delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 1

Affiliated Club News

What other clubs are doing

Tom Sly, WB8LCD Affiliated Clubs Coordinator I probably won't be the first, and I hope I'm not the last, but I want to wish you all a Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you've all got your club meetings planned ahead, at least for the first quarter. If you have not lined up your speakers, or your activities, here's a couple ideas: Bring your rig Night: This could be a meeting topic, or a “special” activity for your club. Invite everyone to bring to the meeting, and give a brief description of, a piece of radio equipment that has some special significance to them. Everyone gets 5 minutes to show off their rig. (at 5 minutes each, 6-10 people will take about an hour) You'll see new stuff, old stuff, homebrew stuff and hear stories of why the equipment is significant. Interesting chance to learn something about your fellow club members. Variation – Homebrew night: everyone shows off a homebrew project QSL night: everyone shows off a card(s) of special  significance and tells the story of it  Look at my Shack night: Everyone sends in 3-6 photos  of their shack, antenna farm and all the photos are put  into one big PowerPoint presentation. Everyone takes a turn describing what they have and how they use it. Crystal Radio Build: Give everyone a crystal diode (you can find them really cheap on the internet) and tell them that for the next meeting they need to bring back a working crystal radio set. On meeting night provide an antenna and ground so they can all be shown to work. Prizes for the simplest, most complex, and best looking working radio set. Invite some kids to your meeting that night – kids are always impressed with something that's simple, uses no power and works! Club History: Relive the history of your club, get photos and documents to include. Older members will like to hear about all they've been through, younger members will get a kick out of hearing (and especially seeing) what has happened in the past. I already know what's going to happen when you try one of these ideas. First, you'll describe it in the newsletter, and maybe send out a follow up email about it. When it comes to meeting night, you'll probably have a disappointing number of people show up willing to share. To make this work you need to be a “bulldog”. In addition to your mass appeals to club members, pick out a few, contact them personally and get their  commitment to be there and have something to share. Remind them that the meeting is coming up and remind them of their commitment to “help you” make the meeting a success. Let them know you're counting on them. Getting people motivated is the toughest part of any of this! These are a couple ideas that have worked in my club – PCARS. Sometimes it's nice to have something a little less formal than an “expert from afar,” and sometimes you just need something that can be put together quick and easy. How about you guys? What have you done in your clubs for interesting meetings that are simple to set up, yet still interesting for the members? Let me know so I can share your ideas with everyone. Next month I'm going to talk about the same kind of thing, but more about you, individually. Are you as engaged in the Amateur Radio Hobby as you would like to be? Are you having as much fun with it as you could (should)? People will gravitate in one of two directions – that which is FUN, or that which is just easy. Hope to hear you on the air! Drones for Amateur Radio  Mike Love reports that members of the Southern Ohio Amateur Radio Association (SOARA) recently used a drone to inspect their repeater tower and hard line! Great idea!! At AT&T we’ve been using drones for tower inspection for several months and sometimes to hold up temporary antennas during emergencies or testing. But drones need certified/licensed operators to make them legal and to make sure they don’t drift away. Toy store drones are not the best for amateur radio use…mainly because they are toys! They are not designed to be “flown” around neighborhoods and by no means around guy wires and electric lines. The FCC has a whole set of rules and  regulations…and forms…that you’ll need to operate a drone and you’ll need an upgraded drone as well. The toy drones don’t have very powerful radio control systems and it’s possible they can get away from the operator and fly out of control. The “more professional” drones us GPS navigation and are usually programmed to return to you if the control signal is lost. The last thing you want is your drone in the flightpath of a commercial aircraft! By all means think about drones for tower or antenna inspections at your QTH…it’s beats climbing! But check out all of the requirements before you fly. -John Ross KD8IDJ

