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W6AH Making Strides

"Blue", a grey Pit Bull smiles while wearing a pink t-shirt.

October has gotten off to great start for operating.

My new Slim Jim 2m and 70cm rollup antenna was put into service for the Oct 1 Monday night ARES LAX NW district net. I used a C-Stand to get the antenna up in the air and short piece of PVC to stand the antenna off the stand.  Reception was super clear during net and then I was finally able to hear and check into the simplex net following the main net. I could only hear and be heard by about a third of the stations but that was a huge improvement over the past several months where I might catch a single word or two via simplex.

Antenna suspended from the main halyard of a Sailboat.Tuesday afternoon I headed out to Ventura to get some much needed work taken care of on the boat and was able to quickly hoist the new antenna up the main halyard allowing me to check into the Ventura ARES Simplex and Repeater nets and then monitor the County wide net.

When not working on the boat, I spent more time coding the Wave Talkers site.  I finally have the new Self Test feature functioning. I need to do a little more work on cleaning up and securing the code before it’s ready to be released, but I’m super excited that I got it working.  The Self Test feature randomly pulls one question from each topic in a test pool, shuffles the order of the questions and then presents them to the learner. When the learner submits their answer, the test attempt is automatically graded and the results are presented to the learner.

Late thursday night I checked the FCC database to see about one of the new call signs I had applied for.  When I looked up my KM6PVT call, I noticed that it has been listed as ‘Canceled’. I quickly search for W6AH and saw that it has been assigned to me.  I’m super excited to have been assigned a 1×2 call sign.

Creating and Deploying Microlearning course thumbnail image.Friday morning my latest course ‘Creating and Deploying Microlearning’ went live on LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com. You can check out the course at http://go.mattia.us/microlearning

Friday afternoon I headed back out to Ventura so I could help provide support for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk/run around the Ventura Harbor early Saturday morning.  The event was well attended. The Ventura ARES groups provided communication support at each of the parking lots and aid stations along the route. We met near the start of the race at 0630 and finished packing up the net control station shortly after 1100. It was a lot of fun to meet some of the other hams in the Ventura group and get on the air with my new call.  It certainly takes a little bit of getting accustom to throwing out a new call sign, but I managed to get through the day without throwing out my old call. We operated simplex all morning and had a good event.

Sunday morning I fired up the ships radio and made a contact on 20m with W0KEU in Kansas. The 20m band seemed to be faily open across the US as I was clearly picking up stations in VT, OK, TX and NC. I could only spend a few minutes on the radio before getting back to work on the boat.

Before packing up for the night, I broke out my ARDEN Mesh node to try and connect to the Southern California Mesh.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the node to connect, more testing and better pointing.