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
Great Lakes Division