Saturday, February 1, 2020

Dale's Tales for February 2020


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for February, 2020.

The January ARRL Board meeting in Newington, CT began with discussion about renewing the annual employment contract with Howard Michel WB2ITX, ARRL's CEO which had reached its expiration.  By a majority vote, the Board elected to not renew the contract. 

Former interim CEO Barry Shelley N1VXY has agreed to resume that roll for about six months while we pursue the selection of a new CEO.  I would not expect to see any radical changes in the current programs that ARRL has in place.  I am pleased that Barry is willing to assist as we begin our CEO Search.  He returns with many years of experience and is well liked by the HQ staff.

Rapidly approaching is our Great Lakes Division Convention.  This year, it will be held in conjunction with the Toledo Mobile Radio Association’s annual hamfest in Perrysburg, OH on March 14 and 15.

ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR will be there to meet members and serve as the keynote.  Another special attendee is Bob Heil K9EID of Heil Sound who will be a guest speaker.  Check our web pages at:  http://www.toledoglc.org/  for the full details.

During our conventions, we honor several radio amateurs in the Division for their outstanding efforts in service to ham radio and their community.  These awards are presented based upon nominations coming from the local amateur community (THAT'S YOU) and we all have the opportunity to contribute to this effort.  Below are the criteria for each of the awards.  Please review these and if you are aware of someone whom you feel is worthy of one of these awards, please send your nomination to the Great Lakes Div. Selection committee c/o w8wtd@arrl.org. You will need to include a write-up in your nomination explaining why your candidate is deserving of the award.

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 o(n 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.

We will also present the 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.   Each of our three Section Managers will establish the criteria for selecting the candidate
newsletter(s) from their respective Sections.

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

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


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.

This month I want to echo what Dale has said about the Great Lakes Convention.  Mark your calendars and check your plans to see if you can attend.  There will be excellent speakers and a lot of interesting topics in the forums.  It will be worth the trip, no matter what part of the three states you are coming from.  Meet some of your fellow hams in the Division, and take back some new knowledge to your club or your area.  Maybe something will spark a new interest in an aspect of ham radio that you hadn’t thought of.

Second, look around your local club or your local area.  Are you seeing a ham who has been doing outstanding work this past year, or more likely, over many years?  Consider nominating that person for an award, if there is a category they best fit.  Dale has listed all the awards and the criteria necessary.  Maybe you know a future award winner.

Finally, a word about the new publication from ARRL, On the Air.  It is finally out there, and has been enthusiastically received by new hams and experienced hams alike.  How do you get a copy?  Well, ARRL will send only one print magazine, so you will have to choose between QST and On the Air.  However, you can get both magazines digitally, so if you are an experienced ham who wants to see On the Air, go to the website and discover how to get the digital editions.  If you’re a newly licensed ham, you should check out the new magazine, and perhaps choose the option of having that magazine in print form.  You’ll find great advice and hints about operating, rigs, building simple projects, etc.
And, the good news is, this is just the first of several new programs the League will be offering to members over the coming year.

See you at the Convention, I hope! 

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


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

2/1/20             HARA                                    Negaunee, MI
2/16/20           Mansfield                               Mansfield, OH
2/23/20           Livonia                                   CANCELLED for 2020
3/1/20             NOARS Winter Hamfest       Elyria, OH
3/7/20             Cave City                               Cave City, KY
3/14-15           GL Conv/TMRA Hamfest    Perrysburg, OH
3/21/20           Gallipolis                              Gallipolis, OH
4/11/20           Crossroads                             Kalamazoo, MI
4/11/20           Cuyahoga Falls                     Cuyahoga Falls, OH
4/18/20           Chassell Hamfest                  Chassell, MI
4/18/20           Portsmouth Hamfest             Portsmouth, OH
4/19/20           GMARC Tech EXPO           Madison Hgts, MI
4/26/20           Athens Hamfest                    Athens, OH


If you plan to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, please do so well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.  QST requires a 3 month lead time.  It should be noted that there has been a change in the way ARRL contributes to your hamfest efforts.  Please carefully read the e-mail from ARRL Headquarters confirming your sanctioning as IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING PRIZES.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests in the Great Lakes Division, things do requires some advanced planning.
           


73, Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Dale's Tales for January 2020


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for January, 2020.

Well, here we go, off to a brand new year.  Without doubt some interesting and exciting things will come to Amateur Radio.  New equipment, advancing technologies, more products and features in a single package will arrive this year.  (Who would have expected the arrival of a NANO-VNA vector network analyzer for $50 to appear in 2019? See the review in QEX magazine for January). 

Your League is looking at preparing a different version of a proposal to offer some antenna installation relief to those living in areas where antennas are restricted by Homeowners' Associations.  ARRL Continues to support changes to FCC rules regarding symbol rates for digital communications, changing some band plans to limit Automatically Controlled Data Stations to certain sub-bands.  Both issues have associated consequences and your Board of Directors continues to work within its several committees to reach satisfactory conclusions in each situation.  Both topics are scheduled to be discussed at the January Board meeting.

So let me ask you a serious question:  Are you going to be an Ambassador for Amateur Radio in 2020?  Opportunities await as we enter this year.

As a leader in this hobby - and you are if you are an ARRL Member - we all must be prepared to tell others about ham radio, how we serve our communities, how we enjoy DX, how we enjoy contesting, Fox Hunting, construction projects, VHF/UHF operation, satellite operating and (insert your favorite facet here).

Each of us bears the responsibility to do what we can to insure the future of Amateur Radio.  By keeping our friends and neighbors aware of what we do and keeping our community leaders apprised of the service ham radio provides, we are able to secure the niche that ham radio has.

ARRL Headquarters staff cannot do it alone, each of us needs to "sell" our individual part of ham radio to those we know.  Let's not keep ham radio a secret.  Tell the world about us.   Together, we can insure a bright future for both us and those that follow.

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

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

At the request of our neighboring ARRL Midwest Division, we have the following special announcement:

Greetings from St. Louis!  St. Louis & Suburban Radio Club's annual hamfest, Winterfest, is January 24th & 25th, 2020.  This year we are the Midwest Division conference and expanding to a two day hamfest with lots of activities including the W9DYV Symposium, DX/ARRL Banquet and Contest College.  We are also putting together an Education Alley on Saturday to feature the local First Robotics team, maker spaces, STEM, ARISS, YOTA and other fun events like kids texting vs CW, a CW speed test and kit building.

Winterfest boasts 30K sq. ft. of indoor space with 3 forum rooms running all day, 100+ vendors and over 1500 attendees for the two day event.  We are looking at a bigger event with becoming the division conference.

Our website can be found at http://winterfest.slsrc.org if you want to check out all the events.  We would love for you to come and attend for the weekend, as we have lots of activities planned!!!!!

73
Kyle Krieg
AA0Z
SLSRC President

For those involved the Fox Hunting, this announcement may be of
interest:

Active Attenuator Construction Bee: Stan Briggs K8SB, will be conducting a Construction Bee to satisfy the many requests to build his universal active attenuator.  The attenuator is a powerful tool for use in radio direction finding and amateur radio "Fox Hunts" and will work with any radio receiver.  

Date: Saturday February 1, 2020.  Time: 9:00 am to noon.  Location:
Trenton Faith United Method Church, 2530 Charlton Rd, Trenton, MI 48183

All parts and components to build the attenuator, including the enclosure, will be provided ready for attendees to solder and assemble their own units.  Each unit will be tested / demonstrated to verify correct operation at the conclusion of the program.  Note: Attendees must bring their own soldering equipment (Soldering Iron–15 watt, solder, needle nose pliers, etc.

Registration / Order is required by January 15, 2020, via the Motor City Radio Club website at: http://www.w8mrm.net/event-3603333  where full project details are available.


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.

Greetings and Happy New Year!  Some people like to take this time to reflect on the past year.  I prefer to look forward.  For instance, this year we have our Great Lakes Division Convention.  And it will be here soon.  The dates are March 14 and 15th in Toledo, Ohio.  Hope you’ll make plans now to attend.

A lot of planning has gone into this event.  There are lots of forums on all sorts of topics, so if you want to learn more about a particular aspect of ham radio, you should find what you want.  Plus, the hamfest and flea market on Sunday is worth attending.  The website is now

No matter where you live in the three states of the Division, you should consider coming to Toledo this spring.  It’s a way to meet other hams from the Division, share what you know, and find out new things in ham radio.  I hope to see you there.

