Thursday, December 15, 2016

December Edition of the Ohio Section Journal..

In this issue:





















It's Christmas, and I'm in the Christmas Spirit for sure! This month we will be doing a very special giveaway just for Christmas. I'm not going to spill the beans on just what is going to be given out, but I will tell ya' that it's going to be more than just a 2017 ARRL Handbook!!

Just go to: and look for the big red arrow on the left side of the page. Click on the arrow and complete the form, that's it! If you enter before 11:59pm December 24th, you'll automatically be entered for a second chance at a Handbook at the end of the month too! Yup, I'm going to give another Handbook out on New Year’s Day!!

What's the catch? There isn't any.. If you live in Ohio, all you have to do to be entered is to fill out the form. You'll even be emailed a copy of the completed form back to you as your confirmation that you're entered. It won't cost you anything!! And no, you don't have to be an ARRL member to participate!  A new drawing is held each month, and in order to be eligible, you do have to enter each month. You can't win if you don't enter. So what have you got to loose!!

Please, only one submission per person. The first drawing will end on December 24, 2016 at 11:59pm EST and the second drawing will end on December 31st at 11:59pm EST.

The Christmas winners will be announced on Christmas morning - December 25th and you'll find out then what all the other prizes were. The next drawing for the 2nd Handbook will be announced on New Year’s Day. Each winner will be notified by email, so PLEASE use a valid email when completing the form, this is the only way I have of contacting you if you win.

73, and good luck to all.. MERRY CHRISTMAS!



ANNOUNCING >> The Second Annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest! January 14, 2917.

After a lot of requests, we are opening this up to 6 meters as a part of your score as well!  There is a lot of potential for wide-area coverage on that band, and we need to cultivate some interest- so, for the sixers out there, burn eggs on your beam!!

Some questions, and answers:

- On the bonus situations, the EOC bonus is exactly what it says- operation must be from an EOC, not a
nearby trailer or remote location. EOC ops, add 50 points to your total contact score. Operation from
any portable location (trailer, tent, park bench, igloo) is 100 points added to your total contact
score. Contact an ARES officer of any type, add 5 points to that contact (in other words, if your contact says he’s an EC, it’s worth 6 points.)

- On digital. All modes are open, we’ve had some questions as to ‘which’ mode. Any of the modes
commonly accepted for NBEMS work!

- Frequencies haven’t been mentioned. Grab any you like- if your district has a prescribed simplex
frequency, try that first. Anything except a repeater. Make sure you get the county or location of your
contact- the whole point is to be able to plot your best coverage area. Look for ‘real’ signal reports.

- You know what? If you get bored and want to fry some eggs on your six-meter antennas, go for it. DO INCLUDE your six contacts in your score!


Here are the rules again!

ARES is tasked with being able to provide communications “When all else fails.” Local communication is critical and typically takes place on the VHF or UHF amateur band. In order to improve our ability to perform on these bands, Ohio Section ARES is sponsoring the ARES VHF Contest (Yeah, we know, but calling it the Ohio VHF / UHF Contest got a little long-winded). Participants in the contest are encouraged to make as many contacts as possible within the time-frame of the contest, with as many different geographical locations as the bands permit. The contest is open to all amateur operators, ARES members are strongly encouraged to participate. How else are you going to win the ‘bragging rights session of your next ARES meeting?

When did you say it was?
The contest is January 14, 2017. The start time is (for those of us who sleep in) 10 AM through 6 PM Eastern. Yeah, a civilized time-frame that doesn’t rob sleep, and allows time with the family. Why, you can even watch a few cartoons in the morning!

Where you gonna be?
You may operate this contest from anywhere. There are certain benefits for venturing out from your
warm, comfortable home station. EOC stations can gain extra points. Portable stations can gain even
MORE extra points – that is, if your frozen fingers will still be able to operate a keyboard. Portable
stations MUST use portable antennas, nothing permanently attached…kind of like Field Day on ice. We are not going with any mobile operation this time. The image of a bunch of vehicles running around with portable towers, 150 pounds of antenna hardware and an occasional grounding anchor is best left to the ARRL contesters.

Da Bands – a la’ Mode
Because local emergency communication takes place primarily on the two meter and 70 centimeter
bands, the contest is limited to those two bands. Within each band, we will have these modes: FM
Simplex, “Everything else” Simplex; DIGITAL simplex contacts will make up a third mode on each
band. Contacts with a station count once per mode- if you can talk the other guy into abandoning “his
frequency” and meeting you on SSB or CW, more power to ya! NO REPEATER CONTACTS WILL
COUNT. If you get bored, you certainly are welcome to chat amongst yourselves on repeaters, or
simplex, or cell phones, or smoke signals.

Da Contacts
The goal is to contact as many different stations in as many different counties as possible. You can make as many overall contacts as you like, they will then be multiplied by the number of counties you’ve reached. Extra points will be available for contacting an EC, AEC, DEC, ADEC, ASEC or SEC. Pretty simple- any more complex and we’ll confuse the scorekeepers.

