Catching Up

I can’t decide whether I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to blog much or whether I’m just slowing down. It’s probably a little of each. And doing so much creates so much blog fodder that it can be overwhelming. There’s so much to write about, you can’t figure out where to start.

So, what I’m going to do here is just report quickly on a bunch of things that I’ve been doing lately. I’ll come back to some and write more about them later. Others, I won’t.

More QSLs from Stations Whose Callsigns Spell Words
Sorry to bother you again with this, but for some reason, this fascinates me. Below, you’ll see the latest three that I’ve added to my collection: K5SEE, N4SHY, and K2DOT.

K5SEE QSLN4SHY QSLK2DOT QSL

I heard K7OIL on PSK the other night, but wasn’t able to work him. :(

Even more Boy Scouts This Year!
Last year, we had about 120 Boy Scouts attend the 2007 Radio Merit Badge Day. Man, that was crazy. This year was even more crazy. This year, more than 150 showed up! I got Michelle, KD8GWX, to capture some of the craziness on video, and I promise to edit that tape real soon now. Stay tuned for that.

This year, I was partnered with Mark, W8MP. Mark is a really great operator, and he’s great with kids. He convinced one guy, Paul, WA9URF, to stay on the air for more than an hour and talk to more than 40 of the Scouts. Thanks, Mark and Paul!

Thanks to all the other hams that helped out (in no particular order): Pat, W8LNO; Dave, KC8TQB; Ralph, AA8RK; Jeff, W8SGZ; George, K8GEO; Don, K0QEA; and, of course, Jack, WT8N, who really organized the whole thing (and paid for breakfast, to boot).

2008 General Class
For the past couple of months, I’ve been teaching a General Class license course. As always, this class was a lot different than the classes I’ve had in the past. For one thing, a lot of them dropped out this time. There were a dozen who started back in January, but by the end we were down to just five or six.

Life intruded for a couple of them—one student’s wife (or daughter) broke her leg, for example. For some, the material was just over their heads at this point. But, a bunch of them just quit coming. I feel kind of bad about that.

Like last year, a couple of them passed the test before the class ended. Congratulations, Arvid, KC8VGO, and Ian, N8SPE! Arvid was in my very first class five years ago, and he passed back then, but just couldn’t get the code. I’m happy that he finally got his General ticket.

One thing I did differently this time is to have a class project. Five or six of the students built the DC40A QRP transceiver. Building them has taken a bit longer than I anticipated. Even though the class is over, we’re still finishing up the kits. Even so, I think it’s been a great experience for the students.

Ham Radio at the Hands-On Museum
We’re still working on setting up a ham radio station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. One development is that we’re applying for a grant from the IEEE Foundation. We’ll also be applying to the ARRL Foundation.

The IEEE Foundation wants to give money to projects that promote engineering as a career. That’s our slant, anyway. We titled our project, “Kids Connect to Wireless Technology.”

That’s all for now. Gotta go rake the leaves off the lawn and fertilize.

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