On another topic, we hear lots of discussion about the future of ham radio.  A lot of us are concerned, and ARRL is responding with a new magazine (On the Air) and other initiatives.  And many are doing what they can in their local communities.  Another round of introductory classes will be held in many places around the three states.  Thank you to all the volunteers. 

Here is a question for new hams.  Have I gotten on the air recently?

And for those licensed for a while—what can I do to help someone enjoy ham radio?  For the new person, it may mean just overcoming mike fright and actually trying to get on.  Or, perhaps reaching out to someone from the club to ask that question about the antenna you need. 

For seasoned hams, maybe you can welcome someone to the local repeater or wherever else you hang out.  Perhaps you can find an article to share about antenna building, or better still, show someone how it’s done.

Ham radio can continue and will grow, depending on our efforts.  Resolve to do something today.

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


ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning offers hamfest sponsors the opportunity to take advantage of some offerings from ARRL.  Your Division Director is pleased to make this Sanctioning available to ARRL Affiliated Clubs who have a history of holding regular swaps.  One successful swap normally qualifies!  ARRL will provide prize certificates, QST will publish the announcement for the swap, post it on-line at the ARRL web site and supply requested hamfest handout material.  The club, in exchange, shall provide ARRL a table for "meet and greet" at the hamfest.  Consult the hamfest pages on the ARRL web site for the application form. 

If you plan to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, please do so well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.  QST requires a 3 month lead time.  It should be noted that there has been a change in the way ARRL contributes to your hamfest efforts.  Please carefully read the e-mail from ARRL Headquarters confirming your sanctioning as IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING PRIZES.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests in the Great Lakes Division, things do requires some advanced planning.

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

1/19/20                       SCARF Hamfest        Nelsonville, OH
1/19-20                       Hazel Park                 Madison Hgts, MI
1/26/20                       Tusco                         Strasburg, OH
2/1/20                         HARA                        Negaunee, MI
2/16/20                       Mansfield                    Mansfield, OH
2/23/20                       Livonia                       CANCELLED for 2020
3/7/20                         Cave City                   Cave City, KY
3/21/20                       Gallipolis                   Gallipolis, OH

           
73, Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Dale's Tales for December


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

We open this edition of "Dale's Tales" to send very best holiday wishes to everyone from Tom and Helen along with Judy and me as we enter this wonderful season.  We all hope it brings joyous get-togethers with your family and friends.

Vice Director Tom W8WTD and I had the rare opportunity to recognize the outstanding service of one of our own Great Lakes Division amateurs and thereby present Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally N8SY with a prestigious award conferred by the ARRL Board of Directors.  The honor is called the Knight Distinguished Service Award and is presented to Section Managers who have exhibited outstanding dedication to Amateur Radio.  The Board commented that "Scott is tireless in his efforts to be present and visible all over the state, representing the ARRL and Amateur Radio with a positive and forward-thinking attitude."  The official plaque was presented to Scott at the November meeting of the Portage County Amateur Radio Society.

We have some rather unhappy news, the Livonia Amateur Radio Club reports that a venue conflict has caused the cancellation of the Livonia Swap planned for Feb. 23, 2020.  The LARC Swap and Shop has traditionally been one of the well attended swaps in SE Michigan and we hope that 2021 will bring even a bigger and better LARC swap to that region.

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

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


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.
Holiday greetings to all!  With the Thanksgiving holiday just passed, the tendency is to look ahead to the Christmas holiday season, and save the “look back” at 2019 and the “look ahead” to 2020 until after the rest of the holidays.  Here, though, I’d like to call attention to some things coming up in 2020 to get your attention early on, so you can plan for some good events.

First, I’d like to remind everyone that our Great Lakes Division convention is coming up in March, the weekend of the 14th and 15th, to be specific.  It’s being held in Toledo, Ohio, in conjunction with the Toledo Mobile Radio Association’s annual hamfest.  The folks up there have been planning for this event since early summer.  They’ve pulled together a great line-up of speakers and topics and activities.  It’s all indoors, as is appropriate for that time of year, at a nice facility.  More details will be available soon, but it’s time to start planning for March.  It may be a bit of a drive for some folks in the Division, but probably well worth the effort to see and hear about projects and techniques that you need more help with. 

This next one is a bit farther out, but of special note anyway.  All of us old-timers know how important it is to interest younger people in ham radio.  So it’s a step in that direction that the Youth on the Air camp will be held in West Chester, Ohio in June.  The week-long camp will be held at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting. It’s in the Cincinnati area, just north of the I-275 circle route. According to the press release, “the camp will focus on building peer and mentor relationships and taking amateur radio ‘to the next level.’”  There will be workshops in all sort of STEM-related subjects.  A high-altitude balloon launch is being planned, and they will operate with the special-event call sign of W8Y.

The camp director, Neil, WB9VPG, tells me that there are several ways for amateurs to help.  One will be to take part in the on-air activities during the week, by providing contacts for the young people.  I’ll be sure to let you know more about that as it gets closer.  For those of you who have the means, donations are another good way to help.  And finally, for local hams or those who might be a reasonably short drive away, some hands-on help with set-up and clean-up might also be a way to participate in June.  No matter where you live in the Division, please try to help in some way make this event a success.

Best wishes for a good holiday season.

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

ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning offers hamfest sponsors the opportunity to take advantage of some offerings from ARRL.  Your Division Director is pleased to make this Sanctioning available to ARRL Affiliated Clubs who have a history of holding regular swaps.  One successful swap normally qualifies!  ARRL will provide prize certificates, QST will publish the announcement for the swap, post it on-line at the ARRL web site and supply requested hamfest handout material.  The club, in exchange, shall provide ARRL a table for "meet and greet" at the hamfest.  Consult the hamfest pages on the ARRL web site for the application form. 

If you plan to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, please do so well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.  QST requires a 3 month lead time.  It should be noted that there has been a change in the way ARRL contributes to your hamfest efforts.  Please carefully read the e-mail from ARRL Headquarters confirming your sanctioning as IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING PRIZES.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests in the Great Lakes Division, things do requires some advanced planning.

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

12/1/19                       Lanse Creuse                 Madison Hgts, MI
12/7/19                       Fulton County                Delta, OH
1/19/20                       SCARF Hamfest            Nelsonville, OH
1/19-20                       Hazel Park                     Madison Hgts, MI
1/26/20                       Tusco                             Strasburg, OH
2/1/20                         HARA                            Negaunee, MI
2/16/20                       Mansfield                      Mansfield, OH
2/23/20                       Livonia                          CANCELLED for 2020
3/7/20                         Cave City                      Cave City, KY
3/14-15/20                  Toledo / Great Lakes     Toledo, OH
                                    Division Convention
3/21/20                       Gallipolis                        Gallipolis, OH

           
73, Were you on the air today???   Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Friday, November 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for November


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

We are about mid point in the time period for applications relating to ARRL Foundation Scholarships.  The foundation accept applications from September 1 through midnight of December 31. I mention this as a past member of the Foundation Board and as a reminder to students about to graduate who would appreciate a grant to assist them in their education.
I suspect most would.

There are many opportunities waiting in the program.  Please examine the Scholarship web pages and review the qualification requirements.  We currently have 89 scholarships available and some make multiple awards each year.  True, not everyone will qualify for every award, as some are limited to specific courses of study, some to specific geographic regions, but the vast majority present significant opportunities for students.

http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-application will take you directly to the application form and the details for completing the application. There are also links to the Scholarships themselves along with the qualification details.

Last year, while serving on that board, I took note that there were not many applicants from our Great Lakes Division. I suspect that these scholarships don't get a lot of media attention and tend to remain in the background compared to many local scholarships.  So here I am shouting for all to hear:  "We have the funds, contributed by individuals, foundations, trusts, clubs and others who love ham radio and want to continue to support those striving for a higher education.

Please take advantage of these offers!"  


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.

Youth in ham radio--October was a good month for that.  JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) happened at mid-month.  I have always enjoyed that event, all the way back to the time when my own sons were in Scouts.

Unfortunately, my schedule did not let me participate this year.

The School Club round-up happened this month, too.  I only made a few contacts, but it’s great to hear the young people on.  Totally by chance, I happened to hear the Kettering University club on the air, and talked to Ruth, KM4LAO, a young lady whom I had worked with on a video about ARISS.  And then, in the same afternoon, I heard the Dixie Heights High School (Kentucky) club on the air.  Besides talking to the young lady operator, I was surprised to hear former Vice Director Gary Johnson, KI4LA, who is advising the club.

It's all part of keeping ham radio alive.  You know, we get new people from anywhere.  If young people have someone to guide them, some will get interested and become life-long hams.  Thank you to all those of you who work with young people.  Keep up your efforts.  It’s especially difficult these days to figure out just what attracts youth.  So keep in touch with the youth coordinators in each of your Sections, and share what you know.  Meanwhile, encourage those young people by helping them learn more and more about all the aspects of ham radio.

Others join us at various stages in life.  We have to acknowledge all the hard work that so many clubs do in putting on license classes, in the evenings, on weekends, throughout the year.  That work recruits new people, too, and every new ham has a story, and an interest which we hope will keep going.  Besides just enjoying what we do in radio, we all need to help each other keep this great service/hobby alive and strong.

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

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

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

ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning offers hamfest sponsors the opportunity to take advantage of some offerings from ARRL.  Your Division Director is pleased to make this Sanctioning available to ARRL Affiliated clubs who have a history of holding regular swaps.  One successful swap normally qualifies!  ARRL will provide prize certificates, QST will publish the announcement for the swap, post it on-line at the ARRL web site and supply requested hamfest handout material.  The club, in exchange, shall provide ARRL a table for "meet and greet" at the hamfest.  Consult the hamfest pages on the ARRL web site for the application form. 

If you plan to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, please do so well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.  QST requires a 3 month lead time.  It should be noted that there has been a change in the way ARRL contributes to your hamfest efforts.  Please carefully read the e-mail from ARRL Headquarters confirming your sanctioning as IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING PRIZES.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests in the Great Lakes Division, things do requires some advanced planning.

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

11/2/19                       Grant ARC Hamfest       Georgetown, OH
11/3/19                       Massillon                        Massillon, OH
12/1/19                       Lanse Creuse                  Madison Hgts, MI
12/7/19                       Fulton County                Delta, OH
1/19/20                       SCARF Hamfest            Nelsonville, OH
1/19-20                       Hazel Park                     Madison Hgts, MI
1/26/20                       Tusco                             Strasburg, OH

           
73, Were you on the air today???   Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for October


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

Of all the articles I have written for Dale's Tales, last month's column about the health of ham clubs drew the most responses from readers.

Thanks everyone for the feedback.  What I heard was all about the reality of today's club activities; the successes and the lack thereof.

I think it points out the need for continued examination of where we are and what we are planning for tomorrow.  It was truly heartwarming to see several clubs make the decision to re-invent themselves and take a whole new approach towards involving their membership.

One reader offered some commentary about local activities in his area and how quiet the local airwaves are.  There may be a distinct tie into what is happening locally.  Did you get on the air today?

Notes of thanks:  Today our cadre of Official Observers retires to be replaced by a new Volunteer Monitor (VM) program.  I want to especially thank all of the retiring OOs for their sincere dedication and service as we move into this new era.  Our outgoing OOs have served our hobby well and have continually kept our operating standards to the point where the FCC recognized Amateur Radio as the best self-regulated service administrated by the commission.

Changes at the FCC have called for changes in how we radio amateurs self-police and the new VM program is where this will be done.  About 250 amateurs across the nation have been vetted by ARRL and the FCC to participate as monitors.  They all will be enrolled in a continued training program and will engage in their rolls in a less visible manner.  They will monitor the airwaves and collect evidence that can be used to correct misconduct or recognize exemplary on-air operation.
Cases of flagrant violations will be referred to the FCC by the ARRL for action in accordance with FCC guidelines.

On a second note, I wish to personally thank our Great Lakes Division Vice-Director Ton Delaney W8WTD, and Section Managers Steve Morgan W4NHO, Scott Yonally N8SY and Jim Kvochick K8JK for insuring that ARRL is well represented at our local hamfests.  They do this wonderful service all the time, but I want to give them special thanks for their extra duty while I take a few weeks off for some rehab due to knee surgery.


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.

When technology changes --and it always does—what happens to the things we used to think of as “standard?”  Some things get applied differently and some things go away entirely.  To give an example, in my field of television production, almost nothing is the same technically.

Producing the content is pretty much the same, but the pictures are made entirely differently, and wow do they look better.

I was out West recently, and met with an old friend, a ham, from our days together in local television.  We remarked about how much the technical standards had changed.  But we also noted that ham radio has changed, too.  Jeff used to work moon bounce.  Back in the 1970s and 1980s, he had to use some huge yagis, four of them, as a matter of fact.

Now he’s working meteor scatter with one yagi and a good computer.

He’s as interested in that as he used to be in moon bounce, but he said that some people think “if your computer is talking to my computer,” then it’s not ham radio.  To which I responded, “are you using RF?  Then it’s ham radio.”  Of course, he agrees.

Whether it’s AM versus SSB, analog vs. digital voice, or computer sound cards to discover propagation that we thought was non-existent, progress means change.  Whatever your favorite mode of operation, I hope you are still finding it worthwhile.  And I hope you’re willing to experiment with the new ways of doing things. 

Because the new ways are where ham radio is going.  And the new hams will be wanting to use the latest in technology.  I’ve heard it said many times that the new hams are not being motivated by the same things that motivated most of us.  Ham radio has lots to offer new people, but it won’t be in the same ways many of us experienced.  We all have to find new ways of operating and thinking, so that ham radio will be a welcoming experience and a life-long hobby and pursuit for those just becoming interested.  Keep that in mind the next time you try to explain what ham radio is all about.

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


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

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

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

If you plan to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Plan ahead and request your ARRL Officials to attend.

With 52 weeks and 70+ hamfests in the Great Lakes Division, things do double up a little and we need to share duties. 

10/5/19                       Alpena Swap                         Alpena, MI
10/5/19                       Scioto Valley                         Chillicothe, OH
10/5/19                       Vette City                              Bowling Green, KY
10/12/19                     Northwest Ohio ARC           Lima, OH
10/19/19                     Muskegon Color Tour          Muskegon, MI
10/20/19                     Kalamazoo                           Kalamazoo, MI
10/26/19                     Hazard Hamfest                   Hazard, KY
10/27/19                     USECA Hamfest                  Madison Hgts, MI
11/2/19                       Grant ARC Hamfest             Georgetown, OH
11/3/19                       Massillon                              Massillon, OH

           
73, Were you on the air today???   Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Friday, August 30, 2019

Dale's Tales for September


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

At several recent hamfests, I have had the opportunity to seriously discuss the status of our Great Lakes Division radio clubs with some of their members.  The range of comments was extraordinary, from "very healthy and growing" to "desperate and dying".  The latter of course was very disappointing news.  Why the differences?  We did discuss them and also talked about what possible changes had affected the dying clubs.
[This is where this message gets tenuous.]  The members' comments seemed often to relate to the effectiveness of the current slate of officers and/or their immediate predecessors.  This is of course reported from the members' personal perspective and may have no basis in fact.

However, for most of us, perception is pretty close to reality, so the comments included items such as these:  Some leaders had grown weary of the job and could not recruit replacements, others seemed unaware of their plight, others seemed to have no plans for the club while other leaders pointed their fingers at the "other guy" being at fault, not facing the reality of their own situation.

In the meantime, the really successful clubs are reported to have truly active and involved leadership, programs at their meetings, guest speakers, club projects, special interest groups, active local nets, club field activities, club parties, and importantly a PLAN to make themselves a success.

Perhaps it is time for the less than successful clubs to take a self-examination and ask themselves "Where do we want to go and how do we want to get there?"  Frankly folks, if your club Board of Directors does not occasionally meet and plan for the club's future, you may want to consider urging them to move in that direction.  Strong words I am sure, but today, one has a choice to do the things necessary to succeed, adapt to change, and CREATE excitement and growth, or face the unfortunate alternative: a slow and certain demise.  From some of the members from those clubs on that slippery slope, I have heard the stories of "power struggles", "club empires" "entrenched officers" and a host of other reasons alleging change is not possible.  Really?

Club members need to stand up and take action.  Don't allow a continuing stagnant condition to exist in your club, empower yourselves to make change.  Set some goals to make your club the success it needs to be.
It only takes two or three to create a "wake up call" and encourage the
needed changes.   Plans and goals are critical to a club's future, have
at it!  

