Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March Edition of the Ohio Section Journal

The Ides of March Edition!!

In this issue:




Hey Gang, it’s time to start thinking of either renewing, or obtaining your Skywarn training for 2017. Do you know where the training is being made available?

Here’s are links to all weather offices that cover Ohio. Depending on where you live will depend on which weather office you’ll want to look at. It’s your choice as to which area you want to go to, but just be sure to get that training in!

You can also find these links on the Ohio Section ARES webpage under Skywarn too 

Hey speaking of getting that all so important weather information... Did you know that all the National Weather Service Bulletins for Ohio are posted on the Ohio Section Website? They are, here’s a link to that page..    

This page lists all weather bulletins that effect Ohio and are posted directly by the National Weather Service.


(from Michael Schulsinger, N8QHV)

The Ohio State University MetClub is hosting the 21st Severe Weather Symposium.  The symposium is free, though there is a charge for parking at the Ohio Union on OSU's main campus. 

The 2017 symposium is scheduled for Friday, March 24th.  Lunch is available in the Union, or at restaurants across High Street.

I have attended most of these and only regretted one year - the year a tornado outbreak plowed across northern Kentucky, southern Indiana and southern Ohio during the conference!  The link to RSVP is .

Hope to see everyone there!


(from Jim, K8MR)

The results of the 2016 Ohio QSO Party are now available at the OhQP web site,  Thanks to all who participated, and we hope you will join us again for the 2017 event, on Saturday, August 26.


Jeff Kopcak – TC

Hey gang,

Ever heard of a makerspace?  I hadn’t until one of the podcasts I follow, Hak5, talked about the concept and visited a couple.  Following that, the “QSO Today” podcast (episode 75) talked about a connection to ham radio and the January 2017 edition of QST gave ideas for clubs participating in “Maker Faires.”  Makerspaces, sometimes referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, or fablabs are shared resources for creative DIY types where people can gather to create, invent, and learn.  Sound familiar?  It should.  Those are the foundations of Amateur Radio.

“These spaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone” states  Makerspaces are a relatively new idea with a leaning toward younger individuals.  Spaces can be setup by a group of individuals, nonprofit company, or for-profit company who host spaces in rented buildings, schools, universities, libraries, or anywhere else the community decides to meet.
The business model is similar to that of a gym membership where users of the space pay a monthly membership fee - somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-$50.  This gives members access to the facility and its resources.  Those resources may include: machine shop, wood shop, welding shop, electronics lab, 3D printer, laser engraver, art supplies, blacksmithing, molding and casting, robotics lab, CAD software, glass blowing, space for experiments, and even entrepreneurship classes.  The possibilities are endless.  This model works because purchasing even one piece of equipment will run an individual more than the cost of a membership fee.  Experts and instructors are available to help others learn how to use the equipment – on-site or through training classes.

When you think about it, hams have been doing this for decades: borrowing radios, borrowing test equipment, and pulling knowledge from the larger community to accomplish a task.  The community, as a whole, is a much more powerful resource when each individual shares their own knowledge with the community and builds encouragement for others.  Look at all the aspects of the ham radio hobby.  Some hams are good at soldering, surface mount, climbing towers, programming, tuning repeaters, fabrication, digital operation, software defined radios, Internet linking, portable operation, award chasing, DX, CW, QRP, building antennas – no one ham can do it all.  It’s the reason most of us join clubs.  Contribute to the community and learn from others.

Getting ham clubs affiliated with makerspaces will promote the maker mentality of ham radio in a space where people who make stuff are already gathering.  A club could hold licensing classes or a build project in the space.  Others would see those sessions posted around the space, promoted on the website or Facebook group, or in an email to the makerspace members and community inviting others to join in.  One club in our section is doing just that.  The Wood County Amateur Radio Club has partnered with the BiG Fab Lab in Bowling Green, Ohio.  I am a Life member of the WCARC and joined this club while attending BGSU in 2002.
About the BiG Fab Lab from their website:

BiG Fab Lab, LLC is an open-access 24/7 workshop (or “Maker Space“) that serves people in the Northwest Ohio region. We provide the equipment, classes, private storage and studio space, and personal assistance to a membership community that allows them to prototype and develop any idea they can imagine. We are targeting people, schools, and businesses who have an interest in hands-on skills in a variety of crafting, design, manufacturing areas, and business incubation. We also provide retail space so that our members can test market and sell their creations! … Could you imagine the power of bringing business, students (K-12 & university), and community members together into one place? No walls, no silos, each sharing and collaborating with others to innovate, educate, and collaborate. Perhaps we could transform our region and maybe the world!

Located in the Woodland Mall off North Main Street, the $40 membership fee gives access to: a wood shop, machine shop, engravers, 3D printers, plotters, laser engravers, an arts and crafts space for ceramics, large cafeteria style meeting room, and they’re not done yet!  Training classes are held for each piece of equipment in the lab.  Once a member is trained and demonstrates the ability to safely operate the equipment, an achievement is added to their member swipe-card giving them access to that equipment 24/7.

The BiG Fab Lab will be featured in an episode of the PBS show “The American Woodshop.”  Scott Phillips, host of The American Woodshop, and the crew from WBGU-TV (a former employer of mine), taped episode 2409 set to air this month (March 2017).  If you missed the show or it’s not carried by your local PBS station, past episodes can be found at and look for “Watch Episodes” near the bottom.

In one of my return trips to visit the club, I got a tour from Bob Boughton – N1RB and Bob Willman – WB8NQW to see how this partnership came to be.  Mark Bowlus, Founder and Director of the BiG Fab Lab, wanted to strengthen the presence of electronics in the lab.  Doing some research, he reached out to the Wood County Amateur Radio Club.  Over the past few years, the two have partnered and are developing a relationship promoting electronics and ham radio.  The club established a station at the Fab Lab which and will include VHF/UHF station and HF station.  Of course, the work is never done and more is being added all the time.

WCARC couldn’t be happier about the cooperation they are receiving from the Fab Lab.  To date, there have been two ham radio licensing classes; one Technician and one General.  A second Technician class was started in February of this year.  The turnout has been better than expected because the BiG Fab Lab is promoting these classes on their calendar and Facebook group.  Participants come as far away as Michigan.  Students are charged $30 for the training manual, exam fee, and a monetary fee charged by the lab to use the space.

Future plans include building out the electronics area with test equipment.  The club hopes to offer regular electronics and license training classes.  Once the training classes are in place, the Fab Lab has offered to waive the lab membership free for WCARC members!  Additionally, the club plans to use the station as a base of operations, being more out in the public, in case of an emergency.

Issues the WCARC had to address are: legal agreements and unauthorized access to the station.  Legal agreements are incredibly important.  Their agreement spells out and covers both the lab and club should either entity disband, dissolve, or go out-of-business; for example, what happens to the Club’s equipment.  A club seeking to do the same would need legal counsel or know one willing to do pro bono work to write up a legal agreement.

The BiG Fab Lab is a 24-hour facility.  Having a station control operator at all times is unreasonable.  The club, with the help of a partnering company, developed a method to allow the equipment to be turned on for anyone to listen.  To inhibit transmitting, the microphone port will be disabled by default.  Once a lab member becomes licensed or holds a valid amateur license, that achievement will be added to their access card just as if they were qualified on any other piece of equipment.  When the member swipes the card with that achievement, the microphone port will be enabled allowing that licensee to transmit.

Having access to a full shop is an amazing resource and opportunity to get ham radio out in front of like-minded people.  If a similar shop is not nearby, opportunities for clubs to participate in “Maker Faires” are available too.  The article in QST describes them as “one part festival, one part flea market, one part rock concert.”  Makers are brought together in a hamfest-like environment to display their projects including: 3D printing, electronics and microcontrollers, robotics and drones, music and dance, homemade electric vehicles, art and textiles, cooking, science, woodworking, and blacksmithing.

One theme that kept popping-up in the article: focus on making, not operating.  Visitors are not interested in watching a ham making contacts or ‘get licensed’ pamphlets.  Take an indirect approach to ham radio.  Makers want to see Wi-Fi and Bluetooth used for wireless data links, long-range data systems (data modes, packet), microcomputers and inexpensive tablets, ADS-B, weather satellite receivers, spectrum analyzers, cable and antenna sweepers, and SDR – to name a few.  Makers are already familiar with these technologies.  Promote these topics – which lead to discussions on getting licensed.  Explain ways ham radio can add value to their projects.  A new wide area network technology called LoRa has makers really excited to be able to send bidirectional wireless data between 0.3 kpbs and 50 kbps over long ranges.  Hams have been doing similar networking with packet and mesh.

Each year, do a different project to keep people coming back.  Some examples of projects include demonstration on the relationship between wavelength, frequency, and changes in VSWR.  Explain how communication efforts in a recent natural disaster could have benefited by building an NVIS antenna for a particular band.  Have a display prepared on antenna resonance with some hands-on activities.  An SDR, antenna, and computer could show different signals on a spectrum display.  Bring lots of Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and circuit boards.  Be patient as it may take some time to get a maker licensed.  Who knows, they may become your club’s most active member.

