The Rambler Radio Club of LaFayette Middle School (W4LMS) will be participating in Hamfest Chattanooga 2019 at Camp Jordan Arena Oct. 18-19. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Celebrating its 14th year in operation, Rambler Radio Club of LaFayette Middle School (W4LMS) has continued to expand and explore the world of amateur radio.

Since 2006, students from Rambler Radio Club have accomplished much. Students have made contacts with other amateurs in more than 30 states, several dozen countries, and 5 continents (North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia). Their nearest contacts have been to the great community of amateur radio operators in Walker County, Northwest Georgia, and the greater TAG (Tennessee-Alabama-Georgia) area, who talk with W4LMS on a regular basis.

Their farthest contact around the world was to Tasmania, some 9,000 miles. But their farthest contact UP was 250 miles when they hosted a live contact with the International Space Station in 2012, in front of more than 1,000 people in the LaFayette Middle School gym.

Rambler Radio Club has made contacts from LaFayette Middle School’s Believers Day, the LaFayette Fly-in, The Honeybee Festival, and the Georgia Educational Technology Conference.

W4LMS continues to compete in the fall and spring School Club Roundup contests. School Club Roundup is international contest where elementary, middle, and high schools join colleges and universities to make as many contacts as possible. Most recently Rambler Radio Club place 8th in the nation in the competitive Middle/Junior High School subdivision. From their school 25 miles south of Chattanooga, the Rambler Radio Club has traveled around the world on the airwaves of amateur radio.

The 2019-2020 group of on-air Ramblers is 75% female, and reflects a growing trend of female voices amateur radio.

While at Hamfest Chattanooga, W4LMS will be hosting a Youth Booth on the convention floor, hosting a Youth Forum on Saturday, assisting with a radio version of “Hide and Seek” called a “Fox Hunt”, be on-the-air making contacts from Hamfest Chattanooga in the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club’s Mobile Command Post, and thanking all of the local “hams” who have shown us great support over the last 14 years.

Amateur radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Anyone may become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100. And regardless of ability, you can become one.

Article submitted by Jody Carter. For more information about Rambler Radio Club or Amateur Radio, contact Jody Carter, Rambler Radio Club sponsor, at jodycarter@walkerschools.org.

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