Friday, 28 March 2014

Offering Assistance to RAYNET

I hear a lot of opinions about RAYNET from within the UK amateur radio community, some praising and some dismissing its existence. One thing is for sure - unless you get involved and give it a try, how are you ever going to know whether you like it? I never thought that I would enjoy being a member of RAYNET, and yet here I am finding myself starting a second year as the Group Controller for Gwent RAYNET group. This is a friendly group of people who always welcome newcomers. The annual subscription for RAYNET is very reasonable at under £10, and new visitors can come along to see if they're interested first before joining. On Wednesday evening I enjoyed getting together some 2m and 70cm equipment to help out with a RAYNET Zone 7 exercise. I was asked to help out because a local spot near Chepstow provides a good operating location (it's quite high up with good views over South-West England) and allows those of us living in South Wales to offer whatever help we can in relaying messages. What I enjoy most about this kind of thing is that it focuses the mind and provides the motivation to get all the equipment charged up and ready to go. These events aren't always 100% successful, but that doesn't matter - the more we practice the better we get. So I would encourage anyone who is the in the habit of criticising RAYNET to come along to a local group and see what goes on. You never know, you might like it!

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