I challenge clubs to contact these organizations and form a partnership with a local makerspace or participate in a maker faire.  I found a number of maker spaces throughout the section including the Columbus Idea Foundry, dubbed “the largest makerspace on the planet” by Tech Crunch.  Doing some searching on the Internet leads to maker faires in different parts of the state.  Not only is the Wood County Amateur Radio Club pioneering in the maker arena, the Alliance and Massillon Amateur Radio Clubs are involved with the University of Akron Wayne College 3 (UAWC3) Lab.

Efforts to get ham radio into schools for younger adults is great. I think the buy-in from administrators is far too high because it does not fit into their method of teaching to the standardized tests. I’ve been a part of conversations where the feeling that recruitment in scouting programs has not been as favorable as anticipated.  Efforts could be better utilized by sharing our hobby with makers, who tend to be younger adults and college aged students with a similar mindset.

Below are links related to makerspaces and faires:

Wood County Amateur Radio Club:

BiG Fab Lab:

Ohio Hacker/Makerspaces:

That's about it for this month. 

Thanks for reading and

73… de Jeff – K8JTK


John Myers, KD8MQ - ACC

Hi everyone, well, another month, another few days closer to springtime.  .  .  At least according to the calendar. It’s said that only in Ohio can you go from flip-flops to mukluks in less than 24 hours. As I’m putting the finishing touches to this months column, I’m also keeping my eye on a Winter Weather Advisory that we are under for the next few days.

Here at my QTH, the NPOTA withdrawal is beginning to subside, and plans are being made for my next obsession. How about yours? If you feel “stuck”, and need some direction, check out pg 14 of the March issue of the Radiogram. Tom WB8LCD has penned a pretty interesting article on what to do when your feel like your Amateur Radio pursuits are at a standstill. You can find it by going to the Newsletter page on the Portage County ARS (PCARS) website. The URL for the website is

After last months OSJ went out, I got the following e-mail from Jack, W8TEE. Jack is the VP of the Milford (OH) ARC

“Hi John:
I've been licensed continuously since 1954 and keeping and expanding membership has always been a problem. Our club gives the FCC exams every month and, by far, the Tech license is the most common exam taken. This month, 15 sat for the exam, and all but two were Techs. Our meeting starts about a half an hour after the exam period ends and we extend an invitation to attend. Few do.

I did manage to talk to one new Tech who is not going to renew or upgrade. When asked why, his response was: "It's no different than my cell phone." I think the problem is that Techs buy an HT and only use the local repeater. They never experience what HF has to offer or any of the many other aspects of our hobby. Cost is one factor, as many are EE students at the university. Indeed, one major motivation for my March, 2016, QST article was to show how you can build an inexpensive, yet viable, HF rig. 

Our club feels strongly enough about this that we have purchased a "loaner rig", complete with transceiver, PS, and antenna, that members can borrow to experience the HF bands. True, only 10M has a Tech phone section, but at least they can listen to what they are missing. I think our next club build will be the BITX40, a 7W SSB rig which now has an LCD display and VFO for $59. Things like this are a step in the right direction: We need Techs to experience what HF has to offer and thwart the "cell phone" analogy.

If other clubs are doing things to address this issue, I sure would like to hear about it.


Thanks Jack, I would also like to hear what other clubs are doing about this issue. By the way, the article that Jack mentions is titled “a Modular 40 Meter CW Transceiver With VFO”, and appeared in the March, 2016 issue of QST (pg 39).

I’m right between two speaking gigs as I write this. Last night, I was honored to speak to the Mahoning Valley ARA, and hear about all that they have coming up. Then on the 16th, I’m looking forward to speaking to the Silvercreek ARA about “Life After NPOTA”.

Mahoning Valley ARA will be doing a two week Special Event with the Lake to River chapter of the American Red Cross. According to, they are celebrating Red Cross month. They’ve secured the callsign of W8R from March 20, through April 3rd. It’s not in the March, or April issues of QST, but by the time you read this, it might be on I’ll also be including it in an upcoming issue of the Monday Morning Message (

The Ohio ARES NVIS day is coming up next month. According to Scott, N8SY who spoke to the Massillon ARC at their March meeting, this year’s NVIS Day will occur on April 22nd. I’m betting there will be more information on this event elsewhere in the Section journal.

Las month, I mentioned Tom Gallagher’s editorial “Get On The air With History” (Pg 11, March, 2017 QST). In keeping with the subject of that editorial, the Alliance ARC is talking about doing a rather unusual SES sometime this year. They are looking at commemorating the Great Alliance Squirrel Hunt of 1832. I bet most communities have some kind of quirky historical event that would make for a fun Special Event. Check with your local Historical society. Make sure to e-mail me your ideas. I just might include them in a future column.

