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
-> OHIO QSO PARTY RULE CHANGES
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR REPORT
By: John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Well, it’s just about upon us. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about; Field Day, of course. Around here, Field Day is the biggest event on the Ham Radio calendar. I’m sure that it’s about the same everywhere.
Last year, I managed to put a few miles on the Jeep visiting Field Day sites in Stark, Wayne, and portage Counties. I had just been named ACC, and everything was pretty new to me. This year, my plan is to again put in some serious miles over Field Day weekend. I’m still working on my route, but the Field Day locator has been a big help. The field Day Locator is a page on the league website that uses the Google map engine to graphically display the location of Field Day sites reported to them. You can add your field Day site by going here
Don’t forget to double check your information after posting it to the page. After all, mistakes to happen. For example, I’ve found a couple of you who just have a pin on the map, but when I click on the pin, no location is given. Sure, there’s a contact person listed, but a location really makes it easier for folks to find you.
Recently, I received a phone call from a Ham who has been inactive for some time. He’s 74 years old and living in an apartment. He is able to do some listening, but is not able to get on HF from his apartment. He also is not on the internet. He called for help in finding a Field Day group near his home. Thanks to the locator page, I was able to give him information on 3 or 4 great clubs in his area. Its calls like that that just makes my day (apologies to Clint Eastwood).
If you haven’t surfed there recently, please take a moment to go to www.arrl.org/field-day-locator. If you are a member of a field day group, you can see if they are listed on the locator map. If you aren’t a member of a FD group, maybe this is the year to pick a group that’s close, and pay them a visit.
I can’t say where I’ll be showing up this year for field Day, but I will not be showing up empty handed. I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
And with that, let’s look at some notes from around the state.
The folks at the highland ARA make a good case for visiting their neighboring clubs. In an emergency, it’s good to know your fellow hams. So, occasionally, a carload of Hams from the Highland ARA will visit a neighboring club. It sounds like a great idea!
The Cambridge ARA has just recently had a donation of a building. Yes, a building. Known as the Waller-McMunn station, it was donated to the club, as long as they find a home for it. I site was found, and they are planning to do a special event from the site this fall. More information on this station can be found by doing an internet search on Waller-McMunn.
Now here’s an idea for a program for your club meeting. The Massillon ARC recently presented the “days of MARC Gone By”. They brought in some old club pictures, and shared them on the big screen.
The Dayton ARA recently held a Homebrew night. It looked like a lot of fun for a very minimal cost.
Add Stark State College to the list of schools that have an Amateur Radio Club. Stark State College ARS held a Color Blast Fun Run around the Stark State Campus, and raised funds for Handi-Hams. By the way, I had no idea what a color blast fun run was, until I googled it. It is definitely a messy, but fun time.
The folks at PCARS, (Portage County ARS) managed to get their mascot, the black squirrel placed on the front cover of the latest DX Engineering catalog. It doesn’t hurt that most if not all of the Hams at DXE are PCARS members.
And lastly, at my home club, the Alliance ARC, we recently held our pre-field day picnic on meeting turnout. It’s one good way to get a good turnout for a club meeting. HI Hi.
Actually, the City of Alliance gives one free rental per year for their cabin/party room. So, we make us of it in June.
That’s about it for now. I hope everyone has a great time at Field Day, but remember to “play safe”!
73 DE KD8MQ
FROM THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
By Stan Broadway, N8BHL
Off to the RACES
OK…sorry for the pun. The ARRL has released a new ARES Service Manual. Many of you received a copy in the Email. It makes for good reading, and a great refresher!
One chapter is of particular interest in Ohio, since we are engaged in a conversation about RACES. As we’ve learned, it appears that RACES – the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service – is something that was left over after WWII. It is a part of the FCC rules for amateur radio (Part 97) but other than that and one rather obscure federal document, there isn’t much to go on. After FEMA gobbled up all the appropriate “We Got This!” power post 9/11, somebody looked under a pile of paper and discovered…RACES.
To quote Chapter 2:
RACES is “A radio service using amateur stations for civil defense communications during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies. It is a service available to government emergency management organizations for official use. There is no specific declaration or emergency event that activates RACES- it’s at the direction of the emergency management official to qualify individuals for RACES. Except for two specific cases, any communications conducted under RACES rules can be conducted under the amateur service. The two exceptions are communications with US Government radio stations for RACES communications, and communications in RACES when the amateur service has been ~ordered off the air by the President’s war emergency powers~ under Title 47, Section 606.
Most activity is conducted under the amateur radio service- we’re operating as hams under our FCC license. When operating under RACES, it is under different rules than the amateur service. The rules require an operator to enroll in the civil defense (read: emergency management) organization and register their station with that organization. Under EMA management, the enrolled operator could use police radio services, fire radio services, disaster communications service and RACES as appropriate to the situation. RACES is still a service. Amateurs “join” a volunteer program as a part of the emergency management organization.
So when is RACES…well…RACES?
