At the close of 2013 we were pleased to say that our VE team had tested and upgraded many hams. Of specific interest is that one of them was a Boy Scout. I’m pleased to say the Jacob KC9ZYV is still active on the radio and in his community. Our May 10 testing session added three new Boy Scouts to our rolls of Techs. Our total results for the day was two General upgrades, one person who passed Tech and went on to pass General, and three new Scouts passing their Tech. These are in addition to several others who we tested at a special licensing session at Our Lady of Greenwood. It sure is nice to see so many Scouts and leaders becoming interested in amateur radio.
The next day at our May station open hours we had a couple of the Scouts and parents attend. We were able to get them on the air using their Tech privileges on 2m simplex. We talked a little about how to conduct a proper contact on the radio since it was a new opportunity for them. Our job doesn’t end after licensing is over. It’s also our mission to help get the Scouts on the air and assisting them in the proper ways to conduct themselves. I know they’re planning on setting up nightly nets at summer camp to practice their skills. This would be a very useful experience.
Another project we worked on was re-adjusting the antennas. One had come down partially and required shooting a new line up in the trees. Initial tests of the 160m windom were promising. There wasn’t enough time to do any real testing with the analyzer but it easily tuned with the FT-900 auto tuner. Several contacts were added to the log, included one of the W1AW portable stations celebrating the ARRL Centennial. Another change we made was to pull the Alinco 2m and Kenwood TS-530 out of the right hand operating position. Both of these radios have exhibited some intermittent issues in the past. We now have a Kenwood TM-721 dual bander in there and an SGC SG-2000 for HF. The SGC is really neat as it can operate from a remote head unit and was manufactured more like a piece of commercial radio equipment. I think it’ll make a nice addition to the station. We now have two complete operating positions at our station with radios for HF, VHF, and UHF; and antennas we won’t have to share back and forth. Looking forward to watching the station grow.