Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dale's Tales for June 2017

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for June 2017.

THIS YEAR, 2017 is the "Year of the YL", a time to acknowledge the service of the Young Ladies
across the globe that are licensed radio amateurs.  In the Great Lakes Division, we recognize the national YL group YLRL, the Young Ladies Radio League that has a strong following in Kentucky.  Founded in 1939, the YLRL is truly an international organization and includes many recognized members from across the globe.

As a matter of fact, our KY Section leadership team includes among its Public Information officers, Jeanean Hampton K5EIB the Commonwealth's Lt Governor.  Information about the YLRL, can be found at: www.ylrl.org.

Many Michigan YLs a hold membership in The Auto State Young Ladies (TASYLs).  TASYLs were organized in 1965 as a network specifically for YLs.  The aim of TASYLs is to promote fellowship and to share our mutual interest in Amateur Radio.  Their TATTLER Newsletter comes out through email four times a year and is the official publication of the organization.  It contains Amateur Radio and TASYL news and activities.

TASYL members meet in person 2 times a year: once in March for the annual meeting (currently at the Crossroads Hamfest in Kalamazoo) and another time in August for a potluck picnic/meeting.  OMs have been known to set up a field event at the site.  Members also meet on the TASYL Net each Thursday at 9:00 am (local time) on 3940.

Membership is open to all lady hams. Non-licensed YLs and OMs are invited to be associate members.  Membership dues are $5 per year.  A membership application form and additional information can be found on the TASYL website at www.tasyl.net or join us on August 26, 2017 at the old schoolhouse at 4960 Portland Rd., Saranac, MI, 48881 at 11:00 am for a potluck picnic.

Ohio YLs formed the Buckeye Belles as their YL organization.  The "Buckeye Burr" is a continuing publication for Ohio YLs, despite a setback in Belle membership.  Susie Scott N8CGM continues to produce the Buckeye Burr regularly and asks that any interested YL contact her if she would like to be included on the e-mail list:  N8CGM@ARRL.NET
Perhaps there is an opportunity to revitalize the Bells and get them back on a regular meeting schedule.

YLs have a lot to share with each other, as well as the OM ham population.  I really want to encourage our YLs to get involved with a local YL group.  Most gather on the air regularly and in person with their meetings often held at the larger hamfests.  It does not take a lot of time, but the camraderie is important and well worthwhile.  YLs, please consider belonging to your local YL group. 

HAMVENTION®: It really happened and congratulations go out to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association for the outstanding job.  I think we all looked at this year's event with a lot of apprehension but the 600 team players at DARA pulled it off very successfully.  The Greene County Fairgrounds proved a well-maintained facility, with new buildings and everyone associated with the event was friendly and welcoming.  Even the rain did not seem to dampen (I had to do it) anyone's spirits.   Thanks
DARA for another great Hamvention.


TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD

One of the key elements in getting and especially keeping new hams is training and involvement.  It has come up many times in the meetings of the Entry Level License committee.  It was a theme at Hamvention®, where it was mentioned by both Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, ARRL CEO, and Rick Roderick, K5UR, ARRL President.  If ham radio is to survive, we need to attract new members, and just as important, we need to help them get on the air.

With Field Day coming up, we have a great opportunity to do just that throughout the Division.  Clubs are already starting to make plans.  I'd like to encourage not just the planning of where to put antennas and how many stations to operate, but also plans to reach out to new hams and inactive ones.  It's great to have a big score and be the top in your class, but it might be more important, in the long run, to count how many hams participated at your local event, and how many new or inactive hams learned something and took a new interest in operating.

If your club has sponsored classes and exams in the past year, have you thought about personally inviting each of your graduates to Field Day?

And even if you haven't held classes, there are ways to search the databases and get the contact information for every ham in your area.

What would it take to drop an invitation in the mail?  How many less-active hams could you encourage to show up?

There are all sorts of ways to build interest.  Demonstrating the art of antenna building and placement will show newcomers that antenna work is not beyond them.  In fact, wire antennas work well, and can be constructed easily and designed for almost any property.  One group I know has even offered to teach soldering and basic connections during the Field Day prep time.

Don't overlook an important Field Day rule, designed specifically with newcomers in mind.  That is the Get On the Air (GOTA) station.  Look over that section carefully.  Your club can add to its total contacts by having such a station.  Even new techs qualify.  There are ways to use control operators and call sign arrangements that allow a GOTA station to participate fully in Field Day. 

You can also add a station without changing your class if that station is dedicated to 50 MHz and higher.  Should we happen to get a nice six-meter opening, you can rack up lots of contacts and points just by putting that sort of station in your operating plans.  It gives you an extra station to operate, so there won't be a shortage of stations for all those new operators you plan to get out there!

And youth count!  Your club can get bonus points for contacts made by young people under the age of 18.  There are lots of other bonus points available.  One in particular your club may wish to use is Social Media.

You could attract attention (see getting new hams involved, above) and get bonus points while doing it. In this case, reading the rules is less a matter of following regulations, and more of a matter of finding new ways operate at Field Day.  Use your imagination for what you can accomplish.  And have fun!

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

 
GREAT LAKES HAMCON.  Many hams in the Midwest are already familiar with this fall's plan for the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention.  October 7 & 8 will bring the new Great Lakes HamCon and our Convention to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) for the two-day event.  HamCon is sponsored by the Great Lakes Amateur Radio Assn, a consortium of 18 radio clubs, formally recognized by ARRL as a "Council of Clubs" and organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit.  A large flea market will be set up on "Pit Road" while vendors will be housed in permanent buildings on the infield.  Additional space will be provided as needed in large tents on the infield.  MIS is located in southern Michigan neat the village of Brooklyn, not far from Jackson.  A typical race day at the speedway accommodates more that 100,000 race fans, so parking and traffic control are well organized and managed by local officials.

This year will include a number of forums and meetings held in MIS conference rooms.  HamCon is pleased to welcome ARRL president Rick Roderick K5UR to cut the opening ribbon.   Forums confirmed to date include DX, Fox hunting - complete with a fox hunt, QRP Operating, Radio Propagation, Kit Building Techniques for Success, a One-Day Tech Class with FCC License Testing and the ARRL Members' Forum.  The Ohio Section will also host a special ceremony for new inductees into the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong.  We have several more forums planned and those will be announced over the next few weeks.

As we get closer to the fall, your Section Manager's bulletins will carry more complete information as well as what appears in Dale's Tales.

HamCon Tickets are now on sale along with camping reservations.  Check the web pages at http://glhamcon.org/.


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.

We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 



Jun  3 - IRA Hamfest - Hudsonville, MI
Jun  3 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH
Jun  3 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY 
Jun  4 - Chelsea Hamfest - Chelsea, MI 
Jun 10 - Luce County - Newberry, MI 
Jun 10 - Union County - Marysville, OH 
Jun 17 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH 
Jun 18 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI 
Jun 24 & 25 - FIELD DAY 
Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH 
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH 
Jul 16 - Van Wert Hamfest - Van Wert, OH 
Jul 22 - Harrison Hamfest - Harrison, MI 
Jul 22 - GMARC Tailgate - Shelby Twp, MI 
Jul 22 - Big Sandy Hamfest - Louisa, KY 
Jul 29 - CMARC Outdoor Hamfest - Lansing, MI 
Jul 30 - Portage Hamfest - Ravenna, OH

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for May 2017

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for May 2017.

Upcoming:  Of course, it is the Dayton Hamvention®.  Certainly, this year's event will be a new adventure, much as it was when the Hamvention moved from downtown Dayton to Wampler's Ballarena many years ago.  We all grew with the expansion into the entire HARA Arena and hardly noticed those changes.  Now, there is a major venue change and associated with that, a new learning experience for everyone.  I certainly want to encourage everyone - attendees, flea marketers, vendors, sponsors and casual observers to be patient and understanding, as the learning curve is steep for all.

The Greene County Fairgrounds offers a great venue for THE major event in ham radio.  All the old familiar vendor locations are gone and replaced by new booths and displays.  We will search them all out and quite likely find new friends and vendors in the process.  I am truly looking forward to this new location and all it has to offer.  As your Director and representing the hosting ARRL Great Lakes Division, I'll be spending most of my time at the ARRL EXPO's "Meet and Greet" area; I do hope to see you there.  Be sure to check out the Hamvention web pages for the latest information:  http://hamvention.org/

Scott N8SY, Ohio SM will also host the Ohio Section Hospitality Booth at the ARRL EXPO.  Scott always welcomes visitors from all across the country, so be sure to stop by.

Spring is here and along with it the potential severe weather that appears all across the Great Lakes

Division.  Many, if not most ARES groups have completed their Skywarn training for this year and are prepared for activation if the situation calls for it.  And, IF their key Served Agency calls them into action.  "IF" is the intended key word.  Self-deployment is not the desired action.  It is fraught with problems - going to the wrong place, not being really needed, being ill prepared for the scenario, not registered with the served agency, needed elsewhere, the list goes on.  Moreover, every season, it seems, we hear of someone who chose to self-deploy into a disaster area only to create a mini-disaster all by themselves.  The self-deployment rule espoused by all leaders in Emergency management is simply "Don't do it"!  Instead, contact your E.C. and let him or her know of your availability and ask if you are needed, where you may best serve, when you should arrive and what resources you need to take with you.  We need to be the best communicators - let's make sure we are on that path.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD

For those of us who have been hams for a while, we know how important clubs are.  And this month, I got to see that once again, having been invited to the 40th anniversary celebration of the Highland Amateur Radio Association.  What a nice celebration with some very friendly folks!  They're a very active club with many activities, especially in recruiting and teaching new hams.

And over the past several years, I've been to a number of club celebrations, including several 75th anniversaries.  Good to see so many clubs going strong.

It doesn't seem like amateur radio is a group activity.  I can just turn on my radio and talk around the world.  Or that is one view.  But when you stop to think about it, if I just call a random number in some other country on my phone, I most likely won't get a friendly response.

On ham radio, at the very least, I'll get some interest in how my signal is doing, maybe a weather report, and a friendly "73!"  And that can only be because of our shared interest in radio.

Taken to another level, there are so many of our activities that are "group" exercises.  You can't do a public service event without a shared interest in the event or cause, and without a good deal of coordination between the ham organizers and the event organizers.  And remember, the spring/summer holds lots of opportunities for these kind of events.

The ARDF Championships, which happen to be coming to Cincinnati--my home town!--on August 6th, are another of those "group" events.  Yes, the individual participants "compete" against each other, but unless there was a sponsoring group, and people who are willing to do the set-up, how would it happen?  Hard to think of a reason to learn about and do radio direction finding without some help.

