Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for March 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


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

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

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

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


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dale's Tales - January 2017

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


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

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

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

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


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dale's Tales - New Years Edition

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

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

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

Great Lakes Division - 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73,

s/ Dale Williams WA8EFK
   Director
   Great Lakes Division

*******

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

******** 

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

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

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

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


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dale's Tales for December

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


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

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

Dec 3  - Fulton County Winterfest - Delta, OH

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

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

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

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Big Push From YOU For The Parity Act..






Dear Great Lakes Division ham,

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

73,

Dale Williams WA8EFK


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