In this issue:
-> THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
-> AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
-> THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
-> THE PUBIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
-> THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
-> OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
-> CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) POISONING
-> LET'S TALK
-> THINGS TO DO… CONTEST UPDATES
-> THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
-> IS YOUR COMPUTER BACKED UP
-> WEBSITE STATS
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
Jeff Kopcak - TC
During the State Emergency Test (SET), the Medina ARES group had some issues getting Fldigi working correctly. Not because they didn’t know what they were doing but because when you use Fldigi once or twice a year, you forget what to do. I got an email wanting to know if I would develop a training session on NBEMS standards using Flgidi and Flmsg.
NBEMS stands for Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (or Software, depending who you ask). It is a set of standards developed to define passing email and text-based traffic over Amateur Radio. We have many digital modes available to us. The VHF/UHF standard is MT63. MT63 is a sufficiently robust mode to deal with background noise and poor band conditions. This doesn’t mean you can have a party at your station and still send MT63 messages but it does well with ambient noise. In contrast, HF NBEMS uses Olivia.
This request was right up my alley as I love to operate digital, educate other hams, and help them get on the air. Much of my time this month was dedicated to putting together a presentation covering: digital communication, use case in Emcomm situations, interfacing options, talking about the Fldigi and Flmsg programs used, setting them up, and workflow.
We though this training might be useful to the section so we invited the leadership. Stan N8BHL and Scott N8SY came. There were County Emergency Coordinators (ECs) who were also in attendance. No pressure. We had a lot of people who wanted to learn about NBEMS, Fldigi, and the capabilities we have. After the presentation, we did hands-on demonstrations with Dave NF8O, Bob K8MD, and Fred K8FH as instructors and transmitting stations so students could see transmitting and receiving all in one place. A lot of great questions and discussion was had. Thank you to the instructors and everyone for coming out! The presentation is available: http://www.k8jtk.org/2015/11/10/vhfuhf-nbems-an-introduction-using-fldigi-and-flmsg-presentations/.
One of my points during the presentation was always practice with these technologies BEFORE you need use them. Do a class for beginners. Have the students bring their setup --laptops, go-boxes, radio interfaces, and radios. Find some space to hold the class –EOC/EMA building, restaurant, or library. Then walk through the whole nine yards --installing the applications, setting up Windows audio, setting up the applications, and demonstrate the various tasks they would need to perform. Additional instructors who can assist students or send example transmissions (prepare these ahead of time) should be available. Have the students participate by transmitting messages. This will get them more comfortable and it’s easier to troubleshoot on-site than over-the-air. Make plans for some on-the-air meetings to practice ahead of a test or drill. Meet for an hour or so for a couple weeks until everyone is comfortable.
In Cleveland on Thursday nights, I assist with the LEARA Digital Practice Net on the 146.880/R at 9PM (you don’t have to be a member to participate). The net will operate Fldigi for a number of weeks and switch to SSTV for a time. Our net even ran a simulation drill with ICS forms and everything! Turned out to be a HUGE hit. I wrote up some tutorials for our net. They include: getting your radio interface setup with optimal settings, how to use MMSSTV, Fldigi, Flmsg, and Flwrap. The Fldigi suite tutorials are mostly written to FM NBEMS standards. Links are at the end of this article.
The OHDEN (Ohio Digital Emergency Net) is on Tuesdays at 8:00pm. 3.585 USB. The net uses OLIVIA 8/500 with PSK31 as an alternate. They do not run voice on this net which might be unusual for some. All checkins and announcements are done using Olivia. More info: www.ohden.org
I encourage groups throughout the Section to start their own digital practice nets on FM, HF, or both! The tutorials are available to modify to fit your net. These are great opportunities to help hams become familiar and knowledgeable about their digital equipment. Do make sure you obtain permission from the repeater Trustee if you plan to use any repeater. If you do have a digital practice net that originates from the Ohio Section, let me know and I’ll put plug in the future.
Earlier, I mentioned Bob K8MD. Bob is the latest addition to the Technical Specialists. Welcome! He has a lot of experience with networking and has been utilizing MESH. Ottawa County is certainly aware of this as he helped their EMA build out a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system to use during their incidents.