And one of the odd facts I've learned from being on the Entry Level License Committee of the Board, is that a large number of new hams get their license totally on their own.  And we also know that a large number of technician licensees never advance, and drop out, although we sometimes have to wait through the ten-year license period to see that renewals are down.  Anyway, we can't necessarily do anything about people who want to "do it on their own," but the enthusiasm of the clubs that do hold license classes helps make and retain new hams, who are more likely to be on the air, and advance to a higher license.  So keep up the good work on that front.  And the more activities your club has, with a variety of interests served, the better the club will be, and the better ham radio will be.

All of us can learn, and all of us can participate.  Share your knowledge.  Keep your club strong, and do what you can to help ham radio.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 

May 6  - Cadillac Hamfest - Cadillac, MI 
May 13 - Ashland Hamfest - Ashland, KY 
May 19, 20 & 21 - Dayton Hamvention - Xenia, OH 
Jun  3 - IRA Hamfest - Hudsonville, MI 
Jun  3 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH 
Jun  3 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY 
Jun  4 - Chelsea Hamfest - Chelsea, MI 
Jun 10 - Luce County - Newberry, MI 
Jun 10 - Union County - Marysville, OH 
Jun 17 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH 
Jun 18 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI 
Jun 24 & 25 - FIELD DAY 
Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH 
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH 
Jul 16 - Van Wert Hamfest - Van Wert, OH 
Jul 22 - Harrison Hamfest - Harrison, MI 
Jul 22 - GMARC Tailgate - Shelby Twp, MI 
Jul 22 - Big Sandy Hamfest - Louisa, KY 
Jul 29 - CMARC Outdoor Hamfest - Lansing, MI 
Jul 30 - Portage Hamfest - Ravenna, OH

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dale's Tales for April 2017

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for April 2017.

Good News:  The FCC released ET Docket 15-99, granting US amateurs the use of the 135.7 137.8 and 472-479 kHz Bands.  Check http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0329/FCC-17-33A1.pdf
for all the details.

On March 31, Mich Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R and I had the honor of attending a Press Conference in Southfield, MI where Jim Santilli of the Transportation Improvement Association, State Representative Martin Howrylak, and Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins announced that Michigan House Bill 4466 was introduced in the legislature to curb distracted driving.  MI hams are fortunate that SGL Ed Hude WA8QJE insured that the interests of Amateur Radio were brought into the writing of the bill early on and licensed ham operators are completely exempt from the restrictions of the legislation.  Mr and Mrs James Freybler of Grand Rapids were present to support the effort.  They lost their 17 year old son to the tragedy of distracted driving.

The Bill must go through the complete legislative process, be reviewed by committee before the House passes it and then move to the MI Senate for its approval before the Governor signs it into law.

Thanks for taking the time to read another edition of Dale's Tales. Fortunately, this missive is distributed by ARRL's e-mail system, is reprinted in many of the Great Lakes Division's club newsletters (Thanks editors!) and is also posted on the Division web site.  ARRL members have the option of receiving it directly by selecting "edit your profile" on the ARRL web pages.  While you are checking out that page, you can also select a number of other useful ARRL subscriptions and services, like getting a notice of your license expiration or our publication The ARRL Letter.

You may not be aware, but we frequently survey many of our members who may be late in renewing.  As you might expect, the survey results vary over a wide range, but each response is reviewed as we are always concerned about how our membership views the League.  A significant number of membership lapses are simply "Whoops I forgot" and the renewal is on the way.  We are thankful for that.   Most interesting to me were several who commented that QST was too technical for them, followed by a similar number of responders who stated that it was not technical enough!  Then follows comments that there are too many articles on DX followed by others who said there is not enough DX coverage.  Several other popular aspects of our hobby had similar results.  This all proves our membership likes ham radio and each person views facets of the hobby that are more important to them than others. 

Our editors and the staff at Headquarters all work diligently to provide features and articles that cover the gamut of this great hobby.

Obviously, with 12 issues a year, each of our specialty areas cannot be covered in a single year or even two.  Still, Steve Ford and his team make every attempt to serve us well. 

Like you, there are some parts of ham radio that I really like and some that don't fascinate me at all.   Still, I read QST from cover-to-cover each month, including the ads.  That reminds me of one neat thing about QST, all of the articles are complete within the same series of pages.

There is no need to search for the remainder of an article that has been relegated to the back pages of the magazine. 

Surprisingly to me, I do manage to find something interesting in each issue and often in an article outside my normal areas of interest.

Without doubt, this helps me gain a better understanding of that is happening in Amateur Radio as a whole, and I can have a better grasp on those things that affect us all.   Oh, and the ads are important too, because that is where I seem to find all those neat toys I need to add to the ham shack!

ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention in conjunction with Great Lakes HamCon will be held at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on October 7 & 8, 2017.  Check GLHamCon.org for information on tickets, flea market spaces and booths.  As it becomes available, up-to-the-minute information will be posted on the web page. 

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD

"The future of ham radio is...."  We're all concerned about the future. And many predict that the future of ham radio is here or there, in this program or that.  Well, it's probably in a lot of things.

It's in technology.  That keeps us relevant.  There are software defined radios, new advances in communications techniques.  And lots and lots of experiments.  Did you read about the two brothers, both in their 20's, out in California, experimenting with long distance communications on the 33 cm band?  And new techniques in digital.  I'll never be one to invent anything, but I'm grateful for the advances in both voice and data digital technology, and try to make use of them as new things come out.

