Have you heard? (ex-President's Message)
By Ron Adcock/KK4YCW
June 1, 2017
If I read the membership spreadsheet that Pete, K2PS, sent recently, it looks as though we have just topped the 200 member mark. That’s a good indicator of the value of The Villages Amateur Radio Club to the local ham community. At our monthly meetings we have timely and interesting programs, the opportunity for socialization and one-to-one problem solving, sharing of information, selling/buying or trading of members equipment they are no longer using, and, of course, coffee, soda and cookies. All of this for what our esteemed President reminds us is one heck of a deal (along with the Christmas dinner) at $12 a year.
We are, however, sadly lacking in at least one area. We don’t have a club station. We do have access to repeaters that allow us to speak locally and participate in local nets. And that’s good. I enjoy checking into the club’s Monday evening Ragchew Net.
If we choose to we can also communicate around the country and world using EchoLink. It’s a great tool, but just not the same as HF amateur radio. And some of us don’t have access to HF equipment of our own.
So why don’t we go ahead and set up a club HF station?
I know that John Ellis, NP2B, is investigating how and where we might create a club station. Not an easy task. Not only do we have to have room for the radio equipment and a few operators, but it has to be a location where we are also able to connect to the antennas we need. Maybe we will have to think outside of the box (and The Villages).
Before moving to The Villages, I lived in Kissimmee and belonged to a model railroad club on the north side of Orlando. Once or twice a week I would drive 30 or 40 minutes to get to the club’s layout. I thought it was worthwhile. The layout was in a 2,000 square foot warehouse that was nicely set up and air conditioned. If I remember correctly we had 35 or 40 members. I mention this because the members had to pay for rent and utilities.
Maybe we hams will have to pay for space and utilities if we want a club station of our own. I have no idea what the cost would be. I know the model railroaders paid dues of $25 a month. And they had to maintain the place themselves.
If we are unable to find a benefactor here in The Villages, perhaps we should look for a place in a nearby community. An increase in dues might be able to provide us with what we want. Or maybe we could have two classes of membership – regular membership and operating membership – that would provide for the needs that we have. Or maybe we could come up with a fund-raiser or two to pay the bills.
If we had a club station, would you use it? How much would it be worth to you? Let John or me know.
Growing the Ranks vs. Growing the Enjoyment
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
Because I teach amateur radio classes and publish a series of popular amateur radio license study guides (www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/), I often get kudos for "growing the ranks." In fact, Gordon West, WB6NOA, told me this just last week, when he stopped by the booth I was in at the Dayton Hamvention. I’m paraphrasing a little, but after telling me that he’s heard good things about my study guides, he said something like, “You’re doing good work in helping get more people into ham radio.”
People say that as if this is—or should be—the ultimate goal of teaching a license class. While this may be one of the goals, if that’s your primary goal, I think that you’re barking up the wrong tree.
In a way, creating more hams is selfish. If there are more licensed amateur radio operators, they say, then amateur radio will have more political clout with the FCC and with Congress, making it easier to pass legislation like the Amateur Radio Parity Act. While this may certainly help the new ham down the line, its main thrust is to reduce restrictions on those who are currently hams.
My goal in teaching amateur radio classes isn’t to create more hams. Instead, my goal is to help more people have fun with ham radio. The first step in helping people have fun with ham radio is, of course, helping them get their license. I do that by publishing my study guides and teaching ham classes.
The next step, and I’m only really getting started on this right now, is to help people learn what they need to know to become better ham radio operators. That’s why I got a little excited when I saw the article, “Making a Good hobby Better Through Post-Licensing Enrichment” by Tim Busch, N0CKR in the latest issue of Radio Waves, the ARRL’s email newsletter for amateur radio instructors.
In the article, Tim describes several activities that his club encourages, including a “new ham net” and the Field Day GOTA station, but he also details a program of “mini classes” that will teach specific skills related to ham radio. These include:
Tim writes, “Each class is intended to be no more than two hours at a sitting, so they can be held before a monthly club meeting. The variety of subject matter allows many club members to get involved in leading a topic. Materials kits are prepared in advance, so students walk away with practical items they can use at home.”
I think this is a great set of classes, and I plan to try some of these in the fall. A couple of other topics that occur to me are:
Helping new hams—and old hams—have more fun with amateur radio is a lot more satisfying to me than just “growing the ranks.” It would be nice to say that we have a million licensed radio amateurs in the U.S., but I think it would be a lot more valuable to the hobby to say that a larger percentage of licensed hams were active and enjoying ham radio. I know that, for me, increasing the number of active, engaged hams would be more personally satisfying than simply creating a lot of new licensees.
When he's not working on helping new hams, Dan operates CW on the HF bands and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com. If you have a good idea for a new ham “mini class,” e-mail him at email@example.com.
Copyright by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU. Re-printed here with his permission to use this material in club newsletters/websites.
TVARC Reflector - Communicate with TVARC
Membership in TVARC is required to join this club reflector. For general information or to join this reflector, click HERE. Contact George Briggs (K2DM), the Reflector's moderator, for more details.
-- Our Next Meeting --
July 20, 2017 Eisenhower Rec Center
6:00 PM Social/Swap Tables
6:45 PM Business Meeting
7:30 PM Program - "Field Day 2017 Wrap-up" &
"Montserrat 2017 DXpedition" - by George Briggs (K2DM)
"Cookie Monster" for this meeting - Al Schroedel (KM4RME)
TVARC club meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Eisenhower Recreation Center (except for the month of December), at 3560 Buena Vista Blvd., in The Villages, Florida. Anyone interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.