Sound card setup: http://www.k8jtk.org/2015/04/16/radio-interface-setup-for-getting-started-with-ham-radio-sound-card-digital-modes/
Fldigi, Flmsg, Flwrap: http://www.k8jtk.org/2015/04/16/getting-started-with-fldigi-including-flmsg-and-flwrap/
Thanks for reading
73... de Jeff - K8JTK
THE AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR
John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Hi everyone, it’s November again and Thanksgiving Day will be here before you know it. I’d like to start this month’s column off by sharing one thing that I’m thankful for. I am very thankful for all of you! At last count, we have 99 ARRL Affiliated Clubs in the Ohio Section. The energy & enthusiasm that I see from you is what makes my job so much fun! Thanks all of you for everything you do for Amateur Radio, and the Ohio Section. I’d like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Does your club hold License classes? How many of your new licensees just kind of disappear from the airwaves, or never get on the air in the first place? I believe that increasing the number of Hams is great. However, we are doing ourselves and them a dis-service if they never become active. What more can we do to Elmer these new Hams, and help to find their niche in Amateur Radio? A lot of clubs (my home club included), could do a better job in terms of “New Ham retention”. This isn’t to say that there aren’t clubs who are going above & beyond in this department, because there are. I applaud those who go the extra mile in this department. One that comes to mind is the Mt. Vernon ARC, who are holding CW classes, & participating in JOTA. Or I can mention the Massillon ARC, whose Mentoring classes are continuing. These Saturday AM sessions cover subjects in more detail than is normally possible at a club meeting, due to time constraints.
In a recent posting on Larry’s List, I found mention of “Ham 101” classes that are being sponsored by KC Hamlink. Looking at KC Hamlink’s website, they bill themselves as “A resource for newly licensed operators in the Kansas City metro area”. You can find more information KC Hamlink at www.kchamlink.org. You can find the flier for the upcoming Ham 101 class at tinyurl.com/nkb2ptb.
These classes help new licensees to get off on the right foot in Amateur Radio. To quote their flier, “Get your questions answered, meet experienced Hams that want to help, get assistance with radio programming, and get on the air by checking into a live Net”.
It would be great if a program like this could be implemented here in the Ohio section. We have the talent, we have the numbers, and I believe we have the need! So, if your club is thinking of ways to increase activity & membership (and what club isn’t?), then this might be something to look into.
Some of the other subjects that might be covered in a class like this might include:
· Logbook Of The World
· ARRL Incoming & Outgoing QSL Bureaus
· What the heck is an ARRL Section, and which one am I in?
· What day is it? (UTC explained)
You get the idea, I guess. Some things that are second nature to you might not be so easy to a new Ham.
By the way, there’s not much happening in Amateur Radio in the KC area that doesn’t make it to Larry’s List. The focus is the greater Kansas City area, although Larry, W0AIB has done a super job of growing the list to well over 1600 members, encompassing an area much larger than the KC area. You can find more information at www.larryslist.info.
Are any of you planning to participate in the ARRL National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) Events in 2016? Activating a National Park Service (NPS) Unit? Activating a NPS is great club activity, and a good excuse to get your new licensees out into the field for some hands-on experience. There are nine NPS Units in Ohio.
For more information on what NPOTA is, and how you can participate, please go to npota.arrl.org.
Since we are in the time of year when lots of clubs are holding elections, I have a reminder for you. Please don’t forget to update your officers, and contact information on your club record at League Headquarters. This ensures that anyone looking for your club will be able to contact the proper person.
And, while I’m at it, let’s keep up on those renewals. Your ARRL Affiliation requires that you update your club report form yearly. If you are a Special Service Club, it is required to be done every other year. It’s an easy process, and might be a good thing to do yearly as well, just so it doesn’t get forgotten.
If you are not a Special Service Club, but are thinking about it, please contact myself, or Scott, N8SY. Either of us can answer any questions you might have.
As reported a month or two ago, your changes to your club record are now instantaneous. But here’s a change you may not be aware of. There are now fields for you to fill out the contact information you’re your VP, Secretary, and Treasurer. This makes it easier for people to contact the right person in your organization.
And that wraps it up for this month. Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope to work a bunch of you on the air this weekend in the SS!
73 everyone, see you next month. DE KD8MQ
THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
Stan Broadway, N8BHL
What are we supposed to do?
