Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dale's Tales for February..

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for February, 2016.
OUR NEW CEO: As you are no doubt seen the press release, our ARRL CEO Dave Sumner K1ZZ plans to retire this year.  Dave has announced that the date will be April 18, ending more than 44 years of service at ARRL HQ. For many of us, it will be hard to imagine headquarters without Dave at the helm.  None the less, on that date, our new CEO will step into office, Tom Gallagher NY2RF. There will be a few weeks of overlap as Tom and Dave will be working together to effect a smooth transition of leadership. Tom's selection comes after an extensive search and an offer was tendered following the decision at the January ARRL Board meeting. Tom accepted, and the Board held an electronic meeting Monday evening January 25, where he was elected to serve as CEO and Secretary following Dave Sumner's retirement. Tom's bio is available on the ARRL web site.  

The recent Board meeting also included another important change in Leadership, as President Kay Craigie N3KN completed her 6th year as League President and opted to return to private life. Our First Vice President Rick Roderick K5UR was unanimously elected to the office of President and began his term at the end of the meeting.  Rick has served on the Board as a Vice Director, Director and a VP for more than 24 years.

One other change is forthcoming, as our Chief Operating Officer, Harold Kramer W1JB is planning to retire in early 2016.   More details will follow as our new COO is selected.

In addition to the above, various Board actions included election of the 2016 Executive Committee, (your Director was re-elected to this body) plus reviewing and accepting standing Committee Reports. The ARRL Strategic Plan was accepted and the Board will be assigning priorities for implementation. There was considerable discussion about how US population shifts have affected the number of ARRL members in each Division since Division boundaries were last adjusted.  A
committee was established to examine these changes, collect member input  and report at the January 2017 meeting with their recommendations.

Actions by our newly elected President  included the appointments to several committees. Our Vice Director, Tom Delaney W8WTD was selected as Board Liaison to the ARRL RF Safety Committee, while your Director was re-appointed as chair of the Ethics and Elections Committee.

ON THE AIR SPECIAL EVENT:  The big operating event National Parks on the Air has begun. Be You can view your contact status on sure to check out the full details at and  selecting "The Leaderboard". Standings come from Logbook of the World uploads, so remember that some may be delayed until the operators return to their home QTHs where they have Internet connectivity.

MEA CULPA: Being human and subject to making an occasional (Okay, frequent) mistake, I did so last month when I inadvertently omitted from the Great Lakes Division Annual Report, the call sign of Bill Finnegan NR8I.  Bill was the winner of the ARRL's Herb S. Brier W9AD Instructor of the Year Award.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delany W8WTD

ARES:  So who turned the map of the Division upside down?  It seemed like it for a few hours this past weekend.  Normally, cold temperatures and large snowfalls are more likely in Central Michigan than in Central Kentucky. But the storm that eventually became the Northeast Blizzard came roaring through the southern part of the Division before it charged up the East Coast. And it dropped enough snow to stop traffic on I-75 between London, KY and Lexington. While it was reminiscent of the I-65 snow last winter that stopped traffic over near Elizabethtown, this one probably wasn’t quite as bad.  But the Kentucky ARES folks responded, at least in the “ready” mode. KEN was activated on
3.9725 MHz, and several local nets were called up throughout the area. No one actually deployed, but all the procedures were in place to do so. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Who’s an expert?   Here’s a story for you.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that we are called amateur radio operators.  Or maybe it’s something else. I was asked recently to help find someone who could do a presentation on wire antennas for one of the clubs in our area.  So I started asking around for an expert.  People I thought were experts declined, saying that they weren’t experts. After a while, I
started thinking about the term, and decided that must be what was making the search difficult.  No one wants to self-identify as an expert.  We all have this mental picture of an expert as someone who knows so much about resonance, reactance, impedance, theory, and the ability to use complex antenna-modelling systems.  What about the practical?  How many antennas has an individual constructed and put up?

In my fifty-plus years of ham radio, I’ve put up temporary antennas for field day, permanent antennas on my house and the houses of friends, as well as antennas on public buildings, etc. Some worked well, others didn’t, but I learned from what went wrong.

With that in mind, I recruited one of the non-experts (who knows a lot about antennas) and together we led a discussion with the club.

Everyone took part, and we all found out more about antennas and what to expect. By sharing what we know and asking questions about what we didn’t know, we all came to a better understanding of antennas.  And it was one of the better club meetings I’ve attended anywhere.

Funny thing.  Even though to my “English-teacher” mind, expert and experience seem to have the same root, one term is more intimidating than the other.  Bottom line—those of us with experience should not be so hesitant to share what we know.

The winter and early spring Hamfest season is just about here. Weather permitting, I’ll be seeing some of you in the next month or so. 

73, Tom W8WTD  Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

UPDATE for AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT: We continue to be encouraged by the efforts of our Washington team as they continue to foster support of the passage of the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  The House version now has 118 Co-Sponsors. HR 1301 is the Bill number for the House of
Representatives.  The Senate version of the bill is number S 1685. If you have not done so, please contact your Senator and Congressman in Washington and encourage his/her support for the Act.  You can find more information at

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. 

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. We have approximately 65 hamfests each year in the Great Lakes Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning. It is never too early to register your hamfest with Headquarters. Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  Help avoid date conflicts, do it early!

Feb  6 - HARA Swap - Negaunee, 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 - NOARS - Elyria, OH
Mar 19 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 20 - TMRA Hamfest - Perrysburg, OH
Mar 26 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH

73, See you on the bands.

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division

ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK