Thursday, October 1, 2015

Dales Tales for October 2015

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

SPECIAL EVENT:  Radio Amateur Satellite Corp. (AMSAT-NA) will hold their 33rd AMSAT
Space Symposium and Annual Meeting Friday through Sunday, October 16-18, 2015 in Dayton, Ohio at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 33 East 5th Street in downtown Dayton. There is free hotel parking to attend the Symposium. Registration includes receiving a copy of the “Proceedings of the 33rd AMSAT Space Symposium”.  Papers will be presented from 1300-1700 on Friday and 0800-1530 on Saturday (break for lunch).  There is a reception Friday evening and the banquet on Saturday starts at 1900. The banquet speaker will be AMSAT VP-Human Space Flight Frank Bauer, KA3DHO, retired NASA Engineer at Goddard Space Flight Center presenting “Making a Difference:  AMSAT’s Contribution to Navigation and Timing in HEO/GEO Space and Its Profound Impact on Earth and Space Science”.
The Symposium is a wonderful opportunity to learn about amateur radio’s newest satellites! Get helpful tips and techniques of working the “birds”. Hear about the future satellites. Banquet Prizes! Rub shoulders with some of your fellow hams and satellite enthusiasts.

Additional information about Symposium and options to register for the Symposium as well as the banquet can be found online:  Check directly with the Crowne Point Plaza Hotel for room availability as the deadline for the AMSAT block of rooms has expired.  Call 1-800-689-5586 for hotel reservations.

CLUB PROGRAM OPPORTUNITIES:  You would be surprised to discover all the things that your League is involved with these days.  Here is an opportunity to learn more about how your being an ARRL member truly helps Amateur Radio.  Your locally elected leadership, consisting of your ARRL Director, Vice Director and Section Managers are available to visit radio clubs and talk with you about ARRL and what is happening in your Section or your Division or nationwide.  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.

COMMENTS:  from our Vice Director, Tom W8WTD It was another busy month with travel to hamfests.  I always enjoy meeting and talking to fellow hams, and finding out what is on your mind.

This may sound like a broken record, but we can't stress enough how important it is to put some pressure on Congress to get our legislation passed.  You can check out the ARRL website for all the details on the two bills, one in the Senate, and one in the House.  It's hard to overestimate how important these bills may prove to be for the future of ham radio.  Each ham should do his or her part.

While we're generating letters at hamfests, it's also important to note where things stand with individual Congressmen.  We don't want to appear ignorant of who is supporting us already.  While we want to gain more support by way of co-sponsors, it's equally important to thank those who are already on board.  So I did a search on the current list of Congressmen, looking for those from the Great Lakes Division who are signed on as co-sponsors. 

Here's the list: 

Michigan:  Rep. Benishek, whose 1st district includes a lot of northern Michigan and all of the U.P. ;  Rep. Huizenga, whose 2nd district includes a portion of the western part of the state;  and Rep. Bishop, whose 8th district includes a smaller portion of the center of the state. Also from Michigan, Cong. Tim Walberg, whose 7th district includes much of south-central Michigan.

Kentucky:  Rep. Guthrie, whose 2nd district includes a lot of the center of Kentucky, from south of Louisville and Lexington down to Bowling Green.

Ohio:  Rep. Wenstrup, whose 2nd district includes much of southern Ohio, from just east of Cincinnati over to Chillicothe and south to the Ohio River; Rep. Johnson, whose 6th district takes in much of eastern Ohio, running along the Ohio River from Youngstown south and west near to, but not including Portsmouth; and Rep. Joyce, whose 14th district is generally east of Cleveland.

These are people we need to thank!  Please send an e-mail, or phone your local office with a message of thanks and encouragement.  If you're not sure of just who your representative is, you can find out by checking  the listing "Who is my representative in the US House?" under the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 on the ARRL website.  If your Congressman is a co-sponsor, please thank him.  If not, then ask for his or her support, either by signing a letter at one of the hamfests, or getting details on how you can write a letter from home, also on the ARRL website.  Please, do something this week.  It only takes a few minutes, and it is so important to you and to all your fellow hams!

Here's another way that a few of you can help.  Not everyone will be able to do this.  But in conversations at hamfests, I came across a few people who could say, "You know, I went to school with Rep. ___"  Or, "I know Rep. __ from business connections, back when he was doing ___."  If you have any connections like that, what would it take for you to call and make an appointment and discuss the issue with your friend?
Personal connections are so important.  And while most of us don't have those, all of our representatives went to school somewhere, and have friends in the community.  If you have that kind of connection, please make use of it!

Thanks for listening.  I hope to see many more of you at hamfests and meetings coming up next month and beyond, and also talking with you on the air.

73,  Tom W8WTD

FIELD CARD CHECKERS:  Well, the facts are simply this: we need more and we need more to visit our hamfests.  The ARRL Programs and Services Committee has established a sub-committee to examine the current Field Checker guidelines, the appointment requirements and many of the details of the program.  It has been a while since a thorough review has been conducted of the Field Checker rules so that is happening now.

Your Director has been asked to assist, and I have been actively discussing Field Card Checking with both active Checkers and aspiring ones plus the DX Community in general.   Feel free to let me know your thoughts and I will see to it they are considered by the committee. 

Today, Card Checkers can be nominated by the following methods:  One by each recognized "DX Club", one by the Section Manager in his Section and one by the Division Director in his Division.  These requirements impose some serious limits.   For example, a Section with 2 DX clubs can have 3
Field Checkers, (possibly 4, if the Director's appointment was made in that geographic area).  A change of Section Manager or Director has no bearing on appointing additional Field Checkers.  As you can see, geography and population density can affect where the Field Checkers are located and even how far they need to travel.  Further, the rules are silent on how to replace non-active Checkers.  Suffice it to say, we have a list of things to consider, but hopefully, some improvements can be implemented within the next few months.  In the meantime, our Division's diligent Field Card Checkers are taking every opportunity to be at swaps to check our cards.   They travel on their dime and truly deserve our sincere thanks for serving the DX Community.

UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT: We now have 100 Co-sponsors for HB 1301 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The new ARRL Web Page contains the complete text of both the House and Senate bills.

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. 

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.

Oct   3 - ARRL Executive Committee Meeting
Oct   3 - GRAHamfest - Grand Rapids, MI
Oct   3 - Vette City - Bowling Green, KY
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
Nov   7 - Grant County -  Georgetown, OH
Dec   5 - Fulton County Winterfest - Delta, OH
Dec   6 - L'Anse Creuse    - Harrison Twp., MI

HAMFEST OFFICIALS:  When you receive your "Hamfest Package" from ARRL, please open it immediately.  Read it over and check out 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

ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK