Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for May


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for May, 2019.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

It sounds like Jabberwocky, and it is, written by Lewis Carroll ca 1871. And I often wonder if that is how we sound to newcomers to our hobby. In fact, I am sure it is.  I remember my entry to Novice-land and how little I understood about the ongoing discussions at radio club meetings.  It took a while to pick up the slang, and a little while longer to actually begin to understand it.  But thanks to a couple of mentors who were able to ease the pain, I got by.   Were it not for these heroes of mine, I might have given up.  

Mentoring was the key and Mentoring is the theme of the upcoming Dayton Hamvention and National ARRL Convention.  We will all learn how we can be better mentors and assist interested newcomers into our hobby.  We need to step away for a few moments from our own form of "inside conversation" and invite the new folks in to the conversation, remembering that they probably don't yet have a firm grasp of the nuances of ham lingo.  Attending a few of the Hamvention Forums will certainly provide some guidelines for us all.

Remember, Hamvention and the ARRL National Convention are set for May 17, 18 & 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, OH.  Full details can be found at https://www.Hamvention.org.

Of special note, National and State ARRL conventions are authorized to host meetings of the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong (ROWH).  This is a fun event, convening at 9:00 PM Saturday May 18 at the University of Dayton Marriott, 1414 S. Patterson Blvd. in Dayton. As the history is chronicled, "The Old Man", Hiram Percy Maxim W1AW, wrote in 1919 the Wouff Hong was conceived as an instrument of potential punishment for wayward hams, those who strayed from good operating etiquette.  The actual Wouff Hong currently hangs in a place of honor in the office of the Secretary of the ARRL.  This meeting provides the opportunity for those who do not yet belong to the "ROWH" to join and share in its ideals.  This is always a fun event with a rather unique lesson in League history attached.  You can register in advance at http://arrl-ohio.org/wouff-hong.html.  A certificate of membership and special memento will be provided to all inductees.


TOM'S COMMENTS: Looking at many of the club newsletters that come my way, I can see that Spring is here just by all the listings of ham radio classes.  Good job, everyone!  It’s so important for ham radio to keep offering these opportunities.  And it’s great to be able to share such a fun hobby.

The challenge for us all is follow-up.  It’s great to have someone get their first license.  Who helps them get on the air?  Who will show them how to make the first contact?  Who will advise them on antennas?

Whatever you do, it has to be tailored to circumstances that fit the mentor and those who wish to learn.  Some clubs go all-out to organize activities for new hams.  If your spring classes end in May or early June, make sure your newly licensed people get an invitation to Field Day.  In fact, don’t just invite—make it as easy as possible for them to get there, and stress how important it is for them to get on the air.  Offer them a step-by-step tour so they understand which antenna does what, and how all the equipment works together.

If you’re going to the Hamvention in a few weeks, remember that the theme this year is “Mentoring the Next Generation.”  The ARRL website indicates: “A track of presentations will be organized to build on the convention theme, encouraging more individuals and radio clubs to serve in mentoring roles, leading new and inexperienced radio amateurs to become more active, involved, and engaged.”

Whether or not you can get to Hamvention, please do your part at home, and find a new ham to help –whether it’s just encouragement on the air, or sharing some knowledge that you would like to pass along.

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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

If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests, things do double up a little.
Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

5/4/19             Cadillac                               Cadillac, MI
5/5/18             Flying Beers Trunkswap     Ferndale, MI
5/17 to 19       Hamvention                        Xenia, OH
6/1/19             Luce County                       Newberry, MI
6/1/19             Princeton                            Princeton, KY
6/1/19             IRA                                    Hudsonville, MI
6/1/19             Fulton County                    Wauseon, OH
6/2/19             Chelsea                               Chelsea, Mi
6/8/19             Union County                     Marysville, OH
6/15/19           Milford/SWODXA Conv    Milford, OH
6/15/19           Midland Hamfest                Midland, MI
6/16/19           Monroe                                Monroe, MI
           
OUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION web page does carry news from some of the recent events in the Division, useful links and information as well as some neat photos supplied from around the Division.  Check it out:

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


73, Let's go light up the bands!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Monday, April 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for April


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for April 1, 2019.

Division Changes Afoot?  Around this time of year, some suggestions arrive for consideration.  This time, a recommendation arrived to look at equalizing the membership disparity that exists among the various ARRL Sections.  This is not the first time this has been discussed.  So let me explain how this may affect us in the Great Lakes Division.  Most everyone knows that the Ohio Section has the largest population of hams in the ARRL.  The plan is to level out this disparity, so everyone has equal representation, sort of like Gerrymandering the U.S. House Districts.

The proposal looks like this:  Ohio will be split into half, divided north and south, roughly along a line a few miles north of Columbus. 

The Southern half would merge with Kentucky and form the new Commonwealth Section under the leadership of current KY SM Steve Morgan W4NHO.  The Northern half would be merged with Michigan to form the new Erie Section under the leadership of Current MI SM Jim Kvochick K8JK.
The current Ohio SM Scott Yonally, N8SY, who resides in Mansfield (which is north of the dividing line and thus will be in the newly created Erie Section) will of course lose his Section Manger post.  Steve and Jim have therefore nominated Scott to become the de facto head of the new ARRL National Committee for the Elimination of Sinusoidal Refleneration.

Scott's pre-retirement work with the development of the Nofer trunnion will allow him to fit well with this new position.  The effective date for these changes is, of course, April 1.

SKYWARN. We are on the cusp of the spring storm season.  Your Section Managers have issued reminders to everyone to step up to getting the latest Skywarn training and I just want to reinforce that message.  The folks from the National Weather Service have taken advantage of field-supplied videos of severe weather phenomena and included those examples in their training sessions.  We reap the benefits of that effort in seeing a wider variety of storm effects and learning how to more accurately discern what constitutes a danger to the general public.

If you have not taken advantage of receiving storm spotter training recently, by all means attend a local session.  Even if you were at a session just last year, take it again, you will become a better Skywarn spotter.  This is one of the most beneficial public services amateur radio can offer, it takes only a few minutes to learn the characteristics of severe storms and then just a casual afternoon drive from work to home could prove to be a significant event for aiding the public.  It did for me!

TOM'S COMMENTS: Changes.  The time changed.  The season changed, and now we’re in Spring.  Hope I didn’t put the snow blower away too soon.

Experts say that the time change is a good reminder to check the batteries in our smoke alarms. 

Batteries?  There’s a ham radio topic.  When was the last time you charged the batteries in your HT?  And following up on that, when was the last time you checked the contents of your Go-Kit?  Often, but not always, the changing of the seasons at this time of year brings severe weather.  Are you prepared?

Now I realize that not every ham is deeply involved in emergency response.  Some of us have very little time for ham radio, and others focus on the more social or fun aspects of ham radio.  If you belong to ARES, or volunteer directly with one of the main agencies, like the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, or other agencies like that, you’re well aware of the need to be prepared.  But I hope all of us remember that motto “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio is There.”  You can protect your family, and help your neighbors, just by having a working radio around, if it ever comes to that.  So, does your emergency radio work?

You’ll find all sorts of articles on building a “Go Kit,” and it’s a great idea to have one.  But if you don’t have the time or the budget to do that, do you have the basics?  Can you operate a VHF/UHF radio from a battery source at home?  Do you have a stand-by antenna you can use if your regular one blows down?  And do you have the basic supplies in your household as recommended by FEMA in case of emergency?

I hope none of us has to go through some of the storms, floods, and other disasters we have seen on the news lately.  But we should be prepared.  As ham radio operators, the least we can do is to have the ability to operate in an emergency.

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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

If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests, things do double up a little.

Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

4/6/19             Lincoln Trail                                    Elizabethtown, KY
4/7/19             GMARC Technology EXPO           Madison Hgts, MI
4/13/19           Letcher County                                Whitesburg, KY
4/13/19           Cuyahoga Falls                                Cuyahoga Falls, OH
4/20/19           Portsmouth                                       Portsmouth, OH
4/27/19           Ashland Tailgate                             Ashland, KY
4/28/19           Chassell                                           Chassell, MI
4/28/19           Athens                                             Athens, OH
5/4/19             Cadillac                                           Cadillac, MI
5/17 to 19       Hamvention                                     Xenia, OH
6/1/19             Luce County                                    Newberry, MI
6/1/19             Princeton                                         Princeton, KY
6/1/19             IRA                                                 Hudsonville, MI
6/1/19             Fulton County                                 Wauseon, OH
6/2/19             Chelsea                                            Chelsea, Mi
6/8/19             Union County                                  Marysville, OH
6/15/19           Milford/SWODXA Conv                Milford, OH
6/16/19           Monroe                                            Monroe, MI
           
OUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION web page does carry news from some of the recent events in the Division, useful links and information as well as some neat photos supplied from around the Division.  Check it out:

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


73, Let's go light up the bands!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Friday, March 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for March 2019


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for March 2019.

HAMVENTION® AND MENTORING:  This year, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) will host the ARRL National Convention at Hamvention in Xenia, OH.  The general theme this year is "Mentoring".  I am one among many who feel that we fall far short of really fulfilling that task as new hams enter this great hobby.  DARA is right on the mark for presenting this emphasis. 

There are forums planned to help us all be better at mentoring and I think we all need to take this truly to heart.  Far too often we are too busy or otherwise occupied to lend extend a warm greeting to a newcomer at a club meeting.  We are too busy to ask if they need help getting on the air.  We are too busy to ask if they need help selecting a radio, or installing an antenna.  Does this seem familiar?

What we really need to do is get off the dime and learn a little about the best ways to mentor and recognize those who may require a little help, even when they have been reluctant to ask for it.  I can remember being in that spot, those experienced OTs scared the daylights out of me.  And not I find those positions reversed, and I really need to remember that.  DARA will open those doors and a few eyes to be sure.
So if you are reading this issue of Dale's Tales as a Great Lakes Division ARRL Member, you are close enough to make the trip to Xenia and take advantage of what this year's ARRL National Convention and DARA Hamvention offers.  Plan it now, BE THERE and enjoy the fun!

TOM'S COMMENTS: What’s on my mind this month?  Education.  We’ll be seeing more programs and advances coming from ARRL headquarters and the Lifelong Learning office soon.  And, throughout the Division, people are gearing up for classes this spring, everything from Extra to Tech.
It’s great to see the enthusiasm that everyone has.

Please list your classes with ARRL and with your Section, so those who might be searching can find what you are offering.  And, as many of you already do, reach out.  Find other ways to publicize your work.  Check with some of the people who were in your last class, or the one before that.  How did they hear about the class?  Maybe there’s a group out there with a few individuals who might have an interest in ham radio.
It’s worth trying to find them.

And, as a few of us were discussing recently, getting the beginning license is just that – a beginning.  You know, it really doesn’t do someone any good to hold a ham license if they never do anything with it.  Mentoring and training must be a part of what we do to complete the process of getting someone into ham radio.  I encourage each club that has a license class to find a way to follow up on that class.  It could be some additional sessions to help individuals with their new radios.
It might be encouraging them to come to an operating event.  It might even be inventing an operating event just so they can take part.

Some of this may even start during the initial phase.  If your sessions run more than a few weeks, have you set aside time for people to actually pick up a microphone and talk on the radio?  A good control operator can provide encouragement, and having club members out there waiting to talk, sets up the exercise pretty well. Sometimes just overcoming mike fright, or making an interesting contact, provides an extra incentive for students to keep going in the class, and for them to make plans for how to get on the air once they get that license.

Here’s hoping that by mid-spring we have more licensed hams in the Division, and that by summer and Field Day, we have more active hams in the Division.

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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

If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests, things do double up a little.

Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

3/2/19             Cave City Hamfest                    Cave City, KY
3/3/19             NOARS Winter Fest                  Elyria, OH
3/16/19           Gallipolis                                   Gallipolis, OH
3/16/19           Crossroads                                 Kalamazoo, MI
3/17/19           TMRA Hamfest                         Perrysburg, OH
4/6/19             Lincoln Trail                              Elizabethtown, KY
4/7/19             GMARC Technology EXPO     Madison Hgts, MI
4/13/19           Letcher County                          Whitesburg, KY
4/13/19           Cuyahoga Falls                          Cuyahoga Falls, OH
4/20/10           Portsmouth                                 Portsmouth, OH
4/27/29           Ashland Tailgate                       Ashland, KY
4/28/19           Chassell                                     Chassell, MI
4/28/19           Athens                                       Athens, OH
           
OUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION web page does carry news from some of the recent events in the Division, useful links and information as well as some neat photos supplied from around the Division.  Check it out:

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


73, Let's go light up the bands!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Friday, February 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for February 2019

Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for February 2019.

ARRL BOARD MEETING.  On January 18 and 19, the ARRL Board of Directors held its Annual Meeting.  The board welcomed several new Directors and Vice Directors to its membership.

In specific actions, the board approved the launching of a Life Long Learning initiative (LLL).  This will include a Content Management System and an Account Management System as well as significant web site improvements all aimed at bringing LLL to the membership.  This is a lengthy project that will be implemented in several phases.  More will be released by HQ soon.

The Board approved the adoption of new guidelines for the ARES Program, bringing significant upgrades to ARES aiming at improved standards in the organization.  This was the result of a 31 month effort to upgrade the program.  ARES participants registered in ARES Connect will be able to take the newly revised ARRL EMCOMM training course EC-001 for no cost.

An amendment to the Articles of Association brought them into alignment with Connecticut law relating to there being no stockholders in our 501(c)3 organization.

A permanent operating committee was established to insure continued support for Logbook of the World.

The definition of the position of Vice Director has been revised to insure that the holders of this elected office are fully able to step in to serve in the absence of their respective Directors. The fiduciary responsibilities and requirements of operational information were included.