Da Score
Each FM Simplex contact counts as 1 point.
Each non- FM simplex contact counts as 1 point.
Each digital simplex contact counts as 1 point. (Detect a pattern here?)
Contact with EC, AEC, DEC, ADEC, ASEC or SEC adds 5 points.
Contact with an EOC or with a portable station adds 5 points.
Operation from an EOC add 50 points to your total contact score.
Operation from a portable location add 100 points to your total contact score.
Total contact score (all bands/modes added together) will be multiplied by the total number of counties you contacted.

Da Logs
Please use any of the appropriate computer logging programs, paper dupe sheets, a well-worn slide rule or rusty abacus. Just keep all that to yourself, we can’t find anyone with the time to go through all the detail contacts. Submit an email to:  with the following:
Your name:
Group name:
Location: (City, county)
FM Simplex Contacts:
“Everything else” Simplex Contacts:
Digital Simplex Contacts:
EOC bonus:
Portable bonus:
Total Contact Score (Add above together, but you figured that out already):
Multiply by total number of counties contacted (include your own!):
Bask in the glory of a well thought out, well executed effort!

Definition of acronyms..
EOC = Emergency Operations Center
NBEMS = Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System
ARES = Amateur Radio Emergency Service
SM = Section Manager
SEC = Section Emergency Coordinator
ASEC = Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator
DEC = District Emergency Coordinator
ADEC = Assistant District Emergency Coordinator
EC = Emergency Coordinator
AEC = Assistant Emergency Coordinator
CW = Continuous Wave
SSB = Single-Side Band
FM = Frequency Modulation


Jeff Kopcak – TC

Hey gang,

In October, I was invited by Medina County ARES to see a presentation about Winlink.  I had heard of it as a way to send email messages over the HF bands.  There were rumors around whether specialized hardware was needed and I really wanted to see what it was all about.  Rick - K8CAV gave a great presentation on how it all works and some tips that really helped me get operating on Winlink.

Winlink, in short, is a way to send email via radio circuits frequently used by RV campers, boaters, and mariners where the Internet may not be available or reliable.  It is a store and forward system meaning your messages will be held and delivered when you call into a gateway, much like the dial-up or BBS days.  There are a number of ways the software will operate: connect to a remote gateway station over the air, operate peer-to-peer over-the-air, connect via the Internet using Telnet (yeah, yeah ‘telnet isn’t secure’ but neither is your email going out over the air), or webmail.  Winlink has regional Central Messaging Servers (CMS) which connect to the Radio Messaging Servers (RMS) over the Internet.  The RMS is the gateway your client connects to for sending and receiving messages over-the-air.

There is little privacy as other stations can read your messages but the intent is to have a worldwide emergency email messaging system.  Messages can be exchanged with any email address (Gmail, your ISP) on the Internet using the assigned email address.  Stations conducting business will likely get blocked from the RMS gateways.  Attachments can be included with messages but due to bandwidth, these should be kept to small files like CSV or TXT files – no multi-megapixel images or videos.

There are three pieces to the Winlink client software: RMS Express is the ‘90’s looking email client, Winmor - the modem, and ITS HF Propagation is a third party software program that works with Winmor to determine propagation for connection reliability.  I got Winlink setup and working with my radio and SignaLink so no specialized hardware is required.  A lot of back-and-forth transmit and receiving happens between the client and gateway.  The TX/RX turn-around time needs to happen quickly (under 200ms), longer will require a high number of retransmissions.  One tip to help minimize the delay: set the SignaLink delay control no further than the second hash mark (8 o’clock position).  To get started, go to  Click “User Programs.”  Download and install “Winlink Express Install,” and “itshfbc” to their default locations.  To get an account created on the system, you need to send one email to an Internet address such as your personal email.  In addition, Winlink has an “APRSLink” where you can check for messages, read, compose, forward, and delete all by sending APRS messages.  Feel free to send me a message to “my call” at  More:

I’ve also been playing around with a new device from Shark RF called the OpenSpot.  It’s a small company with two guys in Estonia (South of Finland).  Production is done on a batching basis so there is a waiting list.  It seems like they’re shipping units close to once per month.  Once I got the shipping notice, I had the device within a week.  They say 3-6 business days shipping time and it arrived certainly within that range.  The OpenSpot is a standalone digital radio gateway otherwise known as a hotspot.  It currently supports DMR (Brandmeister, DMR+), D-STAR (DPlus/REF, DCS, XRF/DExtra, XLX), and System Fusion (FCS, YSFReflector).  If the mode or network isn’t supported, they do take requests and will make additions available via firmware upgrades.  Since it is a hotspot device a transceiver capable of operating that mode is required.  They are doing something cool since DMR and Fusion use the AMBE2 codec.  A DMR radio can be used to access the Fusion network and vice-versa (DMR Talk Groups with a Fusion radio).

The OpenSpot has a lot of flexibility, very well designed, and is superior to the DV4Mini.  It doesn’t need different Raspberry Pi images for different modes like the DVMega.  The device comes with everything: the OpenSpot hotspot, Ethernet cable, USB cable, USB power adapter, and antenna.  It runs an internal webserver for device configuration.  I even like how they do the firmware update process.  The OpenSpot shows up as a drive to the computer and using the copy command - copy the firmware to it and voilĂ  - done.  For DMR, it will operate like a DV4Mini with the radio configured in TG 9 (talk-group) or it will operate like a repeater (my preference) where the Talk Groups are push-to-talk.  All the TAC groups are available (310, 311, 312, etc) and call routing works.  I could not get these to go on the DV4Mini.  D-STAR works great too.  You can link and unlink to reflectors using radio commands.  It does not have a drop down for linking directly to a D-STAR repeater on the network.  The only systems listed are reflectors.  Forum posts describe how to link to a D-STAR repeater (like a DVAP or DNGL would do) using the “Advanced Mode” screens.

