Monday, January 16, 2017

January 2017 Edition of the Ohio Section Journal

In this issue:



(info provided by: Donn Rooks -

Ohio EMA to Begin Accepting Safe Room Applications
The Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program is once again accepting applications, beginning January 9. The program provides a rebate for the purchase and construction/installation of tornado safe rooms for Ohio homeowners.

“The entire state of Ohio is at risk of an EF5 tornado, which produces 250 mile per hour winds capable of destroying most structures,” said Steve Ferryman, Ohio EMA mitigation branch chief. “A safe room is built to withstand these winds and resulting airborne debris and provides near absolute protection for occupants.”

A safe room is an extreme-wind shelter or space that provides protection to people during a tornado. It can be constructed/installed in one of several places in the home: in the basement, beneath a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor, or in an interior room on the first floor. A safe room may also be buried in the yard or be a stand-alone structure near your home.

Residents selected for the program are eligible for a rebate up to 75 percent of the cost to install or construct a safe room – up to a maximum of $4,875. To apply for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program, homeowners have until 5 p.m. March 10, to register on the Ohio EMA website:, beginning January 9.

The Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program will use a computerized random selection process to select applicants. A priority list of applicants will be created from the selected applicants. Chosen homeowners will be notified by e-mail of their position on the priority list on or after March 13. Ohio EMA anticipates grant funding will become available this year and having a list of participants who meet program requirements will expedite the rebate process.

Funding for the rebate program is through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs. Ohio homeowners would be responsible for 25 percent of the construction costs and any additional costs over the 75 percent maximum rebate of $4,875.

Safe rooms must meet FEMA requirements in FEMA publications 320 and 361, and cannot be constructed/installed prior to the rebate drawing and notification from Ohio EMA to proceed with construction. Ohio EMA plans to offer this rebate program on an annual basis. When and if HMA funding becomes available, the amount of funding will determine the number of rebates.


(info provided by: Don Wade

With winter upon us, it is always a good idea to remain prepared in the event of a winter storm or extreme cold. has a number of helpful resources available for the general public and disaster survivors facing winter weather. DAIP has partnered with other government agencies to provide information to keep you safe. Great information is available on under Disaster Information. The page contains comprehensive resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Weather Service, FEMA’s, the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Red Cross with links to important information about the threat of winter weather and cold.

For example, the CDC’s Winter Weather page provides online resources to help you learn how to deal with the extreme cold and its health hazards. You can also get winter weather checklists and learn how to prepare your home and car for winter emergencies. provides additional information about winter storms and extreme cold. On their site you can take the Pledge to Prepare, learn what to do before, during and after a storm and get important facts on carbon monoxide. DAIP is committed to keeping the most up to date information about winter weather available on so check these websites out often.



Hey Gang.. Want to know what this January will bring as far as our weather outlook?  I’ve got the predictions posted on the website..  It’s really fascinating just to see how these predictions stack up so far.


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 


Jeff Kopcak – TC

Hey gang,

In early January I did some traveling.  Both intrastate and interstate.  Of course, I took my radios to play around and see what activity there was.  The first trip was to western Ohio and the second to south-western Pennsylvania (Johnstown area).  I have been a buff for keeping updated lists of repeaters between my usual travel spots.  Places I don’t frequent, I’ve relied on Internet sites.

I’m always screwing around with programming in my radios and I have programming software for each.  When traveling, I program repeaters along the way and near where I’m staying.  My programming application of choice is the RT Systems programmer (  Their solution is about $50 for an entire package including the cable ($25) and programming software ($25).  However, 4 of my radios use the same cable so I only needed to purchase the cable once and the software for each radio.  CHIRP ( is another popular solution for only the cost of a programming cable (~$15 each), the software is free.  CHIRP doesn’t manage radio settings like RT.  I like this ability because I tend to have different profiles depending how I’m using the radio.  Manufactures release their own software too.  Some are free downloads, others a premium accessory.  I gave up on these solutions because the couple I tried were horrible experiences and very barebones packages.  They were janky to operate and didn’t have an, what I consider to be essential, import/export function.

RT Systems has a good importer where, in many cases, the output of a webpage can be copied and pasted into the programmer.  It will attempt to determine the content of each column (transmit frequency, PL, etc.).  It’s not always successful but the data type can be specified during the import process though, this needs to be repeated each time.  If a CSV file (plain text file with comma separated values) is not available, I found it much easier to paste webpage results into an Excel spreadsheet.  This will retain the data columns.  Insert a blank row above the data and type in labels that match the column headers in the programmer.  Other columns, like city or distance, can be deleted or left blank – and will be ignored.  Copy all data including headers and repeaters from the Excel sheet and paste them into the RT programmer.  The import wizard will appear.  Check that the data is being detected correctly in each step.  Clicking finish will complete importing the data into the programmer.  This helps greatly in importing data straight from a webpage so I don’t have to assign data types each time I import data.  This spreadsheet approach is not needed when using “External Data” sources built into the programmer.  Here are some header conversion examples: the webpage column label is on the left and the spreadsheet (RT) header on the right:

   * Frequency -> Receive Frequency
   * PL -> CTCSS
   * Call -> Name
   * Notes -> Comment
   * Distance -> *delete column or no label*
   * City -> *delete column or no label*

Aside from the programming software, sources are needed for data.  I’ll share my experiences with some that I’ve used.  I used the Repeater Directory, Ohio Area Repeater Council (OARC) website, RFinder, K1IW Amateur Repeater and Broadcast Transmitters Database Websearch, RepeaterBook, Radio Reference, and the ArtSciPub Repeater database.

