Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ohio Section Journal - December 2014 edition

In this issue:




Lyn Alfman, N8IMW has been chosen as the new Assistant Section Manager (Southeast) to take over the reins from Connie at the beginning of the New Year.

Lyn lives in Norwich, Ohio, is married to Sonny Alfman, W8FHF, the District 9 District Emergency Coordinator for 41 years. Between them they have seven children, fourteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. 

Lynn has a B. A. in Spanish, English, and Secondary Education (grades 7-12) from Muskingum University.

She has won Honorable Mention as Technical Writer for NCR in Southwestern Ohio Contest; third place in Ohio Section Newsletter Contest and Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) Amateur of the Year in 2003.

She was licensed as a Novice in 1987 and now holds an Extra Class License. She is very active in the clubs around her area and she is currently the Secretary for Zanesville Amateur Radio Club (ZARC), Public Information Officer (PIO) for Ohio Section, District 9, CARA, and ZARC.

She’s also the newsletter editor for CARA and former member of Muskingum Valley Ham Radio Group and Multi-County Coalition of Southeastern Ohio. She serves on various committees for ZARC and CARA, including CARA Hamfests. She’s a Volunteer Examiner for ZOVETS Zanesville Ohio Volunteer Exam Team System) which is the local 
Laurel Volunteer Exam group. 

Her other activities are Trustee for Celtic Society of SEO; Trustee for Guernsey Co. Chapter of Ohio Genealogy Society; Public Information Officer for the Guernsey Co. Long Term Recovery Committee for the EMA.

As you can see, she has an arm full of credentials, but most of all, she has a spirited willingness to venture out into that vast Southeast section and let the masses know that the ARRL alive and has a presence in that area.

Please help me welcome Lyn to the Cabinet.



By: John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone,

This month, I’ve got a bit of a potpourri of subjects. Let’s begin by offering some congratulations.

First, congratulations to the Bellbrook ARC, who have become our newest Special service Club. At this writing, our Section Manager, Scott, N8SY was planning to attend their meeting to present the SSC certificate personally.

Next, we just received word that the Central Ohio Contest Association, in Hebron has become our newest affiliated club in the Ohio Section! According to Fritz, WD8E, they wanted to become an affiliated club during the centennial year.

We’d also like to congratulate the Warren Amateur Radio Association on their 75th anniversary this month. To celebrate, they went out to Mosquito Lake State Park, and activated it as a special event.
Also, I totally missed another important milestone. The Queen City Emergency Net celebrated their 75th anniversary last month; November 4th, to be exact. Belated congratulations go out to them.

And lastly, I’d like to congratulate Susie Scott, N8CGM as she retires after 30 years as editor of the Q-Fiver, which is the newsletter of the OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society.

So, as 2014 draws to a close, let’s take a look at where we’re at club-wise in the Ohio section. There are currently 97 affiliated clubs in the Ohio section; only eight of those are Special Service Clubs. Out of 96 Ohio section clubs, only about half of you are up to date on your club reports. That’s great, but we can & should do better. Filing your club reports is a big deal. It can be done online, and can be done whenever there’s something to update in your club information. That’s right, you don’t have to wait till after elections. Remember, the more accurate your club info at the league, the better the league is able to help you.

Updating your club information only takes a moment to do, and it’s painless. Just go to your club record on, and click on the edit button. Complete instructions on can be found here:

A few weeks ago, an article that appeared in the Des Moines Register caused some discussion on the ARRL PR reflector. The article was entitled “Men support fading ham radio habit”. The article implies that Amateur Radio is a “fading” hobby, for “old Men”. The article was promptly picked up by the AP, and ran in several other papers around the Midwest.

So, what has this to do with an Affiliated Club Coordinator column? Actually, it has quite a bit to do with it. Part of a clubs mission is to promote Amateur Radio, right? As part of your club activities, do you outreach to non-Hams? If so, do you tell them how you can listen for days without ever hearing a CQ, or about all the great things that Amateurs are doing with MESH, Arduino, and Satellites? How about showing them all the cool gear we use for portable operating? In other words show everyone that all the great stuff we enjoyed 30 years ago is still there, but that there is also so much more to enjoy in this hobby.

Anytime your club gathers, be it a meeting, Field Day, or even an on the air net, you have a chance to make an impression on someone. Will the impression be good, or bad? We should remember that we have multiple opportunities each year to fight this “Old Guy in a Fading Hobby” type of stereotype. It’s up to us to get the word out!

So, here’s some of what’s happening around the state. If you’re club isn’t mentioned here, perhaps it’s because I am not on your newsletter mailing list. My E-mail address is
Perhaps you don’t send out newsletters? Well. That’s OK too. Just drop me a line to let me know how things are going, club-wise. What are you doing that works? What isn’t working? Let me know. We’ll share the best ideas in this column each month.

