06/30/13

Going to General Assembly 2013…

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Every two years the my church denomination, Christian Church Disciples of Christ has a meeting commonly referred to as the General Assembly. Well I guess not commonly, that is just what it is called. It is I think an international meeting. So needless to say it is a large gathering. There are church services, training classes for ministers or church leaders, keynotes, decisions are made that impact the denomination as a whole and much more. There really is a lot to this thing. Truthfully more than I, myself really grasp. It is a tradition for many people, like my wife and her family that go every time, but then there may be some that come for the first time or like my self the second time.

I am a member of the denomination of Disciples of Christ but growing I basically never heard of this thing more-or-less attended. My first trip to this General Assembly was two years ago with my, now, wife and her family. It was held in downtown Nashville and was a blast. I took part in many of the things I listed above. As well as being an official usher for the church services and business sessions. That was interesting. I have done it once and I am good now. Hah.

Until about a week ago I thought I was unable to attend, as I recently started a new job. I guess those a higher power might have been at work because I was inquiring about some time I had request off to visit my parents and I asked about the week I needed for general assembly. Turns out the stars, moons, planets, and cards aligned and I am going.

I will try to post more along. But lets just say for now Florida or Bust!

02/12/13

Technicians Licenses Out Number All The Rest Combined

The Prompt:

On the weekly 222mhz net for the Indianapolis Amateur there was a question asked tonight. It was to do with the overwhelming Technician numbers verses General and Extra Class licenses. Viewing the graph below you can see that the Technician pool of operators is much higher than the other two. Frankly it’s more the General and Extra combined. Obviously these numbers are old but just going off the graph there are 294,106 General and Extra class operators total. Technician licenses are in the 345,369 range.

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The Question

Why did you do you think these numbers are so and why did I upgrade?

Why do I think these number so? I feel that there are probably about 3 reasons.

1st we are still within the time range that people who took the technician license hoping to upgrade to a higher license only to be held up by the former Morse code requirements. That killed the hobby for them.

2nd there are a lot of people that once in the hobby can fully see the cost and time and effort it takes to really be part of and enjoy the hobby. There is work involved. For example, you can not just throw up and antenna and hook it to your radio. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. The antennas need to have room, some are long, it needs to be resonant on the frequency not to break your radio and you have to find time to do all this. Plus buy these things. Radio and copper wire isn’t cheap. Not to mention if you buy commercially built products.

3rd there are lots of public service groups and civilian groups that use ham spectrum as there comms. In Wilmington, NC the hospital alone probably has 200+ people licensed as Techs that will never ever upgrade, probably never pick a radio and use it outside of an emergency. That’s becoming a nation wide thing. Plus there are cert teams, Civilian Corps and many more.
Now I’m not saying for a second that these people do deserve or need to have ham licensure. I’m am merely explaining my opinions better here than I could over my HT weakly getting into the repeater for the net. Frankly these inflated numbers only give more credibility to the hobby and it’s perks. One day I hope and believe the Home Owners Associations will be almost if not entirely striped of there powers to regulate antennas and towers.

03/11/12

Review of: The 2012 Charlotte Hamfest & ARRL Roanoke Division Convention

One of the things since I passed the Technician I’ve most been looking forward to is going to my first Ham Fest, licensed. I’ve been to HamFests before, more than a couple but less than several. I’ve been to the Huntsville Hamfest multiple times and possibly MemFest a couple. But either way I was looking forward to it. Well my dream came true, today March 10th 2012 was the Charlotte Hamfest in Concord, NC. I got up extra early this morning travel to it from Wilmington, 4 hours and I was there. I went to this by myself but hope to drag the fiance to one sometime. I tell you, I walked in bought my ticket went through admission area and looked forward and I was like wow. I was a little overwhelmed, but in a good way. I guess it’s different when you are taking it in by yourself and this time I understand most everything I see in front of me.

I proceeded to the flea market first. If your not familiar with a HamFest all the ones I’ve been to have manufactures and large ham stores in an area, then kind of small business like name plates, shirt, small antenna builders in the next section of the arena. And then segregated together, normally either to one side or the back, is the flea market. And the flea is one word “everything.” Seriously, there are resellers of hard components, connectors, electronics gear, radios, tubes(there’s always at least one person with 4 tables of vacuum tubes), old computer, cameras, and anything you as a consumer of electronics might be interested in or previously owned. I bought a good set of alligator clips and odds and ends connector. Specifically I got a set of SO-239 panel mount connecters with a very thick flange. Those will go to an antenna project.

Long story short. The Charlotte Hamfest 2012 was a very nice hamfest and I had a very nice time. They had great programs planned(I caught most of a D-Star program), nice flea market, and great vendors area. It was in a comfortable heated and cooled arena. It was very well accessible to get into and parking. And was very well attended. I was also told it appeared that attendance was up which is great! I look forward to it next year!

Here’s some pics I stole from MFJ’s Facebook, props to MFJ for these:

03/10/12

Review of: The 2012 Charlotte Hamfest & ARRL Roanoke Division Convention

One of the things since I passed the Technician I’ve most been looking forward to is going to my first Ham Fest, licensed. I’ve been to HamFests before, more than a couple but less than several. I’ve been to the Huntsville Hamfest multiple times and possibly MemFest a couple. But either way I was looking forward to it. Well my dream came true, today March 10th 2012 was the Charlotte Hamfest in Concord, NC. I got up extra early this morning travel to it from Wilmington, 4 hours and I was there. I went to this by myself but hope to drag the fiance to one sometime. I tell you, I walked in bought my ticket went through admission area and looked forward and I was like wow. I was a little overwhelmed, but in a good way. I guess it’s different when you are taking it in by yourself and this time I understand most everything I see in front of me.

I proceeded to the flea market first. If your not familiar with a HamFest all the ones I’ve been to have manufactures and large ham stores in an area, then kind of small business like name plates, shirt, small antenna builders in the next section of the arena. And then segregated together, normally either to one side or the back, is the flea market. And the flea is one word “everything.” Seriously, there are resellers of hard components, connectors, electronics gear, radios, tubes(there’s always at least one person with 4 tables of vacuum tubes), old computer, cameras, and anything you as a consumer of electronics might be interested in or previously owned. I bought a good set of alligator clips and odds and ends connector. Specifically I got a set of SO-239 panel mount connecters with a very thick flange. Those will go to an antenna project.

Long story short. The Charlotte Hamfest 2012 was a very nice hamfest and I had a very nice time. They had great programs planned(I caught most of a D-Star program), nice flea market, and great vendors area. It was in a comfortable heated and cooled arena. It was very well accessible to get into and parking. And was very well attended. I was also told it appeared that attendance was up which is great! I look forward to it next year!

Here’s some pics I stole from MFJ’s Facebook, props to MFJ for these:

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03/7/12

What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio (or “ham radio”) provides the broadest and most powerful wireless communications capability available to any private citizen anywhere in the world. This worldwide community of ham radio operators use their radios for emergencies, experimentation, and fun!

03/7/12

What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio (or “ham radio”) provides the broadest and most powerful wireless communications capability available to any private citizen anywhere in the world. This worldwide community of ham radio operators use their radios for emergencies, experimentation, and fun!

02/27/12

No Mic Included…

My radio came Thursday of last week but due to my excitement I missed the fact that it did not come with a mic. Of any kind. I tried to rig something together but it just didn’t work. So right now I’m in limbo. Ugh, its killing because I could at least work some of 10 meters, 6 meters and 2 meter cause it operates VHF as well as HF.
Good weekend at the Battleship, more to come about that. BB55 or NI4BK
***updated via Droid phone***

02/27/12

No Mic Included…

My radio came Thursday of last week but due to my excitement I missed the fact that it did not come with a mic. Of any kind. I tried to rig something together but it just didn’t work. So right now I’m in limbo. Ugh, its killing because I could at least work some of 10 meters, 6 meters and 2 meter cause it operates VHF as well as HF.
Good weekend at the Battleship, more to come about that. BB55 or NI4BK.
***updated via Droid phone***

Icom HM-36