Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dale's Tales for March..

>> Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for March 2015<<

I recently had the pleasure of making a surprise visit to the Marion Amateur Radio Club with the specific mission of presenting one of their members with one of ARRL's most prestigious awards. Mr. Bill Finnegan, NR8I was chosen by the ARRL Board of Directors to be the recipient of the Herb S. Brier Award. This award is named in memory of Herb S. Brier, W9AD, long-time CQ Novice Editor, who represented the spirit of effective, caring Amateur Radio instruction. The ARRL sponsors this award in conjunction with the Lake County Indiana Amateur Radio Club, in Herb's memory to recognize the very best in Amateur Radio instruction and recruitment. Bill Finnegan's contribution to the recruitment of new amateurs and the subsequent follow-on to insure they continue in the hobby, epitomizes the ideals of W9AD. The Great Lakes Division is indeed proud to recognize Bill's contributions to amateur radio. Congratulations NR8I.

Next month on April 1 (!) to be exact, our Kentucky Section will greet a new Section Manager. I want to personally take this opportunity to welcome Alan Morgan, KY1O into his new position. He will be replacing Jim Brooks, KY4Z who has served as KY SM for the past eight years. Alan is an ARRL Life Member and has held the positions of DEC, EC and NM as well as the presidency of his local radio club. Our best wishes go to Alan and of course to Jim, as he moves on to enjoy some of the other facets of ham radio.

The Great Lakes Division's largest ham radio bash is coming up soon. Well, OK it is the world's largest ham radio bash and we are fortunate to have it all happen in our Division. Of course, it's the Dayton HamVention®.  If you have never attended, you must. If you have not made your plans yet, you must. The dates are May 15, 16 & 17, 2015. Of course we will have the ARRL Expo in place again this year, with all of the League's key people and resources ready to visit with you. Your Division and Section officials plan to be circulating at the Expo. Please plan to stop by for an "eye ball QSO". Check out the HamVention web site at

ARRL members are going to be polled for their opinions on the recently proposed HF band changes.
The ARRL is asking members to comment by April 19 on possible changes to the League’s HF Band Plans suggested by the HF Band Planning Committee. The survey is part of the committee’s efforts to tweak the band plans for the RTTY/data/CW portions of 80 through 10 meters with the exception of 60 meters. 400 members commented in response to a March 2014 solicitation that sought suggestions for using the spectrum more efficiently so that data modes may coexist compatibly. This is an important survey and you are encouraged to use this opportunity to provide input on the suggestions the committee has posted. First, review the proposal which will appear in your April 2015 QST. Then go to to file your comments.

Here are the monthly comments from our Great Lakes Division Vice Director, Tom, W8WTD:

Snow, snow and more snow. I haven't heard many good words about it recently, as we are all looking forward to spring. And there was plenty of snow for the Mansfield Mid-Winter Hamfest a few weeks ago. Nice to see many of you there.

Like everyone else, I'm looking forward to spring, but those thoughts are always accompanied, for me, by thoughts of preparation. I look around to check on radios, batteries, jump kits (go kits), etc. I guess it's the many years of preparing for and responding to disasters with the Red Cross that set my thinking. And while the specifics of emergency communications in a particular area are best left to the ARES leadership, I'm sure the EC's, DEC's and SEC's don't mind my giving the reminder for all of us to be prepared. Spring is, even on a snowy morning, just around the corner, and with it, the bad weather and storms along with the gentle breezes and flowers.

Along those lines, my home club, the Queen City Emergency Net, had a program on solar power at our February meeting. Thanks to Jerry, W1SCR, for providing the good information. Whether you're looking for a power source for QRP, Field Day, or keeping a station on the air during an extended power failure, solar might be a good way to go. It fits right in to disaster planning. Speaking of disaster planning, Ohio ARES is planning a NVIS antenna day in April. What else is going on in the Division? Any additional things we can share and test? Let us know.

Maybe I can find out more about activities in Kentucky when I visit the Cave City Hamfest this coming weekend. I look forward to meeting some friends, and making new ones. I always like to share ideas and listen to members' concerns as I get around. That's part of what I can do for the Great Lakes Division. I'll make sure that Director Williams knows about new programs and activities that I get a chance to hear about.

Whether it's that hamfest, or any of the others ones I get to attend during this new season, if you see me, stop by and say hello. I look forward to meeting you.

Tom, W8WTD
Vice Director
Great Lakes Division

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

Mar 7 - Cave City, in Cave City, KY - KY4Z - W8WTD
Mar 14 - Crossroads, Kalamazoo, MI - WB8R - WA8EFK
Mar 15 - TMRA, Toledo, N8SY - WA8EFK
Mar 21 - West MI Youth Hamfest, Lowell, MI
Mar 28 - MOVARC, Gallipolis, OH - N8SY
April 4 - Lincoln Trail, Elizabethtown, KY - KY1O
April 4 - Portsmouth, Portsmouth, OH - N8SY
April 11 - Letcher County, Whitesburg - KY - KY1O
April 25 - Jackson County, Jackson, OH - N8SY
April 26 - Athens, Athens, OH - N8SY

Hamfest officials: When you receive your "Hamfest Package" from ARRL, open it immediately. Read it over and look at all of the material you received. There is a form included to order additional if you deem it appropriate.

Your Division and Section officials want to be at your events and we strive for insuring that the ARRL is properly represented at every ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest. Conflicts can arise, such as hamfests which might occur on the same day. It is always a good idea for your hamfest chair to contact the Section Manager, Vice-Director or Director early in the planning stages to insure his attendance at the activity. This will allow time to prepare for alternate representation in the event of time conflicts.

The ARRL Director, Vice Director and Section Managers are available to visit local radio clubs and give presentations about ARRL and what is happening in the Section or Division. Please feel free to invite any of us for an "ARRL Night" at your club. Most of the talks are prepared in a video presentation format and can include a Q&A session as well.

Advance scheduling really helps and gives you an opportunity to publicize the event. See pages 15 & 16 of a recent QST for contact information.

73, see you on the bands.

Dale Williams, WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division