Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Radios for Scouts (or the end of HAM radio?)

Expand Messages
  • Bob Bruninga
    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
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 21, 2001
      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? (Thank heavens we still have HF)

      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
    • nickjmills@yahoo.com
      Call me crazy but why not just have them get their Tech lic?Then I think it would be alot more fun then family radio.I bought a family radio just beacuse it
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 29, 2001
        Call me crazy but why not just have them get their Tech lic?Then I
        think it would be alot more fun then family radio.I bought a family
        radio just beacuse it was cheap and my gf and I can talk to each
        other while I fish at a local lake.She uses the family radio I use my
        dual band radio.I think the family radio are really a joke.
      • Bob Bruninga
        ... Because it is more important to get them on the air first and teach them good radio procedures (even if it is FRS). I have formed lots of kids interest by
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 29, 2001
          On Fri, 30 Nov 2001 nickjmills@... wrote:

          > Call me crazy but why not just have them get their Tech lic?Then I
          > think it would be alot more fun then family radio.

          Because it is more important to get them on the air first and teach them
          good radio procedures (even if it is FRS). I have formed lots of kids
          interest by brining a large USGS topo map to scout meetings and letting
          the kids put pins on their QTH. Surprising, many live easily within a
          mile of each other and can QSO with FRS.

          I also just formed a club at my kids Middle school and got 20 kids signed
          up to take an afternoon after school Radio Course. Again, first step will
          be to get them on the map with pins and then participating in an FRS
          on-air weekly night net. AFTER having spent a whole session talking about
          procedures and use of callsigns.

          Each kids homework assignment is to make a QSL card with his FRS callsign.
          We assign them CALLS using their TROOP number and initials. For the
          school, they use the school initials and grade. Thus my son's 6th grad
          call is SS6AJB and his troop call is 995AJB. In order to make sure there
          is a critical mass of people on the air at "net" time, its the same
          channel for ALL these overlaping groups so that everyone will find someone
          within a mile of their house.

          Then after the newness of that wears off and they see the HAM HT demos,
          then they will all want to upgrade to get greater range by becoming a HAM.
          But it is imperitive that they get used to using CALLSIGNS always. This
          is step 1.

          The rest will follow...

          de WB4APR, Bob
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.