Friday, December 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for December

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

CLUB Holiday Parties.  Wow, it is that time of year to start all of the celebrations.  I see a lot of
announcements for club parties and activities for the coming season.  And as many as there are clubs there are an equal number of variations in planning, hosting, venues and activities.  Still for everyone, it is a time to meet with friends and in many cases, families as well.  I truly hope your club has an event planned to bring everyone together this season.  Please consider keeping it safe for everyone and as a reminder to celebrate in moderation.  We want the year to end on a happy note for everyone.

PCARS Donation to the Center of Hope. Every year, since year one of the Portage County (Ohio) Amateur Radio Service's existence, they have donated to a local charity, the Center of Hope, in Ravenna, OH. The Amelia DiGirolamo Center of Hope is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition of low-income people in Portage County where local food pantries are not present.

In 2006, the first year as a club, PCARS donated approximately $300 to the Center of Hope.  Each year since then, they have donated the club's portion of their 50/50 raffle at the November meeting, plus any other donations they could collect from members and friends.  Annual contributions have increased in amount almost every year.  There are over 100,000 individuals who receive service through the Center of Hope each year.

With the club's donation of the other half of the 50/50, and the generous donations made by and collected by their membership, the total contribution to the Center of Hope for 2017 was $6445.00.  When totaled up over the past 12 years, PCARS' contribution to the Center of Hope currently exceeds $28,950.00!  Amateur Radio has certainly had an impact on their entire community.


As we enter this holiday season, let us all consider those less fortunate than ourselves and give generously to help those in need.

PCARS sets an outstanding example of what a local club can do, our hats go off to them for their outstanding community service.  I know there are other radio clubs who share in their generosity. Please stand and be recognized.  I will be honored to report your service.

PARITY ACT: A reminder, the Amateur Radio Parity Act continues as we move into 2018.  Our efforts in Washington will press strongly for action in the year remaining for this session of Congress.  While it has passed the House, it remains blocked in the Senate (Florida Sen. Nelson) and our advisors on the Washington scene are working on a means to remove the block and allow it to be passed by the Senate.  Nelson has reportedly heard from a large contingency of his Florida ham radio constituents requesting his full support for the bill.



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

Antennas.  If you believe the adage about them working better when the weather is awful, well, this is not a good time.  Too mild.  But if you need an antenna, almost anytime is the best time.  A recent windstorm was not kind to me.  My end-fed random-length wire came down, although it took me a while to realize it.  I had made a number of contacts in the ARRL Sweeps with a drooping, shorter-than-it-was-supposed-to-be antenna.  And the wind finally put enough torque the wrong way on my rotor that now it isn’t working, either.  I took advantage of our mild days to re-string the wire antenna, but it will take some doing to tilt over the tower and replace the rotor.  Maybe spring.

And it’s not just my antennas.  Soon, I’ll be helping another ham set up some antennas for a new residence.  And last month, someone else needed some evaluation of their antenna set up.

In some ways, ham radio is an individual thing.  It’s the contacts I make, the scores I get.  In other ways, though, it’s a community thing.  We benefit from working together in clubs towards a common goal.
 The advice you can get at just one meeting can get you inspired for a whole year.  And it not only helps to have friends, sometimes it’s necessary to have friends to help with construction projects like antennas.  The younger among us can do the heavy work, and sometimes those of us with experience can design projects that will work best for a particular location.

I’m also continually amazed by the amount of information that is out there.  ARRL has lots of books on antennas, with great advice for just about any situation.  I have to share one little story –I still have a copy of the 1968 Handbook, because in every other antenna book and Handbook that I have seen, there has not been the simple dipole chart that I found there many years ago.  The book falls open to that page, I have used it so many times.  As for current publications, if you’re looking for limited-space antennas, there’s the book Small Antennas for Small Spaces, or for a comprehensive look at wire antennas, how about Wire Antenna Classics in any one of three volumes. 

So as we go into the holiday season and have our December parties at the club meetings, remember how important it is to have good clubs.  And pitch in if you’re asked to help.  Maybe you also will need some help the next time you have an antenna problem.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


STATE CONVENTIONS:  In even numbered years, the Great Lakes Division's three Sections host their individual State Conventions.  If your local hamfest is interested in serving as the host for your State Convention in 2018, your club should contact your Section Manager and request to serve as the sponsor.  State Conventions normally encompass special forums, can request guest forum speakers from ARRL and often hold recognition Banquets and special programs.   Having a convention also
means additional attendance beyond that normally expected at a regular hamfest.

HAMFESTING:  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next couple of months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication. 


12/2/17                              Fulton County                   Delta, OH
12/3/17                              Lanse Creuse                     Madison Heights, MI
1/14/18                              SCARF Hamfest                 Nelsonville, OH
1/28/18                              Hazel Park Hamfest         Madison Heights, MI
1/28/18                              Tusco Hamfest                  Strasburg, OH
2/03/18                             HARA Hamfest                  Negaunee, MI
2/10/18                              Cherryland Hamfest        Traverse City, MI
2/18/18                              InterCity Hamfest            Mansfield, OH
2/18/18                              Livonia Hamfest               Livonia, MI                        

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


From Judy and me, to all our ham radio friends in the Great Lakes Division, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan, we offer the best wishes in the coming holiday season.

73,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for November

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

CONGRATULATIONS go out to all of the Great Lakes Division award winners announced at GL HamCon.   ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR attended and presented former ARRL Director Jim Weaver K8JE with the George S. Wilson W4OYI Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of outstanding service to amateur radio.  

Stan Broadway N8BHL received the Great Lakes Division Amateur of the Year Award.  Christopher Brault KD8YVJ was named the Great Lakes Young Amateur of the Year.  The Great Lakes Technical Achievement Award was presented to Bob Dixon W8ERD while the Portage County (OH) Amateur Radio Assn, received the Joe Phillips K8QOE Newsletter Award.   All of these awards are presented bi-annually at our Division Conventions and the winners are selected from nominations offered by the general membership.

THE BANDS seem to be holding their own, CQ-WW is running in the background as I am writing
this and the activity sounds reasonably good on all bands.  We'll see what the scores bring in, but it is nice to hear all of the activity.  November Sweepstakes is coming soon (Nov 4-6 CW and 18-20 phone) and those seems to be the traditional favorites for many hams in the Great Lakes Division.  Let's all hope that every Section is back on the air for SS and the opportunities are there for a clean sweep.  Club and contesters alike, this may be a great time to introduce contesting to some of our newer club members.  Have at it.

NOW THAT the cooler weather has settled in, for some strange reason, my mind rolls around to antennas and all of the antenna projects I have put off doing all summer.   It is crunch time, time to get the postponed maintenance done, and time to put up the sloper I have been putting off
for an excessively long time.   Time to prune the birch tree that is invading the air space near the tri-bander.   Time to find out why the VSWR on the UHF vertical is a little high.  And here I go, attempting to demonstrate again, that blizzard-borne antenna installations, held together with bailing wire, duct tape and bubble gum are the best working ether-grabbers. 

My thanks to a couple of friends who stopped by to assist in a rotor repair a couple of weeks ago.  At the very least, that project is complete and I can target a couple of others before bringing out the BW, DT and BG.  Interestingly, I thought I was the only ham that does this. 

Surprisingly, I found several others in the final planning stages of mid-fall antenna jobs.   Hmmm, it must be something caused by the cooler fall weather.  It just couldn't be procrastination - never that.

GL HAMCON: This was the first ham radio event to be held at Michigan International Speedway. 
What a venue!  The HamCon team, 21 regional ham clubs, went over the top to make this a successful effort.   The reviews were glowing and importantly, the booking requests for space at the 2018 HamCon are already arriving.   Larry WB8R reports the 2018 dates are October 6 & 7.  Will there be some things done differently?  Most certainly.  This was a very large venue, the first effort and anyone's expectations for absolute perfection might be a little high.  The sponsoring clubs that make up the Great Lakes Amateur Radio Assn., have offered their ideas and input for next year's effort, noting it is resoundingly positive, resolute in optimism and loaded with excitement for the future.  It'll be Great in 2-0-1-8.

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

Even though it’s the end of October, the highlight of the month had to be the Great Lakes HamCon, held on the first weekend in October.

Congratulations to all the organizers, and especially to the coalition of Michigan clubs who got together to sponsor the event.  Great venue, excellent forums, and lots of people!  Looking forward to next year already.

