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Bend man named 'Ham Radio Operator of Year'

BEND, Ore. - A Bend man is the Ham Radio Operator of the Year for 2015.  Joseph Barry was chosen for the award by members of the High Desert Amateur Radio Group (HIDARG).  He was also given a service award from the group.

Barry was given a plaque and a certificate along with a handmade ceremonial telegraph key made by one of the HIDARG members.

The group's president, Ray Spreier, made the presentation at the group's monthly meeting Thursday evening.

Spreier said Barry was given the awards for his dedicated service to ham radio for over 25 years.  Barry serves as a volunteer examiner that administers the official tests people must take to become a ham radio operator.  He has guided hundreds of people through the process.

Barry is also known as an "elmer", which is a term for someone who helps new ham radio operators get started after they get a license.

Barry said he got interested in radio as a teenager listening to shortwave radios.  He studied electronics on his own that allowed him to get high scores on Air Force entrance exams.  The USAF then sent him to school for aircraft electronics.

He was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base working on the electronics for jet fighters.  

After the military, he became a civilian employee with the Defense Department working on flight simulators.

Barry became a member of HIDARG in 1993, and has been instrumental in the creation of ham radio repeaters throughout Central Oregon.  He is one of the operators for the ham radio repeater system that connects hospitals throughout Central Oregon during emergencies.

You can find out more about HIDARG at

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