Saturday, June 29, 2013

Boy Scout Merit Badge Class on the Battleship IOWA

Gonna be a busy day today. I'm helping with the Boy Scout "Radio Merit Badge" class today on the Iowa.

BTW.....we can't call the "U.S.S. Iowa" anymore (sob...sob...) as she's no longer an active ship of the U.S. Navy. We have to refer to the garnd old gal as the "Battleship Iowa".

A small technicality, but an important one none the less.

I'll be in the Comm Center helping the Scouts to get over any On-The-Air shyness (a.k.a. "Mic Fright"), and to make sure nobody does anything STOOOPID while transmitting.

In my experience, the Scouts are all fine young lads who take direction very well, but the FCC requires a "Qualified Control Operator" to be in physical control of the radio gear while unlicensed people use it.

If you know any Scouts, the Radio Merit Badge is one of the lesser-known badges, and a good one to have. I forget how many Merit Badges my son has, but his sash is pretty full.

Time to hit the shower, get dresses, gather up all my materials, and head on down to the Iowa.

See you all later.....


  1. Sounds like fun, and I'm looking forward to any AAR you care to post.

  2. Enjoy the time with them, and train them well they ARE our legacy....

  3. Went pretty well, considering this was another first for the Iowa.

    We made a nice list of things we need for the next time, like a chalkboard/whiteboard, some fans and extension cords, and some other misc items.

    The ship is still not running on shore power. We have to rely on a big genset sitting on the pier. And even if we do get shore power (it's in the works, but the Port of Los Angeles is in no hurry), we still have issues firing up the shipboard HVAC.

    It hasn't been run since 1990 when the mothballed the Iowa, and we have no idea how much and what type of crud will come blasting out of the HVAC ducts the first time the system gets powered up!

    Having 30 kids in a poorly ventilated room for an hour is quite an experience. Some of them were dozing off by the time the classroom session was over.

    Band conditions were really bad, BUT we managed to find a Canadian station in Alberta who was very happy to work with us. He had been a Scout, and his son and grandson were in Scouting, too. He worked well with the Scouts we put on the radio on our end, and we were lucky to have contacted him.

  4. I was Weapons Department Head for Iowa's third commissioning. When we talked to any other vessel over the bridge-to-bridge R/T, we always used "Battleship Iowa" to identify ourselves.

  5. That's interesting. I'll pass that along to my fellow Hams on board.

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