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Boy Scouts use amateur radios for worldwide conversations

About 30 members of Murfreesboro Boy Scout Troop 416 participated in the Boy Scouts International Jamboree On The Air recently.

The event is a worldwide gathering of Boy Scouts using amateur radio to talk to each other. Troop 416 gathered at a basecamp set up at Trinity United Methodist Church on Jones Boulevard in Murfreesboro.

Scoutmaster David S. Jones said the amateur radios allowed the Scouts to talk to other Scouts around the world. Jones said radio contact was made with Scouts in Texas, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and South Korea.

Several amateur radio transceivers were set up in the church parking lot. One was communicating with amateur radio on the International Space Station. Another station was set up to demonstrate “Slow Scan Television” images transmitted and received over amateur radio frequencies. Another was a “hands-on” station, where Scouts who do not yet have an amateur radio license could transmit and receive over the radio under the supervision of a licensed amateur radio operator.

There is no minimum age for earning an amateur radio license; one 14-year-old Scout was busily sending and receiving using his General Class License, a step up from the beginning Technician Class License.

Members of the Stones River Amateur Radio Club of Murfreesboro – Jones is a member -- assisted the Scouts with the event. The Stones River Amateur Radio Club brought its Amateur Radio Emergency Service trailer, which is always on standby to help during disasters such as a tornado.

There is an amateur radio station in the Rutherford County Emergency Management Agency headquarters on College Street in Murfreesboro. Amateur radio volunteer operators routinely test the equipment to ensure it is ready for emergency situations in Rutherford County.


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