Monday, August 15, 2016

August Edition of the Ohio Section Journal

In this issue:





















The Allan Severson Memorial Award is bestowed on an amateur radio operator in the Ohio Section who has demonstrated a continuing dedication to the advancement of amateur radio and to the Ohio Section. Usually one Ohio Section member is awarded per year and usually at the Ohio Section Conference in September.

The award had been established in 1992 and was named "Ohio Ham of the Year" until 1999. That year it was renamed after Allan, of Lakewood, Ohio, who had become a silent key in 1997. The award winners listed here are all hams who, like Allan Severson, have dedicated themselves to the advancement of the American Radio Relay League in Ohio.

Although Allan had served the Section as Section Manager and went on to a distinguished career as Great Lakes Division Director on the ARRL National Board of Directors, the annual award announcement only mentions one sentence about him which is part of every memorial award certificate. That sentence quickly demonstrates the reason for the renaming of this award. "Allan's devotion to serve amateur radio inspired a whole generation of Ohio Section leadership."

The award this year goes to none other than..

John Myers, KD8MQ

Congratulations John..!!


Jeff Kopcak - TC

Hey gang,

As I’m beginning this month’s article some nasty storms just ripped through Cleveland on the 11th.  There were branches, trees, wires, power lines down, and road closures on the west side due to those hazards, including my QTH of Westlake.  Luckily I’ve heard of no injuries.  If you’re not part of the NWS Skywarn program, please consider joining as a spotter.  Skywarn is a volunteer program that helps the local National Weather Service office know what’s happening on the ground and assists in warning people about dangerous weather conditions.  Training typically happens in the early spring for spotters.  Check with your local club or Skywarn organization.

The Republican Nation Convention went off without major incident in Cleveland.  I was working from home and had the scanner on most of that week.  Three major trunked radio systems were utilized: MARCS, the new MARCS-IP (Multi-Agency Radio Communications System), and GCRCN (Greater Cleveland Radio Communications Network).  If you didn’t set a wildcard or use UniTrunker to watch those systems, you probably missed a lot of the event communications.  There were about 12 primary talk groups on GCRCN where most of the action took place.  These were previously unidentified so they were not in any lists or databases that use Radio Reference.  A wildcard stops on any talk group whereas programming specific talk groups into the scanner will only stop on transmissions for those talk groups.  The “old” MARCS system was shut down immediately following the convention as it was kept online largely for backup.  It has been replaced by the MARCS-IP system.

This month we learned the sad news of Hara Arena’s closing.  No more Hamvention at Hara Arena after 52 years.  The Dayton Amateur Radio Association put into action their contingency plans.  It was announced that Hamvention will still be in the Dayton area.  The new location is The Greene County Fair and Expo Center located in Xenia, Ohio.  Michael Kalter and Ron Cramer talked about the new location on Ham Nation for about 30 minutes in episode 259.  Couple of links worth visiting:

-Why we are saddened by the loss of the Hara Arena:
-Hamvention Announces Venue for 2017:
-Ham Nation episode 259:, or YouTube link:

One of our Technical Specialists, David KD8TWG, has been involved with setting up a DMR repeater in Cleveland.  The frequency is 442.0875 (+5 MHz standard offset) using Color Code 1.  The repeater is connected to the K4USD cBridge (  On that website is a listing of the “standard configuration” for repeaters connected to the bridge.   Right now, your code plug should follow the layout listed on the site.  A cBridge is a feature that allows interconnecting of repeaters over the Internet and a Color Code is equivalent to a PL tone or DCS on analog repeaters.

When I picked up my DMR radio at Dayton, I found a code plug that had repeaters in Dayton and Columbus for the drive home.  It was a nice opportunity to quickly get on the air with DMR but I kept threating myself to write my own.  With the installation of the repeater in Cleveland, I took the opportunity to do just that.  What is a “code plug?”  Some history I found online notes the origins came from wire plugs, later jumpers, which were plugged into the radio to enable certain options or features. Since everything is now processor based, the term continues to stick with the radio world and is a fancy word for ‘radio configuration.’  It contains transmit/receive frequencies, tone selections, timeout values, IDs, configuration settings, etc.  I used the one I found in Dayton as a reference.  There is also a sample one on K4USD’s site for my radio.  I compared the two and designed mine the way I thought worked best.  Just because someone designed a code plug one way doesn’t mean you can’t modify or do it differently.  It’s analogous to one ham’s memory channels are not the same as another.  In the end, it took about 3 hours to make mine!  Keep in mind that was a lot of learning and comparing, in addition I programmed all 65 possible talk groups so I don’t have to add them in later.  From discussions on the air indications are it took others a few hours as well.  But my code plug works!  I couldn’t be happier.  Well OK I could, apparently I’m just far enough away that my 5 watts doesn’t quite make the trip.  I took the radio to work and tested it from there.
I am writing an introductory series for the Wood County Amateur Radio Club on getting started in digital modes.  The first few articles were for those who have never worked digital and want to upgrade their station.  Remaining articles will focus on a specific mode.  I’ve completed 3 so far (starting in February): an introduction, station setup, and working JT65/9.  Published versions can be found at the club’s website in the CQ Chatter newsletter:  As I point out in the second article, Technician class licensees can still participate.  All of these sound card digital modes can be operated over FM simplex or even a net on a repeater using an HT!  There are clear downsides like not being able to transmit as far as an HF station and occupying the full 10 to 15 kHz FM, even though the bandwidth of the audio generated by the computer is less. Yes, this defeats the purpose of narrow bandwidth modes. Someone wanting to learn and experiment with these modes may get bitten by the bug and lead to a license upgrade.  That’s how I did it.  I plan to write an article every 2-3 months.

My dad and I had the opportunity to join the Toledo Mobile Radio Association (TMRA) on August
10.  They had Chris Wilson N0CSW, National Sales Manager for Yaesu talk about their System Fusion.  Chris did make it clear that the company was paying for travel so there would be some ‘sales pitches.’  The presentation was short but the program ended up being driven by the audience with a lengthy question and answer session.  Some things I learned: the DR-2X repeater announced at Dayton is not going to be a replacement for the DR-1X, though they may have improved on some shortcomings.  The 2X is more of a full featured repeater.  It will have the ability to operate dual receive and dual transmit (but not at the same time) creating two repeaters from one unit.  They are including voice messaging (like club meeting announcements).  Mailboxes were users can record messages for others.  This reminds me of the mailboxes repeaters used to have when autopatches were more prevalent.  The 2X can monitor a separate control channel for commands.  This repeater will not support WiresX but will have “MSRL” (Multi-Site Repeater Linking) via an add-on Ethernet port.  Their linking technology will allow the repeater to be linked over any IP based network, including mesh.  This brought to mind an interesting use-case where multiple low profile/portable repeaters could be linked at sites with mesh such as air ports, hospitals, and Red Cross shelters.  This would create a linked repeater system where not as many users would have to setup cross-banding or run to the other end of a hospital to reach a radio.  In contrast, something similar can be done using the AllStar Linking system.  At the meeting there was alot of: “I would like this feature/I don't like this feature in the radio,” “we’re having this problem setting up the repeater to do X” kind of Q&A.  My take away from that, their plan is to add features to radios by firmware update and not always release new radios.

In addition to all the work David KD8TWG has been doing to get DMR up and running in Cleveland, he’s been helping repair and upgrade analog repeaters, and setting up APRS IGates around town.  He will be giving a presentation on APRS at the Lake Erie Amateur Radio Association’s club meeting on August 30th.  Dinner starts at 6:30pm with the meeting at 7:30, don’t need to have dinner to attend the presentation.  Haven’t seen an official announcement on location yet but it’s expected to be at the Play Arcade in Mayfield Hts (5900 Mayfield Rd, Mayfield Heights, OH).  Check the LEARA website for updates and for dinner reservations:
I will be giving my introductory Raspberry Pi presentation at the Cuyahoga Amateur Radio Society meeting, September 13 at 7:30pm.  It will be updated as there is new hardware and innovations available.  Their meeting location is the Busch Funeral Home, 7501 Ridge Rd, Parma, Ohio.  More:

Thanks for reading and 73… de Jeff – K8JTK

John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone, as you can tell from reading Scott’s column above, it’s been a wild month here. I’m definitely going to need to clear some wall space in the shack. But, for now it’s back to work.

Your club affiliation must be renewed yearly. You do this by updating your club record at If there are no changes to be made to your record, just log in to your record, then click on submit. This resets the clock on your club record, and you are good for another year.

However, if you are a Special Service Club, your status needs to be renewed every other year. At this time, your SSC status does not run concurrent with your club affiliation. We are working to streamline this process, though. Unfortunately, at this time, the only way to check your SSC expiration date is to contact your Section Manager, myself, or the league.

Around the end of July, I sent out the latest wave of reminders for clubs to update their club records. Using the e-mail addresses on file with the league, I received only one bounced e-mail. That is great in comparison to the first time I did this, almost two years ago.

It’s been a bit over two years since I became the Ohio ACC. It might be a good time to take a look back.  It took me a few months to settle in, and get my bearings, but you were patient, and I appreciate that. I started keeping statistics at the end of 2014, so let’s see where we were.

As of December 29, 2014, there were 96 ARRL affiliated clubs in the Ohio section. Of those 96 clubs, only 9 of them were current Special service Clubs.

As of July 31st, 2016, we have 106 clubs; 26 of them are current Special service Clubs. Can we do better? Sure! We have a few clubs that still need to update their club records, and special service club forms. I’ll be contacting you personally over the next couple months to see if I can help out.

So, Scott, N8SY spoke at my home club last week, and quoted some interesting numbers concerning the Ohio Section. Using his info as a starting point, I downloaded some numbers from the league database. Here are the results of that research.

There are almost 2400 ARRL affiliated Amateur Radio clubs nationwide. Only 162, or 7% of these are Special service Clubs.

Now, let’s look at the Ohio section, with 106 clubs; 26 of them SSCs, for a total of 25%. I’d say we are a bit above average. But, let’s think about that for a second. Only 162 Special Service Clubs in the entire country and 26 of those are in Ohio. Lastly, at 106 clubs, the Ohio section is larger than two entire divisions. We have a lot to be proud of in the Ohio section.

So, by now you’ve heard that the Dayton Hamvention is moving to Xenia. There’s been plenty of doom & gloom on the web, but personally, I applaud the Dayton ARA for having a contingency plan in place. I’m excited to attend Hamvention 2017, and am looking forward to the old friends I’ll see, and the new one’s I’ll make in May of 2017. Do I think all will come off without a hitch? Naw, there will be challenges, but they will be overcome. I submit that Hamvention is not as much about the venue, but rather the friends, and relationships we’ve made (and will make) there.

Don’t forget if your club is making plans to operate the Ohio QSO Party this month, or next month’s Ohio State Parks On The Air event, head on out, and lend a hand. Get involved!

And with that, I’ll say 73 until next month.



John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone, we are in the dog days of summer for sure. There’s nothing like kicking back in the air conditioned shack and working a few new parks.  Or.  .  .  How about if we say “the heck with the weather”, and head out for some new adventures as an activator? There’s still a lot of time left to get involved in the fun, either as a chaser, or an activator.

Well, the NPS centennial week is almost upon us. Again, if you are working with any NPS locations for a activation between the 20th, and the 27th, please get in touch with Sean, KX9X at League HQ. He is tracking them, and will likely give you some PR on Social Media to boot. Also, don’t forget to take pictures of your activations. Posting them to the Facebook would be great for the rest of us to enjoy.

Speaking about Facebook, maybe it isn’t your cup of Tea, but the Facebook NPOTA group is now over 4000 strong, and is a great place to get your fix of breaking NPOTA news. That’s right; all the NPOTA news that is news usually breaks on the group first.

Add to that the cast of characters that frequent the group make it well worth the time spent checking in.

For instance, we have Emily, KB3VVE who decided to learn CW because of conversations in the group. I won’t give the story away here, since you can read all about it on page 77 of the September issue of QST.

Another local Facebook group member worth mentioning is Jeff, KE8BKP. I first met him at this year’s Mansfield Hamfest. Jeff was pretty excited about NPOTA. A day does not go by that Jeff is not posting spots to the Facebook group. According to the Stats page (, Jeff has over 370 NPS units worked, and is number 6 on the leader board in Ohio (#72 overall).

And lastly this month, let’s give a shout to Bob Voss, N4CD. An avid County hunter, Bob edits the County Hunter News. Residing at the #2 spot overall, he currently has NPOTA activations to his credit (This number will increase once he returns home from his current trip to the NE US).

So, if you are on Facebook, check out the ARRL National Parks On The Air group. I bet you’ll be glad you did.

As of the morning of August 14th, the number of contacts listed are just shy of 563,000. This is from a bit more than 9900 activations. It looks like we may break the 10,000 activation point in the next few days.

A big thank you goes out to all the activators out there. Thanks for all you do, and stay safe!

John, KD8MQ


Stan Broadway, N8BHL

Important notice:  The Ohio ARES Annual Conference will be held September 24, 2016 at the Marion Technical College (co-located with OSU Marion).   We’ll talk in detail about RNC activities, we have some top-notch training on HIPAA that you can take back, and we’ll talk about how you can keep your ARES team active and growing!   Check out

for meeting registration online, and more information!  This is a very important event - we have a great, larger, facility and we need YOU to attend! (Akron/Summit is excused, you have a small group of people who want to run – Akron Marathon.)

I hope to see you there- and we’re going to make sure there is information worth your trip!

The ARES activity meter was pegged last month. ARES not only completed a “once-in-a-career” series of events, but completed them with glowing reports from the agencies we served. Actually, we had completed my goals before the events really started: ARES was recognized and invited to play at the highest levels of government.  We were on the team with top Secret Service, Homeland Security and other agencies all on “active duty” for a National Special Security Event, the highest level event to be managed.  The reasons amateur radio was brought onto the team were important:

* We could verify our qualifications through FEMA certificates for our operators
* We demonstrated the ability to plan, cultivate and organize our  resources
* We had positive relationships with county and state HS/EMA directors and agencies
* We formed even closer relationships once active with our agencies- showing amateur radio to be creative technical advisors

The first weekend kicked off with a party in Toledo for 100,000 to watch the Toledo Air Show. While spectators were looking up, officials were looking at monitors to watch the cameras set up by ARES. Using MESH technology, amateur radio provided for advanced security monitoring of the entry gates. Because ARES was involved in preplanning meetings, EC Brenda Krukowski, KB8IUP, and her team including ADEC Steve Ashenfelter, N8XFS, were able to demonstrate the potential of MESH video.

“You can do that?” became an often-heard response from our agencies.

DEC Brent Stover, WD9PNZ, said it for all of us:
In an after action telephone conference with the Hospital Council of NW Ohio, they were extremely impressed with the professionalism and expertise of all the amateur radio personnel they interacted with. The Hospital Branch Director commented the “ARES people were incredibly organized”.

A special thank you to Lucas County EC, Brenda Krukowski KB8IUP for attending all the meetings in the months prior to the Air Show and setting in place the organization needed to accomplish all that was asked of LCARES. Also a special thanks goes out to ADEC, Steve Ashenfelter, N8XSF for his extraordinary accomplishment of putting together an amateur radio MESH network in just a couple weeks with no equipment to a working video network at his own expense. The hospital command was extremely impressed with this capability and want to see it expanded in the future.

Again, a hearty thanks to all the operators that helped out and volunteered their time. As the days and weeks go by we will learn more from the different agencies that participated in the form of after action reports on what went right and what things could be improved upon and I will put together a report on the amateur radio side on what we can learn from such a large event. So far, it looks like the Toledo Air Show will return in 2 years.

** Cincinnati **
Beginning Thursday evening with a Reds game, the NAACP national convention launched its session in Cincinnati.  EC Bryan Hoffman, KC8EGV, used his excellent rapport with the ROC (Regional Operations Center) personnel to keep amateur radio on their planning sheets. The well-appointed amateur station was kept in service throughout the event, maintaining contact with “The Sarge” at the Ohio EOC-DJF.

Due to our prominent location adjacent to the ROC lobby, we were able to make frequent contact with EMA related staff from many local agencies. This gave us an opportunity to ‘show and tell’ to administrators as they entered and left the building without getting in the way of EOC operations. If the incident required the assigned NCOs to become very busy, the door could have been closed to prevent these interruptions. However, the time was available and was taken advantage of.

While the ROC Radio Room was active no formal net was activated. However, other operators allowed us to conduct business as needed without interruption. The cooperation of the people who regularly use the repeaters and DMR TGs was outstanding.

OH-KY-IN ARS, club owner of local repeaters used, was notified that the repeaters may need to be used for directed nets during this period.

A WebEOC Board was created by the EMA and a positon log was maintained by the HCARES EC and NCOs.

Additionally, we were able to conduct tests over this extended period using DMR digital radio between The Sarge and ROC. This proved to be very successful.

Anson Turley, Assistant Fire Chief and Emergency Manager for Cincinnati wrote:

“Throughout the event, Hamilton County ARES volunteers, let by emergency Coordinator Bryan Hoffman, were on hand to provide communications assistance amongst all partners at the local and state level.
With the high-profile and very large RNC event also in our state, it is gratifying to know that Ohio ARES was able to provide our community with valuable assistance in support of our local event. Thank you again for the services of ARES, specifically that of our local ARES volunteers. We look forward to working with you all in the future.”

** Cleveland **
And then there was a little gathering in Cleveland. EC Matt Nickoson, KC8NZJ, and DEC Eric Jessen, N8AUC, started meeting with agencies nearly a year prior to the event. These meetings included the highest management of Homeland Security, and planned for ~every~ possible outcome.  Because ARES had the four basic FEMA certificates in hand, we were recognized as part of the team. Those who were granted admission to the Cuyahoga County EOC during the event actually had to take three additional courses (701, 704, 802).  The amateur station was located right in the back of the EOC, and operators were alerted a few days prior to RNC that the center would be active 24-7 during the event. That brought some scrambling for more personnel.  Hourly roll calls were initiated by Cuyahoga County’s station with surrounding counties, the Red Cross in Cleveland and Akron, and The Sarge.

Walter Topp, Administrator of Cuyahoga County HS/EMA wrote:
As the first National Special Security Event (NSSE) ever conducted in Ohio, the 2016 RNC was a new experience for all members of the Greater Cleveland public safety community. Throughout the planning phase and during the actual event, ARES members distinguished themselves by their thoroughness, professionalism and their unrelenting dedication.

As a coordinating agency, the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management relies completely upon the expertise and assistance of the many public safety and emergency management agencies throughout the region. The Cuyahoga County Amateur Radio Emergency Service has demonstrated time and again an overarching commitment to public safety and public service.

** Akron **
It was scary to even think about the mission of Red Cross during RNC, but there it was. Months prior, Jim Sage called me to ask for amateur assistance. Red Cross was tasked with setting up one operational shelter, and having a large number on two-hour call around Akron- a likely evacuation point should Cleveland need to be ‘emptied out’ after some type of event. Red Cross set up a complete operations center at Akron, including satellite uplinks, the
communications truck from Columbus, and all functions of relief management. ARES EC Ken Dorsey, KA8OAD and DEC Dennis Conklin, AI8P, got deeply involved with such things as setting up temporary amateur stations and scheduling personnel. I am always proud to share this email from Jim Sage, who is way up the Red Cross disaster ladder, having served in Sandy and a number of world-status events.

This came before RNC even started: 
I am impressed and excited to work with Matt and Ken. They have, so far, demonstrated the best organization and willingness to work with Red Cross that I have seen in the past 20 years of disaster work. Looking forward to an exciting venture.

** Columbus **
We had a little problem at the Ohio Emergency Operation Center – Joint Dispatch Facility. It seems remodeling left the Sarge with NO STATION at all!  Our new radio room was not complete, and our station was on storage shelves.  I was able to bring “Canned Ham” to the rescue- and the EMA was gracious in providing an operation spot with power and our own satellite uplink for Internet/WebEOC access from the trailer. We were just outside, so we could walk into the EOC and check regularly. EMA communications directors were able to sit with us in the trailer, and we got some really great time and discussions with them.  We were able to check into the northeast Ohio area using the linked repeater in Mt. Vernon, 444.100. That allowed us to talk with Akron, Medina, and Cuyahoga counties easily.

Because it wasn’t a ‘communications emergency’ we were free to test other methods – having decided to operate solely on VHF/UHF links. (It would have been impossible to hold an HF frequency with ~no~ traffic being passed.)  We were able to use the RF links as our backbone but were also very successful in IRLP and Echolink comms to the north!  Thanks to Kevin Walsh, W8KHW, of Central Ohio Digital Interface Group (CODIG) we were able to work with a DMR radio not only with Cincinnati but with a successful test to Cleveland.  The bad news is DMR won’t pass fldigi messages. Even with that, there’s plenty of room in our “toolbox”.

What does it mean to me?
Chances are someone in your organization or general area was involved- even if it was to be on the long list of “stand by” operators who were ready for one phone call to move into the operation. Their time was just as important as those who travelled across several counties to be there. The key is we were able to gather a very large group of trained, ready ARES volunteers!  It should show you beyond a shadow of a doubt that ARES is able to play on the big teams, in the big events in Ohio!

Perhaps the best summary is from Grant Nichols, KC2RCU EC of Williams County, who drove to the area not once but several times.

The RNC was the experience of a lifetime.  Seeing ICS actually put to work using all of its possibilities to manage such a huge undertaking was something I will never forget..  I worked three 12 hour shifts in the EOC and one in the Dist One ARC EOC.  I'm exhausted!  12 hours for four days is really too much (my fault for scheduling myself that way).  You would not believe the accolades Amateur Radio received from the senior staff at the "Hot Wash" at District 1ARC yesterday afternoon.  They couldn't say enough about ham radio it's capabilities to support the ARC mission and the courtesy and professionalism of the Hams that tirelessly staffed the District 1 radio room from Sunday through 2300 hours last evening.  It also provided us an opportunity to tell them how our digital technology could make some of their jobs easier- digital messaging, APRS, shelter lists via FLMSG, pictures via SSTV or Fusion.  They assured me personally, that at least as far as District 1 and the NE Ohio ARC Region goes, amateur radio was going to be written into all their planning documents for the future.  When I said goodbye to the many friends I made in the Cuyahoga EOC yesterday, every agency representative shook my hand as they commented how impressed they were with Amateur Radios' role in the operation- from HHS, Cuyahoga Sheriff, the FBI, Coast Guard, National Guard, RTransit etc, etc.  it was truly humbling.  The last 6 days in Cleveland come on the heals of another spectacular display of Amateur Radio at the Toledo Air Show.  There are two key unsung heroes who organized the Ham radio deployment that can't be applauded enough- Brenda (Lucas County EC) and Matt Nickoson (Cuyahoga ARES) and their staffs.  They did an impeccable job of planning and organizing and were an absolute to joy to work with.  Although Brenda is a bit closer to Williams County, I would drop everything in a minute to go back to assist Matt in Cuyahoga.  I am proud to say I am an Amateur Radio Operator and a trained Ohio ARES member!

And I am so proud of everyone involved in making this a success! You all were excellent, you brought praise to ARES and most important you reflected amateur radio in general in the most positive way possible.  Countless hams worked tirelessly to make this happen, and I can’t thank you enough!

73, Stan, N8BHL


John Ross, KD8IDJ

2016 Newsletter Contest Post Script

Congratulations to all of the 2016 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest winners…and to every club that participated.

This is, I believe, the longest running newsletter contest…some 27 years! There are always great newsletters and the judging has always been difficult…and I would not want it any other way!

I know I’ve said this before but the newsletters are a good indication of just how knowledgeable and experienced our members are and how prepared they are to put amateur radio to use for any situation. It’s also an indication of just how active amateur radio is throughout Ohio and how the hobby continues to grow and change.

Again, congratulations to all…and here are this year’s winners:

1st Place
The Mike & Key...Greater Cincinnati Amateur Radio Association, INC.

2nd Place
The RADIOGRAM...Portage County Amateur Radio Service

3rd Place (TIE)
The Voice Coil...Mahoning Valley Amateur Radio Association

ATCO Newsletter...Amateur Television in Central Ohio

Honorable Mention (TIE)
CARA COMMUNICATOR...Cambridge Amateur Radio Association

The Spirit of '76 and '88...Lake Erie Amateur Radio Association

** OSSBN Waives American Flag **

Hats off to the Ohio Single Sideband Net group.

I sat in on their meeting at the Columbus Hamfest a couple of weeks ago.

They like to start their meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance…but no flag was available. One of the members did some fast thinking…grabbed his smart-phone and dialed up a picture of the American Flag! He held it proudly in the air and the pledge went on as scheduled!

Nice work guys! Finally a good use for digital phones!!!

** The RNC and Amateur Radio **

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland was an historic event for Amateur Radio and the Ohio Section. Stan Broadway and the ARES crew did a great job and the importance of what they other political convention had Amateur Radio participation! The RNC was "real" not a training exercise and opportunities like that don't come along too often. Congratulations to the whole crew for a tremendous display how Amateur Radio, working together with federal, state and local organizations, can help keep things safe and running smoothly. By the way, Stan's After Action Report make great reading.

** Columbus Hamfest and New Location **

The Columbus Hamfest was a great event this year at the new location...the Aladdin Shrine Center in Grove City. Attendance was up and the facilities were incredible. A large indoor area for the flea market and, alongside, a companion outdoor flea market. While I only bought a doughnut and sloppy joe, I did give some serious consideration to several pieces of boat anchor equipment!

The indoor facilities were just as nice. A great meeting room and rooms for testing.

Thanks to the Voice of Aladdin club for a great day. Already looking forward to next year.

That's  all for this month...73

John, KD8IDJ



David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM


One of the most enjoyable things that you as an Amateur Radio Operator can do is deliver good news to the general public, like birthday greetings, birth of grandchildren and so on. Delivering these messages to other active Amateurs is easy as you are speaking the same language to another ham.

The most important first step is making sure you copied the message accurately, requesting fills as needed and making sure the check in the preamble matches the number of words in the text.  Make sure you have the sending person’s name and phone number correctly.

To those who are new to message handling, delivering messages is one of the more important aspects of traffic handling since it is an interface between amateur radio and the general public and provides a chance of educating people on the public service ham radio provides. Messages to other hams also provide an opportunity to introduce message handling and traffic nets to those who may not be familiar with this aspect of our hobby. It is also fun meeting new people, sharing messages to them from family, friends and other hams around the country. In the case of delivery to other hams the chance to meet and talk with them about their interests in the hobby as well as yours. This is a skill however that improves and becomes more comfortable with practice.

You do however need to keep in mind that when you are dealing with the general public that has had little to no exposure to Amateur Radio, or our message handling system, it’s all different. Don’t try to explain how the NTS operates, unless they specifically ask. Most generally they don’t care and won’t ask anyway.

But, it also can be a very embarrassing moment too. If for example, you get a birthday greeting to deliver and call up the person thinking you’re going to be delivering great news to someone. Then you find out that the person you’re talking to is the widow of the person you want to deliver that good news to. This can be very hard for them (and you) to handle, especially if this is a person hurting. Your phone call is not one that they want to hear. They may even feel that you’re being very insensitive. So, to avoid this situation it’s advisable to do a quick check to be sure that the addressee is in fact alive.

How can you do that? There is a website that you can look up people from all over the country that have become Silent Key’s.  Unfortunately I have head that this website is not always being updated so other sources should always be checked.

You can also go to and enter the call.  If the ham is a silent key it may be shown there. To use this website and get the information you want you will have to log-in.  Creating an account is as simple as entering your call and creating a password.

You can also do a Google search by using the person’s name, town, state an the word obituary.  Something like this: Joe Ham Troy Ohio Obituary. This could bring up an obituary from a newspaper. You will have to check carefully that you have the right person.

These are good sources of information that can be counted on. But, like anything, don’t count on it too much. There just listings, and like every list that’s ever been produced it’s outdated as soon as it gets published.

Now to delivering the message. Your approach on how you contact the general public can also be important. Be careful when making calls to people that you don’t know. When you start to explain to those people about your Radiogram, please be sensitive to the fact that they may be confused as to why you are calling them.  You never know what sort of response you are going to get on the other end.   Be prepared!

Just how do you approach this? Simply explain to the person answering the phone that you are an Amateur Radio Operator and you have received a radio message for the individual you asked to speak with. It helps to tell them who the message is from especially if it is from a family member.

The response from the person answering will guide you as to how to proceed. Listen carefully. Be sympathetic and end the conversation quickly if it is revealed that the person is deceased, or if there is a bad situation (divorce, person left, etc..) don’t go into it any further. Apologize for disturbing the person and end the call quickly. If requested, service the message back to the sender explaining the situation.

If the person is just not available, then you have some choices. You can leave the message with the person answering, if they are agreeable, or you can ask when a better time to call would be. This last option may be met with some opposition since the individual may be concerned for safety reasons (remember, unless you know them, you are a stranger to them.)

So, be prepared to leave your phone number with them, so they can return your call.

If you get an answer machine leave your name and phone number and a brief explanation why you are calling and that you will call back. Some will call you back. If you don’t hear back try again another time. If after three tries you still get no response, send a service message to the originator.

When delivering a message you will only read the text and signature. Remember most people will not know about ARL numbered radiograms, so make sure you are prepared to read the corresponding text for the specific ARL number. (For a list of these texts see

Notice any handling instructions (HX’s in the preamble). If there is an HXC send originator a radiogram with date and time of delivery. If there is an HXE, attempt to get a reply to send back to the sender. An HXF followed by a number means hold message for delivery until that date. This is frequently used for birthday messages.

If a message is undeliverable send a service message back to the originator explaining the reason it was not delivered. If the phone number was incorrect, disconnected or not in service, you should include the number you called in the text of your service message since sometimes phone numbers received may have been garbled along the way.

Sound complicated? It really is not. The important thing is to relax and have fun, and know that you are getting practice in performing a public service.

But where do you get the messages to deliver? They come into your area on an HF or VHF traffic net.  The Ohio Single Sideband net is the Ohio statewide HF SSB traffic net.  There are VHF FM traffic net throughout Ohio that you can join to receive radiograms to deliver.  More information on this can be found at  and

Looking for information on message handling and net operation? Check this out.

There are resource document on the ARRL's website called "Methods and Practices Guidelines" or "MPG". It was compiled with the help of very experienced traffic handlers and contains many examples of the best operating practices. The MPG Table of Contents can be found at or search for PSCM (Public Service Communications Manual) Appendix B on

For phone numbers and SK info:
Here is a source of information to check for phone numbers and silent keys. This system is called CALLWIN from WB0TAQ at You need to update this database every Sunday (or Monday) to get the changes. Other resources are available.

Good for SK:, enter first name, last name, city and state

Good for phone number:, enter first name, last name, city and state

The following can be used to find phone numbers if people finder does not find it:

And the following is sometimes used to get silent key info:

David WA3EZN
Ohio Section Traffic Manager


Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager

Personally July was a trying month.  My computer documents and photo files were encrypted with “cerber ransomware.”  I want to thank CARA VP Nathan Roe, N8ROE, for helping me find a way to use my computer despite of the ransomware (unfortunately, he was unable to remove the encryption of my files).  So, I lost literally over a thousand files including those for W8VP’s Field Day that I had been working on.  Fortunately, most of the files were saved on flash drives or on my camera’s card.  So, I just started over and asked fellow club members for photos.  But I managed to get the W8VP Field Day information submitted on time.  Lesson learned was to backup my files onto my external hard drive more often.

I, unfortunately, lost two friends within a week and a half; one of which was a fellow club member: Jennie Owens, KD8QYV, who did everything she could to support the club.  She will be sorely missed.

On a good note, Sonny and I had a short-notice family reunion with six of the seven “kids” in attendance when his younger daughter came to visit from South Carolina. 

I attended two radio club meeting, one officers’ meeting, one ARES meeting, one parade committee meeting, and one Guernsey and Noble Long Term Recovery Committee meeting this month.  As for my various Public Information Officer duties, I put club notes, meeting announcements for the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, the Guernsey County ARES meeting, and the Long Term Recovery Committee meeting in the local paper and on the local radio stations and their respective web sites.

I am looking forward to attending the Ohio Section Conference in conjunction with the Columbus Hamfest at their new location in Grove City on August 6. 

’73 Lyn, N8IMW  

Remember to be Radio Active!


From: Kitty Hevener, W8TDA - Assistant Section Manager

After a wonderful vacation followed by some unexpected surgery, I’m finally back in the shack and getting caught up!  Two notable events during that time were field day and the beginning of Queen City Emergency Net’s (QCEN) celebration of its 75TH anniversary. 

Like you, I had a wonderful field day.  I operated CW from my home station until the weather began to cool down.  Then, I was off to OH-KY-IN for a fantastic feast, camaraderie and blissful brass pounding. Amidst those dulcet CW tones, I was busy swatting bugs and comforting my dog who was having issues with the distant sound of pre fourth of July fireworks.  After Field Day was over and the gear safely stored for another year, Nathan Ciufo, KA3MTT, talked about what it was like for him to operate with me.  He, like most people, was uncertain about how it would work.  See how things went from his perspective.

I have operated Field Day using CW close to 100% of the time for many years now.  The SSB ops have their way of getting us points, and CW ops have a different way.  I have my small pool of ops that I like operating with, while trying to Elmer new people if they show any interest in CW at all.   If Sunday afternoon came around and I was exhausted, it was a great Field Day.

Then came the year when they said, “Hey Nathan, we have another CW operator for you guys this year!   You may have to log for her - she’s blind.” 

My jaw dropped.  You can imagine the thoughts going through my mind.  I was nervous, worried, apprehensive, and just plain concerned.  I don’t know HOW to operate with a blind Amateur Radio operator!  They said, “Her name is Kitty, and her call is W8TDA.”

I cannot express how lucky I feel to have worked with her at Field Day for the past two years.  As soon as we sat down together, Kitty at the key, and myself at the computer, we both knew this was going to work out very well.  We were both able to operate comfortably around 25wpm, and neither of us needed pen and paper.  We quickly assembled pileups that seemed to have at least 10 stations sending CW at the same time.

This is where it gets interesting…
When the pileups ensued, I instantly got nervous and thought, “Are the wheels going to come off of this bus?  How do I operate pileups with a blind ham?”  We made it through the first pileup, and then the second, and the third.  We soon realized something really neat - BOTH of us were able to focus on the SAME frequency tone of CW, and we BOTH copied that same tone flawlessly.

You can imagine how seamless the CW operations went once we realized this!  If I’m not mistaken, I think the CW station ended up with approximately 750 contacts last year, and about 700 this year. 

The bottom line when it comes to operating with a ham who has a disability,– do NOT sell yourself or the other operator short!   You may be very pleasantly surprised, particularly if you’re operating a contest under less-than-optimum conditions!  Also, don’t just assume the operator at the other end of your QSO is sitting there with a pen, paper, or computer with multiple software windows open!  He or she may be sitting at a brail machine, watching a screen capture of audio, or using foot pedals to key the radio because of a handicap.  All these being said, I have realized the word “handicap” is simply another term for “gifted”, when it comes to the world of Amateur Radio!

Kitty proved to me just how important EVERY amateur radio operator is, and if you THINK any operator is “handicapped”, it just may be the one you see in the mirror!

Since the number of people with disabilities is increasing, chances are good that you will soon have an opportunity to work an event with a ham that has a disability.  When that time comes, I urge you to be like Nathan – be open minded. 

If you were around on July 1, 1941, do you remember where you were or what you were doing at 9:00 PM?  If you were a member of Queen City Emergency Net, (QCEN) perhaps you were checking in to the club’s first net with AM on 160 meters.  On the same date 75 years later, QCEN held a commemorative net with a couple twists.  A.M. gave way to Lower Sideband.  And, prior to this net, the club held a special session of its weekly net on the VHF/UHF linked repeater system with Echolink capability. 

QCEN plans to further celebrate its 75th birthday and rich history with a special August picnic. 

73, Kitty, W8TDA


Jim Yoder, W8ERW/5

Texas is quite warm this time of the year and if you've been here just under a year like I have, you won't be accustomed to it yet.  The way I handle it requires plenty of cool liquid and the necessity to complete outdoor activities early before it becomes unbearable.  Antenna work is always done outside of summer here.  It is just too hot to attempt in the heat of summer.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, as they call it here, is large beyond my imagination.  I could not get all of the local and surrounding repeaters into the rig's memory.  And without a GPS, I would still need an escort to manage my way in all this traffic.  Before it sounds like I am complaining, I must tell you that I saw just a few snowflakes one day last winter, the coldest day was 27 degrees and only 7 days were below freezing.  No need of a snow blower and if it does snow, everyone and everything comes to a halt until it melts.

Let me bring up a more serious subject, ARES Training.  I am still amazed at the amount of training being completed by the Ohio Section.  The certificates continue to arrive in my inbox.  I am still catching up on entering all of the data that came in while I was traveling in the RV earlier.  A quick summary indicates nearly 250 Ohio Amateurs have submitted certificates for all four Core FEMA courses.  I have nearly 500 individual Hams now listed in the data with almost 2500 courses completed in total.  I expect that number to increase significantly as I add data that was provided to me earlier in a different format. 

Some of the issues that I have discovered and that you may be able to help with are changes to calls via upgrade or utilization of the Vanity program.  If you have submitted training certificates and later change your call, let me know and I will update your record so that your courses can be identified correctly.  Don't forget to include your call when you email your certificates.  We do have quite a few Hams with the same name and sometimes in the same location.  Your call is the key upon which everything is stored and sorted. 

Certificates can be handled much easier if they are sent as individual .pdf files.  A FEMA Transcript works as well, although when we need to look up and provide verification the entire transcript will be rendered rather than individual files per course.  The certificates are kept in folders electronically by county, the county you reside in as per  I have noticed several that are not listed correctly there.  You may want to check your information on QRZ and verify accuracy.  Understandably, many of you support ARES in a county other than your residence or in addition to.  The data can be retrieved by county or by call in that case.   The format I use to store the certificates is as follows: W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf   If you submit yours that way, I will grin and spend much less time getting everyone entered so that your information can be retrieved quickly when necessary.     

As always, I am open to suggestions, questions and to help whenever possible.  Thanks again for all the effort to complete the FEMA training and to submit your certificates to be included in the Section database. 

Thanks & 73


Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,

Wow..  Did the weather ever get miserable!! It’s so hot that I haven’t even been out on the motorcycle in a long while. It’s just too hot to put the helmet on!!

Well, after last month’s little flurry of exhausting exercises (two national conventions and a national air show, all within the same week) things are starting to settle back down a bit. I hope that you all enjoyed the Columbus Hamfest / ARRL Ohio Section Conference this year. The new location was great, and so was the weather. Wow.. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for sure, warm, sunny and just a nice breeze coming through the building to keep things somewhat comfortable.. The forums were inside where there was very good air conditioning, so there definitely wasn’t anything to complain about there.  

** Now, switching bands to another subject.. **
Have you seen the NEWEST “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website yet? It’s there..!! To enter the drawing all you need to do is fill in a couple of boxes on the form.. (your name and email). That’s you need to do to be entered into a drawing to win a 2016 ARRL softcover Handbook. There’s nothing else required (Oh.. You do need to be a resident of Ohio to win..)   The winner will be mailed the Handbook at my cost. This is being offered just to see how many folks are really checking in on the website. Got the idea? Best of luck to you!!

Are you getting those emails from me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. Heck, just send me an email   I’ll get you added to the mailing list. There’s a link to do this on the Ohio Section website, it’s on the bottom left corner.. For your convenience, here’s a direct link to it:  I urge all of you to make sure that everyone, regardless of whether they are a League member or not, 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:  If you don’t have this website set as your home page, I urge you to do so. It changes a lot and it’s so important for you to be kept up to date with the very latest information.

** There’s another NEW – one question – questionnaire on the Ohio Section Website! This question is really important for me to know.. It will only take about 2 seconds for you to answer it, and you can see how your answer stacks up with others instantly. If you haven’t done it yet, please do.. I really want to hear from you.

Are you a member of the ARRL?? If you aren’t a League member, this is a great opportunity to become one. Want more information on how to join? Here’s the link: 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  I’ll be happy to call or write to you. We can even meet and have coffee if you’d like.. and I’ll buy!!

** One last spin of the dial.. **
Lastly..  I’m always available for you, whether you’re an ARRL member or not. If you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to sit and chat awhile over a cup of coffee or something cold to drink, feel free to call or write me   (419) 512-4445 or   

That’s going to do it for this month. I hope to see you all at your hamfests, club meetings or on the air!

73, Scott, N8SY


John Perone, W8RXX

The Official Observer (OO) program has been sponsored by the ARRL for more than 85 years to help Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

Official Observer appointees have assisted thousands of Amateur Radio operators to maintain their transmitting equipment and comply with operating procedures and regulations. The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices.

The OO program serves as the first line of "eyes and ears" for the FCC. It is the backbone of the Amateur Auxiliary. OOs are certified in the Auxiliary by passing a mandatory written examination.

The OO performs his/her function by observing rather than transmitting.  They keep watch for such things as frequency instability, harmonics, hum, key clicks, broad signals, distorted audio, over deviation, out-of-band operation and other potential problems. The OO completes their task once the notification card is sent.

OO Ohio Total Hours for July = 1,097 hours
No *Good Guy* OO cards sent

1 - OO card sent to a "2" station for overdriving an amplifier

73, John, W8RXX



JULY 2016

4.3   GB



The Second Annual Ohio 2 Meter FM Simplex Squares Contest, held in late April, is history.  After reviewing logs and totaling scores, we are proud to announce the individual and Club winners of this years contest.

All participants who submitted at least one valid contact will receive, via e-mail, a Certificate of Participation (in PDF format) suitable for printing and framing.  The award and prize winners listed below will receive their award certificates or prizes in the mail sometime in early August. 

The 2016 Ohio 2MFMSS winners are:

Individual Achievement Awards:

Highest Score – Jim Berry, WA3JAT with 400 points
Greatest Contact Distance – Jim Berry, WA3JAT with 43.3 miles **
Most Contacts – Kim Swinehart, KE8CSX with 48 contacts
Most Grids Activated - Kim Swinehart, KE8CSX with 9 grids activated

** Normally, there would be a pair of winners for this award, however the Ham on the other end of the winning contact did not submit a log.

Club Participation Awards:

KC8AAV, The Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation - whose club members activated a combined total of 7 Grid Squares and earned their club the Most Grids Activated Award.
KC8AAV, The Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation – whose club members had the highest participant count and earned the Most Club Member Participants Award.

In three random drawings from all points submitted, the following prize winners were chosen.

Random Drawing Prize Winners:

#1 ($75 gift card for DX Engineering) – Ted Jacobson, W8KVK *
#2 ($50 gift card for DX Engineering) – John Grazulis, WO3X
#3 ($25 gift card for DX Engineering) – Jim Berry, WA3JAT

Prizes are courtesy of the sponsoring Club, The Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club, and an anonymous club member.

The contest will be back in 2017, as The Ohio 2 Meter FM Simplex Squares Contest.  There will be minor revisions to the rules, the most notable of which will be declaring the sponsoring club’s Officers and Trustees (in addition to contest committee members) ineligible for the random drawing prizes.  We are also considering a points multiplier for new hams (perhaps those who have been licensed for two years or less).

We are actively soliciting feedback from participants about what we can do to improve the contest for 2017.  Please send email to O2MFMSS@CFARC.ORG with your suggestions and ideas.  We expect to have the rule revisions published by January 1, 2017, and tentatively the contest is scheduled for the weekend of April 29 and 30, 2017.  We hope you enjoyed the contest this year, and hope to see you back next year.
In closing, I would like to thank Anthony Luscre, K8ZT, for the original contest idea and to all the Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club members that collaborated to help make this contest a success. 

I hope to see all of you in the 2017 Ohio 2 Meter FM Simplex Squares contest!


- Frank, W8EZT

Frank Tompkins, Contest Chairman
The 2016 Ohio 2 Meter Simplex Squares Contest
The Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club, Inc




The members of the Voice of Aladdin ARC and I would like to thank all of the ARRL leaders, Volunteer Examiners, forum speakers, vendors, volunteers, and attendees of the Columbus Hamfest for helping make our hamfest very successful on August 6th, 2016.  Even though this was the first hamfest at our new facility and we recently lost our hamfest coordinator, everything went well.  We have a few issues to work out for next year, but it is a learning experience.  Again, we really appreciate all the work done and assistance in making our hamfest a success.

Best Regards,

John S. Lehman, K8PJ
VOA President
W8FEZ License Trustee



08/20/2016 | Carnation Festival
Aug 20, 1600Z-2000Z,
W8LKY, Alliance, OH.
Alliance Amateur Radio Club.
14.250 14.035 7.240 7.035.

Certificate & QSL. John Myers, 910 W Mill St,
Alliance, OH 44601.

Other frequencies & Modes as circumstances permit.
Full info will be posted to the W8LKY QRZ page


09/04/2016 | 194th Great Geauga County Fair
Sep 4-Sep 5, 1600Z-0000Z,
W8G, Burton, OH.
Geauga Amateur Radio Association.
7.250 14.250.

Certificate & QSL.
W8G Special Event, Attn: Jackie Williams,
PO Box 192, Windsor, OH


09/08/2016 | Darrtown Fall Festival
Sep 8-Sep 12, 0000Z-2359Z,
N8D, Hamilton, OH.
Butler County Amateur Radio Association, Inc.
21.320 14.320 7.250.

QSL. BCARA, PO Box 18968, Fairfield, OH 45018.
CW frequencies too. Event will show and tell Ham radio
to festival attendees.


09/17/2016 | North Country National Scenic Trail /Salt Fork State Park
Sep 17, 1300Z-2100Z,
W8VP, Lore City, OH. Cambridge Amateur Radio Association.

Cambridge Amateur Radio Association,
PO Box 1804, Cambridge, OH 43725.
In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the founding
of the National Park System, W8VP will be activating the
North Country National Scenic Trail which runs through
Salt Fork State Park and coincides at this place with the
Buckeye Scenic Trail.



OHIO QSO PARTY - Starting at noon on Saturday, August 27 and continuing until midnight is the annual running of the Ohio QSO Party.  This is the time when an effort is made to have all 88 Ohio counties active on the air and a time when as many stations as possible take to the air to activate their respective counties.  Unfortunately often many South Central Ohio amateurs do not get on the air during the event to activate their county and thus some of our counties are “rare”.  Therefore you are urged to put some time aside to active your county.  Those few minutes you spend may run into several hours.  You will make a lot of people happy regardless of the county you live in.  Counties anticipated to be active will be Athens, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Fairfield, Highland, Jackson, Pike and Vinton.


The ninth annual OSPOTA - will be Saturday, September 10.  “For hams throughout the State of Ohio, this is your opportunity to visit and enjoy the amenities offered by the 74 beautiful State Parks here in Ohio”.  With luck, all authorized State Parks will have activity.  Only Lake White will not be active because of the continuing dam construction activity.  The event starts at noon and runs until 8 pm.  A number of South Central Ohio State Parks still do not have planned activity posted to the web site.  A number of clubs use this as a mini-Field Day as it is shorter and more laid back.  What better than a club picnic and playing radio at one of Ohio’s beautiful State Parks at the same time!


2016 ARRL SEPTEMBER VHF CONTEST - Just a reminder that September 10 is the annual running of this event.  It starts at 1800 UTC Saturday and runs until 0259 UTC on Sunday, September 12.  Any station that can operate on six meters and up is urged to participate.  The exchange is your grid square.  It is an interesting event and it is amazing the distances that can be worked when a lot of stations are on the air.



08/21/2016 | Cuyahoga Falls ARC's Eighth Annual Tailgate Hamfest
Location: Stow, OH
Sponsor: Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club


08/21/2016 | Warren ARA Tailgate / Swap Meet
Location: Cortland, OH
Sponsor: Warren Amateur Radio Association


09/11/2016 | Findlay Hamfest
Location: Findlay, OH
Sponsor: Findlay Radio Club


09/17/2016 | OH-KY-IN Hamfest
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Sponsor: OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society


09/25/2016 | Cleveland Hamfest and Computer Show
Location: Berea, OH
Sponsor: Hamfest Association of Cleveland