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/.
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
Great Lakes Division