Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Exciting Times in Ham Radio
It is Spring. The weather is providing ample opportunities to be outside. Ham radio is in the AIR! (Along with pollen.)
At the March meeting of NEMRA we had quite a bit of activity.
Patrick Homan stopped by. Patrick is the new Fire and Emergency Management Director for Itawamba. Mr. Tommy Poole invited Patrick to meet with us, introduce himself and discuss his needs in the area of communication and how ham radio may be able to enhance and extend his capability in the event of a disaster. We are greatly encouraged to form a positive relationship with local officials. Ham radio is about making CONTACTS!
Along with Patrick, Kasey Herndon (KI5IYO) and Ethan Mooberry (N9ZA) were in attendance. Both expressed interest in becoming members and I am pleased to announce we have two new members at NEMRA!
Kasey is a member of the 155th BCT and a combat medic. Kasey is #Team7300 and has his ICOM 7300 working on digital and SSB. He and I coordinated our efforts to work the Last Man Standing event, spotting the stations as they popped up on the air. I am sure we can use/abuse Kasey as Safety Officer in our upcoming Field Day activities.
Ethan first popped on my radar at Field Day 2020. I was participating with Lowndes County Amateur Radio Club, Magnolia Amateur Radio and the Mississippi State University Amateur Radio Club. Ethan's gift of an ICOM 718, G5RV and power supply to a new ham was quite the topic that day. Tripp Sanders, K5TRP, formerly KI5IYN was ecstatic to receive Ethan's 718 and had it on the air that day! Enabled by Ethan's gift, Tripp, who I might mention was 12 at the time, quickly passed from Tech to General to Extra and is active in the Starkville area clubs. It's great to have Ethan onboard with NEMRA.
Additionally, I gave a somewhat brief presentation on GridTracker. It is a companion app for WSJT-X for FT8/FT4 modes. I thoroughly enjoy it. If you work FT8/FT4, take a look here GridTracker.org
That brings us to Field Day 2021. It is coming soon! We have yet to ink a formal plan-of-attack, but in generalities, we will meet to prep, test and coordinate on Friday, June 25th. We will kick off the full activities on Saturday and close out the event on Sunday afternoon. I have volunteered to head up our efforts with Bobby (W1LAW) at close hand as lead consultant! This will be a topic of discussion in upcoming meetings and I encourage all members to be present and share their ideas on how to make this Field Day a huge success.
While we can't forego all the precautions in place for Covid-19, it is great to be meeting again and having in-person fellowship. We miss our members that have not been able to attend and look forward to seeing them soon!
**Don't forget our VE Test Session on Saturday, April 17th at 9:00.**
If you know of anyone that wants to test, please contact Bobby or myself AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. We need to get them in the system and have them arrive prior to 9:00 to ensure their testing goes smoothly.
VE Team, please arrive by 8:45 for setup purposes. In addition, masks will be enforced while test participants are present. We want to limit exposure and provide a safe testing environment.
Thanks and 73,