Along with my travel to Michigan, this month included a lot of travel, most of it personal.  The following reflection is not new, and not un-noticed by others.  It’s just to note the continuing trend of non-use of two-meter repeaters, pretty much across the country.  I notice it when I’m home.  I monitor the club repeater, and try to answer any call I hear.  And I don’t hear anyone, club member or traveler, calling.

It’s the same when I’m on the road.  State by state, city by city, a call on a local repeater produces only the ID.  No QSOs.  Where is everyone?

Of course, it’s not the same as in the 1970s or 1980s.  If I come across a road emergency, or have trouble myself, 911 is now the best and quickest solution.  It was great that we hams stepped up when there were no such things as cell phones, and we were there with communications when it counted.  We’re better off now than we were, and we did a great service for the community.  So naturally, with less need, fewer people monitor.  But did we turn off our VHF radios for good?  Yes, there are nets, and some of them are well-attended.  But is once a week for a half hour good enough?

We are tying up a lot of spectrum on 144-148 MHz.  Are we making good use of it?  If you put a meter on your club repeater, to measure how often the repeater comes on the air (exclusive of announcements) you won’t find that it gets a lot of use.  There are exceptions, of course.  By and large, though, we’re letting a good resource go unused.

If there’s a solution, it’s not one that requires a big change. It’s just a matter of individuals deciding that it’s worth making a contact or two a day on the local repeater.  When you’re doing a project at your workbench, do you have a scanner or your VHF/UHF rig on? Or if you’re in your car, does the music drown out the repeater (assuming that the rig might even be on)? 

I like operating HF and various other modes besides FM.  But the local repeaters are the easiest and quickest ways to make contacts, and sometimes provide as much interest as any other mode.  What do you say? If I key up your club’s repeater while I’m driving by, will you be there?

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division



HAMFESTING:  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next couple of months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication. 




11/4/17                Grant ARC Hamfest         Georgetown, OH
12/2/17                Fulton County                   Delta, OH
12/3/17                Lanse Creuse                     Madison Heights, MI
1/14/17                SCARF Hamfest                 Nelsonville, OH
1/28/17                Hazel Park Hamfest         Madison Heights, MI
2/3/17                  HARA Hamfest                  Negaunee, MI
2/1/17                  Cherryland Hamfest        Traverse City, MI
2/18/17                InterCity Hamfest            Mansfield, OH
2/18/17                Livonia Hamfest               Livonia, MI                        

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


73, Let's be radio-active.  I like Tom's request, we need to get back to actually using our repeaters!
  

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for October

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





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

Note especially Tom's Comments:






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


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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the remainder of 2017.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication. 

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

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

73, Let's be radio-active.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dale's Tales for September - 2017

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

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

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

On Saturday:

Opening Ribbon Cutting and Kickoff Session and ARRL Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carl Leutzelschwab K9LA will conduct the forum on Radio Propagation

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

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

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

Carole Perry WB2MGP will lead our 2017 Youth Forum

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

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

Sunday's activities includes these forums and events:

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

Dan KB6NU will host the Forum on Operating CW.

ARES Forum hosted by the Division SECs

NTS Forum hosted by the STMs

Grand Prize Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the remainder of the year.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 



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

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

73, Let's be radio-active.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dale's Tales for August 2017

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

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









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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


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


We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 

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

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

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

73, Let's be radio-active.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

GREAT LAKES HAMCON.  Announcing Carole Perry WB2MGP will be hosting her well received Youth Forum at HamCon. In addition we have scheduled forums for DX, Fox hunting - complete with a fox hunt, QRP Operating, Radio Propagation, Kit Building Techniques for Success, a One-Day Tech Class with FCC License Testing and the ARRL Members' Forum.  The Ohio Section will also host a special ceremony for new inductees into the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong and the Toledo Mobile Radio Assn. will hold a presentation on their recent activations of Museum Ships.

As we get closer to the fall, your Section Manager's bulletins will carry more complete information as well as what appears in Dale's Tales.

HamCon Tickets are now on sale along with camping reservations.  Check the web pages at http://glhamcon.org/.

