ARES Hurricane Matthew Shelter Activation

Hey Guys!

Since I live in West Central Florida, we are often very susceptible to hurricanes. Recently we had a very large (Category 4) hurricane come our way. Hurricane Matthew was a hurricane that affected us here in Manatee County. Matthew was so strong that it required Manatee county to open up some of its shelters. When they announced that they would open the shelters, myself and a few other members of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) went to go activate the shelters. This entailed going to the shelters, introducing ourselves to the members of the National Guard who were running the shelter and setting up our emergency radios in the radio room. The shelter was at Braden River High School and and the radio room was in room 703. We met a bunch of really nice people who helped us gather the information we needed and prepare for the worst. Luckily, evacuation was never called for and the shelter was never fully opened to county residents but in case it ever was, we now know the procedures.



The cable connector for the radio (PL259)


The shelter location (BRHS)


The outside of the shelter


The radio connector again


Location of Radio room (evidently normally used for teacher planning)


One of the VHF/UHF radios we set up there

J-Pole Antenna

As you might know, I am an Amateur radio enthusiast. (KM4GPL) I got my license in December of 2014, so about five moths ago. I am currently studying to get my general class license. One of the things that I needed was an antenna for home.

As usual, the pictures of my build are below:







Ham Radio Update 1

Twell, it’s time for a Ham radio update. I got my technician license in December of 2014, its April 2015 now. Since then, I have joined three Ham radio clubs, ARES, BARC, and MARCI. I have built myself my own J-Pole antenna (a very intensive build, a separate post w/ video on that soon.) I built myself my own Ham “shack” in my room, I even built the desk myself (more on that in another post soon). I have made a ton of friends, all of which are really nice. The other night I talked to a kid who was 14 and was visiting from Boston, MA. Every Tuesday night of the month I go to a Ham radio meeting. I hope to get on the board of directors at MARCI and I am building a brand new website for BARC (yep, another post on that too coming soon). Their old website looked (looks) like it came fresh out of the 80’s.

Anyway, thats all for now, more posts to come on all those projects!


Amateur Radio Technician Test


About a month ago, I decided that it was high time that I got my Amateur Radio license. I had done some studying up on the subject and I decided that I wanted to take the test for the Technician class license. I studied the online test practice website and when I felt I was ready, I RSVPed for a test date one week later. I did a little studying every day up until the test. For the test, we drove down to Venice, Fl and I met some really cool people there. I took my test which consisted of 35 questions. I only missed one question! 34/35 questions means I earned 97.14% on my test! After I passed, the VE’s (Volunteer Examiners) wrote up an element 2 credit slip (picture below). About a week later, I received a piece of mail from the FCC with my license card (picture below), and my station license (picture also below).

I am now KM4GPL and now I’m on the quest for some radio equipment!