The origins of radio, or a wireless telegraph, can be traced back to the 1890s and it is a form technology that has influenced all other telecommunications devices since.
Amateur radio operators have been at the forefront of developing new technology and groups like Redcliffe and Districts Radio Club are bringing enthusiasts together.
Moreton Daily was invited to meet three passionate members at their Kippa-Ring clubhouse and learn more about the hobby that has them hooked.
Alan Wills, of Petrie, Jeff Lord, of Dakabin, and John Saunders, of Warner, are members of the club which was founded more than 40 years ago by people with an interest in electronics and communications, particularly ham/amateur radio.
The club, which has up to 80 members, is based at Kippa-Ring but attracts members from across the Moreton Bay Region and Brisbane.
While most members are retirees, it is open to people of any age including children.
The trio says the expense involve depends on your budget – you can buy a hand-held radio for as little as $60 and an antenna for $12.
Operators can speak to people overseas using this set-up. They can even listen to the International Space Station and speak to radio operators on it when it is overhead.
The Redcliffe and Districts Radio Club meets on Monday nights, Wednesday mornings, Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Members also have on-air radio nets throughout the week and even on-air trivia on a Wednesday night.
It is a helpful and supportive environment with members from a range or backgrounds including military, engineering, medical and even ministry.
“We’ve got people from all different walks of life with a common interest,” John says.
It costs $60 per year to be a member of the Redcliffe club, less if you’re a member of the Wireless Institute of Australia.
Amateur radio is a global hobby with hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts around the world, including about 22,000 in Australia.
Operators need training, to pass an exam and hold a license, and there are ‘rules’ about what can be discussed across the airwaves with religion and politics on the taboo list.
The Redcliffe and Districts Radio Club regularly holds training courses for Foundation through to Advanced Licenses.
The club has qualified Australian Maritime College assessors who conduct examinations for Amateur Radio Licenses by prior arrangement.
The club aims to promote the interest, share knowledge and bring like-minded people together.
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