I look at the EC monthly reports, read the numbers and enjoy the comments. They begin to tell a story and raise a question at the same time. They tell about frequent service to our cities and towns, helping with public events and even activating for local emergencies! The question: what do you do at your monthly ARES meetings? You ~do~ have monthly training meetings, right? I’ve been a little disappointed that some counties are reporting no meetings…the number of training sessions is zero. Many others are consistent in staging meetings. Either way what do you accomplish? Do you walk in, discuss what changes were made to the local repeater then exchange pleasantries before leaving? If that describes your meeting, experience dictates that attendance will drop off, interest will wane, and the EC will begin pulling hair out because it’s harder to find people to volunteer. What’s more important, the overall effectiveness of your ARES group will decline. As that happens your requests for service will decline too, and the spiral continues.
Our highly technical, extensively constructed communications systems WILL fail. Just ask Medina, Summit or any of the six counties in northeast Ohio. What’s more, there WILL be storms, floods and other emergency events in which we can play an important role. The frustrating thing is this doesn’t happen every month, maybe not every year. Does that mean we don’t need to be ready when it does decide to happen? If we approach this right, it can give us more time to actually get ready. We can only do that by serious training. The days of “Call me if you need me” are gone. We will not be of service (we won’t even be let in the door!) without the basic FEMA courses, and without having the reputation and trust that our EMA Director recognizes. It’s completely up to US to stay engaged and prepared. EC’s – you are not expected to be a subject matter on everything. You should know the subject matter experts. Most will be more than happy to spend an evening with ARES members training on their subject.
Ask your EMA Director what his or her “Ten worst headache” list contains: the disasters with the highest likelihood of happening or causing the most damage in your county. There’s a list of training topics! How about MARCS radios? Your county communications manager should be happy to teach your folks how a trunking system works, and how to find “zones” and “Talk groups” on your radios.
WE ARE THERE TO HELP OUR AGENCIES! If that means using FRS radios, or grabbing a MARCS handheld for the Director, or even working a fax or making coffee…get a broader focus and see where we can be most helpful. I’ve also suggested that our groups can get involved in the county’s “missing person search” procedures. We should know about triage, transportation of victims, search and rescue operations, haz-mat awareness, and many other topics. We should understand completely how the EOC works.
What does the Red Cross do to set up a shelter? What communications will they need? What is your department of Health doing for mass inoculations, post-disaster food inspections, and special needs residents? What’s more we should understand our own radios! HF, VHF/UHF, and digital! We master this stuff; we become a working partner with our served agencies. But it’s up to us! Time to get busy, and get a schedule together for the winter months! Make each training meeting count!
You’ll find that attendance will grow, people will get more interested in serving, and you may even get more volunteers. Even better- you’ll be proud of what you can do!
Over the days following the SET, we have had a lot of discussion at The Sarge. I don’t want to steal Gayle’s thunder in her reporting, but steps are being taken that should resolve our “deaf antenna” issues, and at the same time set a goal and longer-term program for the state’s EOC ham station. We are changing a 40 meter dipole over to a trapped 80-40 inverted V with the apex near 30’. That should increase our coverage for digital or our second voice radio significantly. Just before the SET, we hung a triangular 80 meter loop antenna on the roof. This is my very favorite antenna….but this one just heard nothing. It stunk. Thanks to John Beal, W8NX, we now have printed reports of the performance of our feedlines (some are several hundred feet long). John’s analyzer produced a baseline for our performance, and pointed out a couple immediate problems. The following week, Dale Bauer, W8KTQ, took a look at antenna modeling. He even worked with Richard Wynkoop, KD8PHG, to re-arrange the loop, moving the feedline from a corner to the middle of a leg. That brought SWR’s into at least operational range, and the antenna started to actually hear. More work is planned, potentially changing to a square configuration with more efforts to reduce feedline loss.
With the entire staff of The Sarge, we were able to develop a long term view, outlining the need for several major improvements: amplifiers, a new HF rig to replace one that doesn’t transmit, headsets and foot pedals to quiet background noise and better logs to create a more professional operation. We have even been in discussion about a larger space. So it looks like we’re poised to move up a century or so and create a top notch “multi-multi” ham station! We’re on “state time” so it won’t happen overnight, but we’re working on it! We appreciate the volunteers who dedicate hours of their time to keep The Sarge on the air!
The next big operating event..
Tucked in here at the bottom is an important announcement! Put January 9 on your calendar- for the first ever Ohio ARES SIMPLEX RADIO CONTEST!! We’re working up rules now, but we want to be able to have fun while expanding our ability to work VHF simplex! How far can you get? How many stations can you work? How good is that EOC station, anyway? How about your home station?
