delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 5

Affiliated Club News

What other clubs are doing

Tom Sly, WB8LCD Affiliated Clubs Coordinator I want to talk about the image of Amateur Radio, the image of your club, and yes, maybe even your own image as an Amateur Radio Operator. Our image to the public is the sum total of everything we do (or don’t do) as an active ham. As an example: when floods, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters hit, amateur radio is usually there, doing something good for society. But if no-one knows about it, they can’t include it in their overall image of what Amateur Radio is. That’s why its so important to promote Amateur Radio where- ever and when-ever we can. If we aren’t proactive in our promotional efforts, what do you think the “image” of Amateur Radio will be? You, as an individual, can do a lot to bolster not only your own image, but “Our” image. When someone asks you about what you’re doing, or what your gear is all about – give them your attention! Use that instant as an opportunity to create an “interest” in the other person to learn more. In the sales profession, they call it the “elevator speech” – a short, but concise explanation of our hobby, what you can do with it and how you can get involved with it. Not something you do on the fly… think about what you would say, write it down, condense it into a 2-3-minute talk. LEARN it so you can give it without even having to think about it! Do you belong to any other social organizations? All groups that have monthly meetings have the same issue – “who can  we get to give us an interesting presentation for our meeting?” You can hook them up! If you don’t feel comfortable doing a presentation personally, that’s OK. Pass it off to someone who will. Who are some of those groups that need help? Social clubs of all sorts, Boy Scouts, Church groups, Service clubs (like the Lions Clubs), Sr. Citizens groups. Making a presence  in our community could go a long way towards making us a well-known entity. I hate it when someone says “Ham Radio? They still do that? Why would they??” That’s when you move into your elevator speech…… Field Day is coming up in June. Do you work Field Day from your home station? If you do, ask some of your acquaintances to come over and take a short look at what you’re doing. Clubs  I’m giving a bigger assignment to…… Let’s start right now. Make a list of all the newspapers that serve your area – daily’s and weekly’s, college and university papers. Find out the address or email address where they would want a “press release” sent to, both before and after an event (such as Field Day). While you’re at it, got any local radio stations? Do the same for them. And the TV stations.  You’ll want to send them ALL information on your events BEFORE they happen (especially if the public is invited, like for Field Day) and then again AFTER the event with information on how the event went specifically for your club. Next month we’ll talk about a properly formatted Press Releases. Invite all those other community organizations and service clubs to visit you at Field Day. If you do all of the above, you will have Field Day visitors. When people show up at Field Day, make sure you have one or two members available at all times to welcome them, show them around and answer any of their questions. You might want to have an information packet ready to hand them when you first meet them. You would want to have some basic Ham Radio information (including the printed version of the “elevator speech” with just a bit more detail), an information sheet about your club, and maybe some ARRL information as well. You want to make sure that if they took the time to show up, that they were treated like you appreciated them being there and you were prepared and expecting them to be there. Make sure that you get the names and email addresses of all your visitors. Everyone should receive a “Thank-You” for coming out after the event. If you’ve invited local Government officials and dignitaries, I would suggest a handwritten Thank You note after the event. If you take the whole population of the Ohio Section I’m guessing there is a very large percentage of them who are totally unaware that Amateur Radio even exists. We all have our own sphere of influence and we know that those people have heard about ham radio, our goal needs to be to expand that sphere of people who have been exposed to it in some way. After the initial exposure, we want to have continued and repeated exposures, or points of contact, so that eventually Amateur Radio becomes a known entity. If we do it right, it will be a known entity with a good reputation, known for providing valuable services to all of the citizens of the Ohio Section. With that good reputation, we might get some social benefits for being recognized as Amateur Radio Operators! That could come as more favorable antenna regulations in our communities – and that would be a good thing. Remember, it’s a process, not an event. You don’t go to the gym one day the end of April and drop that extra 50 lbs you put on over the winter, and you don’t do all these things for Field Day and find yourself as some new social elite because you are a ham. You have to do this process continuously and repeatedly to make the longterm impact we want to have. It has to be a program that continues from one club  administration to the next. And it has to be expanded each and every year! You have to be willing to make an investment in it, and you have to be willing to make that investment realizing that this is not a  short-term issue. I mentioned early on that sometimes we need to think about running our clubs in the context of running a successful business. If you are someone involved in the running of a club, success is not a goal – it’s your duty!

From the Public Information


John Ross, KD8IDJ I believe that just about everyone has received the message about the 2018 Ohio Section Newsletter contest…and I mean EVERYONE! The last few days I have gotten tons of newsletters and, of course, all are great. But just as a reminder, the deadline for entry is June 30th. You’ll need to submit at least two newsletters, for different months, to be entered. If your newsletter is on-line… just a quick email notifying me of that will do nicely. I talked to a couple of the judges the other day and they are hooked on us. Already they are anticipating the big “judging extravaganza” in July and all of the hoop-la that goes with it. I’m going to try and get at least a few of them at the award ceremony this year so they can tell you firsthand how good the Ohio Section newsletters really are. Keep up the good work…just a couple of months left to enter. SIBLINGS WITH SIDECUTS I look pretty hard each month for hams doing extraordinary things. Apparently, though, I need look no further than my Uncle Dave…and his kids…for a ham radio story with, well, a not-so-good ending. Uncle Dave was a ham radio guy back in the late 1940’s and 50’s. He learned to build all of his equipment like most hams of that era and felt he was good enough to try his hand at building a television...the new-fangled electronic fad of the day. So he bought what I think was a kit…or at least enough parts to put together his very own “boob tube” and proceeded to get to work. Uncle Dave had two rather unique children…my cousins Tom and Bill. Both were farm boys, which is not a bad thing, but at least one was a little more “unique” that the other. I still haven’t figured out which. So, Uncle Dave began the task of putting together his television. Every night after work he would retire to the basement and add a tube socket, a transformer or a capacitor and begin the arduous job of wiring and soldering the whole mess together. I got to look at the job once or twice and it was pretty good…all color coded and the soldering job was great. (yes, I realize there are several generations that know nothing about soldering) Well, one of his unique kids was a little miffed one night, snuck into the basement, and cut EVERY wire that Uncle Dave had soldered in place. That was end of the TV build project and I guess I’m glad I was not there when he found about the snip job. A lot of morals from this story…I’m not sure just which one applies. Certainly one about locking up your tools or workshop would work as would one about not making your kids mad. But I guess you want to be wary of angry children walking around the house with side cut (wire cutting) pliers. By the way, I have not seen my cousins for many years and I swear I’m still missing a pair of side cuts! ARES If you missed the annual ARES conference earlier this month…WOW…what a presentation! KUDOOS to Stan Broadway (N8BHL) and his gang for a great job. ARES is undergoing many changes and I’m still trying to process all that I learned from the meeting. I do know this, ARES is alive and well in Ohio and we have the right people leading the way. Like so many other good things about Amateur Radio, ARES gives hams the opportunity to put their knowledge and their gear to good use. I’m sure Stan can talk you ear off if you ask him…but please ask him. Even if you can’t participate in ARES you’ll be glad to know what’s it all about and why it is so important to the many other facets of ham radio. You’ll also come to know why the rest of country and the rest of the world relies on ham radio when nothing else works.   Thanks, Stan and thank every ARES member who has worked hard to keep this part of our “hobby” going. HAMFEST 2018 Whether you call it the Dayton Hamfest or the official title of the 2018 Dayton Hamvention at the Green County Fairgrounds…it’s almost here…May 18th-20th. Last year was great and the word is this year will be even better. The Ohio Section again has booth and I’ll be there Saturday afternoon to meet and greet the throngs of hams that walk by. Please stop and say hello, tell me you stories, and tell me anything you want about amateur radio. I’m a good listener. There will be drawings and other things to take with you including my appreciation for just being there. I’ve been going to this hamfest since I was 15 and I don’t think I’ve missed one. In fact, I still have some “stuff” from the early days in my basement and still in storage at my parents’ house. I bring a few things over each year when the XYL is out of town!!! That’s all for this month. Thanks for all of the emails!