Is “Remote Testing” of Amateur Radio Allowed?

The question of “Remote Testing” is definitely on many folks minds and comes up in many discussions in our Amateur radio world. I decided to do some background research on this subject and found this document (rule amendments) from June 5th 2014 that directly addresses the issue. Find the item on page 7 titled “Remote Testing”

FCC-14-74A1

I am sure there will be more information coming on this subject. I understand the W5YI group is working to facilitate remote testing and should have information on their website soon.

Help Support Casa Jimenez Restaurant

Vilma Arlotti has been in contact with the manager at Casa Jimenez Restaurant. They of course cannot allow “dining in” but are open for “Take-Out” orders. Being our meeting location, we would like to support them by using this Take-Out option. Vilma has sent a email to the membership, I have posted the body of that letter and have included the attached menu;

Hi all, 
I hope your week is going well. As mentioned earlier in the week I spoke to Jose from Casa Jimenez to check in with him to see how things are going. He said “they are only allowing us to do orders by phone to do take out”.  I told him I’d help him out by sending an email to our club members to see if you are OK to place an order either Friday or Saturday to help them out. He was super happy and said thank you so much.
They have always been very nice with us in allowing us to come in and order what we’d like and accommodate us in the back room for our monthly GOTAhams meetings. All the other restaurants require us to order a full meal while others even charge a fee to use the room.  Not at Casa Jimenez. So now we pay it forward.
Please find the Menu attached.  You can place your phone orders available for pick-up at 909-625-7632. Happy eating everyone.
Best,
Vilma Arlotti, Director of Hospitality GOTAhams

Thank You Vilma for bringing this to our attention and supporting the people that have supported GOTAhams

GOTAhams April 2020 Newsletter Posted

During this very Unique time in our world history, Our officers and members have been working diligently to help the Amateur Radio community stay connected, communicating and informed, Our Editor Vic Corella KM6RWB is no exception compiling and editing our Newsletter. Please go to our newsletter web-page and check out his latest installment

GOTAhams Newsletter Page

Virtual Meetings Weekly

Amid this Covid-19 Emergency and being asked to “stay socially disconnected” and Shelter in place, avoid people etc. the GOTAhams need to make every attempt to stay connected, informed, vigilant and as always Social. Recently we have instituted some new tools and expanded schedules facilitating our “Social Connection” plans.

  1. Nightly radio nets at 8:00 PM on 446.400 PL 103.5 WA6FZH repeater except for Tuesdays, We keep the original schedule of 7:00 PM and add our Virtual General Meeting using our Zoom Video Conferencing App
  2. Video Chat/meeting using the Zoom video conferencing App. Several of us have been practicing with this app nightly and have affectionately coined it “The GOTAhams Lounge” On Tuesday evenings we will be holding our regular membership meetings in lieu of our restaurant meetings. There are pages on this that will help you install the Zoom app. If you don’t have or want the camera you can easily turn it off. it is not a requirement, You will still see the others and they will hear you. Why So many meetings? We have found that this interaction mitigates our feelings of loneliness/isolation and we’ve helped each other with finding supplies etc.
  3. We maintain a public text “chatroom” here on the website that helps us stay connected and has allowed new people to contact us and we have been able to guide them to help with their new radio equipment and invited them to our Zoom video chat.
  4. Plans include using our Zoom app to host a technician licensing class for some of our future hams virtually while maintaining that “Social Distance”

I am looking forward to seeing most of you at our Tuesday “Virtual General Meeting” 7:00 PM on the repeater and on the Zoom App ’73 Ken KC6WOK

Real Covid-19 information

Seeing and hearing lots of “information” that appears to be rumors, innuendo, fake news etc. I did some research to find real and useful information and these are the things I found. This is the correct and usable links to “official” sources.

What GOTAhams are doing as a Club during these trying times

As we get our daily dose of “What you should do now” or Who’s got it now? etc. Now we are being forced to avoid crowds and each other, which is the opposite of why this club was founded, We promote the social aspects, getting together, learning from each other sharing our experiences in the hobby and our daily lives.

When I was already stuck at home convalescing from surgery, I came up with some ideas of how to keep us connected as a club and as radio hobbyists.

