As the new year is underway we have already seen some changes headed our way in the amateur radio world with the new $35 fees from FCC. Solar Cycle 25 has shown some promise as we have seen a number of days over the last couple of months with a solar flux index above 90, so those DX contacts may grow in great numbers over the next couple of years as long as you keep active.
While 2020 is in our rear view, we still have leftovers that will affect us for some time yet. The greatest of those, at this point, seems to be social distancing in regards to amateur radio. Regardless of anyone's personal opinions or beliefs on the matter, it continues to be a part of the fabric of our lives that affects a majority of the aging amateur radio community. We have to continue looking out for one another and adapting as best we can to the needs of our club membership.
One of the adaptations we will carry over from 2020 is video conferencing that takes the place of in-person meetings for some clubs and has become an integral part of most. While most places will not permit larger group gatherings on site resources, such as Zoom and GoTo Meeting, have provided a way to accommodate those who wish to attend from home or elsewhere while maintaining a fairly steady attendance. Some clubs are even seeing some growth thanks to this option.
Additionally, we will be absent many hamfest events again this year for the same reasons, but we will adapt and still get together on the air, whether on the radio or via a webcam. The advantage to this will be that training classes of all sorts will be more accessible to a larger crowd since they can access online classes from home rather than having to plan a day trip to a hamfest in order to catch a forum.
What classes do you want to see offered online for amateur radio operators?
Marion County ARC is offering twice a week Technician license classes through January via Zoom. The link can be found on their Facebook page.