It’s not great for portability as it comes (in a car, for example).  I have not tried any of the USB to Ethernet adapters with my smartphone or tried a Raspberry Pi as a Wi-Fi to Ethernet bridge.  OpenSpot requires an Ethernet cable connection meaning no Wi-Fi though there are plans to add this and uses USB for power and firmware upgrades.  As with these devices in DMR mode, they do not transmit a valid call sign.  The radio ID is not valid identification.  If you listen to a repeater in FM it will ID in CW.  Unfortunately, the cost is about twice that of the DV4Mini 182.50 € which, when I ordered, was about $235 including shipping. More:

Other new tech (Christmas gifts?).  With advancements in Software-Defined Radios (SDR) I’m seeing a new breed of devices hams can use as radios: your smartphone.  Well, at least something that resembles a smartphone or tablet – still need the additional hardware.  A device out of the UK called “MyDel Hamfone Smartphone Transceiver” is available.  It offers a 3G cellphone, 70cm transceiver (500mw/1W) with camera, expandable SD card, and GPS.  The few reviews are positive but there is some question if its FCC certified in the US.  More:

Bob - W2CYK and the guys over at RFinder (the online repeater directory of the ARRL) have released the “RFinder Android Radio.”  Their device integrates 4G LTE & GSM cell technologies alongside FM (DMR is also available) radios into a device with the RFinder repeater directory database.  The directory offers coverage maps and switching repeaters is a point-and-click away.  They also boast the elimination of codeplugs for DMR.  This is great as finding codeplugs, or the information for one, is not always readily available.  More:

This past month, the Parma Radio Club invited me to their meeting to give the Raspberry Pi presentation.  There was a lot of good discussion and questions.  This is always good to hear because you know the audience is engaged, thinking, and ultimately providing real-time feedback on the presentation.  Thanks for having me at your meeting.  More:

Don’t forget, National Parks on the Air will be wrapping up at the end of the year.  According to Tom Gallagher - NY2RF, NPOTA is getting closer to #1MillionQSOs:  Look out for those NPOTA stations to get your score up for your wallpaper (that is certificate if you don’t operate special events and contests).

Starting this past fall with the kickoff of new TV seasons, the CW is airing a show called “Frequency” loosely based off the 2000 Sci-Fi thriller of the same name.  It starred Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel as father and son, Frank and John Sullivan.  This was big with hams because the movie incorporated something that resembled ham-radio which allowed the father and son to talk 30 years into the past and future.  The TV show has gotten positive reviews with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 74% with the biggest criticism being the back-and-forth between now and 20 years in the past.  It airs Wednesday nights at 9pm (Ham Nation time so it gets the DVR treatment here) with the last couple episodes available on the CW website and on Netflix streaming. More:

Finally, don’t forget the HF Santa Net through Christmas Eve.  Starts at 8:30 pm Eastern and can be found on 3916 kHz for the little ones to have a chance to talk with Santa! More:

Thanks for reading. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

73… de Jeff – K8JTK


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately, it looks like this year’s winter weather will be a bit more "seasonable". I had intended to do some demo work on my front stoop, so I could begin replacing it in the spring. But, that project will need to wait until spring. In the last month, I’ve been attacking my to-do list. Some of my list items are Amateur Radio Related.

One example is to contact the local hospital where we hold our club meetings. It's time reserve our room meeting room for the coming year. In the change of club leadership, this is one of those tasks that sometimes get overlooked.

One of my favorite movies is the "National Treasure" series. in the sequal, part of the plot revolves around the "President's Book". A book written by Presidents, for Presidents eyes only. The concept is an interesting one. When I was club President, I stole the idea. The result was the President's "Letter"; a word document which contains tips and advice for our Club President.

Among items in the letter are notes of what tasks need to happen, and when. These are things such as meeting room reservations, insurance renewal information, who to contact for various things, etc. I believe it makes for a smoother transition for the incoming President.

What systems do you have in place to assist your new officers as they transition into their new jobs?  
I’m happy as I look at the club numbers for the Ohio section. As of the beginning of the month, we have 108 ARRL Affiliated Clubs. 27 of those are Special Service Clubs. We are still not at 100% on filing our paperwork with the league. But, I’ll be contacting some of you in January about updating your club record.

I’d like to extend a welcome this month to the Geauga ARA; our newest ARRL Affiliated club.

While we’re at it, I’d like to extend a well-deserved shout to our newest Special Service Club; The Silvercreek ARA, in Wadsworth. I attended their November meeting, along with our Division Director, Dale, WA8EFK, and Section Manager, Scott, N8SY. It was a great evening!

This holiday season, let’s not forget your members who can’t attend your club meetings, or banquets. That’s right, I’m talking about those Hams who are either Homebound, or perhaps are in the hospital, or nursing home. Especially at this time of year, a visit, or even a card can really lift one's spirits.

