VP Comments by Larry Eicher, K4JZQ – June 1, 2016

VP Comments by Larry Eicher, K4JZQ – June 1, 2016
Folks, I had hoped to post this column or blog on the June edition of the AARC Beacon but due to circumstances beyond my control, the next best thing is to publish these comments via the all member AARC general email list, with a copy on the AARC website.  I will be adding more announcements throughout June as we head toward Field Day June 25-26 so please keep an eye out for the latest updates. 
There was a lot of positive feedback from last month’s speaker, our new ARRL president Rick Roderick, K5UR, and his talk on “Legacy”.  If you weren’t able to attend the April meeting, or would like to hear it again, go to the following link on UTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7SQxUcx55w.  It’s a speech well worth considering for all of us as we continue to strengthen our own club here in Albemarle County.  What was most gratifying was and is Roderick’s emphasis on getting newer members into a club, having older members act as Elmers, and having the club work as a team for the good of all.  How are you shaping your Legacy to ham radio?
Field Day 2016 is coming up June 25-26 and this year ARRL has developed some new rules that give extra points for clubs who apply them.  One of the new rules relates to bonus points for having a Safety Officer and adhering to a checklist to ensure the safety of club members and the public.  AARC already has Jim Crosby K4JEC as our club Safety Officer and on June 14, as a lead in to Field Day Jim will be giving us a Safety presentation that all members should see and hear.  Mixing a bit of the new with the old, Jim will present his slide presentation using a Raspberry Pi hooked into the NRAO projector  via the HDMI output, and power it up by loading a Linux-based operating system program from a jump drive. As many of your know, the Raspberry Pi is a palm sized computer that sells for $35 and runs a full suite of Microsoft Office like, and compatible, applications.  Its size can be ccompared to a common deck of cards. 
As an added bonus I’ve asked our own Dr. Michael Rein, KA4JJD to give a short presentation on ‘Ticks and Mosquitos” so that we will all be better prepared to face the rigors of Field Day without undue health concerns. Michael is a Professor Emeritus Harrison Distinguished Educator at the University of Virginia and we are honored to have him as a ham colleague. His expertise on communicable diseases is timely as we head into the summer mosquito season here in Charlottesville.  If we run short of time we will post his comments on the AARC website for all to read.
On June 4th the Field Day committee will have its final plenary session before the big weekend event on June 25-26 at the ECC on Ivy Road.  We will be setting up tents, antennas and coax Friday June 24 from 2-5PM and volunteers are requested to assist if you are able. Set up will then be completed Saturday morning June 25 from 8AM for the radios and computers.  Members will be asked distribute flyers to public bulletin boards around the area to help get the word out to your friends and neighbors.  In particular we want to encourage more interest in ham radio by inviting the public to try their hand at our GOTA station (get on the air). Under the supervision of our GOTA team, Bill Phillips AD6JV, and Matt Holcomb KB3FTP,  we hope to have even more interaction with the public than even last year’s big success.  Please mark your calendars for a pot luck supper at 6PM on Saturday June 25. AARC will supply baked/fried chicken and members are asked to bring a veggie, salad or dessert side dish for approximately 6-8 people.  If we can get a volunteer to provide a grill, hamburgers and/or hot dogs can be an added feature to the supper menu for those interested. 
In order to be successful each Field Day has a lot of moving parts. One of them is knowing who is able to do what actions and when someone is available over the 24 hour training period. To this end we again ask members to go to the AARC website and sign up for your particular time and favorite activity.  If you aren’t certain of your speciality or would just like to assist, just list yourself as a “Floater” and specify the times when you can be available.  We will need everybody’s help in this effort; otherwise we’re demonstrating nothing to the public as to our public service capabilities.  Field Day is another example of that “legacy” that K5UR was talking about. Let’s show our public we are ready for any adverse event here in Albemarle County by turning out in greater numbers.
73, Larry K4JZQ