And, I think that’s about it for this month. Hopefully next month’s column will find us enjoying better weather.



Stan Broadway, N8BHL

And… here we go!

ARES service is never over- but we do achieve a bit of a break over the winter months. Now, in March, it’s time to get going again. There are already some major events (one being “The Arnold” in Columbus, the largest sporting event in the world) and more on tap for early spring. YOUR help is most appreciated as we look for volunteers in our various events. Thank you for participating!

Make sure you have a trip to Marion Tech set for April 1! That will be our annual Ohio ARES Conference, and we plan to have some excellent speakers and subjects for you all!  Of course we’ll have some business updates for the Ohio Section, and answer some of your questions that have come in over the winter.  One of the  biggest stories in amateur radio this year is the system to relay message traffic across the country- formerly a province of the ARRL’s National Traffic System, a new player (Radio Relay International) and some political issues have brought this whole world into the spotlight. Catch up on what’s happening, and how we can make use of whichever system for ARES!  Another topic will be MARCS and trunked radio systems. Many, if not most, of us have operated the state system radios, but what goes on behind the scenes? What exactly is this animal?  We want to review the strides which have been taken for the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s credentialing system, and what it means to you. We’ll hear from our number one customer- the EMA Director, with a talk by the President of the Ohio EMA Director’s Association Sean Miller, KD8RBM.  We’ll take the pulse of how amateur radio is regarded across the state, and what we can do to serve our agencies.  This should be a “not-to-be-missed” meeting for all EC’s! It is open to ALL ARES members, so c’mon in!

NVIS antenna day is scheduled for April 22. In addition to 40 and 80 meters, we want to add 160 and 60 meters (a good 160 antenna should also operate on 60). With the band conditions in the trash, we need to work up alternative bands and plans to maintain communications across the state!  These new bands should make for some interesting antenna construction projects, so get your teams busy!!  We’ll circulate more details to the EC email list, so make sure you as an ARES member are getting these emails forwarded by your EC!

Thank you so much for being diligent in getting your NIMS training! Our numbers are looking great! If you haven’t taken a brief period to do these online courses, please do so!  Our standards are that these four courses (100, 200, 700, 800) should be completed if you wish to participate in an actual emergency setting such as an EOC or shelter.

We are slow, but moving bit by bit at The Sarge – the new station room and equipment are completed, and we most recently have pulled hardline for the antenna runs to the new room. Connectors and testing should take place soon, and we’ll be back on the air from our new facility. Operation continues from our temporary location at the EOC in the meantime. The wheels of government can be ~very~ slow sometimes!

I hope you have seen reports of the massive flooding across the country. That type of situation can arise quickly- and it can (and did) happen in Ohio!  The number one mantra is just like scouting, “Always Be Ready!”

You can view the SEC’s monthly reports on the website..

73, Stan, N8BHL


John Ross, KD8IDJ

2017 Newsletter Contest
T-Minus 3 months…until the deadline for the 2017 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest…I can hardly believe it myself.

Thanks for all for all of the great entries so far and there still is time. Remember we need two newsletters…from different months…for your club to be eligible. If your newsletter is web-based  we need a notification when the new editions are ready to be viewed.

The awards will be presented at the meeting in August at Columbus Hamfest.

Keep up the good work…it’s making a difference!

Severe Weather Training
Another blast from the “it’s hard to believe” department. The first three months of this year have showed us severe weather can happen anytime…even in winter! Now, we’re about ready to enter tornado season with a couple of twisters already under our belts.

This year’s severe weather training from the National Weather Service(NWS) has already started…and my recommendation is you find one to attend. It’s good for  a lot reasons…just a good refresher, news of any changes at the NWS, and a lot of folks who would like to become Amateur Radio operators! I know here in Central Ohio I go every year, with my portable radio in tow, and I get questions for a lot folks how to get licensed. We are fortunate enough to have a representative from our local club address the crowd and talk about Amateur Radio’s involvement and how to get started.

This is  great service the NWS offers and they take our involvement seriously. I know many clubs are active in this already…never hurts to have more.

The folks who run the weather nets are truly ”weather gods” for the work they do. They are well trained, qualified and committed to gathering and sending the correct information to the NWS.

The season officially get under way on March 22…two days after the start of Spring! Listen for the sirens at 9:50 AM…and join a weather net!!

College Amateur Radio Clubs
I’m still getting emails from my article a couple of months back about radio clubs at universities around Ohio and the country in general.

