In this issue:
-> ARES TRAINING ROSTER
-> THE LIFE OF A BUREAU LETTER SORTER
-> ARRL QSL BUREAU COSTS ESCALATING
-> SUPPORT ARRL BY SHOPPING AT AMAZONSMILE
-> THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
-> AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
-> NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR
-> THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
-> THE PUBIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
-> FROM THE SCOUTING ASM
-> THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
-> OUT AND ABOUT
-> CENTRAL OHIO HAPPENINGS
-> LET'S TALK
-> THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
-> TRAFFIC NETS TO CHECK-IN TO
-> OHIO SPEAKERS BUREAU
-> OHIO AMATEURS IN ACTION
-> WEBSITE STATS
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
ARES TRAINING ROSTER
Jim Yoder, W8ERW/5
As I continue to log the training ARES members are completing, a few issues have arisen that might have an effect on how the data is reported. One issue concerns the residence county and the county where the ARES member serves. As I enter data, I verify via QRZ, the county, call sign for updates and other information for accuracy. Often when I receive training documents, these items are missing. I have seen several instances of members serving in other than their home county and when I pull a report for the serving county, they don't show up there, but would in their county of residence. I have added another field to the data to represent the county where these folks serve. This should help make the reports represent a more accurate picture of the status of each county ARES participation. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Also, as time passes, members move or retire from active service, calls are upgraded and changed and we have a key go silent unfortunately. If this involves your county, let me know and I will update your information. There is also some churn with regard to EC's and other leadership positions etc. I will update those if you let me know the details.
I am also going through all the information that I have which originally came in several formats and am comparing the data for any omissions that can be added or corrected. I am also adding a lot of training data that had been recorded in previous formats and omitted initially, many times due to the large numbers of miscellaneous courses which in several cases numbered in excess of 100 courses. My initial effort was to quickly log the FEMA core courses, leaving those others until later.
For those EC's who would like to see a report of their county, I can provide that upon request. That would also help insure that we have captured all the information and have not missed training completed by ARES members.
When you submit your training information, please include the full name and call for each member and your county. I will verify with QRZ and include any additional data. Certificates are ideally presented in .pdf format and a FEMA transcript is also acceptable. Individual certificates should be in the following format: W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf. As I log each course completion, I enter the course both in the detailed format to capture the version and the generic name, ISC-100. The course completion date is also entered and a copy of the certificate or transcript is appended to each record.
As of now, there are 415 members in the database who have submitted training records. Of those 415, there are 271 who have now completed all 4 of the FEMA courses, ICS-100, ICS-200. ICS-700 and ICS-800.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need assistance.
Thanks & 73,
THE LIFE OF A BUREAU LETTER SORTER
By: “Goose” Steingass, W8AV
I am the “R” letter sorter for the 8th Area ARRL Incoming QSL Bureau. This means that I handle all of the DX QSL cards that come into the bureau whose calls have an “R” as the first letter of their callsign suffix. I have been doing this for about 7 years now taking over the “R” letter after the previous sorter K8VG became a silent key. It is a rather daunting task handling cards for over 1000 “R” customers but I have always viewed it as a way of giving back to the hobby that has enriched my life. Just as a sideline, I am also an avid contester and DXer as well as a DXCC Card Field Checker, so my life is busy. But, enough of that. Let’s walk you through what I do as a letter sorter. By the way all letter sorters are unpaid volunteers, although we do get to use the ARRL’s Outgoing QSL Bureau for our personal cards free of charge.
About 4 times a year each letter sorter receives bureau cards from the main W8 sorting bureau in West Chester, Ohio. The cards arrive at the main sorting bureau from overseas and are sorted there by the first letter of the suffix. The bureau manager, in this case Jack, N8DX, then mails the cards to the respective letter managers (26 in the 8th Area) who then sort the cards by callsign. With the “R” letter, I usually receive about 15 lbs. of cards in each sort, although the W1AW Centennial QSL cards, I received 24 pounds of cards! For me this sorting usually takes about two to three days depending on the number of cards. After the sort, I begin to stuff envelopes to mail the cards to you, the recipient. Stuffing envelopes normally takes about a week and a half before I can mail the cards. Each envelope must be weighed to insure that it has sufficient postage on it for mailing. My “heavy hitters” get a lot of their cards mailed to them in boxes since it is cheaper that addressing and mailing five or six envelopes.
