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


Monday, October 31, 2016

Dale's Tales for November

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

DON'T FORGET ARRL Sweepstakes is coming in November.  Get on the air! 

The CW event is the weekend of November 7-9 and Phone is held the weekend of November 21-23.  This is a USA and Canada contest and you can check out the details and the rules at the ARRL November Sweepstakes page: http://www.arrl.org/sweepstakes


THE HIRAM PERCY MAXIM MEMORIAL AWARD is given annually to a licensed radio amateur under the age of 21.  The nominee must be a current ARRL member.  The nominee's accomplishments and contributions to both the community of Amateur Radio and the local community should be of the most exemplary nature.  These activities may include:  Participation or leadership in organizational affairs at the local or national level, technical achievement, operating record, recruitment and training of new amateurs and/or public relations activities.

A few months ago, the winner of the Hiram Percy Maxim award for 2015 was announced.  The honor went to Chris Brault, KD8YVJ, of Liberty Township, Ohio, a member of the Great Lakes Division.  The Division would like to formally recognize Chris for this national honor and will be holding an awards ceremony at the Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester, Ohio, on Saturday, November 12th at 1 p.m.  Hams throughout the division, but particularly those from the Greater Cincinnati area, are invited to this celebration.  We invite all ham radio operators to come and meet Chris and congratulate him on his accomplishment.

The VOA Museum will be open from 1 – 4 p.m., with free admission.
However, donations are always greatly appreciated.  The facility houses three museums, one featuring the Voice of America transmitting facility (the Bethany Relay Station) which is the original purpose of the building; another the Media Heritage Museum, showcasing the history of broadcasting in the Cincinnati area; and finally the Grey History of Wireless Museum, with many old-time radios of all sorts.

In addition to the ceremony and reception, where hams can congratulate Chris in person, we hope to get him on the air from the West Chester Amateur Radio Association shack in the museum, so that hams throughout the Division can make contact with Chris.  Details to be announced later, but we’ll probably try forty meter SSB after 2 p.m.  He’d appreciate making many contacts with hams in the Division.
For more details, contact Vice Director Tom Delaney, W8WTD, at w8wtd@arrl.org.

A NOTE ABOUT ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  With the year's end approaching in just two short months, the requests from Great lakes Division Swaps for ARRL Sanctioning in 2017 seem to be running behind this year.  It is important to note that obtaining ARRL sanction for your hamfest is not automatic.  Your swap chairperson needs to file the request early to insure that there is adequate time to obtain the sanctioning approval, that way the swap will meet the deadline to be listed in QST and hamfest material can be shipped to you from ARRL Headquarters.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.

WITH ABOUT TWO MONTHS LEFT to rack up the points in the National Parks on the Air operating event, one can only hope that a few of the missed parks re-appear before year's end.  At last count, there were still 30+ "units" that have not been on the air.  It has just been plain old good fun to get on and meet some of the challenges of making these contacts.
 Check it out at https://npota.arrl.org/

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

This has been quite the year for anniversary celebrations.  This month, I attended the 75th anniversary party for the Monroe County Radio Communications Association (Michigan), the third one I've attended.

Earlier in the year, the Dial Radio Club (Middletown, Ohio), celebrated their 75th, and in August, the Queen City Emergency Net (Cincinnati, Ohio) celebrated its 75th.

Why this year?  For at least two, maybe all of them, the rumors and almost certainty of war in 1941 prompted them to be ready for community service.  And in fact, war came, the hams were ordered off the air, but they managed to find ways to serve and stick together, and were ready to pick up again as soon as the war was over. 

Looking back over the history of all three clubs is not just a nostalgic visit to the past.  We can discover some important things about clubs that motivated them then, continues to make them successful, and can help us with the future of ham radio. 

One thing you notice at the meetings is the loyalty and friendship among members.  Yes, they've all done some crazy things together, and that helps, but they genuinely want to be there and be with members of the group.

Another thing is the dedication to public service.  There is a long tradition of being there with communications in times of need.  Each region is different, but whether there were floods or derailments or airplane crashes, or whatever, they were there to serve when called upon, and they spent many hours setting up stations and procedures, and meeting with partner agencies, to be sure they could be ready.

Field Day was a big thing for each club.  Yes, it's part of the tradition of ham radio, but these folks really worked at it, and it provided great training, as well as great fun, for club members.

And speaking of training, each group had and has on-going efforts to give license classes, and in general to “elmer” new hams so they learn and participate in all the aspects of ham radio.

So congratulations to each of the clubs on a special anniversary year.

And no matter how long your own club has been around, keep working to improve it and make it a source of learning and service for your community.
By the way, since he's too modest to mention it, I will –our Director, Dale, WA8EFK, was awarded a
“lifetime achievement” award from the Monroe club.  Among the many things he has done for the club over the years, his leadership skills are some of the most important.

I couldn't get an accurate count while watching the presentation, but Dale served as club president many times over four decades.

Congratulations, Dale!

Tom
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.

Nov 5  - Grant ARC Hamfest - Georgetown, OH
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

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Friday, September 30, 2016

Dale's Tales for October..

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

WELL, FALL PLINKED in on us this week and I am reminded that all of my spring and summer antenna projects are still far from completion. 

Yeah, I know the best working antennas seem to be the ones installed temporarily during a winter ice storm, but this is just some maintenance work and now it means working in the wind with cold
fingers.   So much for good planning, I guess getting in some good operating time took precedence.  Most certainly, the bands, both HF and VHF have not been showing the best propagation conditions, but the contacts are there to be made.  I have heard a few operators comment that they wondered if their antennas were connected.   Still, there have been some outstanding moments and we all hope they become more frequent as our weather grows colder.  Some of my best contacts have been made when I though the band was dead.  With all the ups and downs in propagation, I have been following Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA's writings on the subject.  You may want to look at his web pages http://k9la.us.  Every article really piques my interest and of course, each reminds me that I need to get on with those antenna projects!

AS OF THIS WRITING, we ARRL Members across the country have provided our Senators in Washington with 58,898 letters supporting the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  That includes 2228 letters from those of us in the Great Lakes Division.  Thanks to you all for the outstanding job of supporting this legislation.  The Senate will be in recess until after the election and our Washington Legislative Action Team will continue its effort to secure passage during and after the Senate's down-time.

You can find the latest information at

THE SUMMER COMMUNITY SERVICE programs wind down a little at this time of year, but many ARES groups and clubs are active around Halloween to assist in insuring the safety of youngsters while they are out for Trick-or-Treat.  Over the years of doing this, we've noticed the increase of cellphone equipped parents traveling with the kids, but still it is neat to hear the frequent "Thanks for being there" spoken to us while on patrol.  It is a good service to be coordinated with your local police agency to insure a good flow of communications and well defined responsibilities.


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

The big news right now is the Amateur Radio Parity Act, which Dale has written about.  I'll just add my voice to his, and remind you to contact your Senators.

There were a number of hamfests that I attended this past month, and it was good to see and talk to
many of you.  I understand that some people actually read what we write here!  Thanks for caring.  By the way, as we're out and about, we are interested in any feedback on any aspect of amateur radio or for the ARRL specifically.  It's important to know what you think.  The forums have been a good place for us to get suggestions.

So let us hear from you!

Hamfests are also great places to meet other people with similar interests.  But you have to look for them.  Sometimes we at the Division or Section level can make introductions, so stop by.  If you're looking for someone else who shares your interest in a particular aspect of the hobby, maybe we can tell you who else is around that day that you can swap stories with, or increase your knowledge by learning about what they are doing in their county or area.  Bargains are not the only things to look for at a hamfest.

There's still some time left to make contacts in National Parks on the Air.  The interest level has been high, so let's finish out the year strong.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  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 Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  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.
 
Oct 1  - Vette City - Bowling Green, KY
Oct 8  - Thunder Bay - Alpena, MI
Oct 15 - Muskegon Color Tour - Muskegon, MI 
Oct 16 - Conneaut Hamfest - Conneaut, OH 
Oct 16 - Kalamazoo Hamfest - Kalamazoo, MI 
Oct 23 - Massilon Hamfest, Massilon, OH 
Oct 29 - Hazard Hamfest - Hazard, KY 
Oct 30 - USECA Swap - Madison Heights, MI 
Nov 5  - Grant ARC Hamfest - Georgetown, OH 
Dec 4  - Lanse Creuse Hamfest - Harrison Twp, MI

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

HR 1301 PASSED - YOUR Help Is Needed, RIGHT NOW!!

Greetings fellow Great Lakes Division members,


Hopefully you have all seen the following message from ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR.  It is now time for everyone to take action. 

Click on the link Rick provides and send your letter to each of your Senators.  It literally takes about 2 minutes to do, and you can take pride in helping pass this important legislation.

Here is Rick's letter to us all, and from your Director, Dale WA8EFK, thanks for your help:

Dear ARRL member,

I am writing to you today because we are at a crossroad in our efforts to obtain passage of The Amateur Radio Parity Act.

Our legislative efforts scored a major victory in our campaign when The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, passed in the House of Representatives yesterday, September 12th. The legislation now moves to the Senate, where we need every Senator to approve the bill.

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.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL HAMS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS!

•        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 already have outdoor antennas, but want to support
your fellow hams, 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!!

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

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

https://arrl.rallycongress.net/ctas/urge-senate-to-support-amateur-radio-parity-act


Thank you.
73,
Rick
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Rick Roderick, K5UR
President
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio®

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dale's Tales for September

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

THE KENTUCKY ARRL CONVENTION and Greater Louisville Hamfest is being kicked off by an
official welcome from Kentucky's Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton K5EIB.  A well-planned number of forums and activities will be hosted by the team.  This major ham radio event for the Commonwealth of Kentucky is scheduled for September 10 and will be held at the Paroquet Springs Conference Center in Shepherdsville, KY.

Some of the activities included are: VE testing, Telescope viewing of the sun and sunspots, QSL card Checking, Solar Eclipse forum, Palmyra DXpedition, National Air and Space Education Institute, ARRL Member Forum, Norm Fusaro W3IZ from ARRL HQ will be speaking, Wouff Hong Ceremony, KY MARS, Amateur Radio and Youth  Forum, Digital/Technical Forum, Repeater Coordination, KY EM Update/Comex Review and ARES Updates.

The ARRL Great Lakes Division's elected officials Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD and Director Dale Williams WA8EFK will be present to host the ARRL Members' Forum and hear from everyone.  We sincerely hope all attendees will also take the time to visit our ARRL Booth and meet with us and Norm Fusaro W3IZ.  You can obtain the latest Louisville Convention and Hamfest information from http://louisvillehamfest.com/index.html.

THANKS TO SO MANY OF YOU who have written about the FCC's Symbol Rate Docket 16-239 and RM-11708.  Your suggestions are truly appreciated, and I will convey your input to my fellow Executive Committee members.

Everyone who has written to me favors bandwidth limits in some form.

Suggestions include imposing BW limits based upon the portion of the band being used to a simple maximum BW limit.   All of the suggested options are being examined as this is written.  Some decisions are easy, this one is not, but I want everyone to understand that every option is being examined and our recommendation will be based upon serving the best interests of Amateur Radio.

HERE WE ARE 2/3 of the way through 2016 and that means 2/3 of the way through the National Parks on the Air operating event.  Have you been active?  There really is plenty of opportunity get involved in the action before the event times out at the end of the year.  Check out the official NPOTA web page to see the latest listings, you just might find a few of your contacts already listed there.  Just set your browser to ARRL.ORG and select the "National Parks on the Air" link.
You can review the Leader Board and see who leads either nationally or in any selected state.

As a personal aside, I have a couple of close friends who are really into this NPOTA event.  (They shall remain nameless as I have a sincere fear of retribution).  But the point is, I check the NPOTA standings quite regularly to see which of the guys is ahead.  These standings change often, sometimes daily, well actually, sometimes multiple times daily. Today, one could not predict which will lead when the final bell rings at year's end.  I do wish them both success - it is just politically sound to do so (again, fear of retribution)!  That all being said, NPOTA is all good fun and an exciting challenge.  Our National Parks system celebrates its Centennial in 2016 and amateur radio is there helping everyone gain knowledge of both.

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


If you’re like me, you’ve known about the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) program for a while.  But have you ever experienced it?  I’ve seen the stories, and seen the images of the bright-eyed kids asking their questions of the astronauts via ham radio.  But being there for it is quite another thing.

Recently I had the opportunity to see the program first-hand.  Members of the Indianapolis Radio Club set up the contact at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and invited me for a look behind the scenes.


We all get the concept—an FM simplex contact.  But what a contact!
The logistics of the building meant that they had to run over 350 feet of coax to get from the basement, where the auditorium is, to the roof (naturally) where the antennas could be located.  So a pre-amp for receive and an amplifier for transmitting were in order.  And then, of course, there’s the need for the computer-driven rotors, moving to track the station through its path, where it is only in range for ten or eleven minutes.  To overcome the Doppler effect, they programmed incremental frequency changes into memory, to make it easier and more reliable for the operator.

The only hitch came less than a minute into the contact, when we had an agonizing thirty-second or more loss of signal.  The crew later surmised that they actually made contact early through some phenomenon of radio, and once the station came into range, the contact was S-9 all the way, to the delight of a lot of kids.

The crew, led by Dan, KB9AX, did a great job.  My thanks for their hospitality.  If you ever get a chance to help on such a contact, do it.  You’ll learn a lot and have a great time.

Why Indianapolis?  For me in Cincinnati, it’s a lot closer than Cleveland or Detroit, and equi-distant to Louisville.  The opportunity was there, so I took it.  And I encourage you to watch an ARISS contact if there’s one in a school or center near you.

Meanwhile, there are quite a few hamfests coming up in the Division over the next month or so.  Hope to see many of you at one of them.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  Our Legislative Action Team is back at work on the bill in Washington.   Visits to Senators began again mid-week and will be continuing as we bring awareness of Amateur Radio Parity Act to more of the Senate leadership in D.C.  You can find the latest information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  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 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  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.

Sep 10 - GMARC Trunk Swap - Shelby Twp, MI 
Sep 10 - Louisville Hamfest & KY ARRL Convention - Shepherdsville, KY 
Sep 11 - Findlay Hamfest - Findlay, OH 
Sep 17 - OHKYIN Hamfest - Cincinnati, OH 
Sep 17 - GRAHamfest - Wyoming, MI - NOTE DATE CHANGE 
Sep 18 - Adrian Hamfest - Adrian, MI 
Sep 24 - Richmond Fall Hamfest - Richmond, KY 
Sep 25 - Cleveland - Cleveland, OH 
Oct 1  - Vette City - Bowling Green, KY 
Oct 8  - Thunder Bay - Alpena, MI 
Oct 15 - Muskegon Color Tour - Muskegon, MI 
Oct 16 - Conneaut Hamfest - Conneaut, OH 
Oct 16 - Kalamazoo Hamfest - Kalamazoo, MI 
Oct 23 - Massilon Hamfest, Massilon, OH 
Oct 29 - Hazard Hamfest - Hazard, KY 
Oct 30 - USECA Swap - Madison Heights, MI

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division




Friday, July 29, 2016

Dale's Tales for August 2016

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

NEWS FROM THE DAYTON HAMVENTION®: The Dayton Amateur Radio Association

(DARA) regrets to inform our many vendors, visitors and stakeholders that, unfortunately, HARA has announced the closing of their facility. We have begun execution of our contingency plan to move Hamvention® 2017 to a new home.

