Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Shooter's Amateur Radio club.

                                    of which I appointed myself the vice president of, has gotten the OK to set up a special events station at Camp Perry, Ohio during the National Matches. Maybe it will become an annual event.

The SARC became an entity when a bunch of shooters that also are hams were yakking on an internet forum and the subject of the possibility of bringing a radio and setting up shop at Camp Perry during CMP week came up. A couple of the guys were a bit overwhelmed as to how to go about this and my answer was that we simply form a club and I immediately started pointing and saying, "OK, you are the treasurer, and you are the secretary," and so on. I simply appointed officers.

Actually, what I did was told one guy "You are dictator for life. This is an annually elected position. I'm vice president which means I make sure all the booze, blow, hookers are divvied up evenly and the card games are kept honest, you are treasurer and I will send you $1.57 to take charge of. You are secretary. We now have officers and we are now a club. Quick fix."

The appointed officers took to their real duties without being given too many instructions and started providing much needed feedback and ideas. A couple of days later one of the guys had whipped up some stationary and the secretary ran out and found us a PO box so we could have a bona fide address.

This is actualy one of those start ups that sounded pretty whacked out with the "You, you and you." appointments and all of the chaos that went with it but the actual reality of it is that a number of hams got together and decided to team up and do something.

We're all shooters and almost all of us have shot at Camp Perry before and pretty much know the drill and take our roles as both shooters and hams fairly serious. I forsee an interesting little special event station setting up at the National Matches and I'll just bet that we'll be asked back again.

What is interesting is how just about all the members are pitching in, even those that can't make it. I just got a 1000 foot roll of neon pink paracord donated by my nephew and I think I'll snag a roll of 14 gauge wire to drag along. I was seriously considering neon pink, but because the antennas will be up in the air I will likely go with black as I can use any leftovers at home.

A lot of you readers will wonder why I chose pink, which is somewhat of a significant color to me. I chose neon pink because it stands out in the twilight and most men tend to avoid just about anything that is that color. It ought to help keep someone from plowing into a guy wire or antenna support. I know a smoker that buys pink lighters so that nobody will steal them from him at the bar. (There is a method to my madness.)

Another guy is going to get us a deal on the QSL cards which we are sure to be asked for, and another has offered to take on the chore of stuffing envelopes and things of that nature. It is interesting because the membership is strewn out all over the country and yet at this stage the entire thing seems to be coming around and getting off the ground.

The final OK just came because the secretary just took it upon himself to go to Camp Perry and meet with the people there who he reports are enthusiastic about it.

Of course, I am going to bust his chops about taking off the feed store overalls and camoflauge t-shirt and wiping the tobacco stains off of his chin and putting on a pair of shoes before going to Camp Perry but that's half of the fun.

The people at Camp Perry are far from fools. They know shooters. Shooters are responsible people or they would not be at Camp Perry. The very few irresponsible ones that have ever showed up there have been thrown out so fast it will spin your head. They also know that ham radio operators are licensed and as such have a license to lose.

I suppose if they read all of our communications they would most likely jump out of their skins because they do sound a little strange. I'll admit the entire project at first sounded pretty half-baked. It's all there for anyone with Google skills to look up and although the way it was put together may sound odd, you can read between the lines and find what's most likely a pretty good group of guys getting together to use the National Matches as an FCC licensed special event.

My guess is that is why they decided to let an ad hoc ARC set up field operations there during the National Matches. Besides, there will be a little good PR for them at least from the ham community.
I heard the CMP people are going to mention that we are planning on showing up which is a little notice for us, too.

The spot they have alloted us to set up shop is a bit out of the way but it has one thing that will make portable field operations a little easier. There are trees there that we can utilize to string antennas from. That ought to make things a little easier.

This is an interesting project and I am looking forward to it even if I have to go it with only a couple of people. Maybe I can create a couple of new hams out there or get a couple of existing hams into portable operations. Who knows?

The thing I find most interesting about this is setting up a project with people I have communicated with over the web for a long while and I get to work with these guys face to face. It is always interesting meeting people face to face.

Still, there's a lot of work and a lot of organization that has to take place to make it a go and I'll most likely spend several damned hot, sweaty days at Perry setting things up and running a rig in the sun but that can be a lot of fun in itself. I hope the bands open up.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.

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