An Extra class on EchoLink? – KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog

An Extra class on EchoLink?

october 5, 2014 by dan kb6nu 4 comments

After reading my post on the latest Tech Class, a reader e-mailed me, “I’m looking for an Extra Class. Do you know where I can find one.”

Very few clubs teach Extra classes. I think the main reason that there are so few is that there’s so much material, which, in turn, translates into a loooong class.  From the teacher’s point of view that means that you not only have to find a teacher (or teachers) who is comfortable with all that material, but who is also willing to prepare the class material. This is not a small undertaking.

Another consequence of having to cover so much material is student fatigue. It has been my experience that students get tired of coming to class every week for the eight-week General class, so you can imagine how many will stick it out for a 12-week or 16-week Extra class.

Having said all that, I’m thinking of taking a different approach. What I’m thinking of doing is starting an informal Extra Class “Elmer net” on the W8UM repeater on Monday nights.The W8UM repeater has an EchoLink connection that would allow hams—both students and teachers—from all over to participate. I do hope that several teachers would be interested in helping out, so the teaching load wouldn’t fall only on one person.

When I say “informal” what I mean is that the class would not be structured to cover all the topics on the test and that we’d march through them week by week. Instead, someone would select a topic from the Extra Class question pool and the net (remember this is taking place on a repeater) would discuss that particular topic.

My thought is that participants would e-mail me, or whomever the net coordinator is, with the topics that they would like to see covered. The coordinator would choose the topics that the net will discuss, scheduling them several weeks in advance. The schedule would be available on my website, or a website set up expressly for this net. Students could then see what topics are going to be covered and decide whether or not to attend.

Would you be interested in participating in something like this if we got it started, either as a student or a teacher? If so, please comment here, or e-mail me. You can also try me on the W8UM-R EchoLink node. I normally participate in the University of Michigan ARC net at 0000Z on Sunday evenings and randomly monitor the repeater at other times.

via An Extra class on EchoLink? – KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog


Excellent idea from Dan Romanchik (KB6NU).  Because of a shortage of Extra Class instructional opportunities, Dan has floated the idea of holding an “Elmer’s Net” for those aspiring to an Amateur Radio Extra Class License on the W8UM repeater.  Dan says that repeater has an Echolink connection, so students and teachers from around the country can pitch in and help those needing study guidance for the Extra test.  This sounds like an excellent idea.  This “Elmer’s Net” is a lot better than studying this material on your own.  If you would like to help out, please get a hold of Dan at:  cwgeek@kb6nu.

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Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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