In this issue:
-> AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
-> FROM THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
-> FROM THE PIC
-> 2015 ARRL OHIO SECTION NEWSLETTER CONTEST RULES
-> FROM THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
-> 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 OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
-> HELP IN PRINTING YOUR AMATEUR LICENSE
-> OHIO QSO PARTY RULE CHANGES
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR REPORT
By: John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Well, here we are. As I write this, the Dayton Hamvention® is still a couple days off. My vehicle is packed, and I’m leaving as soon as I hit the send button on this month’s column. So this will be a short column this month.
Dayton has just wrapped up, so can Field Day be far behind? For lots of groups, this is their biggest activity of the year. If the public is invited to your Field Day site, then please post your operation on the ARRL Field day locator map (http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator).
Last month, I set up a table at the Cuyahoga Falls ARC hamfest. This week, I received a thank you letter from them for participating. I don’t know if all hamfests do this, or not, but I thought it was a nice touch.
Did your club participate in the Ohio ARES NVIS Antenna Day? I got on late, but found some good activity from Ohio clubs on 40 meters. I hope this is an annual event.
Notes from all over – This is the part of my column where I try to give some highlights of what clubs around the section are doing. This comes mostly from your newsletters. I realize that not all clubs have newsletters these days. So, feel free to drop me a line and tell me how your club is doing, or about the great program you had this month. I’ll do my best to share your story with the rest of Ohio.
If you do have a newsletter, please, please add me to your mailing list. I can’t be at every club meeting, so I have to rely on you to keep me informed on what your club is doing.
So, without further ado, here’s some of what is happening from around the section.
At their May meeting, the Dayton ARA held their Homebrew night. This is amazing considering everything else they have going on.
The West Park Radio Ops held their Fixit night at their May club meeting.
According to a recent issue of the Monday Morning Memo, put out by John, WA8KIW, several clubs in south central Ohio have taken advantage of Yaesu’s repeater offer.
Also in the Memo, John mentions that a carload of Highland ARA members visited a Portsmouth RC meeting.
Congratulations to the Delaware ARC for renewing their Special service Club status. Their latest newsletter has pictures from their participation in the ARES NVIS Day.
The Mt. Vernon ARC has kicked off a Pre-Meeting dinner on meeting nights. They set up several antennas, including a 40 Meter NVIS beam for NVIS Antenna day. They are also building a Broadband Hamnet Mesh Network.
In the latest issue of the Voice Coil from the Mahoning Valley ARA, Mark, K8MSH has a 30 minute project of building a 2 Meter Base/Portable antenna. Their President, Wes, W8IZC tells of some new things coming to the MVARA.
Portage County ARS (PCARS) is definitely getting ready for another first class Field Day operation. They recently held their Antenna Day, where they install, and test critical systems in advance of the big day. They also purchased new computers for this year’s Field Day. Upcoming this month is their first “Movie Night” at the club site.
Lastly, the Alliance ARC is in the process of moving their club 440 machine to a location provided by the local hospital.
And that wraps it up for another month.
73 DE KD8MQ
FROM THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
By Stan Broadway, N8BHL
Ohio NVIS Day
* After 34 years, ham radio is still fun! – N8GD Jefferson County
* Most of the frequencies in use for NVIS Day had pileups – K9ULO Fairfield County
* I was ~very~ impressed by the flurry of activity on the air – W8MRL Pike County
* We started with a spool of wire, some coax and some insulators on a chilly, damp morning. We reviewed the theory behind NVIS, then did some simple math, and used that math to build a 40m dipole from scratch. It worked so well, and the guys had so much fun playing radio with it, that we never got around to building another antenna – N8AUC Cuyahoga
* I want to thank all that braved the rain and cold to make the first NVIS Day a resounding success! - W1SCR Hamilton County
* We all had a great time with this event ! Although we only had a couple of hours to "play" I think it was a great success – N8IVE Trumbull County
So there you have it! From the first days of amateur radio, playing with antennas has been an intrinsic part of our sport, and it is as much fun today! The weather could have been better – cool temperatures and an encroaching frontal system brought rain across the state by early afternoon. One group even set up shop near Lake Erie in Cleveland- with 36 degree temperatures and a biting wind coming off the lake. But as several have said, a real emergency isn’t going to pick a good-weather day!
We haven’t compiled the best antennas yet for a complete report on the day. We’re still receiving logs (if you haven’t sent them, PLEASE HURRY!) What we can say is that there were 40 Ohio counties on the air!
I was able to join the gang at The Sarge (W8SGT at the Ohio EOC in Columbus). Gayle, W8KWG, did contest-level operating on 40 phone, logging contacts with 95 different stations in 35 counties. Wally and I were her loggers, looking over her shoulder for accurate S-meter readings. Gayle operated at a rate of one contact every two minutes - remember, these aren’t fast contest type exchanges. I was particularly pleased to make a dozen digital contacts on Olivia 8/500 which is the normal mode for the Ohio Digital Emergency Net. On the down side, our 80 meter station was a complete bust- antenna simply didn’t work. So if you were in the initial pile-up calling us on 80, we just didn’t hear. Most agreed that 80 wasn’t very helpful; the majority of contacts not surprisingly took place on 40.
