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
-> SOUTHWEST OHIO HAPPENINGS
-> CENTRAL OHIO HAPPENINGS
-> LET'S TALK
-> THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
-> WEBSITE STATS
-> FROM THE EASTERN AREA DIGITAL COORDINATOR - NTS DIGITAL
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
Jeff Kopcak - TC
By now you have all the decorations up on the tree and house, Christmas cards mailed out, shopping done, right? Anyone? Yeah, me either.
One device you might want to put on your Christmas list for Santa is the YARD Stick One (Yet Another Radio Dongle). It’s a dongle to transmit and receive signals below 1 GHz, which include the 440 and 900 ham and ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) bands. This device was created by ‘hacker turned Ham Radio operator’ Mike Ossmann - AD0NR. He’s the founder of Great Scott Gadgets (http://greatscottgadgets.com/) which makes gadgets like the HackRF One or Ubertooth One.
The YARD Stick One is a half-duplex transmit and receive dongle that operates (officially) in the ranges of: 300-348 MHz, 391-464 MHz, and 782-928 MHz. Unofficially: 281-361 MHz, 378-481 MHz, and 749-962 MHz. Modulations schemes: ASK, OOK, GFSK, 2-FSK, 4-FSK, MSK. HAK5 did a getting started video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkTlTCUeec0. If you get one of these devices, let me know what you do with it! More: https://greatscottgadgets.com/yardstickone/.
If you’re more a Raspberry Pi person, the foundation released the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero. It features a processor about 40% faster than the Raspberry Pi A with 512MB RAM, micro-SD card slot, mini-HDMI socket, Micro-USB for data and power, unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2, unpopulated composite video header, and a form factor of 65mm x 30mm x 5mm. More: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-zero/
The Fo Time podcast had an episode that I found very interesting. Fo Time is actually a Ham Radio podcast. Their subtitle is ‘the Other Ham Radio Podcast.’ Episode 38 is titled “Ham Radio-Listening to the Spectrum.” As someone who loves to operate on the ham bands I’m very interested to scan around from time-to-time to see what else I can hear. The episode goes though the allocations and uses of radio spectrum. It is an overview but they will talk about radios to receive frequencies and modulation types. Give the episode a listen. I found it interesting and learned a couple things. At the end, they encourage you to get out there and tune a block of frequencies. You’ll be shocked to learn what is going around you that you had no idea. More: http://amateurradio15.com/38/
I plan to do a rundown of Ham Radio podcasts I’ve found in a future edition of the OSJ. There are many out there and your fellow hams are putting a lot of effort to bring you ham radio related topics -- for free.
I had a great time at the NOARS meeting this past November. I presented my program on the Raspberry Pi. It sparked a lot of great questions, discussion, and even correspondence after the meeting about possible uses for the device. Thanks for having me at your meeting.
Welcome to Tracey W8TWL as the latest addition to the Technical Specialists. He brings a lot of commercial experience to the group. He has a GROL (General Radiotelephone Operator License) which allows him to repair aviation, marine, and fixed stations. He is a certified member of the SBE (Society of Broadcast Engineers), and helped track down false emergency calls, pirate radio stations, and RFI problems. I’ve been to a couple SBE meetings. Want to know what it takes to keep an AM/FM/TV station on the air? These guys have all kinds of war stories!
Thanks for reading. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
73... de Jeff - K8JTK
THE AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR
John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Hi everyone, here we are again. It’s December, and Christmas is almost upon us. The weather earlier this month was more befitting October than December. But, I’m sure not complaining. That means lower heating bills, and I’m all for that! I’d be happy if it stayed like that right on through into January.
Let’s start off this month with a note about our Homebound Hams. We probably all know some club members who are in nursing homes, or in the hospital. Please remember them especially at this time of year. A Christmas card or phone call could really brighten their day.
A lot of our older hams have some interesting stories to tell. What if I told you that there is an online repository for oral Histories of Ham Radio? It’s the ARRL Library. The library has three parts; PDFs, PowerPoints, and Oral Histories. You can find it at www.arrl.org/library. Wouldn’t this be a great project for your club? Sit down with a few of your old-timers, and record some anecdotes about Ham Radio in their day. Then make them available to all via the library. There are guidelines posted at the library page, which will answer some of your technical questions. So let’s capture some of this history before time robs it from us. I’d like to thanks Bill, K8RWH. The above comes from a conversation that we’ve recently had via E-mail.
I started off the column by mentioning that I hope to see the weather continue into January. Well, there’s a method to my madness here. January 9th is the Ohio ARES VHF Contest. No doubt there’s more about this in the Section Emergency Coordinators column. Stan, N8BHL is the fellow who started the NVIS Antenna test last year (BTW, Stan assures me that it’ll be back for this year).
So, lest I digress, the VHF Contest is scheduled for January 9th. I know that’s only a few weeks away, but there’s still plenty of time to set up an activity with your club, or ARES group, isn’t there? It sounds like a great excuse for a club activity. If we have another weekend like the one we just had on December 12/13. Then bring out the grills and the lawn chairs, and have a club midwinter picnic at the same time. Make sure to send pictures!
By the way, I’m not so much pushing the contest as I am suggesting ways for us to get together, and socialize outside of meeting night. Meetings are necessary, but they don’t have to be the only face to face that we have.
The National Parks On The Air Event is almost upon us. The first monthly update recently appeared in the January QST. Is your group up to the challenge of activating one of the nine NPS units here in Ohio? Do you have questions? There’s a wealth of information online at arrl.org/npota. There’s also a pretty lively Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/NPOTA/.
This is the time of year when a lot of clubs hold their elections. Congratulations to the winners of the elections. I’d also like to thank the outgoing, and incoming officers for your commitment both to your club, and to Amateur radio.
Here’s something that came in on Twitter.
The Portage County ARS (PCARS) recently donated nearly $4000 to the Center of Hope in Ravenna. You can read the full story at www.arrl.org.
And that’s about it for this month. I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
73 everyone, see you next month. DE KD8MQ
THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
Stan Broadway, N8BHL
2015 - What was it like?
I’m proud of all you did for Ohio ARES this year! We made some major strides as an organization, and we’re positioned to do even more this coming year.
Most important, the year started off when ARES was given the chance to show its stuff as six counties lost all phone service, all 911 service, and most cell and Internet service during a very cold winter night. The speed with which ARES units activated, the ability to quickly establish connection with the Ohio EOC raised some eyebrows. The praise heaped on ham radio during one of the after-action meetings was beyond expectations! There were many other activations- a gas well leak, toxic water plumes, missing people – all of which is why ARES exists!
ARES hams were a common site at the largest public events throughout the year, which is always good visibility for amateur radio!
We capitalized on our service by helping to organize and present a ‘Plan for the Future’ for the amateur facilities at Ohio EOC – with an eye toward moving to a larger space, with better radios and the addition of amplifiers. One of the best things about ‘The Sarge’ is the willingness to be available for your many training exercises.
Internally, ARES staged a solid training seminar in the spring, then featured our first-ever “NVIS Antenna Day” (thanks to ASEC Tim Price, K8WFL and our northeast counties). This proved to be a LOT of fun for groups all over Ohio. We hope for a larger event in 2016! We also held the first of our “Ohio EC Training” sessions- where we take the bookwork and make it real for our EC’s in doing their job.
Oh- but wait ‘til 2016!
Our SET in October played on the ‘Grid-Down Power Outage’ which is a real vulnerability. It was a chance to get out the generators and alternate power sources and actually try them out. Simplex was the word for that day…and we intend to build on that simplex ability with the first annual “Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest” on January 9. This should be a really fun event! What’s more, it will give us the chance to actually map our coverage abilities- just how far ~can~ we get on this antenna? Information like this should be valuable in devising area nets and proving our ability to communicate in a real emergency. We’ll use two meters and 70 centimeters and make as many contacts as possible over an 8 hour period. Rules are available on the arrl-ohio.org website in the SEC portion. I hope to work you in the contest!
We plan to further develop our ability to communicate locally with work on antenna building that we can incorporate into our annual spring conference!
And look for NVIS Antenna Day to return toward the end of April!
We plan to continue our efforts to position ARES and amateur radio in front of the state’s emergency managers. Scott, N8SY, and I are members of the Ohio EMA Director’s Association- allowing us a platform to interact with county directors and present amateur radio. We also will be regulars in front of other state agencies!
What you can do
There’s a mental picture I have of some amateurs. While very well-intentioned, these hams just figure they have this all down- have had since to ‘70’s. “If you need me, give me a call!” While I applaud the willingness to help, and the abilities that you’ve developed, the truth is we are at risk for being lethargic or assuming we can accomplish something without any practice! It’s up to each county’s ARES groups to stay active…to keep up with training, the FEMA courses, and your local agency exercises! We need to carry out meaningful training every month! For instance, did you know Ohio is in the ~top three~ states for terrorist contact?? This is a new and different concern and we need to be at the top of this training, since ham radio is present at large events and big public gatherings! Like many other activities we may be called to, we simply can’t assume that we can handle this! We need to be ready.
Most of all, we can be proud of the time and effort our ARES members put in across the state of Ohio! You are all an impressive group, and I’m proud to serve you!
>>>>>Announcing!<<<<<<<<The Ohio ARES VHF ContestJanuary 9, 2016
ARES is tasked with being able to provide communications “When all else fails.” Local communication is critical and typically takes place on the VHF or UHF amateur band. In order to improve our ability to perform on these bands, Ohio Section ARES is sponsoring the ARES VHF Contest (Yeah, we know, but calling it the Ohio VHF / UHF Contest got a little long-winded). Participants in the contest are encouraged to make as many contacts as possible within the timeframe of the contest, with as many different geographical locations as the bands permit. The contest is open to all amateur operators, ARES members are strongly encouraged to participate. How else are you going to win the ‘bragging rights’ session of your next ARES meeting?
The contest is January 9, 2016. The start time is (for those of us who sleep in) 10 AM through 6 PM Eastern. Yeah, a civilized time-frame that doesn’t rob sleep, and allows time with the family. Why, you can even watch a few cartoons in the morning!
Where you gonna be?
You may operate this contest from anywhere. There are certain benefits for venturing out from your warm, comfortable home station. EOC stations can gain extra points. Portable stations can gain even MORE extra points – that is, if your frozen fingers will still be able to operate a keyboard. Portable stations MUST use portable antennas, nothing permanently attached…kind of like Field Day on ice. We are not going with any mobile operation this time. The image of a bunch of vehicles running around with portable towers, 150 pounds of antenna hardware and an occasional grounding anchor is best left to the ARRL contesters.
Da Bands – a la’ Mode
Because local emergency communication takes place primarily on the two meter and 70 centimeter bands, the contest is limited to those two bands. Within each band, we will have these modes: FM Simplex, “Everything else” Simplex; DIGITAL simplex contacts will make up a third mode on each band. Contacts with a station count once per mode- if you can talk the other guy into abandoning “his frequency” and meeting you on SSB or CW, more power to ya! NO REPEATER CONTACTS WILL COUNT. If you get bored, you certainly are welcome to chat amongst yourselves on repeaters, or simplex, or cell phones, or smoke signals.
The goal is to contact as many different stations in as many different counties as possible. You can make as many overall contacts as you like, they will then be multiplied by the number of counties you’ve reached. Extra points will be available for contacting an EC, AEC, DEC, ADEC, ASEC or SEC. Pretty simple- any more complex and we’ll confuse the scorekeepers.
*Each FM Simplex contact counts as 1 point.
*Each non- FM simplex contact counts as 1 point.
*Each digital simplex contact counts as 1 point. (Detect a pattern here?)
*Contact with EC, AEC, DEC, ADEC, ASEC or SEC adds 5 points.
*Contact with an EOC or with a portable station adds 5 points.
*Operation from an EOC add 50 points to your total contact score.
*Operation from a portable location add 100 points to your total contact score.
Total contact score (all bands/modes added together) will be multiplied by the total number of counties you contacted.
Please use any of the appropriate computer logging programs, paper dupe sheets, a well-worn slide rule or rusty abacus. Just keep all that to yourself, we can’t find anyone with the time to go through all the detail contacts. Submit an email to > email@example.com < with the following:
Location: (City, county)
FM Simplex Contacts:
“Everything else” Simplex Contacts:
Digital Simplex Contacts:
Total Contact Score (Add above together, but you figured that out already):
Multiply by total number of counties contacted (include your own!):
Bask in the glory of a well thought out, well executed effort!
73, Stan, N8BHL
THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
John Ross, KD8IDJ
From the PIC..
It's been another great year for the Ohio Section and for all of the public relations efforts from the PIO's.
I've been fortunate enough to serve as the PIC for two years, and in that time I have I come to know the strength of the effort each club puts into their PR programs...especially their newsletters.
From my vantage point I get to see and read every newsletter...something I wish everyone could do...and, I know I've said this before, but the depth of knowledge and professionalism is outstanding.
As amateur radio operators we know how to communicate over the air...it's our legacy. But we also know how to communicate using other more traditional forms of communication. Newsletters, websites, club meetings and the old standby...regular mail. No what vehicle we use we do it right and it all works. I can assure you no other "hobby" does what we do and amateur radio is alive, living, breathing and growing like no other hobby in the world.
I'm proud to be part of all of this but the real recognition goes to all of you who are continually dedicated to amateur radio.
There is always more to do and you have my promise to help wherever and however I can.
Congratulations on an outstanding year and I know 2016 will be even better.
The 2016 Newsletter Contest:
In just a couple of weeks the big ball in Times Square will drop and that only can mean one thing...the 2016 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest will be officially underway!!
There has been just a few tweaks in the rules for next year and you can read them at the end of this column and on the website anytime. Start mailing and sending me your January newsletters as soon as you can. I'll read them all and get them ready for the judging in early July. Our three regular judges are on board again and I've had a couple of other seasoned journalists ask if they can participate. Apparently they have listened to me talk about the great newsletters and also want to be a part of our effort!
My best wishes to everyone for great Holiday Season!
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.
73, John, KD8IDJ
THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM
I hope everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving. With the gasoline prices in Ohio being down the news reports were all reporting how many millions of Americans were going to be on the road. Here in Hilliard and Columbus we had no snow but from what I understand the northern sections of the state like Cleveland may have had as much a three inches of snow to deal with. I can’t prove that they did because I stayed home for Thanksgiving.
Christmas will be here before we know it. If you missed my ramblings last month you missed some suggestion on where to leave you hint for that preferred Christmas gift. You can still read about it on the website www.arrl-ohio.org and look off to the left for the Section Traffic Manager reports and read the November 2015 version.
While on the subject you should check out this website often as Scott does a good job and frequently changes his survey questions. There are also many reports for all of the Ohio Cabinet, more news and valuable links. And by the way if you had to go to the website to read this Scott sends the Ohio Section Journal out by email every month. If you are not getting it in you emails send Scott an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so he can include you in sending the Journal.
From the reports I am hearing the Ohio Section SET went well. The OSSBN reports that the traffic count was up but the participation was down. If you club or group participated don’t forget to send in you reports to the ARRL and sent me a copy also.
Ed, KA1G has left the area and gone back to his winter home in Florida. We thank Ed for his participation and the traffic coming to him from Florida. He reported that with all the radiograms he received there were only a few errors and the errors amounted to .004 percent which is remarkable but not unusual for the NTS system. We hope to see Ed back again next summer
A short history of Morse code
Morse code was invented by Samuel Morse (1791-1872). Originally, it was developed for telegraphers. It was a new method where each letter was represented by a set of long and short pulses of sound. Samuel Morse formed the original Morse code by counting the letters from the local newspaper. Then he assigned the most common letters a faster "key", for faster transmission.
Morse's original code was not the same as the one in use today, as it included pauses as well as dahs and dits. An international version was established in 1851 in Berlin.
For many of today’s hams there was no choice; obtaining a ham license required learning Morse code. Five words a minute was the requirement for the entry level Novice license and also for the renewable, but VHF only, Technician ticket. A General or Advanced class required 13 wpm and it was 20 wpm for an Extra. Many newcomers exploring ham radio were discouraged by the need to learn Morse code. In the United States, that requirement to know Morse code to get an amateur radio license was dropped in 1991, and completely removed in 2007.
When morse code was required as an entry requirement to HF ham communications the entry level speed was 5 words per minute (WPM). That speed is slow enough to learn the basics, get on the air, and increase your speed through practice. (Yes, I started as a Novice way back when you had to copy 5 WPM, and was later comfortable coping about 13 WPM to get my general license.
I thought I'd want to get enough code speed to get on SSB voice. Since then I have discovered sometimes the bands are so poor that I couldn't hear a single voice station on SSB. But, when I tuned down to the CW portion of the band, lo and behold, there were CW contacts going on. I’ve learned that Morse code needs only about a tenth of the power of SSB to make a contact. Or, stated another way, if you use Morse code, it's like getting an amplifier for your transmitter for free!
If your not going anywhere on New Years Eve 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 .
If you are not a CW operator or are a little rusty you have just a little time left to learn or practice before the Straight Key night. I know I passed the 13 WPM test before the FCC some years ago but am really rusty now. To help everyone out I have looked up some websites with helpful information, programs and practice sessions to help you master CW. Although I can not indorse any one program or source you can try one of these links or do an internet search for more information. I will say that the ARRL MP3 practice files can be loaded on a laptop or other device and taken with you for practice sessions. Code practice text is from the pages of QST magazine, the League's membership journal. The source is given at the beginning of each practice session and alternate speeds within each session. The text for each session is also available to download.
Publications and instruction:
Tips for Learning Morse Code: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Morse/LearningMorseCode.pdf
So You Want to Learn Morse Code: http://www.qsl.net/n1irz/finley.morse.html
Just Learn Morse Code: http://www.justlearnmorsecode.com/
ARRL Training Courses, Aids and Apps - http://www.arrl.org/learning-morse-code
The CW Operators Club: http://www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html
Over the Air Practice and Practice Programs
http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-qst-source – W1AW on air Practice
http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files - W1AW MP3 practice files and text
I hope this inspires you to at least give morse code a try. You may like it and have lots of fun. Remember you do not have to have the greatest new transceiver to use morse code. And when you learn how to do it there are three CW traffic nets in Ohio and many more nets around the country for you to test your skills. Look for one of these nets and have fun
Buckeye Early - 18:45 daily on 3.577
Buckeye Late - 22:00 daily on 3.577
Slow CW Net - 18:00 daily on 3535.35
And with that said you will not be hearing from me until January so have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years or happy holidays if you so choose. Please be safe, buckle up and do not drink and drive.
73 or 88 if appropriate
Ohio Section Traffic Manager
73 and 88 if appropriate, David, WA3EZN
OUT AND ABOUT IN SOUTHEAST OHIO
Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends; we sure did! I roasted a 20 pound stuffed turkey, made candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes from scratch, and all the other fixings. I also baked ten pies! I don’t know about you, but I think I stuffed myself as much as I stuffed the turkey for Thanksgiving.
Hopefully, December will not be as tempting...well maybe after the holiday dinner season, which is usually the first half of December--I have two carry-in and two restaurant holiday dinner/awards banquets. Oh well—there is always January for starting a diet! Anyway I digest.., I mean I digress.
November was a much slower month than October for me--thank goodness! And December will probably be like a vacation since most of the local clubs do not have a meeting in December, only banquets.
