Monday, July 22, 2019

Hot, hot, hot!

Like many places around the country, this past weekend in Central New Jersey was pretty brutal. The high on Saturday (according to my weather station) was 98F (37C) and with the humidity factored in, the "real feel" was around 112F (44C). Sunday it reached 99F with a real feel of about 118F (48C) as it was a bit more humid.

Due to the excessive heat and the associated demands on the power grid, there were a couple of instances where we lost power, but for only a few seconds. Those are unnerving, because when the power goes out, you have no idea how long it will last. Public Service Electricity and Gas quickly re-routed electricity to our part of the grid, so the disruptions ended up being minor.

Earlier in the day, Marv K2VHW and Drew W2OU and I were on hand at the South Plainfield CERT building for a HamCram.  I really don't like HamCrams very much, as my experience is that a fully structured class yields much more positive results. HamCrams are only successful if the participants studied faithfully on their own and use the Cram as a review session and as an opportunity to clear up any remaining quandaries that they may have.

I have to admit, this one was successful. It was held by Eric KD2ONY and SPARC's responsibility was to provide the meeting space and to conduct the VE exams. There were 11 participants and 8 walked away with their Technician class licenses, including a 7 year old girl who is the daughter of one of our members.

Eric put on a good review session and it became obvious to us right away that most of the people in the group had dome some serious study on their own. The answers to the review questions, for the most part, were answered correctly with no hesitation. As always, the toughest parts seemed to be the sections on decibels, metric numeric conversion (kilo, mega, micro, pico) and the frequency privilege boundaries.  Despite that, the new Techs did well on their exams with no "close shaves". Those who passed, passed with few errors.  Only one of the three that didn't earn a license came so close, missing by only one question. We assured that person on how close he was and assured him with just a little more study, that he will be a Tech in no time. Just so you know, we did offer him the chance to take another version of Element 2, but he declined.

Shortly after I got home, after preparing and eating dinner, my cell phone started going crazy with alerts that our area was under a severe thunderstorm alert until 10:30 PM. I went down the basement to disconnect the antennas and around 7:30 PM, we had a brief but strong storm pass through. We must have had another at around 10:30 PM, as my weather station indicated that we got about a 1/2 inch of rain around that time. By then, I was out like a light and dead to the world. If there was lightning and thunder, I sure didn't see or hear any of it.

Looking at the long range forecast this morning, next Sunday looks (at this point in time) to be sunny with a high of 87F (37C). I hope so, as next Sunday is the Flight of the Bumblebees. The plan is to go up to Washington Rock State Park in Greenbrook and operate from one of the picnic tables that is shaded by one of the tall antenna supports (trees) that are located there. I am looking forward to a fun and relaxing afternoon of outdoor QRP fun. There haven't been enough of those, lately.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. Larry, I could not agree more about the HamCram. IF the students have studied on their own, it works to an extent. I've been a part of many of them and some folks have success. But we recommend at least 3 weeks study before they come to HamCram. Our club (North Fulton ARL) has a new thing we are trying. Not many have taken us up on it. It's a self paced program where we assign an "elmer" to work with them. For more info, see our webpage: See the part about self paced.