I have really enjoyed reading the report you’ve sent in detailing how you overcame obstacles and weather to log some contacts. There was very little doubt that Ohio was on the air! Pretty much anywhere you tuned there was another Ohio station. I want you to direct your praise for the event to ADEC Tim Price, K8WFL and to the Ashtabula County ARES group for putting this fun activity together and always keeping the energy level on “high”. Although it is becoming more clear that groups had varying success with their antennas. It’s not going to be easy selecting the top two or three just because of the many variable. I can report that several stations used a variation of the AS2259 antenna, which is essentially a 4-element inverted V configuration for two bands. Others had success with low-height G5RVs and dipoles. From our reports, long-wire type antennas didn’t seem to do as well. We hope to have the compilation done soon, and we’ll publish those when we do.
Lots of activity coming up!
As you know, we’re into what I refer to as “Spandex Season”- many of our public service events are underway or in the final planning stages. These are of value for several reasons- We enhance the public safety of participants and bystanders. We can be on watch for illegal/terrorist-type activities. We can be critical communications arms for injuries and hazards. We can help keep the organization and execution of our events flawless. These are good times to just practice professional communicating. It pays to be familiar with other operators and the way they work, as a practice for operating during emergencies. The PR advantage of keeping ham radio in front of the public is important. All of these make your time valuable and worthwhile- so don’t hesitate to volunteer! “Been there, done that?” Well then YOUR valuable experience should be passed on to newer hams! Mentor them by showing how it ~should~ be done!
Remember to keep your own safety! Be careful where you park and where you stand. Use caution if driving. Remember we ARE NOT traffic cops!! Yellow lights are good for vehicle safety – but they also can attract strange driving behaviors, so don’t ~assume~ and please don’t over-do.
There are several major drills and exercises underway. May 5 is the Davis-Besse Nuclear Plant emergency drill, a full scale FEMA exercise. May 7 “Blowing in the Wind”, a multi-county hospital-related full scale exercise around the Dayton metro area. Saturday May 9 is a county drill in Lawrence County. A big three-day exercise in multiple counties is due mid-June. And so it goes! EC’s, keep in touch with your EMA Directors and agency heads! We need to be a part of these exercises- it’s good for the counties, and it’s great PR for us.
ARES should be an automatic player, and we achieve that status by just being there for these drills!
When the Big One hits
Keep your eyes out for reports on ham radio from the earthquake zone! I have seen a couple really nice reports where, as usual, ham radio is the only means of communications from the Nepal earthquake. It CAN happen here. Are you ready?
Thank you for everything you do!
73, Stan, N8BHL
FROM THE PIC
By John Ross, KD8IDJ
The Newsletter Contest is coming to a close!
Just a few more weeks to send your entries...the deadline is June 30th. The judges are ready to look through, what I know, is the best group of newsletters amateur radio has to offer.
A complete set of rules is below.
SELFIE.... (no photo)
Maybe this should be an "un-selfie" since I really didn't take a picture!
I had the opportunity to visit the Madison County Amateur Radio Club this month in London, Ohio.
They are a great group of talented hams with a tremendous repeater system and a long track record of promoting amateur radio.
One interesting discussion stemmed from their newsletter editor expressing what all us of feel just about every month...where to get stories.
As we talked one member was asking about the possibility of new column in QST on camping, RV's and ham radio. He talked about places he has been, his experiences and thought others might be interested. PRESTO! A great story idea. I reintroduced him to his club's newsletter editor!
It's really just that simple. Talk to each other. We all have a story, know other hams who have stories, and they know other hams who have stories and, well, I think you get the idea. Many times great stories are sitting right next you.
And, no one took a picture of the presentation. There's a reason most of my broadcast career was in radio!!!
Fresh from the Dayton Hamfest here two of the ARRL's media and public relations guys!
(On the left is Sean Kutzko, KX9X, ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager. And on the right Sid Caesar, NH7C, Public information Coordinator for the Maryland-DC Section.)
They had a busy booth at the Dayton Hamfest and took a few minutes to allow me take their picture. Because I'm behind the camera we can call this a "reverse selfie"!
If you need help with any media or PR questions you can, of course, give me a call. But these folks are also available to answer questions. It never hurts to ask...you might be surprised at the answers!
Social Media as a Second Language...
I've talked a lot about Social Media...how and when to use it, or maybe not use it at all.
One trend is appearing...Social Media is killing the English language!
Texting and tweeting a news release can lead to terrible miscommunication.
A PR friend of mine was texting a story trying to congratulate a co-worker named Susie. She meant to text... Kudos to Susie...instead it came out as Kooties to Susie!! If that winds up in print in the newspaper or a newsletter Susie is not going to be happy and my PR friend may be practicing her craft at a fast food drive through window!
So before you make a disease out of your release and an enemy of your best friend, try using regular words, English, to write your story. A greet self-help book is called the Dictionary!!!
More next month!
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.
FROM THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
By: David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM
Your safety matters!
