Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dale's Tales for September

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

SPECIAL EVENT:  September 12 is the date for the Greater Louisville Hamfest.  See http://louisvillehamfest.com/ for complete details.   The Hamfest will be hosting the Kentucky State Leadership Conference with nine forums on the schedule.  KY Section Manager Alan Morgan KY1O will kick things off with an update on Visions and Goals for the Kentucky Section.  Forums include the KY EOC, Red Cross interfacing, Training goals, Search and Rescue, KY NTS activities, working with health care alliances and ARES Leadership.  Your Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD and I will be there to meet with attendees and participate in the ARRL forum activities.

CONVENTION FINAL: My personal thanks go to everyone who worked so hard to make the 2015 Great Lakes Division Convention a successful event. The attendance exceeded expectations.  The forums got rave reviews. The Wouff Hong ceremony welcomed 45 "novices" into "The Order".  Our Keynote Speaker Debra Johnson K1DMJ provided us with insight towards getting school students interested in Amateur Radio and the steps necessary to promote school ham clubs. 

On the Division Level, the Great Lakes Division's DX Achievement Award was presented to Jay Slough, K4ZLE for his outstanding service to the DX community.

Of course the Section Managers presented several awards to deserving amateurs and clubs.   For Club Newsletters, in Ohio, the 1st Place winner is the DELARA NEWS. 2nd Place winner is The TM&K. For 3rd Place, a three way tie occurred and the winners are The MVARA Voice Coil, the Mount Vernon, Radio Club and the PCARS Radiogram.

The Michigan newsletter contest first place award went to the Blossomland ARA Rusty Key and second place went to the Michigan QRP Club’s 5 Watter.

After selection and awards are presented by the individual Section judges, these winners compete for the Division's Newsletter contest award.  The winner of the 7th Great Lakes Division Newsletter Contest was the DELARA News from the Delaware ARA Club in Ohio.  Stan Broadway, N8BHL is the editor.

Ohio's Allan Severson Memorial Award was presented to Bob Dixon, W8ERD.

Michigan's ARRL Service to Scouting award went to Frank Maynard, NF8M for his many years of service to the scouts of Michigan.

The Michigan Ham of the Year Award was presented to Ed Hude, WA8QJE for his many years of tireless effort to get a Michigan PRB-1 bill passed into Michigan law.

Our congratulations to all of these winners and our special thanks to the Voice of Aladdin Amateur Radio Club for hosting a very successful Convention. 

A NOTE OF THANKS:  To Jim Bridgewater, District Director of the Detroit FCC office, who, despite its unfortunate future, worked with his staff and local hams, tracked down and took action against two regional amateurs who had been creating deliberate interference and failing to properly identify their stations.  We all have been concerned about the FCC's cuts and the potential impact upon the Amateur Radio Service.  It is good to note that the Commission still remains vigilant and concerned about the scofflaws and miscreants that occasionally appear to the detriment of all of us.  Thanks Jim, and best wishes to you and your staff from the entire Amateur Radio Community.

COMMENTS:  from our Vice Director, Tom W8WTD There is a new round of hamfests coming up for the fall.  I plan to be at Greater Louisville, Findlay, Cincinnati (OKYIN), and Vette City. And maybe some others.  It's a good time to meet people, and talk ham radio issues.  I'm always glad to find out what's on your mind, so come up and say hello if you see me at your hamfest.  There are also some club meetings on my agenda for the fall.

Having participated in the communications for one bike ride here in SW Ohio, I am reminded of the good work we hams do all across the country.

There are bike tours, walks, runs, car rallies, all sorts of events where our participation as safety communicators is so helpful.  Every weekend of the summer there's some sort of activity on a repeater nearby.  These are the kind of things that make us valuable assets to our communities.  If you didn't take part in an event this summer, maybe you'll have time to help out next summer!

It's almost time for the Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air, coming up in October.  I know some clubs have expressed interest in helping.  I haven't worked it in a long time, but had great fun with the Cub Scout troop that my sons were in, many years ago.  I encourage those of you who can to participate.  Some advice from the education coordinator, Debra Johnston, at ARRL HQ --you never know what particular thing will interest a young person.  So, to the extent that you can, be sure to feature as many different aspects of the hobby as possible.  Yes, make those contacts on HF.  But can you demonstrate digital modes?  Anyone listen to satellites?  CW seems to interest the younger kids, around the age of Cub Scouts.  Remote control?  Many middle-schoolers are into robotics.  You don't need a whole display.  Many of them can teach us something.  But remote control of things?  Maybe they haven't gone there with their robotics work.  Anyone in your club do Fox Hunting?
The kids would love to try it.  How about the Arduino boards?  Maybe someone in the club has built something using an Arduino.  Bring it along and show it off.

