The Benton County, Missouri Amateur Radio Emergency Service Group Reaches Out to Help a Ham in Need!
Written by: Samantha Henley (KE0LMY) and Renee Cason (KE0LMZ)
It is a great honor to be part of something as special as a group working together toward a common goal. Two of our members, Jim McNally (KA0DXU) and Rick Wade (KD0CNC), spearheaded a super secret plan to do something very special for a talented, warm, outgoing amateur radio operator in our group.
Miss Kelly Stanfield (previously KD0IWM and now W0YQG) is a visually impaired ham who came to the Benton County, MO ARES (BC ARES) group in August 2017. She has attended every meeting, contributed ideas, participated in weekly nets, visited Rick’s EmComm trailer during Warsaw, MO Pioneer Heritage Days in October, attained her General Class and then Extra Class licenses within a span of two months and inspired all of us to strive to be the best we can be every time we interact with her. She does not allow her disability to be a hindrance. She is open to trying new things, meeting new people and enjoying life to the fullest.
When Jim and Rick heard that she had obtained her General Class license, they wanted to give her the ability to speak with people all over the world. They worked with members of the BC ARES to raise the funds needed to purchase a Kenwood TS- 590s HF radio with a VGS-1 voice synthesizer board, and a Powerwerx 30 Amp power supply. An 80-10 meter dipole antenna with a Comtec 4:1 current balun, 140 FT of coax, insulators, wire, and PL-259 connectors will be installed outside Kelly’s home. Kelly’s uncles, Joe, Lee and Roger Krout purchased a flight case for Kelly to store and transport her new radio easily!
In order for a sightless person to operate a complex radio like this, the radio must ‘speak’ when settings change. The Kenwood has this ability with the synthesizer board installed. Rick ordered and paid for the VGS-1 voice synthesizer board and Jim installed and tested the voice synthesis feature that will allow the radio to verbalize and interact with Miss Stanfield. During all of this, Jim was in contact with Miss Stanfield’s uncle, Joe Krout (KR0UT), and best friend, Craig Martin (KY0O), so they could take part in the surprise as well.
Miss Stanfield is a third generation Amateur Radio operator on her mother’s side of the family. She was very excited to recently acquire her grandfather, Harry Krout’s callsign (W0YQG) since he became a Silent Key. It was obvious to the group that she wanted to keep up the family tradition. Her first radio was a Kenwood TMV71A, which she still owns and uses to this day for local contacts and participating in BC ARES nets and activities.
Miss Stanfield has been visually impaired for her entire life. This did not stop her from attaining a job and assisting with a radio podcast on a weekly basis. When the possibility arose for her to leave Kansas and move to Warsaw, Missouri, Miss Stanfield was excited by the possibilities. She soon found the Benton County, Missouri ARES and Twin Lakes Amateur Radio Club.
Rick Wade, then Emergency Coordinator for the BC ARES and current President of the Twin Lakes Amateur Radio Club, was astounded by her capabilities.
“I don’t know how she does it,” he remarked upon meeting Miss Stanfield. “She’s pretty amazing. She doesn’t complain about her disability or use it as an excuse.”
One of Miss Stanfield’s most remarkable traits is her sense of humor. She can often be found spouting one-liners and having fun with her disability. Some of her favorites are: “Long time, no see!” “Something bad happened? I didn’t see anything!” and “Looks fine to me!”, among others.
We look forward to helping Miss Stanfield grow into a strong, independent Ham and watching what she can achieve!
We would like to thank the following people for their contributions to this great cause: Jim McNally (KA0DXU), Rick Wade (KD0CNC), Samantha Henley (KE0LMY), Joe Krout (KR0UT), Craig Martin (KY0O), Rick Harkins (W0YGH), Michael Schley (KB0LW), Steve Pierce (WA5ICX), Rebecca Pierce (W5RNX), Robert Scott (KD0AFI), Della Scott (KD0AFJ), Roger Henley (KD0WXT), Renee Cason (KE0LMZ), Lee Krout and Roger Krout.
*This article, along with pictures from the event, will be submitted to the ARRL for publication.