Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for December 2015.
I hope you all will be able to take advantage of getting some On-the-Air-Time to operate and have some great fun contacting stations in our National Parks and actually doing some serious operating from the parks. Be sure to check out the full details at https://npota.arrl.org/. There are actually 20 qualified National Park Service Units within the Great Lakes Division, and plenty of opportunities to put them all on the air over the next 12 months. Be sure to check out the current "On the Air" list of scheduled events on the web page. Not surprisingly, many dates are already booked.
ON THE AIR: Are you? Maybe it is time to check! After the experience of operating last year's great Centennial Points Challenge, like many ops, I have experienced some serious withdrawal symptoms. So for 2015, I've given myself another challenge and made it a point to try to get on for a while every day and get some QSOs in the log outside of nets and contests. An all-too-often brief QSO with a foreign ham brings a new friendship and new interests. Certainly, my knowledge of this Earth's geography is improving as I frequently squeeze in some research on the country I have contacted. Of course, some time is spent searching for "rare ones", but I like the time spent for even a brief contact. This is not to say I am neglecting contesting. Operating contests is great for honing skills, and I note I seem to be able to copy everyone a little better after finishing a contest; with that little experience, copying DX through the noise and QRM truly becomes an easier task. Of course operating on a few nets keeps up the traffic handling skills and builds camaraderie. We have so many diverse aspects of this hobby, but one - actually getting on the air - is what it is all about. Let's all really DO IT!
TOM'S COMMENTS: Our Vice Director, Tom W8WTD is on a well-deserved hiatus this month. He will return in January all refreshed for the upcoming year.
UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT: The Senate version of the measure passed through committee during November. The package will now go to the full Senate for a vote. NOW is the time to contact your Senator in Washington and encourage his/her support for the measure. When you do this, please reference the Bill Number S 1685. Please be sure to route your letters through ARRL Headquarters for personal delivery: ARRL, Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111. You can find more information at http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act.
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.
Dec 5 - Fulton County Winterfest - Delta, OH
Dec 6 - L'Anse Creuse - Harrison Township, MI
Jan 17 - SCARF - Nelsonville, OH
Jan 24 - Tusco - Strausburg, OH
Jan 24 - Hazel Park - Madison Hgts, MI
Feb 13 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI
Feb 21 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH
Feb 21 - Livonia - Livonia, MI
Mar 5 - Cave City - Cave City, KY
Mar 6 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
HAMFEST OFFICIALS: It is never too early to register your hamfest for ARRL Sanctioning. Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set. Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!
WISHES: It is still early in December, but as we enter this holiday season, Judy and I wish to extend the very best wishes for Peace and Prosperity in the coming year.
73, see you on the bands.
Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division