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The Georgia Section News


Young hams make the grade

ALBANY — Surrounded by radio gear, Gene Clark sat in his chair and listened intently as his two sixth grade proteges were interviewed by a reporter recently.

Dalton Duggers, 11, and Jordan Sirmans, 12, recently earned their radio technician’s licenses, making them two of the youngest licensed ham radio operators in Georgia. The two friends are are members of the Albany Amateur Radio Club (AARC) and are in the Gifted Program at Merry Acres Middle School.

Clark, the president of the AARC, is also the elected first leader of Georgia. A retired physician, Clark is also Dalton’s grandfather.

“I’d watched my grandfather talking to people all over the U.S. and Canada and thought that would be a pretty cool thing to do,” Dalton said. “I decided to get into (ham radio) and have really enjoyed it a lot. I just want to be able to talk to people all over the country.”

Dalton’s new hobby caught the eye of his friend, Jordan.

“I saw Dalton having so much fun, I got a little jealous and asked Mr. Gene if he would also teach me,” Jordan said. “I enjoy talking to people. My little five-watt transmitter (which he patted fondly for emphasis) has reached all the way to Atlanta.”

The boys are currently working on moving up in the ham radio hierarchy to a general class license which would grant them more privileges.

“I work with the boys for an hour two days a week after school,” Clark, who has been a ham enthusiast since 1956, said.

He then turned and tapped a stack of flash cards on his desk.

“There are 800 questions here. When you take the test (to earn a license or upgrade), you will be asked 35 questions and you must answer 70 percent correctly,” Clark said. “I am doing something different with the boys. These two kids are special. They represent the future of amateur radio. I am trying to teach them what the answers mean rather than just teaching them the answers to the questions.”

Clark’s goal is to stretch the boys brains academically as well as socially.

“After all, physics is physics and math is math, he said. “I want them to do what they are really interested in.”

Shortly after receiving their technicians licenses, the boys put it to practical use during Albany’s Christmas Parade.

“We rode our bicycles around and help set up the floats in their proper position,” Dalton said. “We used our radios a lot. We helps get the floats in the correct order so that the parade would not be a jumbled mess.

Dalton (call sign KK4TXW) and Jordan (call sign KK4TSF) both have goals set for their future in amateur radio.

“I’d like to reach Extra Class (the highest license possible in amateur radio) and talk to someone in Asia, Europe or anywhere else in the world,” he said. “I think that would be really cool.”

Jordan agreed.

“I’d like to get the Extra Class too and talk to people all over the world, then meet them in person.”

Clark (call sign W4AYK) would approve.

Coweta ARES Team
The Coweta ARES Team had 13 radio operators (RADO) participate in the Oct 5th SET-2013 Exercise.  Here is a short overview of our accomplishments:
13 RADOs participated
1 CERT Team was dispatched
Bands included:  VHF and HF with voice and digital modes
3 repeaters were used
Operations included:
Coweta ARES activation system
        3 shelter simulations
    1 damage assessment simulation
EOC (WX4ACS) activation
Net Control Operations
NWS Coordination
Digital Traffic Liaison with Metro Atl ARES and Fayetteville ARES
21 traffic messages sent/received

The exercise was a success!  We had some fun, accomplished our goals and learned some things in the process.  There will be a Team debrief in the coming weeks at the EOC – date and time to be announced.

The Press Release is attached for your information.  I have also included a few candied pictures that were made during the event.

I am in the process of preparing the official SET Report.  My first attempt at calculating our score gives us 167 points:  This may be a little over stated and may change for the final report.  Considering this is our first venture into this exercise in a number of years and when compared to other Georgia counties reporting in previous years, our score is pretty good!

I will copy everyone on the final 2013 EC SET Report once completed. Thanks to everyone who participated and helped with the exercise logistics.