The latest issue of the CARA communicator edited by our new ASM, Lyn, N8IMW just arrived. It has reports from the clubs Field Day, and OSPOTA operations. Congratulations to the Cambridge for placing 5th in the state under the “hi-power in a park, multi-op” category.

Each November, the Portage County Amateur Radio Service donates the club’s share of their 50/50 raffle to a local charity; the Center Of Hope, in Ravenna. By the time this year’s donations were tallied, the total exceeded $3500!

Gary, N8EMR recently presented a program on Arduino processors to the Mt. Vernon ARC.

Those attending Massillon Arc’s mentoring session in February will be building an Offset Attenuator. The December issue of the Feedback also has an informative article by John, N8CD on Cross-Band Repeating.

The West Park Radio Ops will be doing a discussion & demonstration of D-Star at their January Meeting.

The program at the Alliance ARC’s December meeting was title “Your Best Ham Radio Memory”, and consisted of a roundtable discussion where attendees took turns relating what made Ham Radio special for them. Subjects ranged from first QSOs, to Licensing Classes & Elmers, to operating W1AW this last summer.

Most clubs are having their Christmas dinners, and awards banquets this month, and next. Among them, Mt Vernon ARC, Alliance ARC, Massillon ARC, Portage County ARS, Cincinnati FM Club, Massillon ARC.

Till next time, 73 DE KD8MQ


By Stan Broadway, N8BHL 

OHIO ARES NVIS Antenna Day – April 25..

Get your antenna books out, get together with some friends and come up with a winner! The Ohio ARES NVIS Antenna day has been scheduled for April 25, 2015. Operating hours 10AM – 2PM. Frequency: around the Ohio ARES 40 meter frequency of 7.240 plus or minus, and around 3.850-3.870 plus or minus.

We have all been through several presentations of NVIS (Near vertical sky wave, or “Cloud burner”) antennas. Sure, the concept is cool and it ought to work. But it’s time to put away the antenna modelers, the calculators and theory and get down with some wire and some coax! Have you actually ~tried~ one of these? If there was a wide-scale disaster requiring you to communicate with nearby counties and Columbus (or other state capitals) do you have confidence you could actually make this work? The best way to find out is to try!

We’re taking the lead from Ashtabula, who has had several annual antenna days that were a great success. The idea here is to actually ~build~ different NVIS antennas and try them out against each other. Come up with different concepts: vertical, horizontal, semi-something, and try different elevations from ground level all the way up to the towering height of, say, 20 feet. See which antenna does the best at working nearby counties, Columbus, and neighboring locations as if we were in a large-scale disaster.

This isn’t really a contest, in the sense that we’re not looking so much at lots-o-q so’s as we are at comparing our various antennas. So it will be more beneficial to keep track of HONEST signal reports from the same station using our various antennas. We will want to have reports (including pictures?) of your various antennas and how they stood up to each other. From a simple grid or ranking of your best three or four performers, we can compare these across the state and come up with overall suggestions as the most desirable NVIS setup to have in your tool box.  This information may come in very handy for your spring Field Day efforts! But we all know that Field Day, or any other similar contest, is NOT the time or place to be testing antennas- we are in it for QSO numbers and rates! So this is a great day to get some honest experimenting done!

And there’s MORE!..We are strongly suggesting additional equipment for your field tests: a good grill, some hamburgers and side dishes! This should be far enough into spring that it will be nice to be outside (even with a jacket on) and it’s an excellent time to have a picnic, get some fellowship in, and generally relax! So in your planning, include proximity to somewhere to eat! Use a park, someone’s property, or be creative! Remember we’re testing antennas, so next to a power plant might not be the best idea. The food and fellowship makes this great fun! And, we’re not limited strictly to “ARES People”. If your local radio club has some experts, draft ‘em! It’s all about the fellowship, the fun, and the feuding antennas!

More information will follow- but I would love to activate as many (or all!) Ohio counties as possible to make this a benchmark test!

How busy were you this year?.. The last numbers are not in yet but as we approach the end of the year we are able to take a look at our activity, and it’s ~really~ impressive! I applied the average numbers to account for December in these categories, but we can derive a fairly accurate report. I can suggest that you take these numbers (and any local numbers which you should have on hand) and let your EMA Directors know! This is donated time and equipment that our residents of Ohio received because of your enthusiastic volunteering!

How much training and exercises did we do? Statewide, we’ll top 5100 sessions! That has involved 35,800 man-hours.

What about direct public service? There were approximately 460 events where amateur radio supplied communications support. This involved over 19,000 man-hours.

And when we were activated? Ohio logged over 200 activations for 2014 involving approximately 5,300 man-hours. The majority of these were part of various “Skywarn” or severe weather projects, acting in a direct way to protect life and property as severe weather moved through.

Including net activity, we should be around 7,100 events total, with –get this- around 56,000 man-hours for the year! Not including equipment and operating expense, in man-hours alone at $25 per hour that means our over 1700 ARES members have provided Ohio residents approximately $1,400,000 in service during 2014! I don’t really know how to accurately quantify equipment/operating cost, but I would bet if included that would significantly increase that amount. Just the cost of a $200 radio and $50 handheld totals $425,000 then we’d have to add in gasoline and other operational activities. Remember that especially for our “Public Service Events” we are serving charitable organization in the process of raising large amounts of funds to help people even more!

I am truly impressed by your willingness to serve and donate your time. I thank you sincerely for all that you do!
Programs and Policies..
Your ARES organization in Ohio has been moving forward on several important projects. A major change this year involved “changing of the guard” at the SEC level. I want to thank Matt, W8DEC, for his years of hard work that brought us this far! Matt came in like a spring thunderstorm years ago- his fresh enthusiasm and concern got many of us EC’s awake and moving! It truly helped ARES move into a new era, the “FEMA” era with training requirements and heightened security concerns. That and many other programs were fashioned by Matt’s hands. Kudo’s, and “Well Done!”

TRAINING: We continue to press for training! The days of “Call me if you need me” are long gone…don’t wait by the phone! The people who have trained, become familiar with EOC operations and ICS communications concepts will be first to go. I thank Jim, W8ERW, for continuing the training database project! If you have completed training this year (especially the FEMA NIMS courses) please make it a point to copy your certificates to Jim! Our goal is to get the overwhelming majority of ARES members certified in the four basic courses. If you have a bit of downtime after Christmas, take a couple hours and go through the courses online. They’re not going to hurt your brain.

I am pressing DEC’s to get serious about district-level training! Once a month, even once a quarter we need to gather as a district. If we get hit with a big event, we’ll need to know our neighbors and the district level plans. PLEASE, DEC’s, set these up! Some districts are excellent already!

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:  ARES in Ohio is getting much more prepared for “The Big One”. Why take all this time and energy? Because when it hits, there’s no time to make something up on the fly. Sure, we might be able to muddle through, but that’s not our best…and we should be prepared to give our best if we’re called!

I want EC’s and DEC’s to take another look at your equipment and resources for the OARS database! We are NOT going to take over your stuff! But if you built “stuff”, I’m sure you want it to be used- and that’s what the OARS database is all about. We need to catalog these resources so that we can get the right stuff when we need it! We assume owners will accompany larger equipment, and we allow in the database for your discretion about how and where it’s used. PLEASE take a minute, use the online form and let us catalog your resources!

Another major portion of ARES response began to be formulated this year, the Ohio ARESMAT program got underway. This program envisions three teams (north, central and south) made up of the ‘Cream of the crop’ operators and technical experts. These teams will be available to an EC who is facing an overwhelming event. We anticipate needing operator/net control, IT / digital, RF experts (repeaters/towers/etc) and other fields. If you would like to take on additional training, some meaningful work and rewarding activity, contact AEC Mark Griggs, KB8YMN! We’re looking for YOU!

OSERP: We tested the basics of the Ohio Section Emergency Response Plan during the SET this fall. Most counties were active in SET or in larger exercises during the same period. The response plan is a solid approach to emergency operations across the state. A winter project for me has been to re-write the OSERP. The concepts stay the same with only a couple changes. First, it’s to be assumed that the EC, and the first activated station in any emergency will probably be positioned at the county Emergency Operations Center. So we provide for that in the plan. Second, we needed to include the Ohio Digital Emergency Net in the plan. Third, we really needed to reconsider the frequencies recommended in the plan. I want to change the primary frequency to 7.240 plus or minus, and keep one 80 meter frequency as an alternate only. This take into consideration the better daytime propagation of 40, and reduces the instances of malicious QRM that we get on 80.

OHDEN: We’re forming a management team to support operation of the Digital Emergency Net. Marshall, KD8LAV, has been working hard since taking over the net but we didn’t do him any favors, saddling him with ~everything~. We are putting together a team including PR/PIO, Technical advice and training so that we can grow this very important resource in Ohio!

“THE SARGE”: We are renewing our friendship with the team of RACES operators at W8SGT, housed in the Ohio Emergency Operations Center. This is a key station in serving all of Ohio during emergencies, and we already have a good relationship. But we’re working more closely together with some additional projects that will help!

RED CROSS: Speaking of renewing friendships, Ohio ARES is very pleased to renew support for the Red Cross! Disaster team leaders are reaching out to county ARES units since the geographical reorganization has placed increased communications burdens on their system. I strongly urge EC’s to consider inviting Jim Sage, AC8FR for a training session in your county! They offer some great resources to us! Several of our counties have already signed the “Appendix C” page that is part of the national ARRL / RED CROSS MOU. I recommend it!

Again, I cannot thank each of your enough for your time and enthusiasm. Please don’t hesitate to call, email or otherwise contact me with your ideas and suggestions! That’s why this is a great organization!


