WD9BSA Bert C Johnson Memorial Amateur Station

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TEST SESSION CANCELLED

I just wanted to make a quick post to notify everyone that the last test session for 2018 will be cancelled.  There’s a scheduling conflict for Nov. 10th.  The one individual who is pre-registered will be notified, and anyone interested in testing is encouraged to visit the Indianapolis Radio Club test session at noon the same day.  Next years test schedule will resume in Feb.  Stay alert for 2019 dates.  73 to all.

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VERY SUCCESSFUL TEST SESSION

Last Saturday (May 14, 2016) the WD9BSA VE team held our second licensing exam of the year.  We had ten people attend the test session at the Golden Burke Scout Center in Indianapolis, IN that morning.  Fortunately, we had nine VEs present to administer the tests and handle the other various duties required to pull off these events.  This is a pretty large group for us, but word is getting around that our exams are free through the Laurel ARC VEC.

A total of eleven exams were given with 100% passing rate.  Here are the results:

5 new Technicians

1 new General (passed element 2 and 3)

3 upgraded to General

1 upgraded to Extra

A hearty congratulations to all the new ham and those with new privileges.  Many thanks to the VE team who volunteered their time on a Saturday morning:  KB9BVN, W8ISH, KJ9B, KA9ZYL, W9THR, NF9K, W9FG, AC9HP, and K9WTH.  Until next time, 73.

A CALL TO ARMS

Seems there has been much buzz lately in the Council regarding the WD9BSA station.  That’s an especially good thing when it’s of a positive nature.  There have been several requests made of the station regarding potential amateur radio exposure to Scouts and the public.

We’ve been offered a chance to setup a station at the Indiana State Fair this summer.  I know the Council has a display/presentation area there every year.  This would be an excellent PR opportunity for bringing the ham radio message to both Scouts and the public.  At this point I don’t know details of how many days we would be obligated to attend or how many hours each day.  This is an item definitely worth discussing among the members and other friends of the station.  Of chief importance would be having Scouts participating and operating there, not just adults.  I believe logistics would be another concern.  Many of us are still working full time jobs and may not have days off available then.  Scout volunteers would also need parents to transport them to the fairgrounds if they’re not driving yet.

A second request had been made to support two different BSA summer camps.  Another opportunity to show off the capabilities of amateur radio as a public service, emergency preparation tool, intro to technology, and a hobby.  Again, I can’t offer specifics regarding how many days we would be obligated to.  Same concerns as before, I would think.  Although this would probably be mostly adult presenters as the Scouts would actually be attending camps, etc.

So, give this some thought.  This info has also been posted over on the WD9BSA Facebook Group and there’s already been some suggestions and discussion.  I think this could be a real PR gift for the station, but we need all-in participation commitments to pull it off.

NOVEMBER TESTING SUCCESS

The WD9BSA VE Team finished up the year with a successful testing session last Saturday.  We had three test takers, two of which are Scouts.  Although we serve the community as a whole, it’s always nice to test Scouts since that’s the real reason we organized the team and chartered the WD9BSA radio station.

Nathan took his Technician exam and passed.
Terry took his General exam and passed.
Chuck took his Extra exam and passed.

We were also able to perform an administrative address change for a local ham.

Special thanks goes out to the following VE’s present for testing:
Andrew N9AWM
Steve AF9SE
Steve W9THR
Dick W9FG
Greg KC9ZEW
Wayne AC9HP
Brian KB9BVN

All in all we had a pretty good year, which would not have been possible without so many loyal VEs for the WD9BSA group. Thank you very much!

Please take note the new 2016 test dates.  For everyone’s convenience they’ve been added to the Licensing Page, Calendar Page, and the Online Pre-Registration form.

FEBRUARY 13 from 8:30AM to 11AM
MAY 14 from 8:30AM to 11AM
AUGUST 13 from 8:30AM to 11AM
NOVEMBER 12 8:30AM to 11AM

STATION ACTIVITY REPORT

Antenna Report!
 
Thanks to the great work crew Saturday, we finally got the Carolina Windom back up in the air. We may not be as high as we’d like, but that can be changed in the future if necessary.  We did a couple of transmissions with it and the SWR was very low and we were putting out a good signal.  We didn’t try to make any real contacts though. I’ll have the analyzer with me next time to really check it out.
 
With thanks to the WD9BSA work crew and those who came up to help with us. KB9BVN, Brian, Scout Noah (great climber), Scout Alex (also great climber, and NEW HAM, he passed his exams yesterday), KC9BRZ, Dave, (wicked wire weaver in the trees), K9RBH, Rick, (Jack of all trades), and N9CXI, Tom (JOAT, sling maker) and KC9TYJ Nathan (yet another JOAT)! Also the Camp Belzer Rangers and Staff, Kevin, and Dynamite Doug, and the loan of the ladder and general support for out efforts getting this big antenna back on the air!. Great Job guys, if I missed anyone, please let me know, I want to make sure we don’t leave anyone out!
Also check out our calendar of events for the rest of the year.  See the link below.  It’s PDF format and can easily be downloaded or printed out.

DOUBLE HEADER

This month’s station open hours was one of the most productive yet.  We hosted Tiger Cub dens from two packs for their Achievement 4G: Go See It!  In addition to the Tigers were also a couple Bears and some random tag-a-longs thrown in for good measure.  It was a lot of fun talking to all of them on the air with the HT’s.  I’m pleased to report that several boys expressed some real interest in the hobby.  Several parents also asked good questions about amateur radio.  Hopefully we’ll get some return guests to the station in coming months, and for our other special activities.

We were also able to pull in two runs of new LMR-400 coax through the conduit and out into the woods.  This allowed us to hook up the multi-band fan dipole and also a new 160m OCF dipole.  The fan dipole Randy built has been pretty productive in the past, and with the new coax should be even better!  The new 160m antenna was also built by Randy, and when stretched out is really long!  We haven’t been able to tune it up yet, but it’s hung in the trees and will be ready for next month.  The two new coax runs ate up the 500 feet roll we had but will surely be worth it.  Hopefully we can say goodbye to setting off the fire alarm now.

Of course, pulling the coax didn’t go without incident.  As with all antenna endeavors there was adversity to overcome.  The old coax came apart and much of it was pieced together and water logged.  This made it hard work to get the new in and the old out.  We also had to dig up some of the conduit as it had come apart underground, ugh!  It seemed to take a hundred tries to get the ropes shot up in the trees using Tom’s launcher.  What a long day, but happily we were successful on all accounts.  The weather really cooperated and there was very little weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now that we have the new station gear and the antennas and feedline all should be well.  I’m looking forward to getting the station back on the HF bands again and trying out some of the new radios.  We should really have a super station now and will also have a portable go-box station for any excursions we might take.  It’s nearly the end of the month now, so I better get this post published before the next big activity comes along.  Next month will be exciting, too, as we host another VE testing session at the Golden-Burke Scout Center and station open hours.  73 until then.

VIDEOS WORTH VIEWING

Okay, so it’s too cold to get out there and hang any antennas.  Heck, even my shack is chilly.  Unfortunately, Spring is still months away.  Until better weather prevails, here are a couple videos to watch that will help remind you those warm days last Summer.  The K2BSA crew is constantly working on providing top quality amateur radio opportunities to Boy Scouts across the country.  As the official amateur station of the BSA national council they are active with Field Day, JOTA, and countless other activities.  These videos showcase some of the prep work required for last year’s National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.  The second video shows a lot of prep work as well as general interest activities that went on.  Both were very well produced and I think they’re worth spending a little free time watching.  It would be a dream to visit the next National Jamboree and work as K2BSA staff!  Thanks go to Randy for forwarding me these videos.  They’re too good not to share here on our webpage.  Pop some popcorn and grab a beverage…and think warm thoughts.