Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February Issue of the Ohio Section Journal..

In this issue:



















Jeff Kopcak - TC

Hey Gang,

I was contacted this month by someone concerned that Fldigi would install a “trojan” on their
computer and wanted to know where to get a clean download of the program. Before panic sets in, there is no reason to smash your hard drives. Why did I receive this question? I’ll explain the tech behind the issue.

The place that Fldigi, Flmsg, Flrig, and all other applications are now hosted is at a place called SourceForge (also abbreviated “SF”). 

SourceForge is a web service launched in 1999 that offers tools for developers to manage their projects for free. They host source code (for those who wanted to read, audit, modify, or learn from raw code), web pages for the project, mirrors (hosting in multiple locations in case any-one server is down), bug tracking, and many other features. It was the place for hosting free and open-source software. A ton of very well-known projects were (some still are) hosted on SourceForge: Apache Server, GIMP, OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Audacity, Filezilla, Drupal, WordPress, JT65-HF… list goes on.

Some users were discouraged by the number of advertisements on the site. Though it is an ad-supported free service, there weren’t any viable alternatives.

In July 2013, SourceForge created an optional service available to developers called “DevShare.” Any developer who participated in the service would knowingly push additional unwanted programs to anyone downloading their project. This is commonly referred to as ‘crapware’ encompassing adware, download managers, antivirus programs, browser toolbars, homepage modifications, search engine replacements, and the like.

In May 2015, it was reported that SourceForge seized control of what they considered ‘deprecated or abandoned’ Windows projects. In taking control, they locked out the developer and “updated” project downloads to push similar ad-supported content.

This is a problem because the open-source community is just that, a community. They are made up of enthusiasts that like developing programs. Much like ham radio, they donate their time and do it for free. When a company takes the good name of a well-known project and tarnishes it by installing adware on users’ computers, this doesn’t go over well with the community. Their business practices effectively destroyed what was left of SourceForge’s reputation.

The DevShare project started a movement within the community to find replacements for SourceForge; GitHub primarily. SF since stated they are not taking control of unmaintained projects. It was too-little, too-late. Many developers deleted their projects from SF and moved their content elsewhere. It is up to each developer to make a decision about their project. I’ve provided links at the end of the article that go more in-depth for those into tech stories. SourceForge is not the only site that bundles crapware in downloads. Download sites like CNet’s Download (dot) com and many other free file hosting services also push ads and unwanted programs.
Back to Fldigi. The developer of Fldigi maintained the installer and source files on his own server. Somewhere near the end of last year, his site was hacked. The decision was made to move the files from his server over to SourceForge. Likely in an attempt to be more secure.

This created a problem for many who are aware of the issues with SourceForge. Unfortunately, it is the only place where the Fldigi Suite updates and downloads reside. I have installed many Fldigi updates since the move to SourceForge and have not seen anything to suggest any unwanted programs are included. The issue is something to be aware of.

Good security practice dictates not downloading anything you-yourself didn’t go looking for. If you do download Fldigi and it is prompting you to install an antivirus program, this is a huge red flag. Another example: never click anything that says ‘your plugins, Java, Flash, antivirus, or system… is out of date’ because you weren’t looking for those updates.

In other news, I would like to welcome Technical Specialist Eldon - W5UHQ. If that sounds familiar, it’s because he is the Net Manager for the OHDEN HF digital net. The Ohio Digital Emergency Net meets Tuesday evenings at 8pm on 3585 using OLIVIA 8/500 at 1 kHz. The purpose is to provide statewide communications to EMA and EOC’s in Ohio using sound card digital modes. If that wasn’t enough, he brings an extensive background in communications and electronics to the group. OHDEN net: http://ohden.org/

I will be at the Mansfield Hamfest on February 21. I’ve been invited to present during the Digital Forum at noon. This is assuming the weather is better than it has been the last few days, hi hi. The Digital Forum will contain a presentation on digital voice by Duane - K8MDA and I will present passing messages using Fldigi. Hope to meet you at Mansfield! More: http://hamfest.w8we.org/

Articles on SourceForge:

Thanks for reading and 73... de Jeff - K8JTK


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone. None of us needs to be reminded that it’s still winter. It’s been a good winter to stay in & play radio. It’s been a busy winter here, and I’ve already begun my to-do list for warm weather.

As the saying goes, a goal is nothing more than a dream with a deadline. So here are some suggestions for some fun club activities that do not revolve around meeting night.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’ve nothing against meetings. They are necessary to the operation of any organization. But, they shouldn’t be the only time that your members see each other, right?

It’s good to get together outside of meeting night. So, in no particular order, here’s a list of potential club activities.

*Ohio NVIS Antenna Day (April 23rd) – Take a rig or two out to the field, and play with your best NVIS antenna design. More information can be found at www.arrl-ohio.org/SEC

*ARRL Field Day (June 25th /26th) – What can I say? It’s Field Day. Just about every club in North America participates in this one. The 2016 FD packed is available for download at www.arrl.org/field-day

*Ohio QSO Party (August 27th) – Always on the 4th Saturday in August, there’s always a good crowd for this one. It also makes a great excuse for a club picnic. Not that we need an excuse. More information at www.ohqp.org

*September 10th – This one is always the first Saturday after Labor Day. A lot of clubs put stations on the air for this one. You can set up your station in an Ohio state Park, and work the world. Or, you can set up anywhere else, and work Ohio State Parks. Look for more information at ospota.org.

*NPOTA – (All Year) Activate a National Park Unit (NPU) for the ARRL National Parks On The Air event. The pile-ups have been outstanding for this one. No matter where you are in the state, there’s a NPU within driving distance. You can get more information on NPOTA at www.arrl.org/npota.

*Summits On The Air (SOTA) – Yes, we have Summits in Ohio that can be activated. A list of summits and other info can be found at www.sotadata.org.uk.

*US Islands On The Air - Yes, we have Islands. The list & info can be found at www.usislands.org.
There was an article in the May 2015 issue of QST (pg. 73) on the US Islands awards program.

*How about putting on a Special Event Station of your own? They are lots of fun, and a good way to get your members on the air in a low-pressure environment.  Harold Kramer, WJ1B wrote a wonderful column on it for this month’s QST (pg. 13).

*There’s also club Picnics, licensing classes, half-day programs, or whatever else your mind can conceive.

So there are some examples of some “outside of Meeting Night” social events that can help increase your activity level this year. If you have anything to add, by all means, let me know.

73 everyone, see you next month. DE KD8MQ


Stan Broadway, N8BHL

SEC Report for February

[Theme music up: “Who Are You?”]

That’s right- as the Who famously ask, who are you? I mean by that, who are you when you perform your duties?  I propose something that may be disturbing to some: you are NOT just a radio operator! Sure, that’s first on our list…but it’s NOT the only thing on our list! When ARES members are activated, we come as a resource to our EMA or other served agency and that resource – you – may be asked to do things that don’t involve a radio. It might be, “send a fax…” or even more common, “Here- use this MARCS radio for me!” It might even involve…well…shoving flats of bottled water around.

I’m here to report with glee that EC for Mahoning County Wes Boyd, W8IZC, and Trumbull AEC John Orndorff, KA8YTS `get it’. When over 8,000 water customers in the town of Sebring, Ohio, Mahoning County, discovered that they were about to live the same situation as Flint, MI, the EMA called in volunteers to help! It started as a weekday, so only a handful of ARES members showed up but they went to work on handtrucks, moving and delivering bottled water. Nothing glamorous, nothing flashy, but help- and help where it was needed. That is our bottom line!!

First it was Mahoning County, then surrounding counties were sought out for help. Those few who were able to lend assistance exemplified what our goal is for the ARES volunteer: you are there to help your community. If it involves radios, so much the better.

County EC’s need to be alert to all opportunities to serve. Mahoning County and Ohio EMA officials were impressed- and amateur radio gets another gold star for being a viable help to their efforts! Be creative in your own planning. Consider a snow (reporting depths and winds from homes spread around the county) or a flood (water depths, roadways, check on neighbors) even some mechanical failure of a public resource. It could involve training your members in search procedures for missing persons, or perhaps FEMA damage assessment. There are a lot of things you can do- and a lot of training you can work up so people are qualified to do them. My hat’s off to the crowd in those counties who helped! You definitely “Get it!”

The ARES VHF Simplex Contest

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first annual Ohio ARES VHF contest! We had great comments, and I think everyone had a lot of fun!

We had 48 logs submitted from operators or groups. We made 936 contacts on FM simplex, 45 on “other” (SSB mostly) and 18 digital contacts! There were 11 portable operations and 7 EOC’s were active including The Sarge (no log submitted, they were on to give out contacts only.) Our stations averaged over 6 counties each with a high of 19 from Phil, N8LRG, in eastern Knox County. Our stations averaged just under 21 contacts each, ranging from 0 (Sympathy to Rich, WE8T who would up talking to himself) to a high of 100 from Phil. Must be nice living on a high hill with big towers! Now we know who our emergency relay station to the east and north is going to be!

So here’s the score:

NUMBER 1: Fred Helwig, K8FH, working from Medina County’s MuGrage Park
FM: 28, Other: 1 Digital: 6 QSO bonus: 130 Counties: 8 Portable Op: 100 Total: 2120

NUMBER 2: Phil Humphreys, N8LRG operating from home in eastern Knox County
FM: 100, Other: 4 Digital: 0 QSO bonus: (built into the QSO figure) Counties: 19 Total: 1976

NUMBER 3: Tracey Liston, W8TWL operating portable in Medina
FM: 28, Other: 0 Digital: 0 QSO bonus: 35 Counties: 11 Portable Op: 100 Total: 1793

FOR NEXT YEAR: We’re already getting in some great ideas. Yes, we do recognize six meters in the VHF spectrum, and we plan to add 6 to the contest next year. Baby steps. We’re thinking about specifying frequencies (maybe on a district level?) so stations know where to look. We’re still open to suggestions about that. We may want to add a ‘mobile’ category, since there were stations participating while motoring around. (Not sure how they’ll actually LOG this while driving…)  Please let us have your ideas!


