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July 30th, 2008

Baseball!

The past few weekends have been spent working hard at all kinds of things. This weekend I am going to take a well-deserved break. I am going to go to a baseball game and have some good ol' American fun! I can't wait!

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SkyWarn introduction

Have I mentioned that the National Weather Service also works with ham radio operators? They do through a program called SkyWarn. When there is severe weather in the area, SkyWarn nets are activated on the local repeaters and hams can call in with severe weather reports. They attend a training session that teaches them how to spot certain types of weather such as funnel clouds and how to report in conditions. At some point, I want to attend the class and get my SkyWarn spotter ID. Then I can call in when there is severe weather and let the NWS know. It's just another fun thing to do with ham radio.

The reason I am posting this is...

This evening after work, I went to Tom's house for a while to hang out with the family and friends. As soon as I got there, Tom comes and says something to the effect of, "Remember how on Sunday we threw you into the line of fire? What do you say we do it again!" And up to the radio shack we went. "Uh-oh," I thought to myself... Next thing I know, Tom hands me a printout - the SkyWarn net script?... SkyWarn has been activated? Yes, and Tom, the net control operator, had to run into town and was leaving me at the helm! All I had to do was sit and listen for any incoming reports, so it wasn't too bad. If somebody had called in with a weather report, I would have called a certain number by phone to report it into the National Weather Service. Lucky for me, nobody called into the net and Tom soon returned and took over his post at the radio.

I think I can see myself running a SkyWarn net sometime, though. With the script in hand and the NWS radar up, I think it might be pretty fun to do. The only problem is that sometimes the weather warnings are active for a long time and that means the net is active a while, too. Every half hour or 15 minutes, you have to read the net script. Well, that will come once I have free evenings again...

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