43. Check your equipment!

Last Saturday I participated in a charity 5k walk/run in Xenia, Ohio.  Half a dozen hams came out in relatively cold weather to act as safety monitors for the runners and walkers.  While not scheduled to work this event, I brought my handheld with me to monitor their repeater while I walked.

For many years now District 3 ARES Net staffers have repeated recommendations for all ARES members to maintain and regularly check their equipment.  On the morning of the event I noticed that I had failed to charge my battery and had only an hour left to do so.

Well, to make a long story short I started to check into the event net and my partially charged one year old battery was almost immediately too weak to transmit.  It died entirely before the event even began at noon.  Red faced, I asked another ham to report my loss of signal to net control and completed the event as just another walker.

I guess there must be something to the old saying that those who can’t do – teach!