Also, it’s not too early to begin planning for your club activities in the coming year. How about group builds, park activations, Field Day (both Winter, and Summer), field trips, etc.? You get the idea; any event that gets your members together outside of the meeting room is a great thing.

With that, I’d like to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

73 all and I’ll see you next year.


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Well, it’s almost over! The ARRL National Parks On The Air event officially ends at 2359Z on December 31st. All contacts need to be uploaded to the system no later than 2359Z on January 31st, 2017. What a wild ride it’s been, huh?

As the year progressed, folks realized that one Million QSOs was an attainable goal. As I write these words, we are nearly there. The number of NPOTA contacts that have been loaded to LOTW totals just shy of 995,000. By the time you read this, the million contact goal will be surpassed. There is talk about setting a new goal of either 1.1 Million contacts, or 20,000 activations.

As the operating phase of NPOTA ends, we move on to the next phase. This is where we peruse our logs for any missed confirmations, or “Orphan QSOs”. That is, those contacts that you worked, but never got credit for.
So, how do you go about getting credit for that QSO? An e-mail to the operator (or holder of the callsign) will normally get you that sought after confirmation.  Courtesy of the folks on the NPOTA Facebook group, Here are some tips on inquiring about missed confirmations.

* Be patient; especially if the activator is doing a lot of activations, they might take a couple of weeks to upload.

* Before writing the activator, check LoTW to see if the activator shows a log upload after the activation date

* But, If an activator has done multiple activations he may have just uploaded another log from a different activation, or uploaded a chaser contact. So, if it hasn't been at least two weeks, sit tight.

* When e-mailing the activator, a screenshot of your log entry attached to the E-Mail would be very helpful.

* Be polite! Thank the person for activating and taking the time to check the log. Some chasers have reportedly been impatient and rude to activators.

So, what to do when NPOTA is over? Well, may I suggest the Parks On The Air (POTA) program? All Ohio State Parks are
now included in the POTA database. The rules are similar to that for NPOTA. i.e. you must be in the park you are claiming, and must make minimum of 10 QSOs to qualify for activator credit.
You can learn all about this program at

Oh yes, they have a Facebook Group! Do a Facebook search on parks on the air.

And that wraps it up for this month. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you, and I’ll see you on the bands.

John, KD8MQ


Stan Broadway, N8BHL

Ohio ARES: 2016 in review

It’s time to present a summary of ARES in Ohio for the year 2016.  I couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishments this year!  ARES, indeed Amateur Radio, proved itself as a professional and technically proficient operation able to meet the highest federal standards. We played in the “real world” of national security and preparation, and by all accounts we won.  We not only solidified our relationships with many agencies including EMA’s and Red Cross but also gained the respect of Homeland Security and other high level divisions.  Credit belongs to our local and district Emergency Coordinators for long meetings, intense preparation, and executing with great success!

I don’t need to go through the statewide activities during July’s RNC and related events, you all know how many people were involved and how much time was invested.

As for the yearend report (including projected numbers to fill out December) Amateur Radio operators nearly doubled the number of public service and actual emergency events.

Here are our end-of-year projections for 2016, 2015 numbers are in parenthesis.

Public service events:  790   (414)
Public service hours:    19,240   (16,070)
Emergency events:   290   (101)
Emergency hours:   2,200   (2,138)
Training events:  1,725      (2,490)
Training hours:    21,800   (22,168)

Total events:  2,805    (3,005)
Total hours:  43,240   (40,376)

Assuming the most recently reported hourly value of a volunteer to be $23, not including fuel or supplying our own radio equipment, this leads us to conclude that ARES provided $994,520 in volunteer service to our communities, counties, and state.  Estimating cost of equipment at a low of $300 per volunteer, the value increases to over $1.5 million.

Our training hours were down from last year (perhaps because we were busy actually ~doing~ things) but the number of members who’ve completed FEMA 100, 200, 700 and 800 has steadily increased. Although we aren’t confident we have all your records, our state database shows over 500 members carrying 3,263 course certificates. 303 have completed the four NIMS courses, many more are still on their way. We continue to press for completion, and we have set a standard that ARES volunteers who report to an EOC or emergency operation must have the NIMS courses. Make sure we have your certificates (scans or jpg’s) for the database, and your EC has a printed copy for a log at your EOC.

In addition to the obvious activities during July, ARES members did a lot more.  Some groups are working on MESH (2.4 GHz digital networking) while others are developing applications in Winlink (RF-based email systems).  Because emergencies don’t provide prior notice, and because the ability to rapidly communicate is absolutely key to handling an event, EOC’s need to maintain the presence of amateur radio gear!  In several counties, ARES organizations are upgrading, expanding and further developing stations. The same is true at the Ohio EOC/JDF, where an entirely new station has been designed with all new radio equipment. Completion of the remodel and installation is expected before the end of this year. Many other groups were busy upgrading communications trailers for emergency response, some in cooperation with CERT.

