin shared with us a bit about the club and what it does.
“The Tampa Amateur Radio club (TARC) is a place where people from all different walks of life can come together to share and promote knowledge in radio technology. We do this by sharing ideas, teaching new people, and experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. We’re also tasked with assisting Hillsborough County in providing backup emergency communication in the event of a hurricane or other such disaster.
“While we are all amateur radio operators, each of us has different things that we enjoy doing with our licenses. Some people enjoy
contesting, some enjoy using voice or CW (Morse Code) to make contact with people in faraway places. Still others enjoy using various digital modes of communication.”
Jon acknowledged that a lot of people might question the value of Ham radio when we have cell phones and abundant social media. He has an eye opening reply.
“Most people don’t realize that local cell networks will go down if as few as 10% of the cell phones in the area are used at the same time. This means that during an emergency situation, such as a hurricane and its aftermath, cell phones may be unusable. Amateur radio doesn’t have to rely on cell towers, or even the local power grid. It’s simple to connect our radios directly to any car battery. Because of this we can assist in getting messages to/from the outside world just minutes after the storm passes.”
TARC is bringing a couple of portable antennas and some different radios for display and will have a full setup working and on the air. Visitors will be able to actually use some of the radio, and will be able to get information about upcoming licensing classes, and more.
So come out to Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 and enjoy this great opportunity to TARC and give Ham radio a try!