General comments about these sources: much of the information is old, dated, stale, or wrong based on information I knew about repeaters in my home area and observations about the resulting data in my travels.  Most make some claim to pull data from a ‘number of sources,’ which almost always means the local repeater coordinating body for that area.  In Ohio, that is the Ohio Area Repeater Council.  Others take a crowdsourcing approach which enlists the services of a large number of people – or at least those who do contribute.

Contributors can submit add/delete requests for repeaters as necessary, update call signs, PL tones, locations, features, network affiliations, Internet links, DMR Talk Groups, and so on.  It appears the Repeater Directory is used as a starting point for most databases.

ARRL Repeater Directory and the Ohio Repeater Council website ( The Repeater Directory and OARC Repeater search are supposed to be one-in-the-same so that’s why I grouped these two together.  The OARC is the source for the printed ARRL Repeater Directory.  Recent updates may appear on the website with those changes appearing in the print edition a year or more later.  I did find differences between the printed edition and online version.  I’m unsure why but they should be the same.  In both the printed and online searches, there are a lot of, what hams refer to as, “paper repeaters.”  That is someone who correctly holds a repeater frequency pair coordination but does not have a repeater in operation on that pair.  Repeaters in the testing phase or down for repairs are not considered paper repeaters, unless that time reaches 6 months of inactivity.  This timeframe is determined by the local repeater frequency coordinator.  Something else I noticed: there are repeater pairs turned over to the OARC, nearly a decade ago, that are still listed as active or coordinated.  The OARC website is free to use and results can be copied and pasted from the webpage for importing.  No export of the OARC database is available.

The Repeater Directory comes in pocket sized ($10.95 - and desktop editions ($15.95 -  An electronic version is available through RFinder (see below).  Importing from the paper Repeater Directory into programming software is, well, impossible without typing it in or utilizing character recognition. J

RFinder ( Also known as the World Wide Repeater Directory (WWRD).  It started out as a project by Bob - W2CYK as the place to find repeater data.  He has partnered with the ARRL, RAC, RSGB, and many other organizations throughout the world including software companies for the ability to import directly from the RFinder database.  In partnering with the ARRL, RFinder is the online version of the printed Repeater Directory.  There is an iOS and Android app available.  The Android app is feature-rich which includes the ability to preload a continent (if you don’t or won’t have Internet access), different sort methods (frequency, distance), display estimated coverage maps, list Internet Linked nodes (EchoLink, IRLP, and AllStar), and ability to submit updates (crowdsourcing).  In addition to the mobile apps, much of the functionality is available through a web interface.  My favorite feature is the map displaying my current position and tower icons indicating repeaters nearby.  Though not the best implementation because a city with multiple coordinated repeaters has the icons for each stacked on top of each other.  A popup balloon listing all would have been more useful.  A lot of work has been put into developing features but, the interfaces could use some fine tuning as the map was one example of multiple problems I encountered.  RFinder suffers from paper repeater and stale data problems due to the source of the data.  An annual subscription of $9.99/year is required with multi-year and lifetime discounts available.  The Android app comes with a 30-day limited trial.  Purchasing the iOS version includes a 1 year subscription.

K1IW Amateur Repeater and Broadcast Transmitters Database Websearch (  This website serves a single purpose: find repeaters and/or broadcast transmitters (FCC listed AM, FM, and TV) within an area.  Enter a city, state, radius, and select at least one band and the results will be a listing of repeaters within that radius – including Canada and DC.  The search aggregates various coordinating organizations along with a couple other sources.  Searching Toledo, Ohio brings up both Ohio and Michigan results.  Usefulness of the results are based on accuracy of the sources.  There are paper repeaters and stale data here as well.  Resulting lists can be copied and pasted from the webpage for importing.  This service is free.

