Take up a new hobby at ‘Amateur Radio for Beginners’ on June 23

Story provided by Stillwater Public Library

On Thursday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m., Kevin Odell from the Stillwater Amateur Radio Club will host “Amateur Radio for Beginners” at the Stillwater Public Library for older teens and adults interested in taking up amateur radio, also called ham radio, as a new hobby.

Odell initially got into amateur radio at the suggestion of a friend. With a long-running interest in science, ham radio seemed like a natural fit for him. While there are many things that Odell enjoys about the hobby, the ability to help during times of emergency is what he finds the most compelling.

“Of course, having the means to communicate worldwide is appealing,” Odell said. “But, amateur radio operators are also in a position to assist in times of disasters. Our radios can operate independent of the power grid, making them great for emergency use.”

According to the National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL), the amateur radio service has helped with communication efforts during numerous well-known disasters, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

Before anyone can operate a ham radio, they need to get an Amateur Radio license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Once licensed, there are specific radio bands that are designated for amateur use. Odell will discuss license requirements and how to operate once a license is obtained. He will also talk about how to get involved with the Stillwater Amateur Radio Club.

Odell hopes attendees will also come away knowing that amateur radio is not an outdated hobby.

“Ham radio is still VERY relevant today,” Odell said. “You never know when it will come in handy, either to communicate for fun or necessity.”

“Amateur Radio for Beginners” will be held indoors in room 119 at the Stillwater Public Library and is limited to 20 attendees. Registration is required. This program is free, open to the public and part of the SPL’s 2022 “Oceans of Possibilities” summer reading program. Visit library.stillwater.org/summer_@_your_library.php to sign up to attend programs including this one, register for summer reading, log reading time and earn prizes. 

Library staff will immediately post information about canceled or postponed programs on the library website. Participants are encouraged to check library.stillwater.org before coming to the library for an event. Updates will also be posted on library social media channels @StillwaterOKLib.

Summer reading is sponsored in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the National Science Foundation and the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.