I attended the Riverton class over the weekend. The next class is 6/7 August 2016 in Dubois, Wyoming. I urge you to attend: I’m a noob in terms of radio communications, and I learned a lot. I’ll be going to the August class, so long as I’m not prevented from doing so. This class is appropriate for noob through expert level-if you don’t learn something, you may not be paying attention.
The class followed the agenda (see the link above) pretty closely. I won’t go over it in detail, but I’ll answer questions in the comments.
The most important things I got from the class was that I need to add to my library, and that I need to be listening much more than I intend to talk.
During the first day, we were asked to go outside and listen to several frequency ranges, and try to identify the traffic therein. I found it very instructive, as I had set up my software defined radio, and I had a difficult time obtaining a decent signal. I assume that I need a better antenna. I’m using a mac, so I’m using a nooelec dongle. If you have a pc, use the link above.
A local vendor was in attendance, and was very helpful in helping to solve radio and antenna issues. I’m advised that he will attend the Dubois class.
In the afternoon of the second day, everyone with equipment were asked to set up their equipment and transmit. Never having been around an amateur radio field day, I was able to see several different setups, from fancy schmancy store bought stuff to very inexpensive homebuilt stuff, and lots in between. I have a much better idea of what I’ll need now.
Please make every attempt to get to the Dubois class- the information is well worth the $100 asking price.