Thanks to grant funding from area foundations, the HAM Radio communications in Audrain County is now one of the most versatile systems in the State of Missouri.
On Monday, Audrain Emergency Communication Group and A&W Electronics personnel rigged up the new equipment on a tower located off Highway NN, just west of Mexico.
Audrain Emergency Communications, Inc., a 501(c)3 group, previously purchased a new repeater radio, a new building to house it in, and a new antenna.
The upgrade allows HAM operators to get out their messages in a bigger radius and the system can be used to help reach Audrain County residents faster in times of disaster or emergency.
“Having these foundations see the need and the urgency of these needs speaks volumes in terms of folks recognizing the importance of being pre-pared,” Audrain County Emergency Management Director Steve Shaw said in a press release. “With this new equipment, the HAM operations in the county have reached a new level in being able to help us in the event of a disaster or emergency.”
The building was provided with a $2,000 grant from the Griffin Foundation, the repeater radio came from a $5,000 grant from the Edmonston Foundation, and $13,000 grant from the AP Green Foundation purchased the new antenna and its components. KXEO Radio, Incorporated allowed the group to place the building at its backup tower site northwest of Mexico to house the new radio and it’s hardware and install the aerial on the tower.
Jeff Carlyle, the Secretary/Treasurer of the group, said the tower location is a big step towards what the group is shooting for and that’s handheld coverage available anywhere in Audrain County. It also hopes to provide a quality communications system to assist emergency personnel in case their communications go down.
Carlyle said there is still a need to add a possible antenna site on the eastern part of the county, specifically in the Vandalia area.
He said a grant would help the group meet the excellent coverage goal for the county.