Ok, it is just over for the “Summer Static Season”. I am talking about the Geratol net that meets every night on 3.668.0 at 0100 UTC from October 1st to April 30th. (http://geratol.info) I stumbled across this next back in Feburary. The net control that night was Frosty (W0FP). His description of what the net was doing and his friendliness hooked me right away.
“The Geratol Net is an Amateur Radio Worked All States net that meets in the 75-meter Extra class phone subband for the purpose of helping amateur radio operators obtain the special WAS award available for working all 50 U.S. states with hams holding two-letter Extra class callsigns.”
How is that for a mandate? I would guess that anyone looking to get a W.A.S. award by making contacts on multiple bands could probably do it in a week, maybe even an evening given the right conditions. W.A.S. on a single band might take a little more time depending on the band and conditions. Limiting yourself to the “Extra Class only” portion of any band is a little crazy.
A “little crazy” is not crazy enough for these folks. Maybe I should say “us” folks, since I have been an active participant for several months. They chose the “Extra Class” portion of 80/75M, which seems to have a static crash every time a mouse sneezes. Still not content with the level of the challenge, they up the ante by requiring all contacts submitted for the award to be with an operator that has a two letter Extra Class callsign (1×2 , 2×1 or 2×2 callsign).
I got a lot of enjoyment out of this past round of the Geritol net. I did not get all the contacts that I needed for the “basic” award. I am only 7 short. One thing I did get is an education. I leaned some things about my radio that I did not know before I started participating in the net. I discovered some issues with my antenna setup. And I was informed of a problem with my transmission audio that I am still working to resolve. Most importantly, I met some great Hams.
To all the Hams on the Geritol net, I say, “Thank you! I have enjoyed meeting you on the air waves and truly appreciated all the help you have provided me.” To those who are looking for a great net, or are new to the Geritol net, I say, “This is a great net and there are some great guys and gals on here. I hope to meet you next round.”