Dir. Hippisley W2RU entered a motion that I supported commending the National Traffic System (NTS) and endorsing the ARES and the rolls they have in emergency communications.

The board accepted the resignation of Chris Imlay W3KD who has served as ARRL General Counsel for many years.

The ARRL Board Code of Conduct was repealed, leaving CT law as the guiding principles for board members.

In standing committee appointments, our Great Lakes Division Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD was appointed to the Administration and Finance Committee and I was selected to chair the Programs and Service Committee.

Several awards and honors were granted, currently being announced by HQ. This year, none involved Great Lakes Division members.

SEVERAL ITEMS I covered in the January issue of "Dale's Tales" were discussed with fellow Board members.  Those included a request to return the Rag Chewers Certificate, add a list of new licensees to appear in QST, continuing a down-scaled version of the OO program, increasing the point value for new hams participating in Field Day, adding a point value for GOTA contacts and consideration of a video Amateur Radio training program.  Some of these will soon be examined by the Programs and Service Committee.

TOM'S COMMENTS: We often speculate on the future of ham radio.  With many of us aging, and not so many young people coming to club meetings, we wonder what will happen.  Some steps taken by the ARRL Board at its recent meeting, and other things being done by ARRL staff have certainly increased my optimism for what may happen in the future.

Data gathered by the staff, with assistance from a Connecticut advertising firm, has given us a much better idea of who might be interested in ham radio, what their motivations are for becoming hams, and what they would like to do with ham radio.  That can be translated in action, particularly as we learn to reach out in a different way to prospective hams.  An example of this appears in CEO Howard Michel’s column in the February issue of QST.  I encourage you to read — or re-read — that column.  Howard imagines a grid where we can calculate our interests between using new technology and existing technology, and between hobby and public service.  And each of us fit in various places along those scales.  If we, as individuals and clubs, as well as the ARRL as an organization, can better appeal to newcomers by how they fit that grid, we can help them achieve their goals, and keep them interested in ham radio through the years.

ARRL will be making new efforts to keep all of us interested, by improving training materials.  Just as technology keeps evolving, ham radio does too, and keeping up with the latest interests might be something we all want to do.  Watch for new learning programs, and new ways of presenting the information that we need.

As for reaching out, on the local level, please keep holding those license classes.  Remember that not everyone looking for a license has the same expectations of ham radio as you do.  Young people in particular are drawn to technical and scientific aspects that many of us are not.  Other people are really drawn by the opportunity to serve their communities.  We need to be more aware of all the facets of ham radio, and demonstrate ones that are of most interest to the people we reach out to.  And be sure to welcome everyone to the hobby, encourage them in their interests, and help them get started.

-- 73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

OUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION web page does carry news from some of the recent events in the Division, useful links and information as well as some neat photos supplied from around the Division.  Check it out:  http://arrl-greatlakes.org/

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65+ hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

2/2/19             HARA Swap                        Negaunee, MI
2/8/19             Cherryland Swap                 Traverse City, MI
2/17/19           Livonia Hamfest                   Livonia, MI
2/17/19           Mansfield Hamfest              Mansfield, OH
3/2/19             Cave City Hamfest               Cave City, KY
3/3/19             NOARS Winter Fest            Elyria, OH
3/16/19           Gallipolis                             Gallipolis, OH
3/17/19           TMRA Hamfest                   Perrysburg, OH

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


73, Let's go light up the bands!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Great Lakes Hamfest Update


Here is the current listing of Hamfests in the Great Lakes Division.

The 2019 Swaps are well underway!

1/20/19           S.C.A.R.F. Hamfest     Nelsonville, OH
1/27/19           Hazel Park Hamfest     Madison Hts, MI
1/27/19           Tusco ARS Hamfest    Strasburg, OH
2/2/19             HARA Swap                Negaunee, MI
2/9/19             Cherryland Swap         Traverse City, MI
2/17/19           Livonia Hamfest          Livonia, MI
2/17/19           Mansfield Hamfest      Mansfield, OH
3/2/19             Cave City Hamfest      Cave City, KY
3/3/19             Winter Hamfest           Elyria, OH
3/16/19           MI Crossroads            Kalamazoo, MI
3/16/19           Gallipolis                    Gallipolis, OH
3/17/19           TMRA Hamfest          Perrysburg, OH

--------------------------------------------------------------------
ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK

Monday, December 31, 2018

Dale's Tales for January '19


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for January 2019.

