Skills Day: Last Minute Info!

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To My Fellow Hams Including
® and Non-ARES Personnel!

and I’m sure that your non-hams friends will be welcome, too –
I have been assured that there will be plenty of seating in all forums.Amateur Radio Skills Day is rapidly approaching!This event is open to ALL AMATEURS who are interested in honing their skills as both an operator and technician in the hobby.Please join us this Saturday, September 14, 2019 at:GPSTC (Georgia Public Safety Training Center),
1000 Indian Springs Drive, Forsyth, GA 31029.Sign in at GPSTC begins at 0745 and the first classes start at 0900.
IF YOU HAVEN’T REGISTERED YET, please do so now:

The old way of using the Training Registration System has been replaced with an Email only registry.  THIS IS A NEW SYSTEM, SO GO AHEAD AND REGISTER FOR SKILLS DAY WITH THIS EASY-TO-FOLLOW AND COMPLETE PROCESS:  

To register . . .

(1) start an Email to

(2) Make the subject of the email: Registering for (ARSD (ARES100-7))

(3) Copy and paste the following 4 items into the body of the email.  Complete the first two items:
– My full name:
– The last 4 of my social security number:
– I am registering for course (ARSD (ARES100-7))
– Date of the course:  September 14, 2019


We’re hoping to have a good showing for this inaugural event. Here is a link to the Skills Day course descriptions:

It is a good idea to bring your lunch so you can maximize the time making new friends and renewing old friendships during the 1+40 minute lunch period.
Going to Skills Day?  Need a Ride?
I do not think anyone has actually confirmed riding with me yet, but I have room for 5 people to comfortably ride with me in my Honda Pilot to Skills Day – I have to go anyway, so I’m paying the gas.  🙂  If you would like to hitch a ride with me, please call me on the phone to “reserve” a seat – 706-466-5646.

Here’s my Saturday morning schedule:

4:40 AM – I plan to leave 100 Tennis Court Cir, Waynesboro if anyone would like to leave with me from there and go to Waffle House first.  Please be sure to arrive a little early and park anywhere on the grass.

5:15 AM – I plan to arrive at Waffle House which is kinda sorta one road directly behind Sam’s Wholesale Club – 246 Davis Rd, Augusta, GA.  Turn left on Davis Rd. then take an immediate right into Waffle House if you’d like to meet me for a breakfast.

6:05 AM – 6:15 AM – I will pick up everyone going including the “Waffle House folks” at the Walmart Supercenter on 260 Bobby Jones Extension because it has a huge parking lot and is open 24/7. Look for the unassuming grey Honda Pilot with a very modest 2m/440 antenna on the back roof.

At 6:15, we’ll pull out for the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, 1000 Indian Springs Dr, Forsyth, GA 31029.  Please be a little early so you don’t get left – right?!

8:30 AM – We should arrive at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center assuming we don’t have to make any more stops (and it’s okay if we stop for a potty break, more coffee, etc.!)


WINLINK THEORY: During this class, we will briefly explain the most common uses of telnet, packet, Winmor, and peer-2-peer. Configuring the software for the different modes and setting up the address book for email and SMS messaging is covered. Use of the ICS forms will be demonstrated. Prerequisite is to download Winlink Express prior to this class.WINLINK PRACTICAL: After the Theory session, students will hook up their laptops to a Winlink station and practice sending and receiving actual messages.CABLES & CONNECTORS: This course will cover various cables and connectors to include powerpoles, PL-259, N-connectors, BNC, SMA, and F-type.SOLDERING: This course will cover techniques for soldering connectors to make your own cables. Also covered is soldering components.DIGITAL NET CONTROL: This course will cover the essentials of acting as a digital net control station. Multiple modes will be discussed. This course is for those who would like more information about conducting such a net, but may not be ready for a commitment. Prerequisite is working knowledge of Fldigi, D-RATS, and/or WINLINK.

FEEDLINES: This course examines the different types of feedlines from ladder line to coax to hardline. The characteristics of each are compared. A discussion of which feedlines are best for a given frequency and mode (HF, VHF, & UHF) is presented.

GO KITS: This class will discuss various GO Kits. Using a participative approach, the class will discuss the advantages of different components in a GO Kit. This is offered in the lunch area during lunchtime. You will have an opportunity to view different GO kits and discuss tradeoffs between size and functionality.

MULTIMETER FUNDAMENTALS: This course will examine the uses of a multimeter as it pertains to Amateur Radio. Students will measure voltages, resistance, and current in various circuits.

MESH NETWORKS: This course will cover what items can be used to set up a MESH network.  Routers, limitations, firmware, software, and antennas will be covered. Practical applications of a MESH network will be presented.

D-STAR: This course will concentrate on getting into the different repeaters and being able to access the different reflectors available. A basic understanding of D-Star is helpful prior to taking this course.

ARES CONNECT: This course will explain how to use ARES Connect to report on what your organization is doing. It will cover how to enter individuals, training, events, and qualifications.

POWER SUPPLIES: This course will examine different power supplies from generators, batteries, solar, switching supplies, and standard power supplies. The course will discuss advantages and disadvantages of different power supplies.

DEPLOYMENT FUNDAMENTALS: This course will cover some of the critical aspects of deploying during a disaster. In addition to having the right equipment and training, the psychological and physical stress component will be discussed.