The Richmond City Council approved the installation of a UHF repeater on the Valley Drive Water Tower at their last meeting. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott talk with Western Missouri Amateur Radio Group Spokesperson Randal Kennett:
“We’re not allowed to be a for-profit radio. It’s been around for about 100 years. The FCC has designated it for personal communication,” said Kennett, “There’s many different frequencies that we’re allowed to use. But it’s just for general conversation, and we’re not allowed to transmit music or advertise.”
The signal can be used to talk around the world, and can even be used to talk to astronauts on the space station. The technology can be useful in an emergency.
“It is very valuable when other forms of communications fail. Take, for instance, the tornado in Joplin or hurricanes that occasionally happen on the coast. Other forms of communication fail, and radio has been the backup, and really the most reliable form of communications.”
There are 700,000 operators registered in the United States, and more than two million worldwide.