Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for October

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





NEWS: Our ARRL Headquarters staff has been on top of activities to extend communications support to our fellow citizens in the hurricane-damaged areas of the Caribbean.  You have read of the Red Cross asking for 50 ham radio volunteers to serve in Puerto Rico for three weeks, you have read of the multiple packages of Ham-Aid equipment prepared and shipped to assist in these devastated areas.  

Note especially Tom's Comments:






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


When the first of many disasters hit a few weeks ago, I began thinking about disaster response and what I could say.  Having spent many years on planning committees, I was reminded at the time of the saying that we are best prepared for the “last” disaster, meaning that we know what we did last time, and would be more than familiar with what it would take to stage the same response.  The problem, of course, is that disasters don’t often repeat themselves, or they come with strange twists we haven’t seen before.
From what I can tell, in the Texas and Florida disasters, a different kind of communication was taking place.  Devastating as the hurricanes were, they didn’t affect communications infrastructure so much, and people were using “social media” in all sorts of new ways.  So the hams had to adapt, and for many, the usual 2-meter FM communications as the only local communications was not the case.  They responded, but didn’t seem to be as needed.

Up here in the Division, we’re not likely to see those kinds of disasters.   While we need to be ready for anything, we need to learn from what else has gone on.  Those of us who have been involved in disaster communications know what needs to be done, but it is all going to depend on what the needs are. And that’s going to change from situation to situation.  We need our new technologies, because they’ll be helpful.  Let’s remember that it’s not the internet that goes down, it’s local access to the internet.  So if we have ways to work around that, we will still be able to communicate when others can’t.

But now there’s Puerto Rico.  Back to nothing, and ham radio steps in.

You have probably seen that over 50 hams from around the country volunteered through ARRL at the request of Red Cross to go in and basically set up some ham communications where there are none left.  We wish them the best.  Many of us would have liked to go, but for various personal reasons, could not volunteer.  What’s there for us to do?

Well, let’s keep the HF frequencies they need clear for them.  And if you can spare a few bucks or
more, donate to Ham Aid.  You’ll find a link of the main ARRL web page.

On the one hand, disaster communications is simple.  Provide help where needed.  In practice, it is often a balance between need and available resources.  What can we do to help?  If it’s not just what we trained for, there may still be something else we’re good at that we can bring to help.  There’s an SET coming up.  Practice is essential.  We may not be doing the same things in a real disaster, but if we’ve practiced, we know our gear works and we can figure out the needs of the moment.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

What more can be said?   Ham radio is doing what we do so very well.  We can get on the air when other systems fail, because we know how to do it!  Our Field Day and DX-peditioning experience pays off.   Our ARES, NTS, QRP, DX and Work-it-through-the-doggone-QRM operating experience pays off.  Our technical expertise and our hang-the-antenna in the wind, snow, rain or sleet, experience pays off.

This emergency is ongoing, and will remain so for months to come.

People are hurting and they need our help.  Please consider what you can do; in a big way or a small way, we need to step up to assisting.  If you cannot help via ham radio, perhaps you can assist financially, or through a material donation.  Speak with your community officials, Red Cross, Salvation Army or similar civic organization, but please lend a hand. 

This is a proud moment for amateur radio, one not to be overlooked.

These major disasters will cause many of us to renew our interests in emergency communications and renew our skills in that area. And, surely as I sit here, in three years, much of the current interest will have waned because we soon forget the details of what happened.  You have seen it happen, I have seen it happen, we humans trend towards complacency.   Yet we must change our thinking, we need to remember the lessons learned and prepare ourselves for the times we will be needed again.  Let's all look ahead and practice with our ARES groups, train for disaster deployment, prepare for dealing with potential threats and stay at it.  Look at our Simulated Emergency Test After-Action-Reviews (you do review, don't you?) and refine all of our methods and procedures.  We need to reduce, actually, we need to eliminate our complacency and remember, each of could face a disaster as serious as those faced today by our friends in Puerto Rico, Dominica and the US Virgin Islands.

GREAT LAKES HAMCON: it just is a week away.   Check out the details and schedules on the webpage at GLHAMCON.ORG and plan to join us for this inaugural event.  As a resident in the Great Lakes Division, this truly is your Convention and Hamfest.  Last month's Dale's Tales highlighted all 16 of the forums and the other planned events.  Join us on October 7 & 8 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI!!





HAMFESTING:  Of special note to all of our Hamfest Chairpersons: be certain to open and examine the package your group receives from ARRL Headquarters.  It is addressed to you, be sure you open it as soon as it is received.

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.  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the remainder of 2017.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication. 

10/7/17         Cave Run Hamfest                       Moorehead, KY
10/7/17         Vette City                                     Bowling Green, KY
10/7 & 8       Great Lakes Div. Convention      Brooklyn, MI
10/7/17         Scioto Valley                               Chillicothe OH
10/15/17       Conneaut Hamfest                       Conneaut, OH
10/21/17       Muskegon Color Tour                 Muskegon, MI
10/22/17       Kalamazoo                                   Kalamazoo, MI
10/28/17       Hazard                                          Hazard, KY
10/29/17       Massilon                                       Massilon, OH
10/29/17       USECA                                         Madison Hts, MI
11/4/17         Grant ARC Hamfest                     Georgetown, OH
12/3/17         Lanse Creuse                                Madison Heights, 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



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dale's Tales for September - 2017

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

With the nominations now closed for the Great Lakes Division Awards, the Committee is now
reviewing the applications.  Thanks to so many for offering nominations for these awards.  Without doubt, the committee will have its job cut out for it as the selections are made from so many well-qualified individuals in Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.  The following Division awards are under consideration:  George S. Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award; Technical Achievement Award; DX Achievement Award; Young Radio Amateur of the Year Award; and the Joseph J. Phillips, K8QOE, Newsletter Award.   The award presentations will be made at the Great Lakes Division Convention Banquet in conjunction with Great Lakes HamCon at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI on October 7 & 8.

Speaking of that, the Great Lakes HamCon and the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention will be
upon us in a month.   We are pleased that our selection of Forums will bring some top-notch events to the Convention.

On Saturday:

Opening Ribbon Cutting and Kickoff Session and ARRL Forum

Dan Romanchik KB6NU will present his Tech-in-a-Day License Class

The Ford Amateur Radio League will conduct FCC exams following the class

Marsha Fleming N8FE will host the gathering of the Young Ladies Radio League, the YLRL

South East Michigan DX Assn will host the DX Forum - Al K8SIX and Stan AC8W will moderate

The Ohio Section will host our Clubs Forum - Tom WB8LCD will be the moderator

The Mad River RC will host the Contesting Forum - Dave K8CC will moderate

Carl Leutzelschwab K9LA will conduct the forum on Radio Propagation

Joe Eisenburg K0NEB will host the forum Kit Building Techniques for Success

Tom Bosscher K8TB will conduct a forum on Fox Hunting, followed by an actual hunt on the MIS track infield

The Michigan QRP Club will host a forum on Operating QRP - Pete W8KS will moderate

Carole Perry WB2MGP will lead our 2017 Youth Forum

Yaesu will present a forum on their Fusion digital products - hosted by John Kruk N9UPC

In addition to all of these activities, Saturday's events will be followed by the ARRL Banquet featuring ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR as the featured speaker.  Here will present the Divisions Awards and the banquet will be followed by an initiation for new members of the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong.

Sunday's activities includes these forums and events:

The Toledo Mobile RA will host a forum on operating from Museum Ships - Glenn W8MUK will moderate

Dan KB6NU will host the Forum on Operating CW.