I attended the Zanesville Amateur Radio Club and Cambridge Amateur Radio Association as well as the Muskingum County and Guernsey County ARES meetings. I had articles in the local paper on the winner of the $100 Visa Card raffle, CARA’s club notes as well as announcements on the CARA and Guernsey County ARES meetings as well as W8VP’s Waller-McMunn Special Event Station for December 5 in the paper and on the local radio stations. I also sent in a monthly safety tip to the newspaper for the Guernsey Noble Long Term Recovery Committee for the Guernsey County Emergency Management Agency.
I helped with CARA’s final Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup and provided lineup and communications for the Dickens Village Queen’s Parade (non-motorized) and the Cambridge Holiday Parade. I also made arrangements for CARA’s Awards Banquet and set up CARA’s Thursday lunch reservations for the month of December and January since they do not have a meeting in December.
I finished the winter quarter issue of The CARA Communicator and sent it out by e-mail, snail mail, and posted it to the web site. I updated the calendar on the web site.
As QSL Manager for the CARA’s Y-Bridge Special Event Station, W8Y, I designed and sent out 29 certificates so far, and I am in the process of designing the certificate for the Waller-McMunn SES. Speaking of QSL cards, my husband Sonny, W8FHF, and I have been sorting the large box of QSL cards for 8F that we just received in the mail, so we can get them sent out before Christmas.
Sometime soon, I need to send out Christmas cards and buy and wrap gifts for our large family. I look forward to Christmas Day—that is my day off—no cooking or cleaning! I hope each and every one of you has a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Don’t forget—ARRL dues go up starting January 1, 2016! Renew them now to save some money.
73, Lyn, N8IMW
SOUTHWEST OHIO HAPPENINGS
From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager (SW)
Seasons Greetings from warm Cincinnati. Who ever dreamed I would be sitting on my deck reading a book while listening to neighborhood children playing outdoors and feeling the warm spring like breezes in December! I hope you are enjoying the outdoors as well.
Licensing classes and exams, club officer elections, holiday parties, hamfests, and assorted public service events have kept hams in this area quite busy. On a personal note, I have been active in several of these events. In September, I, along with ARRL Great Lakes Division Vice Director, W8WTD, staffed the ARRL booth at the OH-KY-IN hamfest held in Cincinnati. I taught part of the technician class offered by OH-KY-IN amateur radio society, chaired its club officer nominating committee and made some contacts which contributed to them getting a clean sweep in the phone sweep stakes contest. This month, I have enjoyed good food and fellowship while celebrating the holiday season with my 3 home clubs.
Being part of the team of hams from Cincinnati and northern Kentucky who provided safety communications for the honor flight half marathon was fun and gratifying. What struck me most was how well event organizer, Todd Schutter, (KY4TS), implemented many of the inclusive practices that have been discussed in this column. For example, a listing of course assignments was provided in a .pdf document with embedded text. This format was accessible to everyone, including me, as a user of technology that speaks what is on the screen. Without it, I would have been left in the dust.
A high school student, in need of community service credits, logged for net control. He was not a ham. The minimal amount of time that KY4TS spent showing him how to log paid off in huge dividends with accurate logs that were done efficiently. Todd and I took advantage of the opportunity to tell him about all the exciting things our hobby has to offer. As a result, this student says he now wants to get licensed. Resources to help him achieve this goal were provided. How’s that for a win-win?
From previous interactions, KY4TS knew how to effectively communicate with a ham on our team who appeared to have minor attention deficits or cognitive impairment. Here again, while Todd’s communication techniques were beneficial to all of us, they were absolutely essential for him to do his job.
Finally, I discovered that the Northern KY club’s communication trailer was equipped with a ramp as well as steps. While I could use both, I preferred using the ramp because it was easier. So, while the ramp is beneficial to everyone, it is essential to people who depend on their wheelchairs to get into and out of that trailer.
As you can see, using inclusive practices benefits the whole community be they hams or not. I look forward to the day when inclusive practices are the norm throughout Ohio.
In January and February, I will be doing programs for OH-KY-IN and Milford Amateur Radio Clubs respectively. I hope to see you at one of these events and in the meantime, Happy Holidays.
73, Kitty, W8TDA
From: Fritz Tender, WD8E - Assistant Section Manager (Central Ohio)
The weather has been great; I trust all antennas are ready for the winter. I have not been spending as much time on the bands as I should but perhaps 2016 will find more RF emanating from the home QTH.
None the less I do wish everyone a Happy Holiday. May 2016 find you working plenty of rare DX.
73, Fritz, WD8E
Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager
Can you believe this weather?? I know that a few areas around the northeast will have some traces of snow either by the time that you read this, or very soon after, but to have 50 degree weather for the first 16 days of December is just hard to believe. I heard today that Christmas could be in the 60’s as well. I’m sure that we’ll pay for all this good weather soon enough.
With this time of the year it brings out the Christmas parties everywhere, and I have been to a lot of them lately. I really enjoy spending the time with not only you, the Ohio Amateur, but your spouse / significant other as well. Ohio hams have to be the most generous, gracious and warm folks in the entire country! They have to be the best cooks too.. I have had the best food of my life going to your events! I love everyone one of you. You have the spirit for sure.
I know that there has been an article going around the ham fraternity that says Amateur Radio is not necessarily dependent on the youth for its survival. I do have to tell you, it is a very thought provoking article for sure. On my way to a party the other night I thought about that statement and how it related to my own life experience. I got interested in Amateur Radio several times. First when I was a Cub/Boy Scout, then again when I was in high school. Neither of those times did I have the time or gumption to get my license. I was busy with sports, being a kid and then working.. full time. After I got married I started volunteering with the Red Cross. I taught First Aid and CPR. CPR was just new on the scene at that point for everyone but doctors. That then got me started in volunteering for disaster services with the Red Cross. I went to a lot of disasters around the state, including Xenia. That’s where I really starting looking at Amateur Radio as something that I could really sink my teeth into. So, after a few more years lapsed and much discussion with my brother (WA8BIW), he convinced me to get my Novice ticket. I was 27 then. So, the articles’ statistics seem to be somewhat valid, at least in my case anyway. I agree that kids today have a lot of activities to keep them so busy I’m not sure how they even get their homework done. Janie and I really don’t get to see our grandchildren as much as we’d like because they are never home. They’re at ballet, soccer, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, karate, cheerleading… the list goes on and on. With that in mind I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe you do have to be a little older to get the idea Amateur Radio can be as much fun as all those other activities. Now, even with that being said, I’m not giving up on today’s youth. I have reached a few of them, and they’ve even gotten licensed. So, for whatever it’s worth, I’m still going to plug away at the Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts to get enlistees to our absolutely FUN service.
Now, switching bands to another subject..
I’ve really kept myself busy this year by traveling all over the state visiting with all of you at your hamfests, club meetings, picnics and breakfasts. 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.
CLUB LEADERSHIP.. Please, don’t just blow over this portion.. 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?? That has been something that has NOT been happening well in a lot of clubs. I’m finding that this is 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. 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 me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. Heck, just send me an email email@example.com, 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.
Let’s shift bands once again.. I really want to talk to you about 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, I’ve been trying an experiment to see just how many of you are actually looking and investigating the website as you’ve told me you’re doing when I ask you at your club meetings.. I’ve found out that not as many of you are actually looking as has been stated at your meetings! How do I know this? I thought it would be interesting to put a link on the main page for all to see. It’s very clearly stated “Handbook Giveaway.” All that you need to do is fill in a couple of boxes.. (your name and email). That’s you need to do to be entered into a drawing to win a 2016 ARRL softcover Handbook. There’s nothing else required of you and there’s absolutely no cost to you. The winner will be mailed the Handbook at my cost. This is being offered just to see how many folks were paying attention. I had the link there for a full week and not much activity was generated. So, to make it more clear after a week I put a big RED arrow pointing to the link, and still not much activity. So, now I’m making it very clear that this link is there until the end of the year for you. I have decided that I will do this from time to time, just to see if you are paying attention. Got the idea? Best of luck to you!!
