Friday, July 29, 2016

Dale's Tales for August 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signed:
Ron Cramer
General Chairman
Dayton Hamvention 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

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

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK



Monday, July 4, 2016

Dale's Tales for July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"LARKPC has something for everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

"73 Jim K8JK "

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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

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

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

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

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

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dale's Tales for June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dale's Tales for May..


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD  Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


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

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

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


73, See you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division



Friday, April 1, 2016

Dale's Tales for April..

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

UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  This subject moves to the front of the column as
recent actions are getting us reasonably close to closure.  Our ARRL Legislative Action Committee members have been meeting in Washington to reconcile the bill verbiage with representatives of homeowners' associations.  I am optimistic that most of the concerns on both sides of the issue have been resolved and I look for us to have a bill that will not face opposition in either the House
or Senate.   I am not attempting to say the deal is done, it is not and
we remain steadfast that hams are to be treated fairly in installing an outside antenna.  Opposing that single issue can be a deal breaker as it is the basis for the entire bill.  You can find more information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.  Thanks to so many of the Great lakes Division hams who have sent letters supporting the legislation.  If you have not done so, you can find a sample on the listed web page.  Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters for personal delivery: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.  We will hand deliver the letters, thus avoiding delays caused by the postal inspection system in DC.

SPRING:  It is now upon us and along with it, the frequent severe weather that hits the Midwest.  Many regions are well underway with their annual spotter training programs, certainly an important item on the calendar.  Recognition of what constitutes a funnel cloud vs virga can be a lifesaving measure.  While our ARES members train in storm spotting, these sessions also offer an opportunity to work on net procedures.  Knowing what to report and how best to convey the information on a busy net (with an overworked net control) insures efficiency and accuracy, again, potential lifesaving measures.  We need to ask ourselves "Who uses our reports?  What data do they need?  How it is best presented to them?  Can your local Emergency Management people use a spotter report in the same form as the National Weather Service?

What is the best method to get the report to your partner agency?"

Certainly, many more questions need answers, so meet with partner agencies now, well before severe weather sets in, to work out the details so our ARES programs are viable and incorporating the Best Practices to serve the public.
 
NPOTA:   I am receiving a lot of positive input about National Parks on the Air.  Here we are with spring is only a few days upon us and the bands are busy with NPOTA operations.   Warmer weather will bring even more operators into the field and more of the National Park System locations on the air.  Remember if you have the opportunity to set up and operate, check in at the park office and let them know your plans.

Many are willing to assist with PR and even help you put up a suitable sign to let the public know who you are.   Let's make the best of the show.


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

As I’ve noted here before, I really enjoy being able to connect with people throughout the Division and find out what projects they are working on, and from time to time, sharing progress reports with everyone. So it’s been good to be able to get to some hamfests in Kentucky and Michigan. Next up is the granddaddy of them all, the Dayton Hamvention®. Hope to see many of you there.

I spent many years volunteering with Red Cross, especially in planning and preparing communications of all types for disaster. I’m still involved, as a matter of fact. So when I see possibilities for new things in ham radio, I’m really encouraged as well. There are all sorts of good activities going on in the Division with regard to emergency communications. We have groups working on digital data, from the MESH networks to the various digital nets; there is an upcoming NVIS antenna day, sponsored in Ohio, but open to participation from Michigan and Kentucky; and there are efforts in digital voice. I have to admit that I’m partial to the DMR technology, but I know D-Star has a lot of dedicated enthusiasts, and Fusion has some promise, particularly with all the new repeaters out there.

Lately, I’ve been chatting back and forth with the folks in Mansfield, Ohio, where they just put up a new DMR repeater. The statewide talkgroup offers promise for coverage in an emergency. Now I realize that some people will argue that the internet may be down in a big disaster, so why bother with something that is so internet based?

But my answer would be that as long as the system is out there, we may as well experiment with it, and use it. When it comes to communications in an emergency, you can never have too many systems. True, you don’t know which ones will work and which ones won’t, so that’s why it’s important to have options. The one you don’t expect to use may be the one to get you through the worst of the disaster.

Hams don’t often need encouragement for new technology. When we find something we like, we go for it. We get involved, and make new things happen. If there’s any advice to offer, it would simply be this –look for the possibility your favorite mode might have for emergency communications, and help develop that along with all the other god things it does.

As I mentioned, D-Star has been around and has well-established nets. DMR is rapidly advancing. What are the plans for interconnecting the Fusion repeaters? How soon can we count on them for digital coverage of a state or a region?

Disasters can happen at any time. But Spring is often the season for weather-related emergencies throughout our Division. So let’s do what we can to be prepared again this year.

73, Tom W8WTD  Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

 
HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule for the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

Apr 2 - Portsmouth - Portsmouth, OH
Apr 9 - Cuyahoga Falls - Cuyahoga Falls, OH 
Apr 19 - Letcher County - Whitesburg, KY 
April 23 - Jackson County - Jackson, OH 
Apr 24 - Athens - Athens, OH 
May 7 - Cadillac - Cadillac, MI 
May 14 - Chassell Hamfest - Chassel, MI 
May 20-22 - Dayton HamVention - Dayton, OH 
May 28 - Ashland - Ashland, KY

73, See you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division






Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dale's Tales for March 2016

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

The Great Lakes Division was well represented in the current issue of Radio Waves, published by the League http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Radio%20Waves%20Newsletter /Winter%202016%20Radio%20Waves.pdf .   This ARRL periodical is aimed at instructors and
educators, keeping them informed about ham radio and STEM Programs.   Ohio's West Chester Amateur Radio Association teamed up with National Voice of America Broadcasting Museum to host "Pi Day + 6" in honor of May 14.   (This year it really stacks up as 3.14.16 and is also Albert Einstein's birthday).    In addition, the West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids has started a ham club as the result of its prep work for their scheduled ARISS Contact.   This publication may offer your club an introduction to STEM instructors in your area and open an opportunity to begin a local school program for prospective hams.  Check it out.

As announced in this column last month, Chief Operating Officer, Harold Kramer W1JB is entering the world of retirees.  Knowing Harold, I suspect this is not the last we will hear from him.   I spoke with him on the phone Friday and we talked a little about some of his plans. These will include an opportunity to do a little writing and probably make some other interesting contributions to ham radio.   Please feel free to extend your well wishes to Harold at WJ1B@arrl.org.

A special thanks goes out to the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club for their warm hospitality when Michigan Section Manager Larry WB8R, Monroe County EC Dave AC8SI and your ARRL Director Dale WA8EFK "dropped in" for a visit at their February club meeting.  The three of us were attending the Michigan Statewide Interoperability Conference in Traverse City and could not pass the opportunity for an evening visit with the club. 

I am pleased to report that Amateur Radio is playing a continually more important part in Michigan's overall emergency communications plan.  This Interoperability Conference, which was hosted by the Homeland Security Division of the MI State Police, devoted several hours of time to Auxiliary Communications, which is based upon ARES®, NTS, CAP, MARS, SATERN how these groups are organized, operate and respond in emergencies.  Michigan Section manager John McDonough WB8RCR also detailed RACES, covering what it is and what it is not.  The several hundred conference attendees were from police, fire, EMT, Emergency Management and first responder teams from across the state. 

Great Lakes Division members can be proud of their respective Section leadership teams for their diligence in working with their individual state's Emergency Management organizations and promoting a very positive atmosphere relating to the services that we radio amateur operators can provide for our communities.  While each of our three Sections has its own unique operating relationship with state officials, amateur radio is highly regarded in every case.  This is not to say all is perfect, certainly not, as we have many opportunities to improve.  We all need to strive for accurate documentation, uniform registration and timely reporting.  ARRL Leadership is working to reduce the burden of complying with these needs, and over the next few months, we may begin testing these services in selected locations. Remember, our agency partner leadership managers see the reporting numbers and stats, lets insure that we continue to keep them up to date and accurate.  These figures show how much we do, and what cost benefits our services provide to each partner-agency.

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

Last weekend, I listened in on a conversation on HF.  One by one, the voices of some young girls came on, talking with another girl.  First steps in radio.  Then I realized I had had a similar contact a year ago with the same station, but had no young person in my shack to speak to them.  The station was from New Brunswick, Canada, and the woman ham was introducing  Girl Guides (the equivalent of our Girl Scouts) to ham radio.  It was great to hear the enthusiasm for making contacts.

I still have the QSL cards that I got from each of the young ladies I talked to.  And am sure these girls were even happier to talk to someone young like themselves.  From what I could piece together, the girl on the other end was the six-year-old daughter of that ham operator, and I think they were in Great Britain.  Band conditions were not favoring their signal in my direction, but the Canadians were loud and clear.

