Nothing like a deadline to get you motivated.
A few of our O.M.E.G.A. members decided they wanted to upgrade their amateur radio license to the General Class. George (WA9TCD) graciously agreed to lead the class with assistance from Donita (KCØSWX). Class and testing was scheduled to be complete by the end of June. This was a hard deadline as the testing pool in affect at the time was set to expire June 30th, 2011. Amateur radio question pools are refreshed every three years. The new question pool for the General Class had already been released and the old pool was scheduled to retire.
Classes for the General upgrade began in May and were held twice a week. We started out with four students. Due to the timing, we were having trouble finding the books for the class. Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) only had the study guides for the new testing pool. Even Amazon failed us. Sending out a query to hams we knew, we were able to scrounge up enough books for the class.
A couple students set their sights on testing June 11 and the other two for June 18. Sprinkled throughout the class were some various show and tell sessions where George brought in various equipment. Due to personal events, i.e. an out of state wedding (some people’s priorities – go figure), we did a couple weeks review about two-thirds of the way through the book. Upon completing the material in the book, we did another week of review. The two students who had contemplated taking the test on June 11, decided to take it with the others.
I am happy to say O.M.E.G.A. now has four new General Class amateur radio operators: KØKHA, KCØMHT, KDØEKY and WØJEN.
In addition to the General Class, O.M.E.G.A. also held a two day accelerated Technician Class session. The accelerated class was held at the request of the National Speleological Society (NSS) 2011 Convention Security Team. The NSS convention for 2011 was scheduled for a one week duration in Glenwood Springs, CO. The original plan for this event was to use FRS and business band radios. Due to the location and the anticipated number of participants, communications became a concern. There are a fair number of cavers in the area who already hold amateur radio license. It was decided that we would provide an opportunity for the cavers, and anyone else interested, to attend a learning session.
We had four confirmed students registered (I think I’m seeing a trend here):
1. One of the students actually already holds a technician class amateur license, but had not had an opportunity to talk on the radio waves yet. This class would provide a good refresher.
2. A few weeks or so before the class was scheduled, one of the registered students decided to take his test the same day we were to start class. As the testing site he chose was in the same building as our class, he was invited to come and in on the class after passing his test.
3. A couple days before the class, student #3 let me know he would not be able to attend class on Saturday, but would try to attend on Sunday.
We had two students who completed the class, one new and one refresher. We had one student test and pass his Technician level as well as his General level amateur license.
As of this writing, Eric (KCØOHM) and John (KDØPAA) are licensed amateur hams.
Congratulations to all on a job well done. We look forward to hearing you all on the radio waves. The O.M.E.G.A. Information Net is held weekly on Sundays at 7:00pm on 447.150 MHz with a PL tone of 107.2 Hz.
If you or someone you know are interested in getting a Technician Level amateur radio license, O.M.E.G.A. will be hosting another class starting September 1. Please contact kc0swx@OMEGAresponders.org for more information.