delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 12

Affiliated Club News

What other clubs are doing

Tom Sly, WB8LCD Affiliated Clubs Coordinator First I was a son, and a brother. I joined the Christian Church. My first major achievement in life was becoming an Eagle Boy Scout. Shortly after that, I became a Ham Radio Operator. Only after that did I become a licensed driver, a High School Graduate, a Husband, a College Graduate, a Father, a successful Business Owner, a Grandfather. Through all of that, I have remained an active amateur radio operator, with only a few brief periods where I might have been off the air. I've been a ham for most of my life. And, I'm very thankful that I've had the opportunity to enjoy this as my hobby. I'm thankful for the many friends and acquaintances that I've made because of amateur radio. I'm thankful for the education I've received because of amateur radio. I'm thankful for all of the  opportunities that have come my way, because of, amateur radio! Just last month I had the opportunity to attend the Great Lakes Division HamCon at Michigan International Speedway. I want to say “thank you” to all the hams and clubs in Michigan who got together and put that on. They all did their part – Big Time! The venue is outstanding and should serve future HamCon programs very well. The forums were fantastic, as was the banquet. They all did their part in putting this all together. Sure, there were a couple things that weren't perfect, but I'm betting they get those things worked out for next time. I do believe the Great Lakes ham population let them down by not turning out. It would be a shame if they couldn't turn this into a very successful, regular event, but without the support of the individual ham, it's a tough act to keep going. Sometimes being thankful is best shown by “being there” and supporting the folks that are trying to provide opportunities to do something fun. This also plays out at the club level. It takes a lot of good people putting in an outstanding effort to make a good club program. Sometimes you’re going to do all the legwork, put it all together, and get very few members to show up. You can't let that discourage you. You've got to put on the best program you can, even if it's only for the couple club members that came out, while everyone else stayed home to watch TV. But if you stick with it, if you turn out an exceptional product, you'll get the participation. Putting out an exceptional product (club program) doesn't happen at the last minute. Now is the time to be planning out your agenda for 2018 – yeah, the whole year! Every month you've got to have a club meeting, and you usually have a speaker of some sort. My advice – keep it on Ham Radio topics. Lay out your topics a year in advance, six months at a minimum. Once you know what you want the topics to be, you can set about finding the local, or even not so local expert who is willing to do the presentation for you. Have your presentations on topics of interest to you and your club members – don't settle for something less. Every month you should have at least one other “activity”. These can be easy to get filled in on your calendar in advance. Things like Field Day, Ohio State Parks On The Air, building projects, special educational programs. Once you get all of these things on your calendar, it's easier to start getting things lined up with lots of lead time, rather than last minute planning. Sometimes it's nice to just hang out with your friends. A Saturday morning breakfast or lunch can be just the thing to keep people in touch with one another. These can be very casual, so not a whole lot of planning necessary. But, not everyone can make the regular monthly meetings, so this can be a good way to have those members still have a part of the “club experience” even though they can't be there for the real meeting. The Ohio Section is, without a doubt, one of the “hottest” places to be if you're a Ham Radio Operator! Let’s make 2018 our year to raise it up a couple notches. If you're a leader in a club (holding an elected position, or just a good member) let’s make this our year to have more interaction between clubs. Got an extra good speaker, or an interesting build project – ask some of the other nearby clubs if they would like to be involved with you. Get some “friendly” competition going in any of the hundreds of contests going on over the course of a year. Heck, make up your own contest just so you can get something going on to get your own club members active on the air. Special event stations – another opportunity to enlist surrounding clubs to participate with yours doing something fun, but not necessarily a competition – everybody wins! How about we do a Work All Ohio Counties weekend? We publicize it to the county hunters all over the world and let them know this is when they can get OHIO's counties? If we all worked together, I bet we could motivate a lot of Technician Class hams to upgrade to General, and a bunch of General class hams to upgrade to Extra! If you have an upgrade class coming up, get it posted – make sure everyone knows it’s open to all hams, not just members of xyz club. Wouldn't it be cool if we could make Ohio the state with the lowest percentage of Techs and the highest percentage of Extras? From my own personal experience, I know that if you get motivated, get active and do the things of amateur radio, at the end of next year, you too will be thankful for this great hobby! You will have had the time of your life, met some really great people and be all ready to do it again in 2019. Hope to hear you on the air!

