A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

If there was one book that I would love to get an original copy, it would be Clinton B. DeSoto’s 1941 classic, CALLING CQ. In the day and age of the internet, there is so much information at our fingertips. I happened to stumble across DeSoto’s work a few years ago. For a book that was written nearly 80-years ago, nearly everything he writes not only remains true today, but proves the excellent health of amateur radio. Do we have some areas to work on? You bet. The Parker Radio Association will perpetually work at “Having Fun, Playing Radio, and Keeping the Squelch Loose.” As I read the following excerpt from DeSoto’s book, I wonder if his ham radio club was like the PRA? I have a feeling it was pretty close.

Excerpted from the 1941 classic, CALLING CQ, written by Clinton B. DeSoto

ACCORDING to the official definition, amateur radio is “radio communication between amateur stations solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.” A comparable definition might describe a diamond as a “carboniferous solid.” Yet, properly mounted, a diamond is a many-faceted gem of dazzling beauty. Amateur radio, too, has many facets.

This is one facet of amateur radio: it is a hobby. “The ordinary life of the ordinary man from whence spring the great majority of hams is a dull, drab and somewhat dreary struggle,” according to one amateur. “Psychologists tell us that periodically one should drop his work for awhile and try something else, that if it be interesting enough one will usually return with renewed interest and zest.” Then this amateur, a successful professional man, continues: “Amateur radio is my hobby. In its pursuit I find the balm of Gilead.”

He might have added that amateur radio is unique among hobbies in that it is the only one established by federal statute and international treaty, the only one whose practice is limited to qualified, licensed practitioners. This is another facet of amateur radio: it is a means of self-expression.

“Being an amateur gives me the chance to meet people I would otherwise never meet,” says one. “That’s part of it. There’s more to it than that though. If I build a new amplifier or something and make it work I feel that I’m creating something. When I hook up a rig I’ve just finished and I push the key and a fellow in the next state answers me–all this with things I have made with my own hands–why, then I feel like I have accomplished something sort of worthwhile.”

Another describes his facet thus: “I have radio pals in all sorts of odd corners of the world whose signals come whispering to me through the night … out of the jungles of the Congo … from the tiger-infested districts of Malaya … from the interior of Dutch Borneo … from mountain tea estates of Java and India … from the elephant and lion country of Rhodesia, from the burning sands of Iraq…. We wander over the face of this little old world like a bug on an orange.” There are other facets, too: public service by providing emergency communication in the time of disaster, radio contact with expeditions to remote places, experimentation and research, and many other activities that combine to make amateur radio truly “all things to all men.”

Radio amateurs live in a world of their own–a magic world not open to everyone. The “Open Sesame” that lifts its portals is the possession of amateur-operator and station licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission. The applicant for such licenses must pass a stringent examination at one of the district offices of the Commission, demonstrating his technical qualifications, his knowledge of radio theory and law and his ability to send and receive the International Morse code. He must first spend hours burning midnight oil, acquiring the rudiments of an engineering knowledge of radio theory. He must practice for seemingly endless weeks until the meaningless string of dots and dashes becomes an intelligible language. He must learn the regulations of the F.C.C. and the provisions of basic communications law, because all radio–including the amateur brand–is a closely regulated enterprise.

The neophyte does not metamorphose easily into the full-fledged amateur. But when he does leave his chrysalis a new world is opened up to him. First he gets a new name–his radio call letters. Thenceforth he has a new identity–even a new personality and new social status.

He finds amateur radio “the means of communications with others on equal terms, of finding friendship, adventure and prestige while seated at one’s own fireside,” according to Dr Raymond V. Bowers. “In picking his human contacts out of the air, the amateur is not seen by them…. He is not known by the company he keeps nor by the clothes he wears, but by the signal he emits.

He enters a new world whose qualifications for success are within his reach. A good homemade set gives him more prestige than a commercially manufactured one. There are no century-old class prejudices to impede his progress. He enters a thoroughly democratic world where he rises or falls by his own efforts. When he is W9XYZ the beginner the radio elders help him willingly and when he becomes W9XYZ the record breaker and efficient traffic handler he willingly helps the younger generation. Without a pedigree, a chauffeur or an old master decorating his living room he can become a prince–of the air. At the close of the day, filled with the monotonous routine of the machine age, he can find adventure, vicarious travel, prestige and friendship by throwing in the switch and pounding his signals into the air.”

His equipment may be of the most elementary kind, and his complete station may cost less than fifty dollars. Yet with such an outfit–with perhaps ten or twenty watts’ power–he can accomplish as much as his operating skills will permit. One amateur in New South Wales, Australia, for example, talked with each of the six continents with a ten-watt transmitter. Another amateur, in Columbus, Ohio, communicated by code with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand–halfway around the world–using only one-half watt of power.

On the other hand, he may have high-powered, completely automatic transmitters rivaling or excelling those of a large broadcasting station and costing many thousands of dollars. A Mexico City amateur is reputed to have spent fifty thousand dollars on his station; another, in San Francisco, is said to have invested over one hundred thousand dollars.

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?”

The Chicago dentist whose CQ he had answered responded in kind, and between the Chicagoan and the Arizona garage owner there sprang up a strong friendship. Such contacts occur constantly in amateur radio; the community of the air is a friendly one. And, lest those contacts become ordinary and commonplace, coupled with them is the element of unpredictability. The next amateur “worked” may be a grocery clerk or a retired banker or a housewife or a rancher or a film star or physician.

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.

Bottom line, I think DeSoto would have fit in really well with the PRA and likely would have taught us a few things.

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

Toward the end of last year, the company that I work for went through an ownership transfer. For many people, such a thought brings some natural anxiety, uncertainty, and the ageless question of ‘what’s next?’ The family that owned my company provided a major shock to the employees during this announcement; the company ownership had been transferred to the employees of the company. In a sweeping, whirlwind weekend, we were engulfed in learning about a employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and what it meant for us as a company and as individuals. Through expert outside consulting that was patient with our seemingly endless questions, one consistent message permeated most discussions; “with ownership transition to an ESOP, everything is different, but everything is the same.” When I look at our current events with the COVID-19 and the impact it has on our businesses, communities, families, habits and hobbies (like amateur radio), I remain hopeful that even though everything is different, everything will remain the same.

Within a few quick weeks, everything changed for the Parker Radio Association. We went from two monthly face-to-face meetings to none. We went from monthly committee breakfast meetings and portable operation gatherings to none. The future of our monthly face-to-face meetings is also unknown. One of our main events of the year, ARRL Field Day, will likely see some major changes in 2020. When all of this resumes, we do know for certain, everything will be different.

One of the elements of amateur radio that is at the core of the service is versatility. Radio amateurs are versatile and can adapt to unexpected changes with ease. Actually, we embrace and thrive on constant change. Take a look at our 2019 Field Day – we went from beautiful weather, to thunderstorms, hail, wind, dropping temps and even snow flurries. The best part was that we adapted to the elements, and continued to play radio, have fun, and kept the squelch very loose.

Over the past couple of weeks, we maintained focus and commitment to moving our monthly face-to-face meetings to both an on-the-air meeting and a YouTube Live event for Elmer Night. Although it was different, everything remained the same. We had a lot of laughs, a great presentation, and we all learned so much by adapting to what we faced. It could have been very easy to cancel or postpone these events, but with the momentum that these events have, we simply found a way to make it work. Our YouTube Live event was far from pretty or polished, but it was a lot of fun and we received a lot of great feedback.

With everything changing, everything remains the same, particularly when it comes to amateur radio. Amateur radio is consistent and is always there. It welcomes you back when you’ve been off the air for a while. The hobby adapts to change relatively quickly with modern digital modes via computer or raspberry pi. Even traditional methods of morse code and voice communication remain very active, even in the computer assisted digital age. Like amateur radio, the Parker Radio Association will continue to adapt to change, with a kindred spirit that continually promotes having fun, playing radio, and keeping the squelch loose.

Don’t forget, wash your hands often! See you on the air or on one of our online platforms!

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

With the month of March upon us, we have almost 17% of 2020 in the history books. A staggering number, for those that are aficionados of statistics. As a matter of perspective, we have 83% of the year in front of us. Since the start of 2020, the PRA has formed several key committees in the organization. The impact of those that stepped up to lead this committees has been nothing but amazing; those that stepped up to participate in these committees have helped our organization get things done quicker, with more impact, and immediate results. The key element of this is that because of direct member participation, the your amateur radio organization continues to grow.

Maybe committees just are not your thing. We get that, understand that, and appreciate where you are. Our organization is more than just committees, meetings and monthly presentations. We are active in regional events such as the upcoming HamCon 2020 Division Convention, giving back to the community with Scout events and opportunities to introduce amateur radio; we are active with annual events such as Pedaling 4 Parkinson’s, where we exercise our assets and talents as amateur radio operators and provide a service back to another amazing organization in their annual fund raising event. We also have weekly nets where we not only update on happenings of the PRA, but we exercise our privileges assigned to us as amateur radio operators. The PRA has become a wonderful buffet of opportunities for participation.

In the last two months, I want to thank not only the committee chairpersons, but those that are active in those committees. I also want to thank those that have been dedicated in being a net control operator for our nets. With a 135+ member organization, your participation is needed. If you’ve been inactive for a while, or a little hesitant to get on the air, we understand and want to help you cross that threshold. We’re here to meet you where you are in your amateur radio journey. If you look back on the last two months, we’ve gotten a lot done and if that pattern continues, we’re going to make such an impact on the amateur radio community in 2020. If you’re not on a committee, have not been a net control operator, or have not participated in an event like Pedaling 4 Parkinson’s, Field Day coordination, or the portable operations group, now is your time and you’re invited to jump in to help build your organization. Learn something, teach something while having fun, playing radio, and keeping the squelch loose – that is what the PRA is.

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

The new year gave the PRA no time to waste in getting active in 2020. If there is one aspect of the organization that we have going for us, it is the momentum and culture of the organization. What an amazing start to the new year with our membership renewals working virtually flawlessly, thanks to an amazing webmaster in Jeff, AB0L, and levels of support from many different levels of the organization. Committed involvement at all levels of any organization breathes energy, enthusiasm, and life into any group of people.

We kicked off the year with an amazing Winter Field Day. Many have commented that this was the best PRA event ever. Now, the bar is set. Thanks to Stan, N0KKY, and his beautiful wife, they opened up their historic home and property for about 50 PRA members to come out, enjoy the history, demonstrate radio set ups, get on the air, teach each other, and eat some amazing food. This entire event was a testament to the core mission of the PRA in Playing Radio, Having Fun, and Keeping the Squelch Loose. Everyone chipped in to the event in some fashion and it was great to have a bunch of pre-teens check out what ham radio was all about and to get on the air and talk all over the country, including Alaska and Hawaii. Now, that’s what the amateur radio service is all about.

For those of you that are ARRL members, January brought some news that even the more seasoned ARRL members were left scratching their heads. At the January meeting, the ARRL Board decided to not re-elect CEO Howard Michel. Michel has only been on the job for a year. There have been a lot of rumors floating around on the rotating door at the ARRL CEO office.   Here is a breakdown:

“Not a Real Ham” – I have no idea what that comment means. I really don’t care if the CEO is a ham or not; the bottom line is that the ARRL is a multi-million dollar organization and it needs to be ran as such. If/When the PRA gets to that level, I would expect the same out of our membership in having a capable leader at the helm of the ship. However, the rotating door is not giving much to that belief at the ARRL.

“Personnel Reasons” – this is what the ARRL announcement settled upon. One “rumor” floating around is that the newly ousted leader was still involved with his robotics company in China. There are agreements and stipulations in the bylaws where the ARRL is the sole focus of this position. Did that come into play or consideration?  Only the BOD knows, however, the ARRL BOD does not have a preliminary discussion or post vote discussion on the matter. They simply vote to keep the CEO or not.

Bottom line is the ARRL has some explaining to do. This should be a wakeup call to the leadership at all levels of the ARRL and its membership. I feel Howard was bringing a breath of fresh air into Newington and that likely scared a lot of the sacred cows.  The ARRL is in a time of change and unfortunately, some turmoil. If you’re a ARRL member, remember, your vote and nominations count. If the ARRL, or any amateur radio organization for that matter, does not embrace the cultural change of the hobby, let alone how Millennials are perceived and especially how they communicate, we’re all in big trouble. Bottom line is this, Millenials have options and they’re not afraid to use them.

So, how do we embrace the next generation? Easy, just as we do every meeting in greeting new faces, congratulating new licensees or upgrades, offering help to a new ham to learn something, getting involved in a committee…most importantly, keeping an open mind because you might just learn something. As a know-it-all teenager, my father instilled in me a valuable piece of advice, “If you think you’re the expert on something, it is usually good to keep your mouth shut for a while because you’ll likely find out how much of an expert you think you are…or you might learn that you know nothing.” This premise holds true with my position in the PRA and I am so happy with the diversity of backgrounds, ages, knowledge and experience. The absolute best part of the PRA, we embrace differences, we take risks and challenge each other to take the chance in something new, and we always keep encouraging each other.

We have a long way to go, not only as an organization, but as an amateur radio service. We’re making great strides in the PRA and we should never discount how far we’ve come in the last six years. It doesn’t happen by accident, but it took a few accidents to learn, improve, and get us on course. For the PRA, committed involvement at all levels continues to breathe energy, enthusiasm, and life into our organization. Thank you for your involvement in the PRA.

My wish is that our National Organization recognized that times are a changing…or are they?

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

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

HRO Committee

Community Outreach

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!

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

The 2019 year is entering its final days. As we roll off of Thanksgiving, we’re immediately faced with the Christmas rush of retailers pushing all kinds of deals, can’t miss opportunities, and some very persuasive marketing tactics. As we reflect back on 2019, the PRA had some amazing accomplishments throughout the year and has set itself up for amazing opportunities going into 2020. With the new year comes new opportunities, but we can never discount what got us to where we are today.

One of the key activities of the PRA each month is our Elmer Night. If your interest in amateur radio has only recently developed or if you’re a veteran operator trying something new in the hobby, you already know by now that there are hundreds of brands of equipment from which to choose. Some of these choices are costly, some not too costly. This is where Elmer Night shines; you are surrounded by experienced operators that simply want to help you – the goal is to shorten the learning curve of whatever you want to accomplish, so that you can enjoy the hobby even more, quickly. It is the perfect environment that is not intimidating, where you can ask any and all questions. You’re respected following the Golden Rule – treat others as you expect to be treated.

Along the same lines, the American Radio Relay League, ARRL, has taken this concept of Elmering and introduced a new magazine which will roll out in January called On the Air. What is really exciting is that this is the first new magazine from the ARRL in nearly 30 years; obviously, there is a significant amount of time, effort and energy that goes into such a publication – bottom line, the ARRL realizes that beginner to intermediate amateur radio operators are not only the most untapped, but also the most important group to embrace. Hats off the ARRL for generating this new publication and making it available to all ARRL members – yet another benefit to join the ARRL.

For the PRA, 2019 was a busy year, beyond Elmer Nights and monthly meetings – we installed a series of repeaters, both digital and analog, to support reliable communications throughout the area. We also learned a tremendous amount about ARRL activities, QRP operating, SOTA activations, National Traffic Systems, and supported community events such as Pedaling-4-Parkinson’s and the Scouts Jamboree On The Air. Not only did we hit our 100th member in 2019, but we are quickly approaching the 150 member mark. Although the numbers are impressive, what matters is the focus on the PRA’s Mission – “To Play Radio, Have Fun, and Keep the Squelch Loose.”

To ensure the success of your amateur radio organization, I highly encourage you to participate in an existing committee such as Net Control Operator, repeater committee, Website, PRA Gear, Elmer Night…or form your own committee! The committees will always focus on the PRA Mission and the bottom line is to support the growth, enthusiasm and promotion of amateur radio. I also want to thank those that have lead our committees this past year and I also want to thank the record number of members that participated in our Leadership Elections; this is a testament to the health of the PRA.