ARES members again participated in “NVIS Antenna Day” testing the ability to communicate within the state using HF radio frequencies. In 2015, ARES members participated in our first “ARES VHF Contest”, designed to test and improve our local communication capabilities for those times when everything (even our own repeaters) has failed. It was a great success. Amateur Radio’s “Field Day” event is always a big draw.  And it is very rare to find a marathon or large ride/run that doesn’t depend on ARES volunteers.  Weather systems bring out trained spotters, relaying accurate ground reports to National Weather Service stations.  From bringing aid to a stricken hunter outside of cell phone range to being a standing backup during the RNC to activating to help at an EOC, our ARES volunteers won the confidence of EMA directors, and assumed a higher position of trust.

The ARES VHF radio contest will be held in 2017 on January 14th!  Look for more information in your emails! I’ll send it to county coordinators who can forward to their members! It should be a great time. With the decreasing sunspot cycles, we will need to evaluate alternate means of getting the message through- and I know you can do that!

Well done, and I truly appreciate each and every one’s time and efforts!

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

73, Stan, N8BHL


John Ross, KD8IDJ

WOW what a year!!! More and more we hear and see Amateur Radio in action in places where we never thought we would be. It’s all good and it’s all because you take this hobby and use it in new ways every day. It’s how we grow and how we show how much we respect Amateur Radio and all of the adventures it has to offer.

One of the best things we do is write about Amateur Radio and here in Ohio we have the best cadre of Public Information Officers and newsletter editors. We show that every month with a round of newsletters that keep our clubs and communities informed.

So the 2017 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest is about to open for business on January 1st.

The rules for the coming year are the same…I need two copies of your newsletters to make it official. Most clubs send me one every month and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. I really do read them all and them file them neatly away so the judges can make their decision in early July. Believe me, the competition is great and judges work hard to pick the winners.

The official rules are on the Ohio Section website:   If you have a question or concern just send me an email or call anytime.

Thank you for all of the submissions over the past three years and I know this year will be just as great.


The ARRL is seeking new ways to expand student radio clubs on college campuses. It’s a great idea and a great effort. I’ve included the article form the December 1st Newsletter with the details.

I know first-hand just how important college radio clubs can be and the rich history they share with Amateur Radio. I wasn’t a member of the OSU Radio Club when I was student (wish I had been) and the stories that club members tell about their experiences are, to say the least, riveting, and show just how important membership can be. My research on the OSU club revealed some documents, stories and logs that go back almost 100 years!

If you’re active with a college radio club, or know of one in your area, shoot me an email and I’ll make contract. If you have stories about your experiences…I want to hear about those as well. I think we have a lot offer college radio clubs and I’m sure they can help us keep Amateur Radio moving forward.

Here’s the official ARRL article from the December 1st ARRL Letter:

ARRL Expands Initiative to Fire Up Collegiate Amateur Radio Clubs

A growing number of campus radio clubs and student radio amateurs have begun to share ideas and suggestions on the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) Facebook page, which is aimed at sparking renewed participation, activity, and idea-sharing among this special sector of the Amateur Radio community. The now-expanded initiative stemmed from two well-attended ARRL New England Division Convention forums for radio amateurs attending college, one hosted by the Amateur Radio clubs at Harvard (W1AF) and Yale (W1YU). As the forum explained, the activity level at campus Amateur Radio club stations can vary wildly from one year to the next, as students graduate and newcomers arrive.

"The most common difficulty stems from uneven interest over time," said ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, in his "Second Century" editorial, "Cheers for College Amateur Radio: Sis-boom-bah!" in the December 2016 issue of QST. "Even the strongest leaders in college Amateur Radio graduate every 4 years, sometimes leaving their clubs without adequate continuity or leadership succession."

Gallagher pointed out that "recognized" student activities require students in order to maintain that status. However, even officially recognized college club stations may find themselves at the mercy of administrations in terms of space for a station and antennas, and some clubs have had to move more than once to accommodate their schools' space requirements. Issues involving safety and security can also affect college radio clubs.

In a recent post, Kenny Hite, KE8CTL, a graduate teaching assistant at West Virginia University, said the university's Amateur Radio club, W8CUL, has been unable to participate in recent on-the-air events "due to lack of working equipment and questionable antenna setups," as he put it. Another poster, Dennis Silage, K3DS, who's associated with the Temple University Amateur Radio Club (K3TU), said, "A key to a successful and long-running college club seems to be faculty involvement for stability and recognition." He invited other CARI participants to check out the club's website.

"It occurred to us that, if college Amateur Radio could galvanize [mutual interests], then colleges might just provide the ideal bridge between youthful interest in the subject and lifelong participation in our community," Gallagher wrote.


Thanks another great year…for the nice comments, for the emails and for the stories of Amateur Radio. I know that 2017 will be even better.

I hope you and you families have a great Holiday Season!


John, KD8IDJ


David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM

First let’s start off with a correction.  Last month I listed the times and frequencies for several CW nets.  The Hit and Bounce slow net frequency was wrong. The Hit and Bounce slow net meets on 7.112 at 7:30 am local time.  Also the Hit and Bounce net meets on 7.112 at 8:30 am local time. Both nets meet on the same frequency an hour apart.

Here is a list of Ohio NTS HF daily nets, frequencies, times and net managers.  All licensed hams are welcome to check in with or without radiogram traffic.

