Friday, May 29, 2015

Dale's Tales for June 2015

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

Honors:  Michigan Section Manager Larry Camp WB8R and I recently had the opportunity to attend The Auto State Young Ladies (TASYLs) 50th Anniversary luncheon in Holt, MI.  We were able to present congratulatory letters from the Section Managers from Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan as well as a Congratulatory Certificate from the Michigan Section and a Commemorative Plaque from the hams in the Great Lakes Division.  TASYLS presented several awards, honoring Charter Members and long serving members. Beverley Stoner K8ZJU, was recognized as a Founding Member and honored as 50 year members were: Rosemary Davidson WA8VXE, Myriam Gregg K8ILN, and Verline Ferris KI8V.  TASYLs holds a regular weekly net for YLs on 3940 kHz, each Thursday at 0900 local time.

Convention: The "target" is Columbus, OH for the ARRL 2015 Great Lakes Division Convention.  The date is August 1.  The Voice of Aladdin Amateur Radio Club will serve as hosts this year.  Forums will include DX, NVIS, Digital Voice, ARES, HF Sound Card Modes, OSSBN/NTS and there will be on-site VE testing. Check the Division Web pages at for updates. 

Special Event:  The Museum Ships on the Air Special Event will occur over a 48 hour period on the weekend of June 5-7, 2015. The times are 0000 Z June 6 thru 2359 Z June 7. There will be a collection of over 75 actual Ships and Museum Sites from around the world participating.
Included are many of World War II Historical Vessels with the Battleship New Jersey, NJ2BB, sponsor of the event. Working 15 different participating ships will earn you a certificate. Additional information about the Museum Ships Operating Event can be found on The Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station's website
A Michigan Club, The Ships Amateur Radio Club, will be sponsoring a Special Award during the event. It requires contact with the 5 ships representing the Great Lakes. The WAGL Award, “Worked All Great Lakes” is commemorating the Light Ship Huron (K8H), SS Col Schoonmaker (K8E), SS Milwaukee Clipper (K8M), SS Edmund Fitzgerald (K8S) and the US Army LT-5 Tug Boat (K8O). Information is available at  or on QRZ for those call signs. 21 Hams will be operating portable style for up to 16 hours each day at 5 different Great Lake sites either where the ships are located or at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. Additional Information is on their web page

All QSL requests via W8CDB. For those energetic stations working all five ships with the K8* call, they will have a downloadable certificate, the "WAGL" (pronounced "Waggle") or "Worked All Great Lakes." 

Special Event:  The Alger and Lake Effect ARC’s are joining forces during the weekend of June 6-7 to put on a Trails Day on the Air event at Muskallonge State Park, east of Grand Marais and NW of Newberry.

Station N8T will be operating sideband and PSK-31 both days. The North Country Trail (NCT) actually runs through the park and the Superior Shoreline Chapter of the North Country Trail Ass'n. will have an information booth and be offering public hikes along the NCT. At least one hour of Hellschreiber is planned each day, too, for the really odd ducks out there. Maybe even some 6-meter if someone wants to try a sked.

And now, comments from our Vice Director, Tom W8WTD as he looks back on the Dayton Hamvention®:

Whatever trends are happening in ham radio, you can find them at the Dayton Hamvention.  For that matter, you can find all the essential elements of ham radio there, as well.  Emergency communications?  The ARES forum, and many exhibits and vendors dedicated to making sure we're well prepared.  Advancement of the radio art?  Of course.  New products, but in many more ways, hams teaching hams about new discoveries.  Training?  Lots of forums intended to help the new hams, as well as the more experienced, how to do things better.
International Goodwill?  Ohio Section Manager Scott, N8SY, had a map at his table showing 72 countries being represented.

At the heart of all of this is hams meeting other hams, some for the first time, some for the hundredth time, sharing information and friendship.  I had a great time at the ARRL booth, getting to know more people from the Great Lakes Division, and hearing about what they do.
Making sure we connect with each other on our projects is very important.  Sometimes, information that people in one part of the Division might need is similar to what others from another part of the Division have already been working on.

Dale WA8EFK will no doubt mention the importance of House Bill 1301, the "Amateur Radio Parity Act," and the impact it can make on ham radio for all of us.  It was encouraging to see the number of people who stopped by the booth to sign a letter to their Congressman.  If you didn't make it to Dayton, you can still help by going to the ARRL website and following the instructions there.

I love working DX, and I don't do enough of it.  It's even better to meet some people in person.  Friday I had the chance for a nice chat over lunch with people from the Radio Society of Great Britain.

Saturday, I met a young man from Argentina, and helped him find the right person to work on an issue with a certificate for a friend of his.  And these were just a few of the many people with DX calls that I saw during the weekend.

We should all be grateful for the work done at the ARRL Lab.  They provide a valuable service to the hobby by their rigorous testing and experimenting.  I had a chance to work with some of them for a few hours on Saturday as they tested HT's.  Most of the equipment tested fell within specs.  They'll use some of their results to pinpoint problems with certain types of equipment.

Finally, you'll be hearing more about this soon, but remember to mark your calendars for the Division Convention in August.  Interesting forums, a flea market, and another good chance to connect with your fellows hams in the Division.

73, until next month,   Tom W8WTD

House Bill 1301:  Current FCC Regulations allow homeowners in deed-restricted residences to install TV receive only (TVRO) antennas.

This includes both dish antennas and conventional over the air antennas.
 "Amateur Radio Parity Act" HB 1301 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to direct the FCC to allow Radio Amateurs to have "parity" with the current TVRO antenna regulations and install reasonable ham radio antennas.  At the recent ARRL EXPO at the Dayton Hamvention®, we were successful in preparing more than 800 signed letters from Radio Amateurs covering over 100 Congressional Districts.

These will now be hand delivered to their Congressmen.  The ARRL Web Page contains the complete text of the bill.

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. 

June 6 - IRA Hamfest - Hudsonville, MI
June 6 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY 
June 6 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH 
June 7 - Chelsea - Chelsea, MI 
June 13 - Luce County - Newberry, MI 
June 20 - Milford - Milford, OH 
June 20 - Midland - Midland, MI 
June 21 - Monroe - Monroe, MI 
July 10-11 - Michigan Summer Outing - Hale (Lupton) MI 
July 11 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH 
July 18 - NOARS Fest - Elyria, OH 
July 18 - GMARC Trunk Fest - Shelby Twp, MI 
July 19 - Van Wert - Van Wert, OH 
July 26 - CMARC Outdoor - Lansing, MI 
July 26 - Portage - Randolph, OH

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 material 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 your 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