Southern Humboldt Amateur Radio Club
blue shark
August 2001 Issue

The Eel River - photo by Kim A. Cabrera (KG6BFO)

Always learning at Reggae on the River

By Cory Allen KN6ZU

I always seem to learn many useful tricks for being a better communicator at this particular event and it is because I am immersed in a sea of brilliant people.

Understand this event would fall on its face and would be a disaster if it were not for Dan Gribbi, WD6AOJ. He not only acquires, programs, sets up the 200 handheld radios, the 5 base stations, the repeater, both on UHF and VHF, but installs all the phone lines for the event. A daunting task for a team of people!

Dan had asked me to deliver a message to the "On Site" security kiosk. I did not know where it was as I only had learned where the "Backstage" security trailer and the "Parameter" security were. This did not please Dan and that was obvious. My excuse? Dumb! I hadn't taken the time to learn where this strategic place was located.

After feeling "Dumb" for a moment I kicked into "ham mode." I started a new regime. I took the operational manual for this year and started to study. Having an attention deficit problem was no excuse. I wrote down names that were in charge of every aspect of the event. From site management, to productions, band shuttle, to septic, from fire personnel, to the on-site lawyer. I wrote as many names as I could on a card next to the radio channels where these "major players" could be found.
The next morning I was determined to be of better help, and did so! Here is my new axiom.
Just because no one else is keeping a "log sheet" doesn't mean you can't! I felt much more focused. Though most entries were not necessary, it gave me practice and confidence. One must remember that some communicators will literally know everyone in charge. I only see most of these important people at the event once each year. I had NOT done my homework over the years.
I will add a critique note here as I have been asking for years why these people don't wear name tags and a brief job description on their laminates. (Some had put them on the back) {Not much good there} Security had them and it is always nice to call someone by their name and give an encouraging comment/compliment. It also helped me remember who was who! I have a very bad memory and it shows up IF I don't study, log all calls, time stamp them, and write, "DONE" if the situation is resolved!

I promptly put a makeshift nametag on myself and hoped that people would be able know to blame it on Cory! Hi! Hey in a pinch one can use a mailing label and I will now keep a few in my turnout gear.
It is one of the best events I have been privy to work. I met old friends, made new ones and felt the love of many.

I also want to thank Dave (KK6ZY) and Jaye (KE6SLS) for their very proactive efforts. I think Dan will put up with me if I can just bring these two smart ham operators with me each year! Hi! They both volunteered for the tedious "Graveyard Shift!" Wow! I'm so lucky to have such friends!

As always, a special thanks must be given to Dan's wife Leanna. She really helps deal with all the logistics of having such a successful event!

I am always tired after such a demanding situation, but I always have a great big Cheshire Cat grin on my face for days from being around such giving and brilliant people!

If you haven't been there it is truly an "instant city" and with that it is critical to know what you need to do to perform well. I even saw other people "time stamping" notes to the stage after I started to do so! That took the sting away from feeling dumb!

This is a fun event and is not a real disaster, but it's as close as it gets. I shudder to think how stress levels will be tougher in a real disaster! Practice your ham skills or you will regret your performance!



Yes folks, I have decided to change the deadline or submission date to the 4th of each month!!!
There are a few reasons for this decision. The most important reason is to get the newsletter out earlier each month because you take away accountability and responsibility and you have Cory! Hi!
Also I have NOT received many articles for submission in the entire time I have been asking for help from the ham community for this newsletter. Jerry Wilson, KF6IBP our secretary, is about the only person in many months that submits anything. I am tired of waiting for nothing each month and I find it hard to find the time to get the "snail mail" version in the mail before the month is almost over.
So thrill everyone and me. SEND AN ARTICLE! One could start by finding some clean jokes or tell us why you became a ham, what interests you, what your hobby is and how ham radio has helped you. It's not that hard to do... I will grammar and use a spellchecker so youz ain't makin any misstakes that are too obvious! Hi! Again.... THE 4TH OF EACH MONTH OR IT WILL NOT GO IN THAT MONTH'S ISSUE. Thanks to those who have taken a piece of their time to send me something from time to time.... 73 from the Editor


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What happened to the "Grand Welcome" that others and myself received when we got on the air for the first time? I remember the first time well! I was so busy writing down call signs and names I was so pleased and excited that I was hooked on ham radio forever!