BN(E)       Buckeye Net Early – CW –  WB8YLO NET MANAGER – 3580 at 6:45
BN(L)       Buckeye Net Late  – CW –  WB9LBI NET MANAGER –   3590 at 10:00 pm
OSN         Ohio Slow Net – CW –  W8OLO NET MANAGER –   3.53535 at 6PM
OSSBN    Ohio Single Sideband Net – Phone – KC8WH NET MANAGER –
                        3972.5 at 10:30 AM, 4:15PM AND 6:45 PM

If you not going anywhere on New Year’s here is something fun to try.  The ARRL Straight Key Night is coming up on January 1, 2016.  Why not dust off that old straight key and give it a try.  Who knows you may like it and have some fun.  Straight Key night starts at 0000Z and ends at 2359Z (UTC). More details can be found at .

Using CW Abbreviations and Q Signals Abbreviations are very commonly used in CW. They save time and are one reason why CW is so cool. Once you have learned some of the abbreviations as well as CW operating techniques, you are "in", you're a member of the CW using fraternity. Knowing and using CW correctly is kinda’ like belonging to an exclusive club. Anybody can pick up a microphone and talk on the ham bands; doing CW requires skill and finesse.

Here I've listed some of the more common abbreviations and Q signals used on CW. There are more abbreviations available in many places, I will just mention a few of the most commonly used.
ADR    address          GN    good night   RIG    station equipment
AGN   again             GND ground         RPT    repeat
BK      break             GUD good             SK      end of transmission
BN      been                 HI     laugh           SRI    sorry
C         yes                  HR    here             SSB    single side-band
CL      closing             HV   have            TMW   tomorrow
CUL   see you later    HW   how            TNX-TKS  thanks
DE     from                    N    no               TU       thank you
DX     distance           NR    number        UR      yours
ES       and                 NW   now             VY      very
FB      fine business   OM   old man       WX     weather
GA     go ahead         PSE    please         XYL    wife
GB     good bye         PWR  power         YL       young lady
GE     good evening    R   received         73        best regards
GM    good morning  RCVR receiver     88       love and kisses

And the International "Q" signals, recognizable in any language:
QRL    is frequency busy?    QRT   stop sending
QRM   interference               QRX   wait, standby
QRN    noise, static               QSB   fading
QRO    increase power          QSL   acknowledge receipt
QRP    decrease power          QSY   change frequency
QRS    send slower                QTH   location

I hope you have recovered from your Thanksgiving feast. However, not to spoil the mood but shortly after Thanksgiving comes Christmas.

How are you doing on your Christmas shopping?  More important how are you doing on your Christmas hinting?  You know the hints you leave for other so they know what to get you for Christmas.  By the time you read this you will not have much time left before Christmas if it hasn’t already come and gone.  I think a review of my Christmas Hint list is in order.  Here is a list of places to leave that hint so your significant other will be sure to find it.

I doubt that many of you will get them to buy you that $2000 HF rig but maybe a new mobile rig or a Heil headset with microphone or an ARRL membership with subscription to QST.  How are they going to know what you want if you don’t “hint” them?

Here are a few suggestions where to leave him or her you hint so you get the ham radio items you want for Christmas.  You can use a page from a catalog or magazine to be:

Taped to their car steering wheel.
Taped on their cereal box or coffee cup
Taped on the bathroom mirror
Leave the store catalog on the coffee table open to the right page
Clipped to the lamp on the night stand
Taped to the door going to the garage or outside
Put a hint in her underwear drawer.  Note: this doesn’t work for men
Put one on his or her computer monitor
Pin one to their pillow
Talk about it every chance you get

I am sure that if you think real hard you can come up with some good “HINT” places of your own. Good luck and I hope you get what you want for Christmas.

How about the winter weather? Starting with lake effect snows from lake Michigan and Lake Erie? 

I was raised in Pennsylvania about one mile south of Lake Erie so I know a little about lake effect.  Then there was the snow storm out west with a large amount of snow in some areas with road closures and many vehicle accidents. Here in Ohio we had some snow but not like the other areas have been hit.

This is a good time to think about winter safety. It doesn’t matter if you are just heading out the door to work or taking that trip to grandma’s house for Christmas you should be thinking about car safety.  Here are some things you should do to prepare for that snow emergency.

For the car or SUV check your tire conditions, battery, anti-freeze and check your lights. Also have window scrapers, shovel, cat litter, a working flashlight and clear your car lights of snow just to name a few items.  For personal safety you should have blankets, winter coats, boots, hats and gloves for everyone in case you get stuck and have to walk your way out. You should have food and water for everyone in the vehicle so if you can’t walk your way out you can at least wait comfortably for help to arrive. If you do get stuck and run you vehicle for heat make sure the exhaust pipe is open and clear and remains that way. It is also a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full on a daily basis and to fill up before leaving on the ride to grandma’s house for Christmas.  After all we need you and yours to remain safe and have a happy holiday.

