The Sussex Amateur Radio Emergency Service conducted a technician class at Sussex Technical High School Dec. 15-16. Amateur radio (also known as ham radio) operators are people who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without direct monetary interest, and differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety or professional two-way radio services.
Prospective amateur operators are tested for their understanding of key concepts in electronics and the host government’s radio regulations.
Coordinated by Sussex Tech electronics teacher Dennis Smith, the ARES teachers used the school’s three electronics classrooms. One room was used for the class, another room for the testing and the third room for test grading. The class consisted of Sussex Tech students, members of the public and one member of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
The ARES reported that 22 out of the 23 candidates passed the test at the end of the course. One of these new ham operators passed the technician test, and then 30 minutes later passed the general level test.
According to a 2011 estimate by the American Radio Relay League, 2 million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.