Ham Radio for Socially and Medically Disadvantaged

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Oct 17, 2000.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Duane writes:

    I am asking for your kindness in taking the time to look at this synopsis of a project that will help many patients cope with their illness.

    I have no financial motive in pursuing this project;my motives are only humanitarian. If you decide to give this a try, I will pursue financing for this program at your facility. The next two emails will have pictures of the unit. The picture partially seen on the wall in the pictures is the same picture I laminated for hospital use. Dr. Huhta plans to place my unit next to the satellite amateur radio station at the hospital. My unit emits no more radiation than a computer or television. You do not need a license to use this unit. I am a caring person. I also believe in a caring God, and I made a pact with God years ago to promise to help people in my life.

    Amateur radio has provided countless hours of stress relief and diversion since I was thirteen . I am computer literate, but cyberspace has its own particular problems and will never have the magic of ham radio. I am a cw (morse code) nut, always have been, and am concerned that this historic method of communication may one day become a "dinosaur". Today,morse code communication is alive and active only on the amateur radio bands. I see the advantages of knowing CW:
    1. It is loads of fun.

    2. It is a challenge to learn.

    3. It is something new for one to learn, not the "same old stuff."

    4. If one masters it, it can be a source of self esteem for some people.

    5. Using CW in front of non hams impresses these people.

    6. Children think that it is a "secret code" that not many people know.

    I saw a ham radio station at the local county fair when I was thirteen. I lived in a rural area and would likely have gone through life without seeing another ham radio station.

    I was a shy, introverted youngster. Amateur radio provided a non threatening social outlet for me.

    A year or so ago, I started thinking about how ham radio could easily be seen by other people. I had a particular concern that many medically and socially disadvantaged people would not see the fun stress relief of ham radio.

    Many months ago, I explained what I was trying to do to Dr. Bruce Small, the president-elect of MARCO. Bruce's input provided guidance for me and after several months of e-mail exchanges between Dr. Small, Joe Fairclough (WB2JKJ) and myself, I developed the following SWL("shortwave listening") unit:

    I developed an attractive wooden cabinet that is small, easy to manage and self contained. Everything needed to see amateur radio in action is included, including the antenna. Inside the cabinet, I have the following:

    1. A morse code tutor that has the capability of both audible and visual displays of the morse characters sent and received. A keyboard is attached that controls the functions of the tutor and provides keyboard CW. An iambic key and a bug are also attached to this unit to allow CW sending practice.

    2. An Icom R-75 receiver with attached active antenna. This receiver works very well.

    3. An MFJ two meter FM monitor is also attached to the MFJ -LF through VHF active antenna

    4. Two series of books, written for youngsters, which incorporates adventure, mystery and amateur radio. Walter Thompkins and Cindy Wall are the authors.

    5. Alpha Delta's book and video," Basic Technology for the Radio Enthusiast."

    6. A book listing the questions and answers for the three amateur tests.

    7. Laminated information listing telephone numbers for the ARRL and local amateur radio contacts in the area.

    8. The twelve volt battery power supply for the equipment.

    I laminated three posters:
    1. A neat pen and ink drawing of a young radio amateur seen operating many years ago from his corner bedroom.

    2. A poster with the following words: " If you are interested, you may take this shortwave radio assembly home for your use during your recovery. The hospital staff sincerely wishes you a short, uneventful recovery."

    3. A poster with the following words: "Please feel free to use this amateur radio to listen to conversations. If you wish to talk to the people you hear, you need a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

    Help is available to pass the test needed for a license. Feel free to ask for help. Headphones are available to help you use this radio without disturbing others.

    I thought that the unit could be placed on roller TV stands in the patient discharge or admissions area of hospitals. The first two laminated posters would be on the wall behind the unit. When they are discharged from the hospital, interested patients have three options:

    1. Leave a deposit with hospital personnel, take the unit home, enjoy it and return it to the hospital after recovery for a return of the deposit.

    2. Purchase the unit.

    3. Leave a deposit, enjoy the unit at home, study for a ham license with the enclosed study materials and return the unit after his recovery.

    The returned deposit money could be used to purchase a ham radio after the patient's amateur license arrives. These units would also be very helpful in nursing homes or retirement homes.

    A month or so ago, Dr. Small saw a description in the ARRL Newsletter about Dr. Jim Huhta's "radio space camp" project for children in Tampa. Dr. Huhta (AA4MD) is a pediatric cardiologist who loves telling his patients about amateur radio.

    I was getting discouraged about the status of the project and was hopeful that Dr. Huhta would be receptive to including these SWL units in his program there in Tampa, Fl.

    I sent Dr. Huhta a copy of the video I made with the unit set up for a hospital setting. Dr. Huhta was impressed with the unit's operation and I donated my demonstration unit for his use at Tampa Children's Hospital.

    I am asking for your help with this project. I am happy to donate my time to this project, however, I do not have the financial resources. I am hoping that you may know someone I could contact who may be willing to help finance this project. If you would like to view a video of this unit, I would be happy to send a videotape to you.

    Duane Wyatt, WA0MJD,

    P.O.Box 388,

    522 Central Ave. Grant, Ne. 69140


    e-mail: wyattfive@panhandle.net
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