It’s a big deal and a big push to help the clubs that already exist and to help college clubs that are struggling.

A great success story is right here in Ohio at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland….a ham radio club with 150 members!!

I’ll be on my way up there in a few days to get a first-hand look at the operation…pictures and all. Watch for great story next month!

Here’s a link to the rules..


John, KD8IDJ


David Maynard, WA3EZN - STM


Here we are in the first days of March and Ohio has already seen summer like severe weather. There have already been seven confirmed tornadoes in Ohio and that is before spring arrived.  With the warm winter it is possible that we may have a hot summer with an active tornado season.  I encourage everyone whether you are a ham operator, wife or child to take advantage of any and all weather spotter training that you find available. 

And as I now work to finish this article the weather advisory has changed to a snow storm which may be the biggest storm in March history. Snow and winds are predicted for Ohio with possible snow fall on the east coast predicted to a foot or more. 

Steps to prepare for severe weather or any other disaster should be started now!  Remember that when severe weather or a disaster arrives for you and your family it is already too late to plan.

This is the most severe reports for any 48-hour period in the U.S. in almost six years.  Almost 60 tornadoes and just over 1,000 total reports of severe weather tore through parts of the Midwest, South and East from February 28 through March 1, 2017, in what was the largest severe weather outbreak since the late spring 2011.  National Weather Service surveys have confirmed at least 59 tornadoes occurred in 11 states from Kansas and Iowa to Michigan to Tennessee during the outbreak.  There were seven tornadoes in Ohio.

Multiple rounds of severe weather moved through our region during the early to mid morning hours on March 1, 2017. These storms produced all types of severe weather -- tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail, and flash flooding. And all of this prior to the following weather exercises.

Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week - March 19-25, 2017
Statewide Tornado Drill - Mar 22, 2017 9:50 am
Flood Safety Awareness Week - Mar 19-25, 2017
            Tornado Safety

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornadoes are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees, and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year. Although tornadoes are most common in the Central Plains and the southeastern United States, they have been reported in all 50 states.  The seven reported as being in Ohio in March proves that we must all be prepared.
If you know what to do before, during and after a tornado, you will minimize your risk of injury and increase your chances of survival.
I am going to quote (copy) some information form this website since I can not do as good a job as this website has done, thank you State of Ohio.

If you need more information just Google Tornado and you can also be overwhelmed with the information available, the stories being told and the pictures of the total destruction of businesses, homes and communities. Final Words: PREPARE NOW!!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has made files for the Ready Campaign's publications available to the public to download at no cost.  Are You Ready, an in-depth free guide to Citizen Preparedness is available from FEMA.

This particular book consists of 206 pages book chock full of useful information presented in a format that is easy to read with photos, charts, and checklists. It can be used as a reference guide or even as a step-by-step manual for taking protective measures to secure your homestead against disaster.

With that in mind, here is how to get a print copy of the ARE YOU READY guide for free.

In the body of the email indicate you would like a copy of “Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (IS-22).” Be sure to include your mailing address (a PO box is okay). A short time after sending the email, you should get an order acknowledgment. Your copy arrived in about six to ten weeks.  You can also call the FEMA publications office at 800-480-2520 with the same request.
If you would like an electronic copy as well, here is download link:

Just keep in mind that any publication related to preparedness, whether free online or purchased is only as good as the follow-through you take to ensure you have done the best job you can to acquire the skills and supplies to prevail following a disruptive event. Finally, if you are like me, you have amassed a huge collection of electronic books, manuals, brochures and documents related to preparedness. Just keep in mind that there may be times when a print book may become a lifesaver.

General Preparedness Hints
* Make a family emergency communication plan and include your pets.
* Identify an out of town emergency contact to coordinate information with family/friends.
* Check on neighbors.
* Keep an emergency kit wherever you spend time: home, car, work etc.
* Download the FEMA App and set up local alerts
* Listen to local officials by radio, TV, or social media and take action.
* Practice your preparedness plans with a drill or exercise.
* Take a first aid class so you can help until first responders arrive.

>>Tornado Facts..

As the severe weather season approaches, take some time during Severe Weather Safety Awareness Week to make a safety plan for your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or death in the event severe weather strikes.

Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms. They are usually preceded by very heavy rain and/or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes.

The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths have exceeded the width of one mile and 50 miles long. Tornadoes generally move from southwest to northeast, but have also been recorded traveling in any direction. The forward speed of a tornado varies from 30 mph to 70 mph.

Peak tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July, and they usually occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. One year, though, an EF1 tornado occurred in Fairfield County at 6 in the morning - which proves that tornadoes can happen at any time, during any season.