The experience made me think about our outreach to youth in this country.  It’s not easy to go from that initial contact to a license, but we’re out there trying to make it happen.  We have programs in place, from JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) to Kid’s Day on the Radio, to school clubs and license classes.  We all have to do our part to make sure that the airwaves are a welcome and happy experience for young people, whether they are just learning how radio works, or whether they are applying science concepts and figuring out how interesting ham radio can be.  A salute to those who work with youth, and a reminder to us all to be welcoming on the air!

Friends in high places--  You all know that there are a few hams in Congress, such as Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI, of Oregon, on the subcommittee for Communications and Technology, and some others, including a new ham, Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico.  Rep. Walden has been helpful in many ways, not least of which is calling FCC attention to the problem of interference.

Closer to home, in the fall elections, Kentucky got a new governor and lieutenant governor, and it just so happens that the lieutenant governor is a ham.  Her name is Jenean Hampton, and her call is K5EIB. The Northern Kentucky Amateur Radio Club invited her to speak at their February meeting, and she accepted their invitation.  She is particularly interested in spreading the word about the emergency communications capabilities that ham radio provides.  An engineer by background, she is now an extra class licensee.  She doesn’t have a lot of time to be on the air, but anything any of the Kentucky hams can do to help her will probably be much appreciated.  She will be a good advocate for ham radio, and will be counting on us during emergencies. I’m sure her trust will be well-placed.

A few of you have noticed that the Great Lakes Division now has a Facebook page.  If you haven’t noticed, please take a look.  Granted, Facebook is not for everyone, but for those who participate, it’s one more way of keeping in touch with activities of the Division.  Please let us know what you think.  Thanks go out to Greg, W0QI, Kentucky ASM, whose initiative got it going.

It’s Hamfest season again.   In March, I plan to be in Cave City, KY and Kalamazoo, MI.  I’m Looking forward to seeing many of you during those times.  Stop by and say hello.

73, Tom W8WTD  Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  HR 1301 is the Bill number for the House of Representatives.  Progress continues, as last month the House version had 118 Co-Sponsors, today the number is up to 123.   The Senate version of the bill is number S 1685.   If you have not done so, please contact your Senators and Congressman in Washington and encourage their support for the Act.  You can find more information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.  Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters for personal delivery: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St.,
Newington, CT 06111. 

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule for the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

Mar  5 - Cave City - Cave City, KY
Mar  6 - NOARS - Elyria, OH
Mar 19 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 20 - TMRA Hamfest - Perrysburg, OH
Mar 26 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH
Apr 2 - Portsmouth - Portsmouth, OH
Apr 9 - Cuyahoga Falls - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Apr 19 - Letcher County - Whitesburg, KY
Apr 24 - Athens - Athens, OH
May 7 - Cadillac - Cadillac, MI
May 14 - Chassell Hamfest - Chassel, MI
May 20-22 - Dayton HamVention - Dayton, OH


73, See you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dale's Tales for February..

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for February, 2016.
 
OUR NEW CEO: As you are no doubt seen the press release, our ARRL CEO Dave Sumner K1ZZ plans to retire this year.  Dave has announced that the date will be April 18, ending more than 44 years of service at ARRL HQ. For many of us, it will be hard to imagine headquarters without Dave at the helm.  None the less, on that date, our new CEO will step into office, Tom Gallagher NY2RF. There will be a few weeks of overlap as Tom and Dave will be working together to effect a smooth transition of leadership. Tom's selection comes after an extensive search and an offer was tendered following the decision at the January ARRL Board meeting. Tom accepted, and the Board held an electronic meeting Monday evening January 25, where he was elected to serve as CEO and Secretary following Dave Sumner's retirement. Tom's bio is available on the ARRL web site.  

The recent Board meeting also included another important change in Leadership, as President Kay Craigie N3KN completed her 6th year as League President and opted to return to private life. Our First Vice President Rick Roderick K5UR was unanimously elected to the office of President and began his term at the end of the meeting.  Rick has served on the Board as a Vice Director, Director and a VP for more than 24 years.

One other change is forthcoming, as our Chief Operating Officer, Harold Kramer W1JB is planning to retire in early 2016.   More details will follow as our new COO is selected.