This will be a civilized contest- operating hours will be polite and allow for retain the rest of your life- probably one day only or less. Before winter hits take a look at your VHF antenna situation- and get something in the air now! Remember, for us it’s a contest now- but it literally could be life or death then. More coming up next month!!
73, Stan, N8BHL
THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
John Ross, KD8IDJ
It seems like just last week we were passing out the awards for the best newsletters!
Well, it's just about time to begin the 2016 Newsletter contest and I can't wait.
The newsletters are a BIG DEAL and really show how much talent and knowledge our Ohio Section clubs and PIO's have about amateur radio...and how to present it
I know I've said this before, but I am always amazed at the depth of knowledge, the dedication and the determination that goes into every club's newsletters. They are all well written, well researched and well thought out...and rival some of the so-called "professional" publications. I read them all, I enjoy them all and I benefit from them all. I'm sure all of our readers feel the same way and can't until the monthly newsletter arrives.
All of that being said, there are some minor changes in the 2016 rules. Here's the official rules document:
2016 ARRL OHIO SECTION NEWSLETTER CONTEST RULES:
In today’s publishing world there are now many different types of formats for submission of a newsletter to be entered in the Ohio Section Newsletter Contest (paper, electronic text, pdf, desktop publishing and html, to name a few). Each one of these different formats has its own unique positives and negatives, and as such are not part of the judging / scoring of the contest. Section C of the rules breaks down how the newsletter will be judged / scored without any bias toward any particular type of publishing format.
Here are the rules for the 2016 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 2016 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 Thursday, June 30, 2016, 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.
Remember, officially, the contest is for 2106 newsletters. You can send your January 2016 newsletter in late December if that's when you usually publish it.
Our judges for the past three years are again on board for 2016. They are all seasoned journalists and public relations professionals. They have been in the trenches and understand the work it takes to turn out a newsletter every month. And, they have been impressed every year with the effort that every club makes and the tremendous evolution we have made as amateur radio operators and communicators.
So, crank up the presses and send me your 2106 newsletters. Good luck, and remember, everyone is a winner!
More next month of the 2016 Newsletter Contest and some plans for our PIO's.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
73, John, KD8IDJ
THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM
TIS THE SEASON FOR LISTS
Well here we are in November already. The October SET has been completed and we can settle back and wait for that inevitable white stuff. By the time you read this we will be on the doorstep or very close to Thanksgiving. I hope each and every one of you has a full and bountiful table on Thanksgiving. Since this is the season of list here are some lists of things to do.
1. Buy you turkey early; the TV news says the prices are going up.
2. Hunt up your recipes and review what you will need for that dinner
3. Make a list of the ingredients you will need
4. Shop early for those ingredients to avoid the crowds
5. Find someone to prepare the dinner and do all the work
6. Find relatives to go to for Thanksgiving in order to avoid all the work
7. and lastly resort to finding a restaurant that will be open and make reservations J
After last month’s report on blackouts I thought something a bit lighter was appropriate for this month. However, not to spoil the mood but shortly after Thanksgiving comes Christmas. I think a review of my Christmas Hint list is in order. Here is a list of places to leave that hint so your significant other will be sure to find it.
I doubt that many of you will get them to buy you that $2000 HF rig but maybe a new mobile rig or a Hiel headset with microphone or an ARRL membership with subscription to QST. How are they going to know what you want if you don’t “hint” them?
Here are a few suggestions where to leave him or her you hint so you get the ham radio items you want for Christmas. You can use a page from a catalog or magazine to be:
1. Taped to their car steering wheel.
2. Taped on their cereal box or coffee cup
3. Taped on the bathroom mirror
4. Leave the store catalog on the coffee table open to the right page
5. Clipped to the lamp on the night stand
6. Taped to the door going to the garage or outside
7. Put a hint in her underwear drawer. Note: this doesn’t work for men
8. Put one on his or her computer monitor
9. Pin one to their pillow
10. Talk about it every chance you get
I am sure that if you think real hard you can come up with some good “HINT” places of your own.
This is a good time to think about winter safety. It doesn’t matter if you are just heading out the door to work or taking that trip to grandma’s house you should be thinking about car safety. Here are some things you should do to prepare for that winter weather.
