SPARC

SPARC

St. Petersburg Amateur Radio Club

One Day General Class Upgrade Workshop Forming

Tom NY4I is forming a multi-club one-day General Workshop.

THIS IS NOT A CRAM SESSION. You must do pre-work from the book. Our goal is to work with the material you have learned by self-study, clarify some topics and teach you how to be a general. We want people to know what to do with their general class license when they get it.

We will start 6 weeks before the scheduled workshop day. Each student is REQUIRED to purchase a Gordon West General Class Study manual. The students have to commit to doing the work ahead of time with help from our instructor team to understand anything along the way. When they got to the session, we did a high-level review of the questions but more importantly, we sat them down at the radio (using the well equipped SPARC HF station) so they knew how to use their radio. Having the beam outside to show the difference between the director and reflector, having a working HF station so we can show digital modes, etc makes for a much more hands on session.

We plan a session to be held on a Saturday starting at 8:30 AM at the SPARC clubhouse in Pinellas Park. We have coffee available. The students bring a sack lunch. They spend the day reviewing any areas they have questions and also get experience hands-on with the equipment. An example is something simple but it illustrates the intent. Last time I brought my box full of coax connectors and adapters. They read about N connectors in a question, but passing them around and seeing them up close makes them better hams. Due to the need for a fully-operational HF station, plus for the amount of room we have, the location has to be the SPARC location in Pinellas Park. That is quite centrally located to everyone.

A the end of the day, a VE team comes in and gives tests to all the students. No one that was an instructor in the workshop is permitted to participate in that test session. That is just to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

The expectation is that the student could really pass the test after their pre-study work. This gives them a specific date to get it done. The students have to do the work up-front. If they think they cannot crack the book and just attend a one-day class, they will most definitely fail. That is on them. If they participate, and respond to our interim sessions (a few conference calls emailing questions) and come to the session wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, they will pass. We had 6 out of 6 pass the last time we did this session.

We will set a date only after we gauge the interest. I have to limit this to 20 people. The first 20 people that respond are on the list. We can then decide on a weekend.

The optimal student is self-motivated, willing to make studying for a General class license a priority and electronically available (email, etc). Please respond to Tom NY4I@arrl.net. Please let me know if you are interested in upgrading to General with this workshop format. Note this info is being shared with other clubs in Pinellas County so if you are seriously interested in upgrading to General, reply today!

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