An amateur station operates in RACES only when such operations cannot be conducted in the normal amateur service. 1.) When it is necessary to communicate between an emergency management agency and Federal Government stations for official purposes. 2.) When it is necessary to communicate for an emergency management agency official government emergency communications while the amateur service is off the air by the War Emergency Powers. Emergency Managers recognize their RACES stations (as members of RACES, or as volunteers in CERT, etc.) and the managers may require other information about the operator. Enrolling the amateur radio operator and registering the station by the EM is all that the FCC rules require to be a RACES station. The operator ~must be directed by an emergency management official to engage in a specific official government emergency communications with an authorized station!
ARES members CAN operate as RACES stations, so long as the operator and station are registered with the emergency management agency and are operating under specific directions as above. At that point, orders come from the EM…not an EC, Red Cross, or other manager. Given the need for registration, RACES is NOT an ‘organization’ just as ARES is NOT an ‘organization’. It is a service provided by radio amateurs.
Anything else done by amateurs is NOT RACES. Participating in a weekly “RACES net” on the two meter repeater is not really RACES (not specifically directed by the EMA). This is actually under the amateur service. In fact, actual RACES exercises are specifically limited by the regulations. Asking for traffic directions of a station located at the EOC is NOT RACES communication. There is no ~activating RACES~, either an operator is working in the RACES because they are communicating official government emergency communications with a Federal Government radios station (not permitted in the amateur service) or because the amateur service has been ordered off the air, or an operator is actually in the amateur service.
An important note: many amateurs believe “In an emergency, anything goes”. This is NOT true. There are specific rules that specify what a station may do in certain emergencies. The two exceptions are safety of life and property, and a station in distress.
Much of what you just read is taken from Chapter 2 in the new manual. There are some counties in Ohio who have a mix of RACES and ARES operators (maintaining a list of ‘approved’ ops and stations under RACES rules) and there are a very few counties who prefer RACES alone as the emergency management communications device. In those counties, remember, RACES as a service does NOT communicate for bike rides, the Red Cross, or other public service activities. That communication, while done by the same amateur operators, is really taking place under the amateur radio, or even ARES service. I think it’s a great idea to talk with your EMA Director, and perhaps agree on a roster of recognized RACES stations (potentially your ARES roster) so that paperwork is in place just in case it’s necessary.
Thank you for everything you do!
73, Stan, N8BHL
FROM THE PIC
By John Ross, KD8IDJ
Veterans On The Air..
Several issues back we talked about a group of ham radio operators at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky and their effort to get a station on the air.
Well, good news! They are up and running and have their own club call sign...W8OVH!
The equipment was a little delayed in arriving but all is good now with an antenna for 80-2 meters.
Looks like a nice setup and a comfortable place for QSO's.
The club is the only one operating from a veteran's home in Ohio and Joe says he hopes they can be a model for other locations across the county.
There is talk now about a special event for Veterans Day this year. We'll keep you updated so you'll have an opportunity for a OSL card from W8OVH!
Finally, they will accept equipment donations. If you have a piece of gear you think might be of help....give them a call or contract Joe email@example.com.
Newsletter Contest...FINAL CALL!
The deadline for this year's Newsletter contest is almost here...June 30th!
A complete set of the rules is below so make sure your entry gets to me by the deadline.
This has been another great year of newsletters. I'm always impressed with the dedication, the experience and the desire to pass along knowledge. EVERY club does a great job and I know your members enjoy reading your publication just as I do each month.
I've pumped up the judges and they will be ready right after the 4th of July to pick this year's winners.
Please, if you have any questions give me a call or shoot me an email as soon as you can. I don't want any club to miss out.
TWITTER, TWEETING, FACEBOOK AND MORE SOCIAL MEDIA STUFF
I've talked a lot about the use of Social Media over the last few months so I don't want be beat a dead horse. However, one very important fact about the use of Social Media was brought to my attention....everything is PERMENANT!!!
If you say something on twitter that you shouldn't....you can't take it back! Yes, you can try and send a correction but the original remains...sometimes to haunt you forever. Same with texting...you can delete from your phone...but not from the other phones...and those phones can keep forwarding the message, again, forever.
So, tweet, text, twitter all you like. Just know that one hundred years from now someone might be reading your mistake!!!!
FIELD DAY MEDIA
Field Day is almost here this year and here's an FYI about the media.
I know a lot of you have special arrangements with the media in your area for stories and pictures. GREAT! Get the word out and help promote our great hobby.
I've been in touch with a couple of TV folks here in central Ohio and they are interested in helping us tell everyone about ham radio and Field Day. I'll try to let you know in advance where they might be but look for TV cameras where you might not expect them!!!
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
From its earliest days, amateur radio has had the dual mission of experimenting with radios so that a station’s range could be increased to its maximum capability at any given frequency, and to always be present to provide disaster communications in time of need. Ever since its founding, the ARRL has been setting up exercises to test the ability of the amateur radio community to respond in times of disaster.
What we now called Field Day resulted from a formalization of these early disaster preparation drills, by the ARRL. Field Day provides all radio amateurs a chance to simultaneously test their level of disaster readiness, once each year, fulfilling the charter that congress granted to our community back in 1917.
Strictly speaking Field Day is a contest, but it is truly a different kind of contests. For many radio clubs Field Day is a peak experience that many hams look forward to participating in whether they work any other contests or not. Some of the factors which make field day unique are:
1. Field Day is really done in the field with tents, portable radio transceivers, emergency power, and portable antennas
2. Field Day not only tests and challenges an individual operator’s communications skills but it also test and challenges the participants ability and flexibility in mounting a major effort on the magnitude that would be encountered in a major disaster.
Field Day logistics and strategy are of equal importance with operational skill. Antenna selection and location is another area where good planning really pays off. The three most important considerations in antenna selection are: 1. Locate antennas far enough from each other to avoid station to station interference (5 watt power levels help in this regard, but interference can still happen) 2. If possible, point the antenna’s peak radiation toward the east, where the vast majority of contacts will be. Strongly consider using simple wire antenna such as dipoles, which are light and easy to put up and take down. Dipoles work out very well even at QRP power levels.
Field Day is also a time to demonstrate new technologies to ourselves and to the general public. Bonus points are earned by presenting these public demonstrations of new technologies such as satellite communications, APRS, ATV, digital communications and solar power sources. Further more we are encouraged (with additional bonus points) to invite community leaders and the media. We might find ourselves on the front page of tomorrow’s paper.
Here are some of the potential benefits from your Field Day operation:
* Find out what works in the field and who can bring it
* Communicating with adjacent clubs and Sections under difficult radio conditions
* Practice operating with field conditions and emergency power.
* Organized planning and execution of a sustained effort -- good for Public Service Events planning &
coordination and possibly for fitting into Served Agency emergency planning.
* Recruit hams for local club or ARES team
* Invite local College (or high school!) clubs' members to join your Field Day.
* Cross-train hams on each-others' equipment
* Invite ARRL Section / Division officers to visit your FD site.
* Invite (potential) Served Agency & or Government officials to visit your FD site, good for ARES and bonus
* Invite the media to promote amateur radio.
* Visit other clubs Field Day in your area.
Suggestions for a successful FIeld Day:
Appoint someone to be in charge to make sure things get done.
A point to consider is location, location, location. Make sure you have it secured at least a month before Field Day.
Have a plan in place for the person in charged to follow.
The plan should cover operating techniques and modes, antennas, number of transmitters, media presentation and maximizing bonus points.
Don't forget to go over the exchange with the operators.
Stress keeping the exchange short, quick and effective, not being chatty and give examples of Dos and Don'ts.
Plan ahead with arrangements who is bringing what equipment – have back-up equipment if possible.
In considering equipment, the simplicity of its operation is important. Most new radios have a learning curve to operate efficiently.
Don’t forget the little things like short jumpers, barrel connectors, adapters, headphones etc.
Document everything. Next year’s Field Day coordinator needs to have a starting place.
Try to secure operators for a 24 hour operation. This can be the key to a big score if that is your thing.
Check the Field Day Rules for the chances to make extra points
Finish and follow-up. Record and discuss next year’s Field Day while everything is fresh in your minds.
Finally, don't forget to plan for Saturday’s dinner menu, good food makes for happy operators.
HAVE FUN and enjoy the friendship and fellowship of Field Day
73 for now, David, WA3EZN
OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
By: Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)
During the month of May, I went to the Hamvention for three days where I attended seven forums, explored the indoor and outside vendors and visited the various booths in the ARRL Expo area, toured the indoor vendors. While sitting in the Field Organization booth, I met other members of the ARRL and Ohio Section staff that I had not met before, and I talked with a lot of people from all over the globe—literally! I was surprised and thrilled that our SM Scott Yonally “mugged” me! There were lots of goodies inside the mug, but the thing I liked best is the mug itself. I don’t plan to use as a drinking vessel. I have it on my desk, and I have filled it with writing utensils. Thanks, Scott!
I attended two local club meetings and two EMA meeting and training sessions. Currently, we are in Field Day preparation mode, and I have media notices and invitation letters to write since I am the PIO for the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, W8VP.
I am a member of the Muskingum Valley Ham Radio Club, N8HR, I am proud of fellow member, Jim Mayercak, WX8J, and his work with an elementary school club.
Please read this article by WX8J and consider what you can do with the resources in your area. I challenge you to find ways to evoke interest, train, and license the youth of Ohio.
’73 Lyn Alfman, N8IMW
D.E.A.R.S. (The Dresden Elementary Amateur Radio Station) club, located in Dresden, Ohio, was formed in the school year 2009-2010 when Principal Linda Huston asked teachers of 5th and 6th grade students to offer an in-school club twice a month. The kind of club was up to the individual teacher to create and direct. Knowing that I am a radio amateur, Mrs. Huston approved of the radio club and offered to help with some funds from the school's Parent-Teacher Organization. We also received funds, antennas, and support from the Muskingum Valley Amateur Radio club and other local amateurs. Some of the support came via mentoring the students in various areas/aspects of amateur radio, including on air contacts from their homes.
In less than a month, we had a fully functioning HF and VHF station on the air! I was using my old Kenwood TS 820S, but soon we had a complete Kenwood 520S station donated for use at the school! We also secured a club call KD8NOM and were on the air and making QSO's! Initially there were over 40 students who were interested in joining the club, but we had to limit size to 15 members which has been the average number most years. With such a complete station and such energetic students, we decided to have a dedication of the radio and station. The event came complete with cake and punch as well as the Zanesville Times Recorder newspaper and WHIZ TV. It was exciting for the students to see and hear about their club on the news as well as make the front page of the paper. Excitement was building!
The group continued to expand with different opportunities to communicate. This led one student, Ryan Harris, to secure his Technician license and pursue the possibilities of carrying on a digital QSO with a new iPod app for RTTY and PSK. Ryan, KD8PIR, built (with a little assistance) the interface from a QST article ("Digital VOX Sound Card Interface" by Howard "Skip" Teller, KH6TY - March 2011) and made such a contact! This was a brand new technology application in 2011 and secured Ryan a spot to speak at the Dayton Hamvention Youth Forum which is under the direction of Carole Perry, WB2MGP. Ryan’s presentation was “Using Apps on the iPod Touch.” It is amazing just what you can do with an iPod Touch, and Ryan made it sound easy.
Not enough? That same spring Ryan along with another newly licensed D.E.A.R.S. ham, Tyler Hammond, KD8UAY, decided to give the Rookie Round-Up a go. With the local ham club call N8HR, they took first place in multi-op. What a victory for first time contesters! By the way, their score was the highest of any category that year.
The D.E.A.R.S. continued to seek out new adventures. Satellite communication was successfully tried even though coordinating the passes with the day/time of club meetings was difficult. With one contact’s QSL by email, he included the audio from the contact. The student operator exclaimed, "Hey! That's me!" and all through a satellite whizzing overhead. Yet more opportunities and greater experiences lay ahead.
Building--The joy of having something you made... work! With a small school grant, the club purchased 2 Meter receiver kits from MFJ Enterprises Inc. This summer project lasted over a few nights and was mentored by several local hams as well as the students' moms and/or dads. What an exciting exploration into the world of electrical components, circuit boards, and solder! We "guaranteed" that each one would work before they took it home. OK, some had way too much solder in some places, but nearly all components were in the right places, and with a little "removal" and some tweaking, we saw smiles from all of the kids and their parents.
Contesting--I have always enjoyed it since my first time in the summer of 1976 with Field Day. Another op and I were the novice station (WN3BAK) at the K3LR site. It was an awesome experience that I thought I could pass along. Rather than wait until summer, I thought about letting the kids experience other kids operating the School Club Round-Up. They practiced operating and logging such an event, and in February of 2012, we tried our first contest. We placed fifth, working only one night and making 46 QSO's. It was a good experience and a fine start. We placed better in the next one and then secured two first place wins in February and October of 2014. While the kid's scores were amazing their listening and operating skills were exceptional. I would just sit back and smile as these 5th and 6th graders would work the little pile-ups like a seasoned op. Tyler, KD8UAY, was the calm and cool op who demonstrated his operating skills so well that the local contesting group invited him to join the Sweepstakes group for 2014.
Inviting Tyler was a good move for all as WZ8P won first place nationally in low power multi-op. I asked Tyler if he would be interested in sharing his experiences and contest wisdom with a Youth Forum group in Dayton. He agreed so we contacted Carole Perry, WB2MGP, and she gladly said, "Yes!"
Tyler’s presentation “Contesting for Elementary Students” at the Dayton Youth Forum was a hit and so was lunch. Tyler, the other seven presenters, and eight youth from the audience dined with guest speaker astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT! Tyler is standing behind the astronaut’s right shoulder. By the end of the day Tyler was numb from his experiences at Dayton. So were his parents!!
D.E.A.R.S. concluded another successful year with a little party and awards from the year's contest and events. It was unanimous that all were coming back to radio club in the fall. I'm looking forward to another successful year and hope to have some new surprises in store for our young ops. It has always been a dream of mine to work something a little bigger than a satellite. Say something like the I.S.S.? Dreams and plans are forming to make that a reality. Perhaps you can make that event happen for these kids? I welcome your help and support to make this next year even bigger one!
The youth are our future, and it is wise to invest in them. Thirty years as an educator, now retired, I cannot stop making great opportunities happen for them. My radio Elmers did that for me, and I so enjoy making these things happen for "my kids." Amateur Radio has a bright future, and I'm just as excited today as when I first pounded out "CQ" in 1975. Let's keep that going forward!
Jim Mayercak, WX8J
Adviser to D.E.A.R.S. - KD8NOM
That’s going to do it for this month..
73, Lyn, N8IMW
SOUTHWEST OHIO HAPPENINGS
From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager (SW)
I had the good fortune to attend a picnic put on by the Cincinnati FM club and the Butler County Amateur Radio Association. It was held at the Butler County airport on June 3. Fantastic fun, food, and fellowship was had by all. Perhaps the thing that struck me most was how genuinely comfortable people were in providing a little extra assistance to those of us who needed it. They truly “get it”!
I am planning to be at the Milford hamfest on June 20 and look forward to seeing you there. For more information about this event, visit http://www.w8mrc.com/club/hamfest/
According to the Monday Morning Memo, hams from the Southern Ohio Amateur Radio Association, Portsmouth Radio club, and the Big Sandy ARC provided communication assistance for the Ironton–Lawrence County Memorial Day parade. This parade is the oldest Memorial Day parade in the United States, and hams have provided communications for it since 1989. Two SOARA members who became silent keys since the last parade were recognized, Boyd Little, KD8LAT, and David Spears, KD8CRX. Hams also provided communications for Dayton Multi Sport Festival and diabetes tour de cure bike ride.
With Memorial Day, D-Day, and Flag Day in the rear view mirror and Independence Day fast approaching, I think it’s fitting to shine the spotlight on one of the many veterans whose sacrifices have given us the freedom which we enjoy and sometimes, even take for granted.
Harry served in the Air Force for four years during the Korean War. He fixed planes that got “shot up” so they could again be used in combat missions. On May 19, Harry was one of 70 veterans from the Greater Cincinnati area who flew to Washington DC through the Honor Flight program. He was accompanied by his son who served as his “guardian”. According to Harry, the veterans saw the World War II, Vietnam, Lincoln, Air Force and Marine memorials as well as the Washington monument and changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. “Being able to share the experience with my son was quite powerful.” Harry said he was also moved by the packet of letters from children thanking them for their service and the T shirt that all veterans on the flight wore which said in part, “if you can read this in English, thank a veteran”. He commented that the “welcome home” parade was the highlight of his trip. Approximately 500 people, including his 7 year old grandson met the flight which arrived around 11:00 PM. And, yes, that child made it to school the next day! “I walked away with a renewed sense of pride”.
As for ham radio, Harry was first licensed in 1964 as WN8LOJ. He currently holds an Extra class license and loves operating and building low power (QRP) equipment, as well as chasing DX and contesting. Because Harry has a hearing loss, he asks that people face him and speak up when talking so that he doesn’t miss important information. For Harry, this simple accommodation is crucial. It benefits those of us with “normal” hearing too, since it is easier to hear someone who speaks up as opposed to mumbling.
How do you make a ham radio venue accessible? (Handiham World, May 6 2015 edition)
Is it really necessary to add accessibility features to your ham radio venue? And if so, how much will it cost?
What kinds of adaptations should you consider?
These are all typical questions that come up when considering how to welcome everyone, including people with disabilities or sensory impairments, to your special event, retail establishment, club meeting, VE session - you name it.
I got to thinking about this lately because I'd heard from a fellow who uses a motorized wheelchair, and he mentioned that he had to travel quite a distance to a ham radio store because the one closest to his home had narrow aisles and wasn't wheelchair-accessible as a result. Yes, there was accessible parking by the store. Yes, there was a wheelchair-friendly entrance. But neither of those things really did any good when it was impossible to get around the store!
Ham radio is a popular activity among Baby Boomers like me, and most of us are - or already have - reached retirement age. And with age comes disability for some of us. There are a LOT of Baby Boomers, and more and more of them will eventually need some kind of accommodation because they will not be able to walk as far (or at all), their eyesight may decline, or they may have other physical limitations that make mobility difficult. Not, mind you, that anyone of any age is immune from disability, far from it. Technology like motorized wheelchairs and mobility scooters make it easier for people to get out and about. Can we really afford to ignore them?
Local hamfests and flea markets are popular, and making them accessible is just plain common sense and good business. It's really pretty easy, too. Just allow for aisles wide enough to accommodate motorized wheelchairs and scooters, service animals, and people using canes and walkers. Have event volunteers available to help guide people as they arrive. If portable toilets are set up, make sure that some of them are the larger ones to accommodate users with disabilities.
If you operate a retail electronics business, some of the same things apply. You will want aisles that are wide enough to allow wheelchair users to get through, accessible parking and wheelchair ramps, and staff who are trained in the basics of working with customers who have disabilities. One of the most basic rules here is really easy: Make sure that the staff knows that they should ask how they can help the person who is blind or uses a wheelchair. The customer may need help reaching something on a shelf or might need to have something described if they cannot see it. Sales staff should know about accessibility options on radios, such as whether speech frequency announcements are built in or available as an option.
Field Day and special event stations may not be quite so easy, and in some cases they may be in places where it is not possible to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. Uneven terrain and distance from paved roads or parking may simply be a part of a temporary station setup, and there may be no way to have the same operating experience any other way. We have all seen photos and videos of some of the more exotic, far-flung DXpeditions!
However, other temporary stations are set up to be accessible and inclusive. Some radio clubs emphasize publicity and ease of access for the general public at their Field Day sites. In general, these kinds of Field Day operations will be much easier to get to and may be entirely wheelchair accessible.
My own local club, SARA, the
Stillwater, MN Amateur Radio Association has several members who would have trouble getting to a site that is not wheelchair accessible. We have found that SARA can set up an excellent Field Day event at a small local city park that features accessible parking and restrooms, a large shelter with a concrete floor, and electrical outlets for wheelchair chargers. Of course the ease of access for club members with disabilities also means easy access for interested members of the general public who may become amateur radio operators in the future.
The point is that accessibility can sometimes actually add to the event's success in other ways aside from being welcoming to people who use wheelchairs or scooters. Would you like to know more about working with people who have disabilities? I am available to talk to you or your club. Just say the word!
73, Kitty, W8TDA
NOTES FROM THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
By: Jim Yoder W8ERW - TC
It's time for Field Day and the preparations have begun here in Seneca County. All of which have been in between the yard work, additions to the shack, assorted other chores and planning for a Technician/General refresher course to encourage local inactive Hams to get on the air and join us all.
It would appear by the weather patterns this summer that we have been physically shifted south towards Florida. It's been several years since we have had more than a couple of weather related ARES activations and we will probably see the third already this season yet today. It is hot and humid and by early evening for several days, we have a storm watch in effect. As long as nothing more severe happens, these are great opportunities to exercise our ARES skills, check out the equipment and prepare for the time when we will be needed. Batteries require regular charging and maintenance. Equipment failures often happen when we have not used a piece of gear for some time. Being prepared and ready requires some effort to insure everything can and will perform as required.
Our Section Emergency Coordinator, Stan N8BHL reminds us that the effort to roll out ARESMAT is underway. Stan and the ARESMAT committee are actively seeking qualified members to fill out the teams that will comprise our Ohio ready to go force. This is a great opportunity to be a part of a capable and highly skilled group of Amateurs to deploy where needed in a time of emergency. This is a serious effort and it does require a higher level of commitment for those wishing to participate. More information will be available through your local county Emergency Coordinator.
I would also like to thank those who have taken the time to update me with their completion of FEMA NIMS courses and other related training. The database is growing and is actually quite large already. The purpose of maintaining a Section level record of training is twofold. One is to insure those records are kept secure and available when needed. Secondly, our ability to deploy a trained and ready resource depends on the ability to locate and contact the proper individual Amateurs as necessary to fill the need as it arises. If you have any questions regarding this training, please consult your local Emergency Coordinator. Keep those documents coming. Ohio will be strong and ready.
The additions to the Raspberry Pi capabilities related to our Amateur Radio efforts continue to grow. Recently, I have seen add on boards that support a QRP transceiver, CW keyer and a solar power arrangement as an add-on board to the Pi. If you have not taken a look at this very versatile and handy single board Linux based computer, you may be missing a lot of fun and useful function. They are available now at many of the Amateur Radio vendors in addition to electronics suppliers and like most anything imaginable, on eBay. Name it and someone is working on a project or application with the Raspberry Pi. If you have taken up DSTAR, the pi is a great way to set up a hot spot and there are several active commercial and kit forms of this type available.
OK, let's all pray for excellent band conditions, no storms and moderating temperatures for Field Day this year. If you have not made your plans to participate I encourage you to do so and visit your local FD operation. You will see Amateur Radio in action and likely be able to have a firsthand look at what we would likely be doing in an emergency situation. FD is an intense 24 hours where you will see much of what we can do including the latest in technology, antennas, emergency power arrangements and often some interesting Amateur Radio applications. Don't forget the chance to mingle with fellow Amateurs and of course, you will want to enjoy the edibles found and available at most FD sites. Camping, grilling, operating, rag chewing around the fire and the scramble to set up before and take down after are all elements of Field Day. Many of your Ohio Section officials will be out visiting as well. Your County EMA and local government leaders are often there to pay us a visit. Check with your local club or one of the Ohio Section Cabinet members if you would like to know where the closest FD operation will be. Let's all burn the ether this year.
Thanks again to all of you who as Hams recognize the value of sharing knowledge and talents with your fellow Amateurs. I enjoy most of all the opportunity to meet and hear about what you are doing personally as well as your activities to foster enjoyment of our hobby.
73, Jim, W8ERW
FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT LIAISON
By: Nick Pittner, K8NAP - SGL
This is the second of a three-part series on antenna legislation. Last month we talked about PRB-1, the FCC regulation requiring “reasonable accommodation” of amateur antennas by local zoning authorities. This month we’ll talk about Ohio’s version of that legislation, now known as H.B. 158.