First, hold a nightly “Net” on our regular weekly Net meeting repeater to stay “socially” connected, check on the welfare of each other and maintain the “Social distancing that we are being asked to do. Now, each evening at 8:00 PM on 446.400 PLof 103.5 WA6FZH repeater we have been meeting, sharing where to get specific food or supplies, which stores are open special hours for Seniors etc. this has become a popular nightly event, Open to All not just club members. We have met some other local hams that have stumble across an active repeater with a friendly open round-table conversation.

Second, We need a way for our club to have a “General Meeting” while adhering to the latest state rules of 10 or less and of course do it without an actual place to meet! Our Secretary Kathi KD6CAF suggested using the “Zoom” video conferencing App and I found that it affords us a “plug-in” for our GOTAhams website. We started out doing one test after our regular Tuesday night radio Net. The test was very successful and we began a nightly “test” of that platform to give ourselves time to learn how we might use it for our “Virtual” General Meetings.

many of you have seen the posts, joined us on the Net and met us in what has become our nightly “Virtual Lounge”. We will be adding more information, Video links etc. to help get people familiar with these new tools. Plans are to try and have a weekly General Meeting (Virtually) in an attempt to maintain our social connection and keep our plans for future Club events moving forward while we weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

’73 Stay well, stay safe and we’ll see you on the air and on Zoom, Ken KC6WOK

Using Zoom App, our new Video meeting tool

Please bear with us as we all learn to use these new tools that are offering us Social Connectivity while being asked to “Social Distance”. Some other amateur groups have begun using this App to transition large meetings to “Virtual Meetings”. Kathi and I have used this for virtual training with our CERT team. It appears to have a short learning curve for “Users” but it is trickier on our Web management side. I am confident we will learn this just as we are evolving with the other list of tools we’ve recently added to our growing Website.

To set up a free account on “Zoom” got to zoom.us on the upper right will ask you to “Sign Up it’s Free”, simply click on that button it will ask you to put in your “Work Email”. Simply use whatever email you entered for club communications (the one Kathi sends you all that club “junk email”) Zoom will send you an email to activate your Zoom account (if you don’t see it check your “Junk” or “Spam” file) click on the email from Zoom titled “please activate your Zoom account”. then click on the button that says “Activate Account” it will take you to a page where you will add your name, create a password, verify that password and click on the “continue” button. Now you get a page allowing you to invite friends through their emails, you can scroll down and click “Skip this step”. You are now a member, fully activated and ready to join any Zoom meeting, event, webinar etc. as a free member, if you “host” a session it will limit you to 40 minutes. GOTAhams is a “Pro” member allowing up to 100 users to stay connected for 24 hours as long as WG6OTA is the “Host”. I believe at this point if you try to “start a meeting” Zoom will give you options for installing the “Zoom App” simply follow those directions and you should be ready for our Tuesday evening Video Chat following our 7:00 PM Net. You will just log in through the website menu on the far right side.

I do think patience is a virtue while we all learn these new “virtual/Social” tools. if you’re having issues, Email, web Chatroom, the WA6FZH repeater are all useful tools for help.

Also there are Android and I-phone apps to use this service, I am working on testing that option now.

Good luck, I hope to hear you on the Net and see you on our Zoom app ’73 Ken KC6WOK

Update: we have been using our Zoom App to participate in nightly video chats at 7:00 PM along with our 8:00 PM nightly radio round-table net on the WA6FZH 446.400 pl 103.5

we are still learning how to use these new tools but by helping each other things are getting better and I personally feel better staying connected to my Social group.

once you have installed the Zoom App, you can use the menu on this website by clicking on “nightly video chat” on the menu bar, then clicking on the link in that page. If you are on the “Zoom.us” website, after signing in you can click on “join a meeting” at the top of the page and entering 572-706-914 in the “meeting ID” button. Good luck and we’ll see you on the radio and/or the “Zoom V-chat Room”

Claremont CA.R.S swap Meet on Hold for March

Kathi, KD6CAF (GOTAhams Secretary) received an email from Scott KG6ABF today concerning the Claremont swap meet, the following is part of Scott’s email:

Following the current Federal, State and local criteria, we are going to put on hold for March the swap meet.

We will still keep April as active date but reserve the right to re-evaluate as the situation evolves.

Once again the March CA.R.S swap meet (Claremont) is on hold and will not take place due to an abundance of caution for all who attend and we look forward to April to reconvene the event.

Thanks
Scott
KG6ABF

I would Like to thank Scott for his diligence in keeping us apprised of the latest information and he has asked to Speak on our Net tonight concerning this latest development. ’73 Ken KC6WOK