As we head rapidly towards the conclusion of 2019, thank you for your trust, support, and participation in the PRA. If 2019 is any indication of what the future is for the organization, the Parker Radio Association is poised and positioned for continue success because of its members. With the new year comes new opportunities, but we can never discount what got us to where we are today.

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

“It is truly amazing to find a group who is so friendly and welcoming of new hams in a hobby where so many groups are dominated by ego and showing how smart the individuals are.”

Over the last few months, the PRA has had another surge of membership. As of this writing, we are a 115 member organization and continuing to grow. I have often wondered what makes the PRA attractive to amateur radio enthusiasts (other than our good looks). There are two “non-negotiables” that we have embraced since our first day; be welcoming and keep the squelch loose. Those two elements are our foundation and go-to not only when welcoming visitors or potential new members, but when the leadership team is making decisions for the organization. By knowing what works, by taking risks and accepting some short-comings, we cannot fail.

In the last couple of weeks, I received a beautiful handwritten letter (a lost art) from one of our members. His words were just what I needed to boost up my psyche for my role and for the responsibility that I embrace for the PRA. In particular, one sentence in the letter struck me, “It is truly amazing to find a group who is so friendly and welcoming of new hams in a hobby where so many groups are dominated by ego and showing how smart the individuals are.” The timing of this letter could not have been better; the words could not have been selected better. Everything about this one line embodies who we are as an organization and helps guide our decision making process, while answering an important question, “why are we doing this in the first place?”

A few short weeks ago, we had our PRA elections for officer positions. I would like to congratulate our new officers:

Vice President – Patrick, AI8C

Secretary – Elizabeth, N1RDH

Treasurer – Justin, AE2L

Chief Technology Officer – Ray, N0KEG

Directors At Large – Wayne, N0AD and John, N4SJW

I also want to thank all of those that took the brave step, threw their hat into the ring, and ran for a leadership position. This was the first year in our existence that we had so many people run for the election positions. That screams of success and health of the organization. Also, with the number of committees we have formed, there is no better way to add your touch into the success of the PRA by joining, participating or leading one of our committees. Committees drive the current and future of the PRA, and your input, ideas and suggestions are needed.

As we round third and head for home to round out the 2019 year, we celebrate our accomplishments by reflecting on the countless hours giving back to the community, how we have showcased the wonder of technology and how we have built a great amateur radio organization. May we always continue to play radio, have fun, and keep the squelch loose.

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

October is a very exciting time of year. We see and experience the wrestling match of the seasons, Summer vs. Fall. There is no better place than Colorado to have a front row seat to the majesty behind this annual battle of the seasons. At the same time, it is one of my favorite times of year because of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Very rarely do I get a chance to watch a single game on the comfy couch, let alone four games in one evening. Whether it is the crisp mornings, watching the first leaves change color, or baseball playoffs, change is evident and change is coming.

For the PRA, this October is a special month for the organization as we elect new officers for the organization. These officers will serve two year terms, starting in 2020. What I am most proud of is the fact that so many people were nominated, took the brave step, and said, “yes, I’d like a shot” at whichever position they were nominated. In the PRA’s history, this has been the greatest turnout of nominations and candidate pool. To me, that is a testament to the foundation and backbone of the PRA – the MEMBERS!

From an activity standpoint, the PRA gathered firearms enthusiasts for a group event. One hobby promoting another – but without amateur radio, this type of gather would have never happened. Also coming up is a QRP Expedition to Signal Butte. Fresh air, mountains, hiking, and radio. Combine that with the season change and amazing display of colors, that is certainly going to be an amazing experience for the participants. Again, the commonality of amateur radio brought all of this together.

As the nominations are in, I’d like to thank the membership for their trust in me for the next two-year term. As I stated, this will be my last two year term as I firmly believe that this organization needs fresh eyes and fresh perspectives at all levels of the organization. I would also like to congratulate John-N4SJW and Wayne-N0AD on their nominations and seating to the Director-At-Large positions. It is important that you come out and vote at our October meeting on October 15th. If you are unable to make it in person, make sure you secure an absentee ballot from Robert-AE0CA, our Election Chairperson. If you haven’t noticed, yet, change is evident and change is coming.

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

Through the balance of this year, we have a lot of exciting activities and inevitable changes taking place. Some of these activities are driving the change. If you’ve ever read one of my favorite books, “Who Moved My Cheese?” you’ll understand why change should be embraced as opportunity for not only growth, but survival. Change is the only constant, and change forces us out of our comfort zone which is necessary in our lives and in our organizations.

Our September and October monthly meetings mark significant importance to the PRA. It is our Nomination and Election meetings, respectively. All PRA Leadership positions are open for nomination and will lead our organization through 2021. I believe that organizations such as ours need consistency, but need new ideas and fresh perspectives. I highly encourage you to consider yourself or a friend for one of these positions. All of our officers are happy to discuss any details, commitment level and responsibilities of the positions. It is also important to note that Terry, WB3EVZ and Paul, AC5S will not be running for re-election. I want to thank both Terry and Paul for their expertise, enthusiasm, ideas, suggestions and guidance over the past five years. Both of these gentlemen have been involved with the PRA since day one and their direct impact to the Organization will be felt for decades to come. The next time you see them, be sure to thank them for their service, ideas, and leadership over the last several years. I know the PRA would not be where it is without them.

Both Terry and Paul demonstrate that getting involved helps the common good. Maybe you’re not about an elected officer position, which is OK; sign up for a net (PLEASE, WE NEED MORE – go to our “EVENTS” tab and sign-up!), participate in our community events like Pedaling-4-Parkinson’s, come out to Elmer Night and teach one of the newest hams, serve on a committee like our Repeater or Website Committees. Every little bit helps and only takes a few minutes each month.

Since our first day, the PRA has long committed to belong to its Members, not the Leadership. You have the ability to make the PRA what you want it to be. There is no time like now to get involved; sometimes the most simple acts make the greatest impacts for the future.

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association

A Monthly Update From the President’s Shack

The Parker Radio Association hit a major milestone in the Organization’s history the evening of July 31st. We reached the 100 member mark. Reaching a milestone like this is nothing short of remarkable, considering we started this endeavor only five short years ago. For any organization, hitting a milestone does not happen by accident or is it the act of any one individual. Milestones are a collective effort by a team of individuals that are bonded together in serving a purpose and a mission.

When a small group decided to take a leap of faith in forming the PRA (frankly, we said, “let’s see what happens”), our first announcement of kicking this can down the road was met with a lot of skeptics that were loud in their opinions. One of these skeptics in particular said, “Great, just what Denver needs, another radio club; just get in your car and drive to one of the other clubs that is already in the area…SMH.” A statement like this hit home because there was an element of truth; Denver does have a strong concentration of long established Amateur Radio organizations. Even while standing at the base of this mountain, this small founding group came to the consensus that if we had 15, 20, or even 25 people that were “regular” and participatory, we would be just fine.

As I reflect back on the last five years, we quickly established 15, 20, then 25 regular participants. That soon quickly grew to 40, 50, then 60 members and that happened quickly. Growing that quickly does not come with its own struggles. When we had a small member base, it was easy to manage with our Leadership Team alone. However, as the numbers grew, the Leadership Team knew it was time to give the control to the members and manage the Organization. Committees were formed, members took Lead roles in these committees and new members found a way to get quickly plugged into the organization. Besides our normal monthly business meeting that is capped with absolutely amazing presentations, we decided that a night per month that is dedicated exclusively to learning and teaching was important – welcome to the formation of Elmer Night. Our Elmer Nights are just as popular as monthly meetings. No agenda, no script; simply an evening of teaching, learning, Q&A and forming relationships.

It is obvious that it is the members that make the PRA what it is today. Hitting the 100 member mark is nothing to sneeze at and it is a testament to the common goal and mission of the Organization that is lead by the members. I can’t help but wonder what the next milestone will be for the organization will be. Regardless, one thing that I know true, the next milestone will also be a result of positive actions by the collective membership. To our critics from five years ago, I hope we’ve earned a chance to earn your membership because we are not just another ham radio club in Denver.

73,
Dan – N2SRK
President
Parker Radio Association