Thursday, February 26, 2015

Between the issues of the Ohio Section Journal..

Hi Gang,

Just wanted to pop in to your email box today on this very cold and snowy day to let you know of a couple of very important dates coming up this next week..

** This next week (March 1 – 7) is the National Weather Services “Severe Weather Week. Wednesday, March 4th at  09:50 local time will be the annual Tornado drill. Are you ready?? Is your local ARES ready? 

** Sunday, March 8 is when we all will lose an hour sleep as that the time changes and we move our clocks AHEAD one hour for daylight saving time. I know, I hate having to lose sleep so that I can gain an hour of sunshine at night, but that’s the way it is I guess.

** I would now like to take a moment and announce (if you haven’t seen the announcement already) we have a new Kentucky Section Manager, Alan Morgan, KY1O. He will take over for Jim Brooks, KY4Z who decided not to run for another term. Alan will take over on April 1st... Help me in saying thanks to Jim, KY4Z and all that he has done for the Kentucky Section.. And, now let’s all give a big round of applause for Alan, KY1O who will be taking over.

** I received an email today from the folks at PCARS about the 10th annual Freeze Your Acorns Off (FYAO) ham radio QRP (Low Power) event that was held on February 14, 2015 at the Fred Fuller Park in Kent Ohio. It seems that the cold and snow didn’t affect their operation one bit, even though they had outside temps from 22 degrees to minus 7 degrees and they got about 8" of snow to go along with all of that. But, as they have reported, everyone had FUN and that’s what’s important.. They even have a video from John, KB8UHN posted on YOU-TUBE!!

Since you're viewing this from our website, I can present the video right here!!  

** There’s a NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website. It only asks one question and it will take all of about 5 seconds for you to answer it, and you can see how your answer stacks up with others 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.

** Have you made the choice to “Opt-In” to receive important emails from the Ohio Section or Great Lakes Division? There’s a link on the Ohio Section website to get these emails.. Now if you are already receiving these emails from the League, great..!! This would just be a repeat of that. But.. What if you’re not already receiving these emails, or you’re not a League member, this option is DEFINITELY FOR YOU. You’ll find the link to sign up for these emails at the bottom left corner of the main website.. 

For your convenience, here’s a direct link to it: 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 Manager?

** Finally, I want to say that I’m sorry that some of you may not have gotten the complete version of the Ohio Section Journal, even though it was sent twice.. It seems that the League has a maximum size that my communications can be to all of you and I exceeded it.. Twice..  Let that be a lesson to me I guess.

The OSJ has become a very large monthly Journal of what all is going on around the State, and believe you me, we are a very busy bunch!! It’s hard to confine it to just a limited size. I will say however, we have a way around all of this. It’s the web version of the Section Journal.. “I” control the maximum size it will be.. The web version is much more comprehensive, as that it includes pictures and graphics and all sorts of links to items of interest that you just can’t do with at “text only” version. I want to strongly encourage all of you to visit the web version each month when it comes out.. You can view it at:  

Now, since we were cut short on the latest edition, I think I can squeak what was missing from the last try it in here.. Let’s see if this will come though complete..

By Gayle Adams, W8KWG


You are familiar with the occasional interruption of on-air programming with an alarm tone and this announcement: “This is a test from the Emergency Alert System,” followed by instructions on what to do. Now let’s take this same scenario and apply it to our Amateur Radio Service.

We all know the reasons for the occasional interruptions—to test equipment to make sure it is ready in case of an emergency. The same goes for our service—we must test our equipment so we can be ready in case of an emergency. A perfect example, as all of you know, happened last month. Remember the 9-1-1 service interruption in Medina and several other counties? W8SGT was requested by Medina County to help out during this time.

We never know when disaster may strike, or whether or not we will be needed in a public service event. How many of you participated in public service events? The purpose is twofold: (1) to test your equipment and skills and put them through their paces and 2) to provide safety for all participants involved.

The next time your county is activated, will you be ready or will you be a sitting duck? Hopefully, you will be ready.

Henceforth, this behooves me to mention our Tuesday night net. Yes, our Tuesday night net is a means by which we can test our radios to make sure they are functioning properly and our skills as operators, for that matter. I encourage any and all of our 88 counties to check into our net.

Our net has been changed to 7:15 (1915 hours or 0015 UTC). Tune up and check in! Follow us on Twitter (hashtag W8SGT) for frequency information. You can also see our Twitter feed directly from the Ohio Section Website. There’s a window on the left side of the main page that allows you to view the Twitter posts from W8SGT directly. So, if you don’t have a Twitter account, you are still good to go. Just logon to the Ohio Section website.. and look on the left side bar.

This topic also segues into propagation. The 40 meter band can be so long (stretching like a pair of old pantyhose from here to Timbuktu.) The problem is that we don’t want to talk to Timbuktu. We often hear foreign broadcasters, so it makes things challenging for us.

Have you tested your equipment lately? Maybe you have an old radio in your attic or closet that’s begging for some TLC in order to be airworthy. Think about this the next time you hear the familiar alarm tone followed by “This is a test…….”

73, Gayle, W8KWG


Reprinted from

“SOS Hilltop Business Men’s Association wants city to send boats……….Supplies will last until about tomorrow……… Men are hanging on trees…….Send supplies…... Water is receding…...Try and get us water and gas…… People are suffering…….. Send this to Mayor Karb at once…… SOS.”

It was with these words sent by a 15 year old teenager over 100 years ago that Amateur Radio entered into Disaster Service.

Photo courtesy Bill Neill-NE1LL
Herbert V. Akerberg was a student at West High School in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio when he anxiously tapped out that Morse code message on the afternoon of March 26, 1913.