*I wish I had had more time to participate--do this again next year!

*This was a lot of fun! I will have to create a contest module for my logging program for this in the future. My longest QSO was over 100 mile range. I was able to get some SSB QSO's in as well. If you have already picked the date for next year, please let me know.

*Thanks for sponsoring the contest. Had a great time finding out what my station is capable of.

*Hope we can do it again next year.

*Only made 5 contacts, but it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot

*A few of us from the West Chester Amateur Radio Association set up a portable 2 meter station at the Voice of America Bethany Relay Station for the Ohio ARES contest. KD8ZUY, KE8ADV & KE8CVE. We used a 3 element tape measure beam on an Army 25' portable mast. We ran on a generator at 50 watts FM and managed to contact 7 counties. Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Ross, Franklin, Champaign & Shelby. We stuck to the simplex FM frequencies and only made about 25 contacts, many though we're with EOC's. We look forward to a bigger contest next year.

*Thanks, couldn’t get started on time and was a couple hours late so maybe I missed quite a few at the beginning. A little thin but the hunt was fun. Will be doing it again next year if you have it. I will be looking for your write up on the event to see how others did and how many were out there.

*Great Contest. Learned more about my antenna setup and spoke with many other EC’s. Let’s do it again. Most fun I have had in years.


Our NVIS Antenna Day was so much fun last year – this year, it’s officially recognized as an ARRL Special Operating Event! NVIS day will be April 23, from 10 until 6. We’re getting inquiries already about NVIS day (from as far away as Texas…not sure that’s NVIS for us!) Do you have your ideas ready yet? This year we are launching a new procedure, with the use of “Anchor Stations” in strategic parts of the state. These stations will be on the air with skilled technical operators who can give you an accurate signal report. Then, if you change or adjust antennas, you can call them back and get another accurate report- giving you a more solid comparison than random contacts. We’re putting that team together now, and the team at The Sarge is obviously going to be going full bore on that day. I have reached out to surrounding sections and asked them to get involved. I’d love to have this as a regional event. We would also hope to have surrounding state capitol EOC’s on the air (since a large communication failure would probably mean we’d be handling traffic across the region.) Marion County ARES is sponsoring our NVIS Day this year, they will be compiling the results and are already really excited! Hope to hear you on the air that day! 40 meters will be buzzing!

FEMA Certificates

Jim Yoder, our Ohio Section data guru, has reminded me that we need the completed certificates as INDIVIDUAL jpg FILES, not lumped together like several jpgs in one file. Attach those with the name, call, and county of the person involved. EC’s should print your own copies of the members’ certificates to be kept at the EOC where you can reach them quickly. This is something to get going NOW!

A New Application

Scott has adjusted form FSD 156 (available on the arrl-ohio website just where you find the 212 form.) It shows as ARES Membership Form. There is now a checkbox that says ”applying for: DEC, EC or ARES membership.” (Before it was EC or DEC).  Having this new checkbox allows anyone to quickly refer an interested ham to the site and the form for convenient application. We can then email the form to the proper county EC, who can make contact and get the interested person involved!  Plus, it directs people to the website for more information! I’m pleased that within the past week I’ve forwarded at least 6 applications- so people are looking to join! If you are in a conversation with someone, just direct them to the “arrl-ohio.org” website for their chance to get involved.

Weather Training, Sergeant!

Please take a moment to check the schedule for severe weather training! Here’s Wilmington:

Don’t take a pass this year- sure, you’ll hear some of the same old stuff, but there’s always something new, minor changes to be made to streamline reporting. It’s worth your time!

73, Stan, N8BHL


John Ross, KD8IDJ

2016 Newsletter Contest

T-minus four months and counting until the deadline for the Ohio Section Newsletter Contest!

The newsletters continue to roll into my mailbox and they continue to be upbeat, current and professional. It will be another marathon judging session this July. But, I guarantee you the judges are ready and anxious to see this year's crop of submissions.

Remember, you need to submit at least two copies. The deadline is June 30th, 2016. The complete set of rules is below.

Keep them coming!

The AT&T Amateur Radio Connection

Over the past two years I've told you about a special project I'm working on tracing the timelines of AT&T and Amateur Radio. It's a big project and I've talked to hundreds of hams across country about their work for Ma Bell. Many of the engineers who worked for the AT&T were (are still) hams and because of their background in amateur radio a great deal of the phone company technology came from them.

We been communicating for the last two years by the usual methods...the telephone, of course, email, snail mail, and some short hop radio contacts. Recently we've been experimenting with Echolink and it's been pretty exciting. A current ham operator and AT&T employee has set up an internet hub that allows us to communicate with our computers and without radios.

If you would like to listen in or participate here's the information:

VOIP net on Fla HUB Allstar node 27892 / Echolink KA4EPS-L , 20 meter net on 14.340, at 21:30 Zulu / 16:30 hours ET

Echolink is new to me and I'm still learning but if you would like to join you'll need an account and password which is easy to get. You can connect via web transceiver via Allstar which is actually a better sounding platform / codec.  Apply for a login at www.allstarlink.org and get your account setup. Takes about a day or two. Then launch web transceiver and attach to 27892.

Morse Code and DNA

Last week I pulled out a newspaper article I had saved that announced the official end of Morse code after 155 years...at least for the government and commercial uses.

It got me thinking about Samuel Morse and what it was that made me and thousands of other radio operators become enamored with his code...and why it is still a big part of ham radio today.

For me, one of the first toys I received for Christmas 1956 was a plastic Morse code key and sounder. I played with in until the batteries went dead but I was able to send my last name in code...ROSS...at a pretty good clip. Little did I know then that my name had all three of the most important Morse code letters...SOS!

Fast forward ahead about 60 years and I'm learning now that my Great Grandfather was one of the first telegraph operators who was trained to work for the railroad! He worked at stations in the small Ohio towns of Malta and Union Furnace. Where he received his training is still a grey area. With the help of the Wayne County Library and Historical Society, I'm researching an old Telegraphers School that was operated in Wooster, Ohio.  Across the county in the early 1800's there were actual schools, colleges of their day, which taught Morse code. The Morse code courses also came with a side course on penmanship. Apparently decoding was not good enough if no one could read what the operator was writing down!!   

All of this tells us just how important Morse code was then. It was the fastest growing technology of the day and has lasted for 172 years. We can only hope the internet has the same longevity.

While we can pass down hair and eye color to our future generations is it possible to pass down some Morse code DNA? Funny question I know, but what causes kids like us to be interested in technology at an early age? Why do we find amateur radio so important, exciting and gratifying? If we dig deep enough I'll bet we might be surprised at the answer.

That's it for this month...

73, John, KD8IDJ


David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM

Public Service Communications and Emergency Communications are at the very core of the Amateur Radio Service. Public Service Communications has been the traditional responsibility of the Amateur Radio Service since 1913, when Amateurs at the University of Michigan, and Ohio State University, in conjunction with numerous individual Amateur operators successfully bridged the communications gap surrounding a large isolated area left by severe windstorms in the Midwest.

During emergencies when other methods of communications are down ARRL Radiograms are sent through the National Traffic System in a well planned and executed effort to communicate information used to save lives and relay the health and welfare information about survivors.

Daily throughout the United States the NTS sends Radiograms to maintain practice for those times when it's existence and function are critical for communications.

You may download forms and instructions to familiarize yourself with NTS at the following links.



"Specializing in the first and last mile of NTS delivery in Ohio."

Morning session
10:30 AM
3972.5 KHz
every day
Afternoon session
4:15 PM
3972.5 KHz
every day
Evening session
6:45 PM
3972.5 KHz
every day

The Ohio Single Sideband net is the premier HF traffic net in Ohio. It is a directed HF net that meets three times a day to handle formal National Traffic System (NTS) messages called radiograms into, out of, and within the State of Ohio. The NTS is an organized network of amateur radio operators for the purpose of relaying messages. The NTS is most useful during emergencies when telecommunications infrastructure such as cell phone and land line telephone are inoperative. The OSSBN is an officially recognized NTS net. Handling traffic efficiently and accurately requires practice. Therefore, the NTS commonly practices with routine messages such as greetings, congratulations, and license renewal reminders in order to hone the skills of its operators. We welcome and invite anyone and everyone to be involved! For more info check out these web sites: http://www.ossbn.org/  www.arrl-ohio.org



OSSBN           QNI 16361      QTC 6420       QTR 27118     SESSIONS 1095
BNE                QNI 1173        QTC 597         QTR 2837       SESSIONS 299
BNL                QNI 1841        QTC 831         QTR 3429       SESSIONS 365
OSN                QNI 1878        QTC 353         QTR 6390       SESSIONS 364



Classes are free and open to the public, but some may require advanced registration. You do not need to be a resident of the county in which a class is being held in order to attend. Each class lasts about 1.5 to 2 hours and is led by a National Weather Service meteorologist who will discuss techniques and safety for severe weather spotting. Once you attend a class, you are an officially trained spotter and can report severe weather to your NWS office. Information is available at: http://www.weather.gov/iln/spottertrainingschedule
Here are briefs on some of the training sessions – full details of each class are available at: http://www.weather.gov/iln/spottertrainingschedule

March 1 - Hamilton County Spotter Training - REGISTRATION REQUIRED! - Deadline: 2/19/2016 - EMA Director Nick Crossley (nick.crossley@hamilton-co.org)

March 2 - Madison County, OH Spotter Training - EMA Director Roger Roberts (rroberts@co.madison.oh.us); Deputy Director Debbie Sims (dsims@co.madison.oh.us)

March 7 - Greene County, OH Spotter Training - EMA Director Roseanne Anders (randers@co.greene.oh.us)

March 10 - Darke/Preble Counties, OH Combined Spotter Training - Darke County Emergency Management Specialist Josh Haney (josh@darkecountyema.org); Preble County EMA Director Dave Anderson (danderson@prebleema.org)

March 12 - Montgomery County, OH Spotter Training - daytonskywarn@gmail.com

March 15 - Hardin County, OH Spotter Training - Pre-register by contacting EMA Director Max Trachsel at the email address hardinema@hardinsheriff.com or by phone at 419-674-2276.

March 17 - Miami/Shelby Counties, OH Combined Spotter Training - Miami County EMA Director Kenny Artz (kartz@miamicountyema.org); Miami County EMA Deputy Director Art Blackmore (ablackmore@miamicountyema.org); Shelby County EMA Director Cheri Drinkwine (shelbycountyema@gmail.com)

March 21 - Scioto County, OH Spotter Training - REGISTRATION REQUIRED - email scema@sciotowireless.net or call 740-355-8300 with your name and/or agency

March 23 - Clark County, OH Spotter Training - Carl Miller (n8nsd@woh.rr.com)

March 24 - Clinton/Fayette/Highland Counties, OH - Clinton County EMA Director Mike Jones (ccema1@clintonsheriff.com); Fayette County EMA Director Fulton Terry (fayema@fayette-co-oh.com); Highland County EMA Director Jim Lyle (jlyle@co.highland.oh.us)

March 29 - Auglaize/Mercer Counties, OH Combined Spotter Training - Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson (tanderson@auglaizecounty.org); Mercer County EMA Director Mike Robbins (EMA@mercercountyohio.org)
March 29 - Logan County, OH Spotter Training - Logan County EMA at 937-593-5743 or ema.assistant@co.logan.oh.us

March 30 - Fairfield/Hocking/Pickaway Counties, OH - Fairfield County EMA Director Jon Kochis (jkochis@co.fairfield.oh.us); Hocking County EMA Director David Ogg (emadirector@co.hocking.oh.us); Pickaway County EMA Director Dave Conrad (ema@pickaway.org)

Full details of each class are available at: http://www.weather.gov/iln/spottertrainingschedule
Know more, do more, and have more fun with ham radio!

Until next month,

73, David, WA3EZN


Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)

January went by like a blur but without much burr! We got Atlanta’s winter temperatures, and got our snow!  Because of that, traveling was a breeze.

 I attended the Zanesville Amateur Radio Club (ZARC) and Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) club meetings as well as the Guernsey County ARES meeting.  ZARC’s new officers officially took over the reins in January.  CARA held nominations for 2016 officers.  Its election will be at the February meeting with the new officers taking over the reins in March. Good news--CARA has finally published its book celebrating its 100th birthday in 2013: A Century of Radio.  Contact me if you are interested in obtaining a copy.

With elections taking place in many clubs this time of year, I want to remind those responsible in their respective ARRL Affiliated Clubs to file their annual reports with ARRL as soon as possible.  If you are not an ARRL Affiliated Club, you should be.  Contact ACC John Myers, KD8MQ, or visit the ARRL website to find out what paperwork you need to file. As soon as you become an ARRL Affiliated Club, check into becoming a Special Service Club—you may already qualify.

I also attended the Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation (SCARF) in Nelsonville where I was
joined by Affiliated Club Coordinator John Myers, KD8MQ. John and I discussed the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) events.  Since the North Country National Scenic Trail has been added to the list of parks that can be activated, eastern and southern Ohio now have places nearby that can be activated!  Central Ohio Assistant Section Manager Fritz Tender, WD8E; District 9 DEC Sonny Alfman, W8FHF; District 8 DEC Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ; and Guernsey County Assistant Emergency Coordinator Bruce Homer, N8JMK, were also in attendance. 

I also attended the TUSCO hamfest in Strasburg.  I joined Section Manager Scott Yonally, N8SY and ACC John Myers, KD8MQ at the ARRL table.  Among others in attendance were District 9 DEC Sonny Alfman, W8FHF; Belmont County EC John Green; and Stark County EC Terry Russ, N8ATZ.

I look forward to attending the Mid-Ohio Hamfest (Mansfield) on February 21.  It has been a couple of years since I went to this one.  Also, it is never too early to mark your calendars for the Dayton Hamvention on May 20-22 and the Columbus Hamfest/Ohio Section Conference (at the NEW Aladdin Shrine Center) on August 6.

’73 Lyn, N8IMW  
Remember to be Radio Active!


From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager (SW)

I have been going through computer hell for a while, but think I am finally functionally back. I determined that I had corrupted files on my computer and the only way to fix them was to do a clean install of Windows-7.  This meant that I had to wipe the hard drive completely clean and start all over. I had tried everything else to no avail. So, I put the original recovery disks in that HP had me create, and off I went. So, while I thought I had Windows-7 installed all along, I actually only had what is called an OEM version of Windows-7 that HP had provided with the computer. Many computers today come this way. It’s so they can load extra stuff into the software that you have no choice but to accept and keep. While my data files were all backed up, all my programs had to be reinstalled and set-up to function with my screen reader once again. 

Now that I’ve got a computer once again, Tom, W8WTD and I are now working on trying to figure out the source of RF interference that appears to be getting into my HF rig.  As soon as I key up on 20 meters, the power supply shuts down. I’ve tried installing a toroid on the power lines, but it didn’t help fix problem.  We are both stumped, but are continuing to work on problem. I am so blessed to have him as both a friend and neighbor. 

Now, not that I wish any ill will on anyone, but it really is time for Murphy to move on and leave me alone!!  lol. 

I guess to keep the whole computer story ham radio related I should add this, the main program that would not work, and ultimately led to the discovery of corrupted files was my N3FJP Amateur Contact logging and contesting program. Now, it’s all up and working once again. Finally..

73, Kitty, W8TDA


From: Fritz Tender, WD8E - Assistant Section Manager (Central Ohio)

I hope everyone got South Sandwich and South George Islands in the log.  It may be many years before we have another chance. 

I enjoyed attending the Nelsonville Hamfest where I had the opportunity to catch up on the latest news with several old friends.  The "Fest' seemed a bit smaller than last year but it did not lack enthusiasm.  As usual they did a great job.

Barring any foul weather I plan to attend the Mansfield Hamfest next week.  I hope to see you there.

73, Fritz, WD8E

From: Nick Pittner, K8NAP – SGL

Coming Events

Since we’ve now had a state antenna law in Ohio for a couple of years it’s no longer “new”. With that in mind, Scott, our Section Manager, suggested that we undertake a revision to recognize that fact. It also provides a chance to smooth out a couple of wrinkles in the earlier version. So, a new, updated version to the 3-fold antenna law brochure has been prepared and will, hopefully, be available for display and distribution at your Field Day literature tables. The revised document is now in the hands of folks in Newington for their blessings. Many thanks to Scott for patiently re-formatting the document each, and every, time a new version came to him, with nary a complaint hearable in central Ohio.

Speaking of Field Day, plans are to once again ask Governor Kasich to sign a Field Day proclamation, so keep that in mind as you plan for local Field Day publicity. We will let you know when the Proclamation is signed. I hear he’s a little busy right now.

Also, keep in mind that other governmental bodies, like county commissioners and city councils, sometimes adopt resolutions of recognition or proclamation as well. Consider asking them to follow the lead of Ohio’s Governors and recognize the importance of Field Day by way of a publicly-adopted proclamation as part of your club’s publicity efforts.

73, Nick, K8NAP



2016 Scholarship Information

The Foundation for Amateur Radio, Inc., will be administering a total of 46 scholarships, worth an aggregate of $71,000 for the coming 2016/2017 academic year. The scholarships range in value from $500 to $5,000 each.

All applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

*Hold a valid US or foreign amateur radio license,

*Be enrolled, or have been accepted for enrollment, at an accredited university, college or technical school.

*Applicants who attend a school located outside of the United States must provide a brochure describing the school.

A complete list of the scholarships being offered may be found at:  2016 Far Scholarship List

Note that you do not apply for specific scholarships. Instead your application will be considered for all of the scholarships for which you are qualified.

In order to be considered for the Chichester and QCWA scholarships, applicants must obtain the appropriate recommendations. Instructions for obtaining those recommendations may be found in the form, itself. These 16 scholarships are worth $23,500 in aggregate.

The 2016 FAR Scholarship application form may be accessed at:  2016 FAR Scholarship Application

If you have questions about the scholarship process, please email them to:  farscholarships@gmail.com.

Instructions for the form

The form is self-explanatory. Note that many of the questions are required. The form will not let you proceed until you have answered those questions. Please provide as much information as possible for each of the essay questions. You may work on your answers in an external program, such as Word, and then paste the answers into the form.

When you click on ‘Submit’ to send the application, you will find a link that allows you to go back and edit the form later. PLEASE COPY THIS LINK AND SAVE IT!

Applications must be submitted by April 15. You may edit the form up until May 7. We realize that some schools do not announce acceptances until May 1, so we are giving you time to update your application in order to enter that information

Your application form data goes directly into an encrypted, password protected PDF file that is available only to the review committee. Your raw input data is not stored on-line.


Scott Hixon, KC8ITN – Assistant Section Manager - Scouting

With the cold and snow we’re experiencing here during mid February, It’s hard to believe that on January 31st I was wearing short pants and a short-sleeved shirt!

Even though it’s cold enough outside that we’re keeping the brass monkeys indoors, scouts are still in the camping mood. No matter what the weathers like, we like to be outside whenever possible.

Over the next few months, there are four radio scouting events listed on the K2BSA website’s calendar. These events are located around the U.S. and range from one-day events to a 6-day long event. Here is a list of the events and dates:  February 27, 2016- K2BSA/7 “Freeze till it Hertz” Green River, WY;   March 10-13, 2016- K2BSA/4 “Campout 100” Covington, GA;    April 9, 2016- K2BSA/8 Radio and Electronics Merit Badge Oberlin, OH;    May 26-31, 2016- “Mt. Baden-Powell” Glendora, GA.

Whenever a Radio Scouting event is being put on, the operators are always looking for someone for the scouts to talk to. This is your time to step up and get back to the basics of our hobby…making contacts and helping to get others interested in amateur radio!

