Small Transmitters Donated to Scouts

Small Transmitters Donated to Scouts

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- In the wake of an 11-year-old Boy Scout's ordeal while lost in the Uintas, a businessman is donating 200 tiny radio transmitters to the Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council.

The transmitters, the size of nickels, have been used for years by falconers and on hunting dogs. The donated transmitters will be attached to lanyards and given to Scouts who take backcountry trips.

Lynn Blodgett, executive vice president of Affiliated Computer Services Inc., is donating the transmitters and four receivers.

"When this little boy was lost, my wife and I were talking about it," said Blodgett, in reference to Brennan Hawkins. "We thought what a shame it was with all this technology we have."

Blodgett sat down with Robert Bagley, president of Marshall Radio Telemetry of North Salt Lake, which makes the transmitters, and talked about using the devices for Scouts.

The transmitters send out signals every second, and the batteries last four to 10 days.

The hard aluminum casing also makes the transmitters waterproof.

"They can be underwater, and we will still walk right to the boy even if he were stuck under a log in the river," Bagley said.

The transmitters can be tracked from more than 115 miles away.

Kay Godfrey of the Great Salt Lake Council said troops will turn their tour permit in and will be able to receive enough transmitters and receivers for their party, Godfrey said.

"It's really easy to get disoriented," he said. "These will provide security and monitoring."

Blodgett would normally make an anonymous donation, but the council wanted people to know about it. The transmitters and receivers cost about $200 each.

"I just hope what it will do is that we can prevent at least one child from getting lost," Blodgett said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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