Friday, September 30, 2016

Dale's Tales for October..

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

WELL, FALL PLINKED in on us this week and I am reminded that all of my spring and summer antenna projects are still far from completion. 

Yeah, I know the best working antennas seem to be the ones installed temporarily during a winter ice storm, but this is just some maintenance work and now it means working in the wind with cold
fingers.   So much for good planning, I guess getting in some good operating time took precedence.  Most certainly, the bands, both HF and VHF have not been showing the best propagation conditions, but the contacts are there to be made.  I have heard a few operators comment that they wondered if their antennas were connected.   Still, there have been some outstanding moments and we all hope they become more frequent as our weather grows colder.  Some of my best contacts have been made when I though the band was dead.  With all the ups and downs in propagation, I have been following Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA's writings on the subject.  You may want to look at his web pages  Every article really piques my interest and of course, each reminds me that I need to get on with those antenna projects!

AS OF THIS WRITING, we ARRL Members across the country have provided our Senators in Washington with 58,898 letters supporting the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  That includes 2228 letters from those of us in the Great Lakes Division.  Thanks to you all for the outstanding job of supporting this legislation.  The Senate will be in recess until after the election and our Washington Legislative Action Team will continue its effort to secure passage during and after the Senate's down-time.

You can find the latest information at

THE SUMMER COMMUNITY SERVICE programs wind down a little at this time of year, but many ARES groups and clubs are active around Halloween to assist in insuring the safety of youngsters while they are out for Trick-or-Treat.  Over the years of doing this, we've noticed the increase of cellphone equipped parents traveling with the kids, but still it is neat to hear the frequent "Thanks for being there" spoken to us while on patrol.  It is a good service to be coordinated with your local police agency to insure a good flow of communications and well defined responsibilities.

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

The big news right now is the Amateur Radio Parity Act, which Dale has written about.  I'll just add my voice to his, and remind you to contact your Senators.

There were a number of hamfests that I attended this past month, and it was good to see and talk to
many of you.  I understand that some people actually read what we write here!  Thanks for caring.  By the way, as we're out and about, we are interested in any feedback on any aspect of amateur radio or for the ARRL specifically.  It's important to know what you think.  The forums have been a good place for us to get suggestions.

So let us hear from you!

Hamfests are also great places to meet other people with similar interests.  But you have to look for them.  Sometimes we at the Division or Section level can make introductions, so stop by.  If you're looking for someone else who shares your interest in a particular aspect of the hobby, maybe we can tell you who else is around that day that you can swap stories with, or increase your knowledge by learning about what they are doing in their county or area.  Bargains are not the only things to look for at a hamfest.

There's still some time left to make contacts in National Parks on the Air.  The interest level has been high, so let's finish out the year strong.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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 ARRL 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.
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 
Nov 5  - Grant ARC Hamfest - Georgetown, OH 
Dec 4  - Lanse Creuse Hamfest - Harrison Twp, 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