Hey everyone, KE0LMZ here! Our November meeting was packed full of information and experience!
Firstly, I’d like to thank ARES EC Stephen Swerline KF6DRH, ARES AEC Renee Cason KE0LMZ (that’s me!), Kelly Stanfield W0YQG, Samantha Henley KE0LMY, Roger Henley KD0WXT, Alex Cason KE0YGT, Joe Barnett KE0WLB, and Kim Barnett for attending this month’s meeting!
The first thing that happened was a fantastic presentation and demonstration by ARES member Kelly Stanfield W0YQG about her equipment and how she runs nets. Since Kelly has been blind from birth, her radio setup is different from how sighted people set up their radios. With the help of her uncle Joe Krout KR0UT and her fellow blind ham friend Craig Martin KY0O, Kelly’s radios have been modified to talk to her and make it easier for her to operate on the air.
One of the primary machines that Kelly uses is a HUMA brand BrailleNote, which is used for storing files and turning TXT files into Braille. Kelly uses this BrailleNote to not only read scripts for nets, but also to keep track of callsigns! Kelly uses an abacus to keep track of the total number of check-ins on the net so she doesn’t have to manually count all of them in her BrailleNote.
Former ARES EC and still member Samantha Henley KE0LMY recorded Kelly’s presentation and several questions posed to Kelly by ARES EC Stephen Swerline KF6DRH, ARES AEC Renee Cason KE0LMZ, and the other present members of ARES. Everyone was fascinated to see how Kelly ran nets while also using the BrailleNote and abacus at the same time!
Keep an eye out for a future blog post showing the full video of Kelly’s presentation!
After that, the ARES members all sat down to discuss things like future training and meeting dates. Ideas were shared for the training and a rough draft of the calendar up to June was created, so look out for those updates on the site. The members agreed that their January and February meetings would be over Webex instead of in-person. As for December, Samantha volunteered her farm as the location for the ARES Christmas party on December 11th. Further information about the Christmas party and potluck will be emailed out to existing ARES members!
Finally, plans were set in motion to do some maintenance and updates to Echolink starting on January 1st of 2022. Echolink will be put back up as soon as possible!
Overall, it was a great meeting and a lot of things were discussed and got done! We hope to see everyone at our 2022 meetings!