The Kosher Hams consist of those people interested in amateur radio who are part of the Ellsworth Assembly network--you do not have to be a member of the church. (FYI--"Ham radio" is the common term for amateur radio).
Special focus is to prepare to assist in communications for the church and community in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster in which their services would be needed. They are those interested in both local and distant communications apart from landlines and cell towers.
Meetings are casual and encouraging. We have those who are yet to get their amateur radio license and those who are Technician and General class hams. Some have 2 meter radios (VHF) and some have high frequency radios covering additional bands.
We encourage anyone who would assist the church in communications for disaster relief ministry, and community ministry, to participate. The fact is that cell towers go down fast in hurricanes and wild fires. Recently, the fires in California and earthquakes in Puerto Rico rendered all normal communication lines silent. Local "hams" were the only means of communication.
We encourage anyone interested to not only become a "Kosher Ham", but also to join:
1. Our area club, EAWA, (Ellsworth Area Wireless Association), eawa.org.
2. The ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League, a national organization.). arrl.org.
3. EMMA-- local emergency communications.
TO THOSE CURIOUS:
No longer is Morse Code required for getting a license. Radios for local 2 meter use can be purchased for under $30, for starters. (I have used one of these cheap radios and through the local repeater talked to people in Machias.) Some study is required, I recommend "Hamtestonline".
Many people involved in amateur radio had or have CB radios. However, many have left that due to the profanity and other concerns. This is not CB radio. There is no CB jargon. People are expected to simply talk normally. There are no "handles" instead of names. There is no profanity allowed. There are specific rules to be followed, and a legal station call sign issued to you by the FCC.
There are three levels of licenses: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. You study for a test, take the test, and if you pass are issued a call sign.
The cost to study with the ARRL book is about $30. You can take a local class, about the same cost. Or, study online, same price. The license application is only $15, and you apply when you take the test. Testing can be done right here in Ellsworth. You will find Kosher Hams and the local ham radio people to be wonderfully welcoming and helpful.
We have local "nets" that operate each week in which Kosher Hams are encouraged to participate. This is where there is a "net controller" who is in charge of the communications. People check in with their call sign, then "net control" gives them opportunity to share daily events and such in sequence. Net control assignments for the month are made at the EAWA meetings.
Amateur radio exists to serve the community at large. It is not a platform to preach, nor argue politics, nor broadcast your favorite song. It is not for business use. It is a wonderful network of people from every walk of life. The Kosher Hams exist to prepare for church communications as to meeting times and places, transportation needs, emergency assistance, etc.
For the Kosher Hams of Ellsworth Assembly of God
Pastor Burt Lowry
Some of us enjoy Morse code, and so for the fun of it, here you are:
What don't you understand about
._.._. /.._. _ _ _ ._. / _ _. _ _ _ _.. / … _ _ _ /
._.. _ _ _ ..._ . … /._._._ ._._._ ._._._ /._.._. ?