H.B. 158 (129th General Assembly) was the result of 4 years of legislative effort spanning 3 different legislative sessions of the Ohio General Assembly. It became law on August 15, 2012 and now applies to all branches of local government implementing zoning regulations in Ohio, including cities, townships and counties.
The primary section of the law, Revised Code Section 5502.031 is found in the area of Ohio law governing homeland security. The placement was by design, so that the bill would be viewed as homeland security legislation, which it is.
Section 5502.031 provides, in part, “[zoning authority authorization statutes] do not confer on any legislative authority the authority to preclude amateur radio service communications. Any rules adopted under those sections by a legislative authority to regulate amateur radio service shall comply with the following limitations:” Those limitations are: “(1) The legislative authority shall not restrict the height or location of amateur station antenna structures in such a way as to prevent effective amateur radio service communications and shall comply with 47 C.F.R. 97.15.” and “(2) The rules shall reasonably accommodate amateur station communications and shall constitute the minimum practicable regulation necessary to accomplish the legislative authority's purpose.” Thus, the Ohio law both re-states the requirement of PRB-1 and incorporates it by reference into Ohio law.
The third provision of that section add something not found in PRB-1, a provision to effectively force local zoning authorities to follow the “reasonable accommodation” requirements. “Any legislative authority that denies an application for approval of an amateur station antenna structure shall state the reasons for the denial and shall, on appeal, bear the burden of proving that the authority's actions are consistent with this section.” Section 5502.031(C).
The law became effective on August 15, 3012 and has had only one court test so far, Wodtke v. Village of Swanton, a case decided on procedural issues but resolved in favor of the ham, Gary Wodtke, WW8N. In that case, as well as in the legislative proceedings, the Ohio Municipal League sought to oppose the application of the law to cities and villages on the grounds that it conflicted with, and violated the Home Rule powers of municipalities granted them under the Ohio Constitution. If there are future court challenges involving cities or villages, look for similar issues to be raised.
To promote a greater understanding of Ohio’s new antenna law, the Section has prepared and distributed a three-fold brochure for use by both hams and local zoning officials. It is hoped that a full understanding of what the new law requires will avoid the sort of conflict that has led to litigation in the past.
You can find a copy of the brochure on the Ohio Section Website at: http://arrl-ohio.org/SGL/sgl.html There you can choose between a MS Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
73, Nick, K8NAP
FROM THE SCOUTING ASM
Scott Hixon, KC8ITN
Verticals, dipoles and beams...oh my! (Thank you Wizard of Oz)
As we go through the year setting up portable antennas for Field Day, Ohio QSO Party and The BSA Jamboree-on-the-Air (you are going to participate in JOTA this year, aren't you?) there is always something we need to keep in the front of our minds...SAFETY!
Safety on the tower, safety while working around electric lines and safety when adverse weather is in the area are all issues we need to be aware of when setting up a portable antenna.
When we are asked to put on a demonstration for an organization, we want to put on the best "show" that we can. And sometimes when bad weather is on the way, we think we can get the antenna up "before it gets here." One of the main weather issues we need to keep in mind is lightning. The old saying, "if you can hear thunder the lightning is close enough to strike you" is true. The storm clouds don't have to be right on top of you for you to be struck by lightning. People have been stuck by lightning from clouds that were over 20 miles away!
From 2006 through 2014, 287 people were struck and killed by lightning in the United States. In 2014, there were 26 fatalities in the U.S. and its territories due to lightning (21 men and 5 women). There have already been 6 deaths in the United States due to lightning in 2015. And the storm season has just started!
A lot of these deaths may have been avoided if people would use a little common sense and think about the weather when they get ready for outdoor activities. When lightning is close is not the time to be putting up a 32 foot lightning rod...er, I mean a 32 foot vertical.
When we are involved in an outdoor activity in Boy Scouts, at the first sound of thunder we have to stop what we are doing and take shelter immediately. Scouts cannot resume the activity until 30 minutes after the last time thunder was heard. To protect ourselves from the possibility of getting struck by lightning, we should all get into the mindset of doing this when we hear thunder.
So, when setting up antennas, keep your eyes on the skies! We want the lasting memory of the scout to be the cool ham operator who put on a killer demonstration by talking all over the world! We don't want the lasting memory to be the time a scout watched a ham operator get fried by a bolt of lightning!
By the way, The BSA Jamboree-on-the -Air is coming up in mid-October. Now's the time to contact the scout office, or your local scout troop to see about participating (safely!!). If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to contact me!
Until next time: Stay safe, take care of yourself, and make a difference in someone's life!!
From: Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager
June is HERE!! That means summer is here and all those summer honey-do’s are now going to have to be done. Wow.. what a list of things I have to do around the house. As Janie keeps reminding me, I was going to do this and that once I retired. Now that it is here and I’m fully retired, I’m finding so many other things that I want to do instead.. You know, like go for a very long ride on the motorcycle.. Relax (snooze) in our gazebo for the entire day. Go visit with Ohio’s clubs at their club meetings and functions. Right now I really don’t see any way that I have time to work on any of those nasty honey-do jobs around the house. Especially those foreign items like cut-de-grass or mow-de-lawn or plant-de-flowers. Why that would take away my time visiting with all of the clubs around Ohio. Ah yes, I love to just “pop” in for a visit with all of you.. Don’t be surprised, I’m making a very conscience effort to get to as many club functions and meetings as I can. Ohio deserves a full time Section Manager!
Since school has pretty much wound down for the summer, I only got to one Boy Scout meeting this past month, but I am working on scheduling more visits with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and YES, even the Girl Scouts this next coming fall/winter. There’s a lot of potential there that needs tapped for sure.
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.
**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.
Field Day.. As I did last year, I’m going to try to hit as many Field Day sites as I can. I have also challenged my Cabinet to do the same. I know that several of them are already laying out their itinerary for what sites they plan on hitting this year.
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.. I have a link to the Field Day Locator on the website now. Oh, by the way, there’s also a link to the Governor’s Proclamation and a link to a useful press release. Please, print off a copy of the Proclamation and have it on display at your Field Day site, and use the press release to notify the news folks as well as your local government officials.. Make sure you are ready for them if / when they do come. Remember, they are not Amateur Radio folks.. They don’t understand what it is that you are doing, so please take the time to clearly describe what it is that we do. And remember, don’t use any radio jargon, these are very impressionable folks and you definitely don’t want to give them the wrong impression.
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.
There’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website. I change the question at hand 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 Convention.. The Great Lakes Division will be holding a Division Convention this year in conjunction with the Columbus Hamfest on August 1st. There’s going to be lots of great forums that will be of particular interest to ARES / NTS folks, as well as those who are not as involved. These forums are a combined effort of all 3 of the Section Emergency Coordinators and Section Managers in the Division, as well as other experts in their fields from all around the Great Lakes Division. This is the only place that you can get that type of ARRL sanctioned training with that level of expertise. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. And, since we know that your time is very valuable to you, we have combined all of this with a hamfest. FUN, training and a hamfest all rolled up into one day, and one very exciting event.
Oh, by the way, here are the forums.
NTS/OSSBN, ARES, NVISX, DX, Digital Voice, HF Sound Card Modes, and of course there will be the ARRL Forum where a number of awards will be given out as well. And even a special event will happen this year.. YES, there IS a Wouff Hong scheduled this year as well!!
Now if that isn’t enough to get you to come, then let me tell ya’ this.. we will have a special guest from the League there as well!! Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, who is the Educational Service Manager will be there to answer your questions and let you in on what’s happening at the League. WOW.. Lots of things to do and see at the Convention!!
Look for the specific details of this event and the forums on the http://arrlgreatlakes.org website.
Now you ALL definitely have a stake in the Division Convention!! Your attendance will definitely be even more demanding and exciting. Make sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, August 01 at the Aladdin Shrine Hall (just across the street from Easton Mall) on Seltzer Road in Columbus. Be there, or be square.
73, Scott, N8SY
FROM THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
From: John Perone, W8RXX
News on the Official Observer front for May
This month’s statistics revealed that there are a total of 746 Official Observers nationwide. During the month of May there were 3 recommendations for hams to begin the process to become Official Observers nationwide, thanks for the recruitment!
Here’s the May 2015 report overview from the reporting OO’s in Ohio:
OO Total Hours = 850
Good Cards Sent = 2
OO Cards Sent = 7
The Official Observer program is always looking for new recruits. Are you one of them? Give me or Scott a call and find out more about the program and whether you’d make a good fit or not.
73, John, W8RXX
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
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.
07/11/2015 | Commemorating Alliance, OH as
the home of Taylorcraft Aviation
1400Z-2000Z, KD8MQ, Alliance, OH.
Alliance Amateur Radio Club.
28.260 21.260 14.260 7.260.
Certificate & QSL.
John Myers, 910 W Mill St, Alliance, OH 44601.
We will be operating SSB, on these frequencies.
Other bands, & modes may be attempted.
Check our QRZ page for details www.w8lky.org
OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
06/20/2015 | MILFORD HAMFEST
Location: Milford, OH
07/11/2015 | 20/9 Hamfest and Tailgate 2015
Location: Austintown, OH
Sponsor: 20/9 Amateur Radio Club
07/18/2015 | 2015 NOARSfest - Hamfest and Computer Show
Location: Elyria, OH
Sponsor: Northern Ohio Amateur Radio Society
07/19/2015 | Van Wert Amateur Radio Hamfest
Location: Van Wert, OH
Sponsor: Van Wert Amateur Radio Club
07/26/2015 | Portage Hamfair '15
Location: Randolph, OH
Sponsor: Portage Amateur Radio Club