It's in recruiting.  One thing I've learned from being on the Entry Level License committee is that there are paths into ham radio for everyone, from the youngest to the "more-than-middle aged" people.  And clubs are working to help those people find their way.  Lots of good programs are underway for mentoring and making sure that new hams understand and use these new technologies, as well as just the basics for getting on the air and communicating.

And speaking of youth, I have been amazed to see what happens to young people when they get turned on to ham radio.  Not only do they learn to be hams, but their ambitions to do things in technology fields become really great.  There's an impressive group doing a net once a week on Echolink, through the W8PIF repeater in Michigan.  And there are many other youth nets going on around the country.

We need to be concerned about the future of ham radio.  But not too concerned.  Do your part.  Help a new ham.  Make friends with a school group or a scout group.  That will keep ham radio alive.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 

Apr 1  - Portsmouth - Portsmouth, OH

Apr 1  - Lincoln Trail - Elizabethtown, KY 
Apr 8  - Cuyahoga Falls - Cuyahoga Falls, OH 
Apr 22 - Chassell - Chassell, MI 
Apr 29 - Jackson County - Jackson, OH 
Apr 30 - Athens - Athens, OH 
May 6  - Cadillac - Cadillac, MI 
May 13 - Ashland - Ashland, KY 
May 19 - Dayton Hamvention - Xenia, OH 
Jun  3 - IRA Hamfest - Hudsonville, MI 
Jun  3 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH 
Jun  3 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY 
Jun 10 - Luce County - Newberry, MI 
Jun 17 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH 
Jun 18 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for March 2017

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for March 2017.

ARRL Great Lakes Division to hold Convention in October.   The convention will be part of the new Great Lakes HamCon to be held at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on October 7 & 8, 2017, HamCon promises to be an exciting event for ham radio in the ARRL Great Lakes Division. 

HamCon is sponsored by the Great Lakes Amateur Radio Association, a consortium of radio clubs in the Great Lakes Division. There are currently 14 clubs who have joined the consortium and it is continuing to grow. 

The HamCon event takes place in the infield of the MIS NASCAR® track, where there is room to park 5000 cars.  Additional parking for cars and campers surrounds the rack.  HamCon will use "Pit Road" for the flea market trunk sales, while the three large infield buildings are committed for the vendor booths and inside tables.  Advanced tickets, flea market spaces and booth rentals are expected to open for sale in mid-March.  Planned events include a Wouff Hong Initiation, Ham-in-a-day class, FCC license testing, ARRL meetings, DX Forum, Contesting Forum, Fox Hunting Forum, and QRP Operating Forum with 10 more events still pending.  As it becomes available, up-to-the-minute information will be posted on the web page at:  http://GLHamCon.org

DXCC Card Checker Update.  I have contacted all of the present Card Checkers in the Great Lakes Division in an effort to bring everything up to date.  I am truly pleased to have received so many enthusiastic replies.  So now, our records are up-to-date and we will move on towards filling some needed vacancies, primarily related to the wide geography these folks serve.  We really need to fill some gaps with card checkers who are willing to visit hamfests and occasionally clubs to check cards.  We do have some volunteers in the wings and are looking for a few more.  If you would find this service interesting to you, please let me know soon, as I will be working with our three Section Managers and Division DX Clubs over the next couple of months to fill several available positions.

QSL Managers.  A reminder to all who are active operators, keep your QSL manager up-to-date with envelopes or a few green stamps so they can serve you faster and without any hassle.  Talk with your manager to find out what his preferences are for the service he provides.  Some like to supply the envelopes while some prefer the operators to provide them.

Discuss this with your QSL manager and you will really make his life easier.

*****************

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD

I’m sure there are January hamfests, but for me the “season” starts with the Mansfield Mid-Winter Hamfest in February.  What a contrast in weather this year (mid-sixties) to a few years ago with sub-zero temps.  We had a good forum up there, with lots of attendees and excellent discussion.  One of those topics was the Entry Level License.  I’m on that committee of the ARRL Board.

Besides getting feedback in person, the Committee has also set up an on-line survey to get members involved.  You can find the survey on the ARRL website: http://www.arrl.org/license-1  If you haven’t already participated, I’d encourage you to tell us what you think.

As the introduction to the survey notes, “We were tasked with evaluating the current entry level license (Technician) and making any recommendations to the Board for possible rules changes to recommend to the FCC.”  At this point the committee has not made any recommendations, and we’re only talking about possible rule changes.

Please keep that in mind when you respond.  I’d like to point out that this effort is one of trying to keep amateur radio strong.  How do we get new hams, and what do we need to do to keep them active?  Changing the license requirements to reflect changes in operating, study habits, etc., if they are done at all, would be done with that in mind.

Remember the ARRL’s Vision Statement:  “To advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio.”

Besides the survey, if you want to talk to me, find me at a hamfest or club meeting, send me an email or give me a call. 

One more thing.  The other day, in a conversation on a local repeater, I was talking with someone about how technology has improved our radios.  But a bigger change in technology by far has happened in the video production industry, where I worked for the better part of forty years.  The $100,000 cameras we used thirty years ago were incapable of producing the quality pictures that a $200 consumer camera can today!

I bring this up because recently I’ve had occasion to use some of my background (and my consumer-electronics gear) to produce some videos promoting ham radio.  Which led me to wonder how many hams in our Division currently work, or have worked, doing video production.  As those of you in the industry know, production is best when it is done as a team.  Just look at the teams behind the scenes at the recent Oscars. 

If you have experience in video and might be interested in some projects involving ham radio, let me know.  We can “talk shop,” and more importantly, maybe collaborate on some things that will promote our other big interest, ham radio.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 

Mar 4  - Cave City - Cave City, KY
Mar 5  - NOARS - Elyria, OH
Mar 11 - Lowell - Lowell, MI
Mar 18 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 18 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH
Mar 19 - Toledo Mobile ARA - Perrysburg, OH
Apr 1  - Portsmouth - Portsmouth, OH
Apr 2  - Lincoln Trail - Elizabethtown, KY
Apr 8  - Cuyahoga Falls - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Apr 22 - Chassell - Chassell, MI
Apr 29 - Jackson County - Jackson, OH
Apr 30 - Athens - Athens, OH
May 6  - Cadillac - Cadillac, MI
May 19 - Dayton Hamvention - Xenia, OH

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dale's Tales - January 2017

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for January 2017.

January included the Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors.

This is the first of two meetings your Board holds each year.  The Board operates with three main committees, the Executive Committee, of which I am a member, the Administration and Finance Committee and the Programs and Services Committee.  Each has some very specifically defined duties and each makes its annual report during the Board meeting.  These reports often contain motions to amend policies, make new guidelines and improve how we do things.

Once in a while I get to include in "Dale's Tales", some really neat tidbit of new information. This is one: I am pleased to report that our ARRL Programs and Services Committee accepted the recommendations of the Checker Rules Revisions Working Group to update revise the DXCC Card Checker Rules.  I was fortunate to serve on that group during 2016 and we did offer some significant revisions to the guidelines and how they affect card checking in the field.  The existing rules contained some strangely conflicting statements. 

So, among the changes to be implemented this year, we will be able to appoint more card checkers, replace those who are inactive and allow HQ to appoint special temporary checkers for special events like large conventions.  There were a number of other updates that removed the conflicts and aligned the guidelines for international card checkers more closely with those in the U.S.   You can expect the revisions to be posted soon.  An informational e-mail will be going out to all Great Lakes Division Card Checkers today.  We will look especially at the geographic arrangement of checkers with the plan to place new card checkers in those regions that are remote distances from those currently in place.
 
In other Board action, we continue to offer our support for the House Bill 555, The Amateur Radio Parity Act.   That Bill was introduced in January and passed the House of Representatives in just ten days.  At the time of this writing, it is moving on to the Senate. Obviously, everyone has seen the rapid movement through the House and we can only hope that Senate action will take place soon.  Watch the ARRL web pages and bulletins for updates on HR-555.



TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD

January was a gloomy month.  Eleven straight days of rain in the Cincinnati area.  With the end of the month, even though spring is quite a few weeks away, the days are getting slightly longer and more daylight will cheer us all.

But it wasn’t a gloomy month for radio.  There was still good activity in many ways.  Here in Ohio, the “simplex” contest for ARES had the VHF and UHF bands active, and Winter Field Day, nation-wide, had a good deal of activity.  Hamfest activity will pick up in the coming months, and club meetings still go on, with a number of clubs electing new officers and encouraging members with new program offerings.  I didn’t do a lot of antenna work, but two of us managed to get an antenna up for a friend before the snow started falling.

Does it work any better because it was cold out?  Who knows?  But it works!

Very important to the continued growth and development of ham radio are two things—good programs at club meetings that introduce new concepts or that sharpen skills, or offer hands-on training.  And the other is individual hams offering advice and help to other hams—often known as “elmering.”  Believe it or not, with so many clubs offering introductory classes, there are still a lot of people who study for the Tech exam completely on their own.  So if they pass and get a license, they may be at a loss as to what to do next!  Don’t be afraid to offer your assistance.  We don’t just need hams, we need active hams.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


 
Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 

Feb 4  - HARA Swap - Negaunee, MI
Feb 11 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI
Feb 19 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH
Feb 19 - Livonia - Livonia, MI
Mar 4  - Cave City - Cave City, KY
Mar 11 - Lowell - Lowell, MI
Mar 18 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 18 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH
Mar 19 - Toledo Mobile ARA - Perrysburg, OH 
Apr 1  - Portsmouth - Portsmouth, OH 
Apr 2  - Lincoln Trail - Elizabethtown, KY 
Apr 8  - Cuyahoga Falls -  Cuyahoga Falls, OH 
Apr 29 - Jackson County - Jackson, OH 
Apr 30 - Athens - Athens, OH

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dale's Tales - New Years Edition

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for January 2017.
 
MOVING INTO THIS NEW YEAR is going to bring some interesting challenges.  First, ARRL will be considering the approach it will plan to use to re-introduce a bill to allow residents of Homeowner association-managed properties to allow effective antenna system.  This bill known in 2016 as the Amateur Radio Parity Act was blocked in the Senate and therefore failed passage.  I am confident much of our forthcoming January Board meeting will involve strategic development relating to this important issue.

With National Parks on the Air all wrapped up, like you, I am anxious to learn what exciting on-the-air challenge may face us next. Sorry, I have not even heard a rumor.  What a great event NPOTA was with 1,040,000-plus contacts made and virtually all of the Park units activated by more than 19,460 different operations.  This really exceeded most everyone's expectations.

The following is the Great Lakes Division's Annual Report as submitted to the ARRL Board of Directors.  It highlights most of the major activities in the Division during 2016.

Great Lakes Division - 2016

Political actions: Kentucky Section Manager Alan Morgan KY1O was honored to appoint Jenean M. Hampton, K5EIB the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as an ARRL State Government Liaison. The Lt Gov speaks regularly across Kentucky wearing her official ARRL Name/Call badge and actively promotes Amateur Radio.  She has directed the Kentucky Emergency Management agency to work closer with KY ARES groups as well.

All three Great Lakes Division Section Managers were very active at hamfests and club meetings throughout the year promoting the Amateur Radio Parity Act.

Michigan ARPSC/Auxcomm personnel played a large role at the annual Michigan Public Service Communication System Interoperability Conference at Traverse City in February.  MI ARPSC/Auxcomm personnel made significant progress installing antennas and setting up Auxcomm radio facilities at the new Michigan State Emergency Operating Center in Lansing, MI

The Michigan SGL and SM met with Michigan State Representative Howyrlak at his request, to assist with the wording of a distracted driving bill to keep law from potentially making mobile amateur radio operation illegal.

Ohio’s ARES group was directly involved with the Republican National Convention and the NAACP National Convention.  They provided vital voice and digital communications links between the Cuyahoga County Emergency Operations Center, the Cleveland Emergency Operations Center to the State of Ohio Emergency Operations Center in Columbus, to the Regional Operations Center in Cincinnati and the Red Cross Regional Operations Center in Akron.

Emergencies: # ARES Activations. During the week of January 18, some 8,100 water customers in Sebring, Ohio, were notified that they had problems with high lead content in their drinking water.  On January 22, both Ohio and Mahoning County Emergency Management Agencies began passing out bottled water in Sebring.  Mahoning County ARES was activated to help.  And, they did just that! ARES volunteers joined others in moving and distributing pallets of bottled water, and another call went for weekend duty.  ARES members from neighboring counties also volunteered. All told, the volunteers moved more than 166 pallets of water in 6 days.  “This is a perfect example of being ready to serve in whatever capacity we can, in order to help our communities.
Sometimes it doesn’t involve only operating a radio”

ARES members in the Kentucky Section carried out several missions supporting communications including floods, other weather emergencies, and a missing/downed plane and pilot.  They assisted CAP and SAR efforts where the plane was found in a heavily wooded area.  They also participated in the Kentucky COMEX with improved participation this year. 

Ohio ARES groups were active for assistance at the Cleveland Cavaliers Championship Celebration in Cleveland and communications for the Toledo Air Show.  Ohio ARES group was also activated several times this year to provide communications for Algae Bloom situations for events taking place on Lake Erie and the Ohio River.

Ohio ARES also has contributed over 5,000 man-hours of service this year to the National Weather Service for Skywarn duties.  So far this year they have had 10 tornadoes in Ohio, with numerous other weather related incidences effecting thousands of citizens.
 
Major Events: Michigan hams organized and coordinated the June 2016 “Light Up the Trail” weekend NPOTA event to activate the full length of the North Country Trail that travels through seven states. During the course of 2016, the SM and/or Section Staff attended 21 hamfests, 9 club meetings, a Section Staff meeting and a Section Family Outing in the woods of Northern Michigan that featured the annual Section EC meeting. Ohio held its annual Section Conference in August plus the annual Ohio State Parks on the Air Contest and the Ohio ARES Statewide Conference during September.  The Ohio Section Cabinet and SM attended 27 hamfests, including the Dayton Hamvention, where they staffed the Ohio Section Booth within the ARRL EXPO.  They also attended over 150 club meetings, picnics/parties and special events this year.  The Ohio Section has gained nine new Affiliated Clubs this year and grown with three Special Service Clubs.

Hamfests/Conventions: There were 70 ARRL Sanctioned hamfests in the Great Lakes Division in 2016.  ARRL was represented at all by a SM, Director, Vice Director or designee.  State Conventions were held in Ohio and Kentucky this year, and plans are now in process for the Great Lakes Division Convention to be held in Michigan in 2017.

2016 ARRL Kentucky State Convention held in conjunction with the Greater Louisville Hamfest in Shepherdsville, KY was a huge success this year with attendance.  Jenean M. Hampton, K5EIB the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was also a special guest and gave the official Welcome speech at the 2016 ARRL Kentucky State Convention.

Clubs:  In Kentucky, several clubs have sponsored Technician Classes and with the help of a well-known guest, the Woodford County ARC actually had KY Lt Governor Hampton, K5EIB participate and make a presentation to motivate the students to get their licenses.

The Division recognized the 75th Anniversary of three clubs during 2016:  Dial Radio Club, OH, Queen City Emergency Net, OH, and Monroe County Radio Communications Assn., MI

Awards & Honors: Hiram Percy Maxim Award – At a special presentation ceremony hosted by his local club, the Westchester Amateur Radio Assn., Christopher Brault, KD8YVJ received the plaque honoring him with ARRL's Hiram Percy Maxim Award.  The Allan Severson Memorial Award (Ohio Amateur of the Year) honored John Myers, KD8MQ.  

