W4H Sticky

W4H - 2nd Anniversary of the 470 Amateur Radio Group
Start Date: November 1, 2009
End Date: November 15, 2009
Frequencies:Voice - 24.450, 14.260, 7.260, 3.860
PSK31 - 14.070, 7.070.
QSL Info: Note the amateur's name and send QSL to the call that is working the W4H event. For example if you work me as W4H I will also give you my home call and tell you to QSL to me AJ4IJ.
More Info: The 470 Amateur Radio Group website

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ten-Tec Hamfest, Skywarn Class, SET, & Other Updates

Wow. I have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to sit down and actually write something worth reading. Now, I'm way behind and I'll have to do some major catching up.

Way back in September (Ha, time seems to be flying at the moment), on Saturday the 27th, the family and I piled into the car and drove an hour to the Ten-Tec Hamfest, in Sevierville, Tennessee. I was Tim's first big hamfest, and he was pretty excited to see all they had to offer. The boneyard is huge there; larger than he'd ever seen. We spent a considerbly large portion of the morning sifting through all of that junk. We went in empty handed, and came out with 500 feet of 800 lbs rope that we paid $40 for. Other than that, we didn't really see anything we were looking for. We took the tour of the Ten-Tec factory around 10am, and came out of there with 2 t-shirts, a coffee mug, and an Emcomm book. We needed log books, and were going to buy them, but Rick (N4JTQ) volunteered to give us some that he had laying around. I thought that was very nice, and I declared that as my "Ten-Tec Hamfest Winnings." I'm never lucky enough to actually win anything, but that's okay. Cathy (KI4YPO) actually did win something, but I honesting can't remember exactly what it was. Some sort of antenna mount, although should would have been better off with a Ten-Tec Sky Hook (ha ha).

Row of Omni VII's at the Ten-Tec Factory

Ashby, KJ4EGJ, with an Orion II

Dad, KU4ME, at Ten-Tec Factory

Closest that Tim, AJ4JD, will ever get to an Orion II

After browsing, we spent the rest of the morning talking and visiting with people. Later on, we attended the Skywarn class for weather spotter's. I really enjoyed that class. We had to watch a pretty long movie smack dab in the middle of it, and I'm not sure what I enjoyed more: everyone's snoring or the terrible acting. Ashby took the class with us, and it was so funny watching her pick out and giggle about all the sleeping class members. Everyone was so worn out after Ten-Tec, that it was difficult to stay awake once we all sat down. HAHA But we made it through, and I really enjoyed that class. I don't know how many others did, but I liked learning all the information that we did. Unfortunately, most of the things we learned, we'll never actually see in the hills we live in. Because the horizon is changed by the rolling hills, we don't see storms roll in like they do in the flat lands.

Skywarn Class, Sept. 27, 2008

Moving on -- Last Saturday, October 4th, I had my first encounter with the Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Tim, Ashby, and I are members of the Claiborne County/Union County ARES, and our EC, Rick Blasco (NX6R), had to go out of town. He appointed me and Tim (and one other fellow) Assistant Emergency Coordinators while he was away. I don't know how I ended up volunteered to run the SET, but I did. I was totally thrown to the wolves, with no idea as to how to run things. However!! I was invited to attend another ARES groups Pre-SET meeting (Sevier County's), where I learned exactly what I needed to do, and how to go about it. I came home that evening very confident that I could tackle this task.

So, Saturday morning came, and I was shaking like a leaf. My stomach had migrated to my throat, my heart had migrated to my feet, and my brain couldn't be located anywhere in my body... Needless to say, I was nervous, and that is putting it lightly. I was Net Control for our Simulated Emergency training net (my first time at the helm of any net), and I was also expected to pass and receive formal traffic (which I crash-coursed myself on the night before) to an Army MARS station.

In the end, everything went wonderfully! We had a great time, we discovered where our weaknesses were, I successfully passed and received the message to Army MARS, and I did the net control thing without too many flaws. HAHA It was a lot of fun, and we ended up with 10 members participating, 53 messages passed, 1 formal message passed, 1 formal message received, and quite a few silent giggles to add to the collection.

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