Monday, May 15, 2017

The Ohio Section Journal - Hamvention Edition



In this issue:

-> OFF-SITE PARKING STRONGLY SUGGESTED
-> THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
-> AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
-> THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
-> THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
-> THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
-> OUT AND ABOUT
-> ARES TRAINING UPDATE
-> OHIO RESPONDS
-> LET'S TALK
-> OUR NEW AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR
-> THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
-> MY FINAL

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Hamvention® Promoting Use of Off-Site Parking Areas
(from ARRL Bulletins)

Hamvention® General Chairman Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, is suggesting that visitors to the May 19-21 event at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio, use off-site parking in order to avoid traffic problems. Hamvention will offer free on-site and off-site parking during the event. 

“We are now promoting using off-site parking as a means to avoid traffic congestion around the Fairgrounds and possible lack of sufficient parking if there is heavy rain and the soccer fields are not available to us,” Cramer said today.

Maps of the four off-site parking areas are on the Hamvention website ( http://hamvention.org ), and free transportation will be provided to and from all off-site parking areas.

Kramer said that all four lots are within 15 minutes of the new Hamvention venue and will allow bus access to the Fairgrounds. Talk-In ( http://hamvention.org/travel-parking/directions/ )will advise guests about available or filled parking areas and help direct guests to a better location, Cramer said.

According to the City of Xenia website, Hamvention’s principal effects on Xenia will be temporary traffic congestion and potentially heavier restaurant patronage.  The most congested streets in Xenia during Hamvention are expected to be Detroit Street, Purcell Avenue, Northwest Street, Galloway Street, King Street, and Hollywood Avenue.

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THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
Jeff Kopcak – TC

Hey gang,

DMR: you're hearing a ton about it from the Ohio Section and the number of repeaters has exploded with nearly 60 in the state.  DMR saw growth due to inexpensive offerings of quality radios at last year’s show.  I suspect this year will be no different with new offerings from vendors, possibility of dual band radios around the corner, and many more groups supporting DMR.

How many of you know the terminology and could program a DMR radio from scratch?  Passing around a code plug makes the mode seem plug-and-play and it’s a great way to get started.  Relying on existing code plugs leaves most of us unable to change the configuration of our own radios or even know how it works.  What happens if you need to change programming, add a repeater, the code plug information is old, or wrong?

When I started last year, I found there was very little information available on DMR in ham radio.  I learned DMR by doing a couple things.  First, I looked at the code plug I downloaded for my TYT MD-380.  I got a lot of knowledge playing around with that.  There were a couple things I wasn’t quite sure about.  When I got together with a buddy who was interested in DMR, we further played around with the software, tried different settings, and I filled in those gaps.
With the continued support from the Ohio Section, one of our Technical Specialists, Dave – KD8TWG has been giving training presentations on radio programming and he created a DMR Learning Series explaining terminology and etiquette:

I put together a paper with the goal of explaining DMR to the person just starting out and include some more technical descriptions.  It started as an idea to write an article or two for the OSJ around Dayton time so anyone jumping in would have good information.  After starting the project, it quickly became much bigger.

The first writing talks about the DMR standard and compares it to other made-for-ham-radio modes like D-STAR and Fusion.  One topic that might be of interest is the section on 'is it legal?'  I've heard this question come up frequently and even clubs in the section are questioning the legality.  Radios, CPS, code plugs, registering for a DMR ID are all discussed.  I talk about repeaters, c-Bridges, networks, and some of the issues one might encounter.  Terminology covered includes time slots, talk groups, reflectors, contacts, RX Group Lists, channels, zones, scan lists, and hotspots: http://www.k8jtk.org/2017/05/10/dmr-in-amateur-radio-terminology/

The second will deal with creating a sample code plug for a factitious repeater, tying all the terminology together.  Afterwards, you will be able to create and update your own code plugs!  Stay tuned to next month.  DMR repeaters in Ohio: https://www.repeaterbook.com/repeaters/feature_search.php?state_id=39&type=DMR

At the request of Cuyahoga County Skywarn, Technical Specialist Dave – KD8TWG has installed a Sage EAS ENDEC device on the 146.76 repeater in Cleveland.  146.76 is the primary Skywarn repeater for Cuyahoga County.  The device is the same used by radio and television stations to broadcast Emergency Alert System messages.  It monitors NOAA weather radio frequencies and broadcasts tornado watches/warnings, thunderstorm watches/warnings – for Cuyahoga County, and the weekly EAS test.  It’s been performing flawlessly!

The data and attention tones are the same everyone is familiar with.  These are the same one would hear tuning to a broadcast radio or TV station during an event.  In order to not clobber an existing QSO, the device will delay playing the alert until the repeater is free.  DTMF tones are available to Skywarn NCS’s to disable the alerts if it begins to interfere with the net.  Some innovative working being done here.  Thanks for the hard work Dave.

Anthony - K8ZT, our ASM for Educational Outreach, shared some links with me from his site.  He has put together lists of great resources for doing projects, ideas for the class room, training classes, and build projects a group my want to coordinate:

After my write up of podcasts last May
(http://www.k8jtk.org/2016/05/15/ohio-section-journal-the-technical-coordinator-may-2016-edition/), I try to catch ones that feature a ham in the Ohio section.  QSO Today episode 144 featured John Ackermann - N8UR.  John was a past president of TAPR (which I'm a member) and is a big proponent of open source hardware and software (openly sharing designs that make the community better).  Eric and John talked about his usage of SDR radios and this collection of test equipment.  He's done alot of experimenting with APRS and shares some of his lessons learned.  I especially liked his idea that hams can achieve much greater data transfer speeds in the 3 GHz portion of our spectrum.  Maybe others in the section will develop technology to utilize that spectrum more than we are currently.  The podcast is available on your favorite podcast app by searching for “QSO Today” or by going to: http://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/n8ur

Don't forget #HamNation300 special event is starting the Wednesday following Dayton.  There will be stations operating D-STAR, DMR, Echolink, possibly Fusion, P25 and anything else we can get our hands on – in addition to SSB.  I will be doing D-STAR, JT65, and maybe PSK too for some HF digital contacts.  Points challenge is available for those who enjoy the social aspect of a special event.  Tune in to Ham Nation (twit.tv/hn) every Wednesday evening.  Details can be found on our event page: https://www.hamnationdstar.net/2017/04/05/ham-nation-300-special-event/.  I will also be participating in the Ham Nation forum at Hamvention on Saturday, 10:30a in Room 1.

The show featured the digital net controllers this past Wednesday (5/10).  My ugly mug was featured along with my good friend Andrew- WA8LIV from the DMR net and Dave – N3NTV from the Echolink net.  You can watch the segment if you dare: 
https://youtu.be/afWX5kQSBAg?t=1h11m27s or download it at: https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation/episodes/299.  There’s a reason (more than one?) I stayed behind the camera when I worked TV production.  I kid, check it out and join in the fun of #HamNation300.

That's about it for this month.  I'm looking forward to meeting all of you at Dayton (er, Xenia) this year.  I've heard there were a record number of ticket pre-orders which I hope means a successful year for Hamvention.  One thing I can guarantee for this year: it will be different for all of us.  I'm excited to see what's in store at this new venue. 

Get your shopping lists ready…. and see you at Dayton!

Thanks for reading and


73… de Jeff – K8JTK

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THE AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR
John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone, we’ve gotten to the end of my run. This column will be my last, and my tenure as your Affiliated Club Coordinator ends in a couple weeks. I’d like for you to welcome Tom Sly, WB8LCD as your new ACC effective June 1st. You’ll read more from Tom in this issue.

When I took this job 2014, I knew it would not be forever; that the time would come when new things & new challenges would entice me. With some big stuff happening at church this year, that time is at hand. I feel that trying to do justice to those commitments while being ACC just isn’t going to work.

So with that out of the way, let’s move on to the subject on everyone’s minds; Hamvention. Will you be heading to Xenia this year? Despite all that you may have read online, there are a LOT of folks working hard to make this first year go off flawlessly. Will there be room for improvement? Sure there will. But, if you go to the big show, have fun, and give it a chance! I’ll be doing a single day bus trip this year, but hope to return next year for the entire show.

Also, I thought I’d hammer on this subject one last time. Let’s keep those club records up to date with the league. It really is that important. Even if there are no changes, they need to be updated at least once per year. There’s more information on how to update your club record at www.arrl.org/club-update. While the hammer is out, let’s talk about the Special Service Club status. If your club is a SSC, there is no way to pull up your expiration date online at this time. The best way for now, is to contact your Affiliated Club Coordinator, or Section Manager for this information.

So, let’s have some fun this summer. In the next few months, we have ARRL Field Day, the Ohio QSO Party, and the Ohio State Parks On The Air contest coming up. All of these are an awesome chance for you, or your club to be sought after on the HF bands. Get out there and have some fun.

Other opportunities abound; I’ve been beating the drum for a while now about clubs doing Special Event Stations. But there are other options. Just pick a day, and do a “Park-Pedition” set up a portable station, invite friends with their gear, bring a grill, etc. Don’t Plan; Just Do!

On that note; Ideas tend to get discussed, and planned to death in club meetings. Sometimes, you just need take that leap of faith, step out, and do things, letting the details fall into place on their own. One thing I’ve learned from my Awesome Wife, Lyn, is that sometimes you can spend too much time planning, and not enough time doing.

I’ve had a lot of fun being your ACC. I’ve spoken to a lot of you, by e-mail, phone, and in person. My almost three years in this job have been a real eye-opener, and I continue to be impressed by the caliber of clubs in the Ohio Section. This has been one wild ride that I would not trade for anything.

Thanks everyone, but especially to Scott, N8SY. He is the kind of Hard working Section Manager who makes my job a breeze!

And, as Porky Pig would say, “Ble, ble, ble, that’s all folks!”.

73
DE KD8MQ

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THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
Stan Broadway, N8BHL - SEC

Technology and Reliability

These two concepts, each desirable in its own right, can become confusing when applied to planning for emergencies.  Each county Emergency Coordinator (EC) is responsible for creating plans to carry his ARES unit through an emergency: Alerting and activating the group, organizing a communications network that will be responsive and comprehensive for their agencies, managing the ARES volunteers, maintaining their operation, and successfully demobilizing and reporting both internally and to the Section or League.  It’s impossible to create a uniform approach- each county’s potential emergencies differ, each county’s agencies operate somewhat differently, and each county’s politics can vary widely. The EC must navigate all those different waters while keeping volunteers interested and trained and avoiding the pitfalls of personalities of ‘grumpy old men’. 

While each county does vary, we can put up a framework that can be modeled and adapted to each county, and that’s what we tried to do with the Ohio Section Emergency Response Plan (OSERP).  Because amateur radio must be ready to perform under the harshest of conditions – the loss of all other means of communication- we have to make our plans using the ‘lowest common denominator’ approach: HF and VHF/UHF simplex, no power and no fancy stuff.  Ohio has a fairly well thought out plan in that regard, with an eye toward directing messages from our agencies (typically an EMA) to the Ohio EOC in Columbus.  But that doesn’t mean it is the ~only~ plan we can have.

ARES advertises that we can be a dependable communications ally in many different circumstances. For the RNC and related events last July, there was no communications emergency. We were in place as a ‘standing backup’ to reinforce existing communication paths. With that in mind, we have the option of trying many of the new modes available to us. We’ve been using fldigi to send IS-213 messages reliably on HF and VHF/UHF, and each county needs to practice that regularly. The use of DMR, Fusion and D-star all can create a dependable, wide-area network!  There are two big issues with digital: First, the inability to send digital messages (IS-213 and others) through fldigi or other software. Second, the variety of modes creates the situation faced by car makers trying to introduce AM stereo- the inability to reach a common standard brought a hasty demise to the whole idea. Will that happen in amateur radio?  Into which pot do we toss our money?  My answer is: as many as you can get. 

We anticipate adding DMR at the Sarge, where there is a D-star radio already (it gets only light use if at all).  We had good luck with the DMR “Ohio Channel” during RNC, and the inexpensive radios seem to generate the potential of more repeaters and more radios in the field.  Consider a statewide blizzard, or a flood event such as several states to our south are currently battling. A linked network of DMR repeaters would conceivably offer handheld coverage across the wide operations field. That would be pretty cool.  So my advice is to cultivate the new stuff- perhaps find an expert in DMR, another in Fusion and Wires-x who might be AEC’s in their specific field. Let’s all work together and cooperate to put all available tools into use.

Another ‘new – not new’ service we should be encouraging is Winlink. It’s been a proven performer for years both serving sea going vessels with position and email support, and providing ‘last mile’ email for large disasters. Previously constrained to expensive packet modems, we can now use Winmore and a sound card!  The best thing here is we can originate a normal email from, say, a PC in a vehicle through VHF or even HF onto the Internet. These emails are delivered to anyone, who can respond using their own email system.  What a great way to link everyone! Hamilton County is pioneering ARES involvement with Winlink, and I urge you all to pick up on their lead! 

I have found it a bit incongruous that the new national traffic organization was launched with the attitude (in their early publications and newsletters) that while ARES was distracted and enraptured by new technology they, with their old-fashioned message handling would ‘save the world’.  Indeed, they are trying to move into the neighborhood proclaiming the ability to move IS-213’s… in an aldulterated form.  In Ohio, our plan is that ARES will handle inter-agency messaging. With that, there is a wide and inviting table for traffic handling organizations to step in and offer messages home and other ‘health and welfare’ traffic to victims of disasters. What a great partnership that forms with amateur radio service both agencies and the public.

We are cultivating a new relationship with “Ohio Responds” – a database registering volunteers which helps assure our liability protection under Ohio law. We’ll have more on that soon!  

Now this is all exciting- but the whole thing depends on one person: the ARES volunteer. If apathy, disinterest and unwillingness to invest time and energy remove our volunteers from being active the whole thing falls apart.  You wouldn’t join a basketball team without expecting to practice, or a band without spending practice time at home. Likewise, ARES membership involves our time, and energy.  We this year have said every member needs to have the four ‘magic’ NIMS courses. You’re all to be encouraged- the numbers look very good!  I am extremely grateful for your work!

You can view the SEC’s monthly reports on the website..  http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/default.html


73, Stan, N8BHL

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THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
John Ross, KD8IDJ - PIC

T-Minus Six weeks!

The deadline for the 2017 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest is just 6 weeks away…June 30th.

Remember, you need two copies of your newsletter from different months, to be entered.  So far I think everyone has done that but check your list just to be sure.

The judges are ready and the awards will be presented in August at our meeting and hamfest.

Please call or email me with any questions.

DMR CONTINUES TO IMPRESS

We have a family member, who is a Battalion Chief for the local fire department, and he has always been in interested in Amateur Radio. He’s more interested now that I showed him my DMR radio!

Fire fighters and law enforcement officers are always looking for better ways to communicate and I explained to our friend that the new FirstNet system, which is in development for a partial nationwide turn-up later this year, is a lot like our DMR system. As I keyed my handheld radio and talked to operators in Northern Ohio, Missouri, and several other areas with ease, his interest grew and now he’s on his way to getting his amateur license!!

I still marvel at our analog repeater systems…how well they work and their reliability…but DMR is a pretty cutting edge technology and we’ve been using it for a couple of years now!

So, if you want to “reel in” a new ham…demonstrations are great way to do that. The technology which Amateur Radio has helped pioneer and develop for over a century has left a lasting impression and DMR has now joined our family of accomplishments.

Amateur Radio TV Shows Cancelled

Amateur Radio has lost its guest starring roles on two network television shows.

ABC’s Last Man Standing was cancelled last week. The Tim Allen show often used Amateur Radio and Tim’s shack was seen in many shots. Allen is actually a licensed ham, so maybe there is hope he will use it again in a new show.

The show Frequency was also cancelled. That show was about a police detective who communicated with her departed father using “the ham”. The show played pretty fast and loose with the rules and technology but still gave Amateur Radio a little boost.

So, I guess the networks are ready now for a real show about Amateur Radio.  I have plenty of unused channels on my Direct TV so I’ll talk to AT&T this week about a pilot!!!!!


2017 DAYTON HAMVENTION

I did a little reconordering  a few weeks ago and took a drive to the new location of the Dayton Hamvention…. in Xenia! Yes it will be different but hams are pretty good at making things work. I’m looking forward the event. I’ve been going since I was 15 years old and I don’t want to break the tradition.

I’ll be at the Ohio Section Booth on Saturday afternoon. Stop by and talk about ham radio, public information, or just say hello.

See you at the Hamvention!