Now that Dayton has come and gone for the year it is time to begin thinking about the next big Ham Radio event, Field Day. If you are going into the field and away from commercial power for this event it is now time to check out the generator and review its use.
Your safety matters! Safety should be your number one priority.
I am sure that owning an electrical generator must be appealing to anyone who plans on being prepared for emergencies or part of an emergency response team. To us being able to generate electricity means we will be able to remain on the air for field day, during blackouts or at the scene of any emergency or disaster. But are we thinking about safety when we set up and use the generators.
Here are some basics regarding generators. But the first thing to do is Read the Instruction Booklet or Manual that came with the generator. If the manual is lost or missing, contact the generator's manufacturer for another manual.
The correct way to use a generator is to connect a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated power cord to the generator. Radios and appliances can then be connected to the power cord. Make sure that the outdoor-rated power cord has a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.
Don't overload the generator. All generators have a power rating. They should be used only when necessary and only to power a limited number of appliances or equipment. The total wattage used by the appliances should be less than the output rating of the generator. If you put too many appliances on the generator, it could seriously damage the appliances, radios and electronics. Overloading the generator could also cause fires in the overheated power cord. A generator should be sized to handle twice the expected load.
While each type of generator has safety issues they all have certain things in common. One thing most generators have in common is that the electricity generated needs to be conducted through wires to receptacles and radios. On field day it is more likely that the generator will be exposed to layman not used to working with generators and long extension cords. Consequently they can be exposed or involved in trips and falls over the electrical extension cords. Animals, children or adults who behave like children in the same space as your generator or wiring can quickly make a bad situation worse and you must be prepared for this in your plans. Extension cords on wet ground can be a shock hazard, as is operating a generator with wet hands or when you are wet. It is always a shame to lose good people to preventable accidents so don't take chances.
Fuel and fire safety is a must with a fire extinguisher and fuel storage a safe distance from the generator. The area should be mowed at least for a 20-foot diameter. Fuel must be stored in a separate area as well as the fire extinguisher in an accessible convenient place away from the generator area. NEVER REFUEL A GENERATOR WHEN IT IS RUNNING.
Most generators produce heat. This can be a resource or a liability depending on how you manage it. You could cook on the exhaust manifold it is so hot or the same could become an ignition source for leaking fuel or nearby combustibles. Care must be taken to prevent burns to anyone in the area and also to prevent a fire while refuling the generator. It would be advisable to have an inspected fire extinguisher on hand while refueling just in case a fire would start.
I encourage you to practice proper poison prevention safety by learning the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. An odorless, tasteless, gas that can be a by-product of the combustion of just about any fuel, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is poisonous if it is not vented properly and if allowed to accumulate without sufficient oxygen in a confined area like a tent. Do you know the symptoms of CO poisoning? Symptoms in people include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, irregular breathing, feeling tired or ill in a confined area like a tent or building but fine away from the area and finally loss of consciousness and respiratory failure. A generator should never be used indoors or in a confined area.
The surest way to know if there is carbon monoxide in the area is to use a Carbon Monoxide detector. If you smell exhaust fumes or suspect CO poisoning leave the building or area immediately, get to fresh air and call 911 for assistance if needed.
Grounding is a difficult issue when using generators. For single-generator operation, powering a couple of station locations, there may not be any benefit in grounding. However, making sure your generator has a good earth ground may help to avoid electrical shocks. Check the generator owner's manual for correct grounding information. CHECK THIS ARTICLE ON THE OHIO WEBSITE FOR A PICTURE OF HOW NOT TO GROUND THE GENERATOR.
Other considerations are placement for access, noise abatement, distribution of the feed cables and grounding if necessary.
GFI systems generally don’t perform well in field operations due to long feed runs and ground loops with the various end locations. If your generator has a GFI you may have Ground Fault issues.
Many small generator units are the inverter type and although efficient and light they can create a large amount of inverter hash that raises your HF noise floor to an unacceptable level. A brushless generator is best.
FINAL TIPS BUT WORTH REPEATING
Grounding the antenna feed for lightning is a much more sensible option with the possible cessation of operation during storms. That means disconnecting and sitting inside the car. With large distribution systems, grounding of the generator is best with at least an 8-foot ground rod and standard NEC procedures must be followed.
Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation. Stay away from the muffler and other hot areas. Keep children away from portable electric generators and their electrical and fuel connections at all times. Read the instruction booklet or owner's manual that came with the generator. Also check the generator owner's manual for correct grounding information.
Have fun and have a safe Field Day.
73 for now, David, WA3EZN
OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
By: Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day! I went to my local Mexican restaurant to hear my favorite bi-lingual vocal impressionist, Randy Velez, for Cinco de Mayo with five other local hams. And then, I spent Mother’s Day with my husband, my sons, and my granddaughters. I hope all of the other mothers had a good day as well.
I attended three amateur radio meetings, four amateur radio lunches, and a SKYWARN training class. I also attended the Athens Hamfest on April 26 where the weather was great and the flea market was busy. Indoors at Athens, I recognized hams from Guernsey County shopping and hams from Muskingum County selling various pieces of equipment.
