Wednesday, November 11, 2020

New Radio Club, New Repeater in Northern Mariana Islands

Flag of the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands (Source: CIA World Factbook)

A group of hams in the Northern Mariana Islands (KH0) is trying to revitalize the amateur radio community there, according to a recent article in the Saipan Tribune. The Radio Amateur Marianas DX Club currently has about 20 members and has recently purchased and installed a new repeater on the island. 

Club President Cris Francisco, Jr. (no call sign given in the article) is quoted as saying that a single repeater on Mt. Tapochau had been the glue that held together various amateur radio groups there and, when that repeater was destroyed by a typhoon (hurricane) in 2018, those groups fell apart. He hopes the new repeater will help re-energize the amateur community and provide public service to the broader community, especially after storms or other events that knock out regular communication channels. 

Interestingly, the club is encouraging membership by all volunteer-minded members of the community, even if they don't want to become hams. According to the article, Francisco says non-ham volunteers as well as radio operators will be needed to respond to future emergencies.