Friday, June 23, 2017

The Ohio Section News Update – June 23rd Edition


- Can You Hear Me Now
- One Question Survey
- Handbook Give-Away
- Field Day Pictures – plus more
- NIMS / ICS Training / Ohio Responds
- Upcoming Hamfests
- My Final


Can You Hear Me Now with DMR?

When folks talk about distances of radio communication systems or networks, people find it difficult to translate descriptions into mental pictures, so this writer set out to bridge the gap between numbers and meaningful graphics.

I wanted to view coverage maps as I have seen by the National Weather Services’ NOAA Weather Radio, and commercial radio and TV station plots, but Digital Mobile Radio coverage maps are rare, so I decided to make my own thanks to the technology and the internet.

While researching, I found that the Mansfield DMR repeater antenna is MOAA (Mother of All Antennas) in the state of Ohio. This antenna has a reported height of 984.2 feet AGL. No other DMR antenna comes close to this reported height in the state.

The Mansfield coverage area alone extends to just north of Columbus, west to Findlay, north to Lake Erie, and west of Wooster, Massillon and Medina. East of this area, signal strength is weak and would not provide reliable or consistent communications.

Mansfield’s main coverage area is impressive; encompassing 6,783.04 square miles with signal strength of 1.55 microvolts or better. Foliage, valleys, hills, structures, etcetera, should be taken into consideration if operating.

When factoring the extended and/or fringe areas, the Mansfield area grows to 9,594.253 square miles of 0.5 microvolts of signal strength or better, reaching 2.55 million Ohioans and many thousands of amateur radio operators.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Ohio is the 35th largest state in the U.S. and the Mansfield DMR repeater covers 23.43 percent of the state.  

Mansfield DMR “MOAA” covering 23.43 percent of Ohio.

I obtained as much reported antenna height information as I could pertaining to the other 64 Ohio DMR repeater antenna heights, and then interpolated heights where no information was found. I used a 100-foot height for those DMR repeaters. I wanted to see the overall coverage area for all of Ohio.

When processing and merging all known and unreported DMR antenna heights for analysis, a statewide map emerged. 

False color DMR coverage map for Ohio.

This map reveals about 70 percent of Ohio has some DMR coverage. False colors were introduced to emphasize signal coverage. The color pink is good to strong coverage while the blue is marginal to good coverage. The black, as seen in the lower right corner has no discernable coverage, and extends into West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.

Extreme eastern and most of southeast Ohio are in dire need of some kind of coverage. Interstate highway coverage, west of I-77 has ample coverage, but more overlapping coverage is desirable.

This link is a Google map that displays reported DMR repeaters in a five-state region including Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and is of interest if one is traveling in the Midwest:

In the near future, Coshocton and Tuscarawas County may see DMR repeaters as those respective areas have plans to install equipment. With patience, Ohio amateur radio operators may have complete, statewide access to DMR.

Update note:  It was announced on or about June 17 that Richmond, Ind., is planning to install a DMR repeater that will help increase coverage along I-70 in west central Ohio.

One Question Survey

Hey Gang,

Have you checked out the NEW Survey question on the website yet?. There is a brand new question up there for you to answer! I really would like to know, so please, just take a couple of seconds to answer it.  You’ll find it on the left side of the main page.. !!

Handbook Give Away

Have you seen that the NEWEST “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website yet? To enter the drawing all you need to do is fill in a couple of boxes on the form.. (your name and email). That’s you need to do to be entered into the drawing to get a chance to win a 2017 ARRL softcover Handbook. There’s nothing else required (Oh.. You do need to be a resident of Ohio to win..)   The winner will be mailed the Handbook at my cost. This is being offered just to see how many folks are checking in on the website. Got the idea? Best of luck to you!!

Here's a link to get registered..


This is a great time for taking pictures of your Field Day participation for sure. I will be out and about with my camera, but I need your help too. I need you to take pictures and send them to me. I will have a gallery setup on the website to display everyone’s Field Day pictures as I get them. Please, take a lot of pictures of not only the equipment and food, but also of everyone having fun at Field Day too. Send those pictures to:

I will be taking some of those pictures and placing them on the next Ohio Section Banner...  Showing all of us having fun and participating is what makes this banner so great!



Each year, hundreds of Field Day operations try and find every advantage to earn as many points as possible. But many overlook bonus point categories that can add a reliable 300 points to your group score: the group participation NTS message to the ARRL Section Manager, the W1AW Field Day bulletin, and the NTS traffic handling bonus.

Each Field Day group should generate a formal NTS-style piece to their ARRL Section Manager and Section Emergency Coordinator. This message should include the group’s name, their location for Field Day, and the number of ARES members participating in the event. 

NOTE:.. Since I will be on the road visiting a number of sites for Field Day, please send these pieces of traffic to me via OSSBN –  for details about the net, or you can find them on (3.972.5MHz.) 

SPECIAL NOTES:  Mike, KC8WH the Net Manager for the OSSBN has informed me that members of the OSSBN will be listening throughout Field Day, so if you just can’t get it passed during their normal net times, you’ll be able to do it during off times instead. This will help you and them in being able to get your message through in a timely manner.

NOTE, NOTE:  Make sure that your Radiogram has the date and time filled in when you generate the message. This way no matter how late it may be in getting to the end destination, you’ll still be able to count it since it was originally generated and passed DURING Field Day.

Now, by generating and passing a few radiograms may mean that your group might have to take one of your stations away from operating normal Field Day contacts, your group is awarded the 100-point bonus for taking the time to pass this piece of traffic. To claim this bonus, you must submit a copy of the formal message with your Field Day entry. Note: The Section Manager message does not count as one of the 10 NTS messages for bonus points.

For more details about how to handle these messages, please go to:  or


Don’t forget that there are two additional ways to earn extra points for your group's efforts. One is the "Safety Officer" position and the other is related to promoting your Field Day via "Social Media."

Safety Officer..  is a critical concern during Field Day. Every year the Field Day packet contains a Safety Check List that all stations should follow. All Class A entries can earn an additional 100 points by designating a member of their group as "Safety Officer."  This person must verify that all safety concerns on the Safety Check List have been adequately met.

The Safety Officer position is to be taken seriously. Real oversight is required; appointing a Safety Officer, affirming that all items on the Safety Check List have been completed properly, must be included with a groups Field Day entry with all other supporting documentation.

Social Media..  There have been many PR and publicity bonus points available in Field Day for a very long time. The addition of a social media bonus makes promoting your Field Day event even easier than before.
Social Media refers to any online platform that promotes being connected with friends and family.. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn are five examples of allowed Social Media platforms.

The Social Media bonus points will only apply on recognized social media platforms and NOT your clubs website.

Just wanted to let you know, if you haven’t already found it, that you can view and print the governor’s Proclamation for the 2017 Field Day. Go to: to get your copy for your Field Day site. You can also find a sample Press Release for your Field Day activities as well.

Thanks to Bob Winston, W2THU our State Government Liaison (SGL) for getting the governor to take time out of his busy schedule and getting this Proclamation for us.


NIMS / ICS Training Update
The numbers are growing!  Here’s what we have on file as of today:   Members in database: 764; Active Members: 751; Members NIMS complete: 554 and for the biggie..  Total Courses Taken: 5,034. Here’s the link to the list: 

We need to be prepared to help in a professional and TRAINED manor now days, and the only way of getting that training is to start taking these courses. We have a lot to be proud of, and a lot more work to do. Every ARES member in Ohio now MUST have these courses to be a part of the Ohio ARES program and to be registered in the Ohio Responds database!

Hey.. Don’t forget, once you’ve got all 4 of your required NIMS courses completed and we have copies of your certificates, get registered on the Ohio Responds Now, admittedly their system was designed for another purpose, so in some places it doesn’t match up well with Amateur Radio Operators and what we do. I have created a webpage where you’ll find all the pertinent information for getting registered on Ohio Responds website with as little issues as possible. You need to read this information BEFORE you attempt to register, and you will need to have all 4 of your NIMS courses completed and in our statewide database first! There’s some very specific information up there that you’ll need to know to correctly complete the registration process. Here’s a link to that webpage…   You can also find this link on the main page of the Ohio Section website as well.


Upcoming Hamfests

07/08/2017 | GARS Germantown Hamfest
Location: Germantown, OH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Germantown Amateur Radio Society (GARS)

07/09/2017 | 20/9 Radio Club Hamfest, Computer & Electronics Show
Location: Austintown, OH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: 20/9 Radio Club, Inc.

07/15/2017 | NOARSFEST
Location: Elyria, OH
Sponsor: Northern Ohio Amateur Radio Society

07/16/2017 | Van Wert Hamfest
Location: Van Wert, OH
Sponsor: Van Wert Amateur Radio Club

07/30/2017 | Portage Hamfair '17
Location: Ravenna, OH
Sponsor: Portage Amateur Radio Club, Inc.


My Final..   

Amateur Radio has a serious side, but it can also have a FUN side too. I hope that this News Update has been informative and fun for you to read.  So, as we go through our training and exercises, learning from the past and from those who are willing to take the time to teach us, let’s remember to have FUN too! It’s what keeps us alive and vibrant!

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!!


Scott, N8SY..