73, John, KD8IDJ

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THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM

By the time you will read this the “Dayton Hamvention” will be just days away.  The Dayton Hamvention is generally considered to be the world's largest hamfest. Hamvention will be held May 19, 20 and 21, 2017 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center near Xenia and not Dayton. The Hamvention offers forums, exhibit space and a flea market and usually claims to have over 20,000 visitors. Many amateur radio enthusiasts go out of their way to attend the Dayton Hamvention, traveling from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and various parts of the world and even as far as Australia, Japan and Russia.

The entire staff of Hamvention volunteers is working hard behind the scenes to make 2017 a year to remember as they complete the transition from the old Hara Arena location to Hamvention’s new home at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center.  For more information, please select the tab below to visit pages of interest.  http://hamvention.org/contact-us/

You never know what you’ll find at the Dayton Hamvention. Chances are you’ll find equipment ranging from radios made in the 1950s with vacuum tubes to modern computer-controlled transceivers. If nothing else, you’ll get an education on the wide range of amateur radio equipment that’s out there.

You’ll find more than used equipment at a Dayton, though. Many dealers will bring new equipment to Dayton and have inside booths to show off their radios. This is your chance to look at a number of different radios that you may have only been able to look at in catalogs and compare different models. In addition, dealers often offer “hamfest prices,” so you may be able to get that radio at a slight discount.

Hamfests are also good places to connect with other hams. Quite often, you’ll meet guys that you’ve only talked to on the air. It’s a lot of fun to connect a name and call sign with a face. Sometimes, different ham groups, such as NTS groups, FISTS, ARES/RACES groups or QRP clubs, will set up a table to promote their group. You can use this opportunity to find out more about these groups and their activities.

Hamfests are basically swap meets/flea markets geared towards ham radio, electronic, and computer enthusiasts and almost anything else electronic. There are a lot of reasons to go to a hamfest, including:
* You get to see a lot of ham radio gear in one place.
* You might be able to get a good deal on some used (or new) equipment.
* You might find something that will be fun to play with.
* You get to meet hams face-to-face that you’ve only talked to on the air.
* You can learn something new at one of the programs or forums

If you plan on attending a hamfest for the first time, try to go with a group or someone who has experience.  In either case, alone or with experienced hams, the following will be helpful.

Bring lots of cash - most sellers will only take cash, and you don't want to miss out on something because you don't have enough money on you.  Make sure the cash is in small bills, not 50’s and 100’s which may scare off the seller.

Try to haggle - many sellers price stuff above what they expect to get for it because they know most buyers will haggle. So don't be afraid to offer a lower price for something. However, don't be a jerk. Most prices are negotiable; more so after lunch, but a good deal goes quickly. Most vendors are not interested in trades, but you do no harm by offering.
Don't spend money you can’t afford to lose – Most hams are honest about what they sell, and try to test used items and describe them accurately. Still, sometimes stuff is defective or worked when it was tested but got knocked around in transit.

Also keep in mind that not every seller knows that much about what they are selling - there are a lot of resellers who just buy lots of stuff at auctions or the like and drag it to the hamfest.

BUYER BEWARE.  If you are going to buy used equipment at a high cost, ask to test it to make sure it works. Ask the seller for contact information.  If a vendor refuses to demonstrate a supposedly functional piece of gear, or won’t open up a used piece of equipment for inspection, you may want to move along.  Be familiar with the smell of burnt or overheated electronics, especially transformers and sealed components. Direct replacements may be difficult to obtain.

If you are looking for something specific, know what you are looking before you go.  You can’t ask for a widget for your radio and not even know what model radio you have. If you need a part, research the part number or specs before you go. If you know exactly what you are looking for, check the auction Web sites and radio swap sites, such as www.ebay.com   www.eham.net, and www.qrz.com, before you attend the hamfest. You can get an idea of the going price and average condition, so you’re less likely to get taken.

Remember if you buy it some one has to carry it to the car.  The vender is not expected to help in this carrying endeavor.

Now to the Hamfest itself, those that get there early can get the really good stuff, which will sell really fast. Those that stay late will get the deals where people hate to lug stuff home, so you can sometimes get some great deals to just take merchandise off the seller's hands.

Take a pen and pad of paper. At the Dayton flee market, it's almost impossible to remember where something was you saw 30 minutes ago. Keep track of that item by writing down where it is when you see it. Then you can easily find it again later. Writing down the price is also a good idea for comparison bargain hunting.

Dress appropriately - comfortable shoes, layers in case it's warm or cold, rain gear if there is a chance of rain. Some people find a backpack useful if they are buying a lot of small items

Don’t count on smaller hamfests having food available, but the larger hamfests like Dayton almost always have a hamburger stand. Expect the same level of quality as that of the concession stands. Taking along several bottles of water is a good idea, especially if it is going to be hot and sunny.

In conclusion, hamfests are a great place to pick up interesting pieces of equipment, both new and used, and also picked up a lot of unique items you may never find anywhere else. If going to a hamfest, carry cash and give yourself a budget. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t see something in your price range. Buyers remorse for spending too much is worse than the feeling of letting something get away. There’s always the next hamfest.  And most importantly, Have fun.

That all for is month,

You can view the STM’s monthly report on the website..  http://arrl-ohio.org/stm/stm.html

73,

David WA3EZN

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OUT AND ABOUT
Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - ASM

I attended the Coshocton County Amateur Radio Association meeting, the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association meeting, and the Guernsey County Amateur Radio Emergency Service meeting and training session.

I also attended a Guernsey County Emergency Management Agency training session on how to use the state WEBEOC program for the county in a disaster.  Four other Guernsey County ARES members attended as well.

I did not attend any hamfests this month due to family obligations.  However, I will be attending the Dayton Hanvemtion at the Green County Fairgrounds in Xenia, so stop by the Ohio Section booth and say, “Hi!”

I also attended several committee meetings and amateur radio meals.

Remember to be “Radio Active”!


’73 Lyn, N8IMW  

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ARES TRAINING UPDATE
Jim Yoder, W8ERW – ARES Data Manager

The month of May has not started out on such a fine note.  I drove up from Texas and did miss all the rain that had fallen earlier although high water and serious flooding was everywhere in parts of Missouri and Illinois.  I saw one home that was completely leveled by a tornado.  The temperature was certainly more to my liking along the way which has changed since I arrived to find two days of rain and low temperatures.  I have been accused of bringing it from Texas and that could be true.  It wasn’t warm when I left and I drove into much nicer weather along my way to Ohio.  I apologize and I have one more trip to make in a couple of weeks which will be in time to see the new Dayton Hamvention venue in Xenia this year.

Add caption
OSJ articles are being submitted early this month so they can be published prior to Hamvention.  By the time this edition of the OSJ reaches your desks, we should be looking at upwards of 750 members included in the database, 535 who have completed the four required NIMS courses and approaching 5,000 courses taken.  If you know our Section Manager, you will recognize his comment on your achievements, “Amazing”.  I echo his sentiments and commend each of you for your diligent work and commitment to this critical effort.  Training continues to be sent in daily and it is my pleasure to update the ARES Training Database with each of those new additions.

Speaking of pleasure, there are a few things you can do to make this much easier for me.  I receive emails via the Section Manager, Section Emergency Coordinator and directly from those submitting training.  Often there are typos in name and Callsign.  I do verify everything with QRZ which can also have some errors.  Everyone should check QRZ to insure the information they have on you is accurate. The errors are usually found in your address information including your county.  Please do include your residence county and the county of your ARES activity when you submit training.  Certificates should be sent as .PDF documents.  Most any editor can read them in .PDF format and this saves a lot of work later when the certificates are stored and need to be retrieved at a later date.  The format I use is like this:  W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf. I understand not everyone will be able to do this, but if you can and will, this also saves a lot of time and potential errors. 

Training can be submitted to either SM Scott Yonally N8SY@n8sy.com, SEC Stan Broadway N8BHL broadways@standi.com or me, Jim Yoder w8erw@arrl.net .  Ideally, sending to all three of us will insure that your information is recorded in the database and is known to the Ohio Section officials who will be using the data.  So to recap, please include your callsign, tell us your residence and serving county (most are the same and a few are not) and if you can, format the file names for your certificates as follows, W8ERW-is-00100.b.pdf.  You will save us a lot of work and help prevent errors as your information is logged.

Thanks again for your effort.  You are ahead of the curve and giving us all a lot to be proud of in Ohio.

73 and see you in Xenia for Hamvention,

As always, your questions and concerns are welcome.  Drop me an email at any time, w8erw@arrl.net.