RepeaterBook ( RepeaterBook relies on crowdsourced data and not sources like the Repeater Directory.  Upon navigating to a particular state, there is an extensive list of quick search options including: band, features (Autopatch, EchoLink, IRLP, linked), emergency service (ARES, RACES, Skywarn), coverage of a route (highway, US route, state route), town, county, and ratings.  Advanced search options provide radius, nationwide, travel, niche (digital modes, linking), and frequency vacancies.  Results can be copied and pasted from the webpage for importing.  Creating an account will enable exporting to the software applications CHIRP, G4HFQ, RT Systems, and TravelPlus.  Though most are CSV files, they nicely include the correct column headers and break the data into the correct fields like 146.610- into “Receive Frequency” and “Offset Direction.”  Since the data is crowdsourced, the listings are not entirely accurate.  I noticed a good number of repeaters in the Repeater Directory and on-the-air but, missing from RepeaterBook.  When I brought up the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) for the jog around Pittsburgh, no repeaters were listed.  The first one returned was nearly 3 hours east of the PA border.  This means no repeaters in Pittsburgh have been submitted as covering I-76 which was incorrect seeing as I could hit a number of repeaters.  The website can use some unification because different options are available on different screens.  Mobile applications are available for iOS and Android and they support BlueCAT BlueTooth ( available for a limited number of radios.  Clicking a repeater listing in the mobile app will tune the radio to that frequency and set correct offsets and PL tones.  This service is free.

Radio Reference (  Radio Reference is geared toward the scanner listener and contains mostly crowd sourced data for public service frequencies.  Scanner listeners who are travelers have definitely used this site.  Once you locate an area in the Frequency Database, often there will be a list of repeaters in the “Amateur Radio” tab.  This list is minimal and not comprehensive but includes mostly popular, emcomm, and Skywarn repeaters.  These will likely be ones of interest and will actually be on the air when you key up.  Results can be copied and pasted from the webpage for importing.  Downloading a CSV file requires a premium subscription of $15 for 180 days, $30 for 360, or by providing an audio scanner feed.

ArtSciPub ( ArtSciPub stands for Arts & Sciences Publications.  They started as a software company and now do science related publications.  One of their projects is a repeater database.  Start a search by selecting a state, entering a zip code, or frequency.  The resulting list can be resorted by clicking any of the column headers.  Repeaters can be added or modified without an account.  This database is very old as changes that happened 15 years ago are still not listed.  Results can be copied and pasted from the webpage for importing.  A Repeater MapBook is available for purchase.  A membership of $20/year will allow access to larger maps, customized content, removal of advertisements, and high-quality PDF maps.

In this realm, there are currently no great solutions with perfectly accurate data.  Some repeaters never change, others are changing all the time - which is a reason why it’s hard to keep accurate records of such as large population of repeaters.  I think my best option is using RepeaterBook in conjunction with the ARRL Repeater Directory or K1IW to get a good representation of the repeater landscape while traveling.

I got the chance to finish up the project of getting LEARA’s Fusion repeater on the air New Year’s Eve.  I mentioned the first in a series of tips back in November.  With the help of Bill - K8SGX (Technical Specialist), we punched some holes, ran some jumper cables, and finally, the machine was on the air!  Other DR-1X owners who are using the repeater in Automatic Mode Select were reporting the repeater locking in transmit when a digital and analog signal were simultaneously received by the repeater.  Cycling the power would be required each time the repeater locked up.  Our club decided to configure the Fusion repeater in digital only mode as a result.  Today, it is a stand-alone repeater but things are looking promising for an Internet link.  If you’re in the Cleveland area, try out the 444.700 YSF repeater on the west side.  No tone, digital squelch, or digital code options are required.  Thanks again to K8SGX and my dad Tom – N8ETP for their help with this project.
Thanks for reading and 73… de Jeff – K8JTK

73… de Jeff – K8JTK


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC
Hi everyone,
Well, we made it through 2016. We’ve had a mixed bag of weather this week, with freezing rain, snow, & flooding. It’s definitely been a good week to stay indoors. In this month column, I’m going to re-run the New Club Officers To-Do list. This originally ran last January, but I’ve updated it a bit.

But first, let’s welcome our Newest Special service Club; the West Central Ohio Amateur Radio Association. This brings us to 28 Special Service Clubs in the state with more on the way. Congratulations!

I'd like to again offer congratulations and a hearty thank you to all club officers, and trustees. I know that this can at times seem like a thankless job. But, it can also be a very rewarding one! 

So, on we go to the club officers To-Do List. Not all of these suggestions will apply to you, or your club. But, I've tried to put together as many items as I can think of. Feel free to contact me with any additions, or corrections.

* Meeting room reservations - Believe it or not, sometimes this very important task falls between the cracks. At my home club, we make a formal request each November to the Hospital which hosts our meetings. We take care of the entire upcoming year at that time.

* Pavilions, Field Day sites, etc. – My club does a Special Event Club each August. So, in January, we reserve our park pavilion. Same goes for any other sites that may be needed during the upcoming year. Our local park department begins taking reservations at the beginning of January, and it is first come – first served.
* Update your club record at - I can't stress enough the importance of this one. This can be done from Just click on “edit” at the upper right hand corner of your club record page.

*Check the expiration date on your clubs SSC Status - The best way to check this is still to contact Scott, N8SY, or myself. Either of us will be happy to look it up for you.

*Legal Stuff - If your club is registered with Ohio secretary of state, you can check your status here. - This needs to be done every five years.
If your group is an IRS 501c3 Non-Profit, you can check your status here:  Choose the “Exempt organizations Select Check Tool” near the bottom of the page. This site will tell you if your club is a valid 501c3.

*Officers E-mail - One club I belong to has e-mail addresses for each officer. They follow the convention of <officer>@ <club name>.org. That way, when we change officers, no one has to remember new addresses. If your club does something similar, make sure that those addresses are updated.

* Website - Make sure that your officers names, and contact info are updated whenever appropriate. Your website is your clubs front door. Make sure it’s up to date

*Banking information – If you’ve had a change in officers, Check the signature card for your bank account. If any of the information is no longer accurate, it's time to fill out a new one.

*Miscellaneous club information - Make sure to transfer all information to the new treasurer, and/or Secretary promptly. This includes passwords for bank accounts, insurance, websites, etc. Anything that requires a password to access should be in the possession of the officer who needs it. It should also be archived with the Secretary.

*Audit your books - Do your by-laws require a regular audit of the books of your organization? Perhaps now is the time to begin thinking about it.

Moving along to another subject, I hope a lot of you got involved in the VHF FM Simplex contest on the 14th. Monitoring on 6 Meters, I didn’t hear a lot of activity, and I’m temporarily off of VHF/UHF. It seemed like a good day to sit indoors, and play radio.

On the subject of radio, Winter Field Day is coming up on the weekend of January 28/29. Operating WFD can be a great club activity, and does not have to be operated out of doors. You can find out more about Winter Field Day at

So that will wrap up this month’s column. Stay warm, everyone!



John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Well, it's over. The final on-the-air Hurrah happened on December 31st. As 2016 ended, so did NPOTA. I’ll miss it, as it was one of the best Ham Radio years that I’ve seen.  .  .  ever! Lots of folks were wishing that it would not end. But, I believe NPOTA needed to end on schedule, if nothing else, to give us all a chance to take a breath, and rest up for the next big thing.

What’s the next big thing, you ask? I don’t know. For now, I guess it’s whatever you want it to be. I offer the following suggestions to help you transition to a Non-NPOTA world.

  * Try the Parks On The Air program. You can start by uploading your NPOTA logs to Jason, W3AAX. You can learn more about this at I found that most of the NPOTA units are included in the program. All state parks are also on the list of POTA units. The awards are free, though donations are appreciated.
  * Several States are having State Parks on the air contests, or events; Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Texas, & Indiana are some states that come to mind. The Ohio State Parks On The Air Contest is held each year on the Saturday after Labor Day. You can learn more at
  * Offer to organize your clubs 2017 Field Day operation. It’s not too soon. A lot of clubs begin planning the day after their previous years Field Day.
  * Do a club program on your experience with NPOTA, and what you've learned in the past year. Think you didn’t learn anything? Surprise! I bet you did! Share your enthusiasm, and newfound experiences with others.
  * Chase counties, or activate them. I don’t claim to be an expert on County Hunting, but one place where I found a bunch of information is the Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club website at
  * Chase islands – Check out for more information. There’s also the RSGB Islands On The Air Program at
  * Chase Lighthouses on the air. The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society can be found at
  * And of course, Chase DX! Here’s a good place to start.

As you can see, there’s a lot of on the air possibilities to keep you occupied. If you are going through NPOTA withdrawal, why not give one of these a try?

We have a couple more weeks to go before the January 31st upload deadline is reached. Last week, I took an evening to audit my log, and managed to bump my chaser numbers over the 100 mark which was my goal. In a lot of cases, I had simply forgotten to upload the contact. In other cases, I simply fat-fingered the Callsign.

The ARRL certificates for chaser, Activator, and Honor Roll are available. From what I’m seeing on line, they are arriving quickly. You can order your certificates through They are $19 each, and come printed with your score at the time of ordering. So, my recommendation is to wait until after January 31st before ordering.

Lastly, you’ve probably seen this if you are a member of the NPOTA Facebook group. But, here it is again:

Top 10 things on a NPOTA Activator's To-Do list

1) Post a well-worn set of Hamsticks to the club swap & shop reflector
2) Buy another new set of tires
3) Design an operating chair for the shack that is as comfortable as a car seat
4) Get to work on a Year-long backlog of To-Do list items around the house
5) Continue to hound Emily, KB3VVE for her cookie recipe.
6) Reconnect with family. Apologize to daughter for missing wedding.
7) Clean a years’ worth of fast-food bags from backseat
8) Re-introduce myself to the neighbors.
9) Design an operating desk that looks like a picnic table
10) Hit F5 yet again; watch for any change in the leaderboard standings

And that’s it for this month. 73, and watch for my final NPOTA column in the February Ohio Section Journal.

John, KD8MQ


Stan Broadway, N8BHL

The year 2017 for ARES

First, I want to promise you all that we are NOT doing anything on the scale of the RNC this year. That is a once-in-a-lifetime event as far as I’m concerned.

