Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ohio Section Journal - November 2013

In this issue:










Amateur radio volunteers converged on Reynoldsburg, Ohio on Saturday, November 9th to attend the 2013 All Ohio ARES Conference at the Ohio Fire Academy. Below is just a glimpse of what took place. There is no way I can put everything in the email. It would be like writing a book.

Many thanks to Steve Ewald WX1X from ARRL HQ for being our guest speaker and staying with us for the entire conference. Many thanks to Jim Weaver, Frank Piper, and ARRL for all your help and support.

This year's recipient of the Ross T. Stillsano KB8JTZ Memorial Award went to David Rickon NF8O, of Medina, Ohio in ARES District 6. Please join me in congratulating Dave by sending him an email to

I handed out awards to Stan Broadway N8BHL and Tim Price K8WFL for all their hard work on the Ohio ARES Resource System OARS. I also handed out a certificate of appreciation to Carl Gedeon KB8VXE, of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, for his continued strive for excellence not only in Cuyahoga County ARES but also the Ohio Section.

Many thanks to everyone who brought a go box or go kit! They were all impressive and I could tell right away how much time and effort was put into them. Speaking of go kits, I know there were not enough hard copies of Frank Sole's KB8YHD go kit list. I also know he had a sign up sheet for anyone who wanted one emailed to them. Well, I attached the sheet to this email for the benefit of everyone.

Many thanks to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, Preble County ARES, Massillon Amateur Radio Club, Medina M2M, Stan Broadway and his Canned Ham, and Marion County ARES for bringing and setting up your communications truck and/or trailer. That is the first time I have seen so many setup at one time in the Ohio Section other than Hamvention.

Many thanks to what I call the Beverage Establishment Strike Team or BEST for providing all the coffee, hot apple cider, hot cocoa, and all the necessary supplies throughout the day. I thank you very much for making sure the people were taken care of.

VE Testing results...6 new Technicians! 3 more upgraded to General Class. Congratulations everyone. Many thanks to Muskingum County EC Kathleen KB3RDR and her team of VE's for making this happen again this year!

I have reviewed all 68 evaluation forms received. Many thanks for the feedback. I appreciate everyone for taking the time to complete the evaluation form. If you attended the conference and did not complete an evaluation form, please email me at and I will send one out to you.

As I mentioned at the conference, the Ohio Fire Academy is a great facility. But considering we were imminently close of maxing out capacity, I am exploring alternate venues such as Ohio State University. I have a lead in that direction which will be pursued after the first of the year.

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot thank you enough for your participation and support in the best All Ohio ARES Conference I have ever attended.

After going through the cancellations, 139 volunteers registered online. Drum roll please...we had 145 people sign in! That's an approximate 40% increase over last year!

This conference made history. History that I am glad to be a part of.

I am so looking forward to next year.

73 de Matt Welch, W8DEC

Section Emergency Coordinator



As I write this, we have just recently had our first trackable snow.

Yesterday and today were in the high 60s and we just came out from under a Tornado Warning here in Knox county. So I guess that was out Indian Summer. Now it feels like winter is descending on us fast. As we prepare for club elections and holiday gatherings and events, don't forget to assign someone in your club to update your ARRL club listing in the next few weeks. This is what is frequently referred to as your annual report. Note that you can and should update this information anytime you club has a change as appropriate. Things like new officers, new meeting place and new club contact information is only as good as it appears on the ARRL site. This holds true for local site maintained by clubs. Information these days is considered dynamic and not having accurate updated information on your site may just cost you membership, new interest in people who want to earn a license, etc. So now is a great time to see what needs updated. This also includes your status as a Special Service Club. Remember SSC status is only good for two years and needs to be renewed. When was you club's status last renewed?

Speaking of elections. The hardest job in any club isn't being an officer its being chair of the the election committee. With that in mind hears a shout out to club members statewide. Are you running? Why not? No club anywhere deserves to have a member say, "What YOU need to do is...", or "I don't understand why THEY don't..." Hey, club officers are volunteers, voted help US get things done. There is no YOU or THEY in a club - it is either WE or US or nothing gets done. My hat is off to everyone who takes their turn. Is this the year WE get involved!

