By Steven Matthews,
9:51 PM Saturday, February 18, 2012
HAMILTON — When Bob Anello moved into the historic Doron house at 329 North C Street six years ago, he had no interest in amateur radio.
Now he does, and it’s his Victorian home — built in 1889 and listed on the Ohio Historic Inventory — that is the hub for the Butler County Amateur Radio Association.
The BCARA held on Saturday the first day of its four-day amateur radio special event at the Doron house, which was the site of Hamilton’s first broadcast radio station WRK from 1922-1929.
“This is where it all started, and it’s pretty cool,” said Anello, who is on the club’s special event committee. “But it’s not like our grandfather’s amateur radio anymore. There’s so many different modes.”
The BCARA event continues today from noon to 6 p.m. and also next Saturday and Sunday at the same time. It is open to the public.
There are three features to the event: on-the-air amateur radio operations in the club station, built in 1915 in the backyard of the North C Street home; the Doron house, featuring its antique furniture, original woodwork and stained-glass windows; and exhibits of wireless radio apparatuses from 1905 until the 1920s and tube broadcast-receiving radios from the 1920s.
The original tower, built in 1922, and club station are still used by the BCARA, which meets at the station about twice a month.
“The reason for this type of communication is that in an emergency situation, it takes very little to get a radio up and running — a car battery and single-wire antennae,” said Dave Gower, the club’s secretary.
BCARA treasurer Rob Lindsay, Phillip Wisecup and Gower were using a digital transmitter — “text messaging on ham radio,” Gower said — and single-sideband on Saturday, and had communicated with people in Cuba and along the East Coast.
The BCARA group was formed in the summer of 2010, and all 35 members are licensed. Its membership includes people from around the county, including Hamilton, Fairfield, Middletown, Oxford and Seven Mile.
“We’re a group that will welcome anyone who’s licensed or not licensed,” Gower said. “We’re all about promoting amateur radio and having fun.”
For more information, visit BCARA’s web site at www.bcara.net.
Contact this reporter at (513) 755-5113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.