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SKYWARN 2017 Recap

SKYWARN Recognition Day

December 1 & 2, 2017

Dear Skywarn participants and ARES/RACES Members,

Mary Qualtieri, AA7RT and myself, Bob Wiese, W7UWC, would like to extend our thanks to all who participated and supported this year’s Special Event Station and a special thank you to Andy Brown and the staff at the National Weather Service Office in Airway Heights.  This is always one event many of us traditionally looked forward to each year since 1999. 

One of the highlights of Skywarn is the opportunity to use this special event as a learning tool for newer hams and we enjoyed that this year with several new members in our Spokane County ARES/RACES Membership.  They participated in every aspect of the day from helping set antennas to assembling radios, coax, grounding, and all the way through to operating.  Watching the joy on the face of a new ham make that first successful HF contact on 20 meters is priceless.  A healthy seed has been planted within several people that will grow and bear fruit for years to come. We also are thankful for a member from Lincoln County ARES/RACES joining us and supporting our operations on both days and the work of many who arrived to help remove the antennas Saturday afternoon and packing all the radio equipment to be loaded in various vehicles. 

While the contact numbers were down this year for various reasons, mostly local noise and some interesting fading of signals in the middle of an exchange or, as in one instance a poor barrel connector that took a while to find, (WHAT!  They NEVER go BAD) we are still happy with so many working hard and contributing to the success through everyone’s efforts. We operated VHF through HF including several data modes including EchoLink, IRLP and some I cannot spell.  

We learned some important lessons that include checking and tightening such connectors as mentioned above and learning to limit the social aspect a bit to be less of a distraction to operators and yet always being available to educate and answer questions and encourage support for the Amateur Radio Art.  Yet it must be understood that we never wish to limit productive networking among hams that will serve to make better operators. Making better operators is always the end goal of this and other operating opportunities that take place throughout the year.  

We are already looking forward to next year.  And we found a new Pizza resource that will be utilized next year. Thank you all again for your support, encouragement, good humor, and the fun of Skywarn

Best wished for a Joyous Christmas and Holiday season.

73

Bob, W7UWC

Mary, AA7RT