>>Fujita Tornado Damage Scale - By Category

The Enhanced Fujita Scale is a set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage. It uses

three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of eight levels of damage.

Enhanced Fujita Scale
EF # = 3-Second Gust (MPH)
0 = 65-85
1 = 86-110
2 = 111-135
3 = 136-165
4 = 166-200
5 = Over 200

NOTE: Prior to February 1st, 2007, tornadoes were rated according to the “F” (Fujita) scale rather than the newer “EF” (Enhanced Fujita Scale). Click on the Storm Prediction website for additional information regarding the “F” and “EF” scales.

> Tornado Safety Tips

whether practicing in a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK!

D - Go DOWN to the lowest level
U - Get UNDER something
C - COVER your head
K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed

Take responsibility for your safety and be prepared before a watch or warning is issued. Meet with household members to develop a disaster plan to respond to tornado watches and warnings. Conduct regular tornado drills. When a tornado watch is issued, review your plan – don't wait for the watch to become a warning. Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches or valves.

Despite Doppler radar, tornadoes can sometimes occur without any warning, allowing very little time to act. It is important to know the basics of tornado safety. Know the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings.

Tune in to one of the following for weather information: NOAA Weather Radio, local cable or television (Ohio News Network or the Weather Channel), or local radio stations.

If you are a person with special needs, register your name and address with your local emergency management agency, police and fire departments before any natural or man-made disaster.

NOAA Weather Radio has available an alerting tool for people who are deaf or have hearing impairments. Some weather radio receivers can be connected to an existing home security system, much the same as a doorbell, smoke detector or other sensor. For additional information, visit:

The safest place to be during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement or cellar, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible.

Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building's lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.

If you're outside or in mobile home, find shelter immediately by going to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away.

If as a last resort you cannot quickly get to a shelter, get into your vehicle, buckle your seatbelt and try to drive to the nearest sturdy shelter.

If you experience flying debris while driving, pull over and park.  Choose to either stay in your vehicle, stay buckled up, duck down below the windows and cover your head with your hands, or find a depression or ditch, exit your vehicle and use your arms and hands to protect your head. Never seek shelter under highway overpasses and bridges.

What about your family?  Here are some items you can do now to be prepared in the future.

Sit down with your family members and decide how you will get in contact with each other in an emergency.

Once you figure this out, document the contact information on both a master sheet and on wallet sized cards to be carried by all family members. This document will become your “Family Communication Plan” and it will form the cornerstone of your family emergency plan. It will list all family members, their date of birth, and other important information. Include a photo for each person as well as any important medical information. Also include a contact number for an out of town contact person.

Determine a meeting place where you will meet in the event you can not get home. This may be your workplace, the home of a parent or relative, your church or even at a school if there are children involved. Whatever you decide, you will need at least three possible locations.

Determine the best evacuation routes from your home or workplace to the safe meeting places. Then take the route and make sure it is accurate and that you understand the directions.

Prepare a list of all workplaces along with the address, telephone number, and closest evacuation location in the event getting to the pre-designated meeting place is not possible.   Also prepare a list of all schools that are attended by your children along with the address, contact names, and telephone numbers. Contact the schools now to learn about their own emergency evaluation policies and procedures.

Prepare a list of your doctors and your veterinarian along with their telephone numbers. Include a list of medical conditions and prescription medications that are being taken.

Prepare a list of your insurance policies, including the carrier, the telephone number for claims, and the policy number itself. Include health insurance, homeowners or rental insurance, life insurance policies.

Be aware, however, that phone lines and cell service may not be functional following a catastrophic disaster. Although a valuable tool, do not count on your phone to be the sole mode of communication following a disaster. If you text, you might want to consider a “texting tree.” Texting is usually available even when cell service is down.

Store all of the information you have carefully compiled in multiple locations. For example in a preparedness binder, On a flash drive that you carry with you, In your desk drawer at work  or in an email attachment sent to yourself at one of the email services that you use.

You can view the STM’s monthly report on the website..


David WA3EZN


Lyn Alfman, N8IMW - Assistant Section Manager

I attended the Zanesville Amateur Radio Club meeting, and a Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) officers’ meeting.

The CARA and Guernsey County Amateur Radio Emergency Service meetings were postponed, so members of both groups could attend a two-hour Individual Assistance Damage Assessment Workshop training session by the Ohio Department of Public Safety that was recommended by the Guernsey and Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency Directors Gerry Beckner and Bo Keck.  Eight CARA members attended.

The postponed meetings are scheduled for March 4. The election of 2017 officers will take place at the CARA meeting.

President Bruce Homer, N8JMK, was finally able to present the CARA Amateur of the Year for 2016 to Bob Howell, AC8VW, at the February 23 weekly amateur radio lunch.  The announcement appeared in the February 26 Daily Jeffersonian.  Congratulations, Bob!

The CARA Communicator (quarterly newsletter), usually sent out on March 1, will be sent out after the election results of the March 4 meeting.  Thank you for your patience.

Remember to be “Radio Active”!

’73 Lyn, N8IMW  


Anthony Luscre, K8ZT

Educational Outreach

This month I want to focus on two items-

1. The 2017 Teacher's Institute on Wireless

2. My New Web Pages for Students & Teachers (
    a. Kids Radio Zone
    b. Teacher Radio Zone
    c. DYI/Maker Zone

First as mentioned previously the 2017 Teacher's Institute on Wireless -

Please Pass this on to Teachers in Your Area--
“The  ARRL has announced its 2017 Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology schedule. This summer's sessions will be held July 17-21 in Dayton, Ohio, and July 24-28 at ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut.

The deadline to apply is May 1.

These expenses-paid, intensive professional development opportunities offer educators training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom using Amateur Radio.

Topics covered in the TI-1 Introduction to Wireless Technology include basic electronics, radio science, microcontroller programming, and basic robotics.

Educators in the TI-1 class will also learn about Amateur Radio, take part in a hidden transmitter hunt, and see demonstrations of Amateur Radio satellite communication. Students will build and program their own simple robots. An Amateur Radio license is not required to take the TI-1 class. 

For more information visit- or have them contact me at

The second item is a new set of Web Pages I have created for Students (of any age) and Teachers.
Often you may want to pass on information to others on the wonders of Amateur Radio but are often at a loss for one resource to point them to. I have designed these pages for that purpose. In addition to Amateur Radio information they also contain a wide variety of links on Electronics, STEM (Science Technology & Math), Radio History, Satellites & Space and much more. I have added this wide variety of resources because I have often seen that the route to recruiting a new ham can go through a variety of paths and interests.

On the student page, “Kids Radio Zone” ( I have tried to add a number of fun resources that can appeal to a wide age range of students. Some of the highlights include- Boys Life’s Online Morse Code Machine, Icom’s series of free comic books, Zak & Max, featuring Amateur Radio and electronics, a wide variety of online radios around the world that can be remotely tuned to allow students to listen to radio without a an antenna or even a radio, online satellite trackers, DIY/Maker links and more.

On the teacher page, “Teacher Radio Zone” ( I have included resources for teaching students about Radio & Electronics, Information on ARRL Teacher Resources and more.

On the DIY page, “DIY/Maker Zone” ( I have included a number of resources to draw in Makers and then provide connections between the Makers movement and Amateur Radio.

All three pages are still being tweaked, so please take a look and let me know if you have any problems with links, questions or suggestions. If you have a personal or club website that you manage, I encourage you to add links to these pages. If you write for a club newsletter please include the information about the pages and addresses. Finally, if you have a student, know a student or teacher, have a family member or friend that might be interested I have designed these pages for you to share with them to introduce/encourage a possible new ham.

73, Anthony, K8ZT


Jim Yoder, W8ERW/5

ARES Training Update

The numbers from last month are not handy as I write this, but I can tell you the response during the past several weeks has been amazing.  Ohio Section Hams have been completing NIMS courses daily.  Currently we have 677 members reporting, 459 completing all four of the NIMS core courses required and a total of 4,463 course certificates recorded.  Those numbers will have already increased by the time you read this in the Ohio Section Journal.  This is a very positive accomplishment for the Ohio Section and you are making it happen with your dedication and support. 

Don’t bother doing the math.  The numbers won’t match and that is the result of many of you reporting more than the four required courses.  That is a good thing and it represents the high level of participation by Hams in Ohio.  Many of you not only enjoy Amateur Radio but also work professionally in public service or do so as volunteers.  Thank you for your service as well as for your support of Amateur Radio. 

We have been quite fortunate in Ohio for a number of years and not having widespread or frequent weather situations that require ARES activation.  That could change at any time and recent events elsewhere seem to indicate we are perhaps overdue for something significant.  Obviously none of us wish for that to happen, but we must be ready and trained to respond when called on to do so.  Regular drills, practice and being prepared personally are key factors that are essential.  NIMS training is also now required by many of our served agencies and the State of Ohio EMA. 

