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


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Dale's Tales for May


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

HAMVENTION:  This year's Hamvention® will host the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention.  This affords the opportunity to include some extra activities from ARRL and the Headquarters staff.  The new location in Xenia, OH is well equipped for hosting the world's largest ham radio event and the venue has offered some expanded areas this year.  Scott Yonally N8SY and his team from the Ohio Section will be greeting visitors the ARRL Field Organization booth at ARRL EXPO and we encourage everyone to stop by to meet and exchange thoughts and greetings.  The ARRL EXPO is in building 2, the "TESLA" Building.

Other ARRL EXPO activities will include Radiosport/DXCC, IARU, Public Service, Meet the Authors, Collegiate, Learning and Development/ARRL Foundation plus the ARRL Store.

ARES NEWS:  Of special note, this year's ARRL Member Forum at the Hamvention will include an overview of the planned upgrades to the nationwide ARES program.  This forum offers an excellent opportunity for ARRL to introduce the changes proposed for ARES for the 21st Century.

We'll present the recommended ARES Strategic Plan, the background and how it was developed, the peer review procedures involved and the multi-stage approval process.  Most importantly, we will highlight what the changes will mean to every ARES participant and our served partner agencies plus the benefits the program will offer for those participating.  The ARRL Forum will be in Forum Room 3 beginning at noon on Saturday.

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

Good news for amateur radio from two clubs in my local area.  The Highland County (Ohio) club  recently graduated more than 30 new hams from their classes in March.



The OH-KY-IN group in Cincinnati is finishing up a five-week course with almost 25 prospective hams in that group. 

And while I try to keep up with what other classes and activities go on throughout the Division, it’s impossible to know what every local club is doing.  But I’m sure many of you are out there teaching and promoting ham radio.   Whether you had two or thirty new hams this month, keep up the good work!

One of the continuing themes of the Board’s Entry Level Licensing committee was on-going education.  Too many people take that first step, and stall.  They don’t go further.  Here’s one thing that those two clubs are doing to offer that next step.  The Highland county group is offering an “Elmer’s night” for its recent graduates.  They’ll meet to offer information on first rigs, antennas, and all sorts of advice.  They’ll also offer the opportunity to get on the air and make that first contact for those who have not yet done so.

For several years now, the OH-KY-IN group has taken a different approach.  They run the “Newcomers and Elmers Net” on their repeater each week.  It’s worth quoting these two sentences from their website:  Our goal is not only to help you learn, but also to give you real-world experience talking on your radio.  Each week, there will be a topic for discussion, but ALL questions are welcome whatever the area of the radio hobby.  If we do not know the answer right away, we will find out!

Two great efforts at follow-up for new hams, which we can all learn from.  Not every new ham is going to attend that session, and not every new ham is going to get on the air so they can learn from the net.  But the opportunity is there, for those who take it.

And if we think about it a little bit, there are probably other efforts we can all make to invite the new people to better participation in our great hobby.  What are your thoughts?  If you’ve got an idea, whether it’s something you’re doing, or just something you’d like to see happen, let me know.   Let’s share some of the ideas and get more of our new hams on the air.

--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. 


5/5/18                Cadillac Hamfest                 Cadillac, MI
5/18 to 5/20       Dayton Hamvention            Xenia, OH
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
6/16/18              Midland Hamfest                 Midland, MI
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                              Van Wert, OH
7/28/18              Big Sandy Hamfest              Louisa, KY
7/28/18              CMARC Hamfest                 Lansing, MI
7/29/18              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 light up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division


Monday, April 2, 2018

Dale's Tales for April


Greetings Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for April 2018.

Some Michigan Radio History: Kimball N8FNC informs us of the recognition of a historic event and   That is the 90th anniversary of the Detroit Police Department's installation of one-way radio for its police cars.  Special Event Station KØP will be on the air to celebrate, through the efforts of The Ford Amateur Radio Club, the Detroit IEEE chapter and APCO.  Check out this URL for full details:
a Special Event station to commemorate it.

OO/AA Update:  There is some considerable interest in what is happening to the Official Observer Program and rightly so.  There has been a hiatus on appointing new OOs because of impending changes.  We have been working with the FCC to make some significant improvements.  The Official Observer/Amateur Auxiliary program has long been stagnant and in recent times, has not resulted in any significant improvement in the conditions of our ham bands.  In working jointly and collaboratively with the FCC, we have developed a revised program to meet some new requirements for the Commission.  The FCC is currently examining these plans in detail and thus the proverbial ball is in their court.  At this time, we don't have any feedback about the implementation timeline or the details of what exactly will comprise the new program.  As soon as the Commission releases some information, ARRL will post it on the web page.

QSO Party time:  The Mad River Radio Club sponsors both the Ohio and Michigan QSO Parties.  The Ohio QSO Party is scheduled for Aug 25, 2018 and the Michigan QSO Party is an April Happening, falling on April 21 & 22.  You can check out the complete details at http://www.miqp.org/index.html.  All of the rules are posted and the web site includes a huge amount of helpful information for anyone interested in the QSO Party and contesting in general.  Check it out - participate and join the fun.  For more information and some interesting history about the sponsor, the Mad River Radio Club, please see their web pages at https://www.madriverradioclub.org/.

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

Just over a month ago, at the end of February, the ARRL submitted to the FCC a petition to change some of the operating privileges for Technicians in the hope that more HF privileges will lead to more interest in upgrading to general class and extra class.  You can find more complete information on the ARRL website.

This work came out of the Entry Level License Committee, on which I served.  We were faced with a number of challenges.  The FCC has stated clearly that it has no interest in expanding the number of license classes.  We have three, and that’s all they want.  So we had to work within that, even though we feel strongly that the Technician class was never intended to be an entry-level license.

We got clear data on what hams would prefer.  We also did studies on the current test, including the readability and the material covered.

Over the last two years, I’ve talked to a number of you about licensing, exams, and advancement of hams to higher-level licenses.

Most support these proposals.  There are always a few people who object to what they consider “dumbing-down” of license material.  Actually, this whole effort is aimed at just the opposite—making better hams.

From a knowledge standpoint, we’d like to see the actual language of the tests be improved in “readability,” for better comprehension of the material.  And as for the additional privileges, we think that gaining experience on HF will help provide more incentive for advancement, meaning that more hams will advance to the next level of license.

All this is the result of two years of consultation, research and careful consideration of the issues involved.  I was privileged to serve on that committee.

And, finally, it is good to note that throughout the Division, classes for all levels of license continue to be offered, with many classes filling up with almost record numbers of students.  To those of you in the many local clubs who spend so much time helping out, thank you!
Keep up the good work.

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

CONVENTIONS:  The ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention will be held in conjunction with this year's Dayton Hamvention® May 18-20.  The theme this year is "Amateur Radio - Serving the Community".  There are five forum rooms available this year and a very full schedule.  Check out their web site for the latest information.  http://hamvention.org/ 

In even numbered years, the Great Lakes Division's three Sections normally host their individual State Conventions.  Kentucky's ARRL State Convention will be hosted by the Greater Louisville Hamfest in Shepherdsville, KY on September 8, 2018.  See
http://louisvillehamfest.com/   Michigan's State ARRL Convention will be
held at HamCon Brooklyn, MI on October 6-7.  http://glhamcon.org/.

While not a state convention, Ohio will be holding the Ohio Section Conference in conjunction with the Columbus Hamfest on August 4, 2018.

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

4/7/18                  Lincoln Trail                       Elizabethtown, KY
4/14/18                Cuyahoga Falls                   Cuyahoga Falls, OH
4/21/18                Portsmouth                         Portsmouth, OH
4/28/18                RCARA Tailgate                 Ashland, KY
4/28/18                JCARC Hamfest                 Jackson, OH
4/28/18                Chassell Hamfest                Chassell, MI
4/29/18                GMARC Hamfest               Madison Hgts, MI
4/29/18                Athens Hamfest                  Athens, OH
5/5/18                  Cadillac Hamfest                Cadillac, MI
5/18 to 5/20         Dayton Hamvention           Xenia, OH
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
6/16/18                Midland Hamfest                Midland, MI
6/17/18                Monroe Hamfest                 Monroe, 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


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Dale's Tales for March 2018


Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for March 2018.
 
"So close and yet so far" as the 3Y0Z effort to put Bouvet on the air again has been delayed.   The
other interesting news is that the 3Y0I team who also has plans to activate Bouvet is continuing that effort. 3Y0I had delayed their schedule to allow 3Y0Z the earlier opportunity to activate.  This may get very interesting as the 3Y0Y team turned down the offer from 3Y0I to collaborate for the effort.

A word about our QSL Bureaus.  Two Bureaus serve the Great Lakes division as we fall into two different call areas, 4-Land and 8-Land. Each bureau operates slightly differently, but each provided the same service, getting our foreign QLS delivered to us.   NO, it is not totally automatic; you must provide the bureaus with postage and/or envelopes to get your cards delivered.  Each group will let you know the method they prefer.  Still it all works very well and we owe a debt of gratitude to the many folks that work together to make this happen.

Basically, it typically works like this:  the incoming cards are received at a central point for the respective call areas and are then sorted and bulk shipped to "Letter Managers".  The Letter Manager completes the sorting process and stuffs the cards into individual envelopes we supply and mails them to us when enough cards have been accumulated.   Sounds simple but keep in mind that there is an individual letter manager for the first letter in the suffix of the recipient's call.  Mine is the "E" manager for example. 10 call areas times 26 letters means as many as 260 people sorting across the USA and each Letter Manager may have a couple hundred envelopes on hand.  They really do deserve some thanks, don't they?

To learn more about the QSL Bureau service in the Great Lakes Division check out the following URLs.  The 8th Bureau has its own web page and the 4th is linked to the ARRL page.

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

February saw me attending more club meetings than normal.  I was trying to get around and discuss some of the changes at ARRL.  Thank you all for your hospitality and your willingness to discuss issues of importance to you and the League. 

I was especially pleased to get your reactions on some of the work the various committees are doing on advancing education, both for our newest hams, and for all of us.

I’d say more, but for the past several days I have been working mostly full-time with the Red Cross on the Disaster Relief operation for the Ohio River flooding. 

So these brief remarks will have to do for this month.

A quick note on ham radio communications.  There has been no communication outage, so ham radio has not played a role in this effort. But I was impressed with the preparation and coordination of the ARES teams locally and at the state level to make sure they were ready to respond if necessary.  There will be communications needs in some future disaster.  We just don’t know where or when.  So keep your batteries charged.

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

CONVENTIONS:  Hamvention® will host the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention this year, by  Be sure to get it on your calendar.  Hamvention's new venue in Xenia worked well last year and another building has been added for vendor use.   Check out their special request, website for the latest information.  http://hamvention.org/   May 18-20.

In even numbered years, the Great Lakes Division's three Sections normally host their individual State Conventions.  Kentucky's ARRL State Convention will be hosted by the Greater Louisville Hamfest in Shepherdsville, KY on September 8, 2018.  See http://louisvillehamfest.com/   Michigan's State ARRL Convention will be held at HamCon Brooklyn, MI on October 6-7.  http://glhamcon.org/.

While not a state convention, Ohio will be holding the Ohio Section Conference in conjunction with the Columbus Hamfest on August 4, 2018.  See http://columbushamfest.com/


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. 


3/3/18                  Cave City Hamfest                Cave City, KY
3/4/18                  NOARS Hamfest                   Elyria, OH           
3/17/18                Crossroads Hamfest              Kalamazoo, MI
3/17/18                MOVARC Hamfest              Gallipolis, OH
3/18/18                Toledo Mobile R.A.              Perrysburg, OH
4/7/18                  Lincoln Trail                         Elizabethtown, KY
4/14/18                Cuyahoga Falls                    Cuyahoga Falls, OH
4/21/18                Portsmouth                          Portsmouth, OH
4/28/18                RCARA Tailgate                 Ashland, KY
4/28/18                Chassell Hamfest                Chassell, MI
4/29/18                GMARC Hamfest                Madison Hgts, MI
4/29/18                Athens Hamfest                   Athens, OH
              

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

73,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Director
Great Lakes Division