As I have often reported, I am always asked how can we get more youth involved? Well what about putting together a good Youth Day program in your area. ARRL Kids Day is always the first Sunday of January and the third Saturday of June, from 1800UTC – 2359 UTC. Now is the time to start promoting and planning follow up activities and Tech Classes to accommodate those you encounter. Get together a press release arrange with local scouts, schools or youth groups and do special presentations just for them. And here is what is key - Get Them On The Air!. Make it hands on friendly and get them hooked. Then be ready to reel them in with a good follow-up activity.

Club reports from Around the Ohio Section..



Year Two of the PAQP from central Ohio using COOKEN ARC club call WW8OH showed a score increase over last year, but it appears they came up 23 CW QSO's and one county short of catching their nemesis N4PN, the outstanding SOHP station in GA, for Top Score.

Massillon ARC

MARC Elected officers during their November meeting and held their Hamfest the following weekend and will be supporting the Massillon Holiday Parade November 23.

Portage County ARS

PCARS donated it's portion of the 50/50 sales to the Center of Hope in Ravenna during their November meeting. Their guest speaker was Rod Ehrhart, WN8R, from DX Engineering. Kudos to PCARS VP Bill, WB9LBI for the best election recruiting article I have seen "Get Rid of Me...Please" Well done.


Kitty Hevener W8TDA, Asst. Section Manager, represented the Ohio Section during ARRL night at the October meeting.

Western Reserve ARC

A club that gets involved with their community the sponsor a Highway Cleanup and supported their local Diabetes Walk. There General class began November 6 and their Extra class in January if they get enough interest. SEC Matt Welch W8DEC joined them during their November meeting. In December their program will be Alternative Energy with Roy Scharf KB3ZTO.

Cambridge ARC

Wow, Cambridge is celebrating their 100th year as a radio club Saturday, December 14 in the main floor banquet room of Theo's Restaurant. I am planning to attend. To my knowledge this is the first club to actually reach 100 years, in the NATION. Congratulations!

Portsmouth Radio Club

Portsmouth received some great press when they arranged for the American Red Cross to get their Amateur Emergency Communications established at their headquarters on Robinson Avenue. You can read the story here

Alliance ARC

Alliance held their 2nd Annual Fundraiser For Fire Department Toy Drive at their November meeting. Proceeds from their 50/50 will be donated to the drive. VP John Meyers KD8MQ warmed my heart when he states in the Zero Beat referring to next year's programs, "It’s liable to be a busy (but fun) year, as we strive to stay out of 'Meeting Mode'."

Mount Vernon ARC

MVARC will hold its annual meeting, election of officers and holiday dinner at Parkside Restaurant, 108 Mount Vernon Ave, Mount Vernon, OH on Sunday, December 8th, 2013. They will conduct Technician classes beginning in January.

Greater Cincinnati ARA

GCARA will hold their Christmas Party 6pm December 8 at The Manor House Restaurant - Maple Knoll Village 11200 Springfield Pike, Springdale, Ohio. Their next meeting is 7:30pm January 22 at the Breeze Manor.

Delaware ARA

Congrats to DELARA for being 2nd in class 4A Nationally (1st in OH) during Field Day. Their 15,458 points were just 18 shy of 1st place.

They did however manage to have 44 more QSO's than the 1st place club.Their score ranked 15th overall in all classes. About 8 months ago DELARA donated several ARRL books to 10 libraries including several school libraries. They recently followed up to see few of these are circulating. I want to encourage them to get into the schools with demos and programs and use the opportunity to point out the resources they donated. Don't be discouraged folks, you made the right first move.

Lake Erie ARA

Lake Erie celebrates their Holiday Tuesday November 26 at Massimo da Milano. At their October meeting W8DEC, Matt and KD8TWG, Dave, brought many facts and trivia to the LEARA meeting in the form of “Ham Radio Jeopardy”.

Until next month, Say it with me, "Get out of meeting mode!"

73, E. Mike McCardel, KC8YLD
Affiliated Club Coordinator / ARRL Ohio Section V.P. Educational Relations, AMSAT-NA




Congratulations to Brian DeYoung (k4bri), Marji Garrett (kj4zkc), and Dick Arnett (wb4suv). These members of the OHKYIN amateur radio club won medals in the IARU region 2 amateur radio direction finding competition. 


QCEN has expanded its repeater coverage for emergencies by providing a link between its VHF repeater and its UHF repeater, so that together they cover from Northern Kentucky up into the Dayton area.  And the club recently put in a remote base VHF radio which should be capable of reaching repeaters farther east and north, to cover a great deal of southwestern Ohio.

OHKYIN will be providing communications for the Price Hill Thanksgiving day parade on November 28th. Two days later, (November 30), HARA will be SUPPLYING communications for the annual Hillsboro holiday parade. DARA members provided communications for the Mid east Cross Country Regionals at Indian Riffle Park on Stroop Road and the honeysuckle blitz at the Clifton Gorge state Nature Preserve. Members of QCEN and UC amateur radio club joined forces in handling communications for the cystic fibrosis “Run like Hell” benefit in Cincinnati on October 26. 


Want to get a license or upgrade the one you have? If so, November 20 is your lucky day!  Free technician, general and amateur Extra class exams will be held at Verity Lodge Miami University-Middletown and at the DARA clubhouse in Huber Heights, Ohio. Additional information about the Miami University Middletown branch exams may be obtained from Dave Williamson, KD8W
(513-424-5819) or Carl Morgan, K8CM (513-422-9384.

For more information on the testing session hosted by DARA, email Dave

Crawford,  KF4KWW@ARRL.NET   OHKYIN will be offering Technician,

General and Amateur Extra licensing classes in early 2014. See for details.

73, Kitty Hevener, W8TDA

Assistant Section Manager (SW)



Hi Gang,

Wow.. I believe that says it all. By now all of you have either heard through official channels or by word of mouth that Frank, KI8GW has decided to step down as Section Manager. I know that he and his family gave this a tremendous amount of thought before announcing this. I am saddened that he has decided to step down, but as life, jobs and family change, grow and require more time than they used to, it forces us to make these very difficult choices. Have no doubt that this decision came with a lot of thought and consideration for not only Frank and his family, but also the Ohio Section as well. I’m sure that I speak for everyone in the Ohio Section when I say that we do understand your decision Frank. Thank you so much for the years of dedication and leadership that you have provided. I will try to live up to your (and the Ohio Section’s) expectations when I take the reins over at the first of the year.

Have you been watching my RSS feeds for all the updates to the website..??  Please tell me you have? As I stated a few months ago, anytime I make changes to the website instead of trying to fit in some sort of funky “update” or “new” flashing arrow or sign I’ve chosen to put the change, or link to it, on the RSS feed. This way you have a history of the updates, and if you want to go back to one you can, but it also keeps the main page clean and without all the clutter of a Used Car Lot. By using RSS feeds you can also set your browser / email programs to “watch” for updates coming through on this RSS feed as well. This way you won’t have to keep going to the website to see if there’s any updates listed, although going to the website on a regular basis is a very good idea ( I have my browser set to open up to it..) !!

On another note..  Please, please watch out for spam messages. There seems to be a new one out now that the holidays are upon us. It is mimicking a notice that you have a package coming. They have made it look like the FedEx and/or the UPS tracking sites to try to fool you.

They then put a “zip” file in this email and direct you to open it up to see the tracking. Once you open the “zip” file a worm/virus takes over control of your computer and uploads every file in your computer to a mystery location. You can’t stop it once it starts.

What you can do however is to immediately cut the internet connection. Yank out the cord as quickly as possible. The faster you do this, the less information that actually gets uploaded. There’s no stopping the program from dumping all your files, but at least it won’t be out on the internet if you cut the cord.

Now, as soon as that is completed, these folks send you an email demanding money to now unlock your computer. DON’T GIVE IN TO THEM.