But what ~are~ we going to do?  We have a lot of items on our agenda! First, acting on Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” I want to bring the leadership of ARES together January 29. All ASEC’s and DEC’s and the crew from The Sarge have been invited to collaborate on how we can continue the growth and excellent posture of ARES in Ohio. You have all worked so hard to achieve what we did in 2016, I want to honor that with a solid program for the future!

Here are some of the things we already have on the agenda—get your calendars out!

First, January 14th will be the second annual ARES VHFSIMPLEX CONTEST. Rules are basically the same as last year, with the addition of 6 meters!  I would prefer using 6 FM simplex rather than SSB but I think there may be MORE people on 6 SSB…so run what ya brung!  I am more interested in numbers, and in coverage areas so we can get an idea of what we would need in order to put together a reliable state network on 6.  I am enthusiastic, but my enthusiasm is tempered by those old heads with years of 6, who are saying it might not be what I hope. We’ll just have to test and see!

For DEC’s and ASEC’s we’re having a planning meeting January 29. We hope to discuss a lot of items, including (with the Sarge’s crew) how we’re going to cope with the next few years of lousy band conditions.

For everyone, April 1 is the date set for the 2017 OHIO ARES CONFERENCE!  Write it down, and get ready for some really good stuff!  The conference will be held again at the Marion Technical campus (OSU Marion) as it was last year.

Here’s another new date:  Mark down April 22 as this year’s NVIS ANTENNA DAY! We’ll have more information as time moves along, but be researching your antennas now!

We are doing very well in training Many thanks to Jim Yoder, W8ERW, who is keeping track of our Ohio ARES Training Database!  What is happening, I suspect, is that we do not have ALL your certificates in the database. Many members have handed them to their local EC’s which is great, but we need to have jpg copies of your certificates in the state database!  So EC’s- and anyone, actually- you can go to the ARRL-Ohio website’s ARES pages and find the list of who’s included by name and by county. Double check your people, and send those we don’t already have!

There are 500 names in that database, with 3.263 courses logged!  303 have the four FEMA courses.  Again, my suspicion is we have far more than that, so check!  At any rate, we are far ahead of the rest of the country and you are all to be commended!   Those who haven’t done these courses, try dedicated a couple winter evenings and get ‘r done!

You might be interested to know that because of our work with Red Cross during the RNC, a fresh interest has brought the Red Cross and ARES much closer. We have been meeting to discuss how amateur radio and the Red Cross can partner more closely to provide statewide communications. They have a few MARCS radios, but ARES is in a great position to become much more active with the ARC. This will be another great arm of service we can provide! Stay tuned!

Again my congratulations and my sincere thanks for all you do!!  Now…a new year, a new opportunity, and off we go!

For the latest Section Emergency Coordinator’s monthly report go to:  

73, Stan, N8BHL


John Ross, KD8IDJ

2017 Newsletter Contest

Yee Haw!!! That’s public information speak for…the 2017 Newsletter Contest is off to a great start!

I’ve received over a dozen January newsletters so far and, as I expected, the trend of excellence is continuing. Keep them coming. Remember you need to submit two copies from different months to qualify but most folks send one in every month…and I appreciate that.

If you have a web-only newsletter…shoot me a quick email to let us know the new version is ready for viewing. I’ll save the link and the judges will look directly at the website.

The rules are on the Ohio Section website:  but call or email if you have concerns. Goo


When I was learning Morse Code as a kid the fist “word” I learned to send was SOS. It was easy since the all of those letters pretty much make up my last name (ROSS)!

Well, one of the Christmas gifts I received was an LED flashlight that automatically sends SOS with a couple of button pushes! I’m pretty amazed how I discovered it. I was working changing a recessed light bulb and trying to check the socket. I pushed the on button and the light begin to flash and…somehow…I knew almost immediately it was SOS!!! The old ham who taught me code did a pretty good job.

And while we’re on the subject of flashing objects...the Capitol Records building in Los Angles has a tall spiral on top with a red light that flashes, in code, CAPITOL RECORDS!!! The light can be reprogrammed to flash the title of their new CD or any other message they want.  I’m not sure Mr. Morse would approve.

So the next time you’re in LA…drop by and brush up on your code practice. 

Social Media…We Were First!

As Social Media…Twitter, Snap Chat, Texting…continues to grow the analysis of its impact is becoming more challenged. Just how effective are these new forms of communication and do they do more harm than good.

Well, when it comes to new methods of communicating it’s important to remember that Amateur Radio is, and always been, first…in every way…creating and improving just how we talk to each other. We have the high bands, the low bands, microwave, satellite, code, sideband, RTTY, EME, SSTV, Packet and now DMR. We have repeaters, a technology known today and Cell Phones! Nearly a dozen or more ways to effectively to communicate…and consistently communicate…without interruption and without damaging reputations and world order.

What we do as Amateur Radio operators is all for the good…and all good…and we keep doing it and improving every day. When it comes to the real Social Media…WE WERE FIRST!