Also at Athens, I was joined by Affiliated Club Coordinator John Myers, KD8MQ, and former ASM of SEO Connie Hamilton, N8IO. It sure was nice to have company. And, I was especially happy to see and talk to Connie. Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ, District 8 DEC and Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure Communications Director, sat at the adjoining table. Jeff, the ARRL VE Coordinator running the amateur radio exam session, learned about an hour before his exam session that a ham needed the exam read to him, so he recruited several more VEs to accommodate him. My husband, District 9 DEC Sonny Alfman, W8FHF, volunteered to help out as did a couple of others.
We had several people stop by and check out information on lifetime and regular memberships as well as other handouts. I reminded everyone that Dayton is not too far off, and not only should they try to attend, they should stop by the ARRL Expo and our booth to say “hi.” Hopefully, we will see you as well at the Dayton Hamvention May 15-17. Have a safe trip to Dayton and a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Finally, I want to thank the members of the Athens Hamfest for and giving me a free entry ticket and making me feel welcome.
73, Lyn, N8IMW
SOUTHWEST OHIO HAPPENINGS
From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager (SW)
Spring is my favorite time of the year. The soft serve ice cream stands are once again open! Freshly cut grass and blooming flowers permeate the air. And, hams again turn their attention to outdoor activities. One such activity was a local NVIS day held in conjunction with the state NVIS event. OH-KY-IN member and event host, w1scr reported that approximately fifty hams from various area clubs braved the cold and rain to see if they could get a signal out of a metal park shelter with NVIS antennas. He said that the group was able to reach Columbus using digital and sideband modes. They then huddled around the grill for hamburgers and hotdogs, which I have been told, never tasted so good! Kudos to the chef!
Another such activity was an on foot amateur radio direction finding or foxhunt sponsored by OH-KY-IN. The club provided equipment and basic instruction on direction finding to those who needed it. The object of the hunt was to try to find five hidden transmitters all using the same frequency and transmitting for one minute each, spaced one minute apart. I couldn’t wait to check it out. One well-meaning club member told me that I probably would not be able to participate as the hunt involved traveling on uneven wooded terrain. Fortunately, this proved to be a nonissue for Dick, wb4suv, the event organizer. He simply made a minor procedural change which leveled the playing field, allowing me to fully participate. Hunters were given a printed topo map to follow. Since I do not have enough sight to read the print map, he simply paired me with Mathew, AA9YH, who verbally gave me the information that was available to my sighted peers. Based on factual information about the trails and my knowledge of what I can and cannot do, I chose which transmitters to hunt. I found one two meter and one 80 meter transmitter. I think everyone else found all five of the 2 meter ones. Hats off to Dick for the leadership he showed both in adapting the hunt and giving me enough objective information so that I could make an informed decision about what I felt I could do. This was definitely an inclusive activity.
Hams have also been busy providing safety communications for a myriad of public service activities. These include: Cincinnati flying pig marathon and associated events; Calvin’s challenge 12 hour 50 mile bike race; annual walk for Women’s wellness; Dayton Autism Society’s walk-run for autism awareness; and funeral procession for a fallen Cincinnati fire fighter.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Milford hamfest. It will be held on Saturday, June 20. I plan to be there and look forward to seeing you. For more information, visit www.w8mrc.com
73, Kitty, W8TDA
NOTES FROM THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
By: Jim Yoder W8ERW - TC
Even Hams do it. It seems the older I get, I not only feel those aches and pains more often, but the subject of conversation often turns to the same discussion. I won't do that here today, enough of it was done over breakfast this morning while a few of us got together here in Tiffin. I will though, mention the weather that just isn't staying up with my expectations. Did I get spoiled with the brief sample of summertime temperatures we had earlier. Sure, I'll admit to it. I've also cut my grass for the third time this year and for the first time that I can remember, I have my garden soil worked up already. Darn it though, today's venture into the field to put the NVIS antennas to work was pretty miserable weather-wise. Cold and wet aren't the words I was looking for.
The turnout was good as quite a few of us met at the local Denny's for breakfast this morning. We do that often and it was discussed, the insertion into our mission statement, to financially support the local Denny's since it seems to be a regular adjunct to our ARES outings. The hot coffee was real good and a bit necessary to entice my aching knee into going to the fairgrounds afterwards in order to set up for the NVIS exercise. Denny's was a bit slow and our setup was delayed which shortened the time before it started to rain. We didn't last too long but we were successful and enjoyed ourselves.
We first deployed a long wire up about 9 feet and an Icom AH4b tuner behind my IC-706MKiiG. We didn't get around to making many adjustments and we didn't have much luck with that arrangement. It was very noisy and the signals just weren't making it to the receiver with any strength. WD8KQX had been working on a delta loop for 40 meters all week. While we were attempting contacts on the long wire, Mark and a crew of AC8NP Dan, KC8PBU Dan, KD8UGI Joe began setting up the delta loop. W8IJL Mike supervised from the comfort of his vehicle often smiling and commenting on the antics and lack of coordinated effort that often accompanies such activity. It wasn't any worse than the earlier assembly of the long wire though. Sometime during this process, KC8WH Mike disappeared. Perhaps back to Denny's.
