Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dale's Tales for July

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

I have always felt that radio clubs are the life blood of Amateur Radio. They are the go-to resource for getting started in the hobby.  They are the go-to resource for help with antennas.  They are the go-to resource for help with rig problems. They are the go-to resource for learning how to be a good operator and for absolutely everything one needs to be a ham.  Triggered by Tom Delaney's reference to clubs that follows in his commentary, I did some research to see how the Great Lakes Division was doing in its efforts to generate more interest in ARRL Affiliation for our local radio clubs.  I find that in the past 12 months, we have had more 8 radio clubs join the ranks of ARRL Affiliation.  Congratulations to all. 

For the clubs themselves, affiliation with ARRL offers some nice benefits:  Referrals of new area hams as potential club members, Mailing Lists for special mailings and advertising hamfests, Club Commission program for recruiting new ARRL members, Club Liability insurance, Ham Equipment insurance, assistance with filing for club Licenses, Club E-mail forwarding service as well as a number of others free services to clubs.  And, importantly, the cost to a club for ARRL Affiliation is only the time you take to complete the on-line application.   ARRL is also a frequent contributor of prizes for our Affiliated Club's hamfests.  If your club is not already affiliated, please consider it.

By the way, if YOU personally are not affiliated, not an ARRL member, please consider joining.  Your benefits are great as well: our journal QST, Members-only Web Services (this include Digital QST, Access to the QST Archives, free e-newsletters, Product Review Archives, E-Mail forwarding Service and the ARRL Member Directory).  Plus members have access to the Technical Information Service, Member Discounts, Ham Radio Insurance Plans, ARRL Visa Signature Card, Outgoing QSL Service, Operating Awards, to name a few.  Plus your continued support advocates for Amateur Radio locally, nationally and world-wide.  Thanks.

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

June's big event is always Field Day.  Hope you had fun!  The essence of Field Day is working together.  Yes, there are lots of other great things that happen on Field Day, but the teamwork and cooperation are the best.  You didn't get your start in ham radio without someone telling you about it, or showing you how it works.  Now that may not have happened at Field Day, but it often is a good starting point.  Some people get their licenses by going it alone, working the books exclusively.  Many, though, find that classes, or at the very least, an understanding ham who is willing to explain the harder parts, make passing that test an easier task.

Some people who get their license on their own don't know what to do next, and don't know who to turn to.  Those who worked with a club may find someone who will show them how to get a station set up.

And operating?  A few people at Field Day like to be by themselves.  But often, logging for someone, or having someone log for you while you make contacts, is an enjoyable experience.  In between contacts you talk about band conditions, antennas, stations you've worked... and you learn something, both about ham radio and also about that other individual.

Young people are particularly enthusiastic about Field Day.  The thrill of making more contacts in an hour than they've (probably) made in a month really gets to them.  And they learn about propagation, antennas, and all sorts of other stuff.

So Field Day is a good measure of what it means to be a ham.  Not everyone wants to go outside in less than ideal conditions and struggle over putting an antenna up where it doesn't want to go.  But whatever you did on Field Day, or in Field Days past, you probably learned something else about ham radio, and maybe even passed along some of the things you learned.

Field Day comes along once a year.  But the teamwork can persist into the next club meeting, the next class, or the next opportunity to help a new ham.  Take what you've learned, and pass it on.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

GREAT LAKES HAMCON.  Announcing Carole Perry WB2MGP will be hosting her well received Youth Forum at HamCon. In addition we have scheduled forums for DX, Fox hunting - complete with a fox hunt, QRP Operating, Radio Propagation, Kit Building Techniques for Success, a One-Day Tech Class with FCC License Testing and the ARRL Members' Forum.  The Ohio Section will also host a special ceremony for new inductees into the Royal Order of the Wouff Hong and the Toledo Mobile Radio Assn. will hold a presentation on their recent activations of Museum Ships.

As we get closer to the fall, your Section Manager's bulletins will carry more complete information as well as what appears in Dale's Tales.

HamCon Tickets are now on sale along with camping reservations.  Check the web pages at

HAMFESTING:  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. 

Jul  8 - GARS Hamfest - Germantown, OH
Jul  9 - 20/9 Tailgate - Austintown, OH
Jul 15 - NARS Fest - Elyria, 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 
Aug  5 - Columbus Hamfest - Columbus, OH 
Aug  5 - UP hamfest - Escanaba, MI 
Aug 12 - Central KY - Lawrenceburg, KY 
Aug 12 - Midland Hamfest - Midland, MI 
Aug 13 - Seaway Trunk Swap - Port Huron, MI 
Aug 19 - Thunder Bay ARC Swap - Alpena, MI 
Aug 20 - Warren Tailgate Swap - Cortland, OH 
Aug 27 - Cuyahoga Falls Tailgate Swap - Stow, 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 as we celebrate Independence Day in the USA!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division

ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK