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HAM radio fans 'tune in to Perham' for regional meeting

HAM radio operators from throughout the region will be converging on Perham Sept. 19.

The group is meeting at the Cactus, about 10-11 a.m., with a lunch at about noon.

"HAM radio operators from all over the upper Midwest will be attending, some will be coming a day early, and some may stay a day after," said Bud Stephens, a local radio enthusiast. "It has been a great way to promote Perham and the wonderful things to see here, like the Vet's museum, and so much more."

The PICO Net stands for Public Interest and Convenience, or necessity. It started back in the 1950's or 60's. It is a daily gathering of radio operators around the upper Midwest. Before cell phones, HAM radio operators would make phone patches into areas for family and friends to stay in touch. Before e-mail, they sent radio grams or messages via radio. Some of this still happens, said Stephens.

The PICO Net has a web site,, with more information.

Every year the group has a gathering and luncheon. After last year's event, Stephens stepped up to host the 2009 event.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Stephens, 218-346-2075 or 218-346-2073, especially if they want to eat, so the group can plan for the right number.

Stephens has a general class license, and his call sign is N0KCM. He has a station set up at home and at his Visions Glass shop in Perham.