As soon as the delta loop was completed, we switched connections at the Icom to compare results. What a difference it made. The noise was greatly reduced and the signals were now excellent. We immediately worked W8SGT Gayle from the EMA in Franklin County and our report was a solid S9. They were 40 over for us. Another contact was made into Licking County with the same results. Mike KD8DZ gave us S9 and he was very solid at 40 over to us. K8LJ Bob broke in to say hello also from Licking County. The rain drops began to fall on us and we made a reluctant decision to tear down and get the equipment back under cover.
Mark's delta loop was working very well and I think all of us were surprised at the reception we had using it. Mark engineered a rather simple but elegant design placing the wire on three 12 foot poles using 4 foot sections of military surplus mast. The wire was continuous passing through insulators at the top of the masts and terminating with PL259s on each end (one on the shield and the other end on the center conductor) into a UHF T-connector at the feed point mast. The impedance of the loop was a little higher than desired and Mark used a piece of 75 Ohm CATV feed line to get back to 50 Ohms that was then feed to RG8X and into the ICom AT180 tuner before going to the IC-706MKiiG. The ICom tuner put us into resonance immediately. Our only regret was that the loop was for 40 meters and would not tune to 80 meters so that we could operate there. I would not be at all surprised if Mark replicates his effort on an 80 meter design in the future. He's talking about it and when he talks it is likely to be a work in progress
All said, we had a great time although the NVIS day was short lived due to the uncooperative weather. We all agreed the day was productive and certainly well worth repeating. NVIS proved to be an excellent method for achieving the short haul contacts within the state and effective for ARES communications when the need arises. Many thanks to N8BHL Stan our Section Emergency Coordinator for putting together this exercise. We had a good showing and for those who came out today and operated, I am sure there was much learned and the experience gained will be quite useful as we continue to support ARES activities in the future.
We now have about three weeks to prepare for Hamvention. WD8KQX Mark and I along with AC8NP Dan will be staying in Miamisburg again this year and will be there for all three days of the Dayton experience. I will be looking for a few additional parts for my Buddipole and Hopefully attending some of the seminars this year. I know Mark is anxious to return to a couple of eateries that we have found nearby too. Dan says he will be connecting with the MARS folks and I think we all anticipate having a great time looking over all that can be found at Hamvention this year.
The Ohio Section will again have a table in the ARRL area this year. Please take a minute or two to stop by and say hello. Many of the ARRL officials from Newington will be on hand to meet and talk too and all of us representing the Ohio Section will be around to meet all of you. This year's Hamvention looks to be one of the best yet. I've sent in my request for perfect weather, so let's all go to Dayton and have a look at all the latest "I'd like to have that" gear.
73, Jim, W8ERW
FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT LIAISON
By: Nick Pittner, K8NAP - SGL
This is the first of a three-part article on the law and amateur radio antennas. Many of you are limited by law in what sort of antenna you can erect and use. In some cases, those limitations can be modified or removed, in others, not. The key is to understand the kind of limitations that apply to you and what, if anything, you can do about them. In this article we will briefly explore the history of PRB-1, the FCC regulation that requires reasonable accommodation of amateur antennas by local zoning authorities. Next, we’ll cover Ohio’s version of that law, H.B. 158. Finally, some practical suggestions for hams, and for radio clubs, to get the maximum benefit from these laws.
First, PRB-1. In 1985 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), at the request of the ARRL, undertook an extensive review of the impact of local zoning regulations on amateur radio. The result of that was a comprehensive report in which the FCC recognized the importance of amateur radio as an emergency communications service as well as the many technical advancements that have come from radio amateurs. At the same time, it also recognized the opposition of various groups opposed to “ugly” ham antennas and the municipalities that want to prohibit them. The result was a compromise.
First, the FCC limited its rule to only local zoning ordinances, rather than to prohibit the restriction of amateur antennas through deed restrictions, condominium regulations and neighborhood agreements. Those limitations arise by contract when one purchases the property and were thusly viewed as “voluntary”. Although the FCC recognized that the impact of each of those types of regulation is at least as significant as zoning regulations, it chose the easier route, which was to limit the exercise of legislative (zoning) authority.
It’s important to note that the FCC has been given exclusive authority to regulate the broadcast of radio frequency transmissions by congress and in that area, at least, its regulations have the force of law. Thus, FCC regulations trump both state law and local ordinances. This is not to suggest that the FCC couldn’t also trump the “contractual” types of regulations that limit antennas; it simply chose not to do so in 1985 and has, thus far, continued that position. That would change if the League’s latest legislative effort, H.R. 1301, were to become law.
What the FCC did in PRB-1 was to require that all state and local zoning authorities provide “reasonable accommodation” for amateur radio antennas. While it didn’t prohibit the regulation of amateur antennas by local authorities, it did limit that regulation to the “minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the state or local authority’s legitimate purpose.” There was no mention of antenna height in PRB-1. So, what does all of that mean? The worst-case result was that some local authorities chose to ignore what they considered to be an obscure, confusing federal regulation that they didn’t understand. That led to a number of court cases, most in federal court, that produced a mixed-bag of results for hams. The promise of PRB-1 has yet to be fully realized in many areas.
But hams are a resourceful bunch and they began to enact state-law versions of PRB-1. The state-law versions were harder to ignore and, in some cases, easier to understand. They also had the advantage of being enforceable in state courts, avoiding some troublesome issues that the federal courts had experienced applying PRB-1 to local zoning boards. In those states, hams had the benefit of both PRB-1 and state-law protections for antennas. By all reports, the passage of state-law versions of PRB-1 has been beneficial.
Up next, Ohio’s state-law version of PRB-1. Stay tuned.
73, Nick, K8NAP
FROM THE SCOUTING ASM
Scott Hixon, KC8ITN
Just like planning for Field Day or the Ohio QSO Party, it’s never too early to start planning for a radio scouting event. With Cub Scout Day Camps and Boy Scout Summer Camps starting up next month (JUNE), now is the time to contact your local scout council office to see how you can help.
This month I would like to talk to you a little bit about Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts is a program started in 1930 by Boy Scouts of America to get younger boys started on their journey that would lead them into Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts is for boys ages 6-11 years of age (1st thru 5th grade). Instead of having “ranks” like they do in Boy Scouts, cub scouts meet in “dens” according to their age. These dens are: Tiger Den (1st graders), Wolf Den (2nd graders), Bear Den (3rd graders) and the Webelos Den (4th and 5th graders).
Each year, while a cub is in his den, there are certain requirements that they have to complete. For example, Tiger Cubs need to do various “Go See It” trips. They go and see a fire department, a police department, a radio station, etc.. As hams, we could set up a radio station in a public place for them to “go see” For most, if not all of them, this may be the first time they or their parents have ever seen amateur radio.
One great venue to set up a radio and antenna at would be a Cub Scout Day Camp. Day Camp is a weeklong “camp” where cub scouts go during the day and learn about things like team work, fire making, first aid and other skills. Typically Cub Scout Day Camps are held in public parks and campgrounds. Day camp organizers are always looking for groups to talk to the scouts and put on demonstrations. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce these young scouts to amateur radio! And if you have never demonstrated anything to a bunch of grade schoolers before, you’re in for quite a treat! 6-11 year olds will have questions you have never dreamed of. “Can we talk to aliens?”, “Have you ever talked to a dead person?”, “What happens if you pour pop on your radio?”, are just a few of the questions I’ve had to answer over the years while active in Cub Scouts. It’s also surprising how quick they get over “mic fright” and how quickly they seem to pick up morse code characters.
This is the age, when their brains seem to absorb everything, that we need to start sowing the seed about amateur radio. They may not run right out and earn an amateur radio license, but with some positive influence they will certainly remember “those radio guys” that helped them talk to someone in a faraway land!
Don’t forget to include scouts in your Field Day plans this June. You may not get any Field Day points like you would for an elected official showing up, but you will definitely score points with the scouts!!
The Pickaway County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (PCoARES) will have some scouts at our Field Day site this year (which will be challenging since we will be getting back from a week at Summer Camp that Saturday morning!). I am challenging other ARES groups and ham clubs to do the same. If you have scouts show up at your field day event, take some pictures! If you send them to me with a little note on how it went, I will try to post them on the Ohio Radio Scouting Twitter site (@ohradioscouting) and put them in a future Ohio Section Journal article.
Until next time: Take care, stay safe, and make a difference in someone’s life!!
73, Scott, KC8ITN
From: Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager
As the old saying goes.. The swallows return to Capistrano. The buzzards return to Hinckley and the Hams return to Dayton!! And they did, in great masses..!! I am writing this post-Dayton and I have to tell ya’, if you missed Dayton this year, you missed one of the best shows that I’ve been too in a very long time. Yes, it did rain a bit, but not enough to detour anyone from still visiting the flea market. The Ohio Section Booth had them 3 and 4 deep many times over the weekend. It was FANTASTIC!! We even did a video interview with the Dayton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Yup.. the folks from the Visitors Bureau stopped by and were so impressed with our world map and all the pins in it from everywhere, they decided to do a video of me explaining it and how we all come to converge in Dayton every year. It was a blast.. By the way.. We did end up with 72 countries being represented on the map, quite impressive I’d say!!
As some of you know I was also deeply involved in the very first one-on-one National Section Manager’s meeting this year off-site at Dayton. We had over 20 Section Managers attend along with more than 10 SM’s logged on to a Webinar session that we also had going so that ALL Section Managers from around the country could take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. The meeting had a little blip at the start with a computer crashing, but we quickly recovered and for more than 2 1/2 hours we met and discussed common problems and opportunities between all of us.
We also had 3 guest speakers from Headquarters there - Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, and Steve Ewald, WV1X filling us in on a number of specific topics that the Section Managers wanted more information on. It was a GREAT time and I’ve learned a lot..
Other Items.. I’m still really busy getting around the state doing presentations and handing out a number of Affiliated Club Charters and Special Services Club certificates. I have found that being retired gives me a lot of advantages to be able to get out in the field and being more active with all of you, than if I were working and had to split my time up with job, family and being Section Manager. I was told this weekend (by none other than David Sumner, K1ZZ) that Ohio is not only the largest of the 71 Sections, but it is also larger than some of the 15 Divisions in the country as well. So being able to dedicate all of my time being your Section Manger is a real plus for everyone.
