By Keith Elliott-W6KME
During the pandemic, CVARC members and the Ventura County amateur radio community have found a lot of ways to keep ourselves busy, with Zoom meetings, nets and contests, but it seemed like there was still more we could do. We have been able to schedule all three license courses on Zoom for 2021, but why not more? In fact, why not have school EVERY WEEK?
Starting in March, every Saturday morning (when there is not a License class in session) we will be holding the Saturday Morning Radio School. This will start at 10:00 A.M. on Zoom. Each week will feature a different topic for an hour or so, usually led by one of our own members.
Anything radio related is on the table, from Summits on the Air, build projects, logging software, radio mods, digital operation to Field Day prep and on and on. The idea is to dig deeply enough into a subject to have fun.
Registration for classes is not required, and everyone is welcome. Here is the schedule for the next few weeks:
March 6th: Emergency Communications with Zak Cohen-N6PK. A look at emcomm activities in Ventura County, especially in our Area 2, and a discussion of the other ways our radios can help us in emergencies.
March 13th: Summits on the Air (SOTA) with Paul Van Zuyle-K6PVZ. SOTA involves taking radios to various peaks, locally and around the world, and “activating” them by making radio contacts. It also involves people down below finding and talking to the people on the peaks…there is something for everyone.
March 20th: Winlink with Andy Moorwood-K3CAQ and Keith Elliott-W6KME. Winlink is a program and system that connects amateur radio to the worldwide email system. We will talk about how it’s used by ARES and ACS as well as USGS (for earthquake research) and the Red Cross. It can be a great tool for ALL hams during major emergencies as well as things like local blackouts.
March 27th: through April 24: Technician License Class (email Keith Elliott at W6KME@CVARC.org for more information). No Saturday Morning Radio School sessions during license classes.
May 1st: Nets and Netiquette with Rick Tate-KQ6NO. Rick is the Section Emergency Coordinator for the ARRL’s Santa Barbara Section (which includes Ventura County) and Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Ventura County. He’ll discuss proper order and etiquette during all sorts of nets. A good refresher for the veteran net users and the recent Technician Class graduates alike!
May 8th: Repeater Networks with Brad Ormsby-W6VO. We have linked repeaters everywhere, both open and private, and Brad is the guy to tell us all about them.
May 15th: Using HF Filters with Stu Sheldon-AG6AG. The filters in our HF rigs are powerful tools that are usually overlooked or ignored-let’s clear out the mystery and see how easy it is to get more QSOs.
May 22nd: FT8 Power User Clinic with Keith Elliott-W6KME. FT8 is often said to be impersonal and repetitive, and it is, until you really learn how to get the most out of it. We’ll also cover companion apps like GridTracker that open up a whole new world.
May 29th: Telegraphy and CW History with Norm Campbell-AB6ET. Dig into the roots of modern CW and you find the foundation of nearly everything in radio, TV and the telephone system. Norm will show us his impressive collection of antique equipment and will walk us through the early history.
Classes will continue throughout the year (with our normal December break). If you have ideas for more courses, or if there is something you’d like to lead a talk about yourself, please contact Keith Elliott at W6KME@CVARC.org. Let’s have some fun!
Here are the Zoom meeting details:
Meeting Number: 910 5549 1273
A lot of coordination and time was needed to put this program together, and I want to thank everyone on the CVARC Education Committee for all the work and support, including N6PK, K6VQN, K6AGL, KQ6NO, K6PVZ, KF6JQO, KK6VQO, K6WKW, AG6AG, AB6ET, KN6ISM, K3CAQ, and K6CPR.