Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dale's Tales - January 2017

Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for January 2017.

January included the Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors.

This is the first of two meetings your Board holds each year.  The Board operates with three main committees, the Executive Committee, of which I am a member, the Administration and Finance Committee and the Programs and Services Committee.  Each has some very specifically defined duties and each makes its annual report during the Board meeting.  These reports often contain motions to amend policies, make new guidelines and improve how we do things.

Once in a while I get to include in "Dale's Tales", some really neat tidbit of new information. This is one: I am pleased to report that our ARRL Programs and Services Committee accepted the recommendations of the Checker Rules Revisions Working Group to update revise the DXCC Card Checker Rules.  I was fortunate to serve on that group during 2016 and we did offer some significant revisions to the guidelines and how they affect card checking in the field.  The existing rules contained some strangely conflicting statements. 

So, among the changes to be implemented this year, we will be able to appoint more card checkers, replace those who are inactive and allow HQ to appoint special temporary checkers for special events like large conventions.  There were a number of other updates that removed the conflicts and aligned the guidelines for international card checkers more closely with those in the U.S.   You can expect the revisions to be posted soon.  An informational e-mail will be going out to all Great Lakes Division Card Checkers today.  We will look especially at the geographic arrangement of checkers with the plan to place new card checkers in those regions that are remote distances from those currently in place.
In other Board action, we continue to offer our support for the House Bill 555, The Amateur Radio Parity Act.   That Bill was introduced in January and passed the House of Representatives in just ten days.  At the time of this writing, it is moving on to the Senate. Obviously, everyone has seen the rapid movement through the House and we can only hope that Senate action will take place soon.  Watch the ARRL web pages and bulletins for updates on HR-555.

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

January was a gloomy month.  Eleven straight days of rain in the Cincinnati area.  With the end of the month, even though spring is quite a few weeks away, the days are getting slightly longer and more daylight will cheer us all.

But it wasn’t a gloomy month for radio.  There was still good activity in many ways.  Here in Ohio, the “simplex” contest for ARES had the VHF and UHF bands active, and Winter Field Day, nation-wide, had a good deal of activity.  Hamfest activity will pick up in the coming months, and club meetings still go on, with a number of clubs electing new officers and encouraging members with new program offerings.  I didn’t do a lot of antenna work, but two of us managed to get an antenna up for a friend before the snow started falling.

Does it work any better because it was cold out?  Who knows?  But it works!

Very important to the continued growth and development of ham radio are two things—good programs at club meetings that introduce new concepts or that sharpen skills, or offer hands-on training.  And the other is individual hams offering advice and help to other hams—often known as “elmering.”  Believe it or not, with so many clubs offering introductory classes, there are still a lot of people who study for the Tech exam completely on their own.  So if they pass and get a license, they may be at a loss as to what to do next!  Don’t be afraid to offer your assistance.  We don’t just need hams, we need active hams.

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. 

Feb 4  - HARA Swap - Negaunee, MI
Feb 11 - Cherryland - Traverse City, MI
Feb 19 - Mansfield - Mansfield, OH
Feb 19 - Livonia - Livonia, MI
Mar 4  - Cave City - Cave City, KY
Mar 11 - Lowell - Lowell, MI
Mar 18 - Crossroads - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 18 - MOVARC - Gallipolis, OH
Mar 19 - Toledo Mobile ARA - Perrysburg, OH 
Apr 1  - Portsmouth - Portsmouth, OH 
Apr 2  - Lincoln Trail - Elizabethtown, KY 
Apr 8  - Cuyahoga Falls -  Cuyahoga Falls, OH 
Apr 29 - Jackson County - Jackson, OH 
Apr 30 - Athens - Athens, OH

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

73, Let's be radio-active!

Dale Williams WA8EFK

Great Lakes Division