Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Ohio Section News Update – January 05, 2017 Edition


- Boy Scout Merit Badge Changes
- ARRL Education & Technology Program Offers Grants to Four Schools – Ohio School one of them
- Ohio Section ARES Announcements
- Getting this Newsletter
- Upcoming Hamfests
- Got Questions
- Final - Final


Boy Scouts’ Radio Merit Badge Requirements to Include Amateur Radio Direction Finding Option

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have updated the requirements for the Radio Merit Badge for 2017, although a formal announcement is pending the publication of the 2017 Boy Scouts Requirements pamphlet. A new option for the Radio Merit Badge is Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said he’s “really excited” about the move, and he credited Jamboree on the Air Coordinator (JOTA) and K2BSA trustee Jim Wilson, K5ND, with being the “spark plug” behind the ARDF addition.

A first draft of the new merit badge pamphlet is anticipated later this month or in early February. Moell said the new merit badge requirements should become effective just in time for the July 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, where an ARDF course and equipment will be available to Scouts of all ages. He also hopes there could be a role for ARDF in JOTA.

The Radio Merit Badge ARDF option combines orienteering and foxhunting and opens a new interactive component to this program. Other new Radio Merit Badge options include cellular telephones and different types of radio modulation.

Key requirement being dropped from the Radio Merit Badge include open, closed, and short circuits, as well as schematic symbols and components, because these are covered in the Electricity and Electronics Merit Badges.
The BSA also made some minor editorial changes and reordered requirements for the Amateur Radio option. The radio broadcasting option now includes Internet streaming, regulations and power levels. A medium-wave and shortwave listening option includes both types of listening, as well as listening via streaming services on a smart phone.

The BSA has posted a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Scouts are encouraged to follow the new requirements, although the guidelines may allow use of the previous requirements in some cases.


ARRL Education & Technology Program Offers Grants to Four Schools

The ARRL Board of Directors’ Executive Committee has approved Education and Technology Program (ETP) grants to schools in Illinois, California, Ohio, and Connecticut. The funds will help three of the schools to establish Amateur Radio club stations by providing the necessary equipment, and aid one school in getting its radio club off the ground.

Zeigler-Royalton High School, in rural Zeigler, Illinois; Sato Academy, in Long Beach, California, and Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center, in Chillicothe, Ohio, will receive station grants, while E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield, Connecticut, will receive a progress grant, enabling it to build upon the school’s burgeoning Amateur Radio program. Sponsors for all four grants are alumni of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, who are implementing Amateur Radio as part of their school’s curriculum.

Teacher Miroslaw Klapyk, KC1GBT, at E.O. Smith High School took his initial Amateur Radio license test during a Teachers Institute session this past summer and promptly upgraded to Amateur Extra. Klapyk teaches more than 50 students in physics, and he plans to spend a week or two toward the end of the school year focusing on wireless communication, with an eye toward getting more students interested in the radio club. But, he told ARRL, that interest is already there. “I never advertised our club,” he said. “Yet since the start of the school year, we went from one to eight members. They just keep coming.” The school currently has some Amateur Radio station gear and the beginnings of an antenna system.

***  The Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center in Chillicothe, Ohio, requested Amateur Radio station equipment to augment the school’s engineering program and to attract other interested students into wireless and related technology. “The establishment of an Amateur Radio station would give impetus for students to become radio amateurs,” with a view toward getting them involved in public service communication, teacher David Pentecost, KC8WEB, said in the school’s application. Pickaway-Ross, he said, is “committed to helping underserved students in the Appalachian region of southern Ohio achieve success in a variety of technical fields.”

The Sato Academy Amateur Radio Emergency Communication team’s project in part focuses on establishing a demonstration station to train youngsters in using Amateur Radio for emergency communication. The school, which received a station grant, also wants “to help students learn to build and create circuit boards, such as those used in the Teachers Institute,” teacher Devon Day, KF6KEE, said in his school’s application.

