Norman Teen builds NOAA Climate Radio antennas for the Eagle Scout Challenge | information
It took little thought for Joshua Khor to decide how to approach his Eagle Scout project.
According to the Boy Scouts of America, an Eagle Scout project must have a positive impact on a school, religious institution, or community. In Tornado Alley, Khor saw an opportunity to help people stay safe by building antennas for NOAA weather radios to increase their range and strength.
According to Khor, many weather antennas lack the signal strength necessary to function in storm shelters, hospitals and school buildings.
“If you are in the middle of a school, most of the signal may be blocked and you will not have any reception,” said Khor. “Of course you have cell phones, but in the event that a cell phone mast fails or the cell phone signal is too weak in a storm shelter, the antennas I have built help improve this reception in order to receive weather updates.”
The City of Norman Emergency Management Division is the beneficiary of Khor’s work.
David Grizzle, City of Norman’s Emergency Management Coordinator, said Khor’s project will allow the city to distribute external antennas to those struggling to get a strong signal, with an initial priority on city buildings and schools .
“This is a great project and the community should be proud of its efforts,” said Grizzle.
By building antennas for NOAA weather radios, Khor was able to take on a project that connects his interest in MINT projects with the community.
After Khor took over the amateur radio hobby from his father and the local southern Canadian amateur radio company, Khor knew he wanted to focus his project on working with radios.
“I wanted to use my skills and passion on a project I love, so I ended up on this project that I think will encourage younger Scouts to consider unique projects based on their interests,” said Khor.
Building the antennas was a bit of a painstaking process, he said. Khor glued RCA sockets to the antenna with superglue and passed the copper wire through. The process takes about 40 minutes for each antenna.
“It can get technical because it takes a lot of soldering and precise knives to cut wires – things that sound simple but take a fair amount of time,” said Khor. “There are a lot of technical things, so I had to build up knowledge.”
Khor said members of the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society are eager to offer help whenever they can.
He said while testing his first antenna, club members helped him fine-tune it and provided feedback on the construction process.
Upon completion of the project, Khor went through a review process by the panel that assessed the impact of his project. Now he is waiting for the application to be validated by the national office.
In addition to discussing his project, the board spoke with Khor about the duties of an Eagle Scout.
Khor said his time as a scout gave him stronger leadership skills, a quality synonymous with eagle scouts.
“Every time I’ve done my board review, Eagle Scouts have spoken of it, if you hold that rank you are expected to lead in many situations,” said Khor. “It also brings life skills such as how to provide first aid when needed.”
24 antennas later, Khor passed the project on to the radio company so that the members can help other organizations in need. As part of the club, he can continue to help build new antennas.
Jeff Elkins covers business, life, and community history for The Transcript. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ JeffElkins12 on Twitter.