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Getting on the air at Diamond Head EARC "Frequency" Movie Special Event Station - April 29, 2000

These photos highlight the EARC 'Frequency' Movie Special Event Station at the Mililani 14 theater complex.


The Event

The Emergency Amateur Radio Club's (EARC) special event station (SES) commemorating the opening weekend of the movie 'Frequency' exceeded expectations.  On Saturday, April 29th, 2000 almost 3,000 movie-goers at the Mililani Consolidated Theaters in central Oahu near Honolulu were treated to three amateur radio stations operating in the lobby of the theater.

Mililani Theater

The Emergency Amateur Radio Club used Consolidated Amusement's Mililani Theater to host the Frequency Special Event Station. Located in the center of the island of Oahu, it was convenient to families, retirees and the military in the nearby community. (Photo by AH6P)

Team Photo

Randy, AH6Q; Ron, AH6RH; Chris, AH6TM and Bev, AH6NF. Missing is Dennis, AH6P, who is taking the photo.

The Preparation

Arrangements began on Thursday, April 27th. After a preliminary executive decision to participate in the SES, the EARC contacted Consolidated Theater to obtain permission. Ron Hashiro, AH6RH contacted Rocky, the General Manager at Consolidated's Mililani operation, and secured his approval for the event. A general e-mail bulletin went out that evening informing Hawaii hams of the upcoming operation.

The amateurs providing the equipment for the stations responded in accordance to general practices used for emergency communications. For example, "go packs" containing radio and antenna tuners were brought in, and a working VHF portable station was established within two minutes of bringing in the equipment. Coaxial cables were unrolled from spools, run outdoors, and taped to the floor for safety purposes. HF vertical antennas were installed outdoors nearby in an area being landscaped.

Vertical antennas were set up just outside of the theater complex. This is a GAP antenna. (Photo by AH6P)

The Stations

The stations were in operation from 12 noon until 8:00 pm on 20, 15, 10 and 2 meters. Audio from the two HF stations (an Icom IC-751 and Kenwood TS-50) and one VHF/UHF station (TW-4000A) attracted attention.

Bev Yuen, AH6NF

Bev Yuen, AH6NF tries her hand at setting up and tuning her Kenwood TS-50S radio. In the foreground are the Kenwood TW-4000A dual-bander VHF/UHF FM and Icom IC-751 HF radios.  (Photo by AH6RH)

Chris, AH6TM; Randy, AH6Q and Ron, AH6RH start making contacts.    (Photo by AH6P)

Ron Hashiro, AH6RH

Ron Hashiro, AH6RH takes a break between contacts. (Photo by AH6P)

Guest operators Don, KH7V and Russell Houlton, WH6DBI try their hand at making new contacts. (Photo by AH6RH)

QSL cards from exotic countries and the space shuttle Atlantis stirred the imaginations of the visitors. The guests were able to read an article on display recounting how amateur radio provided critical emergency communications with the island of Kauai during Hurricane Iniki. As contacts were made, the locations were written on a nearby easel pad display.

Locations contacted by the SES included:

  • Fiji
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
  • Yokohama (HF mobile) and Tokyo, Japan
  • Hayword, California
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Schofield Barracks, Waikiki, Mililani and Mililani Mauka on Oahu

As each part of the world was contacted, an entry was logged onto an easel pad. The movie goers were fascinated with the variety of places contacted. Notice the QSL card of the space shuttle in the lower right hand corner. (Photo by AH6RH)

Promotional Results

Well over 100 persons stopped to talk to the amateur radio operators. Interested individuals received flyers about amateur radio, EARC and the ARRL. Phone numbers, web sites and meeting times were shared with the visitors.

Several were excited with their hands-on contact over the radio and quite a number gained further appreciation of what they saw of amateur radio in the movie. One movie goer even changed his movie selection after spending a few moments talking with the group.

Some mentioned that a relative was an avid fan of amateur radio, and would reflect upon that relatives enjoyment talking with all parts of the world. They were amused and amazed that we were contacting stations around the rim of the Pacific with a fairly modest set of equipment.

At least 10 people were actively interested in pursuing their license. Among those that stopped by were those serving in the military. A few of them were into various forms of military communications, and could relate to the morse code or technical radio aspects fairly easily.

One gentleman was a manager of telecommunications security for the military. The special event station offered an opportunity to talk with him about amateur radio and communications for at least 15 minutes. Ten minute conversations were not uncommon with prospects with genuine interest in taking up the pastime of amateur radio.

A teenage girl was fascinated with the opportunity to explore amateur radio. She was so engrossed that she almost missed the showing of the movie.

About 20 amateurs also visited the special event station. Some newly upgraded General and Extra class licenses dabbled with HF using their new HF privileges.

Dozens of the movie goers expressed their thanks and appreciation for helping them understand first hand what amateur radio is all about.

Conclusion

The operation lasted until the early evening. The stations were quickly disassembled and stowed away for the ride home.

The lead operators, Ron, AH6RH; Dennis, AH6P; Bev, AH6NF; and Chris, AH6TM were very pleased and enjoyed the event. The EARC thanks Consolidated Theaters for their cooperation and participation with the day's activity.

The EARC won fourth place out of six organizations entering the competition. ARRL Article

Find out more by contacting:  rhashiro(remove this part)@hawaiiantel.net
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Updated: March 1, 2009

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