Even though it’s winter right now, it is never too early to start thinking about setting up at a summer camp near you. Summer camps run weekly from mid-June thru late July. There are already some hams in Huron County that will be setting up at a summer camp near Wakeman, Ohio. They will be operating the callsign K2BSA/8 on June 16, 23 and July 7, 14, and 21. They are in the BSA Heart of Ohio Council. This group deserves a BIG round of applause for making the commitment to help the next generation of potential hams!

Scouts are known for “Helping other people at all times”. If it’s helping someone across the street, doing service projects for different organizations or helping their community in times of need (sound familiar, ARES?), scouts are always ready for service. Let’s say “Thanks” by being there for them! Set something up at a summer camp, weekend campout or even a demonstration at a weekly meeting and show the scouts what amateur radio is about.

We all like a little “friendly” competition. I’ve got one for you. This will be open to everyone in the Ohio Section. If you are an individual, a ham club or an ARES/RACES group and you set up ham radio at scouting events, keep track of your hours. The individual or group with the most hours accumulated at the end of 2016 will be the winner and receive an award! You will also get the bragging rights and the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from giving back to an organization that has given so much over the last 106 years. This would also be a good time to operate your portable station and make sure it still works in case you would ever need it during an emergency (ahem…ARES??).

So get your radio, antenna and portable power source and hit the woods (or at least a meeting room). Keep track of your hours and let’s see who can be “King of the Campouts”!

Feel free to contact me if you have and questions or concerns. Also, if you have a radio scouting event coming up and would like it publicized, let me know and I can add it to a future article.

Until next time: Take care, be careful, and make a difference is someone’s life!

73, Scott Hixon, KC8ITN


Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,
Late Breaking NEWS..  There’s now less than 33 days left until spring arrives!!  Think about it, that’s just a freckle over a month!  It appears that we’ve gotten over the hump and we can now look forward to 90 degree temperatures with 100 percent humidity days once again. Now, just before spring actually arrives, we get to set those clocks back one hour. Yes, Daylight Saving Time begins on March 13th this year. That’s just one week before the official arrival of spring on March 20th.. Now I wouldn’t want any of you to be behind, so that’s why I’m reminding you now of these two important dates..  

February has been a month for visiting.. I’ve been really busy attending meetings and a few hamfests.. It seems like some weeks I’m on the road almost every night. I love it. For those of you who don’t know, the Ohio Section of the ARRL is the largest Section in the country. It’s even bigger than a Division or two. So, with that in mind, it’s only fair to say that Ohio also deserves to have a full time Section Manager. One that can freely travel all over the state visiting with, and representing YOU. So, don’t be surprised when I just “pop-in” at your meeting or function. I really do like traveling and visiting with all of you at your hamfests, club meetings, picnics and especially breakfasts. It’s fantastic!  

Now, switching bands to another subject..

Last month our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Stan reported that the ARES program has a goal of seeing that all of its ARES members have been trained and certified in ICS-100, 200, 700 & 800 by the end of June, 2016. Is this a big leap? Yes, but it is not without its reasons. (ICS stands for Incident Command System)

Let me explain some things to you in order for you to better understand “why now..??”

Stan and I belong to the Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO). Belonging to this organization allows us much greater access to network with the various Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Directors here in Ohio, in a setting that non-members just don’t have. As we’ve observed, each of the EMA Directors seem to have their own requirements for what they expect in their volunteers, as far as certificated training is concerned. Some want a lot, and some don’t really have much in requirements at all. However, that being said, here are some thoughts that I want all of you to consider about why we want this training now.

1.    Just because you start out in a particular county for a disaster doesn’t mean that you’ll end there. I’ve been to many scenes where I’ve been moved for one reason or another to many different locations, and counties. So, where you started from ain’t necessarily where you’re going to finish up at

2.   If you get nothing more than what all of the acronyms mean out of these classes, at least when someone tells you to go to the “JIC” you’ll know what it means and not look dumbfounded (a JIC is a Joint Information Center)

3.   As in number 1, if you end up in another county where more training is required, you’ll at least have it for that EMA Director’s requirements

4.   Your particular EMA Director may not have applied for a grant, or gotten into a situation where the ICS requirements have hit him yet, and thus they haven’t seen where they need to have these requirements for their volunteers. But, I’ll bet if you asked any of them if they would accept your certificates, they’d have a great big smile on their face and would agree to keep them on file

Now, I’ve heard that we may lose a few operators because of this added requirement. I sure hope that’s not true. Like you, I believe very strongly in our Ohio ARES program, I find it hard to understand how anyone that spent so much time studying for their Amateur Radio license can’t seem to find the time to spend on this, if they want to be an active part of our Ohio ARES. Yes, it’s really that important. Just like learning Ohm’s Law and some basic algebra that you were forced to learn to get your license, this is really no different. You are being asked to learn some basic rules of operation in order for you to be an effective part of the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The ARRL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) back in 2014 during the ARRL Centennial Celebration. This was when we made it clear to FEMA that we wanted to play in THEIR sandbox. As such, we need to understand that since we are in their sandbox, we need to follow their rules. They want us to have this training in order for us to be of more help to them. It is offered for FREE, and let’s face it, it can be very useful information when everyone else is panicking.