For the car check your tire conditions, battery, anti-freeze and check your lights. Also have window scrapers, shovel, cat litter, a flashlight and check that it lights. For personal safety you should have blankets, winter coats, boots, hats and gloves for everyone in case you get stuck and have to walk your way out. You should have food and water for everyone in the vehicle so if you can’t walk your way out you can at least wait comfortably for help to arrive. If you do get stuck and run you vehicle for heat make sure the exhaust pipe is open and clear and remains that way. It is also a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full on a daily basis and to fill up before leaving on the ride to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving or Christmas. After all we need you and yours to remain safe and have a happy holiday.
If you not going anywhere on New Year’s here is something fun to try. The ARRL Straight Key Night is coming up on January 1, 2016. Why not dust off that old straight key and give it a try. Who knows you may like it and have some fun. Straight Key night starts at 0000Z and ends at 2359Z (UTC). More details can be found at www.arrl.org/straight-key-night .
And now more on the business side of traffic handling here is a list of things that I hear on the OSSBN that are just wrong. We all need to make improvements and become more efficient.
1. Please roger my traffic…just say “number”
2. Please copy number…. just say “number”
3. Today’s date…just give the date
4. Going to…..is not an NTS pro-word don’t use it
5. Going to your station….just give them the call
6. Break for text…. just say “break”
7. Break for signature…just say “break”
8. End number………just say “end”
9. Roger number…..just say “roger”
10. Roger your traffic... just say “roger”
11. Common text…. Is not used anymore it is “BOOK”
12. Common parts…. is not an NTS pro-word just say “BOOK of”
Now I am not perfect either so if I make one of these mistakes I don’t need to be reminded that it is not correct…. I already know that.
And now a reminder from Dennis W8YS and yes it is another list from the ARRL NTS Methods and Practices Guidelines:
The first pro-word (procedural word) in a radiogram is “Number”.
There is NO response to “Break”, unless a fill is needed.
The first pro-words in booked radiograms are “Book of ___”.
There is NO response to “Break”.
Copy is NOT an NTS pro-word. Do NOT use it.
There is NO response to “Break”.
Common parts are NOT NTS pro-words. Do NOT use them.
There is NO response to “Break”.
The last pro-word in a radiogram is “End”.
There is NO response to “Break”.
On the phone nets the pro-word that the receiving operator uses to signify that he/she has copied the radiogram 100% correctly is “Roger”. QSL is used on CW nets and NOT on phone nets.
It is redundant, and not efficient to say, “I roger your number 2364, routine”. Say, “Roger” only.
I like to smile. It makes people think I am up to something!! To you and yours, have a good Thanksgiving.
That’s all for this month.
73 and 88 if appropriate, David, WA3EZN
OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)
October was a very busy month for me, thus the format. Of course, I took pictures at many of the events and worked on articles for the CARA Communicator newsletter that I publish quarterly. Area amateurs meet for lunch at a local restaurant every Thursday except holidays. See W8VP Calendar for location: www.w8vp.org.
October 1—I attended amateur radio lunch and I sent details for our December 5 Waller-McMunn 1914 Hamshack (and mid-1920s AM broadcast station, WEBE) Special Event Station to ARRL
October 2—I updated W8VP web site calendar to reflect October’s Net Control Stations; submitted Cambridge
Amateur Radio Association’s CARA Club Notes [September 26 meeting minutes (minus monies and detailed discussion of issues)] to local paper.
October 3—I participated in the Guernsey County ARES Simulated Emergency Test drill.
October 4—Sonny, W8FHF, and I attended the Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation meeting in Glouster where they were making final arrangements for their January 17, 2016 hamfest.
October 5—I attended the Muskingum Valley Ham Radio Club meeting in Zanesville where they were soliciting for operators for the November Sweepstakes, making plans for Christmas dinner meeting, elections, and meeting date changes for next year.
October 6—I attended the Zanesville Amateur Radio Club meeting in Zanesville where they discussed their $600 Sportsman’s Raffle ticket sales, Christmas dinner, programs for the November meeting, and the election of a Trustee and checked into the CARA net.
October 7—I put CARA’s October 31 meeting information on local newspaper and radio station event calendars.
October 8—I helped the Muskingum Co. ARES provide communications at Drive Thru Flu Clinic at fairgrounds. This exercise includes all county agencies as well as local criminal justice and nursing students.
October 9—Sonny and I talked to the Byesville Halloween Parade organizer who requested CARA’s help.