From the Public

Information Coordinator

John Ross, KD8IDJ The Huntington, WV newspaper, the Herald Dispatch, published a great article on Ken Massie, WN8F in it’s December 10th edition. Thanks to SOARA/ARES PIO Mike Love WB8YKS we are able to share that article this month. Written by Clyde Beal it showcases a dedicated Amateur Radio operator who takes his hobby seriously. Tri-State Native's Hobby Provides Potential Lifeline in Times of Need… By Clyde Deal Herald Dispatch   Ken Massie was born during the summer of 1929 in Kelly Bridge, Ohio, 4 miles outside of Ironton. Five years later, with the nation in the grip of a depression, his father was forced to sell their larger home and move to a smaller, more affordable location. "I grew up in a one-story frame house with a fireplace in the living room and a woodstove in the kitchen," Massie said. "We drank well water and lit up the night with kerosene lamps. We bathed in wash tubs, slept under feather tick blankets and used an outside toilet that never stopped up. In the evenings Dad would listen to Lum and Abner on our battery- powered Zenith floor model radio. He also loved listening to boxing matches." Massie still remembers the thrill of every ride the day his fourth-grade class took the school bus to Camden Park. He never went swimming in the Ohio River because kids in the area preferred Storm Creek, which was closer and deep enough for a good swim. "At one time, there were five movie houses in Ironton: The State, Lyric, Marlo, Grand and the Ro-Na," Massie said. "The Ro-Na was restored and looks beautiful today with the marquee lights on. The Grand had the best westerns. Roy Rogers was the favorite because he once lived near Portsmouth, Ohio. I still remember him singing 'Happy Trails.' We rode the city bus for a dime. When we didn't have bus fare we'd ride our bikes." As a carpenter, Massie's father would make winter sleds, but there was a twofold reason for doing so - they also were used for hauling firewood. Aside from sleigh riding, the creek behind the grade school made a great ice rink when frozen. His greatest Christmas present ever was a cowboy outfit when he was 12. It came complete with twin holsters and a pair of chrome cap-firing six-shooters. He didn't care for the new winter jacket because it covered his cap pistols. I went to Kelly Bridge grade school," Massie said. "It was about a quarter-mile walk. The school had two buildings, grades 1-4 in one building and grades 5-8 in the other. Each building had a potbelly stove that got red hot in the winter. Three of us boys got caught smoking Bugler cigarettes one time. Two were older and got paddled. Because I was in the fourth grade, the teacher thought I didn't know any better, so I didn't get punished." Massie graduated from Pedro High School in 1947. He took classes that allowed dismissal around noon so he could help his father build homes. Every piece of wood was hand cut, and every evening, his father would place those saws in a vise to be sharpened like new. "When Dad and I completed our seven-room house, he told me I could paint it," Massie said. "When Dad began telling everyone that I painted the entire house, I began getting all sorts of paint jobs. That's when I bought a Cushman motor scooter. I still don't recall what happened to it, but it sure was a lot of fun to ride." After high school, Massie drove a milk delivery truck for a few months before selling life insurance. That's when he began dating a young lady and finally got married in 1950. Two years later, he was taking an enlistment physical at Ashland's Ventura Hotel. "My wife had a good office job at Ironton's Fire Brick Company," Massie said. "She continued to work when I was drafted. She retired in 1990 after 40 years. Avanelle and I have been married 67 years now." According to Massie, Parris Island Marine boot camp in South Carolina teaches discipline, respect for authority and a strict military code that begins right about the time you step off the bus. "Eight weeks later. I was sent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for additional training with amphibious landing techniques and assault weapon qualification," Massie said. "Next, we went to Little Creek, Virginia, for some temporary additional duty that was followed by practice war maneuvers back at Camp Lejeune." Massie served aboard the USS Taconic, a 459-foot amphibious force command ship. They participated in numerous exercises with NATO.  He finished his military obligation in Quantico Marine Base, Virginia. "I would have been shipped to Korea if I had six months left on my tour, but I was two weeks short," Massie said. "I was discharged and went back to selling insurance for six years. I was offered a chance to interview for a job at Dow Chemical (and got a) position I retired from after 30 years." Ken and Avanelle have long been avid campers, a hobby that went through two motor homes before medical complications forced them to sell their camper. He has even enjoyed woodworking and photography, but his passion has always been amateur radio. "Amateur ham radio is a popular hobby and service that brings people together," Massie said. "We use ham radios to talk across town or around the world. It's social, educational and has often been a lifeline during disasters. When normal means of communication fail, like television and radio, licensed ham radio operators get the word out to areas in need. Ham radio may be a popular hobby, but it also has the capability to become that one connection ... to save lives." Massie does have one more interesting pastime, and that is teaching 17-year- old Cassie, an African grey parrot, to speak. So far, Cassie announces, "There's the mail, did your prescription come today?" Massie says that Cassie does a darn good Willie Nelson impersonation singing "On the road again." If you are interested in becoming involved with ham radio procedures or if you already pursue the hobby and wish to share your knowledge and service with others, send Massie an email at WN8F@ARRL.net.   Clyde Beal seeks out interesting stories from folks around the Tri-State. Email archie350@frontier.com.
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH