JSCARC classes are baaaack…

We’re baaaack… providing amateur radio license classes to all JSC center employees and students.

Dr. Bob Scully has taken the instructor lead to kickoff this years first series of Technician licensing training courses beginning today February 21 and lasting approximately 9 weeks. At the end of the course, an FCC license exam will be provided by our team of VE’s, led by KB5PGY at the Gilruth Center.

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Introduction into Contesting – November 18th

If you’d like to try out contesting, on November 18th, the ARRL Sweepstakes kicks off the SSB segment (CW just concluded last weekend). Never contested? No problem. For this event, you can’t operate for more than 24 hours for the duration of the event and can only have one transmitter on the air. It’s a perfect time … Read more…

Notes from a Tower Climber Newbie

After guidance at the last JSCARC meeting from Ken, K5RG, and reading on-line comments, I successfully completed my first climb of Mount Gilruth (aka the 80’ W5RRR tower). Actually, I only climbed up a bit beyond the rotator, so the actual summit measure was more like 70’.

A few comments posted here, which may aid future, ham trekkers. Some comments are reinforcing messages from Ken, and some are my own lesson’s learned.

Here goes:

  1. My forearms were straining as time wore on. Why? Because, as Ken advised, get a very short positioning lanyard as possible. The positioning lanyard, which comes in a variety of lengths, ties your body to the tower and allows one to lean back a small amount, and redistributing your upper boday weight from your forearms to the lanyard cord. My mistake: I bought a medium length positioning lanyard- I thought it was good enough, but for it to work effectively, I would have to really lean uncomfortably backwards for the cord became stretched out enough to share my weight. Yes, I could have used it but as a newbie, there was no way I was going to lean waaay back from the tower to exploit it’s weight distribution property. I elected instead to completely not use it (even though still clipped in) and instead relied on my forearms to assume the bear hug position to keep me safe. Buy as short a positioning lanyard as you can.

Read more…Notes from a Tower Climber Newbie