October 10—I operated and logged for CARA’s Y-Bridge Special Event Station W8Y in Zanesville.
October 12—I received confirmation at our December 5 SES is listed on ARRL Website and will be listed in December QST.
October 13—I attended the Marietta Amateur Radio Club’s Fall Potluck meeting (I took baked beans and apple
pie) where I updated them on the condition of former ASM Connie Hamilton, N8IO and club member and checked into CARA net.
October 14—Started designed the W8Y Y-Bridge Special Event Station Certificate
October 15—I attended amateur radio lunch.
October 16—Sonny and I met with Byesville Halloween Parade organizer to discuss route, staging, and registration.
October 17—I, along Sonny, W8FHF, helped Tim Murphy, KC8TDS, his son Matt Murphy, KC8BEW, and Billie Dickson, WB8TRK talk to Scouts about amateur radio for Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) at Muskingum
Valley Scout Reservation near Coshocton
October 18—I participated in a ZOVETS (a Laurel Group) exam session in Zanesville.
October 19—Finished design of W8Y Y-Bridge SES certificate
October 20—I checked into the CARA nets.
October 22—I attended amateur radio lunch.
October 23—Sonny, Larry Dukes, KD8QYV, and I met with Byesville Halloween Parade organizer about lineup order, street closures, etc.
October 24—Sonny and I, along with three other local hams, went on the CARA Field Trip to the Museum of Radio &Technology in Huntington, WV
October 26—I attended the CARA Officers’ meeting to set the agenda for the October meeting.
October 27—I checked into the CARA nets.
October 29—I attended amateur radio lunch and the Cambridge Holiday Parade Committee meeting for CARA.
October 31—I attended the CARA meeting, and I and seven other CARA members provided organization and
communications support for the Byesville Halloween Parade that evening
As you can see, I get around a lot representing the Ohio Section..
Remember to be Radio Active!
73, Lyn, N8IMW
CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) POISONING
I’m sure that a number of you are asking what the heck is the Section Manager writing about this stuff for.. It’s not Amateur Radio related!! Well my friends, you are very mistaken. It’s not only Amateur Radio related, it’s something that as a HAM operator you may not ever have thought about. Where's your ham shack located? In the basement, garage or out building? Most generally ham shacks are not in the living room or main part of the house. As such, heating devices are usually some sort of a supplemental heater/furnace.
First, let’s describe what Carbon Monoxide (CO) is. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the poisonous gases emitted from carbon fueled heat sources.. (i.e.. gas or fuel oil furnaces, wood burning fire places or stoves, kerosene heaters, propane heaters..) I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. It’s colorless, odorless and it will definitely kill you if you breathe very much of it in. How does this gas kill? It actually migrates into the blood stream and replaces the oxygen in your blood with the Carbon Monoxide. Once it invades your blood stream it will be with you for a very long time, in fact, most of your life! Just ask any firefighter about that. Going into burning buildings without an air supply on will definitely subject you to Carbon Monoxide poisoning and it takes years and years to get it out of your system, if ever. Sometimes, if consumed in a large enough quantity, you may need a complete blood transfusion to just keep you alive. Yes Virginia, it is that deadly!!
Why am I writing about this? It’s very personal to me. A number of years ago a very close friend (and his entire family) died in their sleep because they consumed Carbon Monoxide (CO) without knowing it. They lived in an old house on the north side of Mansfield and because it was old, it was drafty with leaks around the doors, windows and the walls didn’t have any insulation in them. We had gotten a cold snap in early November, and back in the middle 1970’s kerosene heaters were all the rage to supplement heat in just this kind of house. Well, with the help of my co-workers we were able to purchase a big kerosene heater to help them through this cold snap. They got the heater all set up and running and all was fine for the first several days, then on the third day the dad came to work complaining of a very bad headache. None of us thought much about it that day and the dad continued his job on the assembly line with the rest of us. The next afternoon we all found out that the heater had been malfunctioning and every member of the family had died of this very dangerous gas.
I was absolutely torn apart. I had been one of several people at work that help take up the collection to purchase the heater. It took me a long, long time to get over that. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with using these types of supplemental heating sources, but be very careful when you do. At that time CO detectors were truly non-existent for homes, and the ones that were available were for scientific and commercial use and cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. That’s all changed now. CO detectors are as cheap now as smoke detectors. You can get one for as little as $10 now. That’s an extremely cheap form of protection from this deadly gas.
