Saturday, December 10, 2016

H.R. 1301 Didn't Get Passed.. Plus Lots More News..

ARRL Vows Continued Pursuit of the Amateur Radio Parity Act in the 115th Congress

The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, died an unbefitting death as the 114th Congress of the United States drew to a close today. After having passed the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote, the bill stalled in the Senate due to the intervention of only one member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Over the course of the past year, Sen. Nelson has received thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls from concerned constituents asking for his support of H.R. 1301. Numerous meetings were held with his senior staff in an effort to move the legislation forward. Negotiations, which led to an agreement with the national association of homeowner’s associations and publicly supported by CAI and ARRL, were brushed aside by Sen. Nelson as irrelevant.

In a final meeting with the Senator’s staff earlier this week, it became clear that no matter what was said or done, the Senator opposed the bill and refused to allow it to move forward. Unfortunately, as the bill did not receive floor time, the only manner in which it could get passed in the Senate would be through a process that required unanimous consent, which means no one opposes the bill.

The legislation will be reintroduced in both houses of Congress after the 115th Session begins in January. We have already been in contact with the sponsors of the bill to allow for an early introduction, which will give us more time to obtain success. We believe that we can get his bill adopted given the fact that we were inches away from crossing the goal line. We will continue to need the support of the membership, particularly in Florida, as we go forward through the next year.


ANNOUNCING >>  The Second Annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest!

Some questions, and answers: 

-  On the bonus situations, the EOC bonus is exactly what it says- operation must be from an EOC, not a nearby trailer or remote location. EOC ops, add 50 points to your total contact score. Operation from any portable location (trailer, tent, park bench, igloo) is 100 points added to your total contact score.   Contact an ARES officer of any type, add 5 points to that contact (in other words, if your contact says he’s an EC, it’s worth 6 points.) 

-  On digital. All modes are open, we’ve had some questions as to ‘which’ mode. Any of the modes commonly accepted for NBEMS work! 

-  Frequencies haven’t been mentioned. Grab any you like- if your district has a prescribed simplex frequency, try that first. Anything except a repeater.  Make sure you get the county or location of your contact- the whole point is to be able to plot your best coverage area. Look for ‘real’ signal reports. 

-  You know what? If you get bored and want to fry some eggs on your six-meter antennas, go for it. DO NOT INCLUDE your six contacts for a score, but plotting coverage will be good! 


Here are the rules again!

ARES is tasked with being able to provide communications “When all else fails.”  Local
communication is critical and typically takes place on the VHF or UHF amateur band. In order to improve our ability to perform on these bands, Ohio Section ARES is sponsoring the ARES VHF Contest (Yeah, we know, but calling it the Ohio VHF / UHF Contest got a little long-winded).  Participants in the contest are encouraged to make as many contacts as possible within the time-frame of the contest, with as many different geographical locations as the bands permit. The contest is open to all amateur operators, ARES members are strongly encouraged to participate. How else are you going to win the ‘bragging rights’ session of your next ARES meeting?

When did you say it was? 
The contest is January 14, 2017.  The start time is (for those of us who sleep in) 10 AM through 6 PM Eastern. Yeah, a civilized time-frame that doesn’t rob sleep, and allows time with the family. Why, you can even watch a few cartoons in the morning! 

Where you gonna be?
You may operate this contest from anywhere. There are certain benefits for venturing out from your warm, comfortable home station. EOC stations can gain extra points. Portable stations can gain even MORE extra points – that is, if your frozen fingers will still be able to operate a keyboard. Portable stations MUST use portable antennas, nothing permanently attached…kind of like Field Day on ice.  We are not going with any mobile operation this time. The image of a bunch of vehicles running around with portable towers, 150 pounds of antenna hardware and an occasional grounding anchor is best left to the ARRL contesters. 

Da Bands – a la’ Mode
Because local emergency communication takes place primarily on the two meter and 70 centimeter bands, the contest is limited to those two bands. Within each band, we will have these modes:  FM Simplex, “Everything else” Simplex; DIGITAL simplex contacts will make up a third mode on each band.  Contacts with a station count once per mode- if you can talk the other guy into abandoning “his frequency” and meeting you on SSB or CW, more power to ya!  NO REPEATER CONTACTS WILL COUNT.  If you get bored, you certainly are welcome to chat amongst yourselves on repeaters, or simplex, or cell phones, or smoke signals. 