73 and Thank you,

Jim W8ERW

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Ohio Repsonds

Stan and I have finalized all the little details with the State of Ohio in preparation for all of you to get registered in the Ohio Responds database. I still have a few minor details to get out to you BEFORE you start registering, so be aware that this will very soon start up.

For those of you who still have a funny feeling about all of this, Rhonda Meggitt, our Ohio Responds System Administrator, will be at Hamvention this year. She will have a booth in building 6. She’s all primed up and ready to take your questions about what all of this can mean to you, and the benefits that you gain by becoming partners with Ohio Responds.

Ok, now that I’ve brought the subject up..  I want you to understand that you MUST be registered with your 4 completed NIMS courses in our statewide database BEFORE you attempt to register on the Ohio Responds website. So, for those of you who have been dragging your feet on getting your courses completed, I hope this will be the incentive for you to get started. How do I know if I’m on the list or not? Here’s the link to the list.  
http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/special/nims_roster.html  Don’t see your name on the list, and you’ve submitted your certificates? Contact me immediately!

I also want you to know that we’ll be asking if you’ve had a federal or state background check within the last 5 years. Now don’t get all shook about this..!!  We are only asking this question to know who we could place in sensitive areas where this would be a requirement. It WILL NOT affect your ability to be a part of our Section of Ohio Responds. We will accept valid and current CCW licenses from Ohio as a background check. Most churches and schools do them if you are going to be exposed directly to children. Now, that’s just a few of the ways that you could have already had a background check done and maybe not realized it. There are many more.

For those of you just starting out now that you have a real incentive, we have a webpage with all the information about how to get started..  http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/training.html. This page contains a lot of information about what is needed. Each course takes about an hour or so to take, that’s really not much to ask now is it? You spent way more than that to get your Amateur Radio operators license!

Now here’s a link that Ed, KE8ANU found that breaks it all down for you as to what the classes are:

And here’s an additional link to the FEMA First Responder Catalog  www.firstrespondertraining.gov  Thanks Michael, N8QHV

I want to announce that our database guru Jim, W8ERW will be at the Ohio Section Booth at Hamvention with his computer. He’ll be able to look up you NIMS records right from there. Also, if you want to load up a disk or flash drive with your certificates on it, Jim will be able to upload that into the system right from there. You’ll need to scan your certificates either as a picture or as a .pdf and put them on a flash drive or disk. Jim will not be able to do any scanning from there, so please have that done before you get to the Hamvention.

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LET'S TALK
Scott Yonally, N8SY - SM

Hey Gang,

It’s only a few days away from Dayton!  Since we have this very big venue going on, we’re going to celebrate with DARA and their new location with a special “Handbook Giveaway” drawing. You’ll have to attend the Hamvention to get signed up for this so, only those who are in attendance will be eligible this time around. Now let me assure you that we are going to do some celebrating, this drawing will be for lots more than just one Handbook, there’s going to be lots of other things too. I even have some ARRL Gift Certificates to “Give Away” as well!




Now, to enter the drawing you’ll need to stop by the Ohio Section Booth in Building 2 and fill out a simple registration form. There’s nothing else required (Oh.. this drawing is for EVERYONE, whether you live in Ohio or not!!)   The winners will be mailed their prizes at my cost after Hamvention. Make sure that you stop by the Ohio Section Booth and get registered. It’ll only take a couple of minutes to fill out the form!!




Next on my list of items to talk about this month is our Affiliated Clubs Coordinator, John, KD8MQ. I’m sure that you’ve read above where John has had a change in direction in his personal life and has asked to be allowed to retire from his duties as Affiliated Clubs Coordinator. We will miss John greatly, as that he’s brought a lot to the table as ACC, but we do understand his course change in life. John, thank you so very much for all that you’ve done for me, the clubs in Ohio and the ARRL. Our hats are off to you my friend!

John and I talked about his replacement and we both quickly came to one name, Tom Sly, WB8LCD. Tom’s had various duties with the Ohio Section for several years now. He’s very qualified to be the new Affiliated Clubs Coordinator for sure, as that he’s been one of the biggest driving forces in the Ohio Section to get clubs and club members involved once again!

Tom has spoken numerous times at Ohio Section functions about how to get the membership and clubs involved. Tom also spoke, and represented the Ohio Section, at the 100 year Celebration back in 2014 in Connecticut!  Tom’s Bio appears below and I’m very sure that you’ll agree with me, he’s going to make a really great ACC for the Ohio Section.

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   n8sy@n8sy.com   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, gets 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.  Did you know that the Ohio Section mailing list is almost 2,000 strong now? It is, and the ARRL emailing list for Ohio is over 3,600. We have 28,000 licensees’ in Ohio, let’s see if we can get this email out to all 28,000 by the end of the year!  Just let me know that you want added to the listing. I do get 8 – 10 new people every week! If you know of anyone that might be interested in getting my emails that isn’t already, please let them know!
On that same subject, 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. And, if you have a question that you’d like to see on our questionnaire, please send it to me! I have had several of you already do that and I would love to see more!!

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  n8sy@n8sy.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!!

I’m sure all of you have heard me say that I’m always available for you, whether you’re an ARRL member or not. It’s true, and you can feel free to write or call me anytime. 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  n8sy@n8sy.com   

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

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Our Newest Affiliated Clubs Coordinator
Tom Sly, WB8LCD

I was born in 1953 and grew up on the West side of Cleveland in a little town called Parkview 
(long since annexed into Fairview Park).  Somewhere around 1966 my folks moved to Aurora in Portage County – my first year of high school.  In that first year in Aurora I earned the rank of Eagle Scout and obtained my first ham radio license, as a novice WN8AAB.  My interest in ham radio was because of a neighbor in Fairview – Stan Hillman – W8FZS (SK).   Unfortunately, Aurora is a long way from Fairview for a 14-year-old kid, so my novice experience was pretty tough.  My license lapsed at the end of the second year.  Six months later I had a Tech ticket with the call WB8LCD.  My parents were 100% supportive of my hobby, but neither of them were involved or even interested in it, so they were not able to help me along too much.

In 1971 I left Aurora for the University of Tennessee – as a new student in their EE program.  Unfortunately, I didn't apply myself as I should have and in my second year met my future wife and moved back to OH. My wife, Mary, and I have been married 43 years, we have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.  My oldest daughter, Jenny, is the only one who has ever gotten a license – she is KD8LIR.   I did finish college with a BSBA majoring in Finance from the University of Akron.  While I was in my Junior year I had the opportunity to get involved in the insurance business, started my own Independent Agency and have not had a job since I got out of college. I'm still in the insurance agency business along with my business partner WB8VYW, who I met at the Akron U  ham radio club.

There are only two times in my life when I have not been an active ham – the 6 months when my novice ticket lapsed, and approximately 3 years while my son was in high school.  He was very active in the aquarium hobby and most of my spare time was spent cleaning fish tanks with him.  I think he was gone to college about 3 days when I had a new HF rig and got back on the air!  A few years later I had a group of ham “acquaintances” in Portage County and we decided to start a club that would be ACTIVE in the ham radio hobby and would concentrate on the FUN that ham radio has to offer. 

Since my involvement with PCARS for the past 10+ years I've probably had more ham radio fun than EVER and have totally embraced Ham Radio as a lifestyle!  All of my friends are hams (well, not all, but most!)  I'm probably not the best ham, not the most interesting ham, definitely not the smartest ham, but, my passion for the hobby will equal or surpass most!  I'm a strong supporter of the ARRL – in fact I truly believe that without them our hobby would not exist today.  I'm also a strong supporter of local clubs – that is where new hams can get connected with others and learn about all the diverse activities that ham radio entails. 

I'm excited for this opportunity to give back to the hobby that has been such a big part of my life.  I hope that together we can keep the hobby growing, and keep the hobby FUN!

Please help me welcome Tom as our newest Affiliated Clubs Coordinator!!

****************************************************

THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
John Perone, W8RXX - OOC

The Ohio OO's monitored a total of 1,507 hours in April.

This is the largest number of hours in a long time.

Believe it or not NO cards were sent. Either all was well on the bands or they were listening at the wrong times?

Thanks to all the OO's that take their time to assist amateurs remain within the regulations.


73, John, W8RXX

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SPECIAL EVENTS STATIONS

06/03/2017 | Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ships Weekend
Jun 3-Jun 4, 1400Z-2100Z, K8E, Toledo, OH. Toledo Mobile Radio Association. 14.260 14.039 7.260 7.039. QSL. K8E Col. James M. Schoonmaker Team, P. O. Box 9673, Toledo, OH 43697. Operating at the National Museum of the Great Lakes on board the Col. James M. Schoonmaker. Operating June 3, 1400Z - 2100Z Operating June 4, 1600Z - 2100Z. www.tmrahamradio.org

06/09/2017 | 2017 Tigers On The Air
Jun 9-Jun 10, 1900Z-2000Z, K8TGR, Newton Falls, OH. Newton Falls Technology and Multimedia Club. 28.300 14.225 7.175 3.800. Certificate & QSL. NFHSTMC, 909 1/2 Milton Blvd., Newton Falls, OH 44444. Come on the air and help us celebrate the formation of the first Amateur Radio Club at Newton Falls Schools. We will be operating in a camp-out type environment for 24 hours. Local operators are invited to come and help us work the airwaves as well. As a club project, we plan on building a QRP repeater, with a 2m Frequency (146.6500) that we want to launch in a tethered weather balloon to see how many QSOs we can make that way as well. Find out more information on the website listed above.www.nfhstmc.org/index.php?p=13

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OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR

May
05/19/2017 | Ohio State Convention (2017 Dayton Hamvention)
Location: Xenia, OH
Sponsor: Dayton Amateur Radio Association
Website: 
http://www.hamvention.org

June
06/03/2017 | Fulton County Amateur Radio Summer Swap
Location: Wauseon, OH
Sponsor: Fulton County Amateur Radio Club
Website: 
http://k8bxq.org/hamfest

06/10/2017 | Union County ARC TailGate & TrunkFest
Location: Marysville, OH
Sponsor: Union County Amateur Radio Club
Website: 
http://ohiohams.net

06/17/2017 | Milford Hamfest 27th Annual
Location: Milford, OH
Sponsor: Milford Amateur Radio Club
Website: 
http://www.w8mrc.com 

We now have a complete listing of hamfests in Ohio on the website. Go to:  http://arrl-ohio.org/hamfests.html  to see everything that is currently scheduled, including the Great Lakes Division Convention!

****************************************************

A final – final.. 

Today is May 15th, in 1905 Las Vegas Nevada was founded. In 1981 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto, and it’s National Chocolate Chip Day!!!

Now, on that note... Amateur Radio is exciting and a lot of FUN. It’s also a learning experience for everyone! Share your enjoyment and learning experiences with those just coming into Amateur Radio!! 

eof..



Friday, April 14, 2017

April Edition of the Ohio Section Journal


In this issue:

-> SKYWARN TRAINING
-> THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
-> AFFILIATED CLUB COORDINATOR REPORT
-> THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
-> THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
-> THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
-> OUT AND ABOUT
-> FROM THE EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH ASM
-> ARES TRAINING UPDATE
-> LET'S TALK
-> THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
-> SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS IN OHIO
-> OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR
-> MY FINAL

****************************************************
 
SKYWARN TRAINING – WHERE CAN I GET IT..

Hey Gang, it’s time to start thinking of either renewing, or obtaining your Skywarn training for 2017. Do you know where the training is being made available?

Here’s are links to all weather offices that cover Ohio. Depending on where you live will depend on which weather office you’ll want to look at. It’s your choice as to which area you want to go to, but just be sure to get that training in!






You can also find these links on the Ohio Section ARES webpage under Skywarn too 


Hey speaking of getting that all so important weather information... Did you know that all the National Weather Service Bulletins for Ohio are posted on the Ohio Section Website? They are, here’s a link to that page..  http://arrl-ohio.org/nws.html    

This page lists all weather bulletins that effect Ohio and are posted directly by the National Weather Service.

****************************************************
 
THE TECHNICAL COORDINATOR
Jeff Kopcak – TC

Hey gang,

Since the last couple months have been feature articles, this month will be odds-n-ends.

Maker Spaces & Faires
I got positive comments on last month’s article about Makerspaces and Maker Faires.  I hope it gave clubs and groups ideas to get younger makers into our hobby.  Not only did the January edition of QST have the article on Maker Faires but it was the focus of ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher - NY2RF’s note in April.  I’m happy to say these types of things are on the radar of the League and they’re focusing efforts on this new generation of Ham Radio operators.  According to Tom, the ARRL plans to be at the three national maker events this year.

AllStar
I learned the creator of AllStar Link, Jim Dixon - WB6NIL, passed away at the end of last year.  Jim is the creator of “app_rpt” which allowed the open source PBX system, Asterisk, to function as a repeater controller.  In doing so, created one of the most impressive and versatile solutions for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) in ham radio.  Having played around with AllStar on my own node, nodes can be linked together directly through the public Internet, private network, point-to-point network, or really any combination of methods.  Hubs are systems with greater bandwidth allowing for multiple simultaneous connections – like “reflectors” on IRLP or “conferences” on Echolink.  One of my buddies who spoke with Jim commented that he was the smartest, nicest guy you’d meet and [he] would be doing well if he retained even half of what they talked about.  Jim will be missed but the AllStar project will live on.  AllStar Link: https://allstarlink.org/, Raspberry Pi & BeagleBone image: https://hamvoip.org/

Fldigi & Flmsg
W1HKJ and the contributors to the Fldigi project have been busy (http://www.w1hkj.com/).  A new major release of Fldigi was made available at the end of March.  This brings both Fldigi & Flmsg up to version 4.0.1.  Technical Specialist Bob – K8MD messaged me about the update.  My response: ‘crap, I just updated the screen shots from the previous changes the weekend before’ (3.22.x).  I was hoping there were no new changes.  Of course there were!  Now my newly updated instructions are dated again!  Those instructions were getting stale because of significant program option changes since I made them available about two years ago.  They are on my site (up to Fldigi v3.23.21 and Flmsg 4.0.1) at http://www.k8jtk.org/2015/04/16/getting-started-with-fldigi-including-flmsg-and-flwrap/.  Written for the LEARA Digital Net, they do focus on NBEMS operation.

Check them out and do some practice nets.  From experience, it’s best if ALL participating stations are using the same program versions.  There are fewer issues with forms because newer forms are included in later Flmsg versions that were not in earlier ones and everyone can be on the same page when going through settings.
Over that same weekend, I wrote up tutorials and hacks you can do with Flmsg.  We’ve all been there.  You missed receiving part of an Flmsg message because of being off frequency (radio or waterfall), in the wrong mode, or not paying attention.  The issue is quickly corrected and most of the message is still received.  However, Fldigi doesn’t know what to do with the form because some of the headers are missing.  When headers are missed, Fldigi can’t open the form because the message won’t checksum.  The checksum is used to verify the entire message was received.  I wrote up a tutorial how to recover a partially missed message: http://www.k8jtk.org/2017/03/25/recovering-a-partially-received-flmsg-message/.

The last is more of an Flmsg hack.  When an Flmsg form is received, NBEMS standard is to have the ‘open in browser’ option enabled.  As expected, this will open the received form in the default browser.  Many don’t realize that any web programming code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) sent as part of the form will be interpreted by the browser.  This means you can send clickable links, link to an image, redirect to websites, and change background colors.  Just about anything that can be done on a webpage can be sent as part of an Flmsg form and rendered when opened in the browser.  Find out how at http://www.k8jtk.org/2017/03/25/flmsg-forms-rendered-as-web-pages/.  Standard squid disclaimer for both: this is for fun and not NBEMS compliant.

OpenSpot
If you have an OpenSpot hotspot, there was a major firmware update for the device in February and subsequent update in March to bring the current version to 108.  The changelog has – in the neighborhood of – 80 (yes, eighty) fixes and enhancements.  Previously, I wasn’t using this device to run the Ham Nation D-STAR After Show net.  However, since they added a nice web interface with call log and export feature, it’s now my device for running the net.  If you’re looking for a ham radio digital mode hotspot, check out the SharkRF OpenSpot: https://www.sharkrf.com/products/openspot/

One of the SharkRF connector options is their own IP Connector Protocol Server (https://github.com/sharkrf/srf-ip-conn-srv).  The Connector Server is used to create a network of OpenSpot devices and it can be implemented in other hardware/software as it is open source.  Like AllStar, it can accept public internet connections, run on a private network, or mesh network.  I haven’t tried but it may even compile and run on a Raspberry Pi.

