Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for December 2018


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for December 2018.

David AD8Y, the Faculty Advisor of The Case Amateur Radio Club, reports that CARC will be sponsoring the 2019 HamSCI conference in March.  It will be on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and will include tours of the CARC station, W8EDU, and the CWRU ThinkBox public-access shop.  There will also be an exam session.  More material will be available as the date approaches. This fits well with the ARRL's new incentive for Lifelong Learning and you will hear more about that over the next few months.

DXCC Field Card Checkers.   As you recall a few months ago I successfully lobbied for several revision to the DXCC Field Card Checker rules. Among the changes is the provision for adding more checkers, especially in areas where there are none.   In the Great lakes Division, we have card checker is the following areas: Paducah, KY; Louisville, KY; Russell, KY; Gregory, MI; Marysville, MI; Bath, MI; Waterford, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Goshen, OH; Hamilton, OH; Wooster, OH; and Hiram, OH.  A quick look at the map will clearly show that the urban areas of our three Sections are well covered, but there are regions where added Card Checkers would really benefit the DXers in those areas.  We need checkers in Southern Kentucky, SE Ohio, the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  If you live in any of these areas and hold DXCC, please consider becoming a card checker.  Of course, we would like you to be available at regional hamfests to do some field checking just like our present Field Checkers. IF you have an interest in helping out, please let me know at wa8efk@arrl.org.

ARRL Board Meeting.  Your Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting January 18 and 19.  Vice Director Delaney and I will be in attendance.  If there are items of concern to you that you feel deserve Board action, please send them to me before mid December.  That will allow adequate time for me to discuss those concerns with my fellow Directors, and offer ample opportunity to place any specific subjects on the meeting agenda. The meeting agendas are quite full, as they include reports and discussion relating to the League's various standing Committees, such as Administration and Finance (A&F), Programs and Services (PSC) or the Executive Committee.  Often consideration for suggested changes to field programs, like contests or DXCC are first reviewed by one or more of the standing committees and presented to the full Board with recommendations.

IN OTHER NEWS: My personal quest for making connections with inactive local hams continues, but I am thinking I might find that contacting one per month is bound to be the going rate.  The initial effort with phone and e-mail has run its course and I now need to turn to letter writing due to the inaccessibility of e-mail addresses and phone numbers.  We'll see how that works out over the next few weeks.  More next month.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  I like the changing seasons.  But I think all of us in the three states in our Division were surprised by how quickly fall turned to winter.  Hope this doesn’t mean a long, snowy winter. What does this have to do with ham radio?  If there are “seasons” for ham radio, it’s a bit like gardening.  There’s always something to do, but the activities vary according to the seasons.  I got most of my antenna work out of the way, so unless something falls, I don’t have to worry about putting up antennas in the cold.  The upcoming month of December brings lots of club parties.  Nice to be able to enjoy some moments of friendship with those we share the hobby with.

For those of us a little more involved in disaster response, batteries always need to be charged, and the gear always ready.  Any season can bring emergencies.  Even though we tend to focus on spring storms, October’s SET in Ohio featured a winter storm scenario.  Just a few years ago, hams in Central Kentucky had the real thing, and they did a great job responding.

With some exceptions, hamfests tend to happen in the spring through the fall.  I usually have a list of small items, parts, etc., that I’ll look for at hamfests.  Hope I don’t need anything too quickly.  The next hamfest I plan on attending is still a few months away.

Two other things in ham radio are really without seasons.  Mentoring is key to keeping the hobby going.  Any time a new ham, or an old ham with a new challenge, needs help, we should all be ready to offer advice or help.  How’s your club doing with mentoring as a club project?

The other thing is dealing with the public.  Whether you’re at a winter parade or a summer bike ride, we can all promote ham radio’s public service aspect.  And it’s a great feeling to be of help in your community.

Enjoy the holiday parties coming up!

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65+ hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

12/1/18                       Fulton Co. Winterfest          Delta, OH
12/2/18                       Lanse Creuse Hamfest        Madison Hts, MI
1/20/19                       S.C.A.R.F. Hamfest             Nelsonville, OH
1/27/19                       Hazel Park Hamfest            Madison Hts, MI
1/27/19                       Tusco ARS Hamfest            Strasburg, OH
2/2/19                         HARA Swap                        Negaunee, MI
2/8/19                         Cherryland Swap                 Traverse City, MI
2/17/19                       Livonia Hamfest                  Livonia, MI
2/17/19                       Mansfield Hamfest              Mansfield, OH
           
Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

As we enter this year's Holiday season, let's all be thankful for family and friends and the wonderful blessings they have brought us during the year.  Season's Greetings from Tom and Helen, Judy and me and all the best wishes for a joyous New Year.


73, Let's go light up the bands, 'tis the season!!

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for November 2018


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for October 2018.

Congratulations to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association® for their selection as the host club for the 2019 ARRL National Convention!!  The ARRL National will be held in conjunction with Hamvention® at Xenia next year.

Here is the official announcement:

NEWINGTON, CONNECTICUT – ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio®, has announced that Hamvention® will host the 2019 ARRL National Convention in Xenia, Ohio, May 17-19, 2019. Hamvention is the largest annual Amateur Radio gathering in the US. Hamvention and the ARRL National Convention will share a joint theme, “Mentoring the Next Generation” of Amateur Radio operators.

As host of the 2019 ARRL National Convention, Hamvention will feature dozens of forums covering a variety of topics in Amateur Radio, such as technology, public service, on-air operating, training, and learning. A track of presentations will be organized to build on the convention theme, encouraging more individuals and radio clubs to serve in mentoring roles, leading new and inexperienced radio amateurs to become more active, involved, and engaged.

A special event Amateur Radio station, call sign W8BI, will be set up and operating from the fairgrounds—inviting attendees to join in for some on-air fun.

The National Convention will also feature ARRL EXPO—a large assembly of ARRL-sponsored exhibits, activities, and representatives for ARRL programs and services. Several ARRL-sponsored presentations and forums will be given. Information will be posted to www.arrl.org/expo as it becomes available.

2019 will be the third Hamvention to be held at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio since the event relocated from Dayton. At 28,417 visitors, Hamvention recorded its third-largest attendance ever in 2018. It attracts many international attendees.

Since 1952, Hamvention has been sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association® (DARA), an ARRL-affiliated radio club, and is supported by volunteers from radio clubs throughout the country. In past years, Hamvention has received regular sanctioning as the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. Hamvention® hosted the ARRL National Convention most recently in 2005 and 2009.

Hamvention features multiple buildings of indoor vendor exhibits, an outdoor flea market, and many food trucks and concession stands. There is free parking onsite and at nearby remote parking lots served by free shuttles.

The Hamvention website www.hamvention.org will include details for convention tickets and information about forums, exhibits (including information for vendors and flea market), travel, and preferred hotels with special rates. Convention tickets are $22 in advance; or $27 at the gate. Each ticket includes convention admission for all three days.

Electric scooter rental information can be found at the Hamvention website. Onsite RV camping is managed by the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Ham radio operators are encouraged to bring family and friends, and extend their convention trip by visiting nearby popular attractions. The National Museum of the US Air Force, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton region also boasts many parks, museums, shopping, entertainment, and dining options.

All major airlines serve the minutes-away Dayton International Airport (DAY), and some travelers use the airports in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, driving the final 60 to 90 minutes to Dayton/Xenia. Plan your trip to Hamvention at www.greenecountyohio.org and www.daytoncvb.com.

Interested parties will find complete details for the 2019 ARRL National Convention at www.arrl.org/expo (coming soon).

For information about ARRL and Amateur Radio, visit www.arrl.org and www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.

IN OTHER NEWS:, "Well how did that work out for you Dale?"  Oh yeah, that was for my commitment to make contact with several of the local hams in my community that seem to be inactive.  That is my personal effort to get involved in mentoring inactive hams and help in any way to get them active and on the air.  This did turn out to be a bit tougher than I had expected, so it is still a work in process.  First, one has moved from the area according to his dad. And then it seems most have no listed phone so that puts a limit on accessibility right from the start.
 Now, it my effort is to try to locate an e-mail address and go on from there.  That has met with limited success and a couple of contacts are in the works. One chap even found me!  He is new to the area and was not yet on the local list, but has already participated in the local Saturday lunch.  So, I'll keep at this and report again next month.

Hopefully November will be a little less busy and more time can be devoted to the effort.  How about you?  Did you give this effort a shot?

A SPECIAL NOTE from AC8W:   Fellow Great Lakes Division DXers

Given the evident popularity of the new FT8 mode of communication demonstrated by the data collected in LoTW showing a seven figure increase in the number of monthly QSOs year over year resulting from the explosive adoption of the mode by hams worldwide, and the extremely high percentage (approximating 40%) of all QSOs being made with this mode at the current sunspot minimum

The DXAC is investigating the advisability, feasibility and desirability of creating or modifying one or more digital mode awards in the DXCC program to accommodate encourage and reward new modes of amateur radio activity on the bands.

How do you feel?  Should we:

a.) Create endorsement stickers for the existing Digital DXCC (i.e.
RTTY-100; PSK31-100, JT65-100, FT8-100, etc with incremental stickers 125, 150, 200 and so on)

b.) Create a separate DXCC award for each mode

c.) Do nothing at all and leave new digital modes under the existing Digital DXCC.

Are there other options?

Your opinion is important so let me know at ac8w@arrl.net Deadline for responses is Wednesday, November 14.

Thanks

Stan Arnett II AC8W
DXAC Representative
Great Lakes Division


TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD Excitement was in the air as the students at Tallmadge Elementary School in Lancaster (Ohio) filed into the auditorium for their much-anticipated contact with the International Space Station.  There are many ways to introduce people to amateur radio, but this has to be the best.  Only problem is that there are so few opportunities for contacting the ISS.

Congratulations to the Lancaster & Fairfield County Amateur Radio Club. They worked more than a year on the project, and that hard work paid off with a great contact!

Another activity that seems to have a lot of promise for interesting young people is a balloon launch with tracking.  Kids get interested in weather and other science experiments that they can observe and/or participate in.

Dale and I have talked a lot about recruiting new hams and getting people of all ages interested in ham radio.  We all have opportunities to show off ham radio, ranging from the dramatic (the ARISS contact) to the everyday.  What works for your community, and your club?  It’s important for all of us to remember that what got us interested in ham radio is not necessarily of interest to new people.  Maybe they will eventually get interested in whatever you like, whether it is DX, weak-signal, traffic handling, public service, or any of the numerous other things we do.  But reaching out to them requires finding out where their current interests in science and technology are, and showing them how ham radio can be a part of that.  Let’s all follow the example of the club in Lancaster by planning an activity and carrying it out with great results!


--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65+ hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

11/3/18                       Grant ARC Hamfest            Georgetown, OH
12/1/18                       Fulton Co. Winterfest          Delta, Oh
12/2/18                       Lanse Creuse Hamfest         Madison Hts, MI
1/20/19                       S.C.A.R.F. Hamfest             Nelsonville, OH
1/27/19                       Hazel Park Hamfest             Hazel Park, MI
1/27/19                       Tusco ARS Hamfest            Strasburg, OH
2/17/19                       Livonia Hamfest                  Livonia, MI
2/17/19                       Mansfield Hamfest              Mansfield, OH

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

73, Let's go light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Monday, October 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for October 2018

Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for October 2018.

At a recent meeting of the Livonia Amateur Radio Club, I had the opportunity to give a brief presentation about ARRL and many of the benefits it offers to our members.   At the usual Q & A session following the talk we discussed the frequent topic of getting more people interested in this great hobby.  The current proposal to open certain small segments of the HF bands to Technicians led into the discussion about what age level the Livonia Club found entering amateur radio. 

Many groups struggle to bring up the interest level of youth (our prime targets) in ham radio.  My recent personal experience has found folks between 35 and 50 becoming hams as they have pretty well raised their families and have reached the point where they may have some discretionary funds to invest in ham gear.   Livonia's experience was a bit of a surprise to me: retirees!  I think for many of the same reasons I had found in my experience.

In the end analysis, I think this all shows that there is no particular focus for us in bringing our friends in to ham radio.  We need to concentrate on everyone, every age group and folks in every endeavor as
prime candidates for becoming hams.   Now wait!  Why do we do this?   Because we need to insure that we keep pace with those who leave the hobby, either because of them becoming Silent Keys, are dissatisfied with the hobby (I know, hard to believe) or have a life that is just too busy for the hobby. 

All of this being said, there is one very major point where we seem to fail; that of being good stewards for amateur radio.   We fail miserably at mentoring.  Period!   How many new hams have you mentored this year? 

Last year? In the last 5-10 years?  Take a local sample of how many new hams remained or got active after getting their license.   Do a search of how many hams live within a 10 mile radio of your home QTH.  How many do you know?  How many have you actually met?  How many have you talked with on the air?

Here comes the confession:  I did this yesterday and found 10 within 4 miles of me!  OUCH!  Here comes the vow: within the next 4 weeks I will make an effort to reach out to each of them, by phone, e-mail, letter or personal visit to learn about their ham activities.  We should not allow any new ham to be overlooked or forgotten.

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

This month, a note in the Wave Bender, the publication of the Western Reserve club in Ohio, caught my attention.  (Yes, I do read newsletters that are sent along.)  It was a brief note by Steve, KC8SOY, about volunteering for club duties, and the use of repeaters.  We’ve never met, but thank you, Steve, for the reminders.

We all struggle with things like club membership and member involvement.

Some clubs try to have activities, and members don’t respond.  Others don’t have as many activities, and so members don’t get together very often.  In other clubs, even very active ones, the members are engaged and things happen, but leadership positions, even just event planning, let alone officer positions, are hard to find volunteers for. Does your club have a full slate of officers this year?  And are people willing to step up and be officers next year?

It’s easy to be critical.  In today’s social environment, there are lots of demands on everyone’s time, from family, work, and other interests.  A healthy balance says that many of us can’t spend any more time than we already do in volunteering, no matter what it is. 

From another perspective, what do we value?  That’s where we put our time.  No question, ham radio is not the most important thing in the world.  What place does it have in your life?  If you like the people you associate with in radio, and the activities interest you, what about putting in some time and effort into a club or an event?  Ham radio is a social activity.  We don’t have one-way conversations.  If we want ham radio to survive into the future, we have to keep it going at the local—people—level.

Another thing that Steve mentioned is the use of repeaters.  It’s clear that we’ll never again see activity levels like the 1980s and 1990s.  Back then, there was so much activity, much of it mobile.  Now I can check my phone app for traffic updates, and don’t need to depend on reports from other hams who may or may not be in the vicinity.  And I certainly don’t need a phone patch.

Is there any value left to repeater communication?  It’s always there for emergency communications, that is, if we don’t lose the frequencies for lack of use.  And a good conversation can help us meet other hams, and that promotes familiarity which helps interest in club meetings.  Many of us have gotten out of the habit of turning on a radio to monitor.  And more of us are reluctant to answer the few calls we hear.
 
There’s a certain amount of criticism here.  But those who know me know that I’m an optimist.  And as I travel around the Division at meetings and hamfests, I meet a lot of enthusiastic new hams who are just learning about the hobby, as well as dedicated veterans who still love ham radio.  To the new people, I’d remind you that you probably have some skill that you could contribute to a club.  If you belong to a club, step up.  If you don’t, try to find one and see if that doesn’t help your appreciation of ham radio.  And for the old-timers, of which I am certainly one, stay connected!  One conversation on a repeater may solve a problem for a new ham, or persuade them to join your club.  It’s worth keeping that radio on!

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time
for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as
your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65 hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

10/6/18            Vette City                        Bowling Green, KY
10/11-14/18     Microwave Update         Fairborn, OH
10/13/18          Cave Run Hamfest         Moorehead, KY
10/20/18          Muskegon Color Tour    Muskegon, MI
10/21/18          Kalamazoo Hamfest       Kalamazoo, MI
10/27/18           Hazard                           Hazard, KY
10/28/18           Massillon                        Massillon, OH
10/28/18           USECA                           Madison Hgts, MI
11/3/18             Grant ARC Hamfest       Georgetown, OH
12/1/18             Fulton Co. Winterfest     Delta, Oh
12/22/18           Lanse Creuse Hamfest   Madison Hts, MI

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

73, Let's go light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division
wa8efk@arrl.org

Friday, August 31, 2018

Dales Tales for September


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for September 2018.

The following news was announced earlier this week by ARRL
Headquarters:

Newington, CT – August 27, 2018 – The Board of Directors of ARRL, The national association for Amateur Radio, has elected Howard E. Michel, PhD, WB2ITX, of Dartmouth, MA, to be the association’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective October 15. Michel is currently Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, and Senior Vice President of UBTECH Robotics, a $5 billion (U.S.) Shenzhen, China, AI and robotics company. As the Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, Michel helped build this company from a start-up in China to $100 million in valuation.
 
“I have amateur radio to thank for starting me on a very successful career, and I’m excited about the opportunity to further ARRL's goals as CEO. Leading the League will allow me to ‘give back’ to a great community and provide similar opportunity for future generations,” Michel said. “I have been a licensed ham for fifty years, and I’ve seen many changes in the hobby. One of my top priorities as CEO will be to develop new products and services so all licensed hams, whatever their license class or interest, find value in League membership,” he added.

Michel first because licensed as WN2ITX when he was about 16 years old and upgraded to General Class and Advanced Class within a year of that. He upgraded to Extra Class in 2000. He notes that he has always had a strong interest in building and repairing radio equipment. “I’ve operated CW/AM/FM/SSB/Digital on 80/40/20/15/10/2 on equipment that I have either built, repaired or modified.”

“We are excited to have someone of Howard’s qualifications to lead this organization,” said Rick Roderick, K5UR, ARRL president. “Howard’s management experience, along with his experience at leading a membership-driven association, makes him an ideal person to move this organization forward,” Roderick said.

In 2015, Michel was the volunteer president and CEO of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a volunteer-led 501(c)3 association advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

 “In any large membership-led organization such as ARRL, its members and volunteers are its greatest asset, and a good staff-volunteer relationship is crucial to its success,” Michel said. “I intend to build on this relationship and multiply and amplify the efforts of both staff and volunteers in furthering ARRL’s goals to advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio.”

Michel is a retired U.S. Air Force officer having served as a pilot, satellite launch director, engineer and engineering manager, including a tour in the People’s Republic of China where he served as a senior U.S. Government technical representative enforcing technology-transfer control plans and procedures during two satellite launch operations.

He notes that during his time in the military, wherever he could set up an antenna he took the opportunity to operate.

Michel has a notable academic background, including currently being a Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science, University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Previously he was a member of the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Michel says that some of his favorite activities include attending hamfests to find old stuff to repair or re-purpose, contest operating, and DXing, especially on 80/40 meters. He adds that he is a Life member of the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association.

Michel will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who had been serving as ARRL’s CEO since January of 2018 following the resignation of Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. Shelley had been ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer since January of 1992.

*********

Again, change comes to our Headquarters operation.   While it is inevitable, sometimes we are uncomfortable with the unknowns that change brings.   Particularly with new leadership, we are especially alert to even the very minor differences in the various ways the "new guy"
influences day-to-day operations. 

So as we gear up to welcome Howard Michel in October, let's gear up for the expectations regarding the new ideas he will bring.   Will we all agree with every decision?  Of course not, and that should not be a consideration.  Will we reach accord, will we achieve consensus, will we find common points?  Yes, and that's the way it should be.  Let's also be supportive by continuing to bring out our own new ideas as we face the future of our hobby, especially as we introduce newcomers to ham radio and mentor them into being good operators.  That's the important goal.

Tom's comments follow and are a well aligned insight for today.

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

Who is a ham?  What does a ham do?  I was thinking about that recently as I looked back on my summer.  Not much operating.  Well, wait, there was Field Day.  And lots of repair, lots of planning.  Wanting to make sure that all the systems will operate, both at my home station and for the clubs I work with.

Those of us who have been in ham radio for a while tend to remember certain hams we knew from the 1950s and 1960s, who had a reputation for staying in their basements (or wherever the shack was) and talking for hours around the world.  And a few of us still do that.  We have groups dedicated to helping each other find and work those rare call signs.

Then there are others who talk little but tinker a lot.  Maybe it’s more than tinkering, but whatever you call it, it’s technical.  Maybe it’s just keeping equipment repaired, maybe it’s restoring life to old equipment, or it could even be real scientific advancement.

And of course, these days, with fires and floods and storms all around us, a lot of people spend time preparing for, and actually operating during a disaster.  Just this past week, with the hurricane threatening Hawaii, the ARRL home page talked about “Ham Aid” and the preparations to make sure equipment was available in case a large-scale relief effort was needed.

There’s ham radio in each of those activities.  We all tend to do what we like, and every now and again, something new will catch our interest. All of it is valuable to the future of ham radio.

So let’s keep at it.  Make sure your gear works.  Get on and chat once in a while with friends.  And in particular, reach out to new hams and help them with projects so they learn and improve.
Looking forward to seeing and talking with many of you during the upcoming hamfests this late summer and fall. 

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division


HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  If you plan to request ARRL Sanctioning, please be sure to do it well in advance of your Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings.   Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65 hamfests, things do double up a little.  Plan ahead for requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

9/8/18                 GRAHamfest                   Grand Rapids, MI
9/8/18                 Greater Louisville            Louisville, KY
9/9/19                Findlay Hamfest                Findlay, OH
9/16/18               Adrian Hamfest                Adrian, MI
9/16/18               Central Kentucky             Richmond, KY
9/22/18               OHKYIN Hamfest            Cincinnati, OH
9/22/18               GMARC Trunk Swap       Shelby Twp, MI
9/23/18               Cleveland Hamfest            Berea, OH
9/29/18               Paintsville Hamfest           Paintsville, KY
10/6/18               Vette City                          Bowling Green, KY
10/11-14/18       Microwave Update             Fairborn, OH
10/13/18            Cave Run Hamfest             Moorehead, KY
10/20/18            Muskegon Color Tour         Muskegon, MI
10/21/18            Kalamazoo Hamfest           Kalamazoo, MI
10/27/18            Hazard                                Hazard, KY
10/28/18            Massillon                            Massillon, OH
10/28/18            USECA                              Madison Hgts, MI
11/3/18              Grant ARC Hamfest           Georgetown, OH

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

73, Let's go light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for August


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for August 2018.

Our sincere thanks go out to a group of unsung heroes, our corps of Official Observers/Amateur Auxiliary (OO) operators. These guys and gals spend countless hours in front of their equipment listening to all of us to insure we don't move too close to a band edge, don't wait too long between IDs or don't commit a host of other rules violations.  They mail us a quick reminder, or often send a compliment about our good operating practices. 

For a considerable time our OOs have been frustrated, along with the rest of us, because the FCC was limited in its ability to take direct action on an OO report about a bad operator. Now, things are about to change.  After months of discussion with the FCC, the OO/AA corps is to be replaced by a "Volunteer Monitor" (VM) program.  The program differences are extensive, both in policies and procedures, necessitating a total revamping.  A new training booklet is now being completed for the VMs.

The VMs will not be a part of the ARRL Field Organization as were the OOs.  The VM program will be administered directly be ARRL Headquarters and report to HQ staff.  Because of the extensive difference in mission of the new VM program, VMs will be called upon to perform different duties than OOs.  Unlike the OO program where OOs are located in relatively random locations across the country, VMs will be selected in geographic regions where there services are most needed. It is expected that a force of about 250 VMs will be put in place.  Further, VMs will be anonymous in their reporting processes and to accomplish that, all field notices will be mailed from ARRL HQ and HQ will maintain appropriate liaison with the Commission.  Efforts to make the change to the new VM program are to begin immediately.  Existing OOs are encouraged to apply for the available VM slots when the opportunities are opened.

The timing for implementation is still weeks away, as a new Memorandum of Understanding is to be finalized and signed with the FCC, and staffing for the program will also need to be implemented at Headquarters.  Of course our OOs will continue their time honored excellent service until the new VM program is in place.

TOM'S COMMENTS:  Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD There is no hamfest “season,” as such. Hamfests start early in the year, and go on until just before Christmas. But for me, and the ones I can get to, they concentrate around these next three months. None of your ARRL officials can get to every hamfest, but we try to get around, and we do the best we can.

So with a number of hamfests coming up, I'd like to remind myself, and everyone else, why I'm there. Two reasons. To listen. It's your ARRL, and we want to know what you, the members think. Not just about some policy change or other. Also, what is on your mind? What part of ham radio are you most interested in? Where do you spend your operating time?

Also, to communicate. Yes, I know something about the latest topics from the board and from the League. But, many times, I just share something I heard at the last hamfest, hoping that it will be of use to someone else. There are a lot of good ideas out there, a lot of innovation, a lot of good techniques. Or maybe someone has shared a solution to a problem. I like to put people in touch with each other.

And as for the things I like, well, you've heard me say before that I'm very interested in education and how we pass along this great hobby.

So, if you see me at your local or regional hamfest, come over and say hello. Ask questions or make comments. Most of all, tell me something about a project or an effort you or your club are making. That will make the hamfest more enjoyable for both of us

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next few months.  These swaps have received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this publication.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.  With 52 weeks and 65 hamfests, things do double up a little.
Plan ahead for your requesting your ARRL Officials to attend.

8/4/18                  Columbus/OH Sect Conf           Columbus, OH
8/4/18                  UP Hamfest                                Escanaba, MI
8/11/18                Central KY Hamfest                  Lexington, KY
8/12/18                Cuyahoga Falls Hamfest           Stow, OH
8/12/18                Seaway Trunk Swap                  Port Huron, MI
9/8/18                  GRAHamfest                             Grand Rapids, MI
9/8/18                  Greater Louisville                      Louisville, KY
9/9/19                  Findlay Hamfest                        Findlay, OH
9/16/18                Adrian Hamfest                         Adrian, MI
9/16/18                Central Kentucky                       Richmond, KY
9/22/18                OHKYIN Hamfest                     Cincinnati, OH
9/23/18                Cleveland Hamfest                    Berea, OH
9/29/18                Paintsville Hamfest                   Paintsville, KY
10/6/18                Vette City                                  Bowling Green, KY
10/6-7/18             Great Lakes HamCon               Brooklyn, MI
10/11-14/18         Microwave Update                    Fairborn, OH
10/13/18              Cave Run Hamfest                    Moorehead, KY
10/20/18              Muskegon Color Tour               Muskegon, MI
10/21/18              Kalamazoo Hamfest                  Kalamazoo, MI
10/27/18              Hazard                                       Hazard, KY
10/28/18              Massillon                                  Massillon, OH
10/28/18              USECA                                     Madison Hgts, MI
11/3/18                Grant ARC Hamfest                 Georgetown, OH
              
Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.  Thanks go out to Ohio SM Scott N8SY, Kentucky SM Steve W4NHO and Michigan SM Jim K8JK for their tireless service to both their Sections and to Amateur Radio as a whole.
  They are the Great Lakes Division's movers and shakers. Thanks guys!

73, Let's go light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for July 2018


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for July 2018.


Best wishes to all for a safe and sane July Fourth.  Happy Birthday America!

WHAT"S ARRL DONE for me lately?  That was the subject of a couple of recent talks I had the pleasure of presenting to Division radio clubs.
It struck me that this was a really important topic and perhaps a look at it for everyone would help instill a little pride in what our organization is all about.   With so many facets in the great hobby, we often forget about that the other guys and gals are doing. So here is my shot at an ARRL overview.

WIIFM?  What's In It For Me?  Here are just a select few items:

Advocacy Programs
PRB-1 and Antenna Protection Legislation Lobbies for spectrum protection - Intruders Lobbies for additional bands. - WARC and VLF Represents the interests of US hams at IARU Rules Enforcement - Amateur Auxiliary and OO Programs ARRL  Laboratory Technical Information Service Tests new equipment and provides reports RFI Assistance Provides Social Media Programming W1AW - Training and Bulletins VEC - examinations Publications - Technical and Operating Journals QST Monthly Journal QEX Bi-Monthly Journals for experimenters NCJ Bi-Monthly Journals for contesters QSL Service - incoming and outgoing Training Courses Technician Licensing General Licensing Teachers Institute Volunteer Counsel Program Volunteer Consulting Engineer Program Technical Specialists Volunteer Instructors Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee RF Safety Committee ARRL Outreach Program Youth Schools ARRL Foundation - Scholarships Heritage Museum NTS ARES Public Service Honor Roll LoTW On the Air Awards DXCC WAS WAS VCC
A-1 Operator Club  Triple Play  Fred Fish Memorial Award  Morse Code Proficiency  Elmer Award
First Contact Award  

