Our next business meeting will be held on Saturday September 10th, 2011. The back room at the Checker Board Restaurant was jerked out from under us again, so this month we will be meeting in the covey hole in the back corner. The Checker Board Restaurant is located at 2223 S Frontage Rd, Meridian, MS. Come join us!
ARRL Radio Emergency Communications Course
The ARRL Radio Emergency Communications Course (Level 01) 3rd Edition is no longer available through ARRL.
Fred has volunteered to provide the course by e-mail to anyone interested. There will be no certificate issued from ARRL upon completion of this course. However, I will accept, for local ARES record, notification of successful completion from Fred.
This means of course completion is a good prep for the current course to be offered by the ARRL.
Hurricane season is upon us, and the possible need of Amateur Radio Communications is there even more so.
Please send your request for enrollment to Fred at Billfred5@aol.com if you are interested in taking this course. When you enroll please Cc: me so that I can track enrollments and progress in addition to what Fred will provide to me.
73' Rick, AE5FE
We are having the National Weather Service come in on September 24, 2011 at 9 A.M. to noon to bring our spotter knowledge up-to-date. All certificates are only good for 2 years. We will be at the Brandon city building [senior center]. Below are the directions to get there.
All hams and non-hams are invited. We are also asking the Vicksburg, Yazoo City, Scott County, CMSARA, and JARC to attend. NWS will have the floor from 9 until noon and then we will have breakout sessions with: ham spotters, non-ham spotters, EOC management and other sessions. I am going to try to get one or two dealers to come in and show their stuff.
Directions to senior center, Brandon, MS I-20 east to exit 56: Turn left at light--go over the overpass to Hwy 80. Turn right on Hwy 80. Go 1.5 miles and turn right. The Brandon city hall is the old Jitney Jungle store they have remodeled.
It's Back to School Time for Ham Radio, too!
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
As I write this, it's about 85 degrees, and I'm sitting on the patio of a cottage overlooking Elk Lake in northern Michigan. This idyllic spot is about as far away from school as you can get. And yet, in less than a month, kids will be back in school, and if kids are going to be back in school, why not ham radio operators?
The fall is a good time to begin teaching a new group of Technicians. I favor the "Tech in a Day" or "Ham Cram" type of class. This type of class focuses on teaching students the answers to questions on the test rather than the material itself.
There's a lot of controversy about this, and many decry this method of teaching, but I think the best way to learn about ham radio is by actually doing it, and you can't do if you don't have a license. Besides, how much more instruction will students actually get in a more traditional eight-week or ten-week course, maybe 16 hours? Will those 16 hours make that much of a difference?
For the sake of argument, let's say that you've decided to offer a one-day Tech class. Now what? Well, the first thing you have to do is to find a place to teach it. Possible sites include your local public library, a township hall, a community college, perhaps even your church.
Now that you have the place, you need to find some students. Your local emergency-management group would be a good place to start. Also, make sure a notice gets published in your amateur radio club's newsletter. Chances are most of the subscribers already have licenses, but they may have friends or relatives who would be interested. Also, make sure the class gets listed in the upcoming events section of local newspapers or magazines.
Once people start signing up, you should suggest that they either purchase a study guide or download my free study guide (www. kb6nu. com/tech- manual). Because I use my study guide when teaching the class, I always advise them to get a copy, but if you'll be using other materials, then your advice may differ.
I counsel the students to read through my study guide a few times and take some online practice tests before coming to class. That will make them familiar with the material, especially areas they may be weak in or have questions about. By bringing those questions to class, we can address those areas in a little more depth, which will, hopefully, give them the help they need to pass the test.
The class itself is six hours long, running from 9am to 3pm, at which time we give them the test. This is not a lot of time for the amount of material I have to cover, so I move along at a pretty brisk pace. I concentrate on giving them the answers, but with enough context to that it all makes sense.
OK, let's say your class was wildly successful, and you now have a group of newly-minted Techs. What do you do now?
Well, you might consider offering some short sessions on what ham radio operators do--Ham Radio 101, so to speak. The topics could include how to choose your first radio, the basics of FM repeater and net operation, and building your first antenna (say a 2m ground plane). They'll be more enthusiastic about these classes now that they actually have a license.
It might also be a good idea to schedule a General Class license course for some time shortly after the Tech class. This will encourage them to upgrade while they are enthusiastic about the hobby.
I hope that this has encouraged you to offer some ham radio courses of your own. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com or phone me at 734-930-6564. Good luck, and let me know how your classes turn out.
When not preparing for his next ham radio class, Dan publishes the "No-Nonsense" study guides for the Technician and General Class license exams. Free versions and print version are available from his web site at www.kb6nu. com/ tech-manual. E-book versions are available for the Kindle and devices that run the Kindle app on Amazon.com and for the Nook on BarnesandNoble.com.