This might bring up the question on why do I have to address the envelopes? The answer to this is that many of us sorters operate on a “cash credits” program in which you, the ham, sends the letter manager money and he or she provides the envelopes and postage. By doing this I can affix a 21 cent stamp to the envelope to cover the second ounce of weight without having to use and additional envelope and 47 cent stamp. Furthermore, I can buy envelopes in bulk so that I can try to save you money and I do all the leg work of getting envelopes and postage so you don’t have to. It also alleviates the problem of someone sending me a No.6 envelope (the standard letter sized envelope) which will not hold the larger cards without having to fold them in half or a No. 10 (business letter) envelope with $1.50 of postage on it. Over the years, I have seen a lot of different sized envelopes with either not enough postage or an 8x10 envelope with one first class stamp on it. Just a note, an envelope larger than 6x9 cannot be machine processed so the postage rate for these “oversized” envelopes is 92 cents for the first ounce of weight. This is why I prefer “cash credits”, it prevents this kind of hassle. Contact your letter sorter to see if he or she wants envelopes of cash to mail your cards. You can find the list of letter sorters on the Great Lakes Division web site (http://arrl-greatlakes.org/8th_bureau.htm). If you prefer to deal with envelopes, please use the 6x9 envelopes and put only one first class “forever” stamp on each envelope so you don’t get caught with your pants down when the postage rates increase.
The worst part of my job is spending extra hours trying to track down hams that have QSL cards on file at the bureau but no funds or envelopes. This is a tedious process as a lot of them never list their e-mail addresses on QRZ.com and many of them never reply when I try to contact them via e-mail, the NTS, or with a postcard. There are also others that simply do not want their cards. Bureau policy is to destroy them after 90 days if there is not response from the ham but some of us keep them for longer periods in our “dead letter” files in case you change your mind and want your cards. If you work DX, you should have envelopes or funds on file with your letter manager so that the manager does not have to keep trying to find you. Also, if you move, please let your letter manager know so they can get your cards to you in a timely fashion. Remember, if you get confirmation for a QSO on LOTW, you may also get a paper card through the bureau.
One final note, the letter managers do not handle “outgoing” cards. We simply do not have the time to process both incoming and outgoing cards. It is your responsibility to mail these to the ARRL if you are a member or to one of the custom QSL services if you are not a member. There is a processing cost involved for sending outgoing cards it is not a free service.
Check the ARRL’s website for the current fees.
ARRL QSL BUREAU COSTS ESCALATING
Do you have QSL's to send out to DX Stations via the ARRL Outgoing Bureau? If you want to beat the big price increase, you should get your Cards to the Bureau before 11/01/16!
The current typical prices are as follows:
10 Cards or less = $2.00
20 Cards or less = $3.00
21+ Cards = $0.75 per ounce,
Example: 10 oz. (~100 Cards) = $7.50
Beginning 11/01/16, these prices will be as follows:
10 Cards or less = $1.15 + 7.00 Fee = $8.15
20 Cards or less = $2.30 + 7.00 Fee = $9.30
21+ Cards = $1.15 per ounce + 7.00 Fee,
Example: 10 oz. (~100 Cards) = 11.50 + 7.00 = $18.50
So, as you can see, the price per ounce goes up PLUS there will be an added Fee of $7.00 for each submission. The cost of exchanging physical QSLs is shooting way up! At this rate, the days of the paper QSL Card will be over in the near future.
SUPPORT ARRL BY SHOPPING AT AMAZONSMILE
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Here’s a quick link for you to get signed up: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/06-6000004
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THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
Jeff Kopcak - TC
Great to see everyone at the Cleveland Hamfest on September 25th. There was not a cloud in the sky. As a result, I think more people were out in the flea market selling their wares, which is good. The inside vendors just weren’t there as in the past. Last couple years they had a large vendor selling Raspberry Pi computers and accessories. They were absent this year. Many clubs and organizations came out and showed their support by setting up tables and selling various junk which others purchased as treasures.
In an effort to promote Slow-Scan TV, digital modes, and the LEARA digital net, I put together a presentation for The Lake Erie Amateur Radio Association on the topic. In researching the history, I found and interesting connection to Ohio. The developer of SSTV, Copthorne Macdonald, specifically mentioned Fair Radio Sales in Lima, Ohio as a place he purchased surplus CRTs and components. That was a nice surprise! Slow-Scan was used a lot in early space exploration as there was no effective way to transmit images back to ground stations in the late 1950s early 1960s. The concept of satellites in space as we know them today was just starting to come around about the same time.
In talking about SSTV modes and properties, it's great to have some technicals but it doesn't mean much if the audience can't relate - especially if they have not operated that mode. This applies to any topic. One idea I included in the presentation was image comparisons. I took a test pattern type source image and ran it through the loopback feature in MMSSTV. This eliminated any RF variability. The source image was compared to the received image in terms of quality and clarity of the mode only. For one comparison I did use RF. This was to demonstrate the acoustic interface (where you hold the radio to your computer). Point being that it is possible to operate digital modes using an acoustic interface but it's clearly not the best option. Having an interface between the PC and radio is the best option for digital operations.
