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on the radio this evening

daily @ 1830 hrs 3.910 KHz Montana Traffic Net

Wed @ 1900 hrs 146.720 KHz BEARS

Wed @ 1930 hrs 146.900 KHz LDS Missoula

Wed @ 1930 hrs 14.342 KHz national AmRRON net  … 3rd Wednesday

Wed @ 2000 hrs 146.580 KHz LDS Stevensville

Wed @ 2015 hrs 146.720 KHz BARC

Wed after BARC emds 28.350 KHz BARC

Thu @ 1800 hrs  14.342 KHz regional AmRRON net  … 3rd Thursday

These are amateur radio networks that I often participate in. They are on the 2-meter, 10-meter and 80-meter HAM bands. I am not, nor have I ever been an electronic geek, yet I have helped over a dozen people with even less electronic background earn their amateur radio licenses. They take effort, but are beyond almost nobody’s reach.

Testing equipment and practicing operations are the only way to be reasonably sure the communications will be there when we really need them.

The Montana Traffic Net is open to every licensed operator on the 80-meter band. It is a part of a national network working to ensure reliable communications across and throughout the country. Checking in to the Montana net are operators throughout and in the states surrounding Montana. Newcomers are welcome to check in at the end of the alphabetical city-by-city roll call.

AmRRON is the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network … also The American Preparedness Radio Network. The objective of this group of people is to keep communications in the country and regions alive regardless of what man or nature throws in the way.

Pretty hard to find a reason this is not a good thing. When your phones and televisions are silent is probably the very time you want to know what the heck is going on. Beat a path to the amateur radio operator’s door. They have been gearing up and practicing for this occasion. Just maybe you should have been too.

BEARS Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services is an organization of local radio operators who focus specifically on operating radios to help our community in cases of emergency. Here again, knowing that amateur radio often functions when other means of communication do not is a key factor. Knowledge is power in many situations.

The LDS (Latter Day Saints, or Mormons) are well-known for their doctrine of being prepared. Radio communications is certainly a part of that. Every Wednesday the Missoula region and Stevensville area have networks to test equipment and operations. Non-Mormons are welcome to check in to the nets at the very end. Wait for the “visitors” invitation after the by-region roll call.

BARC, the Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club is the local HAM community organization. It is broader-based than BEARS, sharing information about radio as a hobby, gear, contests, teaching, training and every other aspect of amateur radio. Here, too, visitors are welcome to check in after the roll call.