Greetings, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for February, 2021
We are saddened by the loss of Dave Pruett K8CC (SK) who has been the Great Lakes Division's representative on the Contest Advisory Committee.
Dave served for many years to contentiously represent the interests of all contesters. Currently, we are interviewing prospective members to represent our Division on the CAC.
Our Annual ARRL Board of Directors meeting was held by video conference on January 15 & 16. Several Motions were presented that may be of interest.
One was to consider changing several of our active committee configurations. As proposed, it would eliminate the DX Advisory and Contest Advisory Committees and instead, create a pool of subject matter experts - of course this pool would include DX and Contesting experts plus potentially several others. I think that it is quite fortunate that most Directors felt that the existing committee structure was working well and with a few considerations could be made even more effective without a major change. This proposal did not gather enough Board support and the motion failed.
A motion was tendered to reactivate the HQ staff position of Chief Development Officer. This position has been vacant for several years, and the Board considers it to be important to have a selected individual ready to work closely with those who would like to contribute to one of the ARRL's several development funds. This motion passed.
The Legislative Action Committee presented their annual report and advised the Board that the draft bill for HOA-Resident Antenna Assistance has been completed and is expected to be entered in Congress early in the new session now beginning. This is the revised bill to clear the path so residents living in Homeowners' Association controlled areas can install effective Amateur Radio antennas. It is a revised and updated plan, differing from the previous bill, The Amateur Radio Parity Act.
By vote, the Board will also be looking into various types of optional electronic balloting for ARRL Elected positions. Electronic voting was tested several years ago and resulted in a low turnout. The Administration and Finance Committee may offer a hybrid voting plan, making electronic voting an option for our members.
Other Board actions will be reported in the meeting minutes to be published as soon as they are approved. Scott and I received some committee appointments and we'll cover these assignments next month.
SCOTT'S STUFF: Comments from your ARRL Vice Director Scott, N8SY.
Wow, January has just flown by. It has been a busy month and I’ve already been assigned to a couple of very active committees. Let me tell you, they are rolling! This is going to be a very exciting time for the ARRL. If you’re not a member, you will definitely want to rethink that idea and soon!
Ok, let’s switch gears... With the weather getting downright nasty, you’ll want to be thinking about how to keep the necessities going if the power would go out. One way is with a whole-house generator. It will do the job, including one on your pocketbook. A portable gasoline generator will also work well, if you keep a fresh can of gas around and are willing to go out in the miserable weather to set it all up. Now there is a new option for you to consider, Lithium battery portable power stations.
I sat in on a Zoom meeting the other week where these portable power stations were the topic. These stations are just coming into their own, but what makes them so interesting is that they are much easier and safer to handle and last for hours, even under the heaviest of loads.
The presenter did an excellent job of explaining how the power station works and how easy it is to setup and operate, right inside the house!
His power station is setup so he can quickly and easily power up most of the necessities in his home. And, what makes this so great is that the batteries he is using are the same ones that he uses in his weed-whacker and lawn mower! Yes, his power station was designed to use the same battery packs as his power tools. So, all that he needs to do when the power starts to decrease on the power station is to pop in another pack!
Talk about a good return on investment! These power stations have enough amperage to easily power your ham shack, a refrigerator or even freezer for quite a long time! And Lithium batteries are not like the old lead acid deep cycle marine batteries that we’re all familiar with. Lithium batteries give you years of maintenance free power, plenty of current to power those larger appliances and none of the mess, and best of all, you don’t have to go out into the miserable weather to hook anything up. There is a wide variety of power stations and options to choose from.
That’s going to do it from here. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we all get to meet at a Hamfest somewhere soon, I’ve got a bunch of stuff to buy!
--73, Scott Yonally N8SY, Vice Director, Great Lakes Division
HAMFESTING: This continues to challenge all of us as many clubs are making their best efforts to return their hamfests to the calendar.
Several early-in-the-year swaps have now been postponed, but some clubs are adjusting their timetables and setting their hamfests up with different configurations and planning them for dates later in the season.
For the latest detail on regional hamfests, check the ARRL web page at:
http://www.arrl.org/hamfests-and-conventions-calendar. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ALREADY HAVE SEVERAL CANCELLATIONS ON THE SCHEDULE.
Here is the current listing of Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned hamfests for early 2021. Please note that all are subject to change, so please stay current by checking the sponsoring club's web page before making your travel arrangements.
On the 2021 ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest calendar:
03/06/2021 - Cave City Hamfest, Cave City, KY -- CANCELED
03/07/2021 - WINTERHAMFEST, Elyria, OH -- CANCELED
04/25/2021 - Athens Hamfest, Athens, OH
05/21/2021 - Dayton Hamvention, Xenia, OH -- CANCELED
06/05/2021 - Fulton County, Wauseon, OH
07/10/2021 - Mansfield Mid Summer Trunkfest, Mansfield, OH
07/18/2021 - Van Wert Hamfest, Van Wert, OH
08/28/2021 - Cincinnati Hamfest, Cincinnati, OH
09/11/2021 - Greater Louisville, Shepherdsville, KY
09/18/2021 - Cadillac Hamfest, Cadillac, MI
09/18/2021 - Richmond Hamfest, Richmond, KY
09/26/2021 - Cleveland Hamfest, Berea, OH
12/04/2021 - Fulton Co Winterfest, Delta, OH
If you club plans to request ARRL Hamfest Sanctioning, they should do so well in advance of the planned Hamfest date, as this allows adequate time for QST Listings. QST announcements require a 3 month lead time.
If a swap is cancelled or the date is going to change, please notify ARRL HQ. We work together with the HQ staff to verify all new date selections in the hope of mitigating date conflicts.
Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date is set.
Things do require some advanced planning, especially under the current travel restrictions.
It should be noted that there has been a change in the way ARRL contributes to your ARRL sanctioned hamfest efforts. Please carefully read the e-mail from ARRL Headquarters confirming your sanctioning as IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING PRIZES.
73, Stay safe.
Ham it up!
Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division