The presentation was geared more toward operating SSTV in an informal environment. I did include a typical exchange and places to look for SSTV activity on the HF bands. Lastly as part of the meeting, we did Slow Scan TV live – a live demonstration at the meeting! Well known Ham Radio educator Gordon West – WB6NOA promotes the idea of doing things live and hands on. I encouraged those who wanted to play along to bring their laptops and radios. How-to configure and use MMSSTV was shown. Then pictures were exchanged. This showed the audience what the application looks like while sending and receiving pictures. Also the Android SSTV application was available and demoed. Thanks to Joel K8SHB and Carl KB8VXE for helping out. The presentation is available on my site: http://www.k8jtk.org/2016/09/27/sstv-images-via-radio-presentations/
The following weekend on October 1st was the State Emergency Test (SET). I had been asked to participate as an HF digital station by Cuyahoga County Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC) and Technical Specialist Bob K8MD. I had checked into the Ohio Digital Emergency Net (OHDEN) over the summer. Watching and learning their procedures during the practice nets, I had knowledge of how to check in and pass traffic. This goes back to something I mentioned last month: regularly participating in nets and public service events not only shows you're active but you'll be familiar with the responsibilities you’ll be assigned.
That's about it for this month. I'll be working to get projects wrapped up and take care of end of the year requirements for clubs in the area.
Thanks for reading and 73…
de Jeff – K8JTK
THE AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR
John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Statistics - Since I can remember, statistics have interested me. In 1987, I began doing a breakdown of the PA QSO Party results to per-county numbers, to help those of us who enjoy activating rare counties. Now, almost 30 years later, I’m still enjoying it.
Each month, I download the latest Section club numbers from the ARRL website, to keep tabs on who is renewing their affiliations, and SSCs, and who probably needs an e-mail, or visit from me. Overall, I’ve been pretty pleased with what I’ve seen over the last two years. As I’ve heard Scott say on occasion, the Ohio section is one of the most populous of the ARRL sections. According to the form letter I recently sent to my senators, we have over 27,000 Licensed Hams in the Ohio section.
As of the most recent numbers I’ve seen, we have 105 clubs in the Ohio Section, and 26 of them are Special service Clubs. That’s not pretty good; it’s awesome! Let’s look at a national level. As of August, we had 2401 clubs in the database, and 162 Special Service Clubs. So, 162 SSCs nationwide, and 26 of them in Ohio! And we could have more SSCs. Pretty much all of the clubs in the section are doing everything that is required of Special Service Clubs, and then some. From there, it’s just filling out the paperwork.
In reviewing an application last week, I noticed one club that repurposes their old issues of QST, by distributing them to various locations, such as Doctors’ Offices. The address label area would be a great place to put a sticker giving a shout to your club. Maybe it could steer readers to your website, or Facebook page. The label is one of the ideas I read in Scott, W9WSW’s post which I plugged last month.
IVY+ Amateur Radio Campaign - A few days ago, something came over the ARRL News feed which caught my attention. The story “ARRL Acting as Catalyst in College Radio Club Revitalization Campaign” tells about a campaign to revitalize the nation’s college amateur Radio clubs. Though the name of the initiative is “IVY+ Amateur Radio”, this is by no means limited to just Ivy League schools.
If your club is looking for another project to get involved, maybe Partnering with a local college or university is something you can take a look at. You can read more about the IVY+ initiative at http://tinyurl.com/gmumw4t
On that subject, last month, I gave a shout to a blog post by Scott, W9WSW entitled “Re-vitalizing Your College Ham Club”. As I said then, not all of his bullet points work for every situation. But I like a lot of what I was reading in this post. You can read it at w9wsw.com/?p=950.
Election Time – Of course with the changing of the seasons comes something else; club elections for some of us. I’d like to pass along this reminder to you outgoing officers. Please remind your replacement to update the club information. This is easily done, and makes my job a lot easier when I need to contact the club. The club record at the league is easier to update than ever before. If you have any questions, or difficulties with the update, please drop me an e-mail and I’ll do my best to help.
And with that, I’ll tie the ribbons on it for another month.
73, until next month.
NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR
John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Well, according to the NPOTA website, we are over the 725,000 QSO mark, with over 13,500 activations under our belts. There’s still plenty of good weather ahead. The Alliance club can add their name to the list of clubs who’ve activated NP14 (Cuyahoga Valley National Park). An activation of NS16 (First ladies Library) is in the planning stages as well.
October 15th is the anniversary of NPOTA, I know, not the actual Anniversary, but the October 15th, 2015 issue of the ARRL Letter listed first mention of this interesting operating event that we now know as NPOTA.
The following was posted recently by Sean, KX9X on the NPOTA Facebook page: “Norm Fusaro and I have been presented evidence that the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (RC10) also serves as the Visitor Center for Rainbow Bridge National Monument (MN63). We agree with the information presented; operations from September 29 onward from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center will count for MN63”.
Sean goes on to clarify that only the Carl Hayden visitor Center will count for MN63, since the Monument itself is marked as Amateur Radio prohibited.
And, while we are on the subject, Sean posted a few days ago that the Visitor Center at Christiansted National Historic Site in the Virgin Islands (NS10) also acts in an official capacity for the Buck Island Reef National Monument (MN08).
Lastly, if you are reading the web copy of the Section Journal, here are the Ohio NPOTA top five activators, and chasers. You can also read this at npota.arrl.org.
THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
Stan Broadway, N8BHL
We pause our normal program for these ~real~ emergencies
Don’t look so surprised. Amateur radio is back and in high demand for real life, high profile, actual, bona-fide, holy-crap-lookee-there emergency situations all over the country.
There are (always, it seems) articles regularly outlining exercises staged for amateur radio operators. And there are (once in a while) accounts of amateur radio actually being of value in those wild-west wildfires. But this year, across the board and across the country, amateur radio operators were doing their stuff at the highest levels. I should hope you’re aware of the groundbreaking work amateurs did during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and across the state during July. (If you want to read about it, I highly recommend the October edition of CQ magazine, available at Universal Service!) That was only a start.
Amateur radio was active during extreme flooding across the southern states. A major power outage affecting nearly all of Puerto Rico left amateur radio (when all else fails…) at the forefront.
More recently amateur operators in a number of states were called upon as a historic hurricane Matthew bore down on Florida- threatening the east coast as it hasn’t been threatened in eleven years. Hurricane Matthew made landfall four times, in four different countries. One of the worst reports came from Haiti, where nearly 300 were dead, and the headlines read, “Less than 1% of houses remain in Haiti.” Like several other states, the entire state ARES of Florida was activated as governments warned people to run for their lives. Multiple shelters were opened in affected counties, and ARES nets were running. The VOIP Hurricane Net and the original Hurricane Watch Net (of which I am a member and on the board) were operational from the initial threat. The HWN smashed all previous records in several different categories- dedicating 24 hour nets, longest operational period stretching almost 7 days, longest concurrent net operation (20/40 meters). Reports varied from, “no damage, moderate wind but a lot of rain” to C6AGG’s “First floor flooded, second floor wind-driven rain, entire region is devastated and mostly flattened,” at New Providence Island, Bahamas. While the storm politely glanced off the east coast and avoided the dire “Everybody’s gonna die!” warnings it was still major. Important to this discussion, there was no hesitation on the part of officials to activate their ARES partners. Why? Simple truth: it ~will~ work when the rest fails.
This goes way beyond just cheerleading for ARES. This is all about amateur radio as a lifesaving, integral part of a wide region, or entire island nation’s ability to protect its residents by providing information before, and communication after a major disaster.
And one insidious characteristic creeping into our hobby can kill all the gains we’ve made: lethargy. “Let somebody else do it”…”I’m really burned out on it”...~crickets~ instead of responding. If we don’t do it, there’s nobody left! We old heads who’ve been through it a couple times are the most valuable element of ARES, and if we sit back to “let the young guys do it” we quickly rob them of experienced teachers who can Elmer, and we may find that there are no young guys out there anymore.
All through Matthew, I talked with operators who were under stress: no power, damaged homes, many other concerns beyond radio. Yet they were adept at putting a radio on the air, re-hanging destroyed antennas, and patching their stations to provide help to their community. Many who were providing reports to the Hurricane Watch Net were simultaneously operating on their local ARES nets. Some were on their way to shelters to operate with the Red Cross. When the call went out and the warnings were issued- the stood up, got busy, and got it done after putting in the time and effort to be prepared and ready. They had participated in exercises, trained at regular meetings, and worked with local agencies. Will you?
For the latest Section Emergency Coordinator’s monthly report go to:
73, Stan, N8BHL
THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
John Ross, KD8IDJ
Just wanted to remind everyone that the 2017 ARRL Ohio Section Newsletter contest will be soon starting back up once again.
Entering the contest is simple, just make sure that you include me and Scott, N8SY on your club mailing and you will be automatically entered. That’s all there is to it. You do have both of us included don’t you?
Anyway, if you don’t, please make that your next priority and get it done. We want everyone that produces a newsletter, whether in hard copy or electronic to be entered. Everyone has a great chance of winning for sure.
That's all for this month...73
FROM THE SCOUTING ASM
Scott Hixon, KC8ITN
By the time you read this, the 59th annual “Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)” will be history. This is always a great time to introduce scouts to ham radio. With JOTA events going on all across the country and around the world, it is almost guaranteed that scouts at your event will be able to talk to other scouts.
Even though JOTA is over, that doesn’t mean that our work to promote amateur radio to the next generation is done until next year’s JOTA. Look at it as the beginning of a new season of amateur radio fun. Like I’ve said before, there are scouting events and campouts throughout the year. Cold weather campouts are among my favorite. There’s nothing like hearing the crackle of a fire while listening to the crackle of the speaker when the radio is turned on!
While I’m on the subject of Jamboree on the Air, I would like to mention a radio manufacturer that has been doing a lot over the last few years for the Radio Scouting program. They have literally helped put amateur radio in front of thousands of scouts with their generosity and assistance. The following paragraph was taken from the k2bsa.net website: “In May 2012 at the Dayton Hamvention, Icom America and the Boy Scouts of America announced a sponsorship agreement for the K2BSA operation at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. Icom is the exclusive amateur radio transceiver and repeater sponsor for the Jamboree. In addition, Icom America is sponsoring an amateur radio station loan program for local Boy Scout councils beginning this year. In October 2015, Icom and Boy Scouts of America announced a renewal of the sponsorship agreement and the associated programs through 2018. This includes providing transceivers for the 2017 National Jamboree.You can find the 2015 press release from the BSA at Icom America Continues Amateur Radio Support for Boy Scouts of America.” For a manufacturer to step up like this to help the scouting program (and the next generation of ham operators) says a lot!
The end of the year is coming up. Have you been tracking the hours you spend showing scouts how fun ham radio is? Don’t forget about the “contest” I have going. There will be an award for the individual and the group that puts in the most hours getting scouts on the air in 2016! Just email me the hours you or your group put in during the 2016 year. The deadline for submissions is January 15th, 2017. Good luck!!
73, Scott, KC8ITN
THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM
SET 2016 for Ohio has been completed however the European SET continues for the rest of the month. The Central Ohio Traffic Net and some others will continue to receive SET test messages for the entire month of October. At least one of the OSSBN nets ran for three hours of more. It appeared that there was a fair quantity of traffic passed. If you didn't participate or originate traffic you missed an opportunity to make Ohio really shine.
Each net and section is to report there activity to the ARRL using forms on the ARRL website. The activity reports will be analyzed and a report will be issued later as sort of a grade for each section. These forms for SET can be found at http://www.arrl.org/public-service-field-services-forms
Here is a list of Ohio NTS HF daily nets, frequencies, times and net managers. All licensed hams are welcome to check in with or without radiogram traffic.
BN(E) Buckeye Net Early – CW – WB8YLO NET MANAGER – 3580 at 6:45
BN(L) Buckeye Net Late – CW – WB9LBI NET MANAGER – 3590 at 10:00 pm
OSN Ohio Slow Net – CW – W8OLO NET MANAGER – 3.53535 at 6PM
OSSBN Ohio Single Sideband Net – Phone – KC8WH NET MANAGER –
3972.5 at 10:30 AM, 4:15PM AND 6:45 PM
The OSSBN meets three times daily to handle traffic. Notice that there are three CW nets meeting daily to handle traffic. I decided to try to listen to the OSN to see what it was like. To my surprise I was still able to recognize some of the characters after many years without using Morse code. However I didn't remember enough to chime in with my call and join the net. Then I got thinking is there really a reason we should be using CW when we have voice privileges on the HF bands.
Why Morse Code?
If you can talk FM on two meters, or SSB on HF, why should you be concerned at all about Morse Code, also known as CW.
However, there are good reasons why you should learn Morse code. Having a level of Morse proficiency that is of real use on the air, meaning that you can copy at 12-13 wpm or more, will add immeasurably to your enjoyment of Amateur Radio. Such rewarding HF activities as DXing, contesting and QRP operating still rely heavily on CW. Thousands of hams enjoy CW for its own appeal as a relaxing mode different from most other means of communication. And even on VHF and higher frequencies, you'll find that exciting activities such as Moon-bounce and weak-signal work still require Morse skills for full participation. Every day is a good day to operate on CW, but set some time aside on New Year’s Eve and Day to enjoy Straight Key Night (SKN). The annual event gets under way a 0000 UTC on January 1, 2016 (New Year’s Eve in US time zones). The 24 hour event is not a contest but a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage.
