W4RRN WINS THE ARRL ALABAMA 2018 YOUTH HAM AWARD
Congratulations to MARC member Warren Whitby IV, W4RRN for winning this year’s ARRL Alabama 2018 Outstanding Youth Ham Award. Warren received the award at the Huntsville Hamfest on August 18. It was well-deserved, as can be seen in Warren’s achievements below.
Sixteen-year old Warren is homeschooled through Sovereign Grace Academy in Millbrook, where he maintained a 3.67/4.00 GPA during his sophomore year. He is an active member of the Youth Ministry at Heritage Baptist Church in Prattville. Warren was first licensed in early 2017 and upgraded to General Class in May of that year. He is a member of the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club and the Elmore County ARES group.
Warren participated in Field Day 2017 and 2018. At the latter, he set up an FT8 station and worked that mode all day on Saturday, making well over 30 contacts despite poor HF band conditions and RFI. He participated in the on-air trials of the Field Day mode for FT8, as well. Warren also brought a homebuilt DMR hotspot and made Field Day contacts through it. He subsequently gave a presentation to the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club membership on his portable DMR Hotspot.
Warren built his own VHF, UHF, and HF stations, including a dipole antenna and an extensive station grounding system, and created an APRS station. He discovered Echolink in 2017 and made QSOs and ham friends around the world. Not long after he created his own node, including a simplex channel on 146.445 MHz. His interest in Echolink subsequently led him to found the Central Alabama Echolink Net that meets Saturdays at 8:00 PM local time, where he serves as the net control station. Going a step further, he linked his node to the National Hurricane Center’s Echolink node when Hurricane Irma was a potential threat to this area, providing local hams with direct information from the National Hurricane Center. The young ham is also an enthusiastic proponent of Hamshack Hotline to link local hams with Voice over IP.
Warren has mastered JT65, JT9, FT8, Olivia, and Winlink, and has become an enthusiastic proponent of digital modes and DMR. He created and installed station packages for each of those modes and earned the Worked All Continents award on FT8. He has assisted local hams with problems they encountered with Echolink and the digital modes, station setup, and radio and associated computer equipment.
Warren is a regular user of the MARC 146.84 repeater and participant in local nets, including the Central Alabama Two-Meter Net, the Central Alabama Skywarn/ Emergency Net Golf, the Whootie Owl simplex net, the Troy Amateur Radio Club net, and the Elmore County ARES net. On the air he has acted as a relay for other hams when they had difficulty accessing the local repeaters during net activities. Warren also regularly participates in the Darling Downs (Australia) Radio Club’s net via Echolink and the Gold Coast (Australia) Amateur Radio Club’s net, also via Echolink.
Warren represented the young generation of hams as part of the amateur radio delegation at the Alabama State Capitol when Governor Kay Ivey signed a proclamation designating 18-24 June 2018 as Amateur Radio Week in Alabama. He has also been an enthusiastic young ambassador for ham radio, regularly speaking to non-hams and encouraging them to get involved in the service/hobby. He was recently asked to make a presentation about ham radio to interested members of his church. Warren regularly goes to local hamfests in Montgomery and Birmingham Alabama, and attended the 2018 Orlando Hamcation.
Young Warren Whitby is an exceptional young man with an extremely bright future. Congratulations on his successes, past and future, from all of us in the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club.
Source: Warren Whitby III, KE4ITL