Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dale's Tales for December

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

"THANK YOU FOR ACTIVATING" are the words I have heard so very frequently during all of 2016.  Our National Parks on the Air operating event has been a wonderful activity throughout this year and operators have displayed more courtesy than I can ever recall in the 54 years that I have been a ham.  One of our local hams called it to my attention and it certainly it true.  While most hams are normally quite courteous, often in contesting and challenging events, those courtesies get set aside.  I know I have done that.  This event, is different.

Folks wait their turn, are complimentary and express their thanks.

NEAT!  At last count, with still a month remaining, there are more than
926,803 National Park QSOs entered in Logbook of the World. This leaves little doubt we are going to hit a million!  What a great event. 

Thank you for operating!  (What's next?)

YOUR ARRL BOARD worked diligently this year to make some significant improvements within our organization, some you may have seen directly, some you may have seen the side effects, while others remain works in progress.  We have a new CEO, we have some realignment of Headquarters job duties to spread the workload more evenly, and we have made some technical improvements to Logbook of the World, just to name a few.  A couple of wanted and fairly significant changes for the Field Organization are currently being vetted in committee.  We hope those will be approved and authorized at the January Board meeting.  In addition, and of real import, the ARRL Foundation granted many scholarship awards this year and accepted more scholarship endowments to its list of available programs.

SPEAKING OF AWARDS, now we begin our search for outstanding individual hams who whose talents and/or service to our hobby and the community may qualify them for the unique awards that ARRL has to offer.  Awards for your consideration include The Hiram Percy Maxim Award, The ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award, The ARRL Microwave Development Award, The ARRL Technical Service Award, The ARRL Technical Innovation Award, and The Knight Distinguished Service Award.

Opportunities are now open for members to nominate candidates for these awards.  Look around; one of your local club members may be well qualified to be so honored.  For further information or questions, you may check the ARRL Web pages for award criteria, or contact Sean Kutzko at Headquarters, (860) 594-0328.

IT HAS BEEN A MAD SCRAMBLE as our Washington lobbyists and the ARRL Legislative Action Team get down to the final stretch for the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  We await approval by the Senate.  The Congressional Session ends on December 31.  At the time I am composing this newsletter, we have no way to predict the results of this effort.

Regardless of the outcome, on behalf of the L.A. Team and the ARRL Board of Directors, I want to thank each of you in the Division for your personal efforts to request our elected officials to support the proposed legislation to allow hams living in deed-restricted communities to install effective antennas.

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

I can’t help it.  Sometimes I find very interesting connections in the most wildly different situations in ham radio.

Let’s start with youth.  Early in November, we had a great celebration in West Chester, Ohio, for Chris, KD8YVJ, the winner of the 2015 Maxim Award.  It was wonderful to have Dale present him with that national award, with so many family members, club members and other hams around.  And it was quite special to see what a great operator this young man has become.  I’m sure he was pleased to make so many contacts and hear from so many in the division.  But for us who were there in the room with him, it was a treat to see him operate.

And another youth story.  An eleven-year-old from Ohio just got his license.  While not his Elmer by any means, I was pleased to have some small part in coaching him for the test.  He’s now on the air, and very excited about being a ham.

What motivates these young people to be hams?  Having a parent as a ham is a big help, of course.  But that’s not all there is, or we’d have far more young people clamoring for licenses.  What is that unknown factor or factors?

For that matter, what is it about ham radio that motivates those of us who should know better than to stand around in the cold November weather, operating?  Recently, I was part of a group that helped coordinate a local parade.  There’s something about public service that calls us out to help.  That same weekend, somewhat on the spur of the moment, I joined some hams I know who were activating one of the National Parks in our area.  Why do grown men sit around in a field with a radio and an antenna, trying to do our part to make the NPOTA a one-million-contact event, contributing our measly 120 or so contacts?

It was cold and damp, for goodness’ sake!  (And fun!)

There are many reasons to become a ham, and many more reasons to be an active ham.  We older folks know what motivated us, and those aren’t the same reasons that motivate the new hams of today.  We have to keep finding out what the motivations can be, the new ones and the old ones, so we can tap into that and help keep amateur radio going in its second century. 

What thoughts do you have about licensing, education and youth?  I’d love to hear from you.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

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 Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL Sanctioning.

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 as are our Section Managers Scott N8SY, Alan KY1O and Larry WB8R.

Dec 3  - Fulton County Winterfest - Delta, OH

Dec 4  - Lanse Creuse Hamfest - Madison Hgts, MI   --  NEW LOCATION
Jan 15 - SCARF Hamfest - Nelsonville, OH 
Jan 29 - TUSCO Hamfest - Strausburg, OH 
Feb 4  - HARA Swap - Negaunee, MI 
Feb 11 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI 
Feb 19 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH 
Feb 19 - Livonia - Livonia, MI

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

73, and from Judy and me, the very best wishes throughout this Holiday Season.

Dale Williams WA8EFK

Great Lakes Division