Contests 
Straight Key Night  Kids Day  RTTY Roundup  January VHF  School Club Roundups  International DX, CW and Phone  June VHF  Field Day  IARU HF World  222 MHz and Up  10 GHz and Up  Rookie Roundup  RTTY  EME  23 GHz and Up  EME 50-1296  Nov Sweepstakes CW and Phone
160 Meter Contest  10 Meter Contest  Rookie Roundup - CW

I think a lot of us simply fail to realize all of the things we members of ARRL are fortunate to have available to us.  Hopefully this little "Dale's Tales" reminder will open a few doors to further involvement.

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

Styles of communication

For a lot of hams, Field Day is a big deal.  For others, not so much.  I should say that although my time was limited, it was a great event for me this year.

It has been said many times that there is something in ham radio for everyone.  That is true even when you consider styles of communications.

Some of us love the rapid exchange, make-the-points, get-the- next contact mode of operating.  Others would prefer to be more laid back, finding out something about the other person, exchanging interesting information.

I was thinking about this recently as I compared the reactions of two of my friends to Field Day.  One told me that he just enjoys talking to people, and the ten-second exchange of information leaves him cold.

Another, a young man who rarely gets on the radio, changes completely when you put him in front of a microphone on Field Day.  Even though he hasn’t been on in a while, he knows exactly how to make the contact, build up the points.  His competitive nature shines through.

What’s to be learned here?  My own observation is that while I was able to make a significant number of contacts, band conditions were such that it took more concentration than usual, and I’ve been a ham for a lot of years.  That skill of listening through the noise, getting the call exactly right, and knowing the exact second to call is a good one to have if you ever have to do emergency communications.   The “right” conditions are never there in an emergency.  But I don’t do emcomm, you might say.  Well, if you ever have to, you need the skills built up from contesting, DXing, etc.  And practice is a good thing.

There’s also a lot to be said for conversation on the radio. “International good will” is one of the goals of ham radio.  So making friends in other countries is a wonderful example of ham radio at work.  And so is talking on the local repeater.  In fact, there’s more to using a repeater than you might first think.  We have so many VHF and UHF repeaters that rarely get used across the country that it gets worrisome.  We have a resource we’re not using.  Remember, we lost 2 MHz of spectrum in the old 220 band.  If we want the repeaters to be there for Skywarn and the local parades, bike rides, and other public service events, then we need to use them.  

Whether you’d prefer contesting, or like chatting, turn on a rig occasionally and make a local contact. And maybe talk about next year’s Field Day. Whatever your style of communicating, communicate with your fellow hams!

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next couple of months.  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. 



7/8/18                  20/9 Radio Club                            Austintown, OH
7/21/18                GMARS Trunk Swap                    Shelby Twp, MI
7/21/18                GARS Hamfest                             Germantown, OH
7/21/18                Gladwin Hamfest                          Gladwin, MI
7/21/18                NOARS Fest                                 Elyria, OH
7/22/18                Van Wert Hamfest                        Van Wert, OH
7/28/18                Big Sandy Hamfest                       Louisa, KY
7/28/18                CMARC Hamfest                         Lansing, MI
7/29/18                Portage Hamfair                           Ravenna, OH
8/4/18                  Columbus/OH Sect Conf             Columbus, OH
8/4/18                  UP Hamfest                                  Escanaba, MI
8/11/18                Central KY Hamfest                     Lexington, KY
8/12/18                Cuyahoga Falls Hamfest              Stow, OH
8/12/18                Seaway Trunk Swap                     Port Huron, MI
9/8/18                  GRAHamfest                                Grand Rapids, MI
9/8/18                  Greater Louisville                         Louisville, KY
9/9/19                  Findlay Hamfest                           Findlay, OH
9/16/18                Adrian Hamfest                            Adrian, MI
9/16/18                Central Kentucky                         Richmond, KY
9/22/18                OHKYIN Hamfest                       Cincinnati, OH
9/23/18                Cleveland Hamfest                       Berea, OH
9/29/18                Paintsville Hamfest                      Paintsville, KY
10/6/18                Vette City                                     Bowling Green, KY
10/6-7/18            Great Lakes HamCon                   Brooklyn, MI
10/11-14/18        Microwave Update                       Fairborn, OH
10/13/18             Cave Run Hamfest                       Moorehead, KY
10/20/18             Muskegon Color Tour                  Muskegon, MI
10/21/18             Kalamazoo Hamfest                     Kalamazoo, MI
10/27/18             Hazard                                          Hazard, KY
10/28/18             Massillon                                      Massillon, OH
10/28/18             USECA                                         Madison Hgts, MI
  
Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local happenings, club and net information.

73, Let's fire up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dale's Tales for June 2018


Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for June 2018.

The Feedback I have personally received from the Hamvention® attendees was very positive again  A little rain did not seem to be too disappointing.  We had great attendance at the ARRL EXPO Booth and it was neat get around to see some new products introduced by key amateur radio equipment manufacturers.  At the ARRL Forum, President Rick Roderick K5UR covered some of the essentials coming under review at the next ARRL Board meeting. Those included some needed updates to the ARRL Articles of Association as recommended by the ARRL's Connecticut attorneys.  Rick also reported that the Board will be considering a template of a Code of Conduct provided through the National Council of Non-profits.
this year.

At the ARRL Forum, I was able to present an overview of the planned upgrades to the nationwide ARES program.  This included the newly developed ARES Strategic Plan which will serve as the guideline for ARES in the future.  At this point, the Strategic Plan must be approved by the ARRL Programs and Services Committee and also the Board of Directors.  This may mean changes to the plans before they are introduced in the field, but the team remains optimistic there will be minimal changes.  The entire program was actively reviewed by a team of experienced Section Managers, Section Emergency Coordinators and Emergency Coordinators during the development process.  Look for more information to be forthcoming from ARRL HQ over the next few months.

Needless to say HQ staff will be busy updating much of the ARES material the League publishes to bring it in line with the new program.

Since 1935, we have done a great job with the ARES, but changes in the needs of our served partner agencies, their demands for improved training, alignment with the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System, technological changes and new messaging requirements have all come into play in bringing ARES into a new age.

Further progress on Amateur Radio Parity Act.  As you are aware, the House has passed HB 555 and it was stalled in the Senate by Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida.  It was then attached to the National Defense Appropriations Bill and passed the house by a significant margin.  It has also been attached to the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. It has cleared the subcommittee and is on its way to the full House.   The Senate has not yet taken up these two measures. Please bear in mind that this legislation directs the FCC to draft a regulation similar to PRB-1 to allow the installation of effective amateur radio antennas in certain areas where they are not permitted because of deed covenants and restrictions.

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

Of all the varied activities associated with ham radio, I have a lot of favorites, but the one that I focus on most is emergency communications.

Not surprising, I guess, since I’ve been involved with it for more than thirty years.  And I haven’t been in that many disasters.  A few over the years, but much more of my energy has been in preparation—which has paid off in those few disasters where it really counted.

So the focus of Hamvention this year on things like the response to the hurricanes on the islands, or the EmComm vehicles, the ARES upgrade, all were things I relate to.

It was great seeing and hearing about the response of local hams on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  Meeting Oscar Resto, KP4RF, the PR Section Manager, was a real treat. He’s an inspiring person.   It’s hard to imagine the devastation that they witnessed and lived through. And there were stories from lots of other people about how they coped with the disaster.

No one knows what we’re faced with in the Division this year. Certainly the long winter, followed by two days of spring, followed by early summer, isn’t our normal weather pattern.  And the fact that we had a tropical depression before June 1st doesn’t seem like a good sign.  We hope we won’t face some of the problems others have, but there’s no telling.  Meanwhile, keep your equipment in good working order, charge those batteries, and take some additional training so you can help if called upon in whatever natural or man-made disasters may come our way.

--73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

HAMFESTING:  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Schedule covering the next couple of months.  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. 

6/2/18                  IRA Hamfest                               Hudsonville, MI

6/2/18                  Fulton County Hamfest               Tedrow, OH
6/2/18                  Princeton Hamfest                       Princeton, KY
6/3/18                  Chelsea Hamfest                         Chelsea, MI
6/9/18                  LARS Hamfest                            Newberry, MI
6/9/18                  Union County                              Marysville, OH
6/16/18                Midland Hamfest                         Midland, MI
6/16/18                Milford Hamfest                          Owensville, OH
6/17/18                Monroe Hamfest                         Monroe, MI
7/8/18                  20/9 Radio Club                          Austintown, OH
7/21/18                GARS Hamfest                           Germantown, OH
7/21/18                Gladwin Hamfest                        Gladwin, MI
7/21/18                NOARS Fest                                Elyria, OH
7/22/18                Van Wert Hamfest                       Van Wert, OH
7/28/18                Big Sandy Hamfest                      Louisa, KY
7/28/18                CMARC Hamfest                        Lansing, MI
7/29/18                Portage Hamfair                          Ravenna, OH
8/4/18                  Columbus/OH Sect Conf            Columbus, OH
8/4/18                  UP Hamfest                                 Escanaba, MI
8/11/18                Central KY Hamfest                    Lexington, KY
8/12/18                Cuyahoga Falls Hamfest             Stow, OH
8/12/18                Seaway Trunk Swap                    Port Huron, MI 

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

73, Let's light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division