ARES Forum hosted by the Division SECs

NTS Forum hosted by the STMs

Grand Prize Awards

The HamCon team really feels that a great cross-section of amateur radio activities is represented with this selection of forums and events.  The emphasis has been focused on learning activities, each session offering an insight to a particular facet of ham radio, ranging from sessions for new YLs, the latest in youth activities, plus information for both the new comer and the seasoned veteran.  You can stay up to date with the planned activities at:  glhamcon.org

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

We're all very aware of disasters this month as we watch the still-unfolding events in Texas.  It was interesting to check into a net last week and be asked "how well prepared are you to shelter in place for several days?"  The responses varied.  Some sounded quite ready, others not so much.  Those who didn't have enough preparation reluctantly agreed that perhaps they needed to do some more.  If you're one of those people, resources are available to help, such as "www.ready.gov."

As a long-time Red Cross volunteer who has worked on disaster relief in a number of situations, and been in on even more planning exercises, I see the question for hams as having two parts.  First, of course, is keeping yourself and your family safe.  Some of that is just having the necessary items to either shelter in place or to evacuate to a place of safety when necessary.  And many of us have stand-by power for our radios, so we can communicate from home either for our own needs or for those around us.

The second part is what a lot of dedicated ARES volunteers do --be prepared to help others, whether in your local community or someplace farther away.  And for that, you need the various go-kits that we all put together.  I was thinking about how my own "go-kit" has evolved over the years.  I finally took out the phone wires and telephone that have been in there a long time.  And the roll of quarters for that pay phone that may have still been operational on a corner somewhere.  Don't laugh.  At one point, those were important.  So now we have new tools, but we need to keep up with the times.  An annual review of what is in there is probably very useful for each of us to stay ready.  Maybe at your next club meeting everyone could do a "show and tell" of go kits.
We always inspire each other to think about that one item we've overlooked.

Ham radio has always had a component of public service.  We each need to do our part to be ready when the time comes.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the remainder of the year.  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. 



9/9/17                                Grand Rapids GRAHamfest           Wyoming, MI
9/9/17                                Greater Louisville Hamfest           Sheperdsville, KY
9/10/17                              Findlay                                               Findlay, OH
9/16/17                              Richmond Fall Hamfest                 Richmond, KY
9/17/17                              Adrian                                                Adrian, MI
9/23/17                              GM ARC Trunk Swap                      Shelby Twp, MI
9/23/17                              OHKYIN ARS Hamfest                     Cincinnati, OH
9/24/17                              Cleveland Hamfest                         Berea, OH
9/30/17                              Mich-a-Con & Iron Range             Crystal Falls, MI
9/30/17                              Paintsville Hamfest                         Paintsville, KY
10/7/17                              Cave Run Hamfest                          Moorehead, KY
10/7/17                              Vette City                                          Bowling Green, KY
10/7 & 8                            Great Lakes Div. Convention        Brooklyn, MI
10/7/17                              Scioto Valley                                     Chillicothe OH
10/15/17                            Conneaut Hamfest                         Conneaut, OH
10/21/17                            Muskegon Color Tour                    Muskegon, MI
10/22/17                            Kalamazoo                                        Kalamazoo, MI
10/28/17                            Hazard                                               Hazard, KY
10/29/17                           Massilon                                            Massilon, OH
10/29/17                           USECA                                                Madison Hts, MI
11/4/17                             Grant ARC Hamfest                        Georgetown, OH
12/3/17                             Lanse Creuse                                    Madison Heights, 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, August 2, 2017

Dale's Tales for August 2017

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

Our Great Lakes Division Convention to be held at HamCon this year will be recognizing the
contributions of several hams and radio clubs.  These awards will be presented at the closing ceremony of the GLD HamCon in Brooklyn, MI.  As a Division resident, you have to opportunity to nominate candidates for each of the five categories.









Please take a look at the following award programs.  If you are aware of some deserving individuals who may qualify, please drop me an email with the details.   wa8efk@arrl.org    Several members of the DivisionCabinet will review the nominees to vote on the awardees.  Vice Director Tom Delaney, W8WTD will be chairing the Awards Committee.   Please note: the absolute deadline for all nominees will be August 31, 2017.

