Why is Ham Radio Still Important?
In an age where communication is often taken for granted, it’s easy to overlook the importance of Ham Radio.
I often receive questions like: “Why do I need Ham Radio when I have a cell phone?” or “Didn’t the internet kill Ham Radio?” While these modern forms of communication may have shifted the attention away from Ham Radio, by no means did it make it unnecessary. In fact, during a disaster, it’s very likely that these modern forms of communication will be the first ones to fail.
The number one reason for preparedness minded people to consider Ham Radio is its reliability during times of crisis. Since the early 1900s, this form of communication has reliably made it through every major crisis, disaster, and emergency situation with flying colors. When all other forms of communication fail, Hams are often the ones who are called upon to help communicate in and out of the disaster zone.
When the grid goes down, the Ham Bands will still be alive and very active.
Alaska QSL Bureau
By Roger Hansen, KL7HFQ
The original Alaska QSL bureau was started by Sandy and Mary Olendorff of Big Lake, Alaska. They operated it until John Bierman, KL7GNP took it over and now Roger Hansen KL7HFQ is the present manager. The following information is sent out by KL7HFQ for new users of the Alaska QSL Bureau:
Possibly you may not know about this bureau or how it operates and therefore I (Roger Hansen) will explain. You do not have to be a member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to use this bureau, just make contacts and when asked how to “QSL” say via the bureau. This bureau is an “incoming bureau” only. We receive cards from bureaus around the world, but we do not for-ward cards from hams to the various bureaus worldwide. Cards received for this purpose will be returned. Please do not return cards to the bureau that you did not contact.
The ARRL suggests keeping self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASE’s) on file with your bureau. However, we have found that this is a waste of money because often there is too much or too little postage on the envelops or the envelopes are too small. Postal increases also raise havoc with the SASE method too. To avoid this, the “postal fund” method is used by this bureau, which is the prepayment of stamp(s) and envelope(s). This method has proven to be the best from a cost perspective. Up to and including two (2) ounces of cards, legal size envelopes are used, and our cost is $0.01 each and the cost to the hams is $0.01 each. For over two (2) ounces, manila envelopes are used, and the cost rate is $0.03 each. When a mailing is made, the cost of the stamp(s) plus the envelop is deducted from the ham’s “postage fund.” When the “postage fund” gets low, an informal note will be included with the cards and upon receipt of additional funds, the process continues. The date and amount of received funds are noted in the ham’s file. There is no set amount necessary to start one’s “postage fund.” This is determined by the individual’s planned activity.
In all correspondence with this bureau, please give your call letters. The files are set up by call sign first, and then name and address. Should a ham decide not to receive QSL cards, please ad-vise in writing and this will be noted in the ham’s file.
Please keep this bureau advised as to any change in address or call letters. Also, any former call letters are greatly appreciated since some cards received go back a few years. Regardless of where you reside, and you are using the Alaska call sign, we will forward cards to you. The ARRL “outgoing QSL bureau” service is by far the best to forward cards worldwide, but one must be a member of the ARRL to use this service.
Keep up the good contacts and see you on the air.
Roger Hansen, KL7HFQ Manager,
Alaska QSL Bureau
P.O. Box 520343
Big Lake, Alaska 99652