The four required courses are the ICS-100, 200, 700 and 800 level training offered free online by FEMA.  Information is available on the  website and I encourage all of you who have not already done so, to have a look and get involved by taking this training.  You can complete each of these four courses in approximately 2 hours.  The information is very well presented and is designed to give you a good understanding of how a disaster response will be structured and how we as Amateurs will fit in to the organized response.  You will find the information is logical and very easy to understand.  When you complete a course, you will be issued a certificate indicating your passing. 

Let’s continue the momentum and get everyone involved with ARES trained.  When you do complete a course, please make sure your local Emergency Coordinator is given a copy to be included in the database.  The easiest way to do so is send an email with an electronic copy of the certificate.  A copy of the FEMA transcript is also good and might be especially suited for those of you who have already completed your four courses or more.  The idea format is a .pdf file including the course number and your call.  The file structure I use to store them is as follows:  W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf, or W8ERW-Transcript.pdf.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have the means to do so, we will rename them before adding them to the database.

It is also appropriate to mention here that all this data is not public and will only be used or shared with the appropriate officials when necessary.  When ARES is activated and we are asked to support a disaster effort, officials who require credentials will be provided with that information.  I also can provide county EC’s with a list of members who have submitted training certificates.  This information can also be provided to ARES members wishing to verify the courses we have on record for them. 

Now you can also help me by letting me know when you change your call.  I will update your information to reflect the change and keep our information current. I also have room to keep email addresses and phone numbers if you care to have them included.  When you do submit your course certificates, please also let us know if you are associating with an ARES group other than your county of residence.  Your data is however associated with county of residence with provision to show you are serving with another county. 

As always, if you have any questions, your local county Emergency Coordinator is an excellent resource.  I will also be happy to answer any questions about the database for you.  Feel free to contact me at any time,

That’s all for this month.  Let me say Thank you again to all of you for your dedication to our ARES mission and diligence in completing these NIMS courses.  This is a seriously positive effort that is being noticed by everyone.  You are making Ohio shine.




Scott Yonally, N8SY - Section Manager

Hey Gang,

Have you seen that the NEWEST “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website? 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!!
Now.. speaking of the website..  Have you looked at it within the past day or so? If not you’re in for a really big surprise!! It’s changed..  Yes my friends, I have freshened it up a bit and made it a little easier for you to maneuver around. There’s now drop-down menus so that you can easily pick what you want to view. As time goes along there will be more changes too.   You will find the Ohio Section Website at:
I hope you like the changes.. It does make it look much more professional for sure.

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. 

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 going to Dayton this year? Just wanted you to know that if you do look for the Ohio Section Booth within the ARRL Field Services Section in building 2. Yes, the Ohio Section will be there once again!! I wasn’t too hopeful at the end of last year when it looked like there just wouldn’t be enough space for us.. But, lo and behold they found room. So, I’ll have the NEW Ohio Section Banner on display and we’re going to celebrate too.. Since the Special Dayton Giveaway was such a huge success last year, we’re going to repeat it.. I have a number of ARRL Gift Certificates, Handbooks and a few other items that we will be giving away. All that you have to do is stop by our booth and sign up! That’s it.. The winners will be announce on Monday, May 22nd and the prizes will be shipped out then. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and good luck to all of 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

Totals for February:

Good OO cards sent = 2
OO cards sent = 1
Total hours monitored by Ohio OO's = 1066

73, John, W8RXX


04/22/2017 | 5th Annual Earth Day Celebration
Apr 22, 1400Z-2000Z, W8PRC, Parma, OH.

Parma Radio Club. 14.245 7.195.
QSL. W8PRC, 7811 Dogwood Lane,
Cleveland, OH 44130.

Contact us to celebrate Earth Day.
We'll be operating solely on power from Ol' Sol.



 03/18/2017 | MOVARC HAMFEST
 Location: Gallipolis, OH
 Sponsor: MOVARC Club

 03/19/2017 | Toledo Mobile Radio Association
 Hamfest and Computer Fair
 Location: Perrysburg, OH
 Sponsor: Toledo Mobile Radio Association

04/01/2017 | Portsmouth Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Portsmouth , OH
Sponsor: Portsmouth Radio Club

04/08/2017 | CFARC 63rd Annual Hamfest
Location: Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sponsor: Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club

04/29/2017 | Jackson County Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Jackson, OH
Sponsor: Jackson County Amateur Radio Club


A final – final..  Today is March 15th.. It’s the Ides of March.. Be careful out there and don’t let any of your friends get to close to you today.. Hi.. hi.. 

A little history if you please..  In 1971 Chatrooms make their debut on ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, and in 1985 the first Internet domain name, is registered.

Now... Amateur Radio is exciting and a lot of FUN. It’s also a learning experience for everyone! Share your enjoyment and learning experiences with those just coming into Amateur Radio!!