GEORGE S. WILSON III W4OYI LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD The Radio Amateur in the Great Lakes Division whose lifetime achievement record merits recognition for outstanding contribution to the Amateur Radio Service.  The nominee is active on the air and in Amateur Radio organizations.  The Wilson recipient is an all-around Amateur whose lifetime activities, attitudes, and achievements might serve as an example to others. At the time of nomination, nominees must have been licensed Radio Amateurs for at least 30 years and be at least 50 years of age.  Emphasis is placed on service to others rather than self, diversity of Amateur Radio interests and Activities, evidence of continuing self-challenge via Amateur Radio, and outstanding contributions to Amateur Radio.  Devotion to Amateur Radio is balanced with attention to work responsibilities and family life.  This award is presented at the discretion of the Awards Committee and Director.  The recipient must be a current ARRL member.

GREAT LAKES DIVISION AMATEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD The Radio Amateur in the Great Lakes Division whose outstanding record in the year preceding nomination merits recognition for contribution to the Amateur Radio Service.  The Amateur of the Year, is an all-around Amateur, whose activities, attitudes and achievements may serve as a guiding example to others.  Devotion to Amateur Radio is balanced with attention to work responsibilities and family life.  The Amateur of the Year exemplifies the "Amateur's Code."  In selecting the award recipient, emphasis is placed on service to others rather than self, diversity of Amateur Radio interest and activities, evidence of continuing self-challenge and outstanding contributions to Amateur Radio.  The recipient must be a current ARRL member.

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Radio Amateur(s) in the Great Lakes Division whose technical excellence exemplifies "continuation of the Amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art" and whose attitude exemplifies the highest dedication to service to others and to science rather than self.  Particular value will be placed on evidence of continuing contributions to the Amateur Radio Service.  Groups of two or more Amateurs may be nominated for a joint award in this category.
Technical achievement may be demonstrated through activities such as the following: publications, research and development, creativity in hardware, software and firmware systems design and implementation, technical instruction, application of advanced technology to public service communications.  This award is presented at the discretion of the Awards Committee and Director.
The recipient(s) must be a current ARRL member.

DX ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The radio amateur(s) in the Great Lakes Division who has dedicated time, talent and service to DXing.  The award is given especially in recognition of an exemplary lifetime DX record.  Recipients are active on the air and in DX Amateur Radio organizations.  The DX achievement recipient is also an all-around Amateur whose lifetime, ethical DX activities, good operating practices and notable achievements of the recipient might be viewed as examples to follow by others.  At the time of nomination, nominees must have been licensed Radio Amateurs for at least 20 years and be at least 50 years of age.  Emphasis is placed on DX totals (Honor Roll, DXCC Challenge, etc), DXpeditions served on, Elmering/Mentoring other DXers plus other outstanding DX related accomplishments. Devotion to Amateur Radio is balanced with attention to work responsibilities, and to civic and family life. This award is presented at the discretion of the Awards Committee and Director.  The
recipient(s) must be a current ARRL member.

YOUNG RADIO AMATEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Presented to a young radio amateur in the Great Lakes Division, 18 years of age or younger, in recognition of a record of outstanding contributions to the Amateur Radio Service.  This record consists of activities and achievements in Amateur Radio, which may include support of the community through Amateur Radio, ability to recruit fellow students into Amateur Radio, scholastic achievement and extracurricular activities.  The Young Amateur of the Year is enthusiastic and shows potential for leadership and further achievement.  This award is presented at the discretion of the Awards Committee and Director.

CLUB NEWSLETTER AWARD, also to be presented at the GLD HamCon:

JOSEPH J. PHILLIPS, K8QOE, NEWSLETTER AWARD This award will be given to the highest scoring newsletter submitted in Great Lakes Division competition to the newsletter review committee.

Each newsletter for the contest will have been declared newsletter-of-the-year for the Section it represents during the present year; however, when the timing of the Division Convention occurs too early in the year to permit selection of a newsletter for the year, winners for the previous year may be submitted.

An eligible newsletter must be regularly published at least four (4) times per year and be a recognized Amateur Radio organization within their state.

Electronic (or Web based) produced newsletters may also enter. However, they must represent their printed newsletter in all formats. This is to ensure uniformity.
Non-amateurs, in the Public Relations industry will do the judging. They will judge on following criteria:

Style (15%):  This means newsletter design of all pages.
Content (35%):   This is the amount of useful information contained
within the newsletter.
Service to members (35%):   This is the amount of information using
individual member’s names.
Clarity of presentation (15%):   This is the readability of the
newsletter including accuracy of spelling and grammar.
  

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


With the Board of Directors meeting just concluded this month, education is on my mind.  You can read the board minutes soon.  Right now I can tell you that the committee I have been serving on, the Entry Level License Committee, gave its report to the Board in July. While we made some modest proposals for licensing, we spent a lot of time focusing on education of hams in general.  After all, if we want this hobby/service to continue on, we need to keep getting new people into it.  So here's a
question-- if you are concerned about the future of the hobby, what are you doing?

Are you a VE?  Great.  Keep up the good work.  You are part of a vital pathway for others to get into ham radio.

Do you work with Scouts?  Not only is that a great thing to be doing, but it may provide some of the best and brightest hams of the future.

Not every kid will want to be a ham, or course.  But for those that do, you can show them how to build their skills now, in the things they like, and it will help them as they choose career paths.

Do you teach classes?  Your work is valuable.  Make sure you stress the practical, and make sure your students get some hands-on with radios.

You do give them a chance to talk on the radio, don't you?  That "first contact" once they have their license will still be special, but just talking and observing contacts while they are still learning keeps them interested, and helps them know how to go about making contacts once that license is theirs.  People who get licensed and then never get on the air is a situation we don't want to encourage.

Do you help others with radio?  Everyone should try to mentor someone when asked.  It may be as simple as sharing your experience with an antenna, a rig set-up, or maybe more complicated with a whole station layout.  Whatever your level of experience, you probably have some good knowledge to share.  If you're asked, be sure to respond.

There are many other pathways into ham radio.  Some people find themselves in the "Maker" mode.  Others teach in schools, and are very aware of the importance of STEM subjects.  Some people work with the ARISS program.

Whatever you do, be aware that the future of amateur radio depends on all of us.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


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. 

This listing has been updated since it was first published..

Aug  5 - Columbus Hamfest - Columbus, OH 
Aug  5 - UP Hamfest - Escanaba, MI 
Aug 12 - Central KY - Lexington, KY 
Aug 12 - Midland Hamfest - Midland, MI 
Aug 13 - Seaway Trunk Swap - Port Huron, MI 
Aug 19 - Thunder Bay ARC Swap - Alpena, MI 
Aug 20 - Warren Tailgate Swap - Cortland, OH 
Aug 27 - Cuyahoga Falls Tailgate Swap - Stow, OH 
Sep  9 - GRAHamfest - Wyoming, MI 
Sep  9 - Greater Louisville Hamfest - Sheperdsville, KY 
Sep 10 - Findlay Hamfest - Findlay, OH 
Sep 16 - Richmond Fall Hamfest - Richmond, KY 
Sep 17 - Adrian Hamfest - Adrian, MI 
Sep 23 - GMARC Trunk swap - Shelby Twp., MI 
Sep 23 - OHKYIN ARS Hamfest - Cincinnati, OH 
Sep 30 - Paintsville Hamfest - Paintsville, KY 
Oct  7 - Vette City Hamfest - Bowling Green, KY 
Oct 7-8- GLD HamCon and Convention - Brooklyn, MI 
Oct 15 - Conneaut ARC Hamfest - Conneaut, OH
Oct 21 - Muskegon Color Tour Hamfest - Muskegon, MI 
Oct 22 - Kalamazoo Hamfest - Kalamazoo, MI 
Oct 28 - Hazard Hamfest - Hazard, KY 
Oct 29 - Massillon Hamfest - Massillon, OH 
Oct 29 - USECA Hamfest - Madison Heights, 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


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for July

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

I have always felt that radio clubs are the life blood of Amateur Radio. They are the go-to resource for getting started in the hobby.  They are the go-to resource for help with antennas.  They are the go-to resource for help with rig problems. They are the go-to resource for learning how to be a good operator and for absolutely everything one needs to be a ham.  Triggered by Tom Delaney's reference to clubs that follows in his commentary, I did some research to see how the Great Lakes Division was doing in its efforts to generate more interest in ARRL Affiliation for our local radio clubs.  I find that in the past 12 months, we have had more 8 radio clubs join the ranks of ARRL Affiliation.  Congratulations to all. 

