delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 3
Make America Great AgainWait! Don't turn me off already. I'm not making a political statement. I'm just being nostalgic. As I was growing up, America had just spent a decade (the mid 1940's through the mid 1950's) changing itself from a wartime nation to a post-war nation. During the war years, America used every bit of it's superiority in math, science and technology in putting together the tools, the manufacturing capabilities and the quality products that were needed to be successful in the war effort.After the war, all of these efforts needed to be redirected to peacetime economic activity. Amazing advances were made not only in communications, and Amateur Radio, but also in other technologies.Then, in 1962, President Kennedy challenged us to keep pushing the limits of technology and science. He challenged us to go to the moon! https://youtu.be/TuW4oGKzVKc Go to the moon we did, and from the early 60's until man actually stood on the moon (July 16, 1969 approximately 3 years sooner than Pres.Kennedy's 10-year challenge) all efforts and attention were focused on that effort. Those years, and probably the 10 - 20 years following, America experience a fantastic rate of growth. New technologies, and the products they spawned pushed us further and further into the future, with all of the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with rapid change.So, here we are today. In most colleges and universities, science and technologies still push the envelope into the future, but to a far greater degree concentration is in other areas. We have a major portion of our population that use technologies, but cannot understand them. Educational and vocational pathsare so narrowly defined, that lots of really smart people become totally lost once they venture past the borders of their specialty. In this age of specialties, the Renaissance Man does not exist. We have little understanding, or tolerance for information or experiences outside of our fields of specialty. We feel isolatedand alone. Way too many of our citizens can't even preform basic operations with hand tools. What everyone used to do for themselves, we now have to hire and pay someone to do for us.We are in a unique position to add value to our society as a whole, and to each of the individual members of our society as individuals. Mathematics, Science and Technology have always been the disciplines that have taken us into the future. As Amateur Radio Operators, we deal in math, science and technology. We can be the gateway that introduces more people to the disciplines that will forever change and improve the human condition. One of the best ways to do that is via Amateur Radio Clubs. BUT, we need to change our concept of what an Amateur Radio club is all about. If the only purpose of an Amateur Radio Club is to provide a venue for a bunch of old guys to get together, share a meal, tell stories and talk about the good olddays, then that club will soon be as dead as its current members. We've got to change that model to one of activities. Doing the things of Amateur Radio that are Fun! I'm not going to spend a lot of time here talking about what to do to have fun, it's just a step to the next level of what a club's purpose truly is: Bringing new hams into our ranks, giving them the knowledge and experiences necessary for them to understand the math, the science and the technology involved in such a way as to consider it a career choice!I recently read an article about the job market and which courses of study would lead to the best jobs and paychecks when graduating college with a bachelor's degree. Of the top 25degrees you could get that would lead to a good paycheck, the majority were one of the many - Engineering degrees.So, to accomplish what I'm talking about here, we need to start young. We need to expose the young kids to all the fun, discovery and excitement they can have by participating intechnology with us. But, raise your hands, how many of your clubs out there have any kind of programming directed to attract kids in the 5-10-year-old age group? How about the 12 -16-year age group? 17-21? Young adults?I don't see too many hands in the air. We need to make a conscious effort to provide programs and activities toget kids interested in what we're all about as Amateur Radio operators. Let’s start the conversation in our own clubs, and between clubs, so we can come up with some solutions to spreading the age range that our activities appeal to. We have the knowledge, now let’s just use our imaginations to come up with some solutions!A personal story: I have a 7-year-old grandson named Jax. Like most kids, he seems to be drawn to (and pushed towards) sports. I'm not anti-sports, but I don't see it as deserving the place it's taken in society either. A couple of years ago I was talking with Jim - AC8NT and he was commenting on how so many kids have no introduction to tools and how to use them these days. He mentioned that old computers, rather than just being trashed, should be given to kids to take apart. Give them some screw drivers, nut drivers, wrenches, pliers and maybe ahammer, tell them to figure it out and bring back a box of parts. In the 5 to 7-year-old range they will take the challenge! Now, please don't leave them totally unsupervised, and give them some guidance on how to properly use the tools but let them do it for themselves. Jax has taken a couple of boxes apart, and he's always proud to show anyone who'll look all the pieces he has. Through the process, he's learning what the parts are, how they go together, how to use tools, and how to look for creative solutions to getting things to come apart.This month we moved on to putting stuff together. Elenco has a Learn to Solder kit. Model SP-1A. You can get it on Amazon for about $!2 bucks. It's a neat little kit that uses a 555 timer to make a siren, complete with flashing LED's. (don't worry, it's not too loud). The instructions are well written and give you a good start in soldering and building electronic projects.The manual covers parts identification and the theory of operation. So, now we've got another 7-year-old that has been introduced to math, science and technology in a way that was easy to get excited about. We really have to start including our kids and grandkids in the things we are doing, and, makinga place for them in our clubs. Think about it.