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

We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 


Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH
Jul 15 - NARS Fest - Elyria, OH
Jul 16 - Van Wert Hamfest - Van Wert, OH 
Jul 22 - Harrison Hamfest - Harrison, MI 
Jul 22 - GMARC Tailgate - Shelby Twp, MI 
Jul 22 - Big Sandy Hamfest - Louisa, KY 
Jul 29 - CMARC Outdoor Hamfest - Lansing, MI 
Jul 30 - Portage Hamfest - Ravenna, OH 
Aug  5 - Columbus Hamfest - Columbus, OH 
Aug  5 - UP hamfest - Escanaba, MI 
Aug 12 - Central KY - Lawrenceburg, KY 
Aug 12 - Midland Hamfest - Midland, MI 
Aug 13 - Seaway Trunk Swap - Port Huron, MI 
Aug 19 - Thunder Bay ARC Swap - Alpena, MI 
Aug 20 - Warren Tailgate Swap - Cortland, OH 
Aug 27 - Cuyahoga Falls Tailgate Swap - Stow, OH

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

73, Let's be radio-active as we celebrate Independence Day in the USA!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

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ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dale's Tales for June 2017

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

THIS YEAR, 2017 is the "Year of the YL", a time to acknowledge the service of the Young Ladies
across the globe that are licensed radio amateurs.  In the Great Lakes Division, we recognize the national YL group YLRL, the Young Ladies Radio League that has a strong following in Kentucky.  Founded in 1939, the YLRL is truly an international organization and includes many recognized members from across the globe.

As a matter of fact, our KY Section leadership team includes among its Public Information officers, Jeanean Hampton K5EIB the Commonwealth's Lt Governor.  Information about the YLRL, can be found at: www.ylrl.org.

Many Michigan YLs a hold membership in The Auto State Young Ladies (TASYLs).  TASYLs were organized in 1965 as a network specifically for YLs.  The aim of TASYLs is to promote fellowship and to share our mutual interest in Amateur Radio.  Their TATTLER Newsletter comes out through email four times a year and is the official publication of the organization.  It contains Amateur Radio and TASYL news and activities.

TASYL members meet in person 2 times a year: once in March for the annual meeting (currently at the Crossroads Hamfest in Kalamazoo) and another time in August for a potluck picnic/meeting.  OMs have been known to set up a field event at the site.  Members also meet on the TASYL Net each Thursday at 9:00 am (local time) on 3940.

Membership is open to all lady hams. Non-licensed YLs and OMs are invited to be associate members.  Membership dues are $5 per year.  A membership application form and additional information can be found on the TASYL website at www.tasyl.net or join us on August 26, 2017 at the old schoolhouse at 4960 Portland Rd., Saranac, MI, 48881 at 11:00 am for a potluck picnic.

Ohio YLs formed the Buckeye Belles as their YL organization.  The "Buckeye Burr" is a continuing publication for Ohio YLs, despite a setback in Belle membership.  Susie Scott N8CGM continues to produce the Buckeye Burr regularly and asks that any interested YL contact her if she would like to be included on the e-mail list:  N8CGM@ARRL.NET
Perhaps there is an opportunity to revitalize the Bells and get them back on a regular meeting schedule.

YLs have a lot to share with each other, as well as the OM ham population.  I really want to encourage our YLs to get involved with a local YL group.  Most gather on the air regularly and in person with their meetings often held at the larger hamfests.  It does not take a lot of time, but the camraderie is important and well worthwhile.  YLs, please consider belonging to your local YL group. 

HAMVENTION®: It really happened and congratulations go out to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association for the outstanding job.  I think we all looked at this year's event with a lot of apprehension but the 600 team players at DARA pulled it off very successfully.  The Greene County Fairgrounds proved a well-maintained facility, with new buildings and everyone associated with the event was friendly and welcoming.  Even the rain did not seem to dampen (I had to do it) anyone's spirits.   Thanks
DARA for another great Hamvention.


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

One of the key elements in getting and especially keeping new hams is training and involvement.  It has come up many times in the meetings of the Entry Level License committee.  It was a theme at Hamvention®, where it was mentioned by both Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, ARRL CEO, and Rick Roderick, K5UR, ARRL President.  If ham radio is to survive, we need to attract new members, and just as important, we need to help them get on the air.

