Today, we are talking with Sharon Dobson(K3DUH), President of the Baltimore Amateur Radio Club.
The Baltimore Amateur Radio Clubs best exposure right now seems to be our Facebook page she said. Hams in general can use all the exposure we can get! I am trying to keep the flame burning in Baltimore.
Last year, I noticed a new trend. We were suddenly getting younger people taking the amateur radio tests, but they weren't coming to the club meetings. They would pass the test and not be heard from again. I was curious and started to ask them questions. That's when I found out the prepper community suggests getting your ham license so that you can talk to family and friends after the collapse of the country.
Talking to them made me realize they were taking the tests and buying the radios to wait until they needed to use them. You have to break through their barrier but when you do you end up with an active ham who wants to learn and participate.
Sharon is the chairperson of the Greater Baltimore Hamboree and Computerfest. That was the name for the last 30 some years. In 2014 the name is changing to the Greater Baltimore Hamboree, host to the Maryland Emergency Preparedness Expo.
They are embracing the prepper community and finding common ground. Sharon has also talked to people at the ARRL about the prepper community and some are interested and see the opportunity to increase the ranks of active ham operators.
There is so much commonality between the two groups and room to explore and invent. Here is a group of people who want to know about Faraday Cages and how to protect their equipment. They want to learn about alternative energy sources and how to power communication equipment. They need to know how far they can reach with simplex communication and when they can contact other groups on HF bands.
Sharon believes this could be an exciting revitalization of ham radio if we reach out to this group of people.