A slow moving storm had dumped 11 inches of rain over much of Ohio’s already saturated soil. In Zanesville the Muskingum River was cresting at 27 feet and 20 feet of water stood in her intersections. Five of the town’s seven bridges were washed away. Only the tips of the lampposts of the famous “Y” bridge could be seen.

In Defiance, Ohio the Maumee River rushed in 10 feet above flood stage and covered 268 homes. Rowboats plucked people from trees and rooftops everywhere. In Tiffin help came too late for several. Nineteen people waiting on their roofs for help, perished when their homes collapsed and they were swept away by the Sandusky River

On the west side of Columbus, where young Herb Akerberg was manning his station, the Scioto River crashed through the downtown dumping flood waters 17 feet deep into his neighborhood. Thirteen people were rescued.

“For about three days and nights, practically continuously for seventy-two hours, young Akerberg remained on duty at his radio set, in communication with the radio station on top of the Huntington Bank Building, sending messages to the mayor and keeping the public advised as to the conditions on the devastated West Side.

Photo courtesy Bill Neill-NE1LL
Many messages were sent to the friends and relatives of those in the devastated district.” C. B. Galbreath-Author “The History of Ohio”

The greatest destruction was in the areas around Dayton, where the rushing waters of the Great Miami River washed away homes and bridges claiming hundreds of lives. In Dayton 360 souls were lost, 3,400 domesticated animals and horses perished, 65,000 people were displaced and 20,000 homes were destroyed. Damage, in today’s dollars, exceeded $2 Billion.

The flow of the Great Miami River through Dayton during that Easter week storm in 1913 was equivalent to the same amount of water that spills over Niagara Falls in a month! In nearby Hamilton four-fifths of the town was covered and 400 people lost their lives.

“People talked about how fast the waters rose, sometimes one or two feet per hour, and there wasn’t any way of sending warnings downstream because of the downed wires,” she said. “There was no radio then except for a few ham radio operators, and the 1913 Flood is what triggered the legislation to create an emergency broadcast system.”…Trudy E. Bell-Author “The Great Dayton Flood of 1913”

Back in Columbus, Herbert Akerman, pounding brass from his home shack is joined by the station from Ohio State University. Unlike Akerman, the OSU students are not proficient in Morse Code. To the North of Ohio, B.N. Burglund at the University of Michigan station was unaware of the flooding in Ohio until he intercepted a call from a operator in Freemont, Ohio who reported that the town was under water and that the Captain of the Port Townsend Life Saving Station had drowned while attempting a rescue. The operator reported that all telegraph and telephone lines were down.

Burglund put out a General Call to any station located in the flooded areas. This call was responded to by operators in Mansfield, Springfield, and Mt. Vernon, as well as the OSU station in Columbus.

Burglund, assisted by engineering students George Norris, Worth Chatfield, and Mr. Watts (who had once been a commercial operator) began handling Health and Welfare traffic from the devastated area.

The Ohio State University station was now being manned by a capable operator, J. A. Mercer who pounded the key for more than 70 hours before he collapsed from exhaustion and was temporarily relieved by operators from the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

Young Mr. Akerberg, the first Ham ever to use Amateur Radio in a disaster would go on to honorably serve with the men of the Army Signal Corp during World War I.

In 1923 he directed the building of Radio Station WPAL in Columbus. Six years later he joined the start-up network CBS, where he built much of their network of radio and television stations. Herbert Akerberg passed away in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 6, 1964.

“Wireless in the hands of the amateur, while it is used by some as a plaything, is capable of doing excellent service in time of need; and we hope the work done by these men who did all they could to maintain communication between the flood stricken cities and the rest of the world, will long be remembered.”

B.N. Burglund –Modern Electrics, April 1913

Written by
John Bigley-N7UR
President-Frontier Amateur Radio Society
Las Vegas, NV



02/25-26/2015 | The Northeast Ohio 2-Meter FM Simplex Squares Contest

Full details, including rules, grid square information, HT enhancements,
Antenna construction links, operating tips can be found at:


05/23/2015 | WBCCI Region 4 39th Annual Rally
W4B, Mansfield, OH.
Wally Byam Caravan Club International Region 4.
7.225 +/- QRM.  Certificate.

David Brett, 40 Edgewater Dr, Youngstown, OH 44514.
Celebrating the 39th annual rally of Airstream Owners
in Ohio, Michigan, and West


03/15/2015 | TMRA's Hamfest and Computer Fair

Location: Perrysburg, OH
Sponsor: Toledo Mobile Radio Association


03/28/2015 | MOVARC HamFest
Location: Gallipolis, OH
Sponsor: Mid-Ohio Valley ARC



For those of you who have been recipients of prestigious Ohio Section Mug I want you to know that you are in very good company. I now have proof positive that our “Mug” is used every day at the ARRL Headquarters and proudly displayed to all who visit Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, the managing editor of QST.

I presented Becky with a “mug” last year at Dayton and she was thrilled with it. She told me then that she was an avid coffee drinker and would proudly use our mug every for her coffee. I now have a picture of Becky showing off her mug, thanks to our Vice Director, Tom Delaney, W8WTD. When Tom was up at Connecticut for the Board of Directors meeting last month, he happened to stop in to Headquarters and ran across Becky during his visit. He took a picture of Becky holding the mug. You’ll have to go online to see the picture, but believe you me.. I’m proud that she shows it off for everyone that visits Headquarters.

Thanks Tom for taking the picture and showing that our “mug” is getting its due all over the country.


Let’s hope that all of that came through this time around.. It should have.. I still want to encourage you to visit our web version when you can.. It’s much more inviting and brings the articles alive with links that work and pictures and such to help you better visualize what the author had in mind..

73, and Stay Warm and Comfy my friends..

Scott, N8SY..