Winter is almost here. I don’t know about how it is at your house, but here in the little burg of Lexington, when it gets cold outside, you’ll see the smoke coming out of many chimneys around here. That means that the temperature has dropped to below where it is comfortable. This is the point where the furnaces come on and people start thinking about lighting up the fireplaces and so forth. Now if these devices haven’t been recently serviced, birds can make nests in the chimney’s and like your car, the heat source most likely needs a tune-up to make sure that it’s running efficiently and safely. Having the chimney stuffed up with bird nests or the heat source not burning correctly can cause Carbon Monoxide to accumulate in your house without you even knowing it. That’s where the detector comes into play.. Please, please buy one, or two of these really inexpensive CO detectors for your safety and use it! During my trips around the state, I have been giving not only a CO detector but a smoke detector out to some lucky individual as my gift to them.
By the way, it’s not all about detection either.. Do you have a properly rated fire extinguisher within your reach? If not, get one. Learn how to properly use it. It will save you from a lot of damage if you know how to use it properly..
Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager
Can you believe that just in a few days from now we will be stuffing ourselves with more food than our eyes can even look upon? This fall I was in Connecticut for Section Managers training and while I was there Janie and I took a drive over to Plymouth Massachusetts to look at the famous Plymouth Rock. It’s really not much to look at; after all it IS just a rock. But it’s really not about the rock, it’s about that huge leap that our ancestors made to make a better life for themselves. Remember that when you’re stuffing your face with all that food!! ALSO.. Let’s not forget that even though we are safe and sound on this holiday, we do have those of us guarding our great nation that aren’t home.. Please add them to your thoughts and prayers this season.
This year has really flown by. The motorcycle is now winterized and locked away until spring.. The Buckeyes are getting just that much closer to another championship and the furry animals are getting bedded down for a long winters nap. How’s about you? Have you got your furnace, fireplace and chimney checked out yet? Please.. don’t just fluff this off, if you haven’t had them checked out, do so.. It could mean your life!
I’ve kept myself somewhat busy this year by traveling all over the state visiting with all of you at your hamfests, club meetings, picnics and breakfast’s. It’s been fantastic! I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! As you know, the Ohio Section is the largest Section in the country. It’s even bigger than a Division or two. So, with that in mind, it’s only fair to say that Ohio also deserves to have a full time Section Manager. So, don’t be surprised when I just “pop-in” at your meeting or function.
My visits to the Boy Scout troupes around the state have paid off.. I now can say with pride we have 4 more hams in Ohio. Congrats to them and their troupe leaders.. Speaking of the Boy Scouts.. Our JOTA exercise here in the metropolis of Lexington was a huge success. We had a bunch of visitors, including one of Lexington’s own village council members.. It was fantastic watching these little guys AND GALS eyes light up when they got to participate in making contacts.
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.
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. Heck, just send me an email –firstname.lastname@example.org- , I’ll get you added to the ListServer. 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?
I want to talk to all of you about the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 -- H.R.1301 in the US House of Representative and S 1685 in the US Senate -- We now have 114 House of Representatives on board with this.
This Bill directs the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land use restrictions. Now I do want to stress this, even if this passes, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to construct an antenna farm on top of your 20 story apartment building. What it will do however, is at least give you a voice to the HOA’s for something everyone could live with! If you haven’t already sent a letter to Congress, I strongly urge you to do so.. Want more information about this Bill?? Go to.. http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act
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! Now, how do I know so much about the website?? I’m the webmaster for it!
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.
HEY, did you see that there’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website. I’ve been changing the questions about once every couple of weeks or so. It only asks one question and it will take all of about 2 seconds for you to answer it, and you can see how your answer stacks up with others instantly. If you haven’t done it yet, please do.. I really want to hear from you.
Are you a member of the ARRL?? If you aren’t a League member, this is a great opportunity to become one. ALSO.. with Christmas coming up in just a month, this makes an excellent gift to receive, or give.. and don’t forget, dues will be going up starting January, 2016, so if you want to save $10, get your dues in before the first of January.
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.. email@example.com 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!!
There’s a link on the left side of the main page of the Ohio Section Website “Follow The Section Manager” Come on, follow me as I go around the state visiting with all of you folks. I post pictures of where I am and have a lot of great folks commenting and liking my posts. Hey, I even have Kay Cragie, the President of the ARRL following along with me. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll get to see all the places I go and the folks I meet along the way. Not on Facebook? It’s easy to join in and the best part of it is, it’s FREE!!
