Hello everybody and welcome back to the Everything Ham Radio Podcast! In this episode we are going to talk about some ideas for follow up classes after you give a technician class, we talk about some upcoming events/contests and hamfests over the next two weeks!
Facebook Question of the Week:
What is the funniest phonetics you can think of for your callsign?
Tech Corner – Follow Up Classes After A Tech Class
In the last episode, one of the things that we talked about was since the class was only a few hours long, taught in a day, it is a good idea to have follow up classes to teach different things.
In today’s episode, I am going to talk about some of the ideas that I have for some of those classes, as well give yall some resources to check out to help you with those classes.
One of the most common questions that I get asked by new hams is, How do I program my radio? That question is always a loaded question, because each manufacturer is at least a little bit different. My answer is typically something along the lines of, bring you radio and your manual to next meeting and we can take a look at it.
Another question that I get regularly, is what frequencies should I put in my radio. Again the answer varies from person to person, depending on a multitude of variables. Things like where the person goes frequently, where they live, etc.
You also have those that are technologically challenged as well. We have a few in our club that are this way, however, they are very community service oriented and want to help. Who are we to say no you can’t because you don’t know how to change to a different frequency manually? We have a standard frequency list that we made for our surrounding area and have it programmed that certain way to match the list. Then if we ever have to change frequencies for whatever reason, the net control can just say switch to channel X.
The other thing that I always recommend someone getting is a programming cable for their radio as well as download the Chirp program.
After programming radios, the next question I commonly get it what do I get for an antenna. You can go two ways on this question, build or buy. If you want to do this as a follow up class, I would say build!
It is easy to recommend this antenna or that antenna for the new ham to buy, but why not have them build their own? This will help them understand chapters in the question pool that cover things like RF, Radiation, wavelengths, etc. You could make a ¼ wave ground plane for just a few buck or a copper pipe j-pole. These two antennas are super easy to build and super cheap and have decent performance.
Talking on the Radio
One of the most common fears that I hear from new hams, is talking on the radio. The first time that they press that PTT and say their call sign is sometimes the hardest thing for some of them to do. Whether it is just not wanting to do it or not knowing what to say, the fear is real, and is something that a lot of the time, they have to work out themselves.
You, of course, can help them along by “holding their hand” when they first key up. Kind of telling them word for word what to say, until they gain a little bit of confidence and take over themselves.
The other aspect of this is checking into a net for the first time. This is sometimes a little easier than just keying up and “calling CQ”. At least in a net, there is structure to what you do when you key up and when the net control calls you back. This is also a great time to talk about net etiquette, and procedures for talking a net, the different types of nets, etc.
This type of class would also be a good time to talk about different digital voice modes that may be in your area. Things like DStar, Yaesu System Fusion, DMR, Echolink, IRLP, etc. If you local area used DStar and DMR repeaters, make sure you tell the new hams how to use them, what each system is about, etc. Even if they do not have the radios to talk on them at the time. Eventually, they will and they will need to know. You could also use this time to talk about how to gain access to the systems without having to buy the specific radio, like a DStar Dongle for example.
Provide entry level classes to any niche part of the hobby that your club does. If you club does fox hunting on a regular basis, teach an entry level fox hunting class. If your club does a lot of contesting, teach an entry level class on contesting. If you club participates in a lot of community service events like Skywarn, RACES, ARES, bike races, etc, do entry level classes on them.
If you club does RACES, ARES and/or Skywarn, any new “recruit” will have to take at the very least IC-100 and IC-700 and most groups I have heard of also require IC-200 and/or IC-800. While these classes are online can be taken at your own time, you could teach these classes in a classroom setting.
West Mountain Radio
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Ham Blog Spotlight
A couple weeks ago I told yall about a Youtube channel that I found where the host was talking about getting a new RV and going to make videos on his installation and such. He just released another video about his motorhome setup, Check it out below. If you would like to subscribe to his channel:
|+ SP DX RTTY Contest||1200Z, Apr 22 to 1200Z, Apr 23|
|+ Nebraska QSO Party||1300Z, Apr 22 to 0100Z, Apr 23 and 1300Z-2200Z, Apr 23|
|+ BARTG Sprint 75||1700Z-2059Z, Apr 23|
|+ RSGB 80m Club Championship, Data||1900Z-2030Z, Apr 27|
|+ 10-10 Int. Spring Contest, Digital||0001Z, Apr 29 to 2359Z, Apr 30|
|+ Helvetia Contest||1300Z, Apr 29 to 1259Z, Apr 30|
|+ Florida QSO Party||1600Z, Apr 29 to 0159Z, Apr 30 and 1200Z-2159Z, Apr 30|
|+ RSGB 80m Club Championship, SSB||1900Z-2030Z, May 1|
|+ ARS Spartan Sprint||0100Z-0300Z, May 2|
*Information taken from the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
- Eastern VHF-UHF Microwave Conference – Manchester, CT
- Idaho State Convention – Boise, ID
- International DX Convention – Visalia, CA
- 27th Annual Down East Hamfest – Kinston, NC
- Aurora ’17 Convention – White Bear Lake, MN
- Brainerd Area Hamfest – Brainerd, MN
- Calhoun Hamfest – Sugar Valley , GA
- Chassell Michigan Hamfest – Chassell, MI
- Communications Academy XIX – Seattle, WA
- Delaware State Convention (Delmarva Amateur Radio and Electronics EXPO) – Georgetown, DE
- DMRAA Hamfest – Des Moines, IA
- DRUMLINS ARC HAMFEST – Palmyra, NY
- EARC Hamfest-Swap Meet – Honolulu, HI
- Lewis and Clark Radio Club Hamfest 2017 – Godfrey , IL
- North Central Indiana Hamfest – Peru, IN
- Piney Hills Hamfest and Hot Dog Social – Ruston, LA
- RASON Auction 2017 – Gales Ferry, CT
- Spring 2017 Cy Harris Free Flee – Oakland Park, FL
- Valley Radio Club Swapfest – Eugene, OR
- Wiregrass Amateur Radio Club Spring Tailgate – Headland, AL
- AAROFest 2017 – Galva, IL
- Framingham ARA Spring Flea Market – Framingham, MA
- North Jersey Hamfest – Succasunna, NJ
- Two Rivers ARC Hamfest – Boston, PA
- 2017 SVHFS Conference – Charlotte, NC
- CARS Swapmeet Hamfest – Pooler, GA
- Gainesville Hamfest – Waldo, FL
- Heartland Hams Hamfest – Glenwood, IA
- Jackson County ARC Hamfest – Jackson, OH
- Louisiana Section Convention – West Monroe, LA
- MCARC Morgantown WV Hamfest – Morgantown, WV
- Spring Tailgate – Albuquerque, NM
- TCFMC Spring Tailgate – Plymouth, MN
- Valley of the Moon ARC Annual Hamfest – Sonoma, CA
- York Hamfest – Spring Grove, PA
*Information taken from the ARRL Hamfest Calendar
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Until next time…
73 de Curtis, K5CLM