Sunday, December 18, 2016

Special Handbook Giveaway - Plus lots more!!


It's Christmas, and I'm in the Christmas Spirit for sure! This month we will be doing a very special giveaway just for Christmas. I'm not going to spill the beans on just what is going to be given out, but I will tell ya' that it's going to be more than just a 2017 ARRL Handbook!!

Just go to: and look for the big red arrow on the left side of the page. Click on the arrow and complete the form, that's it! If you enter before 11:59pm December 24th, you'll automatically be entered for a second chance at a Handbook at the end of the month too! Yup, I'm going to give another Handbook out on New Year’s Day!!

What's the catch? There isn't any.. If you live in Ohio, all you have to do to be entered is to fill out the form. You'll even be emailed a copy of the completed form back to you as your confirmation that you're entered. It won't cost you anything!! And no, you don't have to be an ARRL member to participate!  A new drawing is held each month, and in order to be eligible, you do have to enter each month. You can't win if you don't enter. So what have you got to loose!!

Please, only one submission per person. The first drawing will end on December 24, 2016 at 11:59pm EST and the second drawing will end on December 31st at 11:59pm EST.

The Christmas winners will be announced on Christmas morning - December 25th and you'll find out then what all the other prizes were. The next drawing for the 2nd Handbook will be announced on New Year’s Day. Each winner will be notified by email, so PLEASE use a valid email when completing the form, this is the only way I have of contacting you if you win.

73, and good luck to all.. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!



ANNOUNCING >> The Second Annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest! January 14, 2917.

After a lot of requests, we are opening this up to 6 meters as a part of your score as well!  There is a lot of potential for wide-area coverage on that band, and we need to cultivate some interest- so, for the sixers out there, burn eggs on your beam!!

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 INCLUDE your six contacts in your score!


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 plus 6 meters! 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


openSPOT – SharkRF’s newest edition to the DMR/D-Star/System Fusion Digital Connection

Hey Gang,

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how can they get started in Digital Radio without spending a lot of money, and where’s all the action at right now. Well.. I’m here to tell ya’ that the action is in DMR. Now that’s not to say that D-Star and System Fusion aren’t also active, they are, but DMR has really exploded within these past 6 months or so and repeaters are going up everywhere – and they are connected up to the internet which means that they have a great way of communicating around the state, district and the country. Oh, I should mention that you can talk world-wide from your arm chair too. Some of that reason for this growth has got to do with the fact that you can purchase a full blown DMR Hand-Held for right around $100. That’s about as inexpensive as you can get for a DECENT HT, but if you really look around you can even find them cheaper than that.

Now there’s a new product on the market called – openSPOT – it’s made by Shark RF. Ken Dorsey, KA8OAD has purchased one of these little magic boxes and has written up a great article for all of us on how to get it programmed and on the air. Yes, you still have to purchase a hand-held to go along with it, but it’s a lot cheaper than buying a repeater!!  Want more information    

And for everyone interested in DMR I have a new webpage just for you..


2017 Ohio Section Newsletter Contest Rules Announced

In today’s publishing world there are now many different types of formats for submission of a newsletter to be entered in the Ohio Section Newsletter Contest (paper, electronic text, pdf, desktop publishing and html, to name a few). Each one of these different formats has its own unique positives and negatives, and as such are not part of the judging / scoring of the contest.  Section C of the rules breaks down how the newsletter will be judged / scored without any bias toward any particular type of publishing format.

Here are the rules for the 2017 entries:

A.) An eligible newsletter must be regularly published at least four (4) times per year by an Ohio Amateur Radio organization. The Ohio Section Journal and the newsletter for any club that the current PIC is affiliated with are not eligible.

B.) Each organization submitting a newsletter for the contest must enter at least two (2) issues starting with January 2017 for judging. All Amateur organizations that have regularly been sending newsletters to the Ohio PIC are automatically entered (as long as these publications qualify under rule A, or C if applicable). Unless you are automatically entered, the deadline for entries is Friday, June 30, 2017, and all entries must be in the hands of the Ohio PIC by that date.

C.) Electronic (Web based) produced newsletters may also enter. Non-amateurs, in the Public Relations industry will do the judging. They will be judging on style (15%), content (35%), service to membership (35%), and clarity of presentation (15%). Style means newsletter design of all pages. Content means amount of useful information contained in the newsletter. Service to members means amount of information using individual members' names. Clarity of presentation means readability of the newsletter including accuracy of English grammar.

D.) No entries can be returned and all decisions of the judges on content and eligibility are final. The Ohio PIC only serves to certify entries, to provide the judges with entries, and to announce their decisions only.

E.) The decision of the judges is final.

Like last year we are keeping our Honorable Mention categories. It allows the judges to award special and unique efforts.

Remember, officially, the contest is for 2017 newsletters. You can send your January 2017 newsletter in late December if that's when you usually publish it.

Our judges for the past three years are again on board for 2017. They are all seasoned journalists and public relations professionals. They have been in the trenches and understand the work it takes to turn out a newsletter every month. And, they have been impressed every year with the effort that every club makes and the tremendous evolution we have made as amateur radio operators and communicators.

So, crank up the presses and send me your 2017 newsletters. Good luck, and remember, everyone is a winner!

You can also find these rules published on the Public Information Coordinator’s webpage..


Ohio Amateurs in Action..

Hey Gang, I’m still not hearing that much from you in getting me your pictures of Hams In Action..

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! 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  >> Opt-In <<

Or, 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..