Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the editor
Local ham radio group enjoys hobby

March 02, 2011

Guest Columnist

Paul Knasinski

 Amateur Radio Dates back a long way in Lake Orion's local history and folklore. It was probably a Radio Amateur who first built and sailed the radio-controlled Dragon on Lake Orion. It was just an experimental project in the use of early radio that turned into the prank Dragon people saw swimming in the waters of the Lake. It later became the attraction regularly visiting Park Island Tour boats. Orion School's Sports teams are now called the Dragons, and in the Summer of 2010, the Dragon on the Lake Festival was first celebrated.

OSCART, the Orion Senior Center Amateur Radio Team is still carrying on the Amateur Radio tradition in this area. It is an exciting time for us, we are looking foreword to participating in this year's Dragon on the Lake Festival along with moving to the new Senior / Community Center that will open this Summer. We are planning to set up at the Dragon on the Lake Festival a radio transmitter/receiver on the shore of Lake Orion and use it to make as many contacts Worldwide as we can during the Festival. It would be a wonderful way to have fun and make people aware of our community and our activities. OSCART is not a large club at this time but we are all active within the community in many ways. All of our members are also active on the Oakland County Emergency Center in various means that use amateur radio communications to back up and compliment many of the other communication systems used within the County. This includes Weather, the County network of Hospitals and local Government emergencies.

Last year on a stormy Thursday night, we were able to respond quickly to a local emergency. Some of our members were at the Senior Center for one of our meetings and I was still on my way. The Tornado Sirens began going off. Our members at the Senior Center helped move everyone to safety and provided information to the people from the Oakland County Emergency Center to keep everyone calm and comfortable. I was caught in the storm a few blocks from the Senior Center and had to detour because of a tree down blocking Broadway between Flint and Shadbolt. I reported the downed tree to Oakland County by the mobile radio in my car. There were no major problems and the system worked.

We are excited and looking forward to the new Center opening sometime in the Spring or early Summer. OSCART will finally have a real HAM SHACK. No more sharing space in the crafting room. No more being disturbed by crafters and no more restricting our radio usage so as not to disturb others. We will be on the air more often and getting our message across whenever possible.

73'S ( Regards & Good Bye)

Paul Knasinski KD8AKO