A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack
Welcome to 2020! What better time to consider a few ham radio resolutions? What do you want to learn or become more proficient in this year? For me, this year is about trying again on some goals from last year on top of adding some new challenges.
Proficiency Time – CW. The HF bands have been very generous to me for the past few years, particularly on digital modes like FT8. I have learned CW from a few great operators over that the last few decades that have showed me a few methods to master CW and pushed me to learn more. The beauty of this hobby is that we never stop learning. We can make the decision to stop learning, but that would quickly turn us into the grump we all avoid on the air. Resolution #1- Master CW.
Finish what I started. Last year, I challenged myself to achieve DXCC, confirming at least 100 countries. I missed it by nine. But no fear, I know that I can cut into that shortfall with the first few international contests scheduled in early 2020. I already have the frame ready for the certificate.
As President, one of my goals is keeping ‘on frequency’ with the PRA membership, the goals the members have as individual amateur radio operators and the goals that they vision for the PRA. There is no doubt, amateur radio, as a whole, is going through a major transformation. I’ve been a part of a few large ham radio organizations in a couple states. The clubs where the demographics were very close, if not overlapping one another, were usually the same old, same old. A select group that ran everything and everything needed to go through them. It was stale; when I was a young whipper-snapper and forced an agenda to do something new, it was frowned upon by the establishment. Needless to say, I didn’t hang around that group of grumps long. Resolution #2 – Keep the Squelch Loose.
As I look around meetings at the PRA, we have a solid spread of demographics; young and matured, lots of YLs (young ladies), and vast professional backgrounds from doctors and lawyers to Law Enforcement, Dental Professionals, HVAC Technicians, pilots, security professionals, plumbers and Company Executives, to name a few. There is no secret that our hobby needs the attract and retain its next generation. This next generation is completely different and more diverse than most of us and we have to embrace these differences of the next generation. Where Facebook and Twitter may be common to us, my son has already told me that the PRA is missing the boat in not at least using Instagram in attracting younger members. He also said that we should produce regular video content on all social media platforms, three to five minute videos on what the PRA is doing each week or every other week and show the activity. He is 15 years old and knows more than I do.
As we kickoff 2020, we have incorporated an extensive committee formation for the Organization. You, yes YOU, can play a vital part in the development, success, and excitement of the PRA. As we know, the PRA belongs to the members, not any one individual or select group of individuals. Along with that understanding, we are also aware that we are not the small, new Amateur Radio group. We have grown into a 125+ member, mature organization. With growth, comes enhanced levels of expectations from our membership and we are excited about your participation in any one of these committees. These committees will play a vital part in the growth and enhancement of our Organization and will come with the rewarding experiences of giving back to your Amateur Radio Service. We are looking for active participation from all members in one or more of the following committees. If you have an idea for a committee, let us know by using the “CONTACT” tab on our website. We need Committee Leads and participants; monthly updates will be needed at each Face-to-Face meeting. The Committees are as follows:
New Member/Welcoming Committee
Elmer Committee & Onsite Support
Repeater Committee – Chaired by Don, W0CFI
VE Testing Committee – Chaired by Doug, KE0DC
Net Control Committee
PRA Gear Committee
ARRL Liason Team
Website Committee – Chaired by Jeff, AB0L
Field Days / PRA Events Committee – Field Day Chaired by Brent, KB4SMK
If you are interested in leading or participating in any of these committees, let us know so that we can get you plugged in and connected with the right people and resources to be successful. The bottom line is that we need all of our members to participate in at least one committee. Your participation drives the direction, future, and fun of your amateur radio organization. None of these committees will be “John Wayne” positions; you will be part of a team, have support both in resources and finances, as deemed necessary/appropriate by the Board. If you have specific questions about these committees, please reach out to me or any member of the Leadership Team.
To conclude the January 2020 column, I have a few excerpts from a 1941 writing of Clinton B. DeSoto called “Calling CQ.” A nearly 80-year old article rings so true today:
But the enjoyment of amateur radio is not measured in dollars or even in elaborate equipment. It is rather measured by such gauges as service, self-expression, a sense of personal accomplishment.
Friendship is such a gauge too. Even the shyest, most introspective soul will respond to a proffer like this: “Well, old man, let’s know each other better. I’m thirty-nine years old. I own a garage in this sleepy Arizona town of five hundred people. I also do electric welding. I have three children. What do you do?–and how old are you?”
Fraternalism … good fellowship … ingenuity … public service … the power to annihilate distance and bring oneself closer to mankind throughout the world … the ability to build and create and put the products of one’s hands to work to overcome the miles and hours … thrills and sport and adventure…
That’s what amateur radio is like.
So…what are your ham radio goals as an individual and with the PRA? Drop me a note, and let me know how I can help!
Dan – N2SRK
Parker Radio Association