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Re: What's left for HAM radio?

That is a great step in the right direction!

Training in the use of good radio procedures will go a long way towards
"baiting" a hook that may grow these scouts into hams!.

Keep it up Bob, you have my support.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>
To: "TAPR APRS Special Interest Group" <aprssig@tapr.org>;
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 1:46 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] What's left for HAM radio?

> Sorry for the subject line, but was just at Best Buy and ALL of the FRS
> radio MFRS are now selling 5W (5 Mile) FRS/gmrs* radios.  Notice the
> "gmrs" in small print and the asterix which you have to search on all six
> sides of the box to see in very tiny print (license required).
> These are going for $99 a pair with all channels and CTCSS and 5 Watts.
> And remember  that there are GMRS repeaters in most places..  THus, WHO
> NEEDS HAM RADIO  when you can buy an HT with repeater coverage at office
> depot or best buy?
> My personal response to this commercialization of WIRELESS began a few
> months ago when I began taking a USGS topographical map to my kids SCOUTS
> and SCHOOL Club meetings and getting the kids to put pins in the map to
> identify their QTH.  Soon it was clear that many if not most were
> clustered well within a mile of each other.  MOST already had "walkie
> talkies" (FRS).
> My objective here is to set up a "NET" time when they can call and find
> others in their group on the air.  By educating them FIRST before we begin
> these nets, each kid will be assigned a "callsign".  FOr my kids scout
> troop it will be "995-AJ" or on initial call up, "This is Troop-995-AJ".
> A combination of the troop number and the kids initials.  For his school
> radio club we are forming (Severn School) it will be "Severn-AJ"
> We will practice calling and net operation in the clubs and at the
> meetings before we do any ON-AIR operation.  THus when NET time comes, we
> will have an orderly group of kids that can use the radio properly.
> IF YOU DONT TRAIN THEM FIRST, you will have bedlam!  Kids want to make
> noises and just yell into the radio.  We must educate them first.  Radios
> can be valuable if people konw how to us them.  As HAM radio operators we
> must rise to this challenge or soon even FRS will be useless...
> I stongly feel that getting them to use CALLSIGNS is the first BIG step:
> TO give their FRS callsigns some significance and permanence and to
> encourage them to use them, One of their first club projects is to
> use a computer to print a QSL looking like card with their "callsign" on
> it.  When they begin to identify with that call, then I am certain we will
> see them use them and be proud of them.
> Then hook-line-and-sinker we reel them in to our local KIDS amateur radio
> club... to upgrade... and get a real callsign...
> P.S.  By organizing a radio sub-group in each group that my kids are
> involved with and other  neighboring troops (all of which overlap back
> into the same geographical  area) soon we will have enough kids in the
> area and on the air to achieve critical mass of being able to raise a
> QSO without the organized NET.  THIS is our farming grounds for future
> HAM radio operators...
> Many in HAM radio do not agree with this approach.  But we have to do
> something....
> de WB4APR, Bob
> ----
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