DARA and Hamvention® have enjoyed many successful years working together with HARA Arena and we wish the Wampler family the best.

DARA and Hamvention® have been working on a contingency plan in the event HARA would become unavailable. We have spent many hours over the last few years evaluating possible locations and have found one in the area we believe will be a great new home! Due to logistics and timing issues, we will make a formal announcement introducing our new partner.

This information will be coming soon. We all believe this new venue will be a spectacular place to hold our beloved event. Please rest assured we will have the event on the same weekend and, since it will be in the region, the current accommodations and outside events already planned for Hamvention® 2017 should not be affected.

We look forward to your continued support as we move to a new future with The Dayton Hamvention®.

Signed:
Ron Cramer
General Chairman
Dayton Hamvention 2017

The Mad River Radio Club hosts another one: the upcoming Ohio QSO Party. It will be held August 27, 2016.  Full details, rules, links and forms are at http://www.ohqp.org/ For those among us who are not familiar with the MRRC, it is a regional club of contest enthusiasts who really enjoy putting counties (and people!) on the air.  You can check the MRRC web page at http://www.madriverradioclub.org/

Welcome to the new hams that have joined ARRL recently.   The number of members in the Great Lakes Division has continued to grow somewhat this year while we had expected a slight downturn.   Division membership stats stand at 12,796, making us one of the larger of the 15 Divisions in the ARRL.  We do encourage members to occasionally review and update their Personal Web pages by logging into ARRL.org and looking at their personal profile.   There is also the opportunity to view and select your various e-mail subscriptions ARRL offers under "Edit your Profile".  Check it out!

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delany W8WTD Is there a busy season for ham radio?  Maybe, but we also seem to find a lot to do any time of the year.  If anything tips the balance toward summer being the busiest, it’s probably the public service events. 

Nice to see so many people taking part in helping with communications for bike rides, runs, parades, etc.  What we do is always appreciated. It’s a good time for newer hams to take part, and learn what goes on with nets and remote operation.  Good training for emergency work.

There are lots of hamfests coming up in the next couple of months.

I’ll be at Columbus, Lawrenceburg, KY, Cincinnati (OHKYIN), as well as Greater Louisville and Findlay. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and talking about what is going on in your part of ham radio

I’m always encouraged to see youth in ham radio.  There are lots of good programs throughout the Division, and lots of plans to help get and keep youth involved.  Speaking of involvement, it was nice to meet Chris, KD8YVJ, this year’s winner of the Hiram Percy Maxim award. I wish his enthusiasm for ham radio would rub off on everyone!

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  Congress is currently in recess, due back in early September.  When this happens, we will be getting information to you so you may contact your elected representatives encouraging their support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act. You can find the latest information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  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 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

Aug 6 - Columbus Hamfest - Columbus, OH
Aug 6 - UP Hamfest - Escanaba, MI
Aug 7 - Seaway Trunk Swap - Port Huron, MI 
Aug 14 - Central Kentucky - Lawrenceburg, KY 
Aug 21 - Cuyahoga Falls Tailgate Swap - Stow, OH 
Aug 21 - Warren Tailgate Swap - Cortland, OH 
Sep 10 - GMARC Trunk Swap - Shelby Twp, MI 
Sep 10 - Louisville Hamfest and KY ARRL Convention - Sheperdsville, KY 
Sep 11 - Findlay Hamfest - Findlay, OH 
Sep 17 - OHKYIN Hamfest - Cincinnati, OH 
Sep 18 - Adrian Hamfest - Adrian, MI 
Sep 24 - GRAHamfest - Wyoming, MI 
Sep 24 - Richmond Fall Hamfest - Richmond, KY 
Sep 25 - Cleveland - Cleveland, OH 
Oct 1  - Vette City - Bowling Green, KY 
Oct 8  - Thunder Bay - Alpena, MI 
Oct 15 - Muskegon Color Tour - Muskegon, MI 
Oct 16 - Conneaut Hamfest - Conneaut, OH 
Oct 16 - Kalamazoo Hamfest - Kalamazoo, MI 
Oct 23 - Massilon Hamfest, Massilon, OH 
Oct 29 - Hazard Hamfest - Hazard, KY 
Oct 30 - USECA Swap - Madison Heights, MI

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK



Monday, July 4, 2016

Dale's Tales for July

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

I truly hope everyone had a happy and safe July 4th, as we celebrated the 240th birthday of this great country.
 