Best wishes for a happy and safe New Year.  As we move into 2019 let me offer my thanks to all of you in the Great Lakes Division for your outstanding service to amateur radio.  As I have been fortunate to travel around the division to meet with you at club meetings and hamfests, I am always pleased to discuss your ideas and suggestions for improvements to our great hobby.  Thank you for those contributions. I frequently find it a humbling experience.  To those who hold elected and appointed positions in our Field Organization: you gals and guys are the movers and shakers that make this all work - a thousand thanks to you all.  Everybody - keep your creative juices flowing in 2019.

A MESSAGE FROM Bart W9JJ:
To: ARRL Contest Clubs
Re: RTTY Roundup and more update

All,
... follows are a couple updates for contest clubs.

- FT8 and the ARRL RTTY Roundup (http://www.arrl.org/rtty-roundup) is just a couple weeks away (January 5-6, 2019).  This is an event, since its announcement in November 1988 QST, that not only promotes RTTY, but in this new event it also promoted using all digital modes that existed at that time, and those that would follow.  As we enter 2019, now some 30 years later, our newest popular mainstream digital mode (FT8) is poised to bring activity to new levels.  In January 2019 QST (p.72-73), Joe Taylor, K1JT, presented an article as a how-to for ARRL RTTY Roundup (now with and FT8) to assist participants.  As your club members head into the holidays, here's a link to that article that they may review as they prepare for the event


- National Contest Journal (NCJ) and New Contester Learning / Training Tools:  Per the email below, NCJ is asking clubs to talk-up the myriad of tools available to the contest community, and to discuss and share with NCJ what additional learning content may be of interest to your clubs and members.  See the email that follows.  Be sure to provide any thoughts/suggestions/follow up to NCJ Editor Scott Wright, K0MD at drscott.wright@gmail.com

Wishing you, your club and its members warmest wishes for the holidays!

73,

Bart Jahnke, W9JJ
Contest Branch Manager
ARRL - The national association for Amateur Radio™

SCOTT K0MD's EMAIL TO W9JJ:
From: Scott Wright [mailto:drscott.wright@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2018 4:29 PM
To: Jahnke, Bart, W9JJ
Subject: Request to send to contest clubs via your reflector

Bart

The NCJ is asking major North American contest clubs to consider expanding the learning and training tools available to help new and mid-skill level contesters learn and raise their skills to the next level.

In 2007, the NCCC published a video series on So2r which I personally found very helpful. They are going to re-post it to their website so all of us can learn from the series.  Contest University also posts its lectures to the web and the power point slides - both extremely helpful to new and mid-skill level contesters.

We would like contest clubs to discuss with their members the need to develop additional video based and power point-based training tools on the following topics:

1. How to do the Sprint contest - CW and/or RTTY 

2. How to set up and be a Mobile rover in state QSP.

3. Optimization of SO2R techniques in SSB/CW/RTTY contesting 

4. How to do SO2V contesting 

5. Advice on planning for a 48 hour contest - what are the techniques the winners use?

6. Setting up n1mm+ or Win-test with a rig - a basic how to video or power point set.

The video recordings might record both sides of a QSO, and in the example of the Sprint contest, slow it down enough to show beginners how to “Sprint” when you are done with the QSO, what to do if you lose a “jump ball” and other techniques.  It might involve recording, then narrating what to do and listen for in the right and left audio channels.

These are only ideas for what we believe is currently lacking for up and coming contesters. There are probably plenty more issues that our major contest clubs can identify and create training films to help all of us.

You Tube is full of videos describing rigs and other things like building a ham shack table.  Perhaps we can post some helpful videos on contesting to You Tube also?

If there is enough interest in this, we can have an inter-club competition and I will award an “Editor’s Cup” to the club that makes the best or most innovative video in 2019.  It can be awarded perhaps at the 2020 Dayton contest dinner (if the organizers agree).

Thanks for considering!

Scott Wright, K0MD
NCJ Editor

IN OTHER NEWS: With the ARRL Board meeting in mid January and an already full agenda, I am carrying along a pocket full of ideas and suggestions from you all in the Great Lakes Division.  Some are continuing discussions and others new offerings.  Several will presented to committees for their initial consideration.  To provide you with a brief summary, included are a request to return the Rag Chewers Certificate, add a list of new licensees to appear in QST, continuing a down-scaled version of the OO program, increasing the point value for new hams participating in Field Day, adding a point value for GOTA contacts and consideration of a video Amateur Radio training program.  There is much to cover in considering each and every proposal, despite how simple each may appear.  We probably won't see any decisions related to these items for a few months.

For you FT-8 fans, don't forget to check out the MSK144 mode on January 4th as the Quadrantids meteor shower comes about.  "Quads" normally has about one meteor per minute, so it should offer some reasonable MSK144 activity on both 6 and two meters.  There is a pretty neat Android app
(free) called "Sky Map" that will let you easily spot the constellations and just about anything else in the heavens, making antenna aiming a breeze.  There is a similar app available for iOS called "Sky View Free".

