Please allow me to answer the questions you have asked. Yes, our programs current key recipient in question does have a call sign. At this current time he holds a Tech class FCC License. However, by the middle or end of next month we suspect he will achieve his General Class ticket. Whenever considering further help, such as a Rig, Antenna or other donation the group always makes sure that the applicant is VERY motivated and shows great promise. When working with Minors we do not release their personal information for security reasons.
Our group doesn't necessarily have a "club" station, however we do have "Elmers" nationally who open their shacks to those interested in operating. The Halfway House for Keys Program is a national program and spans the entire country, 90% of our applicants are not in the local area, or even in the same state as we are. Therefore a club station would do nothing for those applicants.
The plastic key that you're probably referring to is something similar to the MFJ low cost key available now. That key with a base is currently closer to $30, and no longer $1.99. The Brass J38 model you're talking about would probably set you back about $20 - $60 plus shipping on eBay if you were to go that route. Eliminating that expense for the operator helps them focus on getting on the air with CW,
No, in most cases the youth are not handicapped. That is unless you consider a handicap not having a support system such as parents that can afford or encourage their child's hobby and an Elmer to turn to.
Mostly our applicants are youth such as with the Boys and Girls club of America or other groups where funds they may have are generally put towards non hobby related items. Others come from rural areas of the country where they don't have access to items or people like others may. Yes, some do have the ability to earn 'a small income' over the summer time, and this is why the program is set up to relieve 'some' of the cost of their new hobby, and not ALL of it. More importantly we provide an opportunity for a young newly licensed ham to communicate with someone who knows an understands the hobby and CW. In other words, it's more than just a key, its the support they need to grow their CW hobby. Lastly, our program does have a set criteria which the applicant must conform to in order to receive our help. We do not hand out keys to every person that requests one. Often we have older hams that just want another key for their collection requesting keys from us. This of course is discouraged. I hope that I have helped answer some of your questions, even as brief as this was. 73/72,
, wrote :
Does the youg fellow have a call?
Have you given any thought to constructing a club station where these young guys/ gals can go and get on the air, getting there feet wet, until they can raise the funds to get their own station. Also lets them see if they like it.
The key I cut teeth on was a plastic $1.99 RS straight key. I quickly upgraded to the $5.99 brass model.
Our local HS radio club was entirely funded by student fundraising events (work details) and we learned alot about radio and life.
You didnt mention if these young people were handicapped, or some other reason they cant earn their first rig like the majority of the rest of us did. It gives you a warm feeling to work all summer for your first station....
I GUARANTEE theres some older neighborhood folks that could use help cutting there grass or other household chores teens can do so easily.
Will give him something to talk about when having his first cw qso, with HIS rig HE earned... .
Just my two cents. The hobby has taken a huge turn, making it easier and easier to get privelages that had to be worked HARD for in days gone by. Hurdles arent a bad thing.
Bag under my Tarp...
Btw: I stll have that $5.99 brass racer
72 and Good luck
Dean K2WW ...