If you order now, you can get publicity flyers from ARRL.  I recommend the Youth flyer, 22 Things You Can Do with Ham Radio, as well as the Scouting and Amateur Radio leaflet.  So get your plans together, contact a Scout group if they haven't already contacted you, and see what you can do to promote ham radio to the Scouts.

You probably saw the ARRL news article about the FCC and our interference here in the Cincinnati area.  Yes, that was me the ARRL quoted.  We had a team of us working on the problem.  We're glad the interference is off the air.  It was pretty horrible to listen to, and you never knew when it would pop up.  But we kept our cool, didn't acknowledge it on air, and did what we could behind the scenes to track down the offender.  Luckily, almost all hams are courteous and friendly, and this type of thing is rare.

Finally, as Dale has noted, let's keep the letters, phone calls, and e-mails going to convince Congress that we need the legislation to extend PRB-1 to cover HOA's and CC&R's.  We have over 700,000 hams in this country.  We should be able to make enough noise that this non-partisan, common-sense bill can become law.  The ARRL just issued a position paper titled "Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity," which sets out our position pretty clearly.  (See www.arrl.org.)  Have you contacted your representatives yet?

73, until next month,   Tom W8WTD

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  We are rapidly approaching 100 Co-sponsors for the "Amateur
Radio Parity Act" HB 1301 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This bill was introduced in the House to direct the FCC to allow Radio Amateurs to have "parity" with the current TVRO antenna regulations and install reasonable ham radio antennas and has been subsequently introduced in the U.S. Senate.

We will be at both the Louisville and Findlay Hamfests to generate letters encouraging your elected officials to support and co-sponsor the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  We are equipped with custom software that will identify your Senator and Congressperson and generate a letter to each.  We will print these letters, you can sign each and ARRL representatives will hand deliver these letters to your elected officials.  This personal contact and supporting constituent letters have been extremely effective in our campaign for reaching potential bill co-sponsors.  The new ARRL Web Page http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act contains the complete text of both the House and Senate bills.

It should be noted that there is some inaccurate and misleading information that has been released by some representatives of homeowners and community associations.  ARRL has published a statement to provided clarification to these statements and cover, in simple
terms, what the bill will and will not do.   For more details, please

CLUB PROGRAM OPPORTUNITIES:  Your 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.

HAMFESTING:  As Tom has mentioned, Hamfest Season is in full swing.

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.  I have noted where Tom and I have commitments to attend. 

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.  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 invite them to attend the activity.  This will allow time to prepare for alternate representation in the event of time conflicts.

Sept 12 - Greater Louisville / KY Leadership Conference - Dale and Tom 
Sept 13 - Findlay - Findlay, OH - Dale and Tom 
Sept 19 - Richmond - Richmond, KY - Tom 
Sept 19 - GMARC Trunk Swap - Shelby Twp, MI 
Sept 19 - OHKYIN ARS Hamfest - Cincinnati, OH - Tom 
Sept 20 - Adrian Hamfest - Adrian, MI - Dale 
Sept 27 - Cleveland Hamfest - Berea, OH - Dale and Tom
Oct   3 - ARRL Executive Committee Meeting - Dale
Oct   3 - GRAHamfest - Grand Rapids, MI
Oct   3 - Vette City - Bowling Green, KY - Tom
Oct  10 - TBARC Swap - Alpena, MI
Oct  17 - Muskegon Color Tour Hamfest - Muskegon, MI 
Oct  18 - Conneaut - Conneaut, OH 
Oct  18 - Kalamazoo Hamfest, Kalamazoo, MI 
Oct  25 - Massillon - Massillon, OH 
Oct  25 - USECA - Madison Hgts, MI 
Oct  31 - Hazard - Hazard, KY

HAMFEST OFFICIALS:  When you receive your "Hamfest Package" from ARRL, please 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.

73, see you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division