RFC Show Notes Episode 051

00:00 Opening Theme “Hand-Picked” by John Williams, from the album “Long Ride Home”
01:01 Introduction Look for the next installment of the mobile installation discussion, and feedback, in the next episode. 

Richard asked several local amateur radio clubs for copies of their newsletters in order to develop ideas for future podcast episodes. One of them, The Tyler Amateur Radio Club of Tyler, TX, sent Richard a copy of their newsletter, The Groundwire. An article in that issue provides the topic for this show.

03:40 Topic “Studying to the test.” That is, simply memorizing the correct answers to the questions without actually understanding the concepts.
This is not a new phenomenon. Prospective hams have been doing this to some extent for a very long time. Many hams have passed the exam this way, and only after receiving their license did they begin to actually learn the material.
Richard believes that it’s our responsibility to Elmer the new licensees and keep them interested and motivated to learn more.
The newletter article, “Recommended Reading”, from the March 10, 2011 issue of The Groundwire, courtesy of the Tyler Amateur Radio Club, is reproduced below: 


Recommended Reading

Frankly, I look upon the FCC’s current method of granting amateur radio licenses with considerable disdain. This is wrought not only because I’m “old school” (and proud of it!) but also because, in college, I saw many of my contemporaries get as good or better grades than I simply because they were as good or better “memorizers” than I was a “studier”. Typically, a day or two after an exam, they couldn’t recall even “D-level” recognition of the material much less any real working knowledge of same. I feel the current testing format encourages “cramming”, a.k.a. just memorizing questions and
answers long enough to score a passing grade on the tests.

Some of the statements I hear on the air today, both on repeaters and HF, only serve to bolster that opinion. For example: “I need to get a new antenna because the one I’m using doesn’t have enough SWRs.” (No, I’m not kidding!)

I don’t want anyone to be able to accuse any of my fellow TARC members of falling into that “crammer” category. Accordingly, I urge all to continue reading and studying about all the technical aspects of our shared hobby, especially those that interest them most, e.g. antennas, receivers, circuitry, power, grounding, etc. to get a good foundation into not only the “whats” (i.e. “crammer-level”) but also the “whys” and the “hows” (where understanding and application begins). To that end, I offer a few PDF documents as a good place to start to learn about a few of the aspects of building and properly operating a useful and safe shack. These short documents cover lightning protection, RF grounding, and the term “decibel” (dB).

(Thanks to Bob, AG5X, and Elaine, KF5CNN, co-editors of The Groundwire, for allowing us to reproduce their article here.)

16:34 Conclusion Check out the website, make a donation to the podcast, use Go Daddy for your web hosting, and click the Amazon link for your purchases. Send your feedback! Check out Linux in the Ham Shack, too. 

Email Richard at kb5jbv@gmail.com
Twitter: twitter.com/kb5jbv
Identica: http://identi.ca/kb5jbv
Friendfeed: http://friendfeed.com/kb5jbv
KB5JBV on D-Star via the NT5RN repeater.
Fan pages at Facebook for Resonant Frequency and Linux in the Ham Shack.

Closing theme “We Gotta Go” by David Henderson at Podsafe Audio.
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