To those clubs on the successful part: congratulations!  Keep it rolling!  To those ready to make the paradigm shift to a new adventure, best wishes for your renewed success.


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.

Of the many ways that ham radio has changed over the years, one of them has to be in the operating habits of many of us. It used to be that you could find contacts on the HF bands easily, whenever they were open. (As an operator who prefers SSB, I wish we were at a different point in the sunspot cycle. Oh well....) Of course, there are still some contacts to be made. But not as easily. Maybe our schedules provide us with so many more things to do that we allocate less time to radio.

So “events” become more important. Probably the biggest event to bring out lots of activity of HF was the National Parks on the Air several years ago. It was the right combination of contesting, contacting, portable operating, etc., to really make a hit with hams and get a lot of radio waves stirred up.

There are still lots of operating events to take advantage of. For example, the state QSO parties usually do well for participation. So if you’re looking for an “event,” you can probably find something to operate in most weekends.

A short-term “event” sponsored by ARRL is coming up right now. The Hiram Percy Maxim Birthday Celebration starts on August 31st and runs through September 8th. Full details are on the ARRL website or in the September issue of QST.

Some of us need an “excuse” to get on the air, or at least an assurance that we’ll find stations to work. This is a good one. Hope we take advantage of it.

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

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

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

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

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

9/7/19             GRAHamfest                        Wyoming, MI
9/7/19             CMARC Hamfest                 Okemos, MI
9/7/19             Greater Louisville                 Shepherdsville, KY
9/8/19             Findlay Hamfest                    Findlay, OH
9/14/19           Central Kentucky                  Richmond, KY
9/15/19           Adrian Hamfest                     Adrian, MI
9/21/19           GMARC Trunk Swap           Shelby Twp, MI
9/21/19           OHKYIN ARS Hamfest       Cincinnati, OH
9/22/19           Cleveland Hamfest                Berea, OH
9/22/19           Flying Beers Int'l                   Ferndale, MI
9/28/19           Paintsville Hamfest               Paintsville, KY
10/5/19           Alpena Swap                         Alpena, MI
10/5/19           Scioto Valley                         Chillicothe, OH
10/12/19         Northwest Ohio ARC            Lima, OH
10/19/19         Muskegon Color Tour           Muskegon, MI
10/20/19         Kalamazoo                            Kalamazoo, MI
10/26/19         Hazard Hamfest                    Hazard, KY
           
73, Were you on the air today???   Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

ARRL bestows honor to Great Lakes Division ham.



Each year, the ARRL offers an award to recognize someone who has served admirably as an ARRL Section Manager.  

The Knight Distinguished Service Award recognizes exceptionally notable contributions by a Section Manager to the health and vitality of the League.  The first such award was presented to Joe T. Knight, W5PDY (now SK) in 2003 -- for whom the award was named -- in recognition of his exemplary service not only as the ARRL Section New Mexico Section Manager for more than a quarter century, but also for his willingness to share his knowledge and skills.

The Knight Distinguished Service Award may be awarded to an ARRL Section Manager who has distinguished himself or herself in accordance with the following ideals:

Exceptionally notable contributions over an extended period of time within his or her Section and beyond.

Demonstrated efforts that have contributed to the health and vitality of the ARRL and its Field Organization.

Displayed actions that are in the spirit of the unselfish contributions of Joe T. Knight, W5PDY.

Nominations may be made by any ARRL member and accompanied by a narrative of the accomplishments of the nominee identifying the long term contributions of the nominee to ARRL and its Field Organization.
The nominations are reviewed by the ARRL Programs and Service Committee, which makes the formal recommendation to the ARRL Board of Directors. 


With that background, I am truly pleased to announce to all, at its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors honored Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally N8SY with the Knight Distinguished Service Award.  Scott easily met all of the required criteria and most certainly has shown exemplary service to the members of the ARRL Ohio Section, Great Lakes Division and the entire ARRL Field Organization.

Please join Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD and me in congratulating Scott on this very special occasion. 

73,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division
ARRL

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Dale's Tales for August


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

In visits to hamfests and meeting with everyone, I am often asked "What is ARRL doing to promote ham radio in the news media?"  As a matter of fact, we actually do a great deal in promoting our hobby, but rarely is it enough in the eyes of our members.  National events and amateur radio's participation get good coverage, more of course in the region where the event occurred, but there seems to be little reporting when a local public service event occurs.