From the Public Information

Coordinator

John Ross, KD8IDJ Well, in just a couple of weeks, you can start sending your January newsletters…the 2018 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest is primed and ready for another great year. Officially, the contest starts in January…but if you publish your first newsletter in December you can enter it in the 2018 contest. The rules are pretty the same as last year…you’ll need two entries to be entered. The complete set of rules will follow and if you have any questions call, email or catch me on the radio. Believe me, this contest is a great thing. We have a talented and dedicated group of editors and writers…all great communicators in many ways. Our judges are on board for another year and they are looking forward to sending our winner back to the Great Lakes Division competition. TV Shows and Amateur Radio Once again, I found a TV show that put Amateur Radio to shame…and it was my favorite show NCIS! A couple of weeks ago the plot was to use amateur radio to try and catch a criminal but the real crimes were committed by the show’s writers. First, one of the NCIS agents pretended to a ham. He wasn’t licensed and apparently was using the call sign of another ham operator. I don’t think either is allowed. The agent proceeded to make contact and kept asking for the “handle” of the other guy. Not good and neither was the way they portrayed the other guy…a kind of bumpkin with less than a professional operating skill. There were also mentions of “weird ham radio operators” a couple of times and a complete lack of understanding and appreciation for what we do and how we do it. If they really wanted to show a true picture they could have just asked any of the over 700,000 licensed hams. I’m sure no one would have turned them down and might have really helped solve the crime! So, I fired off an email to NCIS. I tried to be nice and professional and explain how Amateur Radio really works. So far no response. But if I come up missing in a couple of weeks you know that either a CBS censor has found me or a real NCIS agent showed up at my door! Good Hams on Good TV Now for some better news about ham radio. This past week on Wednesday, November 15th, the D.E.A.R.S. radio club was one of the featured stories on a webcast called Ham Nation, https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation. Jim Mayercak, WX8J, was interviewed by Gordon (Gordo) West. WB6NOA, as they viewed slides of the recent (and past) activities that make their radio club so unique. This was a great opportunity to tell more of the world of the great things the students are doing and put Dresden Ohio on the radar of hams world-wide. You can still log into their website and watch the show…and a lot of other presentations as well. Thanks to Lyn, N8IMW, for the heads up! Last month I wrote about the YL’s among us and a few days later I received a great email from Carol Laferty, K4SAF, the Receiving Treasurer of the Young Ladies Radio League. My column was published in the Wave Bender (thanks to Jane Avnet) and here’s what Carol had to say: I read your comments in the YL article in The Wave Bender. Thank you for being so supportive of the YLs in amateur radio. I am the Receiving Treasurer for YLRL for the U.S. & Canada. For this year we have 359 members in the U.S. & Canada. Our DX Receiving Treasurer relayed to me that we have 104 DX, for a total of 463 this year. As Receiving Treasurer, I keep the official YLRL database for the U.S. & Canada. There was a time back 50 years ago or more that we had around 2000. One of my OM ham buddies believes the reason for such a drop is that QST no longer has a YL column. That’s probably as good a theory as any. There are many more YLs on now than then, but so many are Techs, who don’t do much more than check into a 2 meter net once in a while. Many of the YLs on the nets I check into seem so mic shy. I got my license in 1957 at age 15, and was a Novice on CW, of course, for  the customary one year. By the end of that year, my teenage pals and I were pretty proficient in cw. I still enjoy it very much and operate it more than SSB. Your club’s newsletter is excellent. Jane Avnet started sending it to me about a year ago. I can see why it is an award winning newsletter with all the info and articles in it. Thanks Carol and I’m glad to see there are many YL’s in our ranks making may great contributions to Amateur Radio. Stocking Stuffer Radios Hallmark stores have a unique stocking stuffer this year…a blister pack of two micro-sized transceivers! Really…these things are small…about the size of a half-dollar with a four inch rat tail antenna. No stats on the frequency or power (they say they are FCC compliant) but on the back is a complete list of the alphabet and numbers…in MORSE CODE!! They run on four hearing aid sized batteries and I couldn’t find a button…or a jack...for the apparently optional code key! The length of the antenna might be a giveaway to the frequency….somewhere in the UHF band. So on Christmas Day if you hear some unexpected code on some unusual frequencies…write it off as a Hallmark Moment!
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