73, Stan, N8BHL



The non-profit Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR) invites applications for the Amateur Radio-related scholarships it administers. These academic awards are sponsored by individuals and by Amateur Radio clubs across the US. The FAR scholarship application process is open to Amateur Radio licensees worldwide. 

For 2015 FAR is administering 67 scholarships worth an aggregate $125,500. The list includes 36 Quarter Century Wireless Association scholarships worth a total of $77,000 for 2015 (these require a recommendation from a QCWA member). Individual awards range from $500 to $5000. Applications are due by March 30, 2015.

The preferred method to apply is to enter the required information into the electronic form on the FAR website. Information entered on the form goes directly into an encrypted, password-protected PDF file that is available only to the review committee. Raw data are not stored online. Applicants will have an opportunity to print their applications and to edit them.

The application cannot be downloaded and completed, however. Applicants who are unable or unwilling to use the online application should contact Dave Prestel, W8AJR. FAR may be able to provide an alternate form of the application.

Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted but are not required; it is preferred that these documents be scanned into PDF files, if they are to be submitted via e-mail. Schools that prefer to mail paper copies should send them to FAR Scholarships, PO Box 911, Columbia, MD 21044.

Visit the FAR Scholarship Information page or contact FAR, if you have questions about the 2015 scholarship application process.


By John Ross, KD8IDJ


OK, nothing really "breaking" but some different kind of news nonetheless.

I've been working on a pretty good story about a couple of college ham radio clubs. But after a meeting I had today...well, I thought that passing along a story about too much media would be just a little more appropriate.

About once every two months a group of us "regular" PIO's get together to rag chew about what we're doing, how we're doing it and how we can make it better. Our discussion today moved pretty our surprise...about using too much media for our news, newsletters and information dissemination. Right...TOO MUCH MEDIA! Remember, say 30 years ago, when there were only three TV stations, a couple of radio stations and one newspaper? Delivering your news was pretty simple...and it was also pretty simple where viewers, readers and listeners could "find" the news. With cable TV, the internet, wireless streaming, social media and a lot of other outlets today it has become increasingly difficult to know where to look for real information.

For those of us who edit and write newsletters, trying to keep our clubs informed and up-to date on the latest happenings, we now have many different opportunities from which to choose. Twitter, Facebook, websites, texting and the old standby...printed newsletters...give us many outlets to pass long information. But when is too many too much? It's a valid concern and too much, of too much, can fracture our message and actually do just the opposite of what we hoped it would do.

For me, I like to take the printed copy of QST to my favorite chair or sitting place and read about what interests me. I can't really take a text message, a Facebook post or a streaming video along for the ride. I know where I like to get my information and I use that mode most often. So, what is the best way to communicate with our club or group? That is really the question we should ask more often of every member. Just because we can use a lot of media doesn't mean we should. We may be missing some, or most, of our audience. They might not know where...or go to the website for the updated information. They might not have all of the latest technology at hand and might not be in a position to access it every day.

You're reading this on our Ohio Section Journal website. You know to come here because you're used to coming here and once a month you get a nice email to tell you there is new news. Works pretty well! It's simple and a great collection point for everything you need to know...and for some things you didn't even know you needed to know!!!

I guess my whole point with this, if following along, is to know what works best for your club...and keep asking what works best. We may have great technical knowledge about ham radio but sometimes the "low power" approach to passing along information works best. Using all of the different forms of media can detract from the message and lessen the impact...and the interest. Don't spread your message so wide that it becomes a cryptic message that needs assembled from many different sources. As the Knight guarding the temple said, "Choose wisely."

Oh, and yeah, remember the newsletter contest begins next month!!! Send me the latest and greatest and we'll get together in August to pick more winners.

Thanks for a great year. It's a privilege to work and write for the Ohio Section. I have never been a part of such an exciting and dedicated group of folks in my life...and we're all amateur radio operators!

It doesn't get much better that that!


73, John, KD8IDJ



Here the rules for the 2015 entries:

A.) An eligible newsletter must be regularly published at least four (4) times per year by an Ohio Amateur Radio organization. The Ohio Section Journal and the newsletter for any club that the current PIC is affiliated with are not eligible.

B.) Each organization submitting a newsletter for the contest must enter at least two (2) issues starting with January 2015 for judging. All Amateur organizations that have regularly been sending newsletters to the Ohio PIC are automatically entered (as long as these publications qualify under rule A, or C if applicable). Unless you are automatically entered, the deadline for entries is Tuesday, June 30, 2015, and all entries must be in the hands of the Ohio PIC by that date.

C.) Electronic (Web based) produced newsletters may also enter. Non-amateurs, in the Public Relations industry will do the judging. They will be judging on style (15%), content (35%), service to membership (35%), and clarity of presentation (15%). Style means newsletter design of all pages. Content means amount of useful information contained in the newsletter. Service to members means amount of information using individual members' names. Clarity of presentation means readability of the newsletter including accuracy of English grammar.

D.) No entries can be returned and all decisions of the judges on content and eligibility are final. The Ohio PIC only serves to certify entries, to provide the judges with entries, and to announce their decisions only.

E.) The decision of the judges is final.

Like last year we are keeping our Honorable Mention categories. It allows the judges to award special and unique efforts.


Photo provided by (SOARA)
By Connie Hamilton, N8IO ASM

The last 15 years have enriched my life so much!  I have made so many friends and have many memories to keep me going. Thank you all for everything that you have done over all these many, many years.

73/88 and Teddy Bear Hugs 


From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager (SW)

Robert Gully, AK3Q, is the latest recipient of OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society’s Ham of the Year award. This prestigious award was presented to him in recognition of the positive impact the newcomers and Elmers net that he founded about 1.5 years ago has had on the local ham community. But, it doesn’t stop there. The Toledo Mobile Radio Association has started a newcomers and Elmers net modeled after the one started by ak3q. In an email to club president, Gary Coffey, KB8MYC, Dave Shugar, KD8EVN said in part, “The first net had eight check ins and lasted for 75 minutes, but the word soon got out and now we average twenty plus check ins for 90 to 120 minutes!

The net boosted our attendance for a Spring Tech Class and got a lot of new hams on the air in a friendly atmosphere of fellowship and learning.

As we celebrate our first year anniversary and the graduation of another November Tech class we want to thank your club for the idea of this net and the outreach to the Newcomers in amateur radio. Our attendance at Field Day is up and our Technical Committee has sponsored several workshops for the Newcomers to build antennas and learn about amateur radio. Club meetings are livelier with Newcomers attending and having face to face QSOs with the Elmers they have met “on the net”. The Elmers are rejuvenated with the enthusiasm of the Newcomers and look forward to the net and answering questions and giving advice.

In our Net Script we give OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society credit for the idea of the net and recommend your website for further information.” Having been a teacher most of his life, Robert said that this is the kind of feedback that most teachers can only dream of getting. He went on to say that he is both honored and humbled.
Susie Scott, N8CGM was also recognized for her dedication to editing OH-KY-IN’s newsletter for thirty (30) years! Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting paid to do the same job for that long, let alone volunteering. Susie recently announced that it is time for her to put down the pen. Could it be that she can’t find any more ink for it? Seriously, on behalf of all readers of OH-KY-IN’s newsletter, “Q-Fiver” I wish Susie a wonderful retirement.

Photo courtesy of  the
Q-Fiver Newsletter

Gary Coffey, KB8MYC, is stepping down after serving five years as OH-KY-IN president. He commented that he has seen this club grow at a time when others are getting smaller. As a club member, I can honestly say that I joined in part because Gary made me feel welcome and a valued member of the group.

Kudos to Jason, KD8ZYR. At age 9, he is probably the youngest Technician class licensee in the greater Cincinnati area.


According to the Monday Morning Memo, Eleven HARA members assisted the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association with its annual Hillsboro Christmas Parade which was held on November 29. President Bob McFarland, N8ZDL, says HARA has assisted with the lining up and organization of this parade since both the parade and HARA were organized some 40 years ago.

Ken Massie, WN8F, reported that the Southern Ohio ARA assisted with the Ironton Lions Club's Annual Christmas Parade, held on Monday December 1. Besides assisting with the parade, SOARA had a float honoring silent key member Boyd Little, KD8LAT.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season. 

73, Kitty, W8TDA


By: Jim Yoder W8ERW - TC

We near the end of this year with another 12 months of many accomplishments behind us. Before we leave the year behind, I would like to take a moment and say farewell to a special lady who has given so much to her fellow Hams of the Ohio Section. For those of you who have had the personal pleasure of knowing ASM Connie Hamilton, you will know her friendly smile the warm hugs, her presence and support at the many events within the Ohio Section. All of which are the visible examples of a genuine lady Ham who always gave her time, talents and a genuine concern for all of us.  Connie is stepping down at the end of this year after many in service as ASM Southeast. She will be missed by all of us. Hugs to you Connie, and a very warm Thank you.

RFI issues comprise a rather large spectrum of problems that can wreak havoc upon our Amateur Radio operating activities. I thought perhaps this month I might address this with some suggestions that I have found helpful in most all situations. RFI from commercial interests including power companies and cable system operators can be annoying at least and on occasion, become persistent and problematic enough to suspend our enjoyment of the hobby. Other more local issues including errant electrical apparatus operated by a neighbor or adjacent business interest can also contribute to the misery we are subjected to.

Most of us have a degree of knowledge to initiate our own investigation and come up with a likely source of an RFI problem. We often find we ourselves being the culprit as a result of some appliance or other device we operate which has become faulty. When that is not the case and the problem is outside of our direct control, we must depend upon others, usually the commercial enterprise involved. A lack of interest and reluctance to react may then result when we approach the errant entity.  Unfortunately resolution then becomes a little and perhaps a lot more difficult.

There are some steps that although may not provide immediate relief, are effective and necessary to secure the desired cooperation and results from the offending party. Documentation requires some additional effort and will almost always be the first action required. The question always becomes, "What have you done, Who have you contacted and what is the status of those activities?" Before we get to the point of total frustration, good and accurate documentation should be initiated and available for reference to facilitate the meaningful escalation to the proper level and authority. After all, what really desire is for the problem to go away and hopefully without a serious and legal fight in the process.

I also encourage you to ask for help when your own efforts are not providing the expected results. ARRL support is available including myself as your Ohio Section Technical Coordinator and staff of Technical Associates. ARRL headquarters in Newington can also be brought onboard to assist when necessary and FCC regulatory resources may also be applied when it becomes necessary to do so.
When you involve your ARRL team, we often have resources including the appropriate escalation contacts available to begin moving the problem towards resolution. You will also be making an important contribution to the knowledge base that will be valuable in future examples of the same or similar issues. I encourage everyone to contact your Ohio Section Resource early on in your effort to resolve RFI issues. We can offer advice and support and help you avoid the frustration that often settles in after months and even years of resolution that has not happened. Please don't give up and allow the frustration level to deny you the pleasure of operating your station as intended and allowed by the legal protections we have to support our Amateur Radio hobby. 

The Ohio Section cabinet is here to serve you and it is our pleasure to do so.

Let me close by wishing everyone a very happy holiday season.

73, Jim, W8ERW


By: David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Too bad I can’t do it in music you might realize it is from Charlie Brown’s Christmas®. You know the one that was just on TV, the one where Lucie get kissed by the dog Snoopy.

How are you doing on your Christmas shopping? More important how are you doing on your Christmas hinting? You know the hints you leave for other so they know what to get you for Christmas. By the time you read this you will not have much time left before Christmas if it hasn’t already come and gone.

I doubt that many of you will get them to buy you that $2000 HF rig but maybe a new mobile rig or a Hiel headset with microphone or an ARRL membership with subscription to QST. How are they going to know what you want if you don’t “hint” them?

Here are a few suggestions where to leave him or her you hint so you get the ham radio items you want for Christmas. You can use a page from a catalog or magazine to be:

1.   Taped to their car steering wheel.
2.   Taped on their cereal box or coffee cup
3.   Taped on the bathroom mirror
4.   Leave the store catalog on the coffee table open to 

     the right page
5.   Clipped to the lamp on the night stand
6.   Taped to the door going to the garage or outside
7.   Put a hint in her underwear drawer. 

     Note: this doesn’t work for men
8.   Put one on his or her computer monitor
9.   Pin one to their pillow
10. Talk about it every chance you get

I am sure that if you think real hard you can come up with some good “HINT” places of your own.

How about that early winter weather? Starting with lake effect snows in Buffalo, New York? I was raised in Pennsylvania about one mile south of Lake Erie so I know a little about lake effect. But I find it hard to imagine it snowing one foot per hour for several hours. People were stuck in buildings, trapped in cars and they even had some roof collapse on several building.

Then there was the storm on the east coast with flooding and a large amount of snow in some areas and the west coast is getting hit with the Pineapple Express bring large amounts of water off the Pacific with rain and snow. Here in Ohio we had some snow but not like the other areas have been hit.

This is a good time to think about winter safety. It doesn’t matter if you are just heading out the door to work or taking that trip to grandma’s house for Christmas you should be thinking about car safety. Here are some things you should do to prepare for that snow emergency.

For the car check your tire conditions, battery, anti-freeze and check your lights. Also have window scrapers, shovel, cat litter, a flashlight and check your car lights just to name a few items. For personal safety you should have blankets, winter coats, boots, hats and gloves for everyone in case you get stuck and have to walk your way out. You should have food and water for everyone in the vehicle so if you can’t walk your way out you can at least wait comfortably for help to arrive. If you do get stuck and run you vehicle for heat make sure the exhaust pipe is open and clear and remains that way. It is also a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full on a daily basis and to fill up before leaving on the ride to grandma’s house for Christmas. After all we need you and yours to remain safe and have a happy holiday.

If you not going anywhere on New Year’s, here is something fun to try. The ARRL Straight Key Night is coming up on January 1, 2015. Why not dust off that old straight key and give it a try. Who knows you may like it and have some fun. Straight Key night starts at 0000Z and ends at 2359Z (UTC). More details can be found at

I like to smile. It makes people think I am up to something!!
To you and yours, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

73, David, WA3EZN


From: Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hi Everyone,

Wow.. Are you ready for Christmas? It’s now just a couple of days away! Thanksgiving at the Yonally Estate is now just a blur. I do remember the day after and all the cleaning up of the mess of having 27 hungry family members feasting most of the day away. Oh well.. We love them all and wouldn’t trade any of them !!

If you remember, last month I told you all that I was retiring at the end of the year, it’s been a task for sure. I’m doing what I normally do, but I now have to teach someone to do it as well (twice as much work for sure). And of course, they have a different way of doing it. So, needless to say, it’s been a challenge. “It’s almost over” are the words that I am now using every morning that I get up.  By the time that all of you read this I should be done..?? Maybe.. Well.. Who knows, but the plan is to be done and on my last PAID vacation by the time this gets published.

I do have to laugh on this next item.. No matter how much I mention this, it seems that someone hasn’t yet  signed up to receive emails from the Section Manager and Great Lakes Director with the ARRL. I'm going to encourage you to check out your account with the League and make sure that the box for receiving emails from the Section Manager and Division Director is checked.

Now, for those of you who may not want to go to all that bother, or you are not League members, you still have a chance to get these important emails. All you have to do is to “Opt-In” on the Ohio Section website.. Here’s the link: You can also find this link on the bottom left corner of the main page of the Ohio Section website. I urge you all to make sure that everyone, regardless of whether they are a League member or not, knows that they can always “Opt-In” at any time.

Oh, didn’t know that the Ohio Section had a website?? We do.. You can find it at:  If you don’t have this website set as your home page, I urge you to do so. This website is one of the exceptions to the rules.. It changes all the time, it’s never stagnate and it’s forever changing. I would recommend that you check into the website at least 3 times per week.

Ohio's Speaker Bureau.. Need a speaker for your club meeting? Don’t forget to invite one of the Ohio Section Cabinet members to your next club meeting. The entire Cabinet is Ohio’s Speaker’s Bureau. If you’d like any of us to come and be a speaker at your function for FREE, please feel free to give any of us a call, we'll do our very best to be at your function.

Have you noticed a very short – one question – questionnaire has appeared on the Ohio Section Website? It’s there until the end of the year and then it will come to an end. I would like all of you to go on to the website and give me your honest answer to the pending question. After voting it will give you a tally of how the voting is going, with your vote added to it. I want to do more of this type of thing so that I can get your input on things that are affecting us all.. Please help out.

Oh, have you checked in on the Great Lakes Division website lately? You’ll find that it’s changing. It was time for a change and I am working on a cleaner, easier to use website. Check in often and check out the changes..

That’s going to do it this month from here.. I hope to see all of you at the various hamfests or meetings soon and who knows, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones to get a “mug” on me. Oh, by the way, the mugs are now filled with some extra surprises..

Have a question? Feel free to give me a call or write to me. My email and phone number are always listed on the Ohio Section Website as well as on page 16 of QST..

Have a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to you and yours..

73, Scott, N8SY



01/24/2015 | Winter Field Day
Jan 24-Jan 25, 1700Z-1700Z, N8W, Mineral City, OH. 

SPAR Society for the Preservation of Amateur Radio. 

14.210 7.050. QSL. Tom Phelps, 235 Leonard Ave NW, Massillon, OH 44646.

We practice emergency communications during the summer with the June Field Day. What about emergency communications
during the winter months? SPAR helps promote not only emergency communications in the winter months, but also interaction of Amateur Radio Operators worldwide. N8W will be operating near the town of Mineral Wells, Ohio. 

Our team is KD8ENV(Mike), KD8BBK(Tony), N3JJT(Scott)
and WD8MBE(Tom). We will be operating phone, CW and PSK.
See URL for more info.



01/18/2015 | S.C.A.R.F Hamfest
Location: Nelsonville, OH
Sponsor: Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation



The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 (H.R. 4969) which attracted the support of more than 68 members of the US House of Representatives will resume anew when the 114th Congress convenes in January continue . The just-adjourned 113th Congress did not enact the bill as we had hoped that it would. 

Introduced with bipartisan support last June, H.R. 4969 called on the FCC to apply the “reasonable accommodation” three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use restrictions regarding antennas. The limited PRB-1 pre-emption currently applies only to state and municipal land-use ordinances. The FCC has indicated its reluctance to provide the same legal protections from private land-use agreements, often called covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) without direction from Congress. ARRL’s Dan Henderson, N1ND, this week stressed that the fight is definitely not over.

“While we are disappointed that the bill did not make it through the process during the session, the effort was extremely energized by the efforts of thousands of ARRL members who participated in our grassroots lobbying effort,” Henderson said. “In just 6 short months we gained tremendous traction for the Amateur Radio Parity Act.”
Henderson explained that the bill will be re-introduced sometime after the new Congress is called into session in January. The “Amateur Radio Parity Act” bill will have a new number and will be introduced into the US House. “Once this happens, the ARRL will gear up for a fresh effort to push this legislation forward,” Henderson added.

