Greetings everyone, welcome to "Dale's Tales" for December 2017.

CLUB Holiday Parties.  Wow, it is that time of year to start all of the
celebrations.  I see a lot of announcements for club parties and
activities for the coming season.  And as many as there are clubs there
are an equal number of variations in planning, hosting, venues and
activities.  Still for everyone, it is a time to meet with friends and
in many cases, families as well.  I truly hope your club has an event
planned to bring everyone together this season.  Please consider keeping
it safe for everyone and as a reminder to celebrate in moderation.  We
want the year to end on a happy note for everyone.

PCARS Donation to the Center of Hope. Every year, since year one of the
Portage County (Ohio) Amateur Radio Service's existence, they have
donated to a local charity, the Center of Hope, in Ravenna, OH. The
Amelia DiGirolamo Center of Hope is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition
of low-income people in Portage County where local food pantries are not

In 2006, the first year as a club, PCARS donated approximately $300 to
the Center of Hope.  Each year since then, they have donated the club's
portion of their 50/50 raffle at the November meeting, plus any other
donations they could collect from members and friends.  Annual
contributions have increased in amount almost every year.  There are
over 100,000 individuals who receive service through the Center of Hope
each year.

With the club's donation of the other half of the 50/50, and the
generous donations made by and collected by their membership, the total
contribution to the Center of Hope for 2017 was $6445.00.  When totaled
up over the past 12 years, PCARS' contribution to the Center of Hope
currently exceeds $28,950.00!  Amateur Radio has certainly had an impact
on their entire community.

As we enter this holiday season, let us all consider those less
fortunate than ourselves and give generously to help those in need.
PCARS sets an outstanding example of what a local club can do, our hats
go off to them for their outstanding community service.  I know there
are other radio clubs who share in their generosity. Please stand and be
recognized.  I will be honored to report your service.

PARITY ACT: A reminder, the Amateur Radio Parity Act continues as we
move into 2018.  Our efforts in Washington will press strongly for
action in the year remaining for this session of Congress.  While it has
passed the House, it remains blocked in the Senate (Florida Sen. Nelson)
and our advisors on the Washington scene are working on a means to
remove the block and allow it to be passed by the Senate.  Nelson has
reportedly heard from a large contingency of his Florida ham radio
constituents requesting his full support for the bill.

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

Antennas.  If you believe the adage about them working better when the
weather is awful, well, this is not a good time.  Too mild.  But if you
need an antenna, almost anytime is the best time.  A recent windstorm
was not kind to me.  My end-fed random-length wire came down, although
it took me a while to realize it.  I had made a number of contacts in
the ARRL Sweeps with a drooping, shorter-than-it-was-supposed-to-be
antenna.  And the wind finally put enough torque the wrong way on my
rotor that now it isn’t working, either.  I took advantage of our mild
days to re-string the wire antenna, but it will take some doing to tilt
over the tower and replace the rotor.  Maybe spring.

And it’s not just my antennas.  Soon, I’ll be helping another ham
set up some antennas for a new residence.  And last month, someone else
needed some evaluation of their antenna set up.

In some ways, ham radio is an individual thing.  It’s the contacts I
make, the scores I get.  In other ways, though, it’s a community
thing.  We benefit from working together in clubs towards a common goal.
 The advice you can get at just one meeting can get you inspired for a
whole year.  And it not only helps to have friends, sometimes it’s
necessary to have friends to help with construction projects like
antennas.  The younger among us can do the heavy work, and sometimes
those of us with experience can design projects that will work best for
a particular location.

I’m also continually amazed by the amount of information that is out
there.  ARRL has lots of books on antennas, with great advice for just
about any situation.  I have to share one little story –I still have a
copy of the 1968 Handbook, because in every other antenna book and
Handbook that I have seen, there has not been the simple dipole chart
that I found there many years ago.  The book falls open to that page, I
have used it so many times.  As for current publications, if you’re
looking for limited-space antennas, there’s the book Small Antennas
for Small Spaces, or for a comprehensive look at wire antennas, how
about Wire Antenna Classics in any one of three volumes.

So as we go into the holiday season and have our December parties at the
club meetings, remember how important it is to have good clubs.  And
pitch in if you’re asked to help.  Maybe you also will need some help
the next time you have an antenna problem.

73, Tom W8WTD Vice Director, Great Lakes Division

STATE CONVENTIONS:  In even numbered years, the Great Lakes Division's
three Sections host their individual State Conventions.  If your local
hamfest is interested in serving as the host for your State Convention
in 2018, your club should contact your Section Manager and request to
serve as the sponsor.  State Conventions normally encompass special
forums, can request guest forum speakers from ARRL and often hold
recognition Banquets and special programs.   Having a convention also
means additional attendance beyond that normally expected at a regular

HAMFESTING:  We have approximately 65 ARRL hamfests each year in the
Division.  I do encourage each Hamfest Chair to register early for ARRL
Sanctioning.  Be sure to invite your ARRL Officials as soon as your date
is set.  Here is the current Great Lakes Division ARRL Sanctioned
Hamfest Schedule covering the next couple of months.  These swaps have
received their sanctioning approval from ARRL HQ at the time of this

12/2/17         Fulton County           Delta, OH
12/3/17         Lanse Creuse            Madison Heights, MI
1/14/18         SCARF Hamfest           Nelsonville, OH
1/28/18         Hazel Park Hamfest      Madison Heights, MI
1/28/18         Tusco Hamfest           Strasburg, OH
2/3/18          HARA Hamfest            Negaunee, MI
2/10/18         Cherryland Hamfest      Traverse City, MI
2/18/18         InterCity Hamfest       Mansfield, OH
2/18/18         Livonia Hamfest         Livonia, MI

Be sure to check your Section's news pages for the latest local
happenings, club and net information.

From Judy and me, to all our ham radio friends in the Great Lakes
Division, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan, we offer the best wishes in the
coming holiday season.


Dale Williams WA8EFK
Great Lakes Division

ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK