For the first time in several years, I decided to participate in a club Field Day operation. I headed to down Orlando, Florida to operate with WD4WDW, the Disney Emergency Amateur Radio Service (DEARS), of which my brother (KK4LWR) is the current club president. They had been planning to run a 2A, so I asked if they’d be interested in me running a free VHF station for 6m and 2m. Coming off June VHF, I saw this as an opportunity to get some more practice with my setup and try the antennas (6m Moxon and 5 element 2m yagi) with some more power. I checked the antennas and mast in a hard-side golf bag case on my Southwest flights to Orlando and back without any issues. Once at the site, I set up in the communal screened-in tent (many bugs in Florida) and used my brother’s Yaesu FT-857D as the radio. Although not as nice as my IC-705 in many perspectives, I appreciated the extra 10 dB this radio provided, and it certainly worked well for me.
Over the past few years, my brother and I have been volunteering with the ARRL to help lead the Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative. Our efforts have mostly revolved around hosting a booth at Hamvention and leading forums at Hamvention and HamCation. Additionally, we introduced and organized the Collegiate QSO Party and have been helping to manage the CARI Facebook group.
Based on discussion with various college clubs, we’ve decided to try a new monthly webinar allowing a different college/university club can present a club event, project, or other activity. We also are encouraging the participants to ask questions and engage in discussion; our goal is to help clubs work together to strengthen collegiate amateur radio.
We held our first call on January 14, and Case Amateur Radio Club presented some of their 2019 activities including a tie-in with the civil engineering department’s surveying class. We’re planning to upload recordings of the webinar to share afterwards – a link to that should be coming soon in the Facebook group.
Although this is directed at college/university amateur radio club officers, we are leaving it open for other interested parties to attend as well. To attend future webinars, please register.
For those who don’t know, my brother and I were both active leaders in collegiate amateur radio while in school. I was Vice President and President of the Rose Tech Radio Club (W9NAA) at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the President of the Ohio University Amateur Radio Club (W8PZS). My brother was President of the Gator Amateur Radio Club (W4DFU). Some of my fondest college memories were events and activities run by the club including annual trips to Hamvention, late night contesting, and antenna experiments.
I encourage hams to check in with the club at the college they attended and see how they can give back; whether it be money, equipment, guidance, or just an extra hand putting up a new dipole, clubs are always in need of help. With administrative challenges becoming more significant for most college clubs, the support and nudging of alumni can be powerful in helping a club get things done. I was lucky to make some great alumni connections through the radio club as well, and those people have been great mentors to me in amateur radio and my career.