Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Dale's Tales for January

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

Here is the Great Lakes Division RECAP OF 2017:


January started getting all of our 1,700 Ohio ARES members to complete the four ICS courses (IS 100, 200, 700 and 800). As an incentive, we include Statewide credentialing through the Ohio Department of Homeland Security and free statewide liability insurance coverage through Ohio Responds. Our end of year numbers show 620 ARES members completed, with a total training of 5,732 courses taken thus far.

March, ARES Operators were called to staff several Emergency Operations Centers during a communications failure in northeastern Ohio when the 911 / MARCS system went down. ARES filled the gap with DMR and analog communications to the needed emergency centers.

August, we had an EF-1 tornado in Trumbull County, and major flooding in Findlay that resulted in a lot of property damage to homes and businesses in both areas. Our ARES groups were activated to help with communications and relief efforts. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and a few of Ohio’s ARES folks were tapped to go and help with the communications and relief efforts.

In September, we had several of Ohio ARES folks sent to assist with communications and relieve efforts in Florida and Puerto Rico.

November, Ohio had an outbreak of 17 tornadoes with 12 of our counties being affected. They ranged from EF-0 to EF-2 in size. Many houses and outbuildings were destroyed. Our ARES groups were activated in numerous counties around the state to help with communications and relief efforts.

December 12th, our Southwestern Ohio ARES group in Cincinnati was called upon to help with communications during a million-dollar update to the City of Cincinnati’s 911 system. Our ARES teams were ready and on station when the cutover to the new system came on board. It was a smooth transition, and luckily everything went as planned with no hiccups. 


Executed a smooth transition between outgoing SM Alan Morgan, KY1O and the incoming Section Manager Steve Morgan W4NHO.

The Kentucky Section had representation by the KY SM at 7 of 12 Hamfests in KY, with plans in place to attend more in 2018.

The Kentucky Section initiated a monthly news column which includes the recognition of the ARRL Affiliated Club of the Month. KY will continue to build our Winlink network in Region 1 & Region 2.

The expanding DMR Network now covers KY from Owensboro to Paintsville and Northern KY to Bowling Green. We now have 30 to 40 checks-in on our weekly net.

Had excellent representation for the Western KY Eclipse with Frankfort and statewide communications in August.

The KY Section will continue to rebuild our relationship with Frankfort Emergency Management Authority and with the incoming new management of Barry Sanford.  Cecil Dennis is serving as liaison for Auxcom.

Working with SEC to refill existing vacancies of selected EC, DEC and ASEC across the Section, while working toward developing a KY State Convention or KY ARES Conference. 


In Michigan, we have followed through with our pledge as part of PA 556 (PRB-1 language codified into state law early in 2015) to form an Antenna Advisory group made up of representatives from the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan Township Association, a representative from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) and ARRL representatives. The first meeting of this group was held in May 2017 at the Michigan State Police Headquarters in Dimondale, MI with said representatives in attendance.

The Michigan Section presented the first annual Great Lakes HamCon at Michigan International Speedway in early October. This event was made possible by 21 Michigan Amateur Radio Clubs banding together to make it happen. Attendance was 11-1200 and the 2018 event is on the drawing board, scheduled for October 6 & 7, 2018.

Michigan, with assistance from DHS/OEC held its first AUXCOMM training session and updated a database of actual deliverable capabilities as requested by FEMA. MI Critical Incident Management System training session was held that focused solely on the needs of amateur radio operators

The MI State Emergency Operations Center was activated for four statewide exercises and over two dozen ARES members assisted public safety officials monitoring infrastructure around the Mackinaw Bridge during the annual bridge walk. During flooding in central Michigan, ARES members assisted local emergency management with damage assessment, inundation prediction and reporting.

MI ARES is working on preparing input to the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP), a forward-looking document that will drive investment over the next 3-5 years. ARES has been working with the state planner on better incorporating amateur radio into the state's emergency communications plan.

Michigan's SEC John McDonough WB8RCR has been appointed interim chair of the FEMA Region V Auxcomm committee.

AS YOUR GREAT LAKES DIVISION DIRECTOR I am honored to continue to serve the hams of the Great Lakes Division, I must take this moment to thank Larry Camp WB8R who has chosen to retire from the Michigan Section Manager Position after service for 6 years.  His accomplishments are recognized by all as he has served his Section well.  Jim Kvochik K8KJ assumes the position as MI SM today, Jan. 1, and will serve on an interim basis until a special election is held later in the year. 

My thanks go to all of our Section Managers for the outstanding jobs they have been doing.  Sometimes the job can be tough, sometimes difficult decisions must be made, but by and large the hams in the Great Lakes Division have the best interests of Amateur Radio at heart and are very supportive of all of the groups that comprise the ARRL Field Organization.  This whole organization works because of our volunteers. We are all doing this for the love of ham radio, and as we move into 2018, we can expect more opportunities and exciting new ventures to come before us.   Thank you all.

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

The end of the year can provide an opportunity to look back, as well as forward.  Lots of people will be making “New Year’s resolutions” to do something or not do something in the coming year.  I’ve never found that very helpful.  Instead, I like to focus on the continuity of efforts to reach a goal.  So, today, I want to look at 2017 and remember some of the events while also looking ahead.

Hamvention was held in Xenia this past year.  Congratulations to the planners who had little to go on and who had to re-invent everything. Yes, there were a few hitches, but overall, Hamvention was as successful as most of the past 50-some iterations.  And from the reports of the new building and other changes, it sounds like Hamvention will once again be the place to be in mid-May.

And a promising start was made for the first-ever GL Hamcon in Michigan. There’s room for improvement, but the number of pleased “customers” and the large facility should help it become a great venue in the years to come.

Then there are the efforts throughout the US, and within the Division, to educate, train, and motivate new hams.  I’m pleased that I’ve been able to make some contributions through the committees I serve on, but the more important work is being done by every ham who conducts a class, serves as a VE for exams, and in particular, serves as a mentor for new people coming into the hobby.  In various forums conducted at hamfests, I’ve been very happy to see how many of you agree with the ARRL efforts to grow ham radio, both by improving the educational materials, and focusing on potential changes in the licensing system that we might request.

That’s where the real work will be for next year.  Let’s look at our efforts of 2017, and try to move them forward even more in 2018.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

STATE CONVENTIONS:  In even numbered years, the Great Lakes Division's three Sections host their individual State Conventions.  If your local hamfest is interested in serving as the host for your State Convention in 2018, your club should contact your Section Manager and request to serve as the sponsor.  State Conventions normally encompass special forums, can request guest forum speakers from ARRL and often hold recognition Banquets and special programs.   Having a convention also
means additional attendance beyond that normally expected at a regular hamfest.

HAMFESTING:  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.  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. 

1/14/18      SCARF Hamfest               Nelsonville, OH
1/28/18      Hazel Park Hamfest          Madison Heights, MI
1/28/18      Tusco Hamfest                  Strasburg, OH
2/3/18        HARA Hamfest                Negaunee, MI
2/10/18      Cherryland Hamfest         Traverse City, MI
2/18/18      InterCity Hamfest             Mansfield, OH
2/18/18      Livonia Hamfest               Livonia, MI
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

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


Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division