PRC August 20

10 Easy Ways to Kill a Club

You might have been around before the great proliferation of ham repeaters, some even having “phone patches”. Then came “bag” cell phones and cable television, distractions like computers, dot matrix printers, floppy disks and the internet. Before the landslide of technology, radio clubs found it a bit easier to fill a meeting room.  People were eager to participate in social activities and even meet new people face to face.  It’s true.

The challenge for clubs these days is to maintain the roster and increase club participation.  The reality is that it’s much easier to destroy a club than it is to grow one. We can blast it into history without giving it a thought.  While the PRC is strong, we have room for improvement.  At this mid point of our 70th year, I’ll share my “10 Easy Ways to Kill a Club”:

  • Don’t attend club meetings, participate in nets, or read club email. If you check into a net, don’t contribute, “just listen”.
  • Don’t chat with or welcome new meeting attendees or others you don’t know.
  • Don’t invite friends or acquaintances to club meetings or nets.
  • On nets or at meetings, be sure not to share your ideas or suggestions, or questions.
  • Keep upcoming club programs a secret by not promoting them on the air or publicly.
  • Afterward don’t speak publicly or on the air about how you enjoyed a meeting or program.
  • Don’t share new found ham radio or other technical knowledge about a topic that interests you.
  • Don’t volunteer assistance as a fill-in Net Control Operator or other role. They’ll figure out something.
  • Don’t congratulate or encourage fellow members or others who recently upgraded or learned a new skill.
  • Always be ready to cast negative comments about a member, a program, an event or off attendance.
  • And a bonus: Never suggest how you would make the club better.  Someone might ask you to do that.                                                                 While there are many more ways to kill a club, these 10 can always be counted on to do some real damage. Can you think of others?

Net Control Operators Needed

We continue to have a need for two NCOs for the VHF/UHF net.  The 1st and 4th Tuesdays are open. You might have noticed that from time to time the net frequency is very quiet at 9 PM and continues until someone steps up and volunteers.  If we cannot get a volunteer to take a hour a month we probably should discontinue the net.

If you can help, write me or any officer or NCO.  You do not need to be a member to be a Net Control Officer.  You could even be on Echolink.

Thanks to Chuck Mehozonek, K8CVM, and Tom Southam, W8WLI for their recent volunteering.   Good job.

PRC has a new CW operator!

J-38 CW KeyAt the recent meeting, Tom Pechnik, AC8EH informed the group that he had recently completed a self directed training program in which he taught himself CW!   I was thrilled when Tom told us that he used  a method  I shared in the CW program I gave last year.  The method requires no equipment and is unbelievably easy.

Tom simply took one or two letters or numbers at a time and sounded the dits and dahs in his head.  Repea the characters  throughout the day, and new characters each day.  You can make flash cards with the characters you’ve learned.  When you know most of the characters, “sound out” license plates, bill boards, street signs, newspaper ads.  Get creative and have fun. If you don’t have immediate recall of a character, no problem. Look it up the next chance you get.

It worked for Tom, AC8EH. It worked for me many years ago and it will certainly work for you.

Tom’s looking forward to operating CW at the next Field Day and the extra CW points he’ll bring us will be tremendous.


Field Day 2018 Report

VP Mike Marganski, KE8HBK was the Field Day Chairman and reported that he submitted all of the required support material and data to ARRL in a timely manner. The numbers: Total QSO’s 232, Total Claimed Score 1262.  Thanks Mike for the great job.  While Field Day is not a contest, we’ll see how we compare to other groups operating in Class 1-A when the report is published in the fall QST.

At our recent meeting, we had a real fun program called “Crazy Tool Night”.  Several members brought showed and, in some cases, demonstrated, a favorite tool. You might have a tool like this that does something no other tool does as well.

We saw Rich W8KU’s divider, a drawing tool and much more and  his super fast hole making step drills. Tom K8DMM showed his “Lucy Phone” for testing phone and audio lines, Hal K8CMD’s brought his spring loaded center punch, awesome chain wrench and home made spot welder – that really sparks! It was great fun and always a joy to learn about new tools and gadgets.

Our August 20th meeting will be one you won’t want to miss. Tom Bedocs, K8DMM who is always a great technical resource, will be presenting part 1 of a series of programs on the oscilloscope. Following a video presentation that covers the basics of this highly valuable tool, Tom will discuss specifics of how we can put this exciting technology to work. In a future program, Tom will demonstrate how you can put a scope to use in your station or work shop.  Bring a friend. You won’t want to miss it.

The best way to spell check – push SEND then read what was sent. Errors will stand out boldly.

Hal Rogers, K8CMD  President, Communications Director