The Mt. Shasta Amateur Radio Club members are trained in emergency services for civil emergencies, Sky Warn (weather) and have been deputized to relay information assisting in local emergencies. They also assist as a sag wagon doing welfare checks in local events like during Mt. Shasta’s 4th of July, Castle Crags Century Bike ride, McCloud’s Bike-tober Fest, the Tinman Triathlon and the Headwaters Fun Run in July and the Siskiyou Science Festival.

The Mt. Shasta Amateur Radio Club has been assisting as a liaison between first responders by carrying health and welfare information to our local communities since 1947.

Starting just after WWII, the club worked for the Forest Service, the FAA and other government related agencies and have been a big part of communication at a time when car radios were first being installed. Using 2-meter and 70-centimeter HF band-wave frequencies, like low power Morse code signals, they still have a place in today’s society even when cell phones are abundant.

Being able to talk to anywhere in the world, this system is to promote good will and understanding between countries.

The Mt. Shasta Amateur Radio Club members are trained in emergency services for civil emergencies, Sky Warn (weather) and have been deputized to relay information assisting in local emergencies. They also assist as a sag wagon doing welfare checks in local events like during Mt. Shasta’s 4th of July, Castle Crags Century Bike ride, McCloud’s Bike-tober Fest, the Tinman Triathlon and the Headwaters Fun Run in July and the Siskiyou Science Festival.

During the devastating 1950 Mount Shasta fire, when emergency radio communication was not very good, the club aided in communication for the fire crew and for their efforts, the city dedicated one of its buildings to the club which was moved by the Mt. Shasta Lumber Company to its current location at 329 N. Washington Drive.

“The hobby itself is growing in places other than the U.S.,” says Michael Howell, president of the local club. “You do need to know algebra, geometry, calculus and wave lengths and resistances to make this work. We won the war with technology. We are hungry to know what it is all about. Cell phones are augmented reality-with Ham radio you are getting a real person.”

Howell says that when you are talking with someone from another country, they get to know you instead of how the media portrays us. “This is an unfiltered way of people getting to know each other.”

Amateur (also known as HAM) radio operators have to be licensed. “It is a gate for people to keep a quality level of communication,” says Howell.

There are three classes of license-Technician, General and Extra Class and the licenses are good for ten years. There is no age limit. The youngest club member currently is 13-years old.

“It is so much easier now to get into Ham radio because the equipment is so much cheaper. We don’t have to build it ourselves anymore. A Baofeng radio from China is about $25 to $50. It is better than a Play Station.”

Whether interested in a hobby or wanting to support the community, the Mt. Shasta Amateur Radio Club is encouraging people to learn more. “I like gadgets and electrical things that have a purpose. Everyone has a cell phone and don’t know half of how to use it. We won the war with technology and we are hungry to know what it’s about.

The club meets on the third Wednesdays of each month at 6 p.m. and have a “Shack Day” from 10 to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month for socializing. The club’s phone number is (530) 926-2733 or email at MSARC@w6bml.com.