Monday, May 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for May 2017

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

Upcoming:  Of course, it is the Dayton Hamvention®.  Certainly, this year's event will be a new adventure, much as it was when the Hamvention moved from downtown Dayton to Wampler's Ballarena many years ago.  We all grew with the expansion into the entire HARA Arena and hardly noticed those changes.  Now, there is a major venue change and associated with that, a new learning experience for everyone.  I certainly want to encourage everyone - attendees, flea marketers, vendors, sponsors and casual observers to be patient and understanding, as the learning curve is steep for all.

The Greene County Fairgrounds offers a great venue for THE major event in ham radio.  All the old familiar vendor locations are gone and replaced by new booths and displays.  We will search them all out and quite likely find new friends and vendors in the process.  I am truly looking forward to this new location and all it has to offer.  As your Director and representing the hosting ARRL Great Lakes Division, I'll be spending most of my time at the ARRL EXPO's "Meet and Greet" area; I do hope to see you there.  Be sure to check out the Hamvention web pages for the latest information:

Scott N8SY, Ohio SM will also host the Ohio Section Hospitality Booth at the ARRL EXPO.  Scott always welcomes visitors from all across the country, so be sure to stop by.

Spring is here and along with it the potential severe weather that appears all across the Great Lakes

Division.  Many, if not most ARES groups have completed their Skywarn training for this year and are prepared for activation if the situation calls for it.  And, IF their key Served Agency calls them into action.  "IF" is the intended key word.  Self-deployment is not the desired action.  It is fraught with problems - going to the wrong place, not being really needed, being ill prepared for the scenario, not registered with the served agency, needed elsewhere, the list goes on.  Moreover, every season, it seems, we hear of someone who chose to self-deploy into a disaster area only to create a mini-disaster all by themselves.  The self-deployment rule espoused by all leaders in Emergency management is simply "Don't do it"!  Instead, contact your E.C. and let him or her know of your availability and ask if you are needed, where you may best serve, when you should arrive and what resources you need to take with you.  We need to be the best communicators - let's make sure we are on that path.

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

For those of us who have been hams for a while, we know how important clubs are.  And this month, I got to see that once again, having been invited to the 40th anniversary celebration of the Highland Amateur Radio Association.  What a nice celebration with some very friendly folks!  They're a very active club with many activities, especially in recruiting and teaching new hams.

And over the past several years, I've been to a number of club celebrations, including several 75th anniversaries.  Good to see so many clubs going strong.

It doesn't seem like amateur radio is a group activity.  I can just turn on my radio and talk around the world.  Or that is one view.  But when you stop to think about it, if I just call a random number in some other country on my phone, I most likely won't get a friendly response.

On ham radio, at the very least, I'll get some interest in how my signal is doing, maybe a weather report, and a friendly "73!"  And that can only be because of our shared interest in radio.

Taken to another level, there are so many of our activities that are "group" exercises.  You can't do a public service event without a shared interest in the event or cause, and without a good deal of coordination between the ham organizers and the event organizers.  And remember, the spring/summer holds lots of opportunities for these kind of events.

The ARDF Championships, which happen to be coming to Cincinnati--my home town!--on August 6th, are another of those "group" events.  Yes, the individual participants "compete" against each other, but unless there was a sponsoring group, and people who are willing to do the set-up, how would it happen?  Hard to think of a reason to learn about and do radio direction finding without some help.

And one of the odd facts I've learned from being on the Entry Level License Committee of the Board, is that a large number of new hams get their license totally on their own.  And we also know that a large number of technician licensees never advance, and drop out, although we sometimes have to wait through the ten-year license period to see that renewals are down.  Anyway, we can't necessarily do anything about people who want to "do it on their own," but the enthusiasm of the clubs that do hold license classes helps make and retain new hams, who are more likely to be on the air, and advance to a higher license.  So keep up the good work on that front.  And the more activities your club has, with a variety of interests served, the better the club will be, and the better ham radio will be.

All of us can learn, and all of us can participate.  Share your knowledge.  Keep your club strong, and do what you can to help ham radio.

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. 

May 6  - Cadillac Hamfest - Cadillac, MI 
May 13 - Ashland Hamfest - Ashland, KY 
May 19, 20 & 21 - Dayton Hamvention - Xenia, OH 
Jun  3 - IRA Hamfest - Hudsonville, MI 
Jun  3 - Fulton County - Tedrow, OH 
Jun  3 - Princeton Hamfest - Princeton, KY 
Jun  4 - Chelsea Hamfest - Chelsea, MI 
Jun 10 - Luce County - Newberry, MI 
Jun 10 - Union County - Marysville, OH 
Jun 17 - Milford Hamfest - Milford, OH 
Jun 18 - Monroe Hamfest - Monroe, MI 
Jun 24 & 25 - FIELD DAY 
Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH 
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH 
Jul 16 - Van Wert Hamfest - Van Wert, OH 
Jul 22 - Harrison Hamfest - Harrison, MI 
Jul 22 - GMARC Tailgate - Shelby Twp, MI 
Jul 22 - Big Sandy Hamfest - Louisa, KY 
Jul 29 - CMARC Outdoor Hamfest - Lansing, MI 
Jul 30 - Portage Hamfest - Ravenna, 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