Coffee & Radio Net

When COVID-19 took hold of the world in March of 2020 and brought a halt to everyday life, amateur radio was still alive and well. While there were not weekly breakfasts or club meetings, members of the club gathered on the radio to keep up with how everyone was doing, and to talk about all kinds of other things not related to COVID-19.

The Coffee and Radio net, an idea brought about by Dino Papas KL0S allowed people in the area to get together when social distancing prohibited otherwise. Every day at 9am on the 146.76 (- tone) repeater folks got together to enjoy a coffee or any other beverage of their choosing, and talk about what has been going on in their lives. It quickly became popular and on some days the net would go on for a couple hours, talking about things like rabbits in the garden to favorite places to eat. Occasionally radio related topics would come up, and sometimes there were people asking for help with an antenna or radio issue.

While things have opened back up and COVID-related restrictions have eased, the net continues to meet every day at 9am. Folks continue to gather to chat about what the day holds, or what their latest project is on their workbench. The addition of EchoLink and AllStar network connectivity to the ’76 machine have allowed people to check in from all around the world.

In the June 2021 edition of QST Dino wrote an article about how Coffee and Radio allowed hams in the Williamsburg area to keep in touch despite the social distance. Click Here to read the QST article (reprinted with permission, June 2021 QST; copyright ARRL).