The effort continues to contact all of the inactive local hams in my community.  As to the plan to send letters, so far no replies, despite the inclusion of my phone number and e-mail address.  Some may be truly inactive.  Interesting.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Happy New Year!  As with any change in the calendar, we can look forward to a combination of successes, some disappointments, and some changes during the coming year.  That applies to ham radio, as well as in our personal lives.

You know, I remember it being a big thing to make “New Year’s Resolutions” as the year changed.  Probably because they were too simple and too vague (“I want to do better next year,”) I gave up doing that a long time ago.  But as I thought about the potential changes coming to amateur radio, I realized that while vague thoughts don’t get us anywhere, good strategic planning can outline a good future, one that can actually happen.

So in spite of what I think of “resolutions,” I realize that throughout my business career, and now as part of the board for ARRL, I really do think in terms of objectives and goals, and they do work.  I want to share with you, if you haven’t read them in a while, the strategic plan for ARRL.  Here’s a link to it on the website:  http://www.arrl.org/arrl-strategic-plan

We have a simple mission statement: To advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio.  That is followed by a vision statement, and then by specific goals for ARRL.  I hope you might take a minute or two to read through all of them.

If I were to pick out just one part of the goals statement that everyone could work on, it might be this one: Initiative 2.3: Encourage members to get involved, get active, and get on the air.  Of course, every one of the goals is important, but I think getting or staying active and turning on those radios, whatever mode or frequency you most like, is very important and actually fairly easy to achieve.  Warm up those inactive repeaters.  Get on the magic band.  Go digital.  Hunt DX.  Be active!

Looking forward to seeing lots of you at meetings, hamfests, conferences, and other gatherings during the coming year.

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

OUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION web page does carry news from some of the recent events in the Division, useful links and information as well as some neat photos supplied from around the Division.  Check it out:    http://arrl-greatlakes.org/

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65+ hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

1/20/19     S.C.A.R.F. Hamfest            Nelsonville, OH
1/27/19     Hazel Park Hamfest            Madison Hts, MI
1/27/19     Tusco ARS Hamfest           Strasburg, OH
2/2/19       HARA Swap                       Negaunee, MI
2/8/19       Cherryland Swap                 Traverse City, MI
2/17/19     Livonia Hamfest                  Livonia, MI
2/17/19     Mansfield Hamfest             Mansfield, OH
           
Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.


73, Let's go light up the bands!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for December 2018


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for December 2018.

David AD8Y, the Faculty Advisor of The Case Amateur Radio Club, reports that CARC will be sponsoring the 2019 HamSCI conference in March.  It will be on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and will include tours of the CARC station, W8EDU, and the CWRU ThinkBox public-access shop.  There will also be an exam session.  More material will be available as the date approaches. This fits well with the ARRL's new incentive for Lifelong Learning and you will hear more about that over the next few months.

DXCC Field Card Checkers.   As you recall a few months ago I successfully lobbied for several revision to the DXCC Field Card Checker rules. Among the changes is the provision for adding more checkers, especially in areas where there are none.   In the Great lakes Division, we have card checker is the following areas: Paducah, KY; Louisville, KY; Russell, KY; Gregory, MI; Marysville, MI; Bath, MI; Waterford, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Goshen, OH; Hamilton, OH; Wooster, OH; and Hiram, OH.  A quick look at the map will clearly show that the urban areas of our three Sections are well covered, but there are regions where added Card Checkers would really benefit the DXers in those areas.  We need checkers in Southern Kentucky, SE Ohio, the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  If you live in any of these areas and hold DXCC, please consider becoming a card checker.  Of course, we would like you to be available at regional hamfests to do some field checking just like our present Field Checkers. IF you have an interest in helping out, please let me know at wa8efk@arrl.org.

ARRL Board Meeting.  Your Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting January 18 and 19.  Vice Director Delaney and I will be in attendance.  If there are items of concern to you that you feel deserve Board action, please send them to me before mid December.  That will allow adequate time for me to discuss those concerns with my fellow Directors, and offer ample opportunity to place any specific subjects on the meeting agenda. The meeting agendas are quite full, as they include reports and discussion relating to the League's various standing Committees, such as Administration and Finance (A&F), Programs and Services (PSC) or the Executive Committee.  Often consideration for suggested changes to field programs, like contests or DXCC are first reviewed by one or more of the standing committees and presented to the full Board with recommendations.