In addition to the above, various Board actions included election of the 2016 Executive Committee, (your Director was re-elected to this body) plus reviewing and accepting standing Committee Reports. The ARRL Strategic Plan was accepted and the Board will be assigning priorities for implementation. There was considerable discussion about how US population shifts have affected the number of ARRL members in each Division since Division boundaries were last adjusted.  A
committee was established to examine these changes, collect member input  and report at the January 2017 meeting with their recommendations.

Actions by our newly elected President  included the appointments to several committees. Our Vice Director, Tom Delaney W8WTD was selected as Board Liaison to the ARRL RF Safety Committee, while your Director was re-appointed as chair of the Ethics and Elections Committee.

ON THE AIR SPECIAL EVENT:  The big operating event National Parks on the Air has begun. Be https://npota.arrl.org/. You can view your contact status on sure to check out the full details at
http://www.arrl.org/NPOTA and  selecting "The Leaderboard". Standings come from Logbook of the World uploads, so remember that some may be delayed until the operators return to their home QTHs where they have Internet connectivity.

MEA CULPA: Being human and subject to making an occasional (Okay, frequent) mistake, I did so last month when I inadvertently omitted from the Great Lakes Division Annual Report, the call sign of Bill Finnegan NR8I.  Bill was the winner of the ARRL's Herb S. Brier W9AD Instructor of the Year Award.

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

ARES:  So who turned the map of the Division upside down?  It seemed like it for a few hours this past weekend.  Normally, cold temperatures and large snowfalls are more likely in Central Michigan than in Central Kentucky. But the storm that eventually became the Northeast Blizzard came roaring through the southern part of the Division before it charged up the East Coast. And it dropped enough snow to stop traffic on I-75 between London, KY and Lexington. While it was reminiscent of the I-65 snow last winter that stopped traffic over near Elizabethtown, this one probably wasn’t quite as bad.  But the Kentucky ARES folks responded, at least in the “ready” mode. KEN was activated on
3.9725 MHz, and several local nets were called up throughout the area. No one actually deployed, but all the procedures were in place to do so. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Who’s an expert?   Here’s a story for you.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are called amateur radio operators.  Or maybe it’s something else. I was asked recently to help find someone who could do a presentation on wire antennas for one of the clubs in our area.  So I started asking around for an expert.  People I thought were experts declined, saying that they weren’t experts. After a while, I
started thinking about the term, and decided that must be what was making the search difficult.  No one wants to self-identify as an expert.  We all have this mental picture of an expert as someone who knows so much about resonance, reactance, impedance, theory, and the ability to use complex antenna-modelling systems.  What about the practical?  How many antennas has an individual constructed and put up?

In my fifty-plus years of ham radio, I’ve put up temporary antennas for field day, permanent antennas on my house and the houses of friends, as well as antennas on public buildings, etc. Some worked well, others didn’t, but I learned from what went wrong.

With that in mind, I recruited one of the non-experts (who knows a lot about antennas) and together we led a discussion with the club.

Everyone took part, and we all found out more about antennas and what to expect. By sharing what we know and asking questions about what we didn’t know, we all came to a better understanding of antennas.  And it was one of the better club meetings I’ve attended anywhere.

Funny thing.  Even though to my “English-teacher” mind, expert and experience seem to have the same root, one term is more intimidating than the other.  Bottom line—those of us with experience should not be so hesitant to share what we know.

The winter and early spring Hamfest season is just about here. Weather permitting, I’ll be seeing some of you in the next month or so. 

73, Tom W8WTD  Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT: We continue to be encouraged by the efforts of our Washington team as they continue to foster support of the passage of the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  The House version now has 118 Co-Sponsors. HR 1301 is the Bill number for the House of
Representatives.  The Senate version of the bill is number S 1685. If you have not done so, please contact your Senator and Congressman in Washington and encourage his/her support for the Act.  You can find more information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.

Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters for personal delivery: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111. 

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule for the next few weeks. These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication. We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning. It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters. Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

Feb  6 - HARA Swap - Negaunee, MI
Feb 13 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI
Feb 21 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH
Feb 21 - Livonia - Livonia, MI
Mar  5 - Cave City - Cave City, KY
Mar  6 - NOARS - Elyria, OH
Mar 19 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 20 - TMRA Hamfest - Perrysburg, OH
Mar 26 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH


73, See you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Amateur Radio Parity Act.. New Information!!

Hey Gang,

The Amateur Radio Parity Act--we've been talking about it for a while.  Now it's ACTION TIME for
at least some of you in the Division.  Next Tuesday, January 12th, the House Bill comes up before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.  Five House members from Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan sit on that committee.