You need not be licensed to attend or join. You do NOT need a Villages ID.
Events & Activities (Upcoming/Ongoing) ...
TVARC DXCC Standings is calling for your submissions.
For information, click HERE. To view standings, click HERE.
TVARC Camp Villages - Amateur Radio 2017 will be held on June 22, 2017, from 10a to Noon (volunteers arrive by 8:30a), at the Colony Cottage Regional Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. Event Chair Larry Russo (K3TFU) needs at least 14 volunteers to assist the "kids" as they have fun assembling their AM radio kits. To volunteer, click HERE or contact Larry. For more details, contact Larry.
TVARC Field Day 2017 will be held on June 24 - 25, 2017, at the Sheriff's Annex Bldg (on CR 466 near intersection of Morse Blvd.). For more details click HERE. To volunteer, click HERE or contact Event Chair George Briggs (K2DM).
Technician Licensing Class will be held on Sept. 9, 16 & 23, 2017, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information, contact Ron Adcock (KK4YCW; club's Educational Coordinator for Technician Class). Click HERE to sign-up for this class.
Licensing Exam will be held on Oct. 7, 2017, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information, contact Rich Erlichman (ND4G; ARRL Volunteer Examiner Liaison).
General Licensing Class will be held on Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13 & 20, 2017, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information, contact Cal Fuhrman (WA3CTZ; club's Educational Coordinator for General/Extra Classes). Click HERE to sign-up for this class.
Licensing Exam will be held on Nov. 27, 2017, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information, contact Rich Erlichman (ND4G; ARRL Volunteer Examiner Liaison).
NEED Chairperson for 1 Upcoming Club Event
Our club needs a member to volunteer to be the chair of the "Radio on the Square" event (Nov. 25, 2017). Contact Earle Hancock (TVARC's President; KM4ISN) if you would like to volunteer for this position.
NEED Emergency Communications Team Lead
Our club needs a member to volunteer for this leadership opportunity position. Contact Tony Hackenberg (TVARC's Secretary; N8SK) if you would like to volunteer for this position.
Events & Activities (Past) ...
"Hurricane Expo 2017" was held on May 5, 2017, at the Rohan Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. This emergency preparedness event is sponsored by The Villages Safety Dept. Our club participated by staffing 2 information tables. Event Chair Tony Hackenberg (N8SK) thanks the following members, who as ambassadors for our club & ham radio to the public, helped make this event a huge success: Sam Brown (KB8SB), Dennis Chick (KM4ISO), John Ellis (NP2B), Rich Erlichman (ND4G), Melanie Hackenberg, Tony Hackenberg (N8SK), Bob Hagan (WW8USA) & John McCollough (KB4KP). To view photos click HERE.
"Radio Rodeo 2017" was held on April 1, 2017, at the Brownwood® Paddock Square, in The Villages, FL. This year mother nature cooperated and provided a beautiful weather day for this club event designed as a ham radio outreach to the general public. Based on the public's foot traffic at the information tables & their curiosity at the radios operation area, this club event was a resounding success. Event Chair Marty Brown (WB2VYK), co-chair Wayne Brown (N4FP) & the club thank the club members who helped make this event a success. To view photos click HERE.
"MS Walk 2017" was held on March 25th, 2017. On a beautiful weather day, TVARC's MS Walk Emergency Communications (EC) Team successfully provided emergency communications for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk at the Polo Field. The crowd was manageable and our equipment worked, well most of it anyway (since we had spares all went well). This annual event raises money for research & to help care for people afflicted with MS. Certainly a worthy cause! By providing emergency communications for this event, our TVARC members (& EC Team) gained valuable training in setting up and using ad hoc nets. Thank you all for being there! Event Chair (KM4ISN) & the club extend our thanks to these club members who assisted in the event: Jeanette Ellis NP2C; Art Fenn KB9MI; Earle Hancock KM4ISN; Stan Jacobs KA1HNR; David Mizikar K3ILA; Joe Signorelli AB3CR; John Vlastos KF4PUY & Ralph Whitacre N8RW. To view photos click HERE.
• TVARC Ragchew
– Net meets 7 PM Monday
– 443.225 MHz (+5) PL 103.5 & Echolink at K4VRC-R
• QCWA Ragchew
– Net meets 10 AM Friday
– 443.150 MHz (+5) PL 103.5 & Echolink at K4LFK-R
– Net meets 8:30 PM Sunday
– 147.030 (+600) PL 123.0
• Sumter EMCOMM NET
– Net meets 8:30 PM Monday
– 146.925 (-600) PL 123.0
Emergency Communications Team
The ECT has been established to maintain information on members who are willing to be called upon during an emergency for communications assistance within The Villages. No training, no paperwork. Just give us your contact information and pertinent equipment. We have 43 volunteers and growing. . .
To sign up Click HERE
To Read about this Program, Click HERE.
TVARC QSL Cards are now available
For ordering information select WHO WE ARE above, then select Logo Items & TVARC QSLs. Or, just click HERE.
Echolink Tips from Wayne Brown, N4FP. Click Here
2015 TVARC Antenna Guide Get Brad Castelli's, KN9B, presentation on antennas for The Villages. Click Here