In this issue:
-> HOT OFF THE PRESSES
-> AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
-> FROM THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
-> FAR SCHOLARSHIP INVITES APPLICATIONS
-> FROM THE PIC
-> 2015 ARRL OHIO SECTION NEWSLETTER CONTEST RULES
-> OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
-> SOUTHWEST OHIO HAPPENINGS
-> FROM THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
-> FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT LIAISON
-> FROM THE SCOUTING ASM
-> LET'S TALK
-> FROM THE “SARGE” (W8SGT) STATE OF OHIO EOC
-> NEW SKYWARN TRAINING FOR 2015 FROM THE CLEVELAND NWS
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
HOT OFF THE PRESSES
Reprinted from ARRL News feed - 01/15/2015
ARES volunteers in northeast Ohio activated on January 13 after 911 and other telephone services went down in six counties due to a power failure at a major AT&T center in Akron. The outage was blamed on a burst steam pipe. Cell telephones and the 800-900 MHz digital Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS) remained functioning.
The Medina County Emergency Management Agency requested ARES communication support with surrounding counties and with the Ohio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Columbus as a backup. At the same time, EMA Directors in Stark, Summit, Portage, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties alerted their ARES organizations.
Ohio ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, also requested activation of RACES station W8SGT at the Ohio EOC. Communication was established on 75 meters with several county Emergency Coordinators. The EOC also was able to link up with the Stark County 2 meter repeater, some 135 miles away.
Amateur Radio tactical communication regarding the status of systems and repairs confirmed what was being reported via MARCS. The Amateur Radio activation terminated after 4 hours, once the 911 system was brought back online.
“The Ohio EOC staff was extremely cordial as we coordinated with them, and the various county EMA directors were quick to activate Amateur Radio during the event,” Broadway said.
Broadway said Ohio volunteers already had practiced for such an event, since the emergency scenario during the Ohio Simulated Emergency Test (SET) last fall involved a statewide communication breakdown.
As occasionally happens, Broadway said, such events occur at inconvenient times. One EMA director was away on a honeymoon, and the Stark County EOC had no antennas in place while the roof of their building was being replaced. “Summit County (Akron) had an additional challenge,” Broadway noted. “It was decided to move their EOC, because all phone service was down. ARES members had to grab a ‘go bag’ and quickly set up operations at an alternate site.”
“My thanks to all who were involved!” Broadway said. “Our response was quick and professional, and was a great opportunity to show the value of Amateur Radio.”
Way to go Stan and all the ARES groups involved..!! Funny, our last year’s S.E.T. was based on just such an event. Do you suppose Stan knew something back then??
AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR REPORT
By: John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
I realize that I hammer on this subject each month, but it really is that important. According to the league, you must update your information each year in order to remain in their database. I prefer that clubs do it not just once a year, but whenever there’s a change in your club information. It really is in your clubs best interest to do this.
For instance, if a new or prospective Ham wants to find an Amateur Radio club in your area, the league website is often their first stop. If your clubs information at arrl.org is inaccurate, or even worse, non-existent, what would happen? How do they find you? Think about it.
Affiliation is free. All we ask of you is to keep your paperwork up to date. If you don’t, there are several affiliation benefits that could be jeopardized. Let’s have a look at them. Referrals
• Mailing Lists
• Club Commission Program
• Club Liability Insurance Plan
• Ham Radio Equipment Insurance Plan
• Library Book Set
• ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service
• Annual report
• Club Gavel Competition
• 50% Discount on Club Ads in QST
By the way, you can read more about all of these benefits at http://www.arrl.org/affiliated-club-benefits That’s quite a list, isn’t it? Is your club information current? You can find out at www.arrl.org/find-a-club. Pull up your club information using the search box on the left side of the page, then click on your club name to expand the listing. If the date in the annual report form is more than a year old, then you need to update your information. If you have questions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, while we’re on the subject, let’s put in a plug for the ARRL Special Service Club Program.
Special Service Clubs have offered to go over and above to develop proficiency in five specific areas:
• New Ham Development and Training
• Public Relations
• Emergency Communications
• Technical Advancement
• Operating Activities
• Miscellaneous Activities
In a lot of cases, you may already qualify as an SSC, The application/renewal is simply paperwork. You can find the application form online at www.arrl.org/ssc-application.
Not sure if you qualify, or have questions? E-mail me at email@example.com.
Moving along, here’s some freebies from the league:
First Contact award – lots of clubs have recently wrapped their licensing classes. I know that here in Northeast Ohio, there are some new call-signs on the air, and at club meetings. If you are fortunate enough to be someone’s first contact, then check out this award on the league’s website. The first contact award is presented to celebrate someone’s first contact using Ham Radio. You can apply online at http://www.arrl.org/first-contact
Active Club Online Primer – This 48 page PDF is a compilation of the ARRL Club Presidents workbook, and the Special Service Club Manual. In my opinion, it should be required reading for all club officers. You can find it on the league website by doing a search on “Active Club Online Primer”. The URL is http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Clubs/Active%20Club%20Online%20Primer.pdf
The ARRL Library - On January 13th, “The ARRL Library” opened for business. You can read about this in depth at http://www.arrl.org/news/the-arrl-library-goes-live.
So, what is the ARRL Library? It's a free repository of educational presentations and oral histories pertaining to Amateur Radio. It is aimed at helping to preserve Amateur Radio’s history and to educate clubs and individuals. It's divided up into three sections, PDFs, PowerPoints, and Oral Histories.
While you can download PowerPoints and PDFs to use for club programs, you can also upload your material to the library. Full details are on the League’s website.
They'll also be accepting oral histories for the library. Why not Interview some of your older members about the state of Amateur Radio "back in the day", and submit those recordings to the library?
There’s lots more to be found, and the collection will be growing, so you can bet that I’ll be writing more about this in the coming months.
Club News –
Highland ARA - In a recent issue of the Monday Morning Memo, John, WA8KIW notes that Ozzie Johnson, KA8UGI turned 100 on January 10th. Ozzie is a life member of the Highland ARA. Cards may be sent to Oswald Johnson, 700 East Main Street, Condo #30. Hillsboro, Oh 45133.
Massillon ARC - Massillon ARC’s Mentoring classes have begun, with a Saturday morning class on Grounding your station the right way. In February, John, N8CD will host a group Build of Variable offset attenuators.
Congratulations to Massillon ARC’s new officers, Ralph, K8HSQ, Pres; Terry, N8ATZ, VP; Fred, KD8SMO, Secretary; Gary, WC8W, Treas.
Canton ARC - The Canton ARC recently hosted Mel Vie, W8MV at their annual awards banquet. Mel presented a program about his trip to North Korea.
Mahoning Valley ARA – According to Wes, W8IZC, President of the Mahoning Valley ARA, congratulations are due to one of their members on his completion of QRP DXCC in only two weeks.
Dave achieved this during the weekends of the CQ WW DX contests. Be sure to congratulate Dave when you see him.
Alliance ARC – Club members are preparing for a busy year ahead. Their first event will be participation in SPAR Winter Field Day this weekend.
Western Reserve ARC – Western Reserve’s General Classes wrapped up in December, with two students upgrading afterwards.
West Park Radio Ops – West Park Radio Ops recently had a discussion & demonstration on D-Star. Also, add them to the growing list of clubs employing Skype for their club programs. Bob Heil is scheduled to do a Skype program sometime in 2015.
West Central Ohio ARA – Congratulations to the following new officers of the West Central Ohio ARA: Keith, KB8GYB, Pres.; Pat, N8WAA, VP; Jeanette, KD8AFR, Secretary; Don, KB8LWL, Treasurer; Shirley, N8LX, Board member.
Well, that wraps up another column. Remember, keep those newsletters, and e-mails coming!
Till next time, 73 DE KD8MQ
FROM THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
By Stan Broadway, N8BHL
I want to wish you all the very best 2015 possible! I can’t begin to express my thanks for everything you all do for Ohio, and your neighbors. Every time a visit a group, or talk to an EC on the phone, I am just that much more impressed with the capabilities we offer!
All-Ohio ARES Conference
I am happy to announce the Ohio ARES Section Conference! Remember one goal was to reduce our ‘drain’ on your valuable time by combining the spring and fall conferences. As a result our combined section-wide conference will be held on April 11 at the Ohio Fire Marshall’s Conference Center in Reynoldsburg, OH. This 2015 session is open to ALL ARES members and you’re urged to attend! In fact, if you’d like to bring your EMA Director along, they would be welcome! We will have the Go-Box Extravaganza, and we will have a display area for Comm Vehicles so bring yours, and your camera. We’ll have more in the future, but our goal is to bring meaningful training to you- something you can take home and share! So mark your calendars for APRIL 11! I am really excited about what’s going on for this one!
** Registration is now being taken for the Conference..
Please, help us better prepare for the conference by knowing in advance that you are planning on attending by registering now. Go to: http://www.arrl-ohio.org/SEC/form.html
Ohio NVIS Antenna Day
I can’t wait to get into this one! April 25 is our official NVIS antenna day. You can start now by thinking out your NVIS concepts, and even trying out some experiments. From 10 to 2 on that Saturday we’ll be making contacts with as many counties (and surrounding states) as possible- not so much for QSO’s but to actually build, try and compare NVIS antennas! Ashtabula county, and ADEC Tim Price are experts in this endeavor, and they’re putting together a great agenda for this day. This is an open event, so I’d urge you to invite other club members (especially the antenna experimenter-guys) to get in on the action. And, don’t forget the grills, hamburgers and hot dogs! This is all about fellowship! More to come!
The ARESMAT committee is meeting January 10 (or, did meet depending on when you’re reading this). We have the initial concepts, Standard Operating Guidelines and other appendices ready to go, and are now working on setting the right environment: recruiting, orientation and training cycle as a start. Remember, the vision is to grow the ARESMAT program into three skilled teams (north, central, south) with interchangeable training and personnel. These teams, all or in part, are available to ~assist~ the EC who has requested additional resources to handle an event. This is shaping up to be a high-profile operation, and we will be looking for the top echelon in several different areas (operating, repeaters-towers, IT, digital comms and more). If this sounds like something you would enjoy, please email me (easiest is my call at arrl.net or the email that’s on the webpage) and we’ll talk! This is one operation that we honestly hope will not be needed in its full-blown response, but you can be assured that if an event happens that’s big enough to require this response, that will not be time to figure it out. We need to be trained and ready now!
I want to remind EC’s of our OARS database. This is an integral part of ARESMAT and general ARES response, and it completely depends on YOU! In my travels, you have seen how excited (read: jealous) I get with your well-outfitted trailers, trucks and radio rooms! I know that just like me, if you’ve gone to the trouble of putting together a first-class trailer or truck, you want nothing more than to see it used! OARS will assure that we can provide the nearest, best equipment for any EC’s request. We’re NOT GOING TO TAKE IT OVER!!! We assume that you’ll send appropriate people to operate and care for it. But we really need to catalog all these resources now before something hits! There is a form on the ARRL-Ohio website to submit your vehicle, tower, generator, or other resource. PLEASE take the time now to register!
I have been honestly struggling with this for months, and I think (with great advice from my friends) we’ve finally come up with some worthy changes to the Ohio District boundaries. Why even mess with this? The initial motivation was because in several cases around the state, counties were in districts that did not associate them with their geopolitical or metro-population centers. For example, there is a tier of three counties (Marion, Morrow, Knox) which were in District 6 yet were almost completely associated in lifestyle with Columbus (which is District 7). Medina, in District 5, works with Cuyahoga county (District 10) in a lot of events and particularly in planning for the nuke plant. In these cases, it seemed natural to associate the counties more closely with their population centers. But that, as it turns out, was anything but easy! I was a little like putting six tennis balls into a five-ball bag. Every time I thought it would work, another county would ‘squirt’ out of the mix. Most of all, I didn’t want to change just for the sake of change. I think I have it now! With only a few moves, I believe we will have a more efficient way to manage our counties that is minimally disruptive.
• Medina County moves to D-10
• Marion, Morrow, and Knox move to D-7 with Lynn, W8MLL watching over them for DEC Kal.
• Wyandot and Hardin more to D-1
• Logan moves to D-3.
• District 6 will consist of Crawford, Richland, Ashland, Wayne and Holmes counties. I have
asked Danny Bailey, KB8STK to take on DEC duties for District 6.
These changes should be able to take place as we report our January numbers. Functionally, our counties all work well with their neighboring counties. I don’t expect this to affect any of that day-to-day cooperation!
I am also looking diligently for someone to take on the district management of District 5. If you have someone well versed in emergency response, with some management experience, please drop the dime on them!!
Even though it’s winter and seems quite enough, lots of things are going on in Ohio ARES! It’s very exciting! I hope you are proud to be a member- you should be!
73, Stan, N8BHL
FAR SCHOLARSHIP INVITES APPLICATIONS
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.
FROM THE PIC
By John Ross, KD8IDJ
Military Veterans, with their training and background, always seem to find a way to overcome adversity.
A group of Veterans at the Ohio Veterans Ohio Home (OVH) in Sandusky, Ohio are doing just that...with amateur radio!
It all started all started last September when resident Dan Dillon, K08C, suggested the formation of a club for any resident Veteran who might be interested in ham radio. So the OVH Amateur Radio Group was formed and immediately membership grew. The first meeting about 13 residents showed up...ranging in ages from 60 to 80! Membership soon expanded to 20 residents including Richard Hauzer, KD8ZSI, who had just passed the test for this Technician license.
Club member and Vietnam Veteran Joe Paluh, KB3LUE, said the club had to petition OVH to make it all official. One advantage of doing that was the club is now eligible for a $3,000 budget!
A new Yaesu radio and antenna are on order, and on the way, and soon the OVH Amateur Radio Club will have their own "shack" and apply for a club call sign. Remarkable! If you counting call signs right now there are 3. Many of the other members are studying for exams with the help of mentors, The Sandusky Amateur Radio Club in Erie County has been helping with volunteer testing and mentoring. Club member Gene Schumacher, W8VMW, said he's looking forward to working with the OVH club. "They have a lot knowledgeable guys there and once they're up and running they could serve as Net Control for a lot of functions."
In fact, the OVH club is hoping to set up a MARS station and participate in ARES drills and emergencies. Joe Paluh said they have a great location at OVH and have an emergency backup generator at the facility so they can be on the air at all times. Joe also said the club gives members focus, direction and hope. Sometimes those aspirations are better than any medicine.
As a Veteran myself, I can tell you there isn't anything more important than helping and being useful. The OVH Amateur Radio Club provides a great way for residents to use their knowledge and talents. It's also a great a way to promote amateur radio and a reminder to all us how thankful we are to be involved a great hobby!
There will be more on the OVH Amateur Radio Club. We'll have some pictures of their new radio and equipment and a few photos of their members.
To the OVH Club...nice job men...thank you for your service and for being HAMS!!!
Just a reminder the 2015 Newsletter Contest is in full swing. The newsletters are arriving and I'm deep into reading all of them. As always, every newsletter is full of great information. Keep them coming...this year will be a great contest.
73, John, KD8IDJ
2015 ARRL OHIO SECTION NEWSLETTER CONTEST RULES
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.
OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
By: Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)
So far this year, I have visited the Muskingum Valley Ham Radio Club and the Zanesville Amateur Radio Club, where I informed the members that an Elmer Award was available through the ARRL.
Unfortunately, I also attended the funeral of a local ARRL member Richard “Dick” Clifton, KG8CZ, who belonged to three amateur radio organizations: Muskingum Valley Ham Radio Club, Zanesville Amateur Radio Club, and the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association. Dick enjoyed public service as well as operating events. He was also an avid DXer, working all 50 states and over 300 countries. The Cambridge Amateur Radio Association conducted its Amateur Radio Silent Key Service for the family at the funeral home.
I have plans to attend the Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation’s Hamfest on January 18 in Nelsonville, and the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association’s meeting on January 31.
73, Lyn, N8IMW
SOUTHWEST OHIO HAPPENINGS
From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager (SW)
I had the good fortune of being asked to visit the Milford Amateur Radio Club on January 8 to talk about Log Book of the World. Over 20 members braved the frigid temperatures to get to the meeting. They really made me feel welcome. All I can say is what a hardy and hospitable bunch!
SPECIAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
ARRL just wrapped up its centennial celebration. But, for Ozzie Johnson, KA8UGI it’s just getting started! He turned 100 on January 10th and celebrated the special occasion with many of his friends from the Highland Amateur Radio Association. Ozzie is perhaps the oldest amateur in Southern Ohio.
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON THE ARRL CENTENNIAL
Figuring that I won’t be around to celebrate ARRL’s bicentennial, I decided to take full advantage of the opportunities the league made available to celebrate its centennial. My experience was better than I ever imagined it could be. I learned so much and had a blast doing so. I wanted to get the W1AW worked all states certificate.
I wanted to give and get contact points from fellow league members as well as elected and appointed League officials. That meant learning how to use Log Book of the World, a program I had successfully avoided. Based on what I had heard this program was a mind numbing, headache inducing complicated mess! And, that was in just getting it setup! Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was not that bad!!
With the logging software up and running, it was time to let the contacts begin! Little did I know that my operating skills were about to be tested in ways I had never before considered. Many of the W1AW portable stations operating in the CW band were transmitting and receiving on separate frequencies (split mode). Time to turn to the equipment manual to find out how or even if my radio could operate in split mode.
Wa la! I was soon operating split mode like a pro! I even did it on the “new WARC bands” I had just never taken time to explore. Finally, I operated as W1AW/OH with a twist. Due to poor propagation and equipment issues that were not readily apparent, I found myself searching the band for stations with whom to make contact rather than the typical practice of sitting on one frequency for stations to find me.
In summary, my biggest takeaway and hopefully yours, is the value of being open to trying new ways of doing old tasks. The person who best exemplified this is our very own N8BJQ. He was the coordinator for the first W1AW Ohio operation. He gave me that once in a lifetime opportunity to be a portable W1AW operator, even with the knowledge that I would need help accessing the operator schedule and handle some of the logging issues differently, by virtue of being blind.
By the way, I missed getting W1AW portable from all states. However, I did qualify for the top level certificate with 18784 points at last check.
73, Kitty, W8TDA
NOTES FROM THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
By: Jim Yoder W8ERW - TC
Please join me in offering a hearty welcome to newly appointed ASM Southeast, Lyn Alfman, N8IMW. Although filling the shoes of former ASM Connie Hamilton, N8IO will be a measureable task, Lyn brings with her a lot of experience, many friendships and a wealth of desire and commitment to the Ohio Section. Welcome Lyn to a great team of dedicated Ohio Section cabinet
members and all of our Ohio Hams.
Last month I wrote about RFI issues and what we can do to affect a positive resolution when interference from problematic source degrades our ability to operate. I would like to expand upon that further this month.
The ARRL official website, http://www.arrl.org/home and the RFI page http://www.arrl.org/radio-frequency-interference-rfi, offer some specific information and additional resources that are initially helpful to Amateurs who are experiencing difficulty with RFI. A "Google" search also may provide additional reference and support. There are some initial steps to take which may help achieve relief when your operating becomes difficult because of the noise.
Often the culprit is us. Although this doesn't involve a lot of negotiation or sleuthing outside our own environment, it can be daunting. When it turns out to be one of the XYL's favorite appliances or gadgets some skillful diplomacy may be required.
When we have done it to ourselves by means of some apparatus that we have installed, it's downright painful to admit as well. Often a very real problem is how to effectively isolate the problem to the source. Killing circuit breakers can be effective providing we are able to do so and not shut down the reference we are using along with the offending device. Some diligence is often required to accomplish this. It is however, the first line of the investigative process.
The first rule of trouble shooting is to always look at the easiest place first. There is logic to this which supports the desire to get to the problem efficiently and quickly. Experience helps also and being able to recognize some of the common sources by the sound observed is useful. AC hum, poor grounding bad electrical connections and motor noise are examples that normally behave in a manner that is consistently recognizable. AC Hum has its own signature which by example can easily be heard by connecting the output of a low voltage transformer to a loudspeaker.
Poor grounding can also insert a telltale hum into our equipment which can express its self similarly as AC hum. It can also create a lot of scratchy noise. A bad electrical connection will exhibit terrible noise until it becomes significantly intermittent to be obvious. Motor noise can emanate from any number of sources within our homes including common sources such as furnace motors, many appliance motors and the like. A faulty ground associated with these devices is a common source of the problem.
Once it can be determined the offending noise is not inside the home, more elaborate detection methods may be required to discover the source. Often the noise if broad banded in nature can also be heard using a portable AM/FM receiver. Although directivity is not normally functional, proximity is an indicator as we come closer to the source, the level will increase. Visual observation can then reveal a likely source. The physical plant of our electric utility companies includes several areas of concern. Faulty connections can induce serious noise problems. These can sometimes be observed during windy conditions. Insulators can start to conduct when they have accumulated dirt and contamination which often results in noise. The overall conditions observed can indicate possible noise generating elements. These should be investigated by the appropriate utility company and we as Hams should never attempt to correct them ourselves or engage in any direct methods of detection. Serious and lethal risks are always present and must be left to those who have the appropriate equipment and training to work on them. Cable leakage is a common source as well due to the nature of the equipment involved and our widely varying weather conditions. Cable companies are required to maintain maximum levels of permissible leakage. Unfortunately, they are not always easy to communicate with.
Direction finding may also be employed especially when the source is more like RF than noisy connections. This may require some additional help to resolve. The use of a handheld transceiver and a directional antenna may be effective in locating the direction and source of the offending noise. Providing you are able to hear the noise, the direction can be isolated with the handheld and a directional antenna. The source can be one of many devices operating in a neighbor’s home or commercial equipment operating near (or not so near) your shack. It is best at this point to begin looking for some additional help.
Your fellow Hams are often the best resource when you find a neighbor or commercial entity is the likely source of your interference. " Two heads are better than one" becomes the rule of thumb. Before you attempt going after the source you have identified, it is always best to seek a second opinion. We as Hams are protected in most cases from harmful interference by FCC regulations requiring clean operation from commercial equipment as well as consumer grade devices. Ideally, we are looking for friendly and cooperative resolution and a degree of diplomacy is often required if we are to expect positive results. It is not safe to say the offending party or business is aware of neither the problem nor the liability to correct it. A gentle and friendly approach is always the avenue of choice.
Success doesn't always come easy and you may need to gather some additional resource to resolve an interference issue. As Section Technical Coordinator, one of my responsibilities is to assist you. The Ohio Section has several qualified Technical Associates who have additional expertise to bring into play. And as necessary, ARRL headquarters in Newington has the appropriate resource to assist and interact on your behalf when necessary. Escalation to the appropriate regulating authority may ultimately be required.
Document your activities related to RFI and interference. These records will be very useful when escalation becomes necessary. Use your League resources and ask for help before you become entangled in a nasty battle with a neighbor or business. Ultimately the resolution of the problem is what we seek.
The February issue of QST, now also available in electronic format, has an excellent article "Hunting Down RF Noises" by Michael Foerster W0IH detailing his efforts to track down RFI in his home. You may enjoy reading his interesting article as he works through several steps towards eliminating the noise he experienced. Michael's article can be found on page 45 of either the print or electronic February edition of QST.
Wishing you a Happy and productive New Year.
73, Jim, W8ERW
FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT LIAISON
By: Nick Pittner, K8NAP - SGL
Perhaps it’s time for Ohio’s amateur radio clubs to consider expanding their role from a social/entertainment model to include a resource model as well, providing information and assistance to both new hams and others needing assistance getting on the air. Consider, for example, having club-based support for the new ham all the way from the first study class to the first “on-the-air” experience. Perhaps the most badly–needed aspect of that role is the development of a data base/resource bank for new hams who are forced to deal with zoning restrictions. Many of Ohio’s clubs sponsor license exams, and some offer study courses to help aspiring hams prepare for the exams. But, how many take the next step with help to secure approval for that first antenna? In many cases, that help could be nothing more than assurance that no formal zoning approval is required. But, having that assurance can make all the difference. In other cases, more information and assistance may be required, including guidance through the zoning variance process.
The more complex issues arise for those encumbered by condominium regulations, deed restrictions and neighborhood agreements that flat-out ban any antennas. In those cases there is, at the present time, little by way of legal recourse, save for the potential for a “flagpole” antenna. See, R.C. Section 5301.072. However, for those who so choose, access to information on low visibility “stealth” antennas can also be helpful.
For those clubs wishing to expand services to new hams here are 3 suggestions that may be helpful. First, make sure that every newly licensed ham has a copy of the Section publication, “Ohio’s New Amateur Radio Antenna Law”. It is a brief but comprehensive summary of both the federal and state laws governing amateur radio antennas and the rights of hams to erect antenna structures. Second, identify the primary contact individuals for the local zoning authorities (city, township and county) in your area and maintain their contact information as part of your club’s resource bank. Better yet, pay them a visit and familiarize them with the latest developments in Ohio law regarding zoning and amateur radio antennas. Third, maintain a data base of successful zoning variance applications by hams in your area, and make it available to new hams who may need to seek a zoning variance as part of their application process.
In the coming months we will delve much deeper into strategies that can be utilized on a local-club basis to smooth the path for new hams. Club activities that benefit Amateur Radio not only help the clubs, they benefit all of us by ensuring a bright future for Amateur Radio.
73, Nick, K8NAP
FROM THE SCOUTING ASM
Scott Hixon, KC8ITN
Both the ARRL and Boy Scouts of America started around the same time. The ARRL was founded in 1914 and the Boy Scouts of America started in 1913 (Boy Scouts originally started in England in 1910).
Going all the way back to 1918, when BSA started the Wireless Merit Badge (which was one of the earliest merit badges), ham operators have been working hand-in-hand with BSA to help teach scouts the skills and joys of radio communications. Five years later, in 1923, BSA changed the name of the Wireless Merit Badge to the Radio Merit Badge and scouts have been earning it ever since! In 2010, the 100th anniversary of scouting, there were over 7,000 Radio Merit Badges earned by scouts.
In 1922, one of the Wireless Merit Badge requirements required scouts to be able to copy morse code at 10 words per minute. In 1930, the requirement was dropped to 5 words per minute and in 1984 BSA dropped the code requirement completely.
I’ve read articles in old QST magazines that talked about and showed pictures of scouts participating in Field Day and Jamboree-on-the-Air events. For almost 60 years hams have been putting on Jamboree-on-the-Air events so that scouts could talk to other scouts all over the world via amateur radio.
In a February 1941 QST magazine that I have in my collection, there is an short article on page 56 that describes one way hams worked with scouts 74 years ago. Here it is in its entirety :
“The Baltimore Amateur Radio Association assisted the Boy Scouts in their practice emergency mobilization, October 19, 1940. The club transmitter was set up in Druid Hill Park and operated by W3HHT. W3EEI had his rig at Patterson Park working from a 700-watt A.C. generator. W3HAL operated his battery-powered station at the grounds of School No. 234. W3EQK, W3IBP, W3OZ, W3IXE, W3GWS, W3HRI and W3EKZ operated their home stations, using Boy Scouts as messengers, to and from mobilization points. All contacts were made on 1888 kc., using ‘phone. W3EKZ acted as net control and took all traffic for Scout Headquarters. Forty-two messages were received, eighteen originated and five relayed by EKZ. W3IER and W3ESM assisted Robert McCleary, who had his HQ120 at the Scout Office in order to hear how the tests were progressing.”
What they were doing almost 75 years ago, we should be doing to help the scouting program today! There are merit badges in scouting that include Emergency Preparedness, Search and Rescue, and Communication that hams would be able to help with. This would also be a good way for an ARES group to get some extra practice in emergency preparedness, and help a youth group at the same time!!
Some of the information for this article came from the ARRL website and K2BSA.net . The K2BSA website has a lot of good information and ideas concerning radio scouting and I encourage you to check it out.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember: Take care, stay safe, and make a difference in someone’s life!!
73, Scott, KC8ITN
From: Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager
Wow.. A New Year is here!! I have to tell ya’ this one is starting out much better for me than last year, for sure. If you didn’t know, last year at this time I had my right leg in a cast. I had broken both of the bones that connect your ankle to the rest of you.. Because it was my right leg, I couldn’t drive, walk or do much of anything, other than hobble around on a set of crutches that I didn’t do will with (my wife said that I looked like “PacMan” bouncing off the walls).
Anyway, I’m on my own two legs this year and loving it, and now that I’m retired from my professional job, I even love it more than before! Life on retirement isn’t like I thought it would be, it’s much better. It’s giving me much more time to do the Section Manager’s job. Now I can give it full time like this position really demands.
I do have to chuckle a bit 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 / Great Lakes Director with the ARRL. I'm going to keep encouraging you to check out your account with the League and make sure that the box for receiving emails from the Section Manager / Division Director is checked.
Now, this part has really gotten popular the past couple of months, for those of you who may not want to go to all the bother of checking your account with the League, or you are just not League members, you still have a chance to get these important emails. All you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. There’s a link to do this on the Ohio Section website, it’s on the bottom left corner.. For your convenience, here’s a direct link to it: http://arrl-ohio.org/forwarder/forwarding.html. I urge all of you to make sure that everyone, regardless of whether they are a League member or not, get signed up for one of these options. You can always “Opt-Out” at any time if you feel this is not what you were expecting. But, who in their right mind would want to miss out on anything coming out of the Great Lakes Director or the Ohio Section?
Oh, didn’t know that the Ohio Section had a website?? We do.. You can find it at: http://arrlohio.org 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 stagnating, and I would highly recommend that you check into the website at least 3 times per week or more if you can. Yes, it does change that much!
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??** There’s a very short – one question – questionnaire that has started to appear on the Ohio Section Website. It changes about once every week or so. It asks just one question that will take all of about 5 seconds for you to answer and you’ll get to see how you and others feel about the topic instantly. Why is this there? I want to know how you feel. This is YOUR way of letting me know how the Ohio Section is thinking. Yes, this is very important to me. I represent YOU and I’m asking how you feel about something. Now how many politicians ever go to that extreme? I bet the only time you hear from them is at election time. I’m hear 24/7 for YOU. Let me know how you feel, answer the question now pending.
Have you checked out the Great Lakes Division website lately? http://arrl-greatlakes.org It’s changed. It’s been brought up to the twenty-first century with an entirely new look and feel. It’s cleaner and much easier for you to navigate. Check in often, and check out the changes..
Speaking briefly about the Great Lakes Division website, Jack Shirely, N8DX has reported the following on the Blog Board for the Eighth (8) Region Incoming QSL BUREAU..
Global QSL Abuse..
We are receiving a lot of USA to USA QSLs from this service. The cards will be returned to you via you letter manager and not forwarded by the ARRL bureau system.
I would encourage all of you to read what is on the site about how this department works. Yes, it is somewhat lengthy, but I think you’ll not only learn a lot, but you’ll have a much better understanding of what you are supposed to be doing as well.
Jack and I are talking about ways to improve your ability to get your incoming QSL cards. I think it will be a great improvement. I will report on this more as Jack and I continue the discussion.
Has your annual club report form been filed with the League yet?
Club Officers.. take note of this article.. A number of clubs around the state have been placed into the “inactive” clubs category due to forgetting to simply fill out the annual report. It is critical for your club to send this report in when it is due in order to not become one of the “inactives..”
What’s the big deal? You don’t want to find out the hard way that your club activity has not been sanctioned due to you just not filling out the required paperwork do you? I see this happening in a few clubs already. So who cares if it is filed or not? The League does, and to follow their rules, if you have an event you need to be current on the paperwork. If you aren’t, you cannot in any way reference in any of your materials that your function is “sanctioned” by the League. This includes the use of any League logo! Oh by the way, you also lose out on free publicity by your hamfest not being listed in QST and on the various websites around. As well as you lose out on the FREE gift certificates given to sanctioned hamfests. I know that many of the smaller club sponsored hamfests around the state rely on getting these gift certificates to use as great door prizes as well as the free advertising that they get.
Now on to the stats for Ohio.. We are not as bad as it may seem on the surface, but we could be much, much better. Right now we have 96 “Affiliated” clubs in Ohio with 57 of those clubs being up-to-date with their paperwork. That’s over half, not bad, but could be better for sure.. You’ve worked so very hard to get the club to “Affiliated” status, why would you not want to continue being a great club and follow through with something as simple as filling out the annual report. All it takes is about a half an hour worth of work and that’s it. For most of the clubs around the state, I would imagine you could almost copy verbatim last year’s report! This will make it even go faster. You know, I would be amazed to hear that your club members wouldn’t want to hear a financial report at least once a year.. This is really the same thing. It’s a report on how your club is doing.
Now on the Special Services side of things we definitely need to give this some attention. We have 28 clubs that are in the rears for paperwork, with just 9 clubs up-to-date. That’s about one third. Now, to get to “Special Services Club” status you’ve had to work even harder to make it, don’t throw it all away. Get the paperwork submitted. Again, I can’t stress this enough, it’s so simple, just fill out the annual report. If you need help, just ask. I’m sure that our ACC – John Myers, KD8MQ, or myself, can find time to answer your questions and help you get that all valuable annual report filled out.
You know, Ohio is THE largest Section out of the 71 sections. Let’s have the most Affiliated and Special Services Clubs as well. If you didn’t know, the Ohio Section is responsible for a lot of the rules that now determine what makes a club a “Special Services Club.”
Hay Gang, did you know that the League has a beautiful Elmer Award that you can apply for to give to your Elmer? They do, I presented one of these awards at a club meeting just this past month. It was great giving back to my Elmer and recognizing him for all the great things he did for me as I was starting out.
Recognizing your Elmer is a way of “paying it forward” and to encourage future Elmers out there. Anyone that is a League member can go on line to: http://www.arrl.org/elmer-award and fill out the form and either have the form mailed directly to the Elmer, or more impressively, and the one that I would encourage all of you to do, have the certificate mailed to you and present it to your Elmer in person, it’s a fantastic way of recognizing your Elmer for all the things that he/she did to get your started. Yes, you do have to be an ARRL member to request a certificate, but you don’t have to be one to receive it!
Now for the logistics..
First and foremost, like I said above, you need to be an ARRL member to take advantage of this particular program. If you aren’t a League member, this is a great opportunity to become one. This is the perfect reason for you to join. Now, once that is taken care of, go on-line and fill out the form and hit the submit button. That’s it. A few simple boxes to fill in and that’s all there is to it.
Since this certificate is mailed to you via the US postal service you’ll have to wait to get it (about 2 – 3 weeks), as it is a certificate that is snail mailed only at this time.
Hey club officers.. I know that you’re always looking for club activities to get your members involved with.. this is a fantastic way of getting old timers and the young folks together. You might have a night set aside just to “award” all of your Elmers out there. Wouldn’t that be great!
