Letter from camp: Wednesday, 19 August 2009 Greetings from Radio Camp. I had planned to write this letter earlier today, since there is no regular weekly E-Letter this week. Then I got so busy that it's now early evening and I'm just getting started! If you would like to contact us at camp, we are on the PICONET, which you can reach on 3.925 MHz Monday through Saturday, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. CDT and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Except on Saturday there is no afternoon net.) The 75 meter band being what it is, stations outside Minnesota and the adjacent states will likely not hear this net. If you have remote base access, you can easily check into PICONET. You can also find us on the usual Echolink net daily at 11:00 a.m. CDT. Yesterday's WX report sounded ominous - rain and thunderstorms all day long. When morning dawned, the sun came out and the day was dry. So much for the weatherman. Since the day was pretty nice, campers went out on Lake George, aboard the pontoon boat equipped with an Icom IC-718. Back on shore, I wrestled with cranky computers while Don, N0BVE, put the final touches on our now-functioning wired and wireless networks. You just don't realize how much you use the internet until you don't have it! Last evening I took a walk to the lake and got some beautiful photos of the sun setting over the water. I hope to get some of those posted online when time allows -- after camp, of course. On a walk around camp, one can take an HT and be tuned to the Echolink node frequency. You are never far from your friends when you use these new technologies to link repeaters around the world. We are running a camp-wide net on 146.58 MHz, a simplex frequency that lets new hams gain some valuable experience. Guess what? There is never a shortage of volunteers who want to be the net control station. I hope that these enthusiastic campers take that attitude back home at the end of the week and volunteer in their local radio clubs. Sometimes the mere mention of "Who wants to be net control?" will generate a lively discussion of who gets to do the job. You would have thought they were asked, "Who wants to be a millionaire?" -- That's real enthusiasm! Yes, new hams are fun to watch, talk with, and help because they are ready to have fun on the air, and they really want to get involved. That's why I was horrified to read an email late yesterday about a new ham who wasn't being accepted by everyone on his local two meter net. One fellow even went so far as to conclude that a blind ham like this new guy wasn't qualified to run a net because he would never be able to keep track of the stations checking in. Even worse, the new ham has been experiencing malicious interference on the local repeater. How sad. I'm sure I don't need to tell our readers how people who are blind can use all sorts of technology to take notes. No, what really bothers me is that such ignorance still exists out there, and to find it in the amateur radio community is just plain disheartening. Well, that email was a downer, but a look around Radio Camp quickly brought me back to reality: Most hams are salt-of-the-earth folks who would help a new ham with just about anything, whether it involved operating for the first time, setting up a station, finding a club, or discovering Field Day. Those good things are what make Amateur Radio worthwhile. I hope all of you feel the same way, and will take time to help a new ham get on the air. Read more letters from camp at www.handiham.org. Until tomorrow, 73! Patrick Tice, WA0TDA wa0tda@xxxxxxxx . By wa0tda at 08/20/2009 - 00:17 . Login <http://www.handiham.org/user/login?destination=comment/reply/542%2523commen t-form> to post comments . Thumbnail <http://www.handiham.org/sites/default/files/images/DSC00857.thumbnail.jpg> . Printer-friendly <http://www.handiham.org/print/542> version . Send <http://www.handiham.org/printmail/542> to friend _____ Courage Center Handiham System 3915 Golden Valley Road Golden Valley, MN 55422 E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442) FAX:(763) 520-0577 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address! We look forward to hearing from you soon.