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Carbon radio club celebrates 75 years

The Carbon Amateur Radio Club recently celebrated its 75th anniversary during its annual Christmas dinner at the American Legion in Lehighton.

The club was established on April 29, 1948, during a very different era in communication.

According to information from the club, television sets were only in 2% of American households and radio was still the primary source for news and entertainment. The transistor had only been invented the year before.

“Most electronic equipment was still dependent on vacuum tubes, those glowing cylinders that showed when your radio was turned on,” according to the club.

After Guglielmo Marconi showed that radio waves could be used for communication in the 1890s, an enthusiastic community of amateurs began their own experiments. By 1948, the number of licensed operators in the United States measured in the tens of thousands. Many built their own equipment or converted military surplus equipment for amateur use.

During the existence of the Carbon club, radio equipment went from heavy tube-based transmitters and receivers (“boat anchors”) to modern, compact computer-based transceivers which are all-in-one radios.

There are currently more than 750,000 licensed operators in the United States holding different classes of licenses, which are earned by passing an exam. The three levels of licenses (Technician, General and Extra) test knowledge of regulations, fundamentals of electronics and how radio waves allow communications. Each level grants the operator the ability to use additional radio frequencies and the ability to transmit and receive across town and across the globe.

The Carbon Amateur Radio Club welcomes members from all license classes and can be a great help to those who are interested in amateur radio but may not know how to get started. Members can answer questions, give advice on purchasing first equipment and the Club will soon be able to administer the license exams.

The club meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Carbon County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Nesquehoning. There is a “hands-on night” each month where members meet in the radio room in the EOC and operate the radios. The Club also has monthly breakfasts.

If interested, visit https://www.carbonamateurradioclub.org or contact Rich Berger at hamberger@ptd.net

Members and friends of the Carbon County Amateur Radio Club are shown during a recent Christmas dinner and 75th anniversary celebration held recently at the American Legion in Lehighton. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
The inscription on this cake notes the 75th anniversary of the Carbon County Amateur Radio Club. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO