Look, ma, no internet
Communication travels in many formats, and the radio is the number one method for the Delaware-Lehigh Amateur Radio Club (DLARC).
The 200 members of the club, founded 66 years ago, communicate with handheld radios.
Charles Lazarchak, of Easton, president of DLARC, describes the radio club as educational.
The club offers its members all kinds of projects, from building one's own antenna and computer software to participating in emergency preparedness procedures and communicating with people around the world..
And that's without using the internet.
"If someone ever looked at something and wondered how it works, they are usually a handheld radio operator," Lazarchak says.
In order to become licensed and be on the air, members may take a test provided at the Northampton County 911 Center on the first Friday of the month.
The club provides its services to several community events throughout the year, including the Emmaus Halloween Parade and local fundraising walks for Multiple Sclerosis, says Bob Green, of Whitehall, DLARC public relations liaison.
In the event of an emergency at one of the events, radio club members are there to report the situation and relay information.
Club activities include contests and special events.
Radio club members compete to see who can contact the largest number via the radio. Other competitions involve using Morse code and contacting those living in other countries.
One of the club's main events is the Christmas City station, which airs during the Christmas season in Bethlehem and Nazareth. This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the event. The special event station, QRV, can be found at 3.970, 7.270, 14.265, 21.365 and 28.465 MHz.
"I think it's a fun hobby, and a great way to travel," says Dave Blankenship, of Bethlehem, vice president of DLARC.
Amateur radio cannot broadcast advertisements or music.
"Handheld radio is strictly amateur but reliable communication," Blankenship says.
DLARC welcomes new members.
The Delaware-Lehigh Amateur Radio Club meets at 7:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at the Bethlehem Vocational-Technical School, 3300 Chester Avenue, Bethlehem.
Licensing classes began Sept. 4 and continue for nine Tuesday evenings at Gracedale, Greystone Building, 14 Gracedale Avenue, Nazareth.
Information: dlarc.org, or contact Bob Green, KE3AW@arrl.net, 610-432-8286