The ARRL is asking each ham in those congressional districts to contact their representatives and ask for their support for the bill.  It's easy.  Just go to this website:

All you have to do is fill in your zip code, and get a message to your congressman.  Do it today!

This specifically applies to those of you who live in Michigan in Fred Upton's district, which is generally the southwestern part of the state; those who live in Ohio Rep. Robert Latta's district, which is generally around the Toledo area; those who live in Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson's district, which is generally southeastern Ohio along the river; those who live in Kentucky Rep. Brett Guthrie's district, which is generally south of Louisville and Lexington; and those who live in Kentucky Rep. John Yarmouth's district, which is in the immediate Louisville area.

Even if you don't live in those districts, you can contact your representative.  If the bill passes out of committee, we'll need to have a full effort from everyone before the bill comes to a vote in the House.

We're getting close.  Thanks for your past efforts, and get ready to make your voice heard again soon!

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dale's Tales for December..

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for December 2015.

KRAMER GOES ROGUE:  Not Seinfeld's Kramer, but our own: Harold Kramer WJ1B!  It seems
Harold and a team of operators have decided to strike out on their own to commemorate QST's founding 100 years ago this December as they will be operating a commemorative Special Event station W1Q.  The plan to be on the air from December 1-15. The first QST was published in December 1915.  ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer WJ1B and the volunteer operators will man W1Q. This is not an "official" ARRL operation, and Harold will handle all QSL cards and LoTW entries.  He will post additional information on his QRZ.com page under WJ1B.  Let's keep them all busy!  What a great way to celebrate the founding of our official journal.

SPECIAL EVENT:  National Parks on the Air will be a key event in 2016.
I hope you all will be able to take advantage of getting some On-the-Air-Time to operate and have some great fun contacting stations in our National Parks and actually doing some serious operating from the parks.  Be sure to check out the full details at https://npota.arrl.org/.  There are actually 20 qualified National Park Service Units within the Great Lakes Division, and plenty of opportunities to put them all on the air over the next 12 months.  Be sure to check out the current "On the Air" list of scheduled events on the web page.  Not surprisingly, many dates are already booked.




ON THE AIR: Are you?  Maybe it is time to check!  After the experience of operating last year's great Centennial Points Challenge, like many ops, I have experienced some serious withdrawal symptoms.  So for 2015, I've given myself another challenge and made it a point to try to get on for a while every day and get some QSOs in the log outside of nets and contests.  An all-too-often brief QSO with a foreign ham brings a new friendship and new interests.  Certainly, my knowledge of this Earth's geography is improving as I frequently squeeze in some research on the country I have contacted.  Of course, some time is spent searching for "rare ones", but I like the time spent for even a brief contact.  This is not to say I am neglecting contesting.  Operating contests is great for honing skills, and I note I seem to be able to copy everyone a little better after finishing a contest; with that little experience, copying DX through the noise and QRM truly becomes an easier task.  Of course operating on a few nets keeps up the traffic handling skills and builds camaraderie.  We have so many diverse aspects of this hobby, but one - actually getting on the air - is what it is all about.  Let's all really DO IT!

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Our Vice Director, Tom W8WTD is on a well-deserved hiatus this month.  He will return in January all refreshed for the upcoming year.

UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT: The Senate version of the measure passed through committee during November.  The package will now go to the full Senate for a vote.  NOW is the time to contact your Senator in Washington and encourage his/her support for the measure.  When you do this, please reference the Bill Number S 1685.  Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters for personal delivery: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.  You can find more information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule for the next few weeks.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication. 
 
Dec  5 - Fulton County Winterfest - Delta, OH 
Dec  6 - L'Anse Creuse - Harrison Township, MI 
Jan 17 - SCARF - Nelsonville, OH 
Jan 24 - Tusco - Strausburg, OH 
Jan 24 - Hazel Park - Madison Hgts, MI 
Feb 13 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI 
Feb 21 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH 
Feb 21 - Livonia - Livonia, MI 
Mar  5 - Cave City - Cave City, KY 
Mar  6 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI

HAMFEST OFFICIALS:  It is never too early to register your hamfest for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

WISHES: It is still early in December, but as we enter this holiday season, Judy and I wish to extend the very best wishes for Peace and Prosperity in the coming year.

73, see you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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