This is how they actually get a working credit card / debit card (yes, they will even take a debit card) and off they go shopping around the world at your expense, and you are left with absolutely nothing. Not even a working computer, as it’s now all locked up.

What’s the recourse? None, once you open up that “zip” file. If you did give them a credit card / debit card they now have the ability to spend at will, and they have been doing just that around Northeastern Ohio! Please be very careful when opening up ANY emails, especially those that you do not recognize the address of. And yes, please be on guard for any emails telling or directing you to open up any attachments. This is how the worm/virus takes control. You actually get it started for them when you open that attached file. If in doubt of the person sending the email, delete it.

Always have your virus protection up-to-date to help prevent getting emails like this. But, even though you may have the best virus protection available to you, there is still a possibility that you will get a virus/worm in your computer, I did. Always have your computer backed up so in case you do get something that you don’t want, you at least have a chance to survive it.

Do the “In the Clouds” backup programs work? I believe they do. I feel they are a great investment and I would (and do) highly recommend getting a subscription to one, if not right now, how’s about for a Christmas present!!

Some folks will undoubtedly say I don’t have anything in my computer that I have to worry about, and for those folks let me ask just this one question. How much money do you have saved up for a new computer right now? I say it that way because I only have a few hundred dollars in mine, but it is invaluable to me and the data that is stored on it would take a lot of hours and a tremendous amount of frustration to recover from losing it.

And now another thought.. Changes were made for those of you who signed up for the “Opt-In” service with us to receive important news from the Ohio Section. Due to some actions from my buddies at my ISP ( I won’t mention them by name – but they’re the ones with the cartoon bird for a logo..), I had to make some changes in how I send out these important news articles to you.

So, from this point forward I have changed from using those folks mentioned above to our own website server service. This might cause a few of you to not get the news, as not all email services like getting emails from web servers. It has something to do with the headers and stuff and how webservers handle these items.

So, if you are one of those few that are now NOT getting the email blasts that you’ve opted in for, there is still hope for you. If you re-apply to “Opt-In” with a different email address you will most likely start receiving it once again. I will be working very diligently on being able for this email blast to get to everyone, but like everything in life, there IS always a few bumps along the way. I just don’t want you to think you’ve been cut off for some unknown reason.. You haven’t, I just had to find a new way of distributing the news to you.

And, on to another note..  Due to our recent outbreak of storms that rolled through just recently, it became clear to me that it would be a good idea to have a webpage devoted to nothing but the National Weather Service Bulletins for all of Ohio. So, with that in mind, we now have such a page. You can find it by clicking on the link from the main page that states NWS latest bulletins or at:  <> which will take you directly to the bulletins.

This is just the perfect example of how a person’s idea can translate into an action that will have many benefits to all over the years to come. Please, if you have an idea for something like this, let me know. If we can do it, we will!

That’s going to do it for this month..

73, Scott Yonally, N8SY

Assistant Section Manager



RFI can ruin your reception as many of us have experienced. It can also be difficult to locate and resolve. Often the source is remote and identification may require diligence and some assistance from another Ham or knowledgeable person. When it’s right on your own property things are much different.

When the RFI source is your own doing, letting loose of the preconceived ideas and not easily accepting that you could be causing your own issues is never easy and not likely to be your first thought in finding resolution. Here in my shack I began to experience some really broad spectrum noise recently. It was all over the HF bands appearing at random without any defined pattern. The noise was quite loud and running as high as 30 over 9 on the S Meter on 40 meters. I could not identify anything that I had either changed or added to the QTH that may be the source.

I thought perhaps there was some industrial noise causing my RFI as there are several businesses nearby that are using some exotic apparatus to manufacture metal products etc. The noise didn’t appear to have a time of day element however and I knew none of these businesses operated a third shift. My primary HF antenna had been a Cushcraft R8 vertical. With no offense to Cushcraft intended, verticals are however often much more noisy and prone to picking up unwanted RFI from locations close to the shack.

