Thursday, October 23, 2014

Davis Cup Wrap Up

No event I've supported as an amateur radio operator has given me as much radio practice as the Davis Cup.  A big part of the reason ham operators volunteer their services at events is to practice for potential emergencies (where the telephone infrastructure is disabled) and vett their equipment in circumstances that mimic what might happen when that emergency comes.  The Davis Cup provided this in ideal measure.  I was pleased to learn my HT radio was operating well, and I identified an issue with the headset I was using that needs to be resolved.  I also identified some bad habits I had in on-air communication that I can work on as well.  I'm happy to learn this now rather than in the middle of relaying data during an earthquake (or the like).

The event had it's fair share of calamities. Riverton High had a bus break down on the interstate.  The support vehicles arrived long before the first, and only, bus.  I never heard how they compensated for lacking roughly half their performers.  Orem High had a problem getting the buses to/leaving the school on time which left them arriving just a few minutes before their performance time. We scrambled to make arrangements to get them on the field.  Plans were made for them to pull up right next to the stadium rather than stage at the parking lot. When the check-in organizer's phone failed we needed a way to contact the director and let he know of the change.  I started  relaying info through Net Control who spoke on the phone with the Director.  It was a good ad-hoc resolution and a great example of the ingenuity of amateur operators and the value of having their services for emergency communication.

On top of all this good mo-jo was the fun of watching students and supporters arrive in caravan and spring into action.  I was amazed at the support so many of these schools received from volunteers.  I saw many personal vehicles that had clearly been adapted for use with the band.  Some schools had tractor-trailer rigs which would necessitate a commercial licensed volunteer driver to be available for each event they travel to.  It was excellent to see so many people turn out to help their kids and their communities have a remarkable experience.

In the end, that's why I was there too. It's fun to talk on the radio, test your designs and be involved in a fun event, but if I didn't want my neighborhood and my state to be a great place, I could find other ways to get those experiences.  So if you know a ham operator in your community, ask if they volunteer and thank them for their donation of time, talent an equipment.  And hey, perhaps you'd care to join us in this great hobby.

Info from my local club about ham radio.
Why become an amateur radio operator (University of Michigan)?
The biggest and oldest amateur radio organization loves to assist new operators.
I'd be happy to answer any ham radio questions you might have as well:
+Douglas T. WA7YZN |

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