The Connector Server repeats any digital transmission sent to it.  All modes can even be simultaneously connected.  D-STAR connected clients will only hear D-STAR transmissions because there is no transcoding of D-STAR data streams.  DMR and Fusion streams can be transcoded.  DMR streams are transmitted to modems set to DMR and converted by the OpenSpot to Fusion for Fusion modems.  Similarly, a Fusion stream is transmitted to modems sent to Fusion and converted to DMR for DMR modems.

I’ve setup a Connector Server that is open and there to mess around with.  In the OpenSpot configuration:
 * In Connectors: under Edit Connector, select “SharkRF IP Connector Client.”
 * Click “Switch to selected.”
 * Once changed, enter your TX/RX frequencies.
 * Server address: srf-ip-conn-srv.k8jtk.org
 * Port number is in ‘Advanced mode’ but is the default, 65100.
 * ID, use your CCS7 DMR ID.
 * No password.
 * Enter your Callsign.
 * Click “Save.”
 * In the Modem options, select the desired mode.

The dashboard is: http://srf-ip-conn-srv.k8jtk.org/.  The server will remain online if it continues to see use.  Otherwise, it could disappear at any time without use :)

Ham Nation 300 (#HamNation300)
Last but certainly not least, yours truly has been on the planning committee for the Ham Nation 300th special event.  Ham Nation is an audio and video podcast recorded live and available at https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation.   The program records at 9:00 p.m. eastern time every Wednesday evening.  Following each episode are the “after show nets” which are round tables discussing the show or ham radio.  These nets include: 20m, 40m, D-STAR, DMR, and Echolink.

After each 100 episodes, a special event is planned to commemorate another 100 episodes.  In the past, these have been geared around HF.  The show is not only for the General/Extra class licensees and not everyone has the ability or desire to operate HF.  This year’s festivities have something for everyone including the chance to make digital contacts for the special event and a summer long challenge.

Ham Nation 300th special event runs the week following Dayton, May 24-31, 2017.  Full details can be found on any of the 1x1 special event callsigns on QRZ or at https://www.hamnationdstar.net/2017/04/05/ham-nation-300-special-event/.  Please join in and help make this event successful.  Follow it on social media: https://twitter.com/hashtag/hamnation300 and https://www.facebook.com/HNonTwit.

That's about it for this month. 

Thanks for reading and


73… de Jeff – K8JTK

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THE AFFILIATED CLUBS COORDINATOR
John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone, welcome to springtime <Crossing fingers>. As I’m writing this on the 10th, the week ahead looks much better than the snow that we all woke up to just a few days ago.

I spent Saturday morning at the Cuyahoga Falls Hamfest. I was happy to see a great turnout this time. I’ve heard that Hamfests are dying, and some I’ve been to on the last couple years do seem to be on the decline. But, Cuyahoga Falls appears to be bucking that trend.

I got to see a lot of friends there this year; one was Ken, KA8OAD. Ken is the Summit County EC, and has been keeping busy with DMR. He’s been doing club programs about this mode; most recently at the PCARS group (Portage County ARS).

I ran into Ken at the Silvercreek meeting about a month ago and was telling me about a project that he and Rick, N8NOQ had completed. I’ll let Ken tell you about that.

“The University of Akron had an analog UHF repeater system that was barely used. I purchased a new UHF DMR repeater and with the help of Rick Nemer (N8NOQ), we replaced the clubs UHF analog machine with the new UHF DMR repeater. Rick then purchased some of the “inexpensive” Tytera MD-380 DMR HT’s for the students to use with the new repeater. Having new digital technology at their disposal and the ability to contact other operators around the country, and around the world for that matter, on nothing more than a low power, inexpensive HT helped the students get excited about using this “new” technology and now the repeater is seeing increased use both by the students as well as the local amateur radio community here in Akron. “ – Ken, KA8OAD

The MD-380 that Ken mentions can be had for a little over a hundred bucks at Universal. Granted, “inexpensive” depends upon your budget, but it’s a heck of a deal.
One of my favorite things at a Hamfest is wandering around talking to folks. You never know just who you’ll run into. At Cuyahoga Falls, I saw Dave, KD8NZF, and his wife, Nancy, KD8QNY. I didn’t get to stop and talk to them, as they were on their way out for an appointment. But, I received some E-mails from Dave recently.
If you read my column last month, you saw that the Red Cross “Lake to River” chapter was doing a special event to celebrate Red Cross Month. Dave was one of the team that brought that together.

He told me that on one of the days that the station was running, they had a visit from a local Girl Scout troop. As luck would have it, they happened across Jim, K1GND in Rhode Island while the girls were there, and Dave put them on the air with Jim. Of course, Jim being the gracious Elmer that he is, talked to not one or two of the girls, but every one of them. You can bet they left with a positive impression of Amateur Radio that day!

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate the Massillon ARC for reaching their 90th Year. Since this this is their anniversary year, they are building a replica of a 1927 Amateur station. Watch for more from Massillon as well.
With that, I’ll say 73.

DE KD8MQ

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THE SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
Stan Broadway, N8BHL

Ohio Conference

If you missed the Ohio ARES Conference, you missed something!  The room was full, the speakers were knowledgeable and interesting, and the stage was set for ARES to continue to build on the success we’ve had.   Many thanks to our presenters for their time, and knowledge:

 * Matt Curtin, KD8TTE  (ARESMAT and the changing face of traffic in amateur radio)

 * Bryan Hoffman, KC8EGV (A new mode for Ohio? Winlink)

 * Dick Miller, Field Operations Manager, MARCS, and Steven Garwood, Infrastructure Spec. III,
    MARCS (What’s on the other side of the MARCS radio?)

 * Sean Miller, KD8RBM, Delaware County HS/EMA Director, President Ohio EMA Director’s
    Association  (How can we work together?)
  
I think it would be fun for everyone to examine the potential of Winlink as a viable communications tool in Ohio. It has a lot of potential, and it’s a proven mode. 

We did talk about training and NIMS during the conference. I slipped a cog in my presentation about getting credentialed…I’m sorry to introduce confusion.  We are this year setting the standard that every ARES member needs to have completed the four NIMS courses. We’re doing a * great * job in getting to that goal, I thank you very much for taking this to heart.

Want to view the presentations?  Here’s a link to them:  http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/sec-conf-2017.html

NVIS DAY

Our next fun event is April 22, Ohio ARES NVIS Day!  The concept is the same: see how many stations we can contact in Ohio and neighboring states, and determine which antenna works the best for you in close-range communication.  Obviously a key component of that is the ability to reach The Sarge at Ohio EOC from your location.   We will be emailing log and antenna forms to each EC, and they will be available on the ARRL-Ohio website for any interested people or groups. You do NOT have to be an official ARES group to participate, we want this to be a fun operating event for all amateurs.

Because the band conditions are, shall we say questionable, we are adding additional bands to our operating event: 160 and 60 meters.  So you have your choice: 160,80, 60, 40 meters are all up for consideration.  We will have anchor stations for comparative reports.

Here’s a link to the NVIS Day Scoresheets:  http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/default.html

Keep things going!

We all have an individual responsibility to make good our commitment to ARES.  You wouldn’t sign up for a basketball team without being willing to practice. Likewise, we all have the responsibility to practice our radio art, and that involves attending meetings, participating in drills and public service events, and staying trained in weather and other emergencies. We got an early start on severe weather in Ohio this year.  Please stay in the habit of turning on your radio to listen to a Skywarn net near you any time there is a watch or warning. 

Remember the necessities of a directed net:
  Net control decided who talks when. 
 
  Rule 1: Listen- you’ll hear much of what you want to know by listening.
 
  Rule 2: refer to rule 1.

 * When you have something, or are checking in, say your callsign and WAIT to be recognized!
 * Make sure you say your call at the end of your message, to keep legal. NCS should allow for that.
 * Be ready to talk about our great hobby to a friend!  Share the fun!

You can view the SEC’s monthly reports on the website..  http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/default.html


73, Stan, N8BHL

****************************************************
 
THE PUBLIC INFORMATION COORDINATOR
John Ross, KD8IDJ

2017 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest

In case you’re counting…or wondering…about the deadline for the 2017 Newsletter Contest…it’s just  two and a half months away!

Remember, to be included, we need two copies of your club’s newsletter by June 30th or notification when your web page is updated.

I’m printing and organizing the newsletters now but please keep sending them. The judges will pick two to review for each club.

I know I’ve said this before but each year it just keeps getting better. What I’ve seen so far this year is outstanding and I know the judges will be impressed.

If you have any questions, please call or email me anytime.

DMR

With the help of our Section Manager Scott Yonally, I am finally up and running on DMR…Digital Mobile Radio. Believe me it’s an exciting new “mode” and pretty inexpensive to get started.

A couple of hours after my radio was programmed I was able to check into a nationwide net with my handheld radio all from the comfort of our four seasons room!

The audio quality was great and the operating procedures are really no different than any analog contract.

Trying, or experimenting, with new and different ways to communicate is what amateur radio is all about. We have been the test bed for most all forms of radio communications that have used is the past and are still in use today. DMR should be no different. I would venture to say we are ahead of the curve right now for DMR.

There is more info about DMR on this website and I hope you take some time to dig in.

FirstNet

A big announcement about week ago came from AT&T ( my employer) that, finally, a nationwide communication system would be built exclusively  for first responders…FirstNet

This is a big deal. The whole concept began right after 911. Communications during that crisis were, to say the least, difficult. Many repeaters were on top of the World Trade Center buildings. The internet of the day was mainly dialup and our cell phone weren’t as smart, or as well connected, as what they are today.

Here are some quick points about FIRSTNET and why it’s important:

 * 70,000 emergency personnel need communications everyday
 * Over 10,000 networks are currently in use
 * FirstNet will provide 20 MHz of secure spectrum that will link all first responders with voice, 
    data, and video
 * Rural villages and townships will benefit by having instant access to nationwide help
 * Total cost for FirstNet is $46.5 billion dollars.


The actual build-out of FirstNet will start later this year.

A lot more information about this project can be found on the internet at:

PIO NET

And while we’re on the subject of nets, I was reminded that about two years ago I wanted to have statewide PIO Net.

Well, logistics got in the way but now, maybe, I can start to put together the PIO Net.

I’m open for ideas but my first thought is trying to use DMR. I know not every area has DMR but I’ll do some research to see where we are covered…or don’t have coverage… and put together a plan.

There may come a time when it’s necessary to have all of the PIO’s involved in an emergency. It would good for us to start now to make that work. A net would also give us a great platform the talk about what we do, how we do it and pass along any “frustrations” we have about media coverage.

So, light me up…let me know what you think!

That’s it for this month…remember the Dayton HAMFEST is just about a month away. I’ll be at the Ohio Section booth inside the ARRL area. Stop by and say hello.

73,

John, KD8IDJ

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THE SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER
David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM

News from the Ohio Single Sideband Net says that we had an election of the leadership of the net.  Mike Hayward KC8WH has been reelected to be the net manager.  Dave Krutsch KD8MSZ will be the Assistant Net Manager pending later deployment. Ted Morris NC8V was elected to the Advisory Board for a three-year term to serve with Dick Fletcher N8CJS and Stan Sutton KD8KBX.

I would like to take this time to thank these men and all the members who check into the OSSBN and the local traffic nets for their support of the nets and handling traffic so efficiently. You can check into the Ohio Single Sideband Net on 3.9725 starting at 10:30 AM, 4:15 PM and 6:45 PM daily More information and useful links can be found on the OSSBN website www.ossbn.org.

While on the subject check into some of these Ohio HF traffic nets:

HF CW NETS             NET TIMES               FREQUENCY             NET MANAGERS
Buckeye Early            6:45 PM                      3.580                           WB8YLO
Buckeye Late              10:00 PM                    3.590                           WB9LBI
Ohio Slow Net            6:00 PM                      3.53535                       W8OLO

Now to the Ohio State Conference Dayton Hamvention. The general focus for many hams next month is the Dayton Hamvention.  The Ohio State Conference will be held at the Hamvention® this year.

This is the largest Hamvention in the county and draws participants from all over the world. Unless you have been living under a rock you should know by now about the changes to the 2017 Dayton Hamvention.  This year the Hamvention will not be at held at the Hara Arena location.

The Hamvention has been moved to the Green County Fairgrounds located at 120 Fairgrounds Road, Xenia Ohio 45385.  Hamvention will be held May 19, 20 and 21, 2017 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center opening at 9 am each day. For more information check these websites:
Hamvention 2017 website: http://hamvention.org/

The Official Greene County Fairgrounds website with map: 120 Fairgrounds Road, Xenia, OH 45385

There will be many commercial vendors and hundreds of individual selling equipment and supplies in the flee  market. Inside the buildings you will also find a presence of the ARRL with many individuals from headquarters at their booth.  There will also be many presentations, forums and VE testing during this three-day event.  There is just too much going on the cover it all adequately in this forum. For more information go to the link above.

The next big ham event after Dayton will be Field Day the last full weekend in June. It is not too early to be thinking and planning for this event.  If you have a favorite location for Field Day, you need to have it reserved NOW! I hope to have more about field day next month.

Now some information on personal protection.  Tornadoes, fires and carbon monoxide are three of the things that are important for you to consider when thinking about your personal and family safety.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself and your family from fire is to install smoke alarms in your home. Smoke alarms can warn you of a fire when you are asleep, busy or in a different part of the house from where the fire is. They provide you extra warning time when you are awake, and they will wake you if a fire occurs while you are asleep.  Smoke alarms are inexpensive. Battery-operated residential smoke alarms are available for less than $10. Alkaline batteries that can last for a year are available for a few dollars. Some alarms are now available with long-life lithium batteries. These alarms, which typically sell for about $20, have lithium batteries that can last for up to ten years.

Carbon monoxide (CO) has been called the "silent" and "invisible killer" because it's a scentless, colorless, and tasteless toxic gas. It's the number one cause of death due to poisoning in America. Any time you burn something—like gasoline, natural gas, wood, oil, propane, or charcoal—carbon monoxide is released into the air. In outdoor spaces, this usually isn't a health hazard because there is enough area to dissipate and particles never amount to a toxic level. The danger comes when carbon monoxide is released in a contained area like your home, RV, or garage.  It can be released with car exhaust or a leaky furnace flue.  A gas or charcoal grill should never be used inside a house, garage or other structure.

You won't know from taste, smell, or sight that carbon monoxide is poisoning you, but your body will. If you have carbon monoxide poisoning, you may feel dizzy, become nauseous or throw up, develop a headache, get confused, and/or pass out. Death can be prevented by having a carbon monoxide detector.

If you do not have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, you run a safety risk.  The detectors are not expensive and are easy to install.  If you contact your fire department you may be able to get installation assistance.

Another important safety device is a NOAA weather alert radio. NWR transmitters broadcast on one of seven VHF frequencies from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz. The broadcasts cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM radio receiver. There are many receiver options, however, ranging from handheld portable units that just pick up Weather Radio broadcasts, to desktop and console models which receive Weather Radio as well as other broadcasts.

SAME, or Specific Alert Message Encoding allows you to specify the particular area for which you wish to receive alerts. Most warnings and watches broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio are county-based or independent city-based (parish-based in Louisiana), although in a few areas of the country the alerts are issued for portions of counties. Since most NWR transmitters are broadcasting for a number of counties, SAME receivers will respond only to alerts issued for the area (or areas) you have selected. This minimizes the number of “false alarms” for events which might be a few counties away from where you live.

Since power outages often occur during storms, having a receiver with battery backup can be crucial. However, unless you have a portable unit which you will use away from other power sources, an AC power connection is recommended to preserve battery life. For more information on weather radio use visit the NOAA weather radio website: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/info/nwrrcvr.html

As to why you should have a weather radio available here are a few facts.  We have already had tornadoes this year in Ohio.  Our friends to the west and south have had multiple outbreaks of damaging storms and tornadoes.  It would behoove us all to prepare now for what could be an active storm season here in Ohio.

Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms. They are usually preceded by very heavy rain and/or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes.

Peak tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July, and they usually occur between 2 pm and 10 pm. Tornadoes have also happened in Ohio in the months of January and December so it is apparent that they can happen at any time of the year in Ohio.

Ohio has already held its tornado awareness drill and many areas have had or have scheduled their weather spotters classes.  For those that need reminding of the dangers of sever weather and tornadoes I bring you some valuable information.

Another good source of useful information during severe weather is you area Skywarn VHF radio net.  Ask other operators in your area for the frequency that is used in you area.  Many of the Skywarn nets are held on your local two-meter repeater.

That all for is month,

You can view the STM’s monthly report on the website..  http://arrl-ohio.org/stm/stm.html

73,

David WA3EZN

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OUT AND ABOUT
Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager

I attended two Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA), two Guernsey County ARES (GCARES), and one Belle Valley American Legion Amateur Radio Club meetings.  I gave a brief talk to GCARES on the duties and obligations of a PIO for the County and/or ARES during a disaster as well as everyday duties of an amateur radio club PIO.

The February 25 CARA and GCARES meetings were postponed until March 4, so members could take advantage of State of Ohio Department of Public Safety Emergency Management Agency Individual Assistance Damage Assessment 2-hour workshop offered at the Muskingum County EMA.

CARA had 12 members (including me) attended a SKYWARN training session on March 8.

I published the CARA Communicator newsletter and placed a monthly safety tip article in the local newspaper for the Guernsey and Noble Counties Long Term Recovery Committee (GNCLTRC). And as the GNCLTRC PIO, I attended its quarterly meeting along with the Guernsey County Emergency Coordinator Dick Wayt, WD8SDH.

Remember to be “Radio Active”!


’73 Lyn, N8IMW  

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FROM THE EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH ASM
Anthony Luscre, K8ZT

Educational Outreach
This month I have a project for you. It is something you can build. It is easy and cheap. But there is one catch— I want you to give it away to a young person or teacher! Even better yet build it with them. I would also encourage your local Amateur Radio Club take this own as a club project.

The project- The Clothespin Key.
Even though proficiency with Morse Code is no longer required for getting an Amateur Radio license, young students often find code a fun activity. Fancy Code Keys can run in the hundreds of dollars and even a cheap plastic based “bargain” key is $12 to $20 each and I want you to give it away! So enter the Clothespin Key costing less than $2.00

The Clothespin Key was designed with price and durability in mind. In addition, it can allow the young person to assemble their own key.

Here's a picture of the original prototype


Here's a pictorial diagram





I have prepared a complete detailed list of steps, with pictures, on how to build the key. For purposes of brevity and to not fill up this month’s Section News here is a link to the complete project - tiny.cc/c-key



To go along with the key here are a few links for online resources on Morse Code-  www.ztlearn.com/radio-kids (look in the left column for the Morse info, but please feel free to browse the whole page when you have time), oh and by the way share the page with youngster you give the key to!


73, Anthony, K8ZT

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ARES TRAINING UPDATE
Jim Yoder, W8ERW/5

ARES Training Update
We are now at last feeling the warmer weather of spring and I am enjoying that a bunch.  As many of you may know, I left Ohio for Texas late in 2015.  Hopefully I will be back here in the great state of Ohio in time to take in the Dayton Hamvention in Xenia this year.  I have been looking at real estate here in Fremont for the last month or so and as soon as I find the place I want, I will finish moving and with any luck, start putting my station and equipment back together.  Texas, at least in the HOA area I have been in, is just is not conducive to any HF activity.  The noise floor is awful and those HOA restrictions make it nearly impossible to erect a decent antenna for HF work.  I am also anxious to return to my roots and the many relationships that I left behind in Ohio.  Ohio and the Ohio Section make a wonderful combination to return to and all of you make that possible. 

I am also pleased to report your ARES training efforts are showing outstanding results and the numbers have continued to grow daily.  We are now are over 700 members who have reported their NIMS courses and others to the database.  Over 500 of those have completed all of the required courses.  The total number of classes reported is now over 4,700.  These are outstanding results and as I continue daily the logging of your training, I am amazed by the dedication and effort this represents.  Keep up the good work.  You are making Ohio look like the biggest and the best ARRL Section. 

Upkeep of the ARES Training Database is a frequent activity.  Not only are the daily addition of members and training, but call sign changes and license upgrades are also being entered as I receive them.  Each entry is verified with QRZ and I record an email address if one is available as well.  As you may imagine, although your call is unique, names not always are.  QRZ helps insure I get the right information.  It does help a great deal when name, county and call are included when you send your training documents. 

There are approximately 20 of you who have completed 3 out of the 4 required NIMS courses and close to 30 who have reported 2 of the 4 courses.  Now I will admit to being among these almost done it folks and I will finish up mine as soon as I get settled back in Ohio.  So, let’s all get busy and get all 4 required NIMS courses completed and entered into the database.  We have been fortunate for a long time now and have not had a widespread and devastating weather event.  Other things are possible also and when something does happen, we must be prepared to respond.  NIMS training will be required and it will give you the knowledge to provide communications support in the most effective manner.  NIMS provides the structure and organization that insure everyone knows what to do and how.  Past experiences show how important this becomes when the disaster overwhelms us. 

Again, I want to say Thank you for your effort.  Training and being prepared is a lot of work and is never finished.  The dedication of Ohio Amateurs through ARES is a significant part of what we as Hams can and often do to support our communities.  I am fortunate to be able to see all of this grow and it is a real pleasure to be able to do so.  Thanks to each of you.

As always, your questions and concerns are welcome.  Drop me an email at any time, w8erw@arrl.net.

73 and Thank you,

Jim W8ERW

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LET'S TALK
Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,

Have you seen that the NEWEST “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website yet? To enter the drawing all you need to do is fill in a couple of boxes on the form.. (your name and email). That’s you need to do to be entered into a drawing to win a 2017 ARRL softcover Handbook. There’s nothing else required (Oh.. You do need to be a resident of Ohio to win..)   The winner will be mailed the Handbook at my cost. This is being offered just to see how many folks are really checking in on the website. Got the idea? Best of luck to you!!

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   n8sy@n8sy.com   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, gets 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. 

On that same subject, 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 going to Dayton this year? Just wanted you to know that if you do look for the Ohio Section Booth within the ARRL Field Services Section in building 2. I’ll have the NEW Ohio Section Banner on display and we’re going to celebrate too.. Since the Special Dayton Giveaway was such a huge success last year, we’re going to repeat it.. I have a number of ARRL Gift Certificates, Handbooks and a few other items that we will be giving away. All that you have to do is stop by our booth and sign up! That’s it.. The winners will be announce on Monday, May 22nd and the prizes will be shipped out then. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and good luck to all of 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  n8sy@n8sy.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!!

I’m sure all of you have heard me say that I’m always available for you, whether you’re an ARRL member or not. It’s true, and you can feel free to write or call me anytime. 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  n8sy@n8sy.com   

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

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THE OFFICIAL OBSERVER COORDINATOR
John Perone, W8RXX

Here are the March numbers.

Total Hours 1332 monitored

1 - Good OO card sent

0 - OO cards sent

73, John, W8RXX

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SPECIAL EVENTS STATIONS

04/22/2017 | 5th Annual Earth Day Celebration
Apr 22, 1400Z-2000Z, W8PRC, Parma, OH.

Parma Radio Club. 14.245 7.195.
QSL. W8PRC, 7811 Dogwood Lane,
Cleveland, OH 44130.

Contact us to celebrate Earth Day.
We'll be operating solely on power from Ol' Sol.

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OHIO HAMFEST CALENDAR

04/29/2017 | Jackson County Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Jackson, OH
Sponsor: Jackson County Amateur Radio Club

04/30/2017 | Athens Hamfest
Location: Athens, OH
Sponsor: Athens County Amateur Radio Association

05/19/2017 | Ohio State Convention (2017 Dayton Hamvention)
Location: Xenia, OH
Sponsor: Dayton Amateur Radio Association

We now have a complete listing of hamfests in Ohio on the website. Go to:  http://arrl-ohio.org/hamfests.html  to see everything that is currently scheduled, including the Great Lakes Division Convention!

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A final – final..  For those of you who haven’t filed your taxes yet..  Tax Day falls on April 18, 2017. That's the deadline for filing taxes on income earned in 2016. Usually, April 15 is the day taxes are due, but in 2017, that falls on a Saturday. And on Monday, the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day, which is normally April 16, but that's a Sunday. Emancipation Day affects taxes the same way federal holidays do. Therefore, the tax deadline is pushed out to the following Tuesday, April 18, giving taxpayers three extra days to file their returns.

A little history if you please.. 
Today is April 14th and 1865 US President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington.

Today is also.. Lookup at the Sky Day, International Moment of Laughter Day and Reach as High as You Can Day..  Now, on that note... Amateur Radio is exciting and a lot of FUN. It’s also a learning experience for everyone! Share your enjoyment and learning experiences with those just coming into Amateur Radio!! 

eof..