IN OTHER NEWS: My personal quest for making connections with inactive local hams continues, but I am thinking I might find that contacting one per month is bound to be the going rate.  The initial effort with phone and e-mail has run its course and I now need to turn to letter writing due to the inaccessibility of e-mail addresses and phone numbers.  We'll see how that works out over the next few weeks.  More next month.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  I like the changing seasons.  But I think all of us in the three states in our Division were surprised by how quickly fall turned to winter.  Hope this doesn’t mean a long, snowy winter. What does this have to do with ham radio?  If there are “seasons” for ham radio, it’s a bit like gardening.  There’s always something to do, but the activities vary according to the seasons.  I got most of my antenna work out of the way, so unless something falls, I don’t have to worry about putting up antennas in the cold.  The upcoming month of December brings lots of club parties.  Nice to be able to enjoy some moments of friendship with those we share the hobby with.

For those of us a little more involved in disaster response, batteries always need to be charged, and the gear always ready.  Any season can bring emergencies.  Even though we tend to focus on spring storms, October’s SET in Ohio featured a winter storm scenario.  Just a few years ago, hams in Central Kentucky had the real thing, and they did a great job responding.

With some exceptions, hamfests tend to happen in the spring through the fall.  I usually have a list of small items, parts, etc., that I’ll look for at hamfests.  Hope I don’t need anything too quickly.  The next hamfest I plan on attending is still a few months away.

Two other things in ham radio are really without seasons.  Mentoring is key to keeping the hobby going.  Any time a new ham, or an old ham with a new challenge, needs help, we should all be ready to offer advice or help.  How’s your club doing with mentoring as a club project?

The other thing is dealing with the public.  Whether you’re at a winter parade or a summer bike ride, we can all promote ham radio’s public service aspect.  And it’s a great feeling to be of help in your community.

Enjoy the holiday parties coming up!

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65+ hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

12/1/18                       Fulton Co. Winterfest          Delta, OH
12/2/18                       Lanse Creuse Hamfest        Madison Hts, MI
1/20/19                       S.C.A.R.F. Hamfest             Nelsonville, OH
1/27/19                       Hazel Park Hamfest            Madison Hts, MI
1/27/19                       Tusco ARS Hamfest            Strasburg, OH
2/2/19                         HARA Swap                        Negaunee, MI
2/8/19                         Cherryland Swap                 Traverse City, MI
2/17/19                       Livonia Hamfest                  Livonia, MI
2/17/19                       Mansfield Hamfest              Mansfield, OH
           
Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

As we enter this year's Holiday season, let's all be thankful for family and friends and the wonderful blessings they have brought us during the year.  Season's Greetings from Tom and Helen, Judy and me and all the best wishes for a joyous New Year.


73, Let's go light up the bands, 'tis the season!!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for November 2018


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for October 2018.

Congratulations to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association® for their selection as the host club for the 2019 ARRL National Convention!!  The ARRL National will be held in conjunction with Hamvention® at Xenia next year.

Here is the official announcement:

NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT – ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio®, has announced that Hamvention® will host the 2019 ARRL National Convention in Xenia, Ohio, May 17-19, 2019. Hamvention is the largest annual Amateur Radio gathering in the US. Hamvention and the ARRL National Convention will share a joint theme, “Mentoring the Next Generation” of Amateur Radio operators.

As host of the 2019 ARRL National Convention, Hamvention will feature dozens of forums covering a variety of topics in Amateur Radio, such as technology, public service, on-air operating, training, and learning. A track of presentations will be organized to build on the convention theme, encouraging more individuals and radio clubs to serve in mentoring roles, leading new and inexperienced radio amateurs to become more active, involved, and engaged.

A special event Amateur Radio station, call sign W8BI, will be set up and operating from the fairgrounds—inviting attendees to join in for some on-air fun.

The National Convention will also feature ARRL EXPO—a large assembly of ARRL-sponsored exhibits, activities, and representatives for ARRL programs and services. Several ARRL-sponsored presentations and forums will be given. Information will be posted to www.arrl.org/expo as it becomes available.

2019 will be the third Hamvention to be held at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio since the event relocated from Dayton. At 28,417 visitors, Hamvention recorded its third-largest attendance ever in 2018. It attracts many international attendees.

Since 1952, Hamvention has been sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association® (DARA), an ARRL-affiliated radio club, and is supported by volunteers from radio clubs throughout the country. In past years, Hamvention has received regular sanctioning as the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. Hamvention® hosted the ARRL National Convention most recently in 2005 and 2009.

Hamvention features multiple buildings of indoor vendor exhibits, an outdoor flea market, and many food trucks and concession stands. There is free parking onsite and at nearby remote parking lots served by free shuttles.