I suppose this all seems a little esoteric but I think about it every time I see new headline quoting social media as the source of a major story. It makes me cringe and appreciate what we as hams do and the way we do it. We report and educate our stories responsibly using reliable technology with ethics and professionalism.

One final word from the soapbox…. We have one other form of communication that works…the newsletters our clubs send every month. Well written papers without hidden agendas from editors and writers who care about their readers and the hobby they’re writing about.

WOW! What a great movement with which to associated!!


John, KD8IDJ


David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM


DISCLAIMER: The article below pertains to the State of Ohio only.  It contains some of my opinions and some information gleaned from some websites. It does not pertain to any other state, section or region but only to nets within Ohio. No individual or organization owns any Amateur Radio Frequencies. The frequencies we operate on belong to the government and we are given the privilege to use the frequencies through the licensing procedure.


An amateur radio net, or simply net, is an on the air meeting of licensed amateur radio operators. Most nets convene on a regular schedule and specific frequency and are organized for a particular purpose, such as relaying messages, discussing a common topic of interest, in severe weather (for example, during a Skywarn activation), emergencies, or simply as a regular gathering of friends for conversation

The word net is short for network. Networks can be defined as groups of equipment, individuals, and/or agencies acting together to increase efficiency and effectiveness through shared information and resources. The word network can be further broken down into its two components. Net implies a capture and holding effect. Work implies that something productive is to be accomplished.

The purpose of any net is to provide a means for orderly communication within a group of stations. In a directed net, a net control station (NCS) organizes and controls all activity. Directed nets are the best format when there are a large number of member stations. Nets are either directed (formal) or undirected (informal or open).  Ham radio operators and nets capture, record, hold, and distribute information so that they may work more effectively.

It is an enjoyable and valuable public service to acquire and maintain traffic handling proficiency. Traffic handlers and traffic nets are prepared to handle both routine and emergency traffic, whenever the need arises.


Some nets in Ohio connected with the ARES Group(s) or a club may be owned by those organizations. Other nets like most traffic nets are not owned by any individual.  They were formed by individuals with a common interest and are governed by bylaws and/or operating procedures.  The net manager is in charge of the net.
What is a Net Managers?

Nets are run by either an appointed section net manager or an elected net manager.  Elected net mangers are elected by the voting members of the net. The net manager is responsible for the running of the net, appointing assistant net managers, net control stations and liaison stations.  In the absence of the appointed net control station or liaison station volunteers fill the positions for that net.

The number of Net Managers may depend on an area's geographical size, the number of nets operating in the section, or other factors having to do with the way the area is organized. In some cases, there may be only one net manager in charge of the one area net, or one Net Manager for the phone net, one for a CW net. In larger or more traffic-active areas there may be several Net Managers for HF and VHF nets, for a RTTY or a digital net.  All ARRL Nets not controlled by the Emergency Coordinator should work under the Section Traffic Manager (STM) and report their activity to the STM monthly.

A Net Control Station (NCS) calls the net to order, takes check-ins for the net and directs the flow of traffic during the net.  Its the job of the NCS to control traffic and enforce circuit discipline within a given net.  He or she keeps track of the number of check-in, how much traffic is passed and the length of the nets.  The NCS reports this information to the net manager or his designated statistician along with the call letters of any Liaison stations.  This is an important job that any licensed amateur can do.   


A Liaison Station is a station that takes traffic from one net to another. If we had a message on the VHF net that needed to go to Texas we would pass it to a liaison station who in turn would take the message to an HF, where a liaisons station will take the traffic to a higher level net that moves traffic to nets around the country. The Liaison station while on the HF net would look for traffic for the Liaison's state or area to take back to it's VHF net for delivery.

As you can see the Liaison Station would need to have a General class license or higher because he must work with an HF net.  All other positions on a VHF net can be filled by Technicians licensee.


Stations that want to participate in the net check in at the invitation of the NCS. This is accomplished when the NCS asking for check-ins. Often nothing more is needed than a short check in with one's callsign. The NCS will acknowledge your checking in with your callsign to let you know you are checked in. Now you are a member of the net. The NCS logs your call for the session count and if you don't have any more to say or report then you just monitor until you are called or the net ends.  If you know of a net and have never participated in it and don't know what to say, just announce your callsign. You should always be welcome!

But your responsibility does not end there.  If you are going to be a regular check-in you have a duty to support the net. Joining a net is like owning a car.  You open the door and set in the seat, start it up and go.  But if you don't put gasoline in the tank, check the oil and service the car it won’t be long before the car doesn't go.

It’s the same with a net.  If all you ever do is simply check in and nothing more the net will “run out of gas” and cease to operate. As an amateur radio operator and net check-in you cannot and should not expect the Net Manager or any one person to be the only net control station or liaison station.  You have a responsibility to help the net grow by volunteering. 


Ask you net manager if you can help.  Otherwise he or she will never know you are willing to help. We are always looking for additional Net Control Stations to help out. There are two possibilities – one, as an occasional relief operator, and two, as a “regular” NCS one evening per week. Plenty of free coaching and advice is available if you’re interested. All Net Control operators are nervous when first starting out, but it soon becomes a rewarding experience. Please contact your net manager and help keep your net alive.


So you can see that if you check into the net you own a piece of the net.  If you don't help run the net there will eventually be no net as those doing all the work will get “burned out.”

If you only have a Technician license these are some of the Ohio VHF Traffic Nets.

BRTN             Burning River Traffic Net serving Cleveland and North Central Ohio
                        W8DJG NET MANAGER
COTN             Central Ohio Traffic Net serving Columbus and Central Ohio
MVTN                        Miami Valley Traffic Net serving the Dayton area
NWOH ARES  Northwest Ohio ARES Net
                        N8TNV NET MANAGER
TATN             Tri-State Amateur Traffic Net
TCTTN           Tri-County Traffic and Training Net serving Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and Surrounding Counties KI8U NET MANAGER

Here is where and when they meet.

BRTN             NIGHTLY      147.150   110.9   9:30   NEED NET CONTROLS
COTN             NIGHTLY       146.970    23.0    7:15
MVTN                        MON THUR SAT 146.640  7PM
NWOH ARES            NIGHTLY      146.940     103.5  6:40
TATN                         NIGHTLY       145.370                8:00
TCTTN                       SUNDAY TUESDAY FRIDAY    9 PM 147.015 110.9HZ

Unfortunately, the BRTN will be scaling back to two days a week on their nets do to a lack of support from its membership and a lack of net control station.

You will need a General class license or higher to check into the HF nets. These Ohio NTS HF nets meet daily and here are their 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 PM
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 6 PM
OSSBN           Ohio Single Sideband Net – Phone – KC8WH NET MANAGER –
                        3972.5 at 10:30 AM, 4:15 PM AND 6:45 PM

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Just remember if you are not part of the solution you will be a part of the problem.

For the latest Section Traffic Monthly Report go to:


David WA3EZN
Ohio Section Traffic Manager


Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager

Sonny and I attended many holiday gatherings with friends and family members.  We went to Ogleby Park to see the light display as well as visited downtown Cambridge with its Dickens Victorian Village and the courthouse, which has three light shows each evening in sync with Christmas music being played, with some family members.  We spent the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day with family since those in South Carolina came for a visit. We visited with all seven of the children, fourteen of seventeen grandchildren, and two of the seven great grandchildren during the month of December. We had a good time, and we hope your Holidays were as enjoyable!

I, along with other members of the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, helped with registration and communications for the first annual Byesville Christmas Parade on December 3.

Some of the amateur radio clubs locally - Zanesville Amateur Radio Club and Cambridge Amateur Radio Association-did not have regular meetings this month, but CARA had five Thursday amateur radio lunches.  CARA also had its Awards Banquet on December 10.

I will be attending the Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation Hamfest in Nelsonville on January 15, but I will be on a cruise until January 28, so I may or may not attend the TUSCO Hamfest on January 29 at Strasburg.

Remember to be “Radio Active”!

’73 Lyn, N8IMW  


Jim Yoder, W8ERW/5

Winter time doesn't leave us with much excitement other than the inconvenience of snow, ice and frigid temperatures.  Perhaps you do enjoy skiing, ice skating or sledding which I did when I was much younger.  However, you may look forward to the Hamfest season beginning anew, I do.  Otherwise, after the holidays, hibernation isn't a terrible thought.  I'll wake up refreshed and ready for antenna projects outdoors as soon as the sun shines longer each day and it packs some heat along with its daylight.

Now for some serious thought on ARES training.  The Ohio Section has been quite busy amassing a lot of FEMA NIMS training along with the ARRL EC series classes and others.  When I started logging this training over two years ago, I could see the potential for perhaps 2,500 classes being taken and 250 ARES members participating.  It was a little slow initially as I started working with the data I had received.  Not much was being added with an occasional email submitting a class or two.  My focus was to get all of this into a database that could be easily used to document the training and preserve the information for quick reference as may be needed anytime in the future. 

SM Scott Yonally N8SY mentioned a few months ago that he felt the training submissions were about to increase and I should expect quite a bit of activity.  He was certainly correct.  It's been a blur of submissions on a daily basis for the last month.  Normally, I was receiving a few additional classes with an occasional submission including all four of the NIMS required courses.  That has changed and many of you are now sending certificates for all of the NIMS required courses and more.  You are also reporting the ARRL EC series classes and relevant training associated with your emergency responder work. 

Let me share these impressive numbers with you.  I hope this stirs up some excitement and motivates those of you who have not taken or submitted your NIMS training to do so.  The momentum here is amazing.

                                                            01-05-2017     01-11-2017   01-15-2017
Members included in the database -          529               554                561
Training Classes Submitted -                   3,400            3,570             3,631    
Members completing Required NIMS -   333                348                356

I've been reporting these numbers back to your Section Manager and Section Emergency Coordinator and the comments I get are "Awesome", "Super" and "This is Great".  The sustained effort you are putting into this has also been noticed by ARRL in Newington.  Ohio is a great place to be a Ham and the great Hams of Ohio never fail to pick up a ball and run with it.  Thank you for this effort.

