Ham radio was one of many various hobbies that a group of men from Shepherd of the Hills church in Greenville, WI put on display during a Saturday morning Time to Tackle event. The idea was to bring men together to talk about how to be men in a Christian way and to share some of the different hobbies that we all are involved in. Shown below are some of the ham radio displays that Jon Kreski (AB9NN), Lou Maylander (KC9YYA) and Larry Peterson (WB9KMW) with special thanks to Gary and the folks at Wolf River Coils for lending us a Wolf River Coil (manufactured in the Appleton, WI area). I used the coil, seen in the photo below, along with a telescoping whip and tripod with three ground radial wires to bring in booming signals on 40 and 80 meters – from INSIDE the building! Double-click on any of the photos below to see the largest possible image.
In the image above and below I brought my modest but highly effective base station – Yaesu FT 857d and power supply to work with the Wolf River coil. I have had people laugh at my use of the radio as a base station but seriously – on a price to performance ratio basis – IT ROCKS!
I brought along a nice selection of ham radio brochures and frequency charts and information fliers for ARES / RACES, etc. for people to look over and take along if they wanted to. Some did. I also brought my ARRL Emergency Communications Level I, II and III course books that I used to pass the respective courses years ago.
Also note my Skywarn cap on top of my 3-ring binder packed full of my QSL cards. I had a number of interesting and wide ranging discussions about severe storm spotting for the National Weather Service during the event.
REALLY??? Now THAT is COOL!!! That was a typical reaction to explaining that I had also brought along my QSL (confirmation of contact) from my ham radio contact with an Astronaut on board the International Space Station years ago now. When I explain what I use for an antenna they smile even more. You see, I used a 2 meter magnet mount antenna on top of our home office file cabinet to make the contact!
Men viewing the displays were pretty interested in the 40 meter chatter that was active during the morning. I even had a request to turn up the audio on the radio so the distant station could be heard. Having active ham radio chatter that was not there just for the event seemed to add a sense of what ham radio is all about.
Lou (in the safety vest above) brought his Morse code keyer (device used to send Morse code) and a really nice selection of QSL cards of his which people were interested in.
Larry put on a SSTV display with images being decoded during the event to his laptop computer on top of his go kit. Larry also had some fox hunting gear including a “tape measure beam” (Google it for instructions on how to build it) that is a hand-held 2 meter beam antenna for fox hunting. Of course Larry also had his QSL cards and a book on receivers.
One last photo – Lou proposing to his HT!!! Chuckle…
For me this was a fun, rewarding, educational and spiritually enriching event. When I heard about it I quickly responded that we would participate because I thought it was a tremendous opportunity for community outreach and fellowship. I was right. I hope this meager blog post has given you some ideas of things you could do a events like this over the years!
Until later – stay radio active!
Jon E. Kreski – AB9NN
www.AB9NN.com/store – Please visit often!
Member – Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) – Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh area.