delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 10

Affiliated Club News

What other clubs are doing

Tom Sly, WB8LCD Affiliated Clubs Coordinator

They say that “old habits are hard to break.”

 I can certainly attest to that. It also seems the opposite is true too: New habits are hard to make! (I need to qualify that, bad habits usually come pretty easy, GOOD habits are hard to make) I know I need to get out there and start visiting all the clubs in the Ohio Section, but it's going to have to be a habit for me to really get it done. I'll be starting next week with a visit to the Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club in the  Youngstown area. Hopefully I'll be able to make it a habit to visit one or more Ohio Section clubs each month. According to the ARRL web site, there are 2495 Affiliated Clubs. The Ohio Section has 110 clubs currently. Since there are 27, 989 Amateur Radio licenses issued in Ohio, that means we should have approximately 250 members in each of our clubs! Alright, that's a bit optimistic. Let's say only 50% of licensed hams are active, now we drop down to 125 current / active members in each of our clubs. (DARA is the obvious exception to this rule)*** Is that what your club looks like at its  meetings and events? Yeah, mine neither. I'm a strong believer in picking as much of the “low hanging fruit” as you can, as quickly as possible! While I'm certainly an advocate for bringing new hams into the hobby, people who are already licensed, or were licensed when they were younger, but then got caught up in life and either let it lapse or have renewed but not been active, is a pretty large group who might be easier to get involved because of their prior experience. Take a look through QRZ.com for the licenses listed in your area. I guarantee there are going to be quite a few who you've never heard of. Reaching out to those who are already familiar with Amateur Radio and already have a license should be pretty easy to start a conversation with. Invite them to your club activities, and, if you've got some good programs for them to participate in, and if your club makes them feel welcome, you might just bring a few back into the realm of being active hams and club members! So, I'm off to visit the Western Reserve Amateur Radio Club, and I'm thinking about all the clubs that are actually pretty close to me. A 50-mile radius would include quite a few. A 100- mile radius would be A Lot! What would it look like if members of local clubs routinely visited with the other clubs in the area? There's really very little downside to it. It's a chance to make new friends. A chance to see how other clubs run their meetings. A chance to pick up ideas on meeting topics / speakers and other club activities. You don't have to belong to every club you visit with, and, at the same time, you can belong to more than one club! I've done a lot of traveling between Ohio and California over the past three years. On a couple of my trips I was able to time them so I could visit with the local ham club where I was staying. ARES of Sonoma County. It was their “homebrew” night, where they all brought in some of their projects and presented them and explained them to the group. I had a great time, met some new friends and learned some interesting things about homebrewing. It was definitely worth the effort to find them and visit them. So, as I'm going to start a program of regular visits, I want to ask you to join me in visiting the other clubs near you. Let me know what your experience was. For everyone who attends their regular club meetings I want you to be conscious of who shows up at your meetings. If it's someone you don't know, or recognize, make it your personal responsibility to greet them and welcome them to your club! That one thing will make them think highly of you personally, they'll feel positive about their visit to your club, and they will have a good feeling about Amateur Radio in general! It's a win, win, win! As and aside to what I was saying (rambling) earlier, DARA is a unique club. Although I've never been to one of their meetings (that's soon to change) I've been a member of DARA.  they have done something very unique for themselves as a club and for all of Amateur Radio. I belong to DARA because I want to be a part of that. I support them as a member and as an annual visitor to the Dayton Hamvention! They have members from all over the world simply because they want to support DARA and what they do for us every year. Let's do some creative thinking and see what other clubs can come up with to be of service not only to their own membership, but to hams the world over. I'll say it again; the Ohio Section is loaded with very intelligent and creative hams – we're certainly capable of coming up with “The Next BIG Thing in Amateur Radio.” Hope to hear you on the air!

From the Public Information

Coordinator

John Ross, KD8IDJ Worst and the Best Over the past several weeks, with hurricanes in Texas and Florida, we have witnessed some of the worst natural disasters in the past 100 years. As mesmerizing as it was to watch the storms on television and listen on radio there was more drama playing out on the ham radio bands. The hurricane nets were in full force 24/7 and the traffic was pretty rugged and non-stop. If you tuned across the other bands there were more nets…and individuals...passing emergency communications in and out of the hardest hit areas. It was amateur radio doing what it does best…stepping up and bringing the full force of our hobby and training…to help. The skill of the operators, their true concern for all of the residents and victims, added up to immeasurable assistance when it was needed. I was never far from a radio tuned to the hurricane net. I had one at work, in the car and at home the shack was light up all day and night. At the Findlay hamfest I don’t think there was a ham who wasn’t thinking about the events unfolding in Florida. One vendor had an old radio for sale at his  table…powered up and a piece of bailing wire for an antenna…tuned to the hurricane net. A lot of people crowded around the table…not to buy the radio but to listen to ham radio in action. One hamfest ham walked by with a tee-shirt that pretty well summed it up “I’m Proud To Be An Amateur Radio Operator”. Indeed, I think we all share that motto. For those who helped and worked the nets…THANK YOU! It’s a great time to be an Amateur Radio Operator. FINDLAY HAMFEST Yes, I did make it to the Findlay Hamfest… first time ever. WOW! What a great time. They have a nice setup there….parking was quick and easy, plenty of room to show off some good “stuff”…and a lot of nice folks. The massive sheep barn wasn’t a BAAADAAAD place either to set up shop! (sorry, just a little city boy humor) It was a great day and I’ll go back next year and hope the construction on I- 75 is done! Nice job Findlay! FirstNet Update The new nationwide first responder cellular net is growing. As of last week, 20 states had signed up. FirstNet hopes to be up and running in a limited mode by November. The have a website with all of the details and latest information, FirstNet.com, and it’s worth a look. Once the net is fully up and running it will help police, fire and other public service agencies communicate across a common platform. Haircut Ham Finally, a ham story too good to pass up. As I sat down at the barber shop to wait, a gentleman walked up and said, “Hi Chief!” Well, politely I asked if I should know who he was and he then pointed to his hat blazoned with the word YAESU across the front! Yes, he was an amateur radio operator. I had met him a couple of years ago, at the Madison County club…and apparently made an impression. I thanked him for the recognition and apologized for not wearing something that identified me as a ham. Maybe I should get a tattoo with my call sign on my forehead…nothing else seems to be growing there! Anyway, there are hams amongst us…and you don’t have look very hard or far.
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH