Greetings, welcome to “Dale’s Tales” for July 2018.

Best wishes to all for a safe and sane July Fourth. Happy Birthday America!

WHAT”S ARRL DONE for me lately? That was the subject of a couple of recent talks I had the pleasure of presenting to Division radio clubs. It struck me that this was a really important topic and perhaps a look at it for everyone would help instill a little pride in what our organization is all about. With so many facets in the great hobby, we often forget about that the other guys and gals are doing. So here is my shot at an ARRL overview.

WIIFM? What’s In It For Me? Here are just a select few items:

Advocacy Programs
PRB-1 and Antenna Protection Legislation
Lobbies for spectrum protection – Intruders
Lobbies for additional bands. – WARC and VLF
Represents the interests of US hams at IARU
Rules Enforcement – Amateur Auxiliary and OO Programs
ARRL Laboratory
Technical Information Service
Tests new equipment and provides reports
RFI Assistance
Provides Social Media Programming
W1AW – Training and Bulletins
VEC – examinations
Publications – Technical and Operating Journals
QST Monthly Journal
QEX Bi-Monthly Journals for experimenters
NCJ Bi-Monthly Journals for contesters
QSL Service – incoming and outgoing
Training Courses
Technician Licensing
General Licensing
Teachers Institute
Volunteer Counsel Program
Volunteer Consulting Engineer Program
Technical Specialists
Volunteer Instructors
Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee
RF Safety Committee
ARRL Outreach Program
ARRL Foundation – Scholarships
Heritage Museum
Public Service Honor Roll
On the Air Awards
A-1 Operator Club
Triple Play
Fred Fish Memorial Award
Morse Code Proficiency
Elmer Award
First Contact Award
Straight Key Night
Kids Day
RTTY Roundup
January VHF
School Club Roundups
International DX, CW and Phone
June VHF
Field Day
222 MHz and Up
10 GHz and Up
Rookie Roundup RTTY
EME 23 GHz and Up
EME 50-1296
Nov Sweepstakes CW and Phone
160 Meter Contest
10 Meter Contest
Rookie Roundup – CW

I think a lot of us simply fail to realize all of the things we members of ARRL are fortunate to have available to us. Hopefully this little “Dale’s Tales” reminder will open a few doors to further involvement.

TOM’S COMMENTS: Comments from our Vice Director Tom Delaney W8WTD

Styles of communication

For a lot of hams, Field Day is a big deal. For others, not so much. I should say that although my time was limited, it was a great event for me this year.

It has been said many times that there is something in ham radio for everyone. That is true even when you consider styles of communications. Some of us love the rapid exchange, make-the-points, get-the- next contact mode of operating. Others would prefer to be more laid back, finding out something about the other person, exchanging interesting information.

I was thinking about this recently as I compared the reactions of two of my friends to Field Day. One told me that he just enjoys talking to people, and the ten-second exchange of information leaves him cold. Another, a young man who rarely gets on the radio, changes completely when you put him in front of a microphone on Field Day. Even though he hasn’t been on in a while, he knows exactly how to make the contact, build up the points. His competitive nature shines through.

What’s to be learned here? My own observation is that while I was able to make a significant number of contacts, band conditions were such that it took more concentration than usual, and I’ve been a ham for a lot of years. That skill of listening through the noise, getting the call exactly right, and knowing the exact second to call is a good one to have if you ever have to do emergency communications. The “right” conditions are never there in an emergency. But I don’t do emcomm, you might say. Well, if you ever have to, you need the skills built up from contesting, DXing, etc. And practice is a good thing.

There’s also a lot to be said for conversation on the radio. “International good will” is one of the goals of ham radio. So making friends in other countries is a wonderful example of ham radio at work. And so is talking on the local repeater. In fact, there’s more to using a repeater than you might first think. We have so many VHF and UHF repeaters that rarely get used across the country that it gets worrisome. We have a resource we’re not using. Remember, we lost 2 MHz of spectrum in the old 220 band. If we want the repeaters to be there for Skywarn and the local parades, bike rides, and other public service events, then we need to use them.

Whether you’d prefer contesting, or like chatting, turn on a rig occasionally and make a local contact. And maybe talk about next year’s Field Day. Whatever your style of communicating, communicate with your fellow hams!

–73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

73, Let’s fire up the bands,

Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division

ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK