Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's happening in the West Gulf Division?

News from David Woolweaver, K5RAV your West Gulf Division Director

--- West Gulf Leadership to Operate W1AW

Director Woolweaver and Vice Director Stratton will be operating from
W1AW IN Newington, CT on Sunday, July 22nd beginning at approximately
9:00 AM until 1:00 PM CDT. Look for the WG "Boys" on plus or minus
14.285 (+/-) MHz USB. They will be calling, "CQ West Gulf
Division." If you ever wanted to make a contact with W1AW, now is
your chance. QSL 100%. Real time posting of frequency and operating
reports will be made on the West Gulf Facebook Page at "ARRL – West
Gulf Division" and on our Twitter Page "ARRL_WGD."

--- 2012 Field Day

Field Day is always a great opportunity for the Leadership to be out
and about in the community visiting with folks and seeing how great the
Division Amateurs come together to operate in collective force.
Several of the Division Leadership members tendered Field Day reports.
See below.

Director Woolweaver spent the weekend in Oklahoma, exploring eight (8)
Field Day sites with OK SM Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW. Starting off in the
Oklahoma City area, they first visited with the Edmond ARS members who
were preparing to try out a new and interesting HF antenna.

Driving to the West, Woolweaver and O'Dell visited with the
Aeronautical Center ARC and found the FAA group starting their day by
providing their set-up team with a full belly of biscuits and gravy!
Numerous activities followed and their day was a great success.

In Norman, they found that the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society
(SCARS) had secured amazing support from the OK Department of Health
who had donated the use of a large tent, complete with air
conditioning! Hoisting multiple antennas and having a great array of
radios, SCARS was out to make some serious contacts during Field Day,
setting up radios both inside and outside of the tent. The club also
planned a club fellowship dinner on Saturday night.

New clubs are always fun to visit and the new Mid-Del ARC in Midwest
City was exuding real ham radio soul in their first Field Day
adventure. Aided by the OK STC Mark Hamblin, AE5MH and operating
throughout the weekend in the heat, Mid-Del secured an impressive total
of over 1,600 contacts!

Taking the turnpike, K5RAV and N0IRW found a small but happy group of
Oklahoma City Autopatch Association members in Shawnee. The group was
actively pursuing contacts on 20 meters and enjoying the Field Day

Making their way to Tulsa, Woolweaver and O'Dell found the Tulsa
Repeater Organization/Tulsa ARC operating in full force at Chandler
