Radio operators enjoy hobby for many reasons

Published 3:21 am Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Amateur radio operators can communicate with people in other countries who speak many different languages - and their reasons for doing so are often just as diverse.
David Martin, who has been a radio operator since the mid-1970s, understands the desire to communicate around the world. With a radio, he said, &#8220you don't need a road” to travel.
But with work responsibilities eating into his free time, Martin spends most of his communications with fellow members of the Brewton Amateur Radio Union.
Likewise, Charlie Metcalfe enjoys the camaraderie that comes with radio communication. A newcomer to Brewton five years ago, he renewed a long-held radio operator's license and was contacted by a local club member.
On Saturday, members of the Brewton club got together for the annual Field Day, an event that links radio operators in a test of their emergency capabilities.
But it's also an opportunity for them to have some fun.
Radio operators must obtain a license from the Federal Communications Commission, and those on different levels can use different bandwidths.
Radio operation takes a deft touch, whether it's using the dot-and-dash system of Morse code or the slow tuning of a knob to catch the right frequency.
Outsiders might hear just a lot of static, but radio operators can cut through to the voices.