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.
Morse code used to be 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 at 5 WPM, and could copy about 13 WPM to get my General license.
I thought I'd want to get enough code speed to get on SSB voice. I did that, but discovered something I didn't expect. Sometimes, the band was so poor that I couldn't hear a single voice station on SSB. But, when I tuned down to the Morse code CW portion of the band, lo and behold, there were CW contacts going on.
I 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! We all know that there are days you'd be desperate for a contact with SSB, and it appears that you can make contacts with Morse code!
In the early days if you lived in Ohio and wanted to test for a ham license you went to an FCC office in Cleveland or Detroit. The test I took for my general was given in an office setting with phone ringing and office type activity all around me. Since those early days the FCC decided to use Volunteer Examiners to do their testing. This provided a more quiet and relaxed atmosphere to take the test especially after the FCC dropped the code test requirements
If you didn't have a buddy to learn code with you had to use records like the Ameco code course like I did. You supplemented you record course by copying W1AW code transmissions over the air. At that time it was common to count dots and dashed and mentally convert them to letters to write on paper.
Since then it has become commonly known that the best was to learn code was not to count dots and dashes but to learn the sound of each individual letter. Also available today are a multitude of websites, clubs and computer programs to use to learn the code the proper way.
Why not slower than 15 words per minute?
Because at a somewhat slower speed you can count the individual dots and dashes rather than having your brain treat each character as a distinct, integrated sound pattern. When you hear Morse code sent at 5 wpm for learning such a slow speed is counterproductive. You don't learn the sounds that lead to instantaneous recognition. And, far worse, it programs the brain to count individual dots and dashes — precisely what you don’t want it to do! This eventually has to be unlearned and presents a formidable barrier to actually learning useful code.
To some degree, previous government regulations are to blame: In earlier times the FCC imposed a Morse code requirement of 5 wpm for the Novice Class amateur radio license, causing legions of radio amateurs to get on precisely the wrong track. And to this day there are well-intentioned individuals, clubs, and organizations that recommend starting at 5 wpm!
You should start on your road to success by throwing some time-honored ham-radio traditions onto the window where they belong. These are:
Slow (5 wpm) code -- It ought to be illegal to teach anyone code at 5 wpm. Every minute spent toying with 5wpm code is irrevocably wasted. In addition, as we'll see later, starting with slow code is a virtually-guaranteed path to frustration and quitting. Morse at 5 wpm and Morse at 15 or 20 wpm are completely different critters, and you don't want to waste time on the wrong one.
Charts, mnemonics, musical cues and other "memory aids" -- These things make you think about what you're doing while trying to copy code. That is deadly to proficient copying.
Code tapes -- In very short order, and unconsciously, you'll memorize the tape. This will lull you into false confidence in your ability. That false confidence will be quickly shattered when you hear transmitted text that you haven't memorized.
Copying QSOs off the air -- You don't know the speed of code you find on the bands, and much code on the air is pretty badly sent. All this makes it useless for training purposes. Formal code-practice sessions, such as those on W1AW, are OK, however.
Now that you know what you’re not going to do, let's start examining just how you can best gain code proficiency.
There are hundreds if not thousands of websites available about Morse code. To get you started below here are a few of the websites with information and programs to help you get started on you adventure into the world of Morse code. Remember that you are not going to count dot and dashes a 5 WPM but you are going to want to start at a higher speed and learn the sounds.
Daily Morse Code Practice QST Source
K6RAU Code Course
If you start now you can be ready for Straight Key Night in January. You could also be ready for that next CW DX contest. Check back next month for more information
Until next time remember without training you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
For the latest Section Traffic Monthly Report go to: http://arrl-ohio.org/stm/stm.html
73, David, WA3EZN
OUT AND ABOUT
Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager
This is my favorite time of the year—cool, crisp, and colorful autumn! September flew by especially fast, probably because I was busy having fun. My OM, Sonny, W8FHF, and I took in several festivals when we were not involved in local radio activities.
I was part of the W8VP team that operated from Blue Rock State Park during the Ohio State Parks on the Air (OSPOTA) contest. We made 73 contacts and talked to 32 state parks. I also was part of the W8VP crew that put the North Country National Scenic Trail on the air from Salt Fork State Park the next weekend. We made 233 contacts that day from Iowa, Minnesota, Arkansas and all points east and north into Ontario on a 40-meter dipole up about 15 to 20 feet high at the edge of a corn field. What a blast!