Welcome to the Friendly Skies!At least part of this month’s column is being written while crusting at 28,000 feet somewhere between Columbus and Chicago!!I always like leaving Columbus on a clear day so I can spot all of the ham radio antennas from the air…another indication amateur radio is still growing. I brought along some “reading material” for the flight…copies of the 2018 newsletters submitted for this years Ohio Section Newsletter Contest! I read every newsletter and thank you again for making me the most informedham in the world. Even though I can’t share anything with the judges…or even crack a smile when they read the newsletters…I know this is going be another great…and tough…year for the contest. It’s all because we have the best editors and writers and they know how to keep their clubs informed and active. It’s a beautiful thing to watch happen.All of this is leading up to this reminder…send two copies of our club’s newsletter by the end of June…so you can participate in the contest. February is about over so that means just four months to go until the June 30th deadline.Well, just about time for landing now and need to turn off the electronic equipment. Too bad the airlines don’t have DMR capabilities!TORNADO AND SEVERE WEATHER SEASONWhile this winter has been rough…snow, cold and lots of rain…the tornado and severe weather season is just ahead.March usually kicks things off and the National Weather Service already has their training schedule out. It’s a good idea to go these sessions every year…not just to learn about changes and updates…but to look for potential new hams.I go every year and I’ve at least talked to more than a dozen folks who are interested and ready to take the next step. If they are interested in the weather we can help them become amateur radio operators. I know the NWS appreciates our help and it’s a great club activity…gets a lot ofpeople involved and ON THE AIR!ARES SPECIAL EVENTJust a quick cross-plug for the ARES Event on April 7th. Stan Broadway, N8BHL, always puts together a great meeting with loads of information about ARES and all of the changes and challenges ahead.I’m sure he’ll have more in his column so take a few minutes to look over the Ohio ARES program and, if you can, sign up to attend the event In Marion on April 7th. SOCIAL MEDIA IS DEAD?At my monthly Roundtable of Old Journalists meeting the subject of Social Media came up mostly because of a lot of rumors that the trend is on the downturn…much to the delight of most “real” journalists!It was easier to communicate to the world when the methods were simple and less complicated. Every day we read about how Facebook or Twitter posts were fake or, at least ill-advised. But the problem is the information sticks around and gets moved around to millions of other outlets…true or not. Frankly, people get confused and the end result is they don’t know what to believe and what is true or real. Opinion becomes gospel and sometimes the facts become in invisible.What’s does this have to do with Amateur Radio? Good question. For us we have always taken pride in the messages we transmit via Amateur Radio. If we use the “other media” we need to use the same set of rules,regulations and good judgment that have guided us for years. We may not be the problem on social media but it could learn from us how to effectively have a conversation and get the message across without bias or opinion.This is all making my head hurt…yours too, probably. I’m ready to pick up a microphone or pound a key and make sure the way I communicate is clear. I am an Amateur Radio operator and take pride in what I do and say.I hope social media…whatever that is… takes the hint. That’s all for this month…keep warm, safe and keep talking!ARRL Announces 2018 Teachers Institutes on WirelessTechnology Sessions (arrl bulletins)As part of its educational outreach through the Education & Technology Program (ETP), ARRL will offer three sessions of the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology this July. The weeklong workshops will be held at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, and in Dayton, Ohio — hosted by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA). The Teachers Institute (TI) is an expenses-paid, professional development seminar that providesteachers at all grade levels with tools and strategies to introduce basic electronics, radio science, space technology, and satellite communication, as well as weather science, introduction to micro-controllers, and basic robotics in their classrooms.The Teachers Institute curriculum is designed for motivated teachers and other school staff who want to learn more about wireless technology and bring that knowledge to their students. The goal of the TI program is toequip educators with necessary foundational knowledge and — through hands-on learning — generate the inspiration for teachers to continue exploring wireless technology and adapt what they learn to their classroomcurricula.Interested educators can apply online. The $100 enrollment fee is refunded for applicants who are not selected. A qualified applicant must be an active teacher at an elementary, middle, high school, or community college/university, or in a leadership or enrichment instruction role in an after-school program. Summer 2018 Teachers Institute ScheduleSession Location Dates InstructorTI – 2 Newington, CT (ARRL)July 9 – July12 Matt Severin, N8MSTI – 1 Dayton, Ohio July 16 – July20 Larry Kendall,K6NDLTI – 1 Newington, CT (ARRL) July 23 – July 27 Tommy Gober, N5DUXTopics covered in the TI-1 “Introduction to Wireless Technology” workshop include basic electronics, radio science, microcontroller programming, and basic robotics. Among other activities, participants will learn how tosolder and practice by building a small project. They’ll also learn basic circuit concepts and learn how to use basic test equipment. In addition, TI-1 attendees will learn about Amateur Radio, take part in a hidden transmitter hunt, see demonstrations of Amateur Radio satellite communication, and build and program their own simple robots.The TI-2 “Remote Sensing and Data Gathering” workshop will concentrate pn analog-to-digital conversion and data sampling. Participants will receive telemetry from Amateur Radio satellites and apply it to math andscience topics. TI-2 participants will also construct a marine research buoy equipped with environmental sensors, build a microcontroller to sample the data, configure it for Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS)transmission, and receive and upload data to a spreadsheet for analysis.For more information, contact Ally Riedel at ARRL Headquarters.