Greater Bridgeport ARC’s New “CARES” Program to Provide Continuous Training to its Members

Greater Bridgeport ARC loogoThe Greater Bridgeport (CT) Amateur Radio Club has established a new program to provide continuous training to its members–both in the classroom and with on-air activities. 

“The program is called “CARES – Continuing Amateur Radio Education & Skills,” says GBARC Public Information Officer and Past President Emily Starbrook, N1DID. “It’s our commitment to our members to help them achieve their goals. CARES believes that no ham should be left behind. Once someone has made the commitment to become a ham, we will make sure they have the skills and technical access to make the most of ham radio.”

CARES will consist of two “tracks.” Track A will target new hams, while Track B will be for ham who are on the air:


Typical Track – Classroom Topics

Track A – Basic Skills

● Buying a handheld radio
● Programming your radio
● Power Supplies
● VHF/UHF Antennas
● How to make a tape measure
Yagi Antenna
● Introduction to Foxhunts
● DMR/D-Star/Fusion
● Q-Codes
● Moving on to your General
Class License

Track B – Skill Building

● HF Privileges for Technicians
● Intro to Soldering
● Make a Cable with PL-259s
● Baluns and Chokes
● How to make a J-Pole Antenna
● Building an arduino based
foxhunt transmitter
● CW keyers and decoders
● Operating digital modes
● Building a multi-band antenna
● APRS and Packet


Typical On-Air Track Activities

Track A – Basic Skills 

● Your first simplex contact
● Your first repeater contact
● New Ham Nets
● New Ham Ragchews
● Rookie Roundup Contests

Track B – Skill Building

● Simplex Nets
● Simulated Emergency Tests
● On-Air Group activities
● New England QSO Party
● Winter Field Day/Field Day
● Antenna Ranging

“The CARES program is for continuing education which doesn’t leave out the possibility of VE sessions,” says Starbrook. “But so much of what VEs do has moved online, so it is unlikely to become an in-person testing service anytime soon. Much self-paced training is available online that is highly effective for people who are motivated.” N1DID feels that GBARC will be much more effective in “offering help to people to navigate questions they have after they take advantage of those online resources.”