WOW, FIELD DAY is behind us again, but I am already looking forward to next year.  Operating with my local club is always an adventure, but this year there was serious interest from several new hams who were excited to get in some HF operating action.  From this OT's perspective, this was a really neat challenge, that of operating, answering questions and giving a truly hands-on demonstration of how to call, copy, log and beat the QRM.  Many familiar calls made the log here and I truly hope you all had similar experiences with your FD setup.

While it may seem like a lot of work to set up all of the FD "Extras" just to gain a few added points, but just sometimes we gain a new ham and once-in-a-while a FD operation fosters a renewed interest from a ham who has not been active for years.  I am so glad we have extended invitations for visitors and included that fact in our news releases. It really makes all of it worthwhile.

How well I can still recall my first FD experience, I had my Novice license about a month and my mentor took me to visit the local club's FD site.   I had no idea what was happening; Field Day?? What was that?

I was all wide-eyed and curious.  But soon, I was there helping to log and getting the fever to get on the air.  Oh, and there was this wonderful new 1KW SSB transceiver humming away in one tent, a new ham's dream, a Cosmophone 1000...but that's another story.  So after 54 years, I find that I still get FD Fever.

A FREQUENT DISCUSSION at the ARRL Hamfest table relates to ways to draw more young people into our hobby.  This does not necessarily mean teens, it really means anyone younger than I!  The following few paragraphs came about from one of those recent conversations and appeared over the club President's signature in the June Edition of the Livingston County Amateur Radio Klub's newsletter The LED:

"A CHALLENGE FROM Jim K8JK:  "I’m writing this month’s column after just returning from the Chelsea ham swap. Despite the weather, it was a great venue, and a chance to meet up with many amateur operators from the community. If you haven’t done so, local swaps are definitely worth the time and trouble for catching up with your fellow hams.

"I promised Dale, our ARRL Great Lakes Division Director, that I would make a step toward encouraging new amateurs in the community, as well as encouraging more seasoned veterans. To that end, I am going to spend the rest of my newsletter article NOT on the same things you hear all the time, but something new and different. I call it the LARK President’s Challenge (LARKPC).

"LARKPC has something for everyone!

"If you are a Livingston County Resident, 21 years or Younger, AND you test with the LARK VE Team for a NEW ama-teur radio license, the LARK President will pay your dues for the first year, AND give you a new dual band HT.

"If you are a Livingston County Resident, older than 21 years, AND you test with the LARK VE Team for a NEW ama-teur radio license, AND you pay 2 years dues to the club, the LARK President will give you a new dual band HT.

"If you are a Livingston County Resident, and UPGRADE your existing amateur radio license with the LARK VE Team, and you pay 2 years dues to the club, the LARK President will give you a new dual band HT.

"If you are an EXISTING LARK member, and you foster any FOUR of the first two groups at a LARK VE Team session, the LARK President will pay for an additional single year of your dues, AND give you a new dual band HT.

"If you live OUTSIDE of Livingston County, but foster any of the first two groups above at a LARK VE Team session, the LARK president will give you a new dual band HT.

"No club money will be spent for this project. The decision for applicability will be made by the LARK President. The choice of the new dual band HT is totally up to the LARK President.  This program becomes effective on July 1st, 2016 and will expire on 11:59 PM September 30th, 2016.  I’ve bet Dale I won’t have to spend money for more than 6 new radios. Your challenge is to prove me wrong!

"73 Jim K8JK "

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

Technological advances.  We all talk about them.  It’s neat.  We can do so much more than we used to.

I was thinking about this recently as I was struggling to copy some stations on 160 meters.  We were commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first ever net for my club, the Queen City Emergency Net.  We were on 160 meters, just like they were, on the very day they held their first on-air meeting back in 1941.  Yes, we were using single side band, an advance that was years in the future for that group.  And I was still having trouble copying.  The experience took me back to the days when, even before I was a short-wave listener, I used to listen to AM broadcast radio to pick up distant stations.  If you got past the static crashes and the heterodyning, it was quite a thrill to hear stations hundreds of miles away.  Now you just find the station on the internet, and listen.  Not quite the same, though.

Another experience that brought home change was looking at some old radio equipment someone had discovered in a house he bought.  Was this ham’s equipment worth anything, he wanted to know?  It was obvious that the gear had no commercial re-sale value.  But as I looked at the homebrew stuff, I realized that as hams, we just keep repurposing things to work the way we want.  In the supposed good old days, no one actually made their own tubes or transformers or capacitors.  They used manufactured parts to build something they wanted that no one else was making.  Not all that different from what we do today.  The “stuff” we have to build with is more sophisticated.  Turning some old routers into a MESH network, just to cite one example, is how we are repurposing today.  If it doesn’t quite fit our needs, we’ll find a way to make it work.

That inventiveness is what we do all the time.  And sharing those ideas is part of what we do as ham radio operators.

Not all of us have been in ham radio for a gazillion years.  There are, thankfully, many newcomers among us, and we do a pretty good job of sharing knowledge with them.  And I’d like to point out that the ARRL is working hard in this area, too.  There are books on many subjects that hams will find useful.  Within the last year, I’ve seen a book on projects for the Arduino processors, one titled “Propagation and Radio Science,” some new books on antennas (which of us, new ham or old hand, hasn’t needed some advice or new perspective on putting up just the right antenna,) and most recently,  “Storm Spotting and Amateur Radio (2nd edition).”  Even if you’ve been to the training sessions sponsored by the National Weather Service, this book has a lot of information.  If you’ve gotten interested in one or more aspects of the weather as a result of your training, this book will give you additional resources to help your knowledge.

The hams who went before us led the way by forming clubs and passing along knowledge.  I’d encourage each of us to continue that by helping to teach others, whether in formal license classes, or mentoring, or just sharing some of what each of us has learned to help the next guy or gal.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  Last week, the House Subcommittee on Communications and
Technology ran out of time and deferred the vote on the Amateur Radio Parity Act until after the July 4th holiday recess.

You can find the latest information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.  Thanks to so many of the Great lakes Division hams who have sent letters supporting the legislation.  If you have not done so, you can find a sample on the listed web page.  Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign,
225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.  Our Legislative Action Team will hand deliver the letters, thus avoiding delays caused by the postal inspection system in DC.

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  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 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

July 10 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH 
July 16 - GMARC Trunk Swap - Shelby Twp., MI 
July 16 - NOARS Fest - Elyria, OH 
July 16 - Lowell ARC - Lowell, MI 
July 17 - Van Wert - Van Wert, OH 
July 30 - Big Sandy - Louisa, KY 
July 30 - CMARC Outdoor - Lansing, MI 
Aug 6 - Columbus Hamfest - Columbus, OH 
Aug 6 - UP Hamfest - Escanaba, MI 
Aug 7 - Seaway Trunk Swap - Port Huron, MI 
Aug 15 - Central Kentucky - Lawrenceburg, KY 
Aug 21 - Cuyahoga Falls Tailgate Swap - Stow, OH 
Sep 10 - Louisville Hamfest and KY ARRL Convention - Sheperdsville, KY

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dale's Tales for June

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

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  Last week, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology received a letter from Community Associations Institute (CAI) supporting the Amateur Radio Parity Act.

Our Legislative Action Team has been working extensively with CAI and staff from the House of Representatives to reach this agreement. This action is a vital step in gaining support from Homeowners' Associations as CAI is the national advocate for those groups.  Having this agreement is a positive step in securing passage of the Bill in the House of Representatives and improves the likelihood of similar action in the Senate.

You can find the latest information at  http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.  Thanks to so many of the Great lakes Division hams who have sent letters supporting the legislation.  If you have not done so, you can find a sample on the listed web page.  Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.  Our Legislative Action Team will hand deliver the letters, thus avoiding delays caused by the postal inspection system in DC.

DAYTON: From my perspective the Hamvention® went very well this year.

As your Director, I spend much of my time at ARRL Expo to meet and greet as many Great Lakes Division hams as I possibly can.  It is an important part of my commitment to the hams in the Great Lakes Division to be available to discuss your concerns about ham radio and then do what I can to help make any necessary changes.  While doing this, I always wish I could get to more of the Dayton forums, there were a number of them this year that really were in my areas of interest.  Perhaps in 2017. 

I did have the pleasure of moderating the ARRL Forum this year and was pleased that we could include comments from several members of ARRL's new leadership team.  I think it is important that our members have a good handle on who does what in the organization, and the Forum is a wonderful opportunity to hear from the folks who make some of the key decision on our behalf.  This year we welcomed International Vice President Jay Bellows K0QB, Second Vice President Brian Mileshosky N5ZGT, First Vice President Greg Widin K0GW, CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF, and President Rick Roderick K5UR.

While we commonly think of these folks as the "leaders" of ham radio, it is clear that the true leaders are those such as yourself who constitute the real leadership of amateur radio.  As you read this column, I remind you that you play a critically important part in the future of this hobby.  You are active, interested, and concerned about the amateur radio.  You are a most significant part of the leadership of ham radio.  How this all plays out in the coming years absolutely depends on how you and I act today.   We emphasized this fact at the ARRL Forum in Dayton and encouraged everyone to "do something positive for amateur radio" that very day.  And then, continue to do at least one positive thing for the hobby each week while encouraging others to do the same.  Just do it. 

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

I’m a pretty optimistic person, both in general, and especially about the future of ham radio.  Of course there are some signs that don’t point to a good future, but there are just as many or more that seem to indicate that ham radio will be just fine in the coming years.  The Dayton Hamvention® is always a good barometer of what is happening and what will happen.  And other events and experiences this month have also given me good reason for hope.

Whatever your particular experiences at Dayton, it’s hard to ignore how much enthusiasm there is during the weekend.  Maybe the crowds were down a bit.  Or maybe not.  There were a lot of innovative products on the market, and people were certainly in a buying mood, from all reports.  And the experiences I had in the ARRL Expo were of people talking about possibilities, of training, of new projects.  There was the individual who spoke of trying to revitalize the radio club in his area.  There was the couple, not licensed, who came to the Hamvention to learn about ham radio and find out how to get their licenses.  And of course, there was the Youth Forum, where many young people learned more about the hobby and what new things they could do with it.

Apart from the Hamvention, there were the club meetings this month where people are trying new things and sharing their experiences. Speaking of licenses, I met a ten-year-old at a club meeting who is very close to getting his license.  Once he does, he’ll be an enthusiastic ham for many years to come!  And beyond regular club meetings, I attended a “tech night” not held on the regular meeting night, where hams were sharing knowledge about the latest in digital technology. 

I read about radio operators in the disaster areas of this country helping with emergency communications.  And public service work continues, as the weather warms and the runs, walks, rides and parades all take place with many ham clubs there for support.

One last note about the future.  More and more of us are turning to “social media” to share our experiences.  Far from substituting for radio, its use is enhancing radio.  The popularity of National Parks on the Air is one example.  How many of you have used Facebook to find out when an activation is taking place?  And news of local events, meetings, gatherings, as well as things of national interest from ARRL are out there on Facebook and Twitter.  That’s where the younger people are, and that’s where we’re trying to help them find us.

Our new ARRL President, Rick, K5UR, urged us all to go out and do something for ham radio.  In that spirit, I’d also like to encourage everyone to do something good for ham radio.  Summer is a perfect time for helping a new person with an antenna.  But not just a new person.  Maybe a ham you know hasn’t been active in a while.  See about helping them get back on the air.  Or, as Rick said, just get on the air.  That in itself will do a lot to keeping ham radio alive and well.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  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 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

June 4 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH
June 4 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY
June 5 - Chelsea Hamfest - Chelsea, MI
June 5 - NOTE: Portage, OH Hamfair - CANCELLED FOR 2016
June 11 - Luce County - Newberry, MI
June 18 - Midland Hamfest - Midland, MI
June 18 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH
June 19 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI
July 10 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH
July 16 - GMARC Trunk Swap - Shelby Twp., MI
July 16 - NOARS Fest - Elyria, OH
July 17 - Van Wert - Van Wert, OH
July 30 - Big Sandy - Louisa, KY
July 30 - CMARC Outdoor - Lansing, MI

A LITTLE OFF THE WALL -  THE UNEXPECTED SCIENCE EXPERIMENT.  I have a tower located about 6 feet from the house.  My antenna transmission lines run via messenger cable from the tower to the soffit and then inside to the ham shack.  I can see this cable run clearly from the shack window.  One morning, I glanced out and saw a glint of bare copper on one coax line.  Visible braid!!  I went outside and up the tower, only to find little teeth marks on the cable jackets. Yes, jackets, as three cables had the braid exposed.  So out comes the silicone waterproofing and a lotta tape to do the necessary repairs, still not knowing what varmint had done the damage. 

An hour later, I spotted a grey squirrel climb the tower, traipse across the cable bundle, pause for a late morning snack of PVC and hurry on his way to bother someone else.  Aside from squirrelcide, which would have its own set of problems, it just seemed a protective cover for the cables would be the best solution.  Running the cables through a 3 inch Schedule 40 pipe looked pretty reasonable, that is, except for the mechanical problems of actually snaking 9 cables with connectors through the pipe. 

Splitting the pipe to make a "roof", then covering it with some black semi-gloss just appeared to be the best solution.  A quick run across the table saw to split the tube should be simple enough.  After all, I have a long fence on the saw and all the safety equipment to insure a straight run and no twisting, while keeping all my digits.  The plywood blade in the saw should make a very clean cut.  Onward!  It is only a 6 foot pipe. 

Two feet into the cut, I began to hear a lot of strange snapping sounds and then I noticed that all the hair on my arms was standing up.  I look behind me to see the plastic chips from the saw cut shooting out of the end of the tube at about 80 miles an hour, dust collection system be darned.  Let's see, insulated particles shooting down an insulated tube; OMG!  I have a Van de Graaff generator running in my hands and everything is now charged to some absurd voltage level with static electricity.

I hit the power switch and watched as the saw slowed to a stop and the few remaining plastic chips hit the wall.  They were all there, hanging on the wall, in kind of a big ugly clump.  Then the chips began scattering...the like-electrical charges of the chips began to repel each other; the spot on the wall was growing like some beast from a "B" Sci-fi flick. It finally reached about a 2 foot diameter and then began to collapse onto the floor.  What fun! 

After vacuuming the wall, the floor and me, I decided that next time, I will give serious consideration to the fine qualities of a hand saw. Oh, the "roof" works very well, and I think the squirrel has finally lost his taste for coax cable.

73, See you on the bands, (squirrels permitting).

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dale's Tales for May..


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

MAY is here and soon we'll be enjoying the Dayton HamVention®.  ARRL will host the ARRL
EXPO again this year and we will include about 20 exhibit booths.  We will also include booths from
our friends at the Radio Society of Great Britain, the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club, Japan Amateur Radio League, and the Quatar Amateur Radio Society.  The League is also presenting a number of forums this year.  On Friday, we will host "The ARRL Laboratory- Behind the Scenes", and "Amateur Radio and the Law".  Saturday will include "ARRL National Parks on the Air" and the "ARRL Member Forum".  Sunday's forums are "Maximizing your ARRL Field Day Effort" and the "Amateur Radio Disaster and Emergency Communications Panel". 

As the Great Lakes Division is the hosting division, I will have the opportunity to moderate the ARRL Member Forum and have booked the League's "Heavy Hitters" as guest speakers.  We will hear commentary from ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR, ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher NY2RF, 1st VP Greg Widin KØGW, 2nd VP Brian Mileshosky N5ZGT and our International VP Jay Bellows KØQB.  These people are on top of the latest happenings in our hobby and this is the perfect setting for everyone's introduction to the League's new leadership team.  We will also include a member Question and Answer Session.  Last year's Forum was a full house, and with our new team in place this year, this is an ideal opportunity to introduce and discuss new ideas and plans.  Every one of our guest speakers will also be spending time at the ARRL EXPO. Do take to opportunity to stop at the EXPO's Meet-and-Greet area to say hello.

We plan to have many of our Headquarters staff on hand as well.  They will be present at the EXPO Booths to discuss your ideas and concerns and help you with your special interests.  Here is the EXPO booth line-up: ARRL Development/Foundation, Education and Technology, ARRL Lab, Radiosport/DXCC, National Parks on the Air, Public Service, ARRL VEC, ARRL Store, ARRL Logbook of the World, NTS, Advertising, RFinder, ARRL News, Amateur Radio Parity Act, Scouting, Discover the HF Experience, US Bank and Liberty Mutual Insurance, Field Organization / Ohio Section, Youth Rally, and IARU.   Remember the dates, May 20 - 22. 

KUDOS to the Dial Amateur Radio Club as they celebrate their 75th Anniversary.  Based in Middletown, OH, they recently hosted their Anniversary Party and displayed many interesting memorabilia from the club's history, including several hundred video slides collected and compiled for the occasion.  Ohio SM Scott N8SY, Vice Director Tom W8WTD and I were pleased to attend and help the club celebrate.

NVIS Test:  Ohio SM Scott Yonally N8SY reports that the planned NVIS event went very well last weekend.   There were many participants cross Ohio and a number of neighboring states.  The object was to simply have fun making contacts with an NVIS (near vertical incident skywave) antenna system and allow everyone to find out how well these low-to-the-ground antennas actually work.  Scott's question is now: "Is there any interest in making this a national event?"  Let him know at n8sy@arrl.net.

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

April was the month for club meetings –for me, at least.  More than I usually go to in several months.  But a good opportunity to observe the health of amateur radio around here.  These were very different events, with a variety of topics and attendance.  All of the participants were engaged and interested in whatever aspect of ham radio was being presented.

Two events stand out.  One was a celebration –75 years for the DIAL radio club of Middletown, Ohio.  There was a proclamation and a visit from the Mayor of Middletown, and some of us representing the ARRL were there as well.  The club is aware of its history.  They have a long tradition of education and helping people once they get licenses.  They do Field Day and other events together.  Seems like a strong club.  All the best, ladies and gentlemen, and keep up the good work!

Maybe because it’s a little more rural, I was surprised by the turnout at the Highland Amateur Radio Association’s meeting.  People came from several surrounding counties.  But then when you look at the effort they put into education, it’s not so surprising.  In the month or so before the meeting, classes were held, and the week before the meeting 28 people took tests, some of them for upgrades, and 18 new people got licenses.  Given the level of involvement during the meeting and afterwards, I’d say that most of those people will be on the air and quite active in ham radio over the next year.

At two of the other meetings, there were technical presentations.  We can’t all be involved in all aspects of ham radio, but when people are willing to share new technologies, then we all find what interests us and what doesn’t.  That’s what keeps us coming to meetings, and gets us on the air in new modes, or variations of old ones.

If you’re reading this and you don’t belong to a club, think about joining one.  And if you belong already, pitch in, get active, and meet some of your fellow hams or help someone new in the hobby.  With the Dayton Hamvention® coming up, stop by your club’s table, or go to a forum and learn something new.  And while you’re at it, come and meet your Division and Section leadership teams, and meet some of the new ARRL leaders at the ARRL Expo.  See you there!

73, Tom W8WTD  Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  Our Legislative Action Team is continuing its efforts to achievehttp://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act .  Thanks to so many of the Great lakes Division hams who have sent letters supporting the legislation.  If you have not done so, you can find a sample on the listed web page.  Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.  Our Legislative Action Team will hand deliver the letters, thus avoiding delays caused by the postal inspection system in DC.
passage of these bills in the House and Senate. You can find the latest information at

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  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 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

May 7 - Cadillac - Cadillac, MI
May 14 - Chassell Hamfest - Chassel, MI
May 20-22 - Dayton HamVention - Dayton, OH
May 28 - Ashland - Ashland, KY
June 4 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH
June 4 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY
June 5 - Portage Hamfair - Ravenna, OH
June 11 - Luce County - Newberry, MI
June 18 - Midland Hamfest - Midland, MI
June 18 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH
June 19 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI


73, See you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division