The Hamvention website www.hamvention.org will include details for convention tickets and information about forums, exhibits (including information for vendors and flea market), travel, and preferred hotels with special rates. Convention tickets are $22 in advance; or $27 at the gate. Each ticket includes convention admission for all three days.

Electric scooter rental information can be found at the Hamvention website. Onsite RV camping is managed by the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Ham radio operators are encouraged to bring family and friends, and extend their convention trip by visiting nearby popular attractions. The National Museum of the US Air Force, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton region also boasts many parks, museums, shopping, entertainment, and dining options.

All major airlines serve the minutes-away Dayton International Airport (DAY), and some travelers use the airports in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, driving the final 60 to 90 minutes to Dayton/Xenia. Plan your trip to Hamvention at www.greenecountyohio.org and www.daytoncvb.com.

Interested parties will find complete details for the 2019 ARRL National Convention at www.arrl.org/expo (coming soon).

For information about ARRL and Amateur Radio, visit www.arrl.org and www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.

IN OTHER NEWS:, "Well how did that work out for you Dale?"  Oh yeah, that was for my commitment to make contact with several of the local hams in my community that seem to be inactive.  That is my personal effort to get involved in mentoring inactive hams and help in any way to get them active and on the air.  This did turn out to be a bit tougher than I had expected, so it is still a work in process.  First, one has moved from the area according to his dad. And then it seems most have no listed phone so that puts a limit on accessibility right from the start.
 Now, it my effort is to try to locate an e-mail address and go on from there.  That has met with limited success and a couple of contacts are in the works. One chap even found me!  He is new to the area and was not yet on the local list, but has already participated in the local Saturday lunch.  So, I'll keep at this and report again next month.

Hopefully November will be a little less busy and more time can be devoted to the effort.  How about you?  Did you give this effort a shot?

A SPECIAL NOTE from AC8W:   Fellow Great Lakes Division DXers

Given the evident popularity of the new FT8 mode of communication demonstrated by the data collected in LoTW showing a seven figure increase in the number of monthly QSOs year over year resulting from the explosive adoption of the mode by hams worldwide, and the extremely high percentage (approximating 40%) of all QSOs being made with this mode at the current sunspot minimum

The DXAC is investigating the advisability, feasibility and desirability of creating or modifying one or more digital mode awards in the DXCC program to accommodate encourage and reward new modes of amateur radio activity on the bands.

How do you feel?  Should we:

a.) Create endorsement stickers for the existing Digital DXCC (i.e.
RTTY-100; PSK31-100, JT65-100, FT8-100, etc with incremental stickers 125, 150, 200 and so on)

b.) Create a separate DXCC award for each mode

c.) Do nothing at all and leave new digital modes under the existing Digital DXCC.

Are there other options?

Your opinion is important so let me know at ac8w@arrl.net Deadline for responses is Wednesday, November 14.

Thanks

Stan Arnett II AC8W
DXAC Representative
Great Lakes Division


TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD Excitement was in the air as the students at Tallmadge Elementary School in Lancaster (Ohio) filed into the auditorium for their much-anticipated contact with the International Space Station.  There are many ways to introduce people to amateur radio, but this has to be the best.  Only problem is that there are so few opportunities for contacting the ISS.

Congratulations to the Lancaster & Fairfield County Amateur Radio Club. They worked more than a year on the project, and that hard work paid off with a great contact!

Another activity that seems to have a lot of promise for interesting young people is a balloon launch with tracking.  Kids get interested in weather and other science experiments that they can observe and/or participate in.

Dale and I have talked a lot about recruiting new hams and getting people of all ages interested in ham radio.  We all have opportunities to show off ham radio, ranging from the dramatic (the ARISS contact) to the everyday.  What works for your community, and your club?  It’s important for all of us to remember that what got us interested in ham radio is not necessarily of interest to new people.  Maybe they will eventually get interested in whatever you like, whether it is DX, weak-signal, traffic handling, public service, or any of the numerous other things we do.  But reaching out to them requires finding out where their current interests in science and technology are, and showing them how ham radio can be a part of that.  Let’s all follow the example of the club in Lancaster by planning an activity and carrying it out with great results!


--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65+ hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

11/3/18                       Grant ARC Hamfest            Georgetown, OH
12/1/18                       Fulton Co. Winterfest          Delta, Oh
12/2/18                       Lanse Creuse Hamfest         Madison Hts, MI
1/20/19                       S.C.A.R.F. Hamfest             Nelsonville, OH
1/27/19                       Hazel Park Hamfest             Hazel Park, MI
1/27/19                       Tusco ARS Hamfest            Strasburg, OH
2/17/19                       Livonia Hamfest                  Livonia, MI
2/17/19                       Mansfield Hamfest              Mansfield, OH

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

73, Let's go light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division