Remember if you not going anywhere on New Year’s here is something fun to try.  The ARRL Straight Key Night is coming up on January 1, 2017.  Why not dust off that old straight key and give it a try.  Who knows you may like it and have some fun.  Straight Key night starts at 0000Z and ends at 2359Z (UTC). More details can be found at

This 24-hour event is not a contest; rather it is a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage. Participants are encouraged to get on the air and simply make enjoyable, conversational CW QSOs. The use of straight keys or bugs to send CW is preferred. There are no points scored and all who participate are winners. Results from previous contests and events can be found at

"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone"  Ronald Reagan

To you and yours, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

For the latest Section Traffic Monthly Report go to:

73, David, WA3EZN
Ohio Section Traffic Manager


Scott Hixon, KC8ITN

As 2016 comes to a close, a lot of people want to reflect on the year and what they have done. At the end of the year, I like to look at the year ahead and think about how I can make it better than the previous.

I’m not saying that you should just forget about what you have done throughout the year. It’s just that some people spend so much time looking back, they forget to look forward. Alexander Graham Bell said it best, “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us”.  It’s good to do an end of the year “debrief” to figure out what worked and what didn’t, but the best thing is to continually improve.

One of the things I found that I can improve on at future events is to have more kid friendly flyers and brochures available. The ARRL used to have a tri-fold flyer called “Leap Into Ham Radio” that they put out back in the early 2000’s, but I think they have since discontinued it. When they came out, I ordered around 1000 of them to hand out during scout and youth events. A recent look on the ARRL website shows that they do have a “Ham Radio Youth” flyer that you can download or order from them. Another option is to be creative and make your own! By making your own, you can personalize it to fit your area, group or event.

Another area I found that I can improve on is involving more ham operators. One of the worst situations to be in is to have a lot of scouts wanting to get on the radio and not having enough radios to put them on. Now, this doesn’t mean you should have one radio for each scout. But, you should have enough so that there are not long lines waiting to get on the radio. About the only line a scout is willing to spend a lot of time in is a food line! Showing amateur radio to a large group of scouts cannot be a one man show. Involve your friends, radio clubs and emergency communications groups. By involving other people to help they may, in turn, get others involved. That’s how we grow our hobby!

So, as the New Year approaches, try to look ahead more than you look behind. There’s nothing we change about the past because it’s already happened. But, we CAN make the future better!

Don’t forget about the “Scout Activity Contest” that I have mentioned throughout the year. There will be an individual and a group winner. The rules for the contest are simple: Keep track of all the hours you or your group put in showing scouts (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies) amateur radio during 2016. Turn in your results to me, and the individual and group with the most hours will win an award! The deadline to send me your results is January 15, 2017. You can email me your results at: Please put “Scout Contest” in the subject line of your email. I am planning on doing the same kind of contest for 2017 so now’s the time to start planning for next year.

I would like to wish everyone in the Ohio Section a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you’re out and about during this season, drive carefully. My loved ones may be in the car next to yours.

Remember to lift someone up that is feeling down, help your fellow man and lend an ear to someone who needs to talk. You may be that one person who can make a positive difference is another’s life.
I will talk to you all next year!  Take care and make a difference in someone’s life!

73,  Scott Hixon  KC8ITN

Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager

I attended three amateur radio club meetings this month: The Zanesville Amateur Radio Club (ZARC-W8ZZV), the Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA-W8VP), and the Amateur Radio Club of American Legion Post 641 Belle Valley (AA8AL). I also attended the Guernsey County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (GCARES).

I attended the CARA officers’ meeting, two Cambridge Main Street Christmas Parade Committee meetings, and the Guernsey & Noble Counties Long Term Recovery Committee meeting, six amateur radio meals. I also helped provide lineup and communications for the Cambridge Christmas Parade. And, I will also be helping with the first annual Byesville Christmas Parade.

The Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, W8VP, operated a Special Event Station on November 5 from the Waller-McMunn building celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Cambridge City Band-the oldest continuous community band in Ohio.  I had fun operating and logging.  Needless to say, we brought enough food that day to feed a group five times our size. Hams like to get together and eat and play radio!

December will be a slow month for meetings because most of the amateur radio clubs locally do not have meetings.  CARA will have an Awards Banquet on December 10.

Unfortunately, my e-mail was hacked on November 30, and they stripped the contacts out of my address book.  So, I have to rebuild the contacts in my address book.  So, if you normally get the CARA Communicator from me, and you did not receive it on December 1 and what it, please send me an email requesting the newsletter. 

Thanks.  Remember to be “Radio Active”!

’73 Lyn, N8IMW  

From: Fritz Tender, WD8E - Assistant Section Manager

Good Morning All,

Hebron had its first measurable snow fall reminding me why I dislike shovels.  This is my last article as Central Ohio Assistant Section Manager.  As such, I want to thank everyone who allowed me to have more fun than I deserved.  I am planning my hamfest itinerary and barring foul weather I look forward to seeing many of you very soon.

73, Fritz, WD8E


Jim Yoder, W8ERW/5

Many of us have now felt the chill of the winter season as we quickly approach the holidays and the beginning of a new year.  I am not sure that I am ready for it, but it has arrived here in Texas with some frost and below freezing temperatures.  Now this might not be nearly as harsh as it is for Ohioans but, I fear I have begun to acclimate to Texas weather.  As I walked outside this morning I decided that I was indeed cold.  The local media seems to be making a huge deal of what would be rather normal back in Ohio.  I am told that if it snows, not to even think about venturing out on the roads.  Good advice I am sure that is.  Driving here can be an adventure in good weather. 

Ohio Section Hams have been busy all year working on and completing FEMA NIMS courses and other related training to support ARES.  The submissions to the ARES Training Database have been steady and continue to grow with over 500 Ohio Amateurs currently included in the training numbers which are now at over 3,300 classes recorded.  Over 300 have completed the FEMA core courses, ICS-100, 200, 700 and 800.  Many others have also documented additional FEMA training and the ARRL Emergency Communications courses EC-1,2 & 3.  This is an impressive amount of activity and a serious measure of the dedication and interest being given to the program by Ohio Section Hams.

So now that the chill of winter is upon us and we all have those antenna projects completed for the year, there is time to grab a hot cup of coffee and knock out one or more of these informative FEMA NIMS courses.  I think you will find that they are not difficult and you will learn some interesting facts and procedures concerning how a disaster situation may be handled.  You will also learn how your Amateur Radio skills would be used and what to expect when it happens.  These courses are put together with input from all of the significant players including business, local responders and the Federal Agencies tasked to support communities when necessary.  The training is updated regularly to included lessons learned and the latest methods and technologies.

Information on how to get started is available on the website.  Your Emergency Coordinator is also a great resource as is your local EMA.  The courses are free and available online and don't take a lot of time to complete. 

Let's all have a wonderful holiday season and be safe if you plan to travel.  I look forward to the onrush of training certificates that will be in my email soon after the new year.

73 and thank you,



Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,

OK, now just who left the freezer door open! Really? 2 degrees here in Lexington on December 15th? I guess I have to report that it’s winter outside now, even though on the calendar it says that we have another week to go. Oh well, I’m going to look on the bright side of things, at least the beer and pop are staying cold out in the garage now!!

Did you read the segment above about the Christmas Special “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website yet? It’s there..!! AND.. I’m definitely sure that you’ll want to get in on this. Just go to the website and click on the big RED arrow on the left side.  Here’s a link: 

Be on the lookout for my annual End of the Year report coming very soon. I’ve got it almost completed and wow, we did a lot this year for sure. I know that you’ll find it very interesting for sure.

The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, has died. The bill stalled in the Senate due to the intervention of only one member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). Over the course of the past year, Sen. Nelson has received thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls from concerned constituents asking for his support of H.R. 1301. After numerous meetings were held with his senior staff in an effort to move the legislation forward, it became very clear that the Senator just didn’t want to have this legislation pass. So, we now have to start all over next year with the 115th Congress. So, with that in mind, I’m sure that there will be even more of a push for letter writing campaigns, and contacting your Legislators to get them on-board to pass this next year. I’m very sure that the Florida Senator has already gotten an ear full from the 44,000 plus Amateur Radio operators that reside there! Maybe the next time he won’t be quite so obstinate!

Are you getting those emails from me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. Heck, just send me an email   I’ll get you added to the mailing list. There’s a link to do this on the Ohio Section website, it’s on the bottom left corner. For your convenience. Here’s a direct link to it:  I urge all of you to make sure that everyone, regardless of whether they are a League member or not, gets signed up for one of these options. You can always “Opt-Out” at any time if you feel this is not what you were expecting. 

Let’s talk about the Ohio Section website. You can find the Ohio Section Website at:  If you don’t have this website set as your home page, I urge you to do so. It changes a lot and it’s so important for you to be kept up to date with the very latest information.

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

Are you a member of the ARRL?? If you aren’t a League member, this is a great opportunity to become one. Want more information on how to join? Here’s the link: There’s even a 90 day FREE trial that you can apply for if you’ve never been a member.. Got questions about being a member or what the League is all about? Send me an email   I’ll be happy to call or write to you. We can even meet and have coffee if you’d like, and I’ll buy!!

I’m sure all of you have heard me say that I’m always available for you, whether you’re an ARRL member or not. It’s true, and you can feel free to write or call me anytime. If you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to sit and chat awhile over a cup of coffee or something cold to drink, feel free to call or write me  (419) 512-4445 or   

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

73, Scott, N8SY


John Perone, W8RXX

The hard working Ohio OO's monitored a total of 1149 hours in November.

Only 1 OO card was sent.

73, John, W8RXX



November 2016

2.30 GB



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



The first Saturday in January is Kids Day. This is the time to get youngsters on the air to share in the joy and fun that Amateur Radio can provide. Kids Day gets under way on Saturday, January 7, at 1800 UTC and concludes at 2359 UTC. Sponsored by the Boring (Oregon) Amateur Radio Club, this event has a simple exchange, suitable for younger operators: First name, age, location, and favorite color. After that, the contact can be as long or as short as each participant prefers.

Kids Day is the perfect opportunity to open your shack door and invite kids over to see what Amateur Radio has to offer. Details are on the ARRL website.


01/15/2017 | Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation Hamfest
Location: Nelsonville, OH
Sponsor: Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation

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

A final – final..  Christmas is upon us. A time of joy, peace and love to ALL. Keep in your thoughts and prayers those who aren’t as fortunate as we are, and those who are serving to preserve our freedom.

Janie and I do want to express our sincerest THANKS to YOU and YOURS for everything that you have done to make the Ohio Section great! May you all have a Very Merry Christmas and a Fantastic New Year!