Let me know if you take advantage of this great recognition, I would like to hear about your Elmer.
The League also has a “First Contact” award for you to present as well.. I’ll discuss more on that one in future articles.
Last item of the article.. Most of you know that I’m a diehard Brownies fan. After the trouncing that Ohio State did over Oregon with a third string quarterback, maybe the Head Honchos of the Browns might want to think about replacing “Johnny Football” with this Ohio State kid.. Just sayin..!!
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 http://arrlohio.org as well as on page 16 of QST..
73, Scott, N8SY
FROM THE “SARGE” (W8SGT) STATE OF OHIO EOC
By Gayle Adams, W8KWG
W8SGT: Where We’ve Been and How Far We’ve Come
In 2010, Robert Wilkey, W8VMS (SK,) needed help getting a club restarted. He had been to our ARES in-person meetings and had asked if anyone would like to help out. This wasn’t just any club. This was a club who dealt with em-comm training, drills, and ready when activated.
The Buckeye Amateur Radio Club (BARC) was reformed. Our mission is to provide and establish reliable back-up communications between the State EOC and all ten districts in the State of Ohio and to help support the ARES organization when needed.
The club members are as follows: Gayle Adams, W8KWG, Wallace Giffen, W8IYE, Homer Workman W8HGW, and Richard Wynkoop KD8PHG. Other members include Terry KD8YFW, Mark Kring N8COO, Stan Broadway N8BHL Kevin O’Harra, KD8IIB, John Harris N8PVD and Scott Yonally N8SY.
We are located in the State EOC (Emergency Operation Center) at 2885 W. Dublin-Granville Road. We have participated in various drills. We recently participated in the Perry County Nuclear Power Plant Drill in September and SET and Columbus Marathon in October and the Airport Drill.
We have two different nets on Tuesday nights. We have a voice net (3.850 MHz, with alternates being 3.870 MHz and 3.910 MHz). We continue the same net on 40 meters, with our primary frequency being 7.240 MHz, with alternates being 7.248 and 7.258 MHz. Our net starts at 7:00 p.m., but we are moving it to 7:15 p.m. The purpose of this net is to establish reliable and professional communications between all ten districts in the State of Ohio. We have heard from 67 counties thus far. We also participate in a digital net using FL-DIGI. This mode is also good for handling some traffic, and thus, the reason for this net.
There are two different ways one can get a hold of us if we are not on our primary frequency. We are on Twitter (hashtag W8SGT#). We will soon have an RSS feed established on the Ohio Section Webpage that will also let you know how to get a hold of us.
See you all next month
73, Gayle, W8KWG
NEW SKYWARN TRAINING FOR 2015 FROM THE CLEVELAND NWS
Reprinted from the Cleveland National Weather Service Office website
SKYWARN spotter training sessions for Spring 2015 will be held through Webinar (online) training conducted by National Weather Service employees. Groups organized by county Emergency Management agencies will host the online training sessions. Please contact your local emergency management agency to determine which dates they will host training sessions.
Webinar based training will be held on the following dates:
* March 4th Wednesday
* March 9th Monday
* March 18th Wednesday
* March 23rd Monday
* March 26th Thursday
* April 1st Wednesday
* April 7th Tuesday
* April 13th Monday
Being a storm spotter not only means dedication, but also training. Each spring the Cleveland office of the National Weather Service trains members of police & fire departments, emergency management officials and amateur radio operators on spotting techniques. Typically the training is coordinated by a local group (such as an emergency management agency), and a NWS meteorologist serves as the guest instructor. The goal of the training is not just to recognize tornadoes, but to have some understanding of storm structure, which in turn better prepares the spotter for the extreme and unusual circumstances.
SKYWARN™ Training is FREE and open to the public. Please attend any of the training sessions listed above. You will be trained and enrolled in the program. You do not need to pre-register.
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. www.spar-hams.org
02/14/2015 | Birthdate and Birthplace of Thomas A. Edison
Feb 14-Feb 15, 1521Z-1521Z, NI8G, Milan, OH.
Thomas Edison Memorial Radio Club.
28.348 21.248 14.248 7.248.
Certificate & QSL.
Jack Hubbard, NI8N, 13113 River Rd, Milan, OH 44846.
SASE Required, E-QSL available. email@example.com
02/14/2015 | Freeze Your Acorns Off - FYAO
Feb 14, 1500Z-2100Z, K8BF/FYAO, Kent, OH.
Portage County Amateur Radio Service.
Certificate. Bob Hewett, K8FEY, 3670 Sea Ray Cove, Aurora, OH 44202.
/FYAO stations will be active on CW & Pho in the General areas of the
6, 10, 15, 20, 40 & 80 meter bands. Power limit for the /FYAO stations is QRP.
Participating stations will be using their own call sign/FYAO or calling CQ FYAO.
Only stations at the Freeze Your Acorns Off event site should use the /FYAO designator.
OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
Location: Elyria, OH
Sponsor: Northern Ohio Amateur Radio Society
02/15/2015 | Mansfield Mid-Winter Hamfest
Location: Mansfield, OH
Sponsor: InterCity Amateur Radio Club