With Field Day coming up, we have a great opportunity to do just that throughout the Division.  Clubs are already starting to make plans.  I'd like to encourage not just the planning of where to put antennas and how many stations to operate, but also plans to reach out to new hams and inactive ones.  It's great to have a big score and be the top in your class, but it might be more important, in the long run, to count how many hams participated at your local event, and how many new or inactive hams learned something and took a new interest in operating.

If your club has sponsored classes and exams in the past year, have you thought about personally inviting each of your graduates to Field Day?

And even if you haven't held classes, there are ways to search the databases and get the contact information for every ham in your area.

What would it take to drop an invitation in the mail?  How many less-active hams could you encourage to show up?

There are all sorts of ways to build interest.  Demonstrating the art of antenna building and placement will show newcomers that antenna work is not beyond them.  In fact, wire antennas work well, and can be constructed easily and designed for almost any property.  One group I know has even offered to teach soldering and basic connections during the Field Day prep time.

Don't overlook an important Field Day rule, designed specifically with newcomers in mind.  That is the Get On the Air (GOTA) station.  Look over that section carefully.  Your club can add to its total contacts by having such a station.  Even new techs qualify.  There are ways to use control operators and call sign arrangements that allow a GOTA station to participate fully in Field Day. 

You can also add a station without changing your class if that station is dedicated to 50 MHz and higher.  Should we happen to get a nice six-meter opening, you can rack up lots of contacts and points just by putting that sort of station in your operating plans.  It gives you an extra station to operate, so there won't be a shortage of stations for all those new operators you plan to get out there!

And youth count!  Your club can get bonus points for contacts made by young people under the age of 18.  There are lots of other bonus points available.  One in particular your club may wish to use is Social Media.

You could attract attention (see getting new hams involved, above) and get bonus points while doing it. In this case, reading the rules is less a matter of following regulations, and more of a matter of finding new ways operate at Field Day.  Use your imagination for what you can accomplish.  And have fun!

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

 
GREAT LAKES HAMCON.  Many hams in the Midwest are already familiar with this fall's plan for the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention.  October 7 & 8 will bring the new Great Lakes HamCon and our Convention to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) for the two-day event.  HamCon is sponsored by the Great Lakes Amateur Radio Assn, a consortium of 18 radio clubs, formally recognized by ARRL as a "Council of Clubs" and organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit.  A large flea market will be set up on "Pit Road" while vendors will be housed in permanent buildings on the infield.  Additional space will be provided as needed in large tents on the infield.  MIS is located in southern Michigan neat the village of Brooklyn, not far from Jackson.  A typical race day at the speedway accommodates more that 100,000 race fans, so parking and traffic control are well organized and managed by local officials.

This year will include a number of forums and meetings held in MIS conference rooms.  HamCon is pleased to welcome ARRL president Rick Roderick K5UR to cut the opening ribbon.   Forums confirmed to date include DX, Fox hunting - complete with a fox hunt, QRP Operating, Radio Propagation, Kit Building Techniques for Success, a One-Day Tech Class with FCC License Testing and the ARRL Members' Forum.  The Ohio Section will also host a special ceremony for new inductees into the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong.  We have several more forums planned and those will be announced over the next few weeks.

As we get closer to the fall, your Section Manager's bulletins will carry more complete information as well as what appears in Dale's Tales.

HamCon Tickets are now on sale along with camping reservations.  Check the web pages at http://glhamcon.org/.


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

We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. 



Jun  3 - IRA Hamfest - Hudsonville, MI
Jun  3 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH
Jun  3 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY 
Jun  4 - Chelsea Hamfest - Chelsea, MI 
Jun 10 - Luce County - Newberry, MI 
Jun 10 - Union County - Marysville, OH 
Jun 17 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH 
Jun 18 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI 
Jun 24 & 25 - FIELD DAY 
Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH 
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH 
Jul 16 - Van Wert Hamfest - Van Wert, OH 
Jul 22 - Harrison Hamfest - Harrison, MI 
Jul 22 - GMARC Tailgate - Shelby Twp, MI 
Jul 22 - Big Sandy Hamfest - Louisa, KY 
Jul 29 - CMARC Outdoor Hamfest - Lansing, MI 
Jul 30 - Portage Hamfest - Ravenna, OH

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


73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director

Great Lakes Division