At Zeigler-Royalton, teacher Lance Newman, KD9GOY, said he’s hoping to see more students become interested, pass their license exams, and spend time on the radio and working with the equipment. Newman said in the school’s application that he began the process of establishing a ham radio station at the school this fall, “to provide an extracurricular outlet for students interested in radio communication technologies.” But he’s hoping that Amateur Radio will offer other educational opportunities as well.


Hey Everyone on DMR – The Ohio Talkgroup Net is now set to be every Wednesday night at 8:30pm EST and did we ever have a great net last night. There were 50 check-ins and every one of the 10 Districts in the state of Ohio was represented! 

Now, I want to report that there is another new DMR Net starting up, and last night was its first night! This net will meet every Wednesday night after the Ham Nation program. They will meet on the nationwide 311 Talkgroup. If you have questions about this new net, or would like to be a Net Control for it, contact Andrew Kahn at

Want more information about DMR? Here’s a link to get you started..   and also located there is Andy, K4AWC’s newest Ohio Codeplug. You can download it while you’re on this same page.

Hey Gang.. Kitty Hevener, W8TDA sent this to me, she has a small DMR radio that has a speech synthesizer built in to it. This is great for those who are sight restricted, or if you just don’t want to take your eyes off of the road while driving. The rig is make by Atlantic Technology and you can read more about this little rig on their website  Wow, is DMR really growing or what!!

There’s lots more information about DMR on the Ohio Section DMR webpage. Go take a look.


NIMS / ICS Training

Wow.. what a response I’ve gotten from my first call-out on making sure that your NIMS/ICS certificates are turned into the state database. It’s been great, but I know that there are a lot more of you that need to check out the roster that posted on the website  to make sure that you have your certificates into us.

At last count, which was a day or so ago, we now have 528 members, 332 ICS complete, 3,392 courses taken and I know that this number has grown since then!

I’m pushing hard on all of you to not only get this training, but to get those so valuable certificates turned in to me so that we can get you added to the database as well. Yes, we have a lot of folks in there, but we know that we don’t have yours. How do we know that? Everyone that has the 4 basic courses (IS 100, 200, 700 & 800) and has shared those certificates with us are now listed on the Ohio Section NIMS Roster.

If you don’t see your name on the list we don’t have all 4 of your needed certificates, and we definitely need and want them! This list shows those who have all 4 certificates turned in. If you don’t see your name on the list, send them to me   Now even if you haven’t gotten all 4 of these courses in, we still need you to get what you do have turned in to us so that we can get you started on your way.

I’ve had a lot of folks ask me why this training is so important. The answer is easy. In 2014 the ARRL signed a MOU with FEMA to help them when needed. This puts ARES in direct contact with FEMA now, this is a relationship that we didn’t have before. The agreement indicates that we are to be a TRAINED corps of communicators. With that stated, FEMA’s expectations are that we have the 4 basic courses – ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 completed so that we can properly operate within their Incident Command System that ALL emergencies now operate under. So you see, we’ve now agreed to get this training, and that’s why we need to fulfil our part of this MOU as best as we can.

The Ohio Section has taken a lead in the country with this and really dug its heals in and has done a great job of completing this training. Let’s keep it going for 2017!!   


Ohio Section ARES Announcements

Hey Gang..  Mark your calendars for the following dates.

The Second Annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest! January 14 – Just about a week away on this one.

The Ohio ARES Conference is now scheduled for April 01 at Marion Technical College/ OSU Marion Campus. Anyone and everyone that is interested in ARES is invited. This is always well attended, and it’s theater seating! Easy for everyone to see and hear the speakers. Yes, I’m planning on video recording this as well, for those who just can’t make it, but you’d better have a really good excuse. More details will be forth coming on this as well.

NVIS Day will be April 22 – This has always been a really big hit with everyone, and it’s so easy to participate. More news on this event will be forth coming.

As you can see, 2017 is going to be a really busy year for sure!


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.


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..  As Phil Esterhouse of the acclaimed Hill Street Blues used to say..  “Hey, let’s be careful out there..”  this holds true for all of us as well, but have FUN doing it!!


Scott, N8SY..