- Test your radio and antenna - where can you reach using simplex?
- Practice using your radio
- Practice emergency communication procedures
- Meet your radio neighbors
Things to try for Grid Madness
- Talk to your radio friends ahead of time and arrange to meet on one of the suggested channels.
- Promote the event in your club and try for the new Club Award (to the club with highest designated total). Just have club members and friends designate your club on their entry form.
- If you are new to ham radio: On Sunday, get on the air and make some new friends. Ask them about local nets that you can join.
- Simplex is a short-distance method. But - during Grid Madness, listen for signals coming over the ridge or across the ocean from another island! For Big Distance, set up on a pu'u, or on the coast, perhaps with a directional antenna, and post your plans in Comments.
- With a mobile radio or HT, try roving: Go to a high point that overlooks a populated area. Call "Grid Madness" + your call sign and see how many contacts you can make. Then move to a new grid square. The idea is to find a grid that probably has no other hams that will activate it, has road access, and a "radio view" to an area where there are hams to contact.
- Use another communications channel to "spot" your contacts. During the event, you can use repeaters (be courteous to other users), Internet, telephone, or HF radio to arrange an actual simplex contact.
- Before (and during) the event, you can post in the Comments section below.
- You will need to know your grid location. Here are some easy methods. On a computer, use either of these websites:
(Get Help at How do I find my Grid Square?)
- With a mobile device, many apps can track your grid location in real time. Some examples:
GPS Test (Android) by Chartcross
Maidenhead Grid Locator (Android) by LSTools
Ham Square by Kram (iPhone)
- Try a new antenna at your home QTH, or on the road.
- Add 146.52 to your radio scan list before Grid Madness. Put your call out now and then, monitor, and make some contacts. Ask them to come on for Grid Madness at 1300 HST on Sunday. (Note - Starting in 2016, you may use 146.52 for the actual event!)
- Arrange with your friends, club, and local net to meet on the air for Grid Madness!
Techniques for Simplex
- For some contacts, you will need higher power. Know how to adjust the power on your radio.
- To hear weak stations, you may need to adjust your squelch or open it all the way.
- Use your biggest, highest antenna.
- For most FM voice work, your antenna should use vertical polarization.