Henderson said the bill would not have attained its current level of support in the US House without the thousands of letters and phone calls made by ARRL members to their congressional representatives. “The success of this crucial issue relies on the efforts of all radio amateurs and ARRL members,” he said. “We know you will step forward in the new year, when we renew our efforts on Capitol Hill.”



Yes, it seems that the flu bug has once again started going around to everyone’s computer. Is your computer protected? Do you check your virus definitions and make sure that they are up-to-date regularly? Do you have a back-up to your computer if your hard drive does die or just decides to get the kissing disease and sends you “out to lunch” messages? Well, unless you really don’t care about your computer, then this article isn’t for you.. You can just skip down to the next article. BUT…  If you are like most of us that I know, your computer is a big investment and you don’t want to be without it, and you don’t want to have to pay some 14 year old junior high school kid big bucks to fix it for you.

I know that I’ve written this at least once before, but yes, my computer took a hit this past weekend with a very deadly virus (malware). I got the virus some weeks ago and it took that long before it actually became active and took over my hard drive. This type of malware is called a Trojan Horse. It’s named after the historical Trojan Horse that was built and sent to Troy with a bunch of soldiers in it to take over the kingdom. I’m sure you all learned about that in your history classes. It’s not active until way after it is downloaded. After a set period of time it activates itself and then takes over your computer. Talk about mean.. This one really takes the cake.

It was weird when it happened, and luckily I am protected above what the makers of this Trojan Horse had anticipated. The virus I got snuck through Microsoft Security Essentials as well as Spybot, two of the leading freeware packages that are out there. It even got through Malware Bytes, a purchased program that looks for a lot of these specific types of viruses.

I have one additional piece of protection that these viruses (malware) hope that you don’t have, I have Carbonite. My wife purchases this additional protection every year for me as one of my Christmas gifts. It’s probably the single most important pieces of software that I have ever owned. What is Carbonite? It’s nothing more than a backup program. It utilizes the “cloud” to store copies of your files so that even if you get a virus in your computer your files have a copy in the “clouds” where it can’t be touched. Now I know that takes care of your files, but what about your programs like your operating system? Well, Carbonite also has additional protection with what is called a “mirror image” of your hard drive. 

This “mirror” is an exact copy of your hard drive – operating system and all. Now what also makes this a very good investment is that you can take this back for as short or long of a time as you wish or need to. The only limit on this is just how many images that you made. Remember I said that I got this malware several weeks ago. 

What I really like about Carbonite is that if you use the recommended settings it’s continuously making back-ups of your files. Every time you write a letter or make a file, it’s looking to make a backup of it. So, if you decide to delete something that you’ve written and then right after you have deleted it and emptied the trash can you decide that was something that you really did need to keep, you still have 30 days to recover it. This is because Carbonite keeps a copy of what you deleted for 30 days in the clouds. You didn’t need to make any special efforts to make a back-up, Carbonite did it totally in the background for you.

The mirror images are handled a little bit different since there are licensing issues involved. The law states that you can legally make copies of programs to keep for yourself as back-ups, so the mirror images are not kept in the clouds, they are kept on an external hard drive that you provide. Now I hear you moaning a bit, but portable hard drives of 2 terabytes are less than $100 now. That’s enough room to make a lot of mirror images for sure. Now I do want to point out here that the mirror images are also something that is made in the background. Once set-up you no longer need to worry about it. What about when the disk fills up? Well, they have that covered too. The program automatically erases the oldest mirror image to make room for the newest copy. It can go on forever without you needing to do anything.

I realize that this sounds very much like a commercial for Carbonite. It isn’t, trust me when I say that there are other programs equally similar to Carbonite, but this just happens to be the one that I use and swear by. They’ve saved me several times now from major headaches and arguments, not to mention that in this case I would have had to purchase a new hard drive. The only thing that is required from you is a little time at the keyboard to start the recovery process. Once started you just walk away until it’s finished. That’s it, nothing more to worry about.  I like things that make my life easier, don’t you?

I would strongly urge you to put some thought into this. I’ve heard from quite a few of you that you too have gotten viruses in your computer and were down for long periods of time. Two folks that I know had to just purchase new machines, as that the repairs would have been more than what a new machine costs. This type of program, whether it’s Carbonite or some other maker, is truly invaluable to anyone with a computer. It’s an investment that will keep on giving a long time after Christmas has come and gone. So, if your wife, girlfriend or significant other hasn’t completed their Christmas shopping for you, you might want to put a bug in their ear and suggest that they purchase a license from Carbonite or other similar program for you.


From John Perone, W8RXX - OOC

What's wrong with this picture?? Yes, there is is a violation here.

If you can recognized what's wrong here, you may be a good candidate to be an Official Observer. Ever thought of being a part of the Amateur Auxiliary? 

Contact John, W8RXX or Scott, N8SY.


John, W8RXX