Yet, as we all know, most of the local more or less routine activities, such as parades, runs, walkathons, races, and the like, rarely get mentioned in the news much to our chagrin.  So how do we fix this?  We fix it by insisting upon more activity on the part of our many Public Information Officers (PIO). We have about 50 PIOS in the Great Lakes Division.  These are the folks closest to the events and closest to the local news media.  Many of our PIOs are on a first name basis with local reporters and media people.  They are the "Go-To People" when questions about ham radio arise.  And it is the PIO who is best positioned to keep the media advised of our day-to-day amateur radio activities.

To assist our PIOS in this effort, ARRL has created through our Lifelong Learning project a complete course in Public Relations called PR-101.

The goal is to provide our PIOS with the tools necessary to help them do an outstanding job in reporting what is happening in ham radio and how ham radio benefits our communities.   All PIOs and those interested in becoming one should check out http://www.arrl.org/pr-courses and
register for the program.   It is a lot about relationship building and as we all know that is the key to success in virtually everything we do these days.

Oh, and I just checked, today there are just eleven slots open for students in the forthcoming online course.   So don't delay.  The cost:  ZERO.  The benefits: UNLIMITED.


TOM'S TOME  Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Tom W8WTD.

The future of ham radio is: more hams!  Younger hams.  And older hams. Tech-savvy hams.  Experimenters.  Public service hams.

My wording, but that was the essential message at the recent Board of Directors meeting.  Rick Roderick, K5UR, the ARRL President, keeps talking about it.  Howard Michel, WB2ITX, writes about it in his editorial columns.  The ARRL staff is working on ways to improve our communications with those who get licensed.

And throughout the Great Lakes Division, many clubs are stepping up with classes.  We’ve had some good numbers recently.  Sadly, the overall number of licensees is down this year nationwide from a year ago.  We all know that the ham population is aging.  If we want the hobby/service to continue, we need to recruit more people.

There are two problems as I see it.  One is getting people interested to begin with.  And the second is giving them something they like to do once they are licensed.  Again, some clubs are finding new ways to engage new hams, making sure they understand how to get on the air, providing challenges, and helping them with applications that might have never thought of.

We all tend to do what we know best, and most of us realize that for us, ham radio is based on what we did and still do.  There are many aspects of the hobby that don’t appeal to everyone equally.  We need to ask ourselves what things interest Makers?  They may know about the Raspberry Pi, but do they know how it can be used in ham radio?  What forms of say, Mesh networks or data transfers will draw the interest of our EmComm and Public Service contingent, and will encourage further experimentation?  Which group might find weak-signal propagation most interesting?

Here are two questions.  Club leaders, is your club growing or shrinking?  If your membership numbers are down, maybe you need to expand your horizon of what your club can do.  And for everyone –what things are most likely to cause that spark of interest that will result in new challenges, new scientific breakthroughs in radio, and more enjoyment of the hobby?

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


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

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

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

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

8/3/19             Columbus Hamfest              Columbus, OH
8/3/19             U. P. Hamfest                       Escanaba, MI
8/10/19           DX Engineering Hamfest    Tallmadge, OH
8/10/19           Central Kentucky                 Lexington, KY
8/11/19           Seaway Trunk Swap            Port Huron, MI
8/17/19           GARS Germantown            Germantown, OH
9/7/19             GRAHamfest                      Wyoming, MI
9/7/19             CMARC Hamfest                Okemos, MI
9/7/19             Greater Louisville                Shepherdsville, KY
9/8/19             Findlay Hamfest                  Findlay, OH
9/14/19           Central Kentucky                Richmond, KY
9/15/19           Adrian Hamfest                   Adrian, MI
9/21/19           GMARC Trunk Swap          Shelby Twp, MI
9/21/19           OHKYIN ARS Hamfest      Cincinnati, OH
9/22/19           Cleveland Hamfest              Berea, OH
9/22/19           Flying Beers Int'l                 Ferndale, MI
9/28/19           Paintsville Hamfest             Paintsville, KY
           
73, Were you on the air today???   Ham it up!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division