Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dale's Tales for September

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for September, 2016.

THE KENTUCKY ARRL CONVENTION and Greater Louisville Hamfest is being kicked off by an
official welcome from Kentucky's Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton K5EIB.  A well-planned number of forums and activities will be hosted by the team.  This major ham radio event for the Commonwealth of Kentucky is scheduled for September 10 and will be held at the Paroquet Springs Conference Center in Shepherdsville, KY.

Some of the activities included are: VE testing, Telescope viewing of the sun and sunspots, QSL card Checking, Solar Eclipse forum, Palmyra DXpedition, National Air and Space Education Institute, ARRL Member Forum, Norm Fusaro W3IZ from ARRL HQ will be speaking, Wouff Hong Ceremony, KY MARS, Amateur Radio and Youth  Forum, Digital/Technical Forum, Repeater Coordination, KY EM Update/Comex Review and ARES Updates.

The ARRL Great Lakes Division's elected officials Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD and Director Dale Williams WA8EFK will be present to host the ARRL Members' Forum and hear from everyone.  We sincerely hope all attendees will also take the time to visit our ARRL Booth and meet with us and Norm Fusaro W3IZ.  You can obtain the latest Louisville Convention and Hamfest information from

THANKS TO SO MANY OF YOU who have written about the FCC's Symbol Rate Docket 16-239 and RM-11708.  Your suggestions are truly appreciated, and I will convey your input to my fellow Executive Committee members.

Everyone who has written to me favors bandwidth limits in some form.

Suggestions include imposing BW limits based upon the portion of the band being used to a simple maximum BW limit.   All of the suggested options are being examined as this is written.  Some decisions are easy, this one is not, but I want everyone to understand that every option is being examined and our recommendation will be based upon serving the best interests of Amateur Radio.

HERE WE ARE 2/3 of the way through 2016 and that means 2/3 of the way through the National Parks on the Air operating event.  Have you been active?  There really is plenty of opportunity get involved in the action before the event times out at the end of the year.  Check out the official NPOTA web page to see the latest listings, you just might find a few of your contacts already listed there.  Just set your browser to ARRL.ORG and select the "National Parks on the Air" link.
You can review the Leader Board and see who leads either nationally or in any selected state.

As a personal aside, I have a couple of close friends who are really into this NPOTA event.  (They shall remain nameless as I have a sincere fear of retribution).  But the point is, I check the NPOTA standings quite regularly to see which of the guys is ahead.  These standings change often, sometimes daily, well actually, sometimes multiple times daily. Today, one could not predict which will lead when the final bell rings at year's end.  I do wish them both success - it is just politically sound to do so (again, fear of retribution)!  That all being said, NPOTA is all good fun and an exciting challenge.  Our National Parks system celebrates its Centennial in 2016 and amateur radio is there helping everyone gain knowledge of both.

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

If you’re like me, you’ve known about the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) program for a while.  But have you ever experienced it?  I’ve seen the stories, and seen the images of the bright-eyed kids asking their questions of the astronauts via ham radio.  But being there for it is quite another thing.

Recently I had the opportunity to see the program first-hand.  Members of the Indianapolis Radio Club set up the contact at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and invited me for a look behind the scenes.

We all get the concept—an FM simplex contact.  But what a contact!
The logistics of the building meant that they had to run over 350 feet of coax to get from the basement, where the auditorium is, to the roof (naturally) where the antennas could be located.  So a pre-amp for receive and an amplifier for transmitting were in order.  And then, of course, there’s the need for the computer-driven rotors, moving to track the station through its path, where it is only in range for ten or eleven minutes.  To overcome the Doppler effect, they programmed incremental frequency changes into memory, to make it easier and more reliable for the operator.

The only hitch came less than a minute into the contact, when we had an agonizing thirty-second or more loss of signal.  The crew later surmised that they actually made contact early through some phenomenon of radio, and once the station came into range, the contact was S-9 all the way, to the delight of a lot of kids.

The crew, led by Dan, KB9AX, did a great job.  My thanks for their hospitality.  If you ever get a chance to help on such a contact, do it.  You’ll learn a lot and have a great time.

Why Indianapolis?  For me in Cincinnati, it’s a lot closer than Cleveland or Detroit, and equi-distant to Louisville.  The opportunity was there, so I took it.  And I encourage you to watch an ARISS contact if there’s one in a school or center near you.

Meanwhile, there are quite a few hamfests coming up in the Division over the next month or so.  Hope to see many of you at one of them.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT:  Our Legislative Action Team is back at work on the bill in Washington.   Visits to Senators began again mid-week and will be continuing as we bring awareness of Amateur Radio Parity Act to more of the Senate leadership in D.C.  You can find the latest information at

ARRL SANCTIONED HAMFESTS:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering 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.  Tom and I are already committed for several dates in 2017.

Sep 10 - GMARC Trunk Swap - Shelby Twp, MI 
Sep 10 - Louisville Hamfest & KY ARRL Convention - Shepherdsville, KY 
Sep 11 - Findlay Hamfest - Findlay, OH 
Sep 17 - OHKYIN Hamfest - Cincinnati, OH 
Sep 17 - GRAHamfest - Wyoming, MI - NOTE DATE CHANGE 
Sep 18 - Adrian Hamfest - Adrian, MI 
Sep 24 - Richmond Fall Hamfest - Richmond, KY 
Sep 25 - Cleveland - Cleveland, OH 
Oct 1  - Vette City - Bowling Green, KY 
Oct 8  - Thunder Bay - Alpena, MI 
Oct 15 - Muskegon Color Tour - Muskegon, MI 
Oct 16 - Conneaut Hamfest - Conneaut, OH 
Oct 16 - Kalamazoo Hamfest - Kalamazoo, MI 
Oct 23 - Massilon Hamfest, Massilon, OH 
Oct 29 - Hazard Hamfest - Hazard, KY 
Oct 30 - USECA Swap - Madison Heights, MI

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

73, See you on the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division