73, Randy WN4TLP

Troup County ARES group's table at their local Emergency Preparedness Fair

Macon Amateur Radio Club JugFest pictures
The banner was done by my grandson that just got out of the Navy. He did it all freehand. It was even his design.
Sonny Gilbert
E.C. Crawford County
Renfroe Middle School Amateur Radio Club
I want to offer my sincere gratitude for providing this opportunity for my students. It is truly rewarding for all and I am excited and thrilled at the possibility of increasing the membership of this club and communicating with people from all over the world.
Thank for everything!
Derrick L. Thomas
Principal, Carl G. Renfroe Middle School

Here is a photo from Steve Vogel (W4PSV) of three of the students working with George Olive (AI4UR) to assemble the BuddiPole antenna.  The photo was taken from the classroom window where the rest of the group were anxiously awaiting the connection to be make.
We just wanted to give you a report on the year's activities of the Renfroe Amateur Radio Club.

We met every other Tuesday, subject to school breaks, and had anywhere from 3 to 8 students, boys and girls, in attendance.

Our first objective was to impart some of our enthusiasm for the hobby and explain both the fun and practical side of it. Amateur radio, in addition to opening literally world-wide dimensions for participants, (which was demonstrated by one of us making a contact with an amateur operator in Germany from his truck in the Refroe parking lot) and can also can provide invaluable communications capabilities in the event of disaster situations, as demonstrated by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Colorado wildfires, and the recent Boston Marathon bombing, where over 200 amateur operators provided support, just to name a few.

Our ultimate objective is to have some of the students become licensed amateur operators and to have a teacher licensed as well so that a working amateur radio station can be established at Renfroe, such as was done many years ago. To begin this process, each student in the club was given a study guide which includes questions and answers. Several of them took it quite seriously and have made good progress. We supplemented that material with some short presentations on the basic physics of radio and a few of our own sample tests with discussions of the answers.

The students were also given the opportunity to talk to each other using walkie-talkie style amateur radios under our supervision, an activity they really enjoyed. One week we staged a "fox hunt" whereby the students attempted to locate a hidden radio transmitter using a directional receiving antenna, an activity in which they were successful. Some other sessions consisted of setting up receivers to listen to whatever came in over the airwaves from around the world in order to show the international scope and practical uses of the hobby.

And, we gave the students information on amateur radio events taking place in the area so that they could see more about what the hobby has to offer.

We appreciated the continued support of David Taube with this project and the cooperation of you and your other staff members. We hope to continue the club next school year with some old and some new students and look forward to getting Renfroe on the air !

Barry Kanne W4TGA
Steve Garrison N4TTY
George Olive AI4UR
Steve Vogel W4PSV
Georgia Marathon


This is Doug Papciak (KI4VDU) shown after he finished the 26.2 mile marathon, carrying his HT and calling in reports with a tactical callsign of "RACE 1".  While running he overheard reports of a runner ahead of him who was having some hydration problems but would not stop.  Doug, a trained EMT, caught up the ailing runner and convinced her to stop for water at the next aid station and he kept an eye on her for the balance of the race.  That's true public service.  Also shown is Steve Garrison (N4TTY), who along with Robert Swanson (KJ4AKA) were operating Net Control for the race from 04:30 to 14:00.  David Salomon (AG4F) was our liaison between Grady Hospital Medical Dispatch and the SAG wagon dispatch managed by Chris Balch (KS4MM) ARES EC for South Fulton County and Elliott Fried (KJ4CQJ).

Barry Kanne, W4TGA
ASEC - Public Health

The grand prize winner from the GA ARES meeting in Forsyth

The grand prize winner from the GA ARES meeting in Forsyth
Robert Thomas K6GIS - Ft. Benning, GA
He won the Signalink - USB from HRO
Ham station antenna on top of the VA Medical Center in Atlanta

You can see the mast with the VHF/UHF antenna on top and supporting the folded dipole in an NVIS configuration.  This station was completed last Thursday.

Barry W4TGA


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