Friday, December 30, 2016

The Ohio Section News Update – December 30, 2016 Edition


- Handbook Giveaway
- Straight Key Night – Plus More
- Second Annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest
- Dailey HF Traffic Nets
- Getting this Newsletter
- One Question Survey
- Upcoming Hamfests
- Got Questions
- Final - Final



Hey Gang..

Just wanted to remind you all that you don’t have long – to get in on another drawing for the 2017 ARRL Handbook on New Years Day!!

If you entered anytime in December, you automatically have a second chance at the Handbook!

If you haven’t entered yet, why not? What have you got to lose? It’s FREE and you can’t get anything better than that!!

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!!

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.

Please only hit the submit button once. It will take the server several seconds to process the form. Once completed and accepted you'll be directed back to the main page of the website.

Here’s a link to help you…

73, and good luck to all..

Ring in the New Year with ARRL Straight Key Night and AMSAT CW Activity Day

Every day is a good day to operate on CW, but set some time aside on New Year’s Eve and Day to enjoy Straight Key Night (SKN) or to do some CW on the satellites during AMSAT CW Activity Day.
The annual SKN gets under way at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2017 (New Year’s Eve in US time zones). The 24-hour event is not a contest but a day dedicated to celebrating Amateur Radio’s CW heritage. Participants are encouraged to get on the air and simply enjoy conversational CW contacts, preferably using a straight (hand) key or a semi-automatic key (bug).

Activity traditionally centers on CW segments in the HF bands. There are no points or obligatory exchange. The only requirement is just to have fun! Send a SKN list of stations worked and your vote for “Best Fist” and “Most Interesting QSO” by January 31, 2017.

AMSAT CW Activity Day — formerly Satellite Straight Key Night — takes place on January 1, 2017 (UTC) and run for 24 hours. As with the old Straight Key Night, this is a fun event, not a contest, and there is no required exchange. All forms of CW are welcome, from straight keys, bugs, and keyers to keyboards and decoders. Working the same station on more than one satellite is permitted.

All participants are asked to post their results, including any “Soapbox” comments, to AMSAT-BB. Include the satellites you used and the number of CW contacts you make on each. Participants may post their full logs, although this is not required.


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 and 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


DMR.. Hey Everyone on DMR – The Ohio Talkgroup Net is now set to be every Wednesday night at 8:30pm EST. Don’t forget, there will be an Ohio Statewide DMR Net every Wednesday night starting this coming Wednesday!!!  Come, join in on the fun and learn more about DMR from those who are on.

Have we gotten you to look into this new (old) mode yet? I’ve been busy propagating the website with lots and lots of information about DMR. Please, go take a look at the website and see if it isn’t something that really is gonna’ be FUN for you to do.  Here’s the link: 


Here is a list of Ohio NTS HF daily nets, frequencies, times and net managers.  All licensed hams are welcome to check in with or without radiogram traffic.

BN(E) – Buckeye Net Early – CW –  WB8YLO NET MANAGER – 3580 at 6:45
BN(L) – Buckeye Net Late  – CW –  WB9LBI NET MANAGER –   3590 at 10:00 pm
OSN – Ohio Slow Net – CW –  W8OLO NET MANAGER –   3.53535 at 6PM
OSSBN – Ohio Single Sideband Net – Phone – KC8WH NET MANAGER –
                        3972.5 at 10:30 AM, 4:15PM AND 6:45 PM


Are you getting those emails from me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them.

Heck, just send me an email: and let me know that you want to be added. It’s really just that easy. We have over 2,500 persons on our Ohio Section Mailing List now and growing.

Are you passing this newsletter on to others? Please, if you know of anyone that would be interested in this information, feel free to pass it on to them. You don’t have to be an ARRL member or even a ham to receive these emails.

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


One Question Survey. Have you seen that there is a NEW question on the website? There is, please take just a few seconds and answer the question. It’s FUN to see how your answer stacks up with all the other folks and it’s good for me to know so that I can tailor articles to your responses.

Are these responses really useful? The simple answer to that is YES. I have seen several presentations given by others with this One Question data being used. It’s really great to know that others see this information as useful too.

NOW..  Do you have any questions that you’d like to see posted? Let me know, send me an email  with your question(s).


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..  Have FUN with Amateur Radio and all that it has to offer and while you’re at it..  Have a Fantastic, and SAFE New Year..!!