I attended two CARA museum planning meetings, eight amateur radio group meals, a Christmas parade committee meeting, two club meetings, an antenna work party, and ran a weather and ARES/NTS net.
CARA president Bruce Homer, N8JMK, who is also an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the Guernsey County ARES group, attended the ARES Conference in Marion.
As Public Information Officer, I placed meeting announcements in the newspaper, on the radio as well as their websites, and had two articles published in the local newspaper.
October looks to be just as busy since several events have already scheduled, starting with the Simulated Emergency Test drill.
’73 Lyn, N8IMW
Remember to be Radio Active!
CENTRAL OHIO HAPPENINGS
From: Fritz Tender, WD8E - Assistant Section Manager
First, as I write this I must report that our furnace kicked on the last few mornings. Although fall is my favorite time of year winter is not. Oh well find the snow shovel and hope for the best.
I am looking forward to the CQ WW SSB contest the end of October. I will be tuning 80 and 160 meter looking for band fills. Let’s hope propagation improves.
Second, the XYL (Billie N8LEL) recently underwent a tri-level cervical fusion and is currently house bound which is restricting my travel. I did manage to make a short visit to Ohio ARES Conference. The facilities were great, turnout was very good, and the program top notch. Thumbs up to Stan (N8BHL).
That's all for this month.
73, Fritz, WD8E
Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager
Wow.. Did someone leave the refrigerator door open? It sure has gotten colder out.!!!
I want to remind everyone that you’ll find the story about the RNC / NAACP Conventions in the NEAREST OCTOBER ISSUE OF CQ MAGAZINE! We got 5 full pages of coverage! Nice work everybody!!
** Now, switching bands to another subject.. **
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 firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll get you added to the mailing list. 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.. **
Let’s talk about the Ohio Section Website.. You can find the Ohio Section Website at: http://arrl-ohio.org If you don’t have this website set as your home page, I urge you to do so. It changes a lot and it’s so important for you to be kept up to date with the very latest information.
** There’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website! This question is really important for me to know.. It will only take 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. 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. We can even meet and have coffee if you’d like.. and I’ll buy!!
** One last spin of the dial.. **
Lastly.. I’m always available for you, whether you’re an ARRL member or not. If you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to sit and chat awhile over a cup of coffee or something cold to drink, feel free to call or write me (419) 512-4445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s going to do it for this month. I hope to see you all at your hamfests, club meetings or on the air!
73, Scott, N8SY
THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
John Perone, W8RXX
Here are the Ohio OO totals...
OO cards sent = 2
Total hours monitored = 807
73, John, W8RXX
WEBSITE STATS – ** arrl-ohio.org **
TRAFFIC NETS TO CHECK-IN TO
Ohio Local Nets
Burning River Traffic Net (BRTN), 9:30 PM daily, 147.150 MHz, W8DJG manager http://www.qsl.net/brtn/
Central Ohio Traffic Net (COTN), 7:15 PM (19:15), daily, 146.970 MHz (Columbus RPTR), KD8TTE manager http://www.cotn.us/
Miami Valley Traffic Net (MVTN), 7:00 PM Mon, Thurs, Sat, 146.640 MHz, KC8HTP manager
Northwest Ohio ARES Net (NWOHARES), 6:30 PM, daily, 146.610 MHz, PL 103.5, N8TNV manager
Tri-County Traffic Training Net (TCTTN), 9:00 PM Sun, Tues, Fri, 147.015 MHz, KI8U manager http://tricountytraffic.net/
Tri-State Amateur Traffic Net (TATN), 8:00 PM daily, 146.670 MHz, PL 123.0, WG8Z manager http://www.tatn.org/
** Ohio Section Nets **
Ohio Single Sideband Net (OSSBN), 10:30 AM, 4:15 PM and 6:45 PM daily, 3.972.50 MHz, KC8WH manager http://ossbn.org/
Buckeye Net (Early), BN-E, 6:45 PM daily, 3.580 MHz, WB8YLO manager
Buckeye Net (Late), BN-L, 10:00 PM daily, 3.590 MHz, WB9LBI manager
Ohio Slow Net (OSN), 6:00 PM daily, 3.53535 MHz, W8OLO manager
For the latest Section Traffic Monthly Report go to: http://arrl-ohio.org/stm/stm.html
First and Third Wednesday of the month at 8:30pm local on the Ohio statewide Talk Group
Every Thursday at 8:00pm local on the Kentucky statewide Talk Group
OHIO SPEAKERS BUREAU
Tom Sly, WB8LCD is continuing to collect information on club presentations and is always on the look-out for speakers that are willing to help out and do their presentations for clubs around the Ohio Section.
You don't necessarily have to travel. With the technology of today, you could easily do a webinar, Google Hangouts, or Skype presentation right from the comforts of your own shack. Bob Heil, K9EID does this all the time! You might be surprised just how easy this really is now days.
If you've had or conducted an interesting presentation at a club meeting in the last 12 months, please send an email to Tom. He would like to know:
1) The topic or the name of the presentation,
2) The name and call sign of the presenter,
3) The name and location of the club,
4) Do clubs usually have interesting presentations (Y/N),
5) Has your club ever had a presentation done over Skype or some other internet service?
Tom stresses that he would like this information from all club members - not just club officers! You can email Tom at: email@example.com
Your participation in this program will benefit all the clubs in the Ohio Section.
Our goal is to see this list grow. The more presenters we have on the list, the more interesting your club meetings will be.
OHIO AMATEURS IN ACTION
Hey Gang.. It was suggested that we have a photo gallery of our Ohio Amateurs in action. So, we now have a photo gallery just for this.. You can find it at:
http://arrl-ohio.org/action_pics/action.html as well as there is a link to this page right from the main page of the Ohio Section website..
These pictures can include any special event, activity and so forth that your ARES or Club has done.. I’m sure you get the idea. Send your pictures to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and include a brief explanation of the event and I’ll get the pictures added to the gallery..
I’ve already got a number of pictures up there, let’s fill up the Gallery with lots more..
I’m looking for great new pictures that I might be able to use in the next Ohio Section Banner, so make sure that you get your pictures to me.. I want a great representation of ALL of the Ohio Section.
SPECIAL EVENTS STATIONS IN OHIO
11/05/2016 | 175th Anniversary of Cambridge City Band
Nov 5, 1300Z-2100Z, W8VP, Cambridge, OH.
Cambridge Amateur Radio Association. 7.235.
Certificate. CARA, PO Box 1804, Cambridge, OH 43725.
This is a celebration of the 175th anniversary of the oldest
continuous community band in Ohio--the Cambridge City Band.
Send SASE (9" x 12" with $1 postage) to
P. O. Box 1804
Cambridge, OH 43725
TO: Region AF MARS Directors
RE: MARS Information Release COMEX 16-4 Information
Please disseminate downward to all AF MARS Members and to Amateur Radio lists and service organizations
Subject: Military Auxiliary Radio System to Conduct Interoperability Exercise with Amateur Radio Community, COMEX 16-4
From 30 October through 1 November, members of the Military Auxiliary Radio System (both branches)will be conducting a quarterly Department of Defense Contingency Communications exercise. The purpose of this quarterly exercise is train on our ability to provide communications following a very bad day scenario when traditional forms of communications will likely be unavailable. While the simultaneous loss of all communications nation-wide is not likely, for training purposes, we are assuming there has been a massive nation-wide outage.
One of the objectives of this exercise is to continue the partnership with the amateur radio community to help provide information about local conditions and send this information to the Department of Defense to help understand what is happening around the United States. During this exercise, we will use 60 meters, local VHF and UHF repeaters as well as HF NVIS amateur radio bands. Our goal is to have a conversation about the local conditions in and around your county. During the conversation, our operators will be asking basic questions such as the status of commercial power, public water systems, and road conditions. These will be person to person conversations you don t need to use any digital modes or know any special messaging formats.
To kick off this exercise, we are encouraging the amateur radio community to monitor 5,330.5KHz from 0300-0400 Hrs Zulu on 31 October. During this hour, we will be doing a high power voice broadcast from a military station on the east coast and alternate with a voice broadcast from the west coast. Amateur radio operators are encouraged to submit a reception report as indicated in the voice broadcast.
For the remainder of the exercise, MARS personnel will be calling for amateur radio operators on the 60 meter channels as well as using already established amateur radio nets on HF NVIS and VHF/UHF repeaters. Amateur radio operators are also invited to attend the ARRL webinar scheduled for 25 Oct at 2000 hrs eastern time where Dave Stapchuk, Chief AF MARS, and the Army MARS Program Manager will give a presentation about the MARS program.
If you have further questions about this exercise, please email: email@example.com .
Region Seven Public Affairs Officer
Missouri State Director
If you have further questions about this exercise, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Region Seven Public Affairs Officer
Missouri State Director
10/23/2016 | Massillon ARC Hamfest
Location: Massillon, OH
Sponsor: Massillon Amateur Radio Club
11/05/2016 | GARC Hamfest
Location: Georgetown, OH
Sponsor: Grant Amateur Radio Club
12/03/2016 | Fulton County Winter Fest
Location: Delta, OH
Sponsor: Fulton County Amateur Radio Club