The Michigan Section Commendation Certification was presented to Tim Crane, WM8A for his exceptional work rebuilding and improving the ARES/RACES organization in Genesee County, MI.  
Ohio hosted its 24TH Annual Newsletter Contest Awards: 1st Place The Mike & Key, 2nd Place: The RADIOGRAM , 3rd Place, a two way tie: The Voice Coil and ATCO Newsletter. Honorable Mentions went to: The CARA Communicator and The Spirit of '76 and '88.  Ohio extended Special Recognitions to • David Sumner, K1ZZ – Honorary Ohio Section Life Member; • Norm Fusaro, W3IZ and Sean Kutzko, KX9X – Special Recognition for their work with National Parks On The Air (NOPTA); • Dial Radio Club – Special Recognition for 75 years of ARRL Affiliation; • Arlin Bradford, KD8EVR and Tom Miller, N8TWM – Advancing Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) in the Ohio Section; • Christopher Brault, KD8YVJ – Outstanding Young Amateur in the Ohio Section; • Queen City Emergency Net – Special Recognition for 75 years of ARRL Affiliation; • Portage County Amateur Radio Service – Special Recognition for their more than 10 years of giving back to their local charities with cash donations exceeding $3,000; • Bob Johnson, K3RC and Kitty Hevener, W8TDA – Special Recognition for their past service with the Ohio Section as Cabinet Members; • Nick Pittner, K8NAP – Special Recognition of his past service with the Ohio Section as a Cabinet Member and author of the Ohio Section Antenna Law.

Vice Director Delaney and I wish to extend an important Thank You to our Section Managers for their wonderful efforts in promoting amateur radio and ARRL in their respective Sections.   Alan KY1O, Larry WB8R and Scott N8SY, you guys are the greatest!

Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD was appointed as Board Liaison to the ARRL RF Safety Committee, and also serves on the Entry Level License Committee.  Dir. Williams was re-elected to the ARRL Executive Committee, appointed to Chair the Ethics and Elections Committee and serves as Chair of the Public Safety Enhancement Working Group.  Dir. Williams also assisted the re-drafting of guidelines for the Card Checker program.

The Great Lakes Division ARRL membership has seen a slight decline in aggregate membership over the past 11 months, from 12,767 to 12,478. 

The figures are much in alignment with the 2016 rate experienced by other Divisions and reflect expectations of reductions caused by the dues increase.

73,

s/ Dale Williams WA8EFK
   Director
   Great Lakes Division

*******

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delany W8WTD

When you get to the end of December, you tend to look back and forward.

 So here goes – looking back, it was a particularly good year for ham radio in terms of the NPOTA event.  Over a million QSOs.  How many of those would NOT have taken place if not for this great activity?  Hard to say.  But probably a substantial number of them.  Hope you participated, and hope you had fun.  What’s next?  I don’t know, but new activities along these lines are being promised.  We’ll see what they come up with, but it should be more fun.

When I think of all the contacts I made, I know that I spent more time on the radio because of the event.  A friend and I used to kid about making our “one contact” for the day, sort of like the “apple a day…” maxim.  So for next year, I’d encourage everyone to try that.  Maybe you’ll end up with a lot of once-a-day repeater contacts, but can that be so bad?  Everyone complains that repeater use is in decline.  Let’s make sure we use that resource.  And there are other events, contests, etc.  Something for everyone.  What contacts will you make during the coming year?

Looking to the new year, there are two activities I hope we continue with very strongly.  They’re related—education and elmering.  Both bring new people into ham radio, either with licensing or by encouraging the new licensees to get and remain active.  There are so many success stories throughout the division.  There are nets for new people.  There are informal get-togethers apart from club meetings, and there are club meetings where new and useful topics are discussed.  Hams attend “Makers’ Faires” and go to Scouting events, and all sorts of other events, all trying to recruit new people to our hobby.  So many clubs in the division continue to offer classes for all license levels.  Keep up the good work!

And that reminds me.  I do have a request for those of you who are in charge of your club’s classes.  Please make sure, as many of you already do, that your class is registered with ARRL so that it can be put on the website.  Yes, you have your own ways of recruiting prospective hams, and please keep doing that.  But you never know when someone will be looking around for information, and come across your listing.  Let’s find every possible way to publicize our work.  And get your instructors registered, so they can get all the latest information and material from ARRL.

As we look ahead, there are always new things and new challenges. Hamvention®, for instance, will be completely new.  And I’m sure there will many challenges throughout the year.  Let’s stay prepared for emergencies, keep working on our technical skills, and enjoy being amateur radio operators!

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

******** 

Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Tom and I are already committed for several dates in 2017 as are our Section Managers Scott N8SY, Alan KY1O and Larry WB8R.

Jan 15 - SCARF Hamfest - Nelsonville, OH 
Jan 29 - TUSCO Hamfest - Strausburg, OH 
Jan 29 - Hazel Park - Hazel Park, MI 
Feb 4  - HARA Swap - Negaunee, MI 
Feb 11 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI 
Feb 19 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH 
Feb 19 - Livonia - Livonia, MI 
Mar 4  - Cave City - Cave City, KY 
Mar 11 - Lowell - Lowell, Mi 
Mar 18 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI 
Mar 18 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH 
Mar 19 - Toledo Mobile ARA - Perrysburg, OH

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dale's Tales for December

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for December 2016.

"THANK YOU FOR ACTIVATING" are the words I have heard so very frequently during all of 2016.  Our National Parks on the Air operating event has been a wonderful activity throughout this year and operators have displayed more courtesy than I can ever recall in the 54 years that I have been a ham.  One of our local hams called it to my attention and it certainly it true.  While most hams are normally quite courteous, often in contesting and challenging events, those courtesies get set aside.  I know I have done that.  This event, is different.

Folks wait their turn, are complimentary and express their thanks.

NEAT!  At last count, with still a month remaining, there are more than
926,803 National Park QSOs entered in Logbook of the World. This leaves little doubt we are going to hit a million!  What a great event. 

Thank you for operating!  (What's next?)

YOUR ARRL BOARD worked diligently this year to make some significant improvements within our organization, some you may have seen directly, some you may have seen the side effects, while others remain works in progress.  We have a new CEO, we have some realignment of Headquarters job duties to spread the workload more evenly, and we have made some technical improvements to Logbook of the World, just to name a few.  A couple of wanted and fairly significant changes for the Field Organization are currently being vetted in committee.  We hope those will be approved and authorized at the January Board meeting.  In addition, and of real import, the ARRL Foundation granted many scholarship awards this year and accepted more scholarship endowments to its list of available programs.

SPEAKING OF AWARDS, now we begin our search for outstanding individual hams who whose talents and/or service to our hobby and the community may qualify them for the unique awards that ARRL has to offer.  Awards for your consideration include The Hiram Percy Maxim Award, The ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award, The ARRL Microwave Development Award, The ARRL Technical Service Award, The ARRL Technical Innovation Award, and The Knight Distinguished Service Award.

Opportunities are now open for members to nominate candidates for these awards.  Look around; one of your local club members may be well qualified to be so honored.  For further information or questions, you may check the ARRL Web pages for award criteria, or contact Sean Kutzko at Headquarters, (860) 594-0328.

IT HAS BEEN A MAD SCRAMBLE as our Washington lobbyists and the ARRL Legislative Action Team get down to the final stretch for the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  We await approval by the Senate.  The Congressional Session ends on December 31.  At the time I am composing this newsletter, we have no way to predict the results of this effort.

Regardless of the outcome, on behalf of the L.A. Team and the ARRL Board of Directors, I want to thank each of you in the Division for your personal efforts to request our elected officials to support the proposed legislation to allow hams living in deed-restricted communities to install effective antennas.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delany W8WTD

I can’t help it.  Sometimes I find very interesting connections in the most wildly different situations in ham radio.

 
Let’s start with youth.  Early in November, we had a great celebration in West Chester, Ohio, for Chris, KD8YVJ, the winner of the 2015 Maxim Award.  It was wonderful to have Dale present him with that national award, with so many family members, club members and other hams around.  And it was quite special to see what a great operator this young man has become.  I’m sure he was pleased to make so many contacts and hear from so many in the division.  But for us who were there in the room with him, it was a treat to see him operate.



And another youth story.  An eleven-year-old from Ohio just got his license.  While not his Elmer by any means, I was pleased to have some small part in coaching him for the test.  He’s now on the air, and very excited about being a ham.

What motivates these young people to be hams?  Having a parent as a ham is a big help, of course.  But that’s not all there is, or we’d have far more young people clamoring for licenses.  What is that unknown factor or factors?

For that matter, what is it about ham radio that motivates those of us who should know better than to stand around in the cold November weather, operating?  Recently, I was part of a group that helped coordinate a local parade.  There’s something about public service that calls us out to help.  That same weekend, somewhat on the spur of the moment, I joined some hams I know who were activating one of the National Parks in our area.  Why do grown men sit around in a field with a radio and an antenna, trying to do our part to make the NPOTA a one-million-contact event, contributing our measly 120 or so contacts?

It was cold and damp, for goodness’ sake!  (And fun!)

There are many reasons to become a ham, and many more reasons to be an active ham.  We older folks know what motivated us, and those aren’t the same reasons that motivate the new hams of today.  We have to keep finding out what the motivations can be, the new ones and the old ones, so we can tap into that and help keep amateur radio going in its second century. 

What thoughts do you have about licensing, education and youth?  I’d love to hear from you.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Tom and I are already committed for several dates in 2017 as are our Section Managers Scott N8SY, Alan KY1O and Larry WB8R.

Dec 3  - Fulton County Winterfest - Delta, OH

Dec 4  - Lanse Creuse Hamfest - Madison Hgts, MI   --  NEW LOCATION
Jan 15 - SCARF Hamfest - Nelsonville, OH 
Jan 29 - TUSCO Hamfest - Strausburg, OH 
Feb 4  - HARA Swap - Negaunee, MI 
Feb 11 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI 
Feb 19 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH 
Feb 19 - Livonia - Livonia, MI

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

73, and from Judy and me, the very best wishes throughout this Holiday Season.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Big Push From YOU For The Parity Act..






Dear Great Lakes Division ham,

We are getting close and there are only three weeks left in this congressional session. 
We need your help in making this happen now. 

NOW!!    The Amateur Radio Parity Act needs to pass in the Senate.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS! 

This is sooooo easy:   Help us in the effort.  Please go to this linked website and follow the prompts:


You are one of over 730,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators living in the United States.  Many of you already live in deed-restricted
communities and that number grows daily.   If you want to have
effective outdoor antennas but are not currently allowed to do so by your Home Owner’s Association, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!

If you want to preserve your ability to install effective outdoor antennas on property that you own, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!

Even if you already have outdoor antennas, but want to support your fellow hams, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!

Let me put it this way:  Current rules require HOAs to allow TV receive antennas and TVRO satellite dishes while a ham cannot even install a tiny UHF ground plane antenna.  We are simply asking for some PARITY, to allow an effective amateur radio antenna.

We need you to reach out to your Senators TODAY!  Right away.

Thank you.

73,

Dale Williams WA8EFK