Now I hear little or no response to a new call or even an older call that has not been "on the air" before in our area.

No one can answer every call or "monitoring" request for conversation, but I do try to at least make the "new folks" feel like they are not out there alone.

If I hear another complaint about the "shrinking ham community" I will not be able to hold my tongue! Is your life so busy that you can't even welcome the new hams? Gee, I feel sorry for you as that only takes about 2 minutes tops!

I wished Buck Minor, K6RFE was still living around here as he even came up with quick and witty phonetics for each person that got a new call.

So just why did you get your license? Who was your encouragement person or "Elmer" that got you to "buy the book" you used to study? What keeps you busy? Do you work or are you retired? Have you any other hobbies or interests like computers?

I have known two times that hams in need didn't get an answer from the ham community and the next day they were dead. I can't live with the "should of - could of" syndrome on another one.

I would hate to think it will take a disaster to get us to dust off our lazy attitudes about ham radio.
In my book or opinion, this trend is unacceptable!

I am dismayed by this! There is no excuse! I will not put my radio away, but rather use it twice as much as I do now! That's enough to scare some of you I know! Hi! We need to change this trend NOW! We need to know what people sound like without stress in their voices so we can tell when they are stressed!

What Happened? The few, the proud, and then the morons, that think hams just jump out of a book and know what ham radio is all about?

Let me finish with an example. A "new ham" got on the air for a signal report. He got an answer. Then the new ham started talking like he was on a CB in a truck. He was not using "clear text" he was using "trucker jargon" and he was using 10-4. He might well have forgotten to give his call sign every 10 minutes or less.

Now comes the sad part. The more experienced ham just signed off and left the new ham hanging like a dead carcass! He didn't kindly remind the new ham this was not appropriate. He didn't help one bit! I ask you who, in this situation, who was an idiot? One clue for the clueless... It was NOT the new ham! Hey does the truth hurt? Use your right and write me.

We either change this trend or we have no one to blame but ourselves for band reallocation, lack of trained operators, and dwindling numbers in the ranks of ham radio and trained emergency service operators. This is only my opinion and I welcome input! Cory Allen KN6ZU


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There was not a quorum of members so there was no monthly meeting this month!!!


Well I guess if you listen to the "Weather Report" on FRWA linked repeaters .76 .61 etc. between 0830 and 0900 or have heard by other means, you know that Hank, KD6IBS-1 in the Fortuna area is taking check-ins on the 145.050 KB to KB packet system all day each monday.


The Redwood Amateur Radio Club, RARC, Is offering VE Testing ON August 26, 2001 at the Riding Academy on 1200 Ross Hill Road in Fortuna, CA Code and Theory test will begin at 12:30 PDT.
Bring two types of ID and the $10 to cover the testing costs. Please bring the exact amount or a check as the VE's will not have change for other amounts.

If you are licensed, bring your original license for verification and a photo-copy for the FCC. The same is applicable for CSCE. For more information contact Frank Cope K6BMZ at 725-4706


Next Club Meeting is on August 28th in Garberville at the Fire Hall
Please try and attend if you can!

Remember that you can save the club money and paper by signing up for the e-mail version or check the web page:

I do hope that some articles will come in from hams in the community. Your input is always welcome.


Jaye and tilting Dr. Dave - photo by Cory KN6ZU

Jaye, KE6SLS and Tilting Dr. Dave KK6ZY!


For more club photos, see Photos link at left.


PO BOX 701
REDWAY, CA 95560