Da Contacts
The goal is to contact as many different stations in as many different counties as possible. You can make as many overall contacts as you like, they will then be multiplied by the number of counties you’ve reached.  Extra points will be available for contacting an EC, AEC, DEC, ADEC, ASEC or SEC.  Pretty simple- any more complex and we’ll confuse the scorekeepers. 

Da Score
Each FM Simplex contact counts as 1 point. 
Each non- FM simplex contact counts as 1 point. 
Each digital simplex contact counts as 1 point.  (Detect a pattern here?)
Contact with EC, AEC, DEC, ADEC, ASEC or SEC adds 5 points.
Contact with an EOC or with a portable station adds 5 points. 
Operation from an EOC add 50 points to your total contact score.  
Operation from a portable location add 100 points to your total contact score. 
Total contact score (all bands/modes added together) will be multiplied by the total number of counties you contacted.  

Da Logs
Please use any of the appropriate computer logging programs, paper dupe sheets, a well-worn slide rule or rusty abacus.  Just keep all that to yourself, we can’t find anyone with the time to go through all the detail contacts. Submit an email to “  “ with the following:

Your name:
Group name:
Location:  (City, county)
FM Simplex Contacts:
“Everything else” Simplex Contacts:
Digital Simplex Contacts:
EOC bonus:
Portable bonus:
Total Contact Score (Add above together, but you figured that out already):
Multiply by total number of counties contacted (include your own!): 

Bask in the glory of a well thought out, well executed effort! 

Definition of acronyms..

EOC           =   Emergency Operations Center NBEMS     =   Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System
ARES        =    Amateur Radio Emergency Service
SM            =    Section Manager
SEC          =    Section Emergency Coordinator
ASEC        =   Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator
DEC         =    District Emergency Coordinator
ADEC      =   Assistant District Emergency Coordinator
EC           =    Emergency Coordinator
AEC         =   Assistant Emergency Coordinator
CW          =  Continuous Wave
SSB         =   Single-Side Band
FM          =   Frequency Modulation


Ohio Amateurs in Action..

Hey Gang, I haven’t heard much lately from any of you.. Now I know that every club has done events this year, so send me those pictures of your events.. Field Day, bike races, marathons and all those fun activities that you’ve found yourself involved in where Amateurs are in Action!! 

You can find a photo gallery of what I’ve received so far at:  as well as there is a link to this page right from the main page of the Ohio Section website..

I’m sure you all of pictures that you could send. Send your pictures to me at:  and include a brief explanation of the event and I’ll get the pictures added to the gallery.. I’m looking for new pictures that I might be able to use in the next Ohio Section Banner, so make sure that you get your pictures to me.. I want a great representation of ALL of the Ohio Section.

C’mon gang.. send me those action pictures! I’m sure that there are a lot of them out there and I want them ALL!!  Don’t be bashful. 


Are you getting those emails from me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. Just send me an email at: and let me know that you want to be added.. It’s really that easy.

I urge all of you to make sure that everyone, regardless of whether they are a League member or not, get signed up to receive these emails.

You can always  “Opt-Out”  at any time if you feel this is not what you were expecting.


Upcoming Hamfests in Ohio..

01/15/2017 | Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation Hamfest
Location: Nelsonville, OH

Sponsor: Sunday Creek Amateur Radio Federation

01/29/2017 | TUSCO Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Strasburg, OH
Sponsor: Tusco Amateur Radio Club


Got questions, concerns or would just like to sit and chat awhile?

Give me a call at (419) 512-4445 or email me at:   

Want to sit and just chat awhile? I’m available..  Heck, I’ll even buy!!


Finally..  from Janie, KB8YPW and myself..  Have a very Merry Christmas and a GREAT New Year..

I’ve just got to say this since it’s my Alma Mater,   GO BUCKS - beat Clemson on New Years Eve!!!!!