I did get to meet with another big group of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts this past month. I also had a great impromptu meeting with a big group of Girl Scouts as well. I know that there are several of them are now interested in getting their licenses, as well as a pretty good number of Boy Scouts too. Now all we need to do is get some classes in their area going and things will start moving in a positive direction for sure. I know that I preach this a lot when I go out to club meetings, but just take a look around at the next club meeting you attend. We desperately need to get the youth into our ranks if we are to continue..
CLUB LEADERSHIP.. You need to make sure that your club is involved with youth groups. Make sure that you have a contact with the local Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts as well as a teacher or teachers from the middle schools involved with your club.. Don’t forget, the youth of today will be taking over this great “hobby” of ours, but not without your support and willingness to bring them along. These kids are out there, YOU just need to take the first step forward and approach them on it.
Now.. for the Club Presidents.. Are you passing along that vital information that needs to go to your successor?? I’m finding that the reason for a lot of clubs being behind on their club record updates to not only the League, but also to the State of Ohio and the Internal Revenue Service (for those who are 501 (c) (3) organizations) is primarily because the newly elected club president wasn’t informed that this was something needed to be done. Let me make a suggestion here.. Put a paragraph or two into your by-laws that state ALL club records are to be reviewed at least once each year, and definitely when a new president takes over. This will help not only the president, but the club members as well. Everyone looking out to see that the club records have been updated is a good thing. You might also want to make sure that it states somewhere who’s supposed to be responsible for making sure that the records are completed as well. This way everyone knows who is responsible for what.
The next big event coming up will be Field Day.. As I did last year, I’m going to try to hit as many Field Day sites as I can. I also challenge my Cabinet to do the same. Pictures.. I want pictures of your Field Day site. I want as many pictures as you can send me. I will have a link on the Ohio Section website that will display them all.. Speaking of Field Day, I will also have a link to the Field Day Locator as soon as it becomes available.
Are you getting those emails from the Great Lakes Director or Section Manager? Now, 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 Manager?
The Ohio Section Website.. You can find the Ohio Section Website 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? I’m available. Please, feel free to give me a call. I’ll do my very best to be at your function.
>> Have you noticed?? YES.. There’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website once again. I’ve been changing it about once every couple of weeks or so. 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. Oh, by the way, there’s also a one question questionnaire on the Great Lakes Division website as well. Why? Because Dale (you know him don’t you?? He just happens to be our Great Lakes Director) would like to know how you feel about the question posted there.
Are you a member of the ARRL?? If you aren’t a League member, this is a great opportunity to become one. Want more information on how to join? Here’s the link: http://www.arrl.org/membership-levels. There’s even a 90 day FREE trial that you can apply for if you’ve never been a member.. Got questions about being a member or what the League is all about? Send me an email.. firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll be happy to call or write to you or even call you if you’ve given me your phone number. We can even have coffee if you’d like.. and I’ll buy!!
Ok.. I know that I push the website and website edition of the Ohio Section Journal a lot.. I’m even sure some of you think it’s way tooooo much. But, the main reason for pushing this so hard is that it’s where all the news is.. Yes, I know that there are some who don’t even own a computer and won’t own one either, and that makes me very sad. Not that they won’t own a computer, but they are missing out on so much that’s going on because of it. These a lot of very good and exciting news and happenings on the Ohio Section website.. If it isn’t your home page on your browser, it should be!!
Division Conference.. The Great Lakes Division will be holding a Division Conference this year in conjunction with the Columbus Hamfest to be held on August 1st. There’s going to be lots of great forums and as always, the flea market will have a good selection of those hard to find items you just have to have to build your next project with.
There will also be a Division Newsletter Contest this year as well. This means that the 2015 Ohio Newsletter Contest winner will be entered into the completion along with the other two Sections. Now here is where it will get a little crazy, the 2015 Ohio Section newsletter winner will not know it until the Division Conference. So, that means if your club is publishing a newsletter, you’ll just have to wait and attend the Division Conference to find out if you’ve won!!
Now you ALL definitely have a stake in the Division Conference!! Your attendance will definitely be even more demanding and exciting..
73, Scott, N8SY
FROM THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
From: John Perone, W8RXX
Here’s the April 2015 report overview from the reporting OO’s in Ohio:
Total Hours = 824
OO cards sent = 3
Good Cards sent = 5
73, John, W8RXX
HELP IN PRINTING YOUR AMATEUR LICENSE
I was asked over this weekend by a number of you to reprint just how to get a paper copy of your license from the FCC website.. So, here it is..
I’ve gotten several phone calls from frustrated hams that are having a hard time finding just where in the vast wasteland of the FCC website you have to go to get an “official” copy of your license. A friend of mine actually wrote to the FCC and got a pretty good description of how you have to navigate around to get to the area where you can get a .pdf copy of your current license to download and print.
Here goes.. Please remember, this comes from the FCC..
PLEASE NOTE: Per Public Notice DA 15-72, The FCC no longer mails license authorizations. If you provide an email address on your application, an official copy of your license will be automatically emailed to you after the application has granted.
Licensees can also opt to download electronic authorizations by logging into License Manager:
Log in to https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/login.jsp with your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and Password (Ed. Note.. This is essential.. You have to have these two items BEFORE you begin)
If you do not know the password:
Click on the Contact Tech Support link
Click the Reset Password button and follow the prompts for resetting the password
After receiving confirmation of a successful password reset, click the link for Universal Licensing System (DO NOT click the CORES Public Interface link.)
Click the button labeled ULS License Manager; you will be taken to the log in screen
Click the “Download Electronic Authorizations” link on the navigation bar on the left side of the License Manager home page.
1. To search for the authorization(s) you want to download:
a. Enter the call sign OR
b. Enter a date range (based on Effective Date of the license)
2. In the My Authorization box, select the call signs you wish to download
3. Add the call signs to the Authorizations to Download box.
4. Once the licenses have been selected, click the Download button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
5. The download will be automatically converted to a PDF file, and you can choose to Open (to print) or Save
(to save to a desired folder)
Downloading Electronic Authorizations Using the Chrome Browser
Filers using Chrome will need to turn off the Pop-up Blocker before downloading. To turn off the Pop-up Blocker:
1. Click on the Settings icon (3 horizontal lines) in the upper right-hand corner of the browser
2. Click on Settings
3. At the bottom of the Settings page, click the link Show Advanced Settings
4. Under the Privacy heading, click the Content Settings button
5. In the Content Settings window, scroll down to the Pop-ups section
6. Click Allow all sites to show pop-ups; click the Done button
7. Close the Settings tab
After the authorization(s) have been selected for download, follow these steps for accessing the PDF file in Chrome:
1. After clicking the Download button, a blank window will open. At this point, the authorizations are
downloading. (If the filer exits this window prior to the download finishing, the download will not complete.)
2. Once the download completes, it will appear at the bottom of the blank window.
NOTE: If the download button cannot be seen at the bottom of the screen, maximize the window
3. Click on the button to open the PDF file
Downloading Authorizations Using MAC Operating Systems
The FCC recommends using the Chrome or Firefox browsers for MAC when downloading authorizations using the MAC OS.
If you receive one of the following error messages after attempting the above steps, you may need to install or update the Adobe Acrobat Reader:
Invalid or corrupted PDF file. Message: Invalid PDF structure go to the following website - https://get.adobe.com/reader/
1. You may uncheck the optional offer.
2. Click the Install now button.
3. You will be prompted to either save or run the file. (If you are prompted to save the file, you will need to locate your download folder and run the file.)
Mobile devices will need to have a PDF viewer to open the Electronic Authorization. We recommend installing Adobe Acrobat Reader from the app store.
Should you have any further questions or need additional information, please submit a request for help at http://esupport.fcc.gov/index.htm, or call the FCC Licensing Support Center at 1-877-480-3201, selecting option 2 after the main menu recording.
FCC Licensing Support Center
OHIO QSO PARTY RULE CHANGES..
From Jim Stahl, K8MR
The Mad River Radio Club and Ohio QSO Party Committee are pleased to announce significant changes in the Ohio QSO Party, effective for the 2015 event which will be held on Saturday, August 22.
We have decided to replace the serial number in the contest exchange with a signal report. While it was fun to watch the competition in real time, we believe the confusion caused with an exchange format different from that used in other concurrent events caused people to avoid participating in the OhQP if they were also involved in one of the other contests. So now, one can just treat the multiple contests as one big one covering several states and work everybody with the same exchange.
Secondarily, keeping track of serial numbers made things difficult for mobiles while in motion, and often caused confusion for multi-operator efforts using several operating positions.
We will be contacting software developers to update their software to the new OhQP exchange. While we hope all will be able to get updated logging software in time for the 2015 OhQP, for now we will still be able to process logs showing a sent serial number; just log the received RS(T) in the received number field.
In a second, relatively minor change, the use of CW Skimmer and similar automated spotting tools will be allowed for single operator stations. (Note - the use of the regular spotting networks by single operators has been allowed for many years). We do hope that stations using Skimmers will share their bounties of cool OhQP stations found with the rest of the world via the regular DX Clusters.
We're looking forward to seeing lots of you in the 2015 Ohio QSO Party, Saturday, August 22, 1600Z to 0400Z August 23!
SPECIAL EVENTS STATIONS IN OHIO
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 Virginia
06/20/2015 | Fort Meigs Muster on the Maumee
1300Z-2130Z, W8FO, Perrysburg, OH.
QCWA Chapter 142.
50.150 21.250 14.250 14.050 7.250.
QSL QCWA Chapter 142, W8FO,
3680 Schneider Rd,
Toledo, OH 43614.
OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
06/06/2015 | Fulton County ARC Hamfest
Location: Tedrow, OH
Sponsor: Fulton County Amateur Radio Club
06/20/2015 | MILFORD HAMFEST
Location: Milford, OH
Sponsor: Milford Amateur Radio Club