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, I know that most of you aren’t looking, but did you see that there’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website? 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 about a week, 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.. 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 ever 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. There’s 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!!
Are you following me on Facebook? I post nearly everyday places I’m at, and pictures of things of interest. Hey, even Kay Cragie, the President of the ARRL is following 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!!
And finally... I wish only that the best for each and every one of you for 2016. Have a safe, and very Merry Christmas and an absolutely fantastic New Year!!!!
73, Scott, N8SY
THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
John Perone, W8RXX
Q. Is a record of the OO notice kept anywhere?
A. Yes. A record of the notice is kept at ARRL Headquarters for a period of one year, after which it is destroyed. Records are kept so that if a case evolves into a serious, hard-core compliance issue, it may be used by the FCC as evidence, showing that voluntary measures of achieving resolution were ineffective. The information is also used to guide OO's in special monitoring efforts. Otherwise, the information is kept strictly confidential and is never released outside of the Auxiliary.
Q. I received a Good Operator Report. What's that for?
A. Congratulations! To emphasize the positive nature of the program, "Good Operator Reports" are sent to operators whose radio signals and/or operating practices are consistent with the highest standards and are a model for others to follow. Every amateur should strive to pattern their operating and signals after your example!
During November, 2015 the Ohio OO's monitored a total of 1030 hours and sent 3- OO cards & 1- Good Operator card.
73, John, W8RXX
WEBSITE STATS – ** arrl-ohio.org **
Reported period: Oct 2015
Unique visitors # of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
1,187 2,231 111,682 564,547 1.29 GB
FROM THE EASTERN AREA DIGITAL COORDINATOR - NTS DIGITAL
David Struebel, WB2FTX
The November 2015 report for the Eastern Area of the National Traffic System Digital (NTSD) is attached.
NTSD is part of the ARRL sponsored National Traffic System and consists of a cadre of fully automated store and forward bulletin board type systems known as Mail Box Operations (MBO) or hubs operating on HF using high speed Pactor 3 protocols on a 24/7 basis moving formal message traffic. The goal of NTSD is to move that traffic via digital means to the closest point of delivery at which point it is then removed from the automated system by operators known as Digital Relay Stations (DRS).
The DRS then take this traffic to the nets at region, section, and local levels for any additional necessary relay and ultimate delivery.
There were a total of 8344 pieces of message traffic handled by Eastern Area NTSD during November..
This was accomplished by 6 automated MBO stations representing NTS areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 and a total of 60 individual Digital Relay Stations reporting at regional, section, or local NTS levels. A similar level of activity for November also existed in both the Central and Pacific Areas of NTSD.
Ed N8FVM is stepping down from his Digital Relay Station operation after many years of service. Ed thank you for all the fun we had along with getting you up and operational.
Consequently we need a new Digital Relay Station in Michigan to replace Ed. If you know anyone who might be interested please contact me at email@example.com
Remember that NTSD operates an equipment bank to loan Pactor 1 capable modems to new Digital Relay Stations. In this case Ed has a Kantrronics KAM from the equipment bank which he can make available for a new DRS.
73, Dave, WB2FTX
SPECIAL EVENTS STATIONS IN OHIO
Cabin Fever Special Event
Jan 30, 1700Z-2300Z, K8PRC, Canton
Pedestrian Amateur Radio Club
14.250 14.050 7.250 7.050.
1661 Manor Ave NW
Canton, OH 44708
Pedestrian Amateur Radio Club 1st annual Cabin Fever Special Event.
Breaking up the middle of winter with a fun radio activity.
QSL via directions on K8PRC on QRZ.com.
OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
01/17/2016 | SCARF Hamfest
Location: Nelsonville, OH
Sponsor: Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation
01/24/2016 | Tusco ARC Hamfest
Location: Strasburg, OH
Sponsor: Tusco Amateur Radio Club
02/21/2016 | Mansfield Mid Winter Hamfest
Location: Mansfield, OH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: InterCity Amateur Radio Club
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!