For the clubs themselves, affiliation with ARRL offers some nice benefits:  Referrals of new area hams as potential club members, Mailing Lists for special mailings and advertising hamfests, Club Commission program for recruiting new ARRL members, Club Liability insurance, Ham Equipment insurance, assistance with filing for club Licenses, Club E-mail forwarding service as well as a number of others free services to clubs.  And, importantly, the cost to a club for ARRL Affiliation is only the time you take to complete the on-line application.   ARRL is also a frequent contributor of prizes for our Affiliated Club's hamfests.  If your club is not already affiliated, please consider it.

By the way, if YOU personally are not affiliated, not an ARRL member, please consider joining.  Your benefits are great as well: our journal QST, Members-only Web Services (this include Digital QST, Access to the QST Archives, free e-newsletters, Product Review Archives, E-Mail forwarding Service and the ARRL Member Directory).  Plus members have access to the Technical Information Service, Member Discounts, Ham Radio Insurance Plans, ARRL Visa Signature Card, Outgoing QSL Service, Operating Awards, to name a few.  Plus your continued support advocates for Amateur Radio locally, nationally and world-wide.  Thanks.

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

June's big event is always Field Day.  Hope you had fun!  The essence of Field Day is working together.  Yes, there are lots of other great things that happen on Field Day, but the teamwork and cooperation are the best.  You didn't get your start in ham radio without someone telling you about it, or showing you how it works.  Now that may not have happened at Field Day, but it often is a good starting point.  Some people get their licenses by going it alone, working the books exclusively.  Many, though, find that classes, or at the very least, an understanding ham who is willing to explain the harder parts, make passing that test an easier task.

Some people who get their license on their own don't know what to do next, and don't know who to turn to.  Those who worked with a club may find someone who will show them how to get a station set up.

And operating?  A few people at Field Day like to be by themselves.  But often, logging for someone, or having someone log for you while you make contacts, is an enjoyable experience.  In between contacts you talk about band conditions, antennas, stations you've worked... and you learn something, both about ham radio and also about that other individual.

Young people are particularly enthusiastic about Field Day.  The thrill of making more contacts in an hour than they've (probably) made in a month really gets to them.  And they learn about propagation, antennas, and all sorts of other stuff.

So Field Day is a good measure of what it means to be a ham.  Not everyone wants to go outside in less than ideal conditions and struggle over putting an antenna up where it doesn't want to go.  But whatever you did on Field Day, or in Field Days past, you probably learned something else about ham radio, and maybe even passed along some of the things you learned.

Field Day comes along once a year.  But the teamwork can persist into the next club meeting, the next class, or the next opportunity to help a new ham.  Take what you've learned, and pass it on.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

GREAT LAKES HAMCON.  Announcing Carole Perry WB2MGP will be hosting her well received Youth Forum at HamCon. In addition we have scheduled forums for 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 and the Toledo Mobile Radio Assn. will hold a presentation on their recent activations of Museum Ships.

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. 


Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH
Jul 15 - NARS Fest - Elyria, 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 
Aug  5 - Columbus Hamfest - Columbus, OH 
Aug  5 - UP hamfest - Escanaba, MI 
Aug 12 - Central KY - Lawrenceburg, KY 
Aug 12 - Midland Hamfest - Midland, MI 
Aug 13 - Seaway Trunk Swap - Port Huron, MI 
Aug 19 - Thunder Bay ARC Swap - Alpena, MI 
Aug 20 - Warren Tailgate Swap - Cortland, OH 
Aug 27 - Cuyahoga Falls Tailgate Swap - Stow, 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 as we celebrate Independence Day in the USA!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK

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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