Fort Wayne hams help residents configure weather radios

Ham radio operators and SKYWARN storm spotters Howard Pletcher (N9ADS) (left) and Steve Haxby (N9MEL) configure NOAA Weather Radio receivers during a public event at a Fort Wayne Walgreens store April 11, 2016
Howard Pletcher (N9ADS) (left) and Steve Haxby (N9MEL) configure NOAA Weather Radio receivers during a public event at a Fort Wayne Walgreens store April 11, 2016.

Four Fort Wayne amateur radio operators who are also volunteer storm spotters in the National Weather Service (NWS) SKYWARN program spent several hours April 11 assisting residents with their NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) receivers.

Al Burke (WB9SSE), Steve Haxby (N9MEL), Howard Pletcher (N9ADS), and Jay Farlow (W9LW) worked alongside representatives of WANE TV, the Alllen County Office of Homeland Security, the National Weather Service and the Midland Radio Corporation at the Walgreens store on Stellhorn Road to configure NWR receivers.

The volunteers assured that the receivers' specific area message encoding (SAME) and receive frequency settings were correct, so users would receive warnings that the NWS issues for their home counties.

WANE TV had promoted the three-hour event, which was duplciated at other locations in the TV station's market area. The Walgreens store sold nearly 100 near NWR receivers during the event, which volunteers configured. Volunteers also assited other visitors who brought in their own equipment, some of which was not SAME-capable (and at least one of which was not even a receiver!).

More photos of the event are available in this website's photo gallery.