Written By: Gloria, KC2BRY -

What are three reasons that the Amateur service exists? This is one of the questions I remember from studying for my test recently. The answer is: "To recognize the value of emergency communications, advance the radio art, and improve communications and technical skills." I heard one HAM sum it up nicely when I first started 'listening in'. He said, "HAM to me means Helping All Mankind." The philosophy of operators like him is what drew me to Amateur Radio.

What is the purpose of an Amateur Radio Contest? Am I naive in believing that the goal is not so much in winning the most points as in honing your skills as an operator? Am I wrong in thinking that the goal is not to 'gain' the most power so as to obliterate your 'opponents' but in learning how to best use the power you have for better communication with your fellow HAMs? Does proper etiquette and good manners apply while contesting, or is it okay to call "CQ contest" in the middle of another operator's QSO? Is it okay to invite an operator to meet you on another band when there are operators using only one band who haven't had a chance to work him? Shouldn't solicitation of any kind be against the rules? These are just a couple of the questions I came away with from my first contest.

What impressed me most overall in the 17 hours that I observed and participated? WA2BAH. Why? In my mind, he epitomized the philosophy of Helping All Mankind when he took the time out from contesting to help another operator (KC2AFB) decide what grid square he was in. KC2AFB was very near the border of 4 grid squares. WA2BAH invited him to a quieter frequency, got out a map and helped find his proper grid. KC2AFB returned WA2BAH's kindness by getting in his car and going Rover in order to give out all 4 grids. To me THIS is what it is supposed to be all about. When all is said and done, nobody is going to remember who got how many points... but all will remember what kind of an operator you are.

 Editors Note: We thank Glo, KC2BRY, for sharing her impressions of her very first VHF/UHF contest. We hope you've enjoyed it as much as us. Maybe it will even encourage a few others to share their views. After all this is YOUR newsletter too!

All electronic submissions for this newsletter should be sent to:

Mr.Bill, NY2U via Packet


TARA Makes Donation

To the 1997 WMHT Auction

 The Troy Amateur Radio Association recently made a donation to the 1997 WMHT Channel 17 Auction. This donation was made to support Public Television in the Capital District, and to generate interest in the amateur radio hobby. The donation was partially funded by Gerald, WA2IWW, and a matching donation was approved by a vote of the membership. The donation included four complete sets of the following materials:


A copy of "Now You're Talking - All You Need to Get Your Amateur Radio License"

A copy of the "ARRL Net Directory"

An introductory Morse Code course on Audio CD.

A letter entitling the bidder to attend the next Albany County RACES/TARA amateur radio class which is to be held at the Heatley School in Green Island during the Fall of 1997. Two of these packages were auctioned off on Tuesday, April 29. The other two packages were auctioned off later in the week. TARA also made similar donations to the Channel 17 Auctions in 1995 and 1996.

In addition to the TARA donation, there were a few area hams working the auction on Tuesday, April 29. These included April,KA2QIG, Tony, WB2BEJ, John, KB2UKV, Jerry, WA2IWW, and Beth (later licensed as KC2BSC).