73, Scott, N8SY
THINGS TO DO… CONTEST UPDATES
From the ARRL
"The ARRL Sweepstakes Phone contest will be underway this weekend. If you are new to Sweepstakes (SS), you will quickly discover it is a terrific opportunity to work stations all over the US and Canada (including territories and possessions.) It doesn't require a huge station either - 100 watts and simple antennas will do a great job. Check out the ARRL November Sweepstakes webpage for the rules and some operating tips. Work at least 100 stations and you can get one of the popular Participation Pins for 2015. An even bigger challenge: Make contact with each of the 83 section multipliers and qualify for a 2015 Clean Sweep Mug.
Try to get 'in the rhythm' with the lengthy Sweeps exchange. Write out the format on a card to help you remember the correct order of information. Don't forget that your callsign should be included as part of the exchange - and please use standard phonetics. Take a breath, then say it clearly and smoothly - once is usually enough - no need for "please copy" or "you are", just give the exchange. So jump in, make some QSOs, and share in the fun of the oldest domestic contests."
-- Larry, K5OT, Sweepstakes contest manager
Another new contest! In the new UK/EI DX Contest, United Kingdom and Ireland Amateurs are "home" while the rest of the world is "DX." The SSB side of the event occurs on December 5-6, 2015, and CW is January 23-24, 2016. Just for 2015 and 2016, all contest entrants work all other entrants for QSO points and multipliers. This should be a fun contest! Logs are due just TWO HOURS after the contest end!
THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
John Perone, W8RXX
The Amateur Auxiliary of the FCC…
A. The Amateur Auxiliary is composed of approximately 700 ARRL volunteer-appointees, known as Official Observers (OO) who monitor the bands and notify Amateur Radio Operators of technical and operating discrepancies.
OOs are helpers and advisors, not "band cops." In cases involving serious rule violations, such as malicious interference, they are trained and certified to gather and forward evidence that can be used by the FCC in enforcement actions. The program is based on a formal agreement between the FCC and the ARRL.
During October Ohio OO's monitored a total of 973 hours
OO Cards sent = 1
Good operator cards sent = 1
73, John, W8RXX
WEBSITE STATS – ** arrl-ohio.org **
Reported period: Oct 2015
Unique visitors # of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
1,451 2,743 232,778 891,221 1.73 GB
IS YOUR COMPUTER BACKED UP??
Have you considered a back-up program for your computer? With Christmas coming up in just another month from now, you might want to consider asking for a subscription to one of the cloud based backup companies.
How important is this? Let’s look at this this way, can you afford to go out and just replace the current computer that you have? Most of us can’t.. Also, if your hard-drive craps out, like mine did, how do you recover the data from that none working drive. The synchronous motor just froze up on mine. Do you really want to spend hours and hours trying to recover from a crash or virus and maybe never fully recover? If you aren’t successful, are you willing to just lose all of your non-replaceable pictures or data? A lot of us have our logging programs on these devices and that too will be forever gone. That’s how important this really is. Now having some actual experience with a cloud based backup program I can tell you I’m totally sold.
Yes, I my computer hard-drive decided to go belly up, but knowing all of my data is backed up on the clouds I didn’t panic. I will admit, my gut was churning a bit until everything was fully recovered onto the new hard drive. This particular backup worked just as it was advertised. I was up and running again in a matter of a few hours. Nothing lost, except $40 for the new hard-drive. But that is a very small price compared to a new computer today.
Give it some thought.. this is an excellent Christmas present.
12/05/2015 | 1914 Waller-McMunn Hamshack
Dec 5, 1400Z-2200Z
W8VP, Cambridge, OH.
Cambridge Amateur Radio Association.
Certificate. Cambridge Amateur Radio Association,
PO Box 1804,
Cambridge, OH 43725.
Roy Waller, founder of the club in 1913, and his brother-in-law
Homer McMunn used this building as their radio shack 1914,
and later (briefly) as an AM broadcast station (1924).
Please QSL with contact information and $1 for postage
when requesting a certificate. www.w8vp.org
OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
12/05/2015 | Fulton County ARC Winterfest
Location: Delta, OH
Sponsor: Fulton County Amateur Radio Club