You might have dismissed this push for NIMS training like I initially did.  I have never been a fan of big government and this looked like another attempt to run roughshod over us by an ever increasing "Big Brother" poking his nose into our lives.  Luckily, I thought better of it and decided to have a look.  You can't change things or complain if you don't know what you are talking about. 

The NIMS training is well thought out and you will find like I did, that it is the process many of our employers are using to deal with business emergencies as well as disasters that touch their business operations.  NIMS has been and continues to be developed with input from everyone who has a vested interest in managing disaster.  It is a well thought out process that is entirely logical and capable of delivering the result we all want to achieve, quickly responding to and resolving an emergency situation in the most efficient way possible.  NIMS is the vehicle being used on a local, state and national level to respond to disaster.  This training is essential for those of us who volunteer during a disaster.  You simply will not be of much use if you don't understand this process.  No, you won't be an expert, but you will have the knowledge required to be of critical value as a communicator within ARES.  This isn't "Big Brother".  It is all of us participating together doing our part in a well organized effort toward a common goal.  I encourage all of you who want to be a part of ARES and volunteer your time and skills to also get involved with NIMS training.  When you do, be sure to submit your certificates to the database.  This will insure that when needed, your training can be documented to the appropriate agency that will require it.

So, let me say Thank you again and I will continue to update you on this really great momentum in the Ohio Section.  Also, you can look on the Ohio Section Web Site, in the ARES section for a current listing of those who have completed all four of the required NIMS courses.  SM Scott Yonally N8SY updates the list regularly for your reference.  You can also email me with any questions regarding the training database,  Training documentation can also be sent to me along with any changes to residence, call sign, email address etc.  The preferred method of submitting training is in .pdf format.  You can scan the certificates, save to .pdf and email them.  FEMA will also send an electronic certificate after class completion.  You can forward those as well as requesting online, your current transcript electronically.  I am storing the certificate copies in the following format:  W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf  This will make it easy to locate them and provide them to any serving agency we support when required.

The Mansfield Hamfest is coming.  Do enjoy it and take those FEMA NIMS courses while you're resting.

Thanks and 73,


Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,

Have you seen the NEWEST “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website yet? It’s there..!! 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 2016 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   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:  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. 

Let’s talk about the Ohio Section website. You can find the Ohio Section Website at:  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.

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 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: 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   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   

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

John Perone, W8RXX

Total hours were 696

4 OO cards were sent

0 Good operator cards

73, John, W8RXX



December 2016

2.21 GB



01/28/2017 | 2nd Annual Cabin Fever Special Event
Jan 28, 1700Z-2300Z, K8PRC
Loudonville, OH.
Pedestrian Amateur Radio Club.
14.250 14.050 7.250 7.050
QSL. K8PRC, 1661 Manor Ave NW
Canton, OH 44708

Portage County Amateur Radio Service, Inc.
Twelfth Annual "Freeze Your Acorn Off"
(FYAO) Special Event Station
When: Saturday - Feb. 11, 2017
Operating Time: 10am - 4pm EST

We will be active on CW, Digital & Phone in the
10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meter bands (Repeater & Echolink
on the K8SRR echo link node for a certificate)
and anything else we can get working.
Club Call Sign K8BF for a certificate.

Other participating stations will be using their own
callsign/FYAO, or calling “CQ FYAO” (only stations at the Freeze
Your Acorns Off event should use the /FYAO designator).

Yes, we'll be braving the cold snowy weather of North Eastern
Ohio to set up QRP stations using portable power and antennas.

A beautiful color (suitable for framing) 8" x 10"
certificate is available if you contact K8BF and

send your QSL with a large SASE to the club call trustee:
Bob Hewett, K8FEY - 3670 Sea Ray Cove
Reminderville, OH 44202

So, from the comfort of your warm radio shack –
give us a contact while we're out freezing.
We'll need all the contacts we can make to help keep us warm.
Your support will be very much appreciated!

Check PCARS out on the web at:  

Questions? Contact Chuck, W8PT at


02/18/2017 | WRARC 7th Anniversary
Feb 18, 1500Z-2300Z,
W8WRC, New Springfield, OH.
Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club.
21.300 14.305 7.200.
QSL. Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club,
2050 East South Range Road,
New Springfield, OH 44443.


01/29/2017 | TUSCO Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Strasburg, OH
Sponsor: Tusco Amateur Radio Club

02/19/2017 | Mansfield Mid Winter Hamfest
Location: Mansfield, OH
Sponsor: Intercity Amateur Radio Club
Website: http://W8WE.ORG


A final – final.. Hey Everyone, Amateur Radio is a lot of FUN.. and it’s a learning experience for everyone! Share your enjoyment and learning experiences with those just coming into Amateur Radio!!