WD8KQX and I just finished erecting some supports in my back yard and raising an Off Center Fed Dipole which I had hoped would give me better service than the vertical. I also thought it may resolve the noise if it were indeed coming from a source in the neighborhood and not my own property.  Once we finished the installation, I quickly fired up the Kenwood HF rig and found not only was the noise still there, it was far worse. The only change I noticed was that I no longer sequenced the touch light in the china cabinet every time I keyed the transmitter.

That was a small and insignificant improvement in light of the RFI that had gotten worse.

It soon became evident that this may well be something in my own environment and I needed to begin isolating AC circuits to determine if the RFI was something I had connected and was running in the house.  How does one do this without some help? My Cell phone finally has a real Amateur application. I fired p the rig and tuned to one of the more offensive spots on 40 meters where the noise was 30 over 9 and placed my cell phone nearby which I had called from a portable phone. I then quickly went to the breaker panel in the basement and started to kill circuits one at a time. When I operated the breaker that controlled the outlets in my garage, I heard instant silence from the rig upstairs. Now there isn’t just a whole lot in my garage connected to the AC outlets and after taking a look around, I unplugged the Battery Tender that I had maintaining the battery on my Cushman Truckster. Again, the noise was gone immediately.

I am in real trouble now. I have three of these Battery Tenders, one on the Cushman, another in the shed on the tractor battery and still another in the basement keeping the go box batteries on the ready. Once I pulled the plug on the unit in the garage, I again checked the RFI noise. It was gone and I thought my problem was resolved. Checking the bands further, I again heard the RFI in a different part of 40 meters this time.

I pulled the plug on the unit in the shed and that killed the RFI once again. Checking one more time, I found additional RFI elsewhere on 40 meters. After disconnecting the unit in the basement, I now have nothing to complain about other than background noise.

RFI can be an ugly frustration when it appears in your shack. Mine was especially so in that the noise was a relatively recent problem and those Battery Tenders had been working for almost two years now. I never would have suspected my FRI was these great little battery maintainers that do a wonderful job of keeping batteries peaked and ready without over charging or damaging the batteries.

When looking for the cause of your RFI, it’s best to keep things simple. Never rule out anything without logically and carefully eliminating it as a source. Always start with the easiest things first.

You may find the problem where you never thought it might be. It’s important not to overlook those things that you might think could not be a problem. When your are the cause of your RFI problem, it’s much easier than trying to convince a neighbor, a business or the electric utility that they have a problem that needs to be resolved. 

Unfortunately, when you can fix your own RFI issue, you will need to also find an alternative to the offending device. I my case, I will not keep the devices on continuously as I had been doing. I will manage my battery enabled devices when the shack is not being used and I am off the air until I can clean them up and kill the RFI they are generating.


73, Jim Yoder W8ERW 

Technical Coordinator



12/07/2013  Cambridge Amateur Radio Association's 100th Birthday Celebration
Dec 7, 1300Z-2100Z, W8VP, Cambridge, OH.
Cambridge Amateur Radio Association.
14.260 7.235. Certificate & QSL.
Cambridge Amateur Radio Association
PO Box 1804, Cambridge, OH 43725.

100th Birthday Celebration of Cambridge Amateur Radio Association Founded December 4, 1913. 12th and final Special Event in CARA's year-long 100th Birthday Celebration. QSL. Certificate available for anyone who works ALL 12 of CARA's monthly Special Events of 2013

12/14/2013 | Wheeling Light Fest
Dec 14-Dec 15, 1010Z-1000Z, W8ZQ, Blaine, OH.
Northern Panhandle Amateur Radio Club.
14.250 7.232. Certificate.
Joe Mccready, PO Box 192 , Blaine, OH 43909.



01/19/2014 SCARF Hamfest
Nelsonville, OH
Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation
Wallick Auction House

01/26/2014 | Tusco ARC Hamfest
Strasburg, OH
Tusco Amateur Radio Club


In Special Memoriam..

Jerry Hamilton, N8GRH - Now Silent Key
Best friend, life long friend and husband
of Assistant Section Manager
Connie Hamilton, N8IO..

ARRL Ohio Section

Section Manager: Frank Piper, KI8GW