Friday evening, Mark W8FSA and I gave a demonstration of amateur radio to a group of Boy Scouts and their parents. I’d like to say that everything went perfectly, but of course it didn’t. Even so, I’d like to think that we did some good on Friday.
I carted my IC735 transceiver and power supply down to Lincoln High School, which was hosting the Boy Scouts. Mark brought his G5RV antenna. That worked out well enough, except that there was no place to really hang the antenna. Lincoln is a rather new high school, and none of the trees were very high.
About the only thing that we could do was string the antenna between two vans, but of course that meant that the antenna was only six feet off the ground. At that height, 20m was the only band that the antenna was usable on, and at 9:30 pm, the band was pretty dead. We weren’t able to make a single contact.
We were, however, able to show the kids the equipment and answer a bunch of questions. Also, just before I left for the high school, I found a new ARRL brochure aimed at kids. I downloaded it from the Web and printed a dozen copies. We distributed these, and the kids seemed very interested in them.
The fathers were also quite interested. Several of them took the brochures–on which I jotted down the URL of our website–and seemed interested in getting their licenses and attending our classes. We, of course, invited them to attend our meetings.
I think that we could and should do more of this kind of public outreach. Perhaps, giving a lecture to public service groups, such as the Kiwanis or Lions Clubs would be in order. The word is that the ARRL is coming out with a CD-ROM presentation that would be appropriate for showing at such meetings.
We also need to work on our demo station. It should be something that goes together quickly and can work in a number of different conditions. My transceiver would work just fine, but we need to come up with a more portable, multi-band antenna to accompany it.
Maybe this is something I can get our Technical Coordinator and Public Service Officer to work on. Hmmmmmm. :)