I will add this.. At this time not everyone’s current EMA Director may require this extra training, but please bear in mind that this EMA Director may not always be the one in charge either. If the emergency gets big enough the state or even the federal folks WILL get involved. If you don’t already have the training, you stand a pretty good chance that you’ll be told that you are of no use to them...  And I’m here to tell ya’ that this HAS already happened in another part of the country!

Now let’s switch bands..

***CLUB LEADERSHIP.. Please, don’t just blow over this portion.. You need to make sure that your club is involved with youth groups. Make sure that you have a contact with the local Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts as well as a teacher or teachers from the middle schools involved with your club.. Don’t forget, the youth of today will be taking over this great “hobby” of ours, but not without your support and willingness to bring them along. These kids are out there, YOU just need to take the first step forward and approach them on it.

Club Presidents.. Are you passing along that vital information that needs to go to your successor??  Put a paragraph or two into your by-laws that state ALL club records are to be reviewed at least once each year, and definitely when a new president takes over. This will help not only the president, but the club members as well.

Are you getting those emails from me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. Heck, just send me an email 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, get signed up for one of these options. You can always “Opt-Out” at any time if you feel this is not what you were expecting. 

Let’s shift bands once again..

Let’s talk about the Ohio Section Website.. You can find the Ohio Section Website at: 
http://arrl-ohio.org  If you don’t have this website set as your home page, I urge you to do so.

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!!

Ohio's Speaker Bureau.. Need a speaker for your club meeting? I’m available. Please, feel free to give me a call. I’ll do my very best to be at your function.

Switching bands once again.. HEY, there’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website? This question is really important for me to know.. I’m asking if you use Facebook or Twitter. I really want to know if you are using either of these Social Media outlets so I can better communicate with all of you. It only asks this one question and it will take all of about 2 seconds for you to answer it, and you can see how your answer stacks up with others instantly. If you haven’t done it yet, please do.. I really want to hear from you.

Are you a member of the ARRL?? If you aren’t a League member, this is a great opportunity to become one. 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@arrl.org  I’ll be happy to call or write to you. We can even have coffee if you’d like.. and I’ll buy!!

Switching Bands once more.. Do you check-in on any of the nets in Ohio? We have a lot of them you know. Nets are where you get training and the discipline needed when emergencies happen. Now if your local area doesn’t have a net, you can always check in on one of the HF nets. There are a number of them around. OSSBN, BNE, BNL and so forth. Each one of these nets brings something different to the table for learning. Don’t be shy about checking in. Believe this or not, you’ll actually have FUN doing it!!

One last spin of the dial..

Well, I’m getting ready to go QRT.. Just one last thought before I do..  Stan, N8BHL and I continue working very hard at getting Amateur Radio to the forefront with the EMA Directors around the state. We are both members of the Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO).  We have also been very active with the Ohio Homeland Security / Ohio Department of Public Safety, by belonging and attending the Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3) meetings and conferences as well. And, we are both active members in the 

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) here in Ohio. We both are state credentialed and are able to credential others within our group when needed. This will be a very big plus when a disaster does occur. The Ohio Section has a presence like never before with our state agencies, and we are working very hard at making that presence grow and prosper for all of YOU.

Don’t be surprised when I show up at a meeting you’re at!!

73, Scott, N8SY


John Perone, W8RXX

The hard working Ohio OO's monitored a total of 1206 hours during January, 2016. They sent out 2 Good Operator Cards & 3 - OO cards for FCC part 97 violations.

I wish to thank all of the Ohio OO's for their support of this important ARRL program.

73, John, W8RXX



Hey Gang, 

Don't forget on Sunday, March 13 you need to move your clocks ahead 1 hour for Daylight Saving Time.. 

I'll be sure to remind you again when it gets closer.. 


WEBSITE STATS – ** arrl-ohio.org **

January 2016

Pages          Hits            Bandwidth
111,392    516,977         2.07 GB


03/13/2016 | Lost Hour Special Event Station
Mar 13, 0000Z-0600Z, W8BAP, Chillicothe, OH.
Scioto Valley Radio Club . 28.445 14.250 7.250 3.860.
Certificate. Jim Boyce, 604 W 5th St , Chillicothe, OH 45601.
This the 5th annual special event station celebrating the start of
Daylight savings time. Certificate with SASE.

03/20/2016 | Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club 6th Anniversary
Mar 20, 0200Z-1000Z, W8WRC, New Springfield, OH.
Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club. 14.310 7.170.
QSL. Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club,
2050 East South Range Rd,
New Springfield, OH 44443.



02/21/2016 | Mansfield Mid Winter Hamfest  <<NEW DATE
Location: Mansfield, OH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: InterCity Amateur Radio Club

03/06/2016 | NOARS Winter Hamfest
Location: Elyria, OH
Sponsor: Northern Ohio Amateur Radio Society (NOARS)

03/20/2016 | TMRA Hamfest and Computer Fair
Location: Perrysburg, OH
Sponsor: Toledo Mobile Radio Association

03/26/2016 | MOVARC HAMFEST
Location: Gallipolis, OH
Sponsor: Mid-Ohio Valley Amateur Radio Club