Youth@HamRadio.Fun: Awards All Around
The ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Award
The ARRL has a very prestigious award named for its founder that is presented to young amateurs under 21 who have demonstrated excellence in many points of Amateur Radio. The award recognizes those ARRL members who have exhibited exceptional leadership, technical aptness, operating prowess, recruiting proficiency and a knack for public relations in the past year. It rewards one young ham each year who has taken an interest in the well-being of Amateur Radio.
The 2008 Hiram Percy Maxim Award recipient is 15 year old Jason Hatfield, KD8FDD, of Grafton, West Virginia. When Jason was 13 and on a Boy Scout camp-out, his Scoutmaster Steve Milligan, W1IEU, was teaching the Radio merit badge and had set up an HF station. "I'm not exactly sure why I was interested, but it just seemed like something I wanted to try" Jason told me. "I saw no reason why I couldn't get licensed, and since then, I've been loving every minute of it."
Once while on a hunting trip, Jason and some family and friends got snowed in at a hunting cabin: "I had my handheld transceiver with me, and was able to get on the local repeater and find out what was going on. Since then, I've had an even deeper interest in the hobby."
Jason is involved with scouts; he is currently a Life Scout working on his Eagle project -- I'll get to that in a second. While his troop has a "No Electronics" rule for camp-outs, Jason has been able to take his handheld transceiver -- and even some HF gear -- on campouts. Aside from just getting on the air and showing off ham radio, he even teaches the Radio merit badge at a winter campout they have every year. Jason has even gotten one of his friends to become licensed!
When not recruiting, Jason enjoys PSK31 and Slow Scan Television. "I like the idea of integrating computers and radios," he told me, "and that I'm using a mode that amateurs started and other industries have adopted."
Now to that Eagle project: Jason mentioned he was working on it and I just had to ask what it was. His answer? "I'm building a repeater system to get a SKYWARN net operational in our area."
Congratulations to Jason Hatfield, KD8FDD, for being awarded the 2008 ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Award.
Young Ham of the Year, Presented by AR Newsline
An award presented by the folks at Amateur Radio Newsline, the Young Ham of the Year Award serves a similar purpose as the ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim: To recognize young hams who have gone above and beyond regarding service to Amateur Radio.
The 2009 Young Ham of the Year recipient is 15 year old Andrew Koenig, KE5GDB. Andrew was first licensed in 2005 at age 12 and currently holds a General class license. Andrew said that his first attempt at recruiting involved "getting some friends to take the same licensing class that I took. They saw the enjoyment and how much fun I had and I got them to take the class." Since then, he's been trying to get more of his friends to take the class.
Andrew is also a Boy Scout, currently a Life Scout with Troop 848. Andrew said that "demonstrations of ham radio have been very successful in raising interest" and using "satellites, ARISS, and even using my radio to listen to the National Weather Service while at camp" has also helped. Andrew has even been able to make a contact with the International Space Station at school through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
ARRL ARISS Program Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, told me that "the ARISS Team is proud of Andrew. You get such a great feeling when you learn that a young person earned an achievement award, and the youth attributes much of that reward to a mentor. Andrew stated it would be a nice to share the winning of his award with his mentors, including his chief Elmer, Nick Lance, KC5KBO."
Congratulations to Andrew Koenig, KE5GDB, for winning the 2009 Young Ham of the Year Award presented by AR Newsline.
IARU HF World Championships
July is one of those slow summer months; however, it starts to heat up quite early with the IARU HF World Championships. The IARU contest is always a very fun, easy and competitive contest -- this year was no different.
Reid Crowe, N0RC, is President of the Kansas University Amateur Radio Club, K0KU. He opened the doors once again to operate from an amazing college station. Brian Short, KC0BS; Bill Henderson, K0VBU; Lydia Gibson, KD0EVO, and I took a trip up to Lawrence, Kansas to get K0KU on the air. The bands were pretty crowded, and 15 meters was sounding good. After a few hours on SSB working stations and running them, Bill took a turn on CW and got another pile-up. Rates shot up as he kept knocking off the stations one at a time, and kept putting K0KU in the logs of a few hundred hams.
Due to several commitments, I had to leave early; however, the final word from Brian was that 40 meters opened on time and they kept the QSOs flowing. The total ended up in the 600-700s, and the fun was off the charts.
The North American QSO Party (SSB): August 15-16. The NAQP SSB portion begins 1800 UTC on Saturday, August 15 and runs through 0600 UTC Sunday, August 16. This is a short 12 hour contest, a great one for beginners with an easy exchange of name and state/province. Single ops only work 10 of the 12 hours (30 minutes minimum off time), so take a look at your weather and propagation forecasts to see what times you'll be off the air.
I'd like to make a new section here in the column aimed at recognizing youth for obtaining a license, upgrading, helping in a special event and such. Let me know of a young ham who has accomplished something deserving recognition, and send a short write-up and a picture if possible.
Thanks for reading, 73 -- enjoy another month on the air!
Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM
Duncan P MacLachlan, KU0DM
ARRL Youth Editor