Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Edition of the Ohio Section Journal..

In this issue:




















Something new is happening on this subject..  Tom Sly, WB8LCD is collecting information on club meetings. If you've had an interesting presentation at a club meeting in the last 12 months, please send an email to Tom.  He would like to know:  1) The topic or the name of the presentation, 2) the name and call sign of the presenter, 3) the name and location of the club, 4) do clubs usually have interesting presentations (Y/N), 5) has your club ever had a presentation done over Skype or some other internet service?

Tom stresses that he would like this information from all club members - not just club officers!  You can email Tom at:   wb8lcd@portcars.org. All responses will be confidential.  This will greatly help Tom with a project he's working on for the benefit of clubs in the Ohio Section.


Jeff Kopcak - TC

Hey Gang,

It's been a busy month for yours truly.  Things got started off with a drive down to Columbus with my dad N8ETP.  We visited the Columbus Radio Enthusiasts Society (CRES) on February 16th.  It was touch-and-go for a while due to the weather.  Snow hit both areas the night before and hoped it would hold off for the meeting.  It did.  We made it there and back, no problem.  It was our first meeting in Columbus and we couldn't have had a better time.  I was contacted by Steve – N8WL to troubleshoot an RFI issue he was experiencing.  We got to talking and he invited me to come down and speak about, well, myself --what the Technical Coordinator does and projects I’ve worked on.  The presentation consisted of: my history in Ham Radio and how I got to where I am, laid out the ARRL and Field Services
structures, section level positions and the Ohio Section, my responsibilities as Technical Coordinator, and projects I've worked on.  In addition gave some pointers for troubleshooting RFI problems.  Our Section Manager was on hand and helped answer specific questions about the section.  It was an informative meeting.  CRES: http://www.w8zpf.net/, presentation: http://www.k8jtk.org/2016/02/16/about-the-arrl-ohio-section-technical-coordinator/

The following weekend I presented at the Mansfield Hamfest during the Digital Forum.  Danny – W8DLB, who is in charge of the Hamfest, was at my NBEMS training session in Medina County and asked me to present it during the Digital Forum.  The Digital Forum covered voice and text based digital modes.  Duane -K8MDA demonstrated FreeDV.  FreeDV is a mode used on HF for voice communication.  It's impressive because the bandwidth is about one-third of sideband!  I gave a portion of my training session on Narrow Band Emergency Messaging using Fldigi.

At the LEARA meeting in Cleveland, I showed the video for the Navassa Island K1N DXpedition which happened in February of last year.  A DXpedition is an expedition to a remote location, usually uninhabited, for the purposes of activating the location and making as many contacts as possible.  Navassa was my first time trying to chase a “most wanted” entity for my log.  I was able to log them twice.  Bob Allphin – K4UEE has participated in many DXpeditions and has released the story of many on DVD.  I had no idea what it took to put on a DXpedition of that magnitude.  After seeing his DVD on Navassa, I now have a better idea.  It is a phenomenal video that got rave reviews and comments at the meeting.  The main video runs about 45 minutes.  The wrap-up from the Dayton forum is included which has some great background details.  These are great for club meetings, introducing newcomers to Ham Radio, and gifts.  Purchasing the video helps supports future DXpeditions and supports other hams: http://t-rexsoftware.com/k4uee/dvds.htm
Last, and certainly not least, Ken – KG8DN instructor at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio has been in charge of the Gilmour Academy Radio Club – ND8GA for as long as I've known him.  During the school year, organizations are in charge of running Convocation for a week.  This is a gathering of the entire school for announcements, happenings, events, and entertainment.  Ken asked me to speak at Convocation one morning.  This was a different type of presentation than I was expecting.  I figured I would be there to talk-up Ham Radio and get kids interested.  Nope.  It was more about life experiences with a little Ham Radio sprinkled in.  Things students could relate to.   I have to be honest this was more challenging than I anticipated.  A lot of time was spent searching for topics that students would care about, relate to, and how those experiences got me to where I am now.  There was a visual portion which included many pictures from my high school years.  When looking back on friends and people I shared those experiences with, it make me wish I was back in that time.  I’m sure I’ll feel the same way when I look back on today.  The presentation turned out great and I have to thank Ken for all of his help.  ND8GA: https://sites.google.com/a/gilmour.org/gilmour-amateur-radio-club/

Thank you to everyone for coming to my various appearances and the organizers for asking me to speak with your organizations.

I received an email from a fellow Trustee of LEARA, Marv – W8AZO, asking if I had seen my name mentioned in a post on a website.  I had not.  What website did he find my name on?  The IEEE website.  Now, I know the fine folks over at IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) are wicked smart.  Much smarter than I am.  They come up with solutions to technical problems which usually turn into established standards.  Additionally, they publish one-third of the world’s technical literature.  Why the heck would they be talking about me?  Stephen Cass - KB1WNR, Senior Editor for the IEEE Spectrum magazine wrote an article titled “Hands on: A Ham Radio for Makers.”  He built an FM transceiver using an RS-UV3 transceiver board and Raspberry Pi to take advantage of digital modes.  I was mentioned because Stephen used the instructions I posted to compile and run Fldigi on the Raspberry Pi.  Super cool!  I emailed Stephen and thanked him for the plug.  He was very appreciative of the well written instructions.  His article may have glossed over some
important points relevant to hams but the goal of the article was to draw others in from the wider community.  The article will be in the March printed edition of IEEE Spectrum and should be available by the time you read this.  It hasn’t hit the shelves in my local bookstore yet.  Online
version: http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/hands-on-a-ham-radio-for-makers

That is what ham radio and makers are all about.  I wanted to figure out how to run Fldigi on the Raspberry Pi, came up with a way to do it, documented it thoroughly, and shared it online.  Stephen came across my instructions and used them as part of his project to create something greater; perpetuating the cycle.

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


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone,

Add caption
Well, spring is here; at least by the Calendar. As I'm writing this, the temps have been a lot less winter like. The rains have begun washing the roads off. Camping season can't be far behind.

Field Day - So how is your Field Day planning coming along? Most clubs have already begun their planning for this event. Please don’t forget to post your location on the ARRL’s Field day Station locator (www.arrl.org/field-day-locator).

Have a look at the two new bonus categories. You get 100 points each for promoting your operation via Social Media, and for having a Safety Officer. You can download the 2016 field Day Packet at www.arrl.org/field-day.
Elmering - What does your club do to Elmer new (or more seasoned) Hams? There's lots of clubs in the Ohio Section who do a terrific job of this.  Some of the more successful clubs conduct Elmering opportunities outside of meeting night. My personal belief is that there are some subjects that can't be covered well in a 30 - 45 minute program on meeting night.

So what's the answer? How about doing a Saturday Morning Session on topics such as LOTW, antenna building, etc.? Here's an idea; How about a Saturday program on Activating a park for NPOTA? Make it a hands-on session culminating in an actual on the air activation session? After all, Most of Ohio is within an hours drive of some National Park service Unit.
Speaking of NPOTA (You didn't think I'd make it through the whole column without mentioning NPOTA, did you?), check out the new NPOTA Column in this issue of the Section Journal. There’s something huge happening during Hamvention week!

In a little over a month, the NVIS Antenna Day is coming up. Lots of practical experience can be had, as well as friendships made. You can read more about the NVIS Antenna Day at http://www.arrl-ohio.org/SEC/default.html

Remember, just because something is old hat to you, it isn’t necessarily so for everyone.

Next, Lisbon ARC, and the Southeastern Amateur Radio Net are our two newest affiliated clubs. I’d like to welcome them aboard.

Speaking of affiliated clubs, here’s a request for all you club officers. Please take a moment, and check your information on the ARRL website. Is it up to date? If not, it just takes a moment to do. It needs to be updated at least once a year to ensure that your club remains in the active column at the league.

The league considers clubs to be affiliated for life. They can, however, move a club to the inactive column, if enough time elapses without updates. This can cause problems if you apply for ARRL sanctioning for a hamfest. Something else that is tied to your affiliation is your ARRL sponsored Equipment, and Liability insurance policies.

If you have any questions on where you stand, please drop me an e-mail (mailto:kd8mq1@gmail.com).

That’s it for another month. 

We’ll see you in April. 73, DE KD8MQ


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC


Welcome to a new column for the Ohio Section Journal. I'm John, KD8MQ. For the past several weeks, I've been doing a weekly NPOTA column in the Monday Morning Message. It was suggested by a reader that I might want to consider doing a Monthly NPOTA column in the Section Journal.  So, here we are. Frankly, my biggest concern was whether I'd be able to find enough relevant information to fill a monthly column. But, given the popularity of the event, I doubt that will be an issue. 

Dayton On The Air - Would you like to join in the fun of activating, but don't want to haul your station out to a remote location? Or, perhaps you'll be in Dayton for the Hamvention, and would like to activate some local NPS Units? Well, then read on.

During the Dayton Hamvention (May 20-22), the ARRL will be setting up two stations at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park (HP11). Per the Park Service, they do not want any activators out at the airfield. So, we’ll be setting up two stations at the Wright Cycle Company on south Williams St. You’ll be able to stop by, and make your 10 contacts (Perhaps more), and get your activator credit. The stations will be active during Hamvention hours. There will be more information in next month’s Section journal.

Facebook - I’d like to begin by giving a shout out to the Facebook NPOTA group. I know Facebook isn't everyone's cup of Tea, and that's OK. But, if you are on Facebook, check out the discussions at the National Parks On The Air Group. Sean, KX9X & Norm, W3IZ are moderators for this online Family.

Twitter -  I'll be the first to admit that I am not a Twitter Expert. But since there are more NPOTA spots being passed there lately, I’ve been trying to become more active on Twitter. According to the NPOTA Social Media Page, You should tag your tweets with   #ARRL , #ARRL_NPOTA, #HamRadioInParks and #NPS. If you have room, it wouldn’t hurt to include a link to the NPOTA website, as well.

NPOTA Box Scores Released - The ARRL National Parks On The Air Event seems to be getting more & more popular on a daily basis. According to the February Box scores which were just posted, there been 1569 valid activations in the first two months of the year. 311 NPS sites have been activated. There have been over 136,000 QSOs uploaded to LOTW under the NPOTA Event.

Not so surprising is the makeup of those 136,000 QSOs. 88.43% Phone, 10.32% CW, 1.25% Data, and 0.004% Image. Of course, the NPOTA program recognizes only one contact per park, regardless of band, or mode. But, one of the things I love about this program is that it’s nudging people out of their comfort zones. Just a few weeks ago, I saw traffic on the Facebook group concerning a planned EME operation from a National Park Unit. Another poster was taking his tech exam, just so he could participate in NPOTA!

The box scores also have a lot of other great info for those planning further activations. You can download it from the NPOTA Docs page at http://www.arrl.org/npota-docs

Leader Board - Looking at the Leader Board at npota.arrl.org, we see that W8RF has risen to the top of the Ohio chaser rankings with 207 confirmations. Mike displaces Walt, WT8E who has occupied the top spot since back in January.

Dave, N4YHC is currently at the top of the activator rankings in Ohio with 10 activations showing as of March 10.

North Country Scenic Trail (TR04) - Those who subscribe to the Monday Morning Message will recognize this one. I feel that it's important enough to re-post here.

This may be old news for you, but, the map posted at northcountrytrail.org for the North Coast Scenic Trail (NCST - TR04) is misleading. In respect to the Ohio section of the trail, the map gives the impression that the NCST follows the whole of the Buckeye Trail (BT) throughout Ohio.

In reality, only the portions of the BT in the western, southern, and southeastern sections of the state host the NCST. The NCST does NOT run with the Northern & Northeastern sections of the BT.

This is backed up by the written description of the trail found at northcountrytrail.org/trail/states/ohio/, as well as the book "Follow the Blue Blazes: A Guide to Hiking Ohio's Buckeye Trail", by Connie Pond and Robert J. Pond. In a nutshell, the two trails diverge near Zoar, and the NCST continues east from there.

One last thing; let’s remember our tech’s out there. If you are able, check 10 meters regularly during your activations. Don’t forget VHF/UHF simplex. Most of us have that capability in the mobile anyway, so let’s use it.

Remember, whether you are activating, chasing, or just being a spectator, you are our ambassadors out there.

So, let's leave a good impression!

Till next month, good hunting!  DE KD8MQ


Stan Broadway, N8BHL

State ARES Conference
We have decided to move the Ohio ARES Conference to fall, this year. There are several reasons. First, there is just a ton of stuff going on- RNC in Cleveland, NAACP Conference in Cincinnati, District level training for EC’s, District level training for all ARES members, VHF contest, NVIS Day and more. I just don’t feel right in taking even more of your time for a conference. Fall, probably September, seems like a much better time for us all to meet, so there you have it! I appreciate your flexibility.

April 23—be there or be square!  I hope you’re studying and even beginning to build your NVIS antenna systems for this year’s big day!  We’ll have a complete set of rules and guidelines on the arrl-ohio.org website very soon!  It’s going to be great!  (And I’ve put in an order for a better, rain-free day!)

Perk Up!
Take a look at volunteer organizations around you. Some are vibrant, active, and the people are busy but they love it. Others are shrinking, slow to react, and the people are…well…kind of tired of it. There’s a disease that affects volunteers no matter the noble purpose of their groups. It is called lethargy.

In amateur radio, either ARES or a club, you can count on the 80/20 rule: 20% of the people do 80% of the work. And it’s easy to get burned out or lethargic. You’ve probably seen the meeting: a half dozen of the ‘old guys’ file into the room, talk about what they did to fix the ailing repeater over the past month, then pretty much wander back home.  How do we stop this?  How do we get the folks who’ve been doing this longer than some others have been alive, to perk back up?  More vitamins? Probably wouldn’t hurt, but not the answer.

The answer is an interesting opposite to what you might think. The way you get the members back, and even build something that other hams want to get involved with, is to DO STUFF!  That’s right- the more active a group becomes, the more interested its members tend to be. ARES is all about being a resource during a real emergency. How do we get ready, and how do we stay ready?  We train. Serious, meaningful training.  What happens if we’re activated to help search for a missing person? What happens if there’s a flood? What really goes on inside that EOC, and who are the players?  How do I work one of those MARCS radios? How is our county’s communications divided? 

You’ve heard me say we don’t live in an area where things hit the fan…we don’t do wildfires, don’t have hurricanes, earthquakes are rare, floods are usually very localized.  That’s true, but take a look at the safety agencies. THEY have the same issues- stuff just doesn’t happen a lot around here. But they realize the need to stay ready! They train, they practice just as if the next call will set everything off. WE need to be the same way- trained, practiced and ready.  If you’re in leadership and don’t feel qualified to provide that training, don’t fret. Nobody expects you to be a wizard! The secret to good management is not to know all the answers, but to know the people who DO!  Find someone on a department who can take you through these topics and more! They’ll be happy to do that. Face-time and getting to know each other and your capabilities will join together to make life really interesting and worthwhile in the ARES world. You’ll see over a period of months that your attendance will grow and people will come back!

Another aspect of being ready and trained is being able to show somebody you’re qualified. Thus, the requirement for the four FEMA classes. We’re watching Cleveland daily, as plans are finalized for the RNC this summer. Yes, amateur radio and ARES are a part- not only directly in Cleveland but with other agencies on the outskirts who are planning to be ready for anything. We are finding out that there are actually two more classes that are of interest for those in that area: IC-701 and IC-706.  These involve using volunteer organizations and mutual aid. They’re interesting, but not on our ‘required’ list yet.

There’s a shiny new MOU with the Red Cross. The Cross is finding that its internal systems aren’t flexible or large enough to handle their expanding areas- so they’re returning to ARES and amateur radio. We’re glad to be there to help!  Check with your local chapter, and take a look at the MOU. It is not yet posted on the ARRL site. 

73, Stan, N8BHL


John Ross, KD8IDJ

2016 Newsletter Contest Entries

If my computer was a slot machine it would be spitting out newsletters!

Just three months to go before the June 30th deadline for the 2016 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest. Every day I’m getting at least a half dozen newsletters and I couldn’t be happier! It means our clubs are continuing to crank out the news and the spirit of completion is alive and well. What I’m reading and what I’m seeing looks great and I know the judges will again have to burn the midnight oil to pick the winners.

Remember, you need at least two submissions for the contest but just to make sure…send me all you have…so you don’t miss out.

Just to be safe, here are the rules again. They are also at the end of this month’s column. Call if you have questions and THANKS for what you’ve sent so far.

Good Luck to everyone!

Here are the rules for the 2016 entries:

A.) An eligible newsletter must be regularly published at least four (4) times per year by an Ohio Amateur Radio organization. The Ohio Section Journal and the newsletter for any club that the current PIC is affiliated with are not eligible.

B.) Each organization submitting a newsletter for the contest must enter at least two (2) issues starting with January 2016 for judging. All Amateur organizations that have regularly been sending newsletters to the Ohio PIC are automatically entered (as long as these publications qualify under rule A, or C if applicable). Unless you are automatically entered, the deadline for entries is Thursday, June 30, 2016, and all entries must be in the hands of the Ohio PIC by that date.

C.) Electronic (Web based) produced newsletters may also enter. Non-amateurs, in the Public Relations industry will do the judging. They will be judging on style (15%), content (35%), service to membership (35%), and clarity of presentation (15%). Style means newsletter design of all pages. Content means amount of useful information contained in the newsletter. Service to members means amount of information using individual members' names. Clarity of presentation means readability of the newsletter including accuracy of English grammar.

D.) No entries can be returned and all decisions of the judges on content and eligibility are final. The Ohio PIC only serves to certify entries, to provide the judges with entries, and to announce their decisions only.

E.) The decision of the judges is final.

Like last year we are keeping our Honorable Mention categories. It allows the judges to award special and unique efforts.

Severe Weather Training

I attended our Severe Weather Training here is Columbus a few days ago…and I’m always glad I did.

Even though we routinely participate in alerts during the year it never hurts to go over the scenarios to help jog our memories. The National Weather Service presentations are great and usually come with a rough outline of what we can expect this season.

Another reason to attend to is see just how many other hams attend and to see how many folks would like to be amateur radio operators. I talked to several potential  hams and pointed them to the ARRL web site and to our local clubs. If you aren’t already, let me suggest that your local club has at least literature and contract information at these training sessions. It’s a natural place to recruit new operators and the benefits to the severe weather watches will be valuable.

Social media notifications are constantly changing and increasing. It’s good to know who, or what, is reporting watches and warnings so we can be sure we have the correct information. Most of the new amateur radios today have NOAA alert capability and, if you’re like me, you monitor your local repeater when the skies look “not normal”.

Hopefully, the Spring and Summer weather will be like this past winter…mild!

The Pound Sign #

You never know what you’re going to dig up when you ask or research a simple question…like what does the # sign really mean!

Boy, did I get an education and maybe even busted a few myths of my own. What I thought was just a simple “pound” sign has a history of its own.

Butchers, as far back as the Roman Empire used the pound # sign to actually indicate the weight of meat and other goods. Some would-be-butchers today prefer to use their thumb to indicate a pound!! The Chinese have a similar symbol…but it means you get a free fortune cookie…or something like that. Today, most answering machines use the pound # sign to retrieve messages.

As a young journalist I was taught the # sign was to be used three times at the end of a typewritten story…# # #. I used it a lot in journalism school and so did most the world. All of the stories that came across the teletypes of the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) ended with # # #. In fact, you could tell just by listening to the chug and grind of the teletype machine when a story  was complete. The machine grunted a distinct noise and rhythm as the three pound signs were printed out. On occasion, when I got to type directly to the AP, the style manual required that I end every story in an approved manner…# # #.

As an “old” journalist I often ended my news releases with the 3 pound sign moniker. As a ham radio operator I know I often used the three pound signs…right after 73!

Today the pound sign is called HASHTAG. It’s the driver for millions of social media messages and I’m not sure I even know when all of that started and how. I still feel that whoever invented the internet stole the pound sign from legit journalists and are using it incorrectly to communicate a bunch of meaningless garbage. Maybe it’s just me!

So tonight I’m going to fire up my three old teletype machines and wait for the familiar grunt to see if anyone still likes the old way of doing things. I have a sinking feeling my cell phone, I-Pad and computer will be HASHTAGGING while I’m waiting.

That’s all for this month.

73, John, KD8IDJ


David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM

This month I thought I would do like the Antique Roadshow does and do a feedback loop. As many of you know I have been sending radiogram to new ham radio operators. Here are some of the feedback emails I have received from other hams in the NTS and radiogram recipients..

Last night during a howling lake effect whiteout blizzard, on a two track camp trail resembling, more a tunnel than a road, using a tiny little hand held radio, I made and received my very first contact as KE8DCJ. K8ED called my callsign out during the KRCA ARES net check-in (I hope I have that right.) and told net control (W9GY) that he had traffic for me! (KE8DCJ) I was totally shocked, and nearly paralyzed, as I had no idea anyone knew who I was. In fact, K8ED had to call my callsign twice because I had never heard it spoken before.

K8ED asked me to copy a message that originated from WA3EZN, you! Sadly, I was ill prepared, on that bush trail, to copy much more than this..."The fun of new things is yours..." Still this was a very exciting message. It was demonstrated to me, the power and utility of the little radio I had just been licensed to use. Your message was a fitting reward for all the weeks of study I put in to pass my exam. A message sent from Ohio, to a man in Bloomfield Hills MI, and relayed 700 miles north, ultimately heard in the darkness of a swirling blizzard. Fine Business!

Hi David,

Thank you for your interest in delivering messages to Georgia. Our local forwarding digital system seems to be broken in the Georgia Section. A local amateur has handled the digital forwarding system for several years now, but it seems that recently he has become inactive. I believe that he over stepped his ability and has burned out. I'm not sure if he will return to full operations or not. I am looking into it as we speak.

In the meantime the best way to deliver messages to Georgia is the old fashioned CW and NTS traffic nets. Several Georgia stations are active on the conventional evening National Traffic System (NTS) nets including myself. I am usually active on the CW nets five or six nights a week on Georgia Section and on the Fourth Region Net (4RN). I am net control for 4RN on Sunday. My suggestion is to forward your messages to an operator in Ohio who works the NTS and can bring the traffic to the Eastern Area Net or 4RN. The traffic will arrive in Georgia on a timely basis and will be handled as best we can.

Good luck with your Section Traffic Managers job. I look forward to hearing from you and receiving your traffic.

Chas K4GK
Section Traffic Manager - Georgia

Just letting you know that radiogram 38 was received by postal mail. Thank you. I've joined ARRL because they seem to have a lot of helpful material. I am so new, and so green to this all I have is a few handhelds and an external antenna for it. Maybe someday I'll figure out what frequencies to listen to and actually make a first contact.

I responded to this last email with some help and helpful links. You never know what will happen when you send your radiogram or contact a new ham.

You can be a part of this by checking into a VHF traffic net or the Ohio Single Sideband Net (OSSBN). If you have HF privileges you can find the OSSBN on the frequency 3972.5 three times a day, at 10:30 AM, 4:15 PM and at 6:45 PM local times. Check out the OSSBN on the air or on their website http://www.ossbn.org/. There is lots of information and some very good links to be found there.

An issue that keeps lifting up its head with questions is sending traffic to parties outside of the United States. This information below is from the ARRL website and hopefully will answer all questions. So before sending that radiograms to a foreign country you should go the their website http://www.arrl.org/ and check it out.
International Third-Party Traffic -- Proceed With Caution

Occasionally, DX stations may ask you to pass a third-party message to a friend or relative in the States. This is all right as long as the US has signed an official third-party traffic agreement with that particular country, or the third party is a licensed amateur. The traffic must be noncommercial and of a personal, unimportant nature. During an emergency, the US State Department will often work out a special temporary agreement with the country involved. But in normal times, never handle traffic without first making sure it is legally permitted.
US Amateurs May Handle Third-Party Traffic With:

Comoros (Federal Islamic Republic of)
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Gambia, The
4X, 4Z
Marshall Islands
Micronesia, Federated States of
Pitcairn Island*
St. Kitts/Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Sierra Leone
South Africa
United Kingdom
ITU - Geneva
VIC - Vienna

* Since 1970, there has been an informal agreement between the United Kingdom and the US, permitting Pitcairn and US amateurs to exchange messages concerning medical emergencies, urgent need for equipment or supplies, and private or personal matters of island residents.

US licensed amateurs may operate in the US territories under their FCC license.

Please note that the Region 2 Division of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has recommended that international traffic on the 20 and 15-meter bands be conducted on the following frequencies:
14.100-14.150 MHz
14.250-14.350 MHz
21.150-21.200 MHz
21.300-21.450 MHz

The IARU is the alliance of Amateur Radio societies from around the world; Region 2 comprises member-societies in North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.

Note: At the end of an exchange of third-party traffic with a station located in a foreign country, an FCC-licensed amateur must transmit the call sign of the foreign station as well as his own call sign.

If you still need information of weather spotter training here is the link for more information: http://www.weather.gov/iln/spottertrainingschedule

This reminder from Dennis W8YS. Say “I spell” before you spell a group (word). This is done for clarity and to minimize possible confusion.

From the ARRL NTS Methods and Practices Guidelines - I SPELL

Used to indicate you are going back to spell the group just voiced. It is used with ONE GROUP AT A TIME, and is said IMMEDIATELY after voicing the group, followed by either phonetic or letter spelling of the group. (Pausing too long before saying “I spell” will force the receiving operator to attempt to spell the group before you do.) When the group is spelled, go on to the next group without repeating the spelled group.


Some are saying a word and then just spelling it. That can be confusing. Some are saying a word and then saying “that’s” and spelling it.

“That’s” is not an ARRL NTS introductory word. The proper ARRL NTS introductory words are “I spell”.

All ARL numbers are to be spelled phonetically. All phonetics used on NTS nets are to be the standard ARRL NTS phonetics.

Every small improvement on delivery and procedures that each of us follows just makes us more efficient and credible as a net. It makes the National Traffic System more efficient and credible with less errors and shorter delivery time from originator to addressee. 

Dennis W8YS

Amateur radio is a hobby. Traffic handling is a commitment.

"No matter how big and powerful government gets, and the many services it provides, it can never take the place of volunteers." - Ronald Reagan

Until next time remember without training you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

73, David, WA3EZN


Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager (SE)

In February, I attended the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) club meetings as well as the Guernsey County ARES meeting.  CARA held its election of officers for 2016 officers.  Sonny Alfman, W8FHF, decided not to run for President after serving in that position most of the last 20 years.  They have a new president, vice president, and secretary.  All of other officers remained the same.  The new officers take the reins at the March meeting.  The Muskingum Valley Ham Radio Club has opted to meet every other month this year, so there was no meeting this month.  I did not attend the Zanesville Amateur Radio Club meeting because I was ill.

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 Affiliated Club Coordinator 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 attended the Mid-Winter Hamfest in Mansfield.  At first I didn’t recognize the Richland County Fairgrounds, but then I realized that was the first time I ever saw them without ice and snow! 

I mentioned last month that the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association had published a book documenting its first 100 years.  The book is entitled: A Century of Radio: Cambridge Amateur Radio Association 1913-2013, and is available by accessing the link on the home page of the www.w8vp.org website.

March has arrived, and ahhhh...there are hints of spring in the air. My daffodils are blooming, and buds are starting to form on my forsythia and lilac bushes.  By the time you read this, Daylight Savings Time will have returned.  And last but not least, Spring brings us more hamfests in South East Ohio:

March 26--Mid-Ohio Valley Amateur Radio Club, Gallipolis
April 2--Portsmouth Hamfest, Portsmouth
April 9—Cuyahoga Falls Hamfest, Cuyahoga Falls
April 23—Jackson County Hamfest, Jackson, Ohio (new location)
April 24—Athens Hamfest, Athens

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 in Grove City) on August 6.

’73 Lyn, N8IMW  
Remember to be Radio Active!


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

After reading about my RF woes in last month’s OSJ, ARRL Technical Specialist, Dennis Moriarty, (K8AGB) contacted me to see if I still needed help in resolving the issue.  His timing couldn’t have been better.  W8WTD and I were stumped and welcomed all the help we could get!  He gave us some suggestions which we will be trying as the weather breaks. Thanks Dennis. You certainly exemplify the outstanding service ARRL field appointees provide to hams in their sections.

I made an interesting discovery after having reinstalled Log book of the World (TQSL) program on the same computer I had used for the original installation. With an “invalid certificate” message, the program left no doubt in my mind that it did not know me. I thought that the “tq6” file I had gotten from ARRL would surely get me up and running. No such luck! Was I really going to have to start from the beginning again, waiting for the card from ARRL with my new password?  Fortunately, not!  My backup file (.tbk) which was on my thumb drive bailed me out!! After restoring the file, TQSL and I have become reacquainted and I am again back to logging contacts.  Moral of the story – the time you take now to make a .tbk file and store it somewhere other than your hard drive, will save you from week(s) of downtime later!  If you are not sure how to do this, visit https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/backuprestore/

73, Kitty, W8TDA


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

Good afternoon to all.  The major event for me this past month, and I am sure many of you, was Mansfield.  I had an opportunity to help out at the ARRL table and really enjoyed seeing old friends that stopped by.  I did have a chance to roam through the crowd and check out the vendors.  I also like to stop and chat with many.  If you have time to attend a regional Hamfest I encourage you to do it.  The vendors and flea market sellers are a great source of information and sometimes a quick story.

I believe the crowd and sellers may have been down a bit this year but that did not deter the enthusiasm.  I saw many more smiles than frowns.  The next regional is Athens.  WX permitting I plan to attend either as an ARRL rep or selling in the flea market, the shack is in need of spring cleaning.

I hope to see many of you then.

73, Fritz, WD8E


Anthony Luscre, K8ZT

Summer Opportunity for Teachers- Radio Technology in the Classroom..

If you are a K-12 teacher and/or know a teacher that might be interested, the ARRL has released the dates and application for 2016 Teacher Academy. (Please forward this to any interested teachers you might know) ARRL

Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology-
As part of our educational outreach to schools through our Education & Technology Program, each summer the ARRL offers multiple sessions of the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, all expenses paid professional development seminar, in locations through the U.S. The Teachers Institute has provided teachers from elementary school to the university level with tools and strategies to introduce basic electronics, the science of radio, space technology and satellite communications, as well as weather science, introduction to microcontrollers and basic robotics in their classrooms. The curriculum is designed for motivated teachers and other school staff who want to learn more about wireless technology and bring that knowledge to their students.

Here is a link to a PDF of a short brochure I have put together with a little better description of the program. The application process has opened and here is a link to the Teachers Institutes application. Application deadline is May 1, 2016 If you or any teachers you know have questions, please feel free to contact me".

Recently I did a presentation for a local radio club- "Now that I Have My Amateur Radio License, What’s Next?"

Here is a link to the slideshow- http://tiny.cc/hamitup.
After you look through the slideshow you may be asking yourself "how can I use this with my local club." Fortunately I have three methods:

1 - Feel free to do a presentation yourself using my slideshow (feel free to share, but make sure you keep my name and email on slideshow)

2 - I, as do many of the Ohio Section cabinet members, love to present at local club meetings (we have a wide variety of topics).

3 - Something new- If you can have a live Internet connection, a computer and projector (or big screen TV) at your club meeting, I can arrange to do the session live via a Google Hangout*

* Google Hangouts do not require any special equipment, allow near real-time (usually 30 second delay) two-way video and audio, can accommodate multiple simultaneous connections with all connections able to participate. In addition the session can be automatically recorded, stored on Youtube and made available to members that cannot attend your local meeting that night.


Print an Official or Unofficial Copy of Your Amateur Radio License

As of February 17, 2015 the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS). The FCC will continue to provide paper license documents to all licensees who notify the Commission that they prefer to receive one. Licensees also will be able to print out an official authorization — as well as an unofficial “reference copy” — from the ULS License Manager.

You can request an “official” printed copy of your license* by contacting the FCC Support via the web- https://esupport.fcc.gov/onlinerequest.htm, telephone (877) 480-3201 or mail (Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554 to request paper licenses.

To print an “official” reference copy of your license* under the new procedures, a new license applicant who already has an FCC Registration Number (FRN) and provides a valid e-mail address under “Applicant Information” in the ULS will receive an official ULS-generated electronic authorization via e-mail. New license applicants lacking an FRN will receive in the mail an FRN and a temporary password to access the Commission Registration System (CORES).copy of your license.

*Ohio drivers with Amateur Radio Car License Plates will need one of these two above forms to process your request to renew or get new plates.

To print an unofficial reference copy from the FCC

Enter your callsign and then press “Search” button.

Select the correct record and click on callsign

Click “Printable Page”

Use your printer to print page (warning, it is not very official looking)

To create a little more “official looking” but definitely unofficial copy you can
Use AE7Q, Dean Gibson's Amateur Radio Tools- http://ae7q.com/misc/Generate.php.

Enter your information

Choose Colors & Fonts

Click “Generate” button

This will create two documents (actually on same page)

A “wall” certificate

A “wallet” copy

Use one of K8ZT’s Google Doc pages and some fancy certificate paper from your favorite office supply store

Choose version

Laser (black print only)- tiny.cc/fcc-bw

Color Printer (multi-color)- tiny.cc/fcc-color

When file opens, click on the top menu and select “File” then “Make a copy...” this will give you your own personal copy with full edit rights

Edit information by entering your call sign, name, address, etc.

Print on Certificate paper

I like to have one of these to post anytime I am doing a radio event in the public, such as the NPOTA, it remarkable how an unofficial document will look to a park or other official as opposed to the truly official online copy of your license

73, Anthony, K8ZT



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 Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,

Late Breaking NEWS..  There’s now less than 4 days left until spring arrives, March 19th for us in the northern hemisphere!!  We’ve beaten old man winter and gotten over the hump! Now we can look forward to 90+ degree temperatures with 100 percent humidity days once again, yuck.. (and some say I’m not an optimist!!)   

I’ve been really busy attending meetings and hamfests. As you may 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!  

Speaking of Hamfests.. It’s only 2 months until the biggie at Dayton. The Ohio Section Cabinet has already been busy making preparations for our booth there. Yes, if you didn’t know the Ohio Section is the only Section in the nation that has its own booth within the ARRL area at Dayton. Now for some really big news..  We have also been asked to man a National Parks on the Air station during the Hamvention as well.. Take a look at the article National Parks on the Air above.. We are working on the details right now, but what I can tell you for sure is that we are going to need some help. Please, if you can give just an hour or two to volunteer with this it would be great! We really need folks to staff the station. You don’t have to be an expert or anything like that, just have a friendly face and willingness to help others for an hour or so. All of the equipment is being provided by the League, so you know that it’s going to be first class stuff all the way.. It’s going to be a lot of fun for sure and I’m sure that it’s also an event that is going to get a lot of exposure with the press as well.. How’s about it.. Got an hour or so on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to help out?? (Daytime hours only) We’d sure love to have ya’.. Contact John Myers, KD8MQ at  kd8mq1@gmail.com for more details on this fantastic adventure!!

Now, switching bands to another subject..

As I said earlier, I’ve been busy visiting with a lot of you and I have heard a lot of PROs and CONs about Ohio’s 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. For those of you who really aren’t seeing the reason for this I want you to take just 10 minutes of your time and read an article that was published in the March edition of QST. It’s by Rick Palm, K1CE. Now for those of you who don’t get QST, I have this article reprinted on our website  http://arrl-ohio.org/QST.pdf   it is with permission of the ARRL so there’s no copyright problems. I am also producing a handout for all who is interested that I will be giving out at hamfests and club meetings. I think Rick’s views will help you better understand the in’s and outs to all of this, and why this is so very important to YOU. I do want to assure you that even if you still decide not to go through with completing these courses,  there will still be things that you can do, just not as many of them, and probably the most import item to remember, you most likely will not be asked to participate in any activity within the FEMA organization. But,  there are other things, like bike races, parades and the like that won’t require this extra training.

Now let’s switch bands..

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..!! Looking at the results so far entered in the latest question poll it looks like you really want this drawing to continue. 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!!

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!!

One last spin of the dial..

Well, I think that’s going to do it for me this month.. I have lots of meetings and hamfests to attend
these next few months, as well as representing YOU at the Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3) meetings, the Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO) and let’s not forget the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) here in Ohio. 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.

Oh, and don’t be too surprised when I show up at a meeting you’re at!!

73, Scott, N8SY



John Perone, W8RXX

The Ohio OO's put in a total of 849 hours if February.

They sent out 1 Good Operator card & 3 OO reminder cards that something was amiss...

73, John, W8RXX


WEBSITE STATS – ** arrl-ohio.org **

February 2016

Pages          Hits            Bandwidth
110,138      546,426        2.05 GB



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.


The Second Annual Ohio 2 Meter FM Simplex Squares Contest

Mark your calendars and reserve the last full weekend in April to participate in a fun and exciting 2 Meter Contest that offers both awards and prizes of value.

The contest web site, www.cfarc.org/contest.php  has all the details including rules, a grid square overview, antenna construction plans, winning tips, the current list of prizes, FAQs, and more. Look it over and if you still have any unanswered questions, e-mail o2mfmss@cfarc.org

04/23/2016 | 4th Annual Celebration of Earth Day
1400Z-2000Z, W8PRC, Cleveland, OH. Parma Radio Club.
14.250 7.200.
QSL. Parma Radio Club
7811 Dogwood Ln, Cleveland, OH 44130.
Our 4th annual Earth Day event to remind everyone of the fragility
of our planet and it's valuable resources. We will be operating entirely
of energy from the sun. www.parmaradioclub.com

04/23/2016 | Ohio ARES NVIS Antenna Day
1000Z-1800Z, Varies, Marion, OH. Ohio ARES.
7.244 7.240 3.910 3.850.
Certificate. Marion County OH ARES
c/o W8MRN, 655 Richland Rd, Marion, OH 43302.
A day to compare and test NVIS antennas with anchor stations
located around Ohio. No contest scores, but we compile
documentation of which NVIS antenna worked the best for you.
Not limited to any frequencies, make as many contacts with other
stations in Ohio and surrounding states as possible to test your
antenna ideas! This year's sponsor: Marion County ARES.

04/23/2016 | Portage County (Ohio) ARS 10 Year ARRL Affiliation
1500Z-0100Z, K8BF, Ravenna, OH.
Portage County Amateur Radio Service.
28.310 14.310 7.210 3.810.
Tom Parkinson, KB8UUZ,
9992 State Route 700, Mantua, OH 44255.

Send QSL card with large SASE for certificate. www.portcars.org



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

04/02/2016 | Portsmouth Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Portsmouth, OH
Sponsor: Portsmouth Radio Club

04/09/2016 | Cuyahoga Falls ARC's 62nd Annual Hamfest
Location: Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sponsor: Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club

04/23/2016 | Jackson County ARC Hamfest
Location: Jackson, OH
Sponsor: Jackson County Amateur Radio Club

04/24/2016 | Athens Hamfest
Location: Athens, OH
Sponsor: Athens County Amateur Radio Association