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The President's Message For June 2017

GCARA has started the year off with two nice opportunities to mingle with each other. The first get together was on March 11, 2017 at Wing’s Plus in Coral Springs and we had the pleasure of guest speaker Shirley Ritchie, wife of the club founder. Shirley did a fantastic job of introducing the life of her deceased husband and his hand in forming the Ham Club we all enjoy today. We use his call sign as a Club Call sign as a result of his early involvement. Chuck Ritchie was a HAM’s ham. Courteous, ingenious and extremely helpful in all ways, he leaves us a rich legacy to be proud of.

On March 25, 2017 GCARA had the pleasure of joining Ares Races and the Knights of the Round Table in a mini-Field Day, picnic. Many of us came together to get to know one another and learn more about each other. The food was good, and the company was fantastic. Our Jeff Stahl with the help of Boca’s Bruce Ratzkopf set up a “Fox Hunt”, a clever little experiment in finding a hidden signal with use of our hand helds. It provided a lot of exercise in the perfect weather and a lot of excitement as we each narrowed down our “hunt”. The winner took home a nice antenna and in the second round, which was repeated just for fun, we had a few laughs as we searched intently. It was a nice endeavor and hopefully this will be repeated at our June Field Day.

Ricky Eaton has assumed the role of Repeater Trustee and is the one to contact in case there is a problem with the repeaters. He hopes to find a way to add a tone to the signal to help everyone from stepping on each other. At the time of this writing, it is unknown if that will be possible with the FUSION set up.

I encourage everyone to attend the club events and to support the club in any way possible. It is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow hams and to network with other clubs. Volunteering to help man shelters for Ares Races or our own John Knox station in case of hurricanes will be rewarding and beneficial to the community. Amateur  Radio has been so instrumental in times of disaster and has helped the field of Radio Science with experimentation and  innovation to the hobby. One of the  most important things we can do as a service to our society is to preserve the hobby as a legacy for our children. Progress and technical advancement is great but let us not forget the basics of communication as many of the sophisticated methods we rely on today will be compromised in certain situations.

I look forward to working with all of you for the June Field Day, our premier event in amateur radio. We need people to volunteer their services in every capacity. I would like to suggest that everyone can donate one hour of their time to help contest, set up or break down the radios and antennas. This year, as last year, we are fortunate to be occupying the big pavilion at Quiet Waters Park, now referred to as the Bald Eagle Pavillion. It is spacious and there is a breezy shelter which participants will add fans to for our summer “comfort”. Come on out and enjoy some time with us as we practice the emergency side of things in amateur radio. There will be good food and plenty of beverages to keep you cool. Thanks.

Melanie Fernandez, KJ4VCT