Picture this: returned to the fold

·2 min read

Aug. 6—Decades ago I was a member of the Ada Amateur Radio Club, listed as Ada ARC. I let my membership lapse about 20 years ago during a time when the club fell into neglect.

This week I was listening to a local amateur radio repeater, one I use and monitor all the time, and heard several "hams" mention that their meeting would take place at 6:30 at the college, and that the parking lot construction was finished, so parking wouldn't be a problem.

"I should go to that meeting," I thought to myself, "and join the club."

Ada ARC has long since been replaced by the Pontotoc County Amateur Radio Association (PCARA), and though I have been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1996 (callsign KC5TFZ), I have never been a PCARA member, so I applied and was accepted last night.

In the same way that photographers like to ask you about your cameras, and shooters like to ask about your guns, ham radio operators like to ask about your radios, which, last night, they did. I told them that I have two dual band Icom radios in my Nissan Juke. The 2820H below the climate/audio panel is set up as a scanner on the left side, and my primary transceiver on the right side, while the 2350 in the center console is set up like a VHF scanner on the left, and a UHF scanner on the right, programmed to monitor police, fire, EMS and storm spotters around the area. The Icom IC-V8000 is a high-power 2-meter transceiver in my Nissan Frontier 4x4.

They all informed me I should have bigger antennas, but my current setup is about right-sized, since they all seem to have solid signals while being short enough they don't bang on the garage door frame when I pull into the garage.

At the end of the meeting, I invited anyone who was interested to join me as my guest Friday morning at 6:45 at the Aldridge for Ada Sunrise Rotary. Some of them seemed surprised to learn that there is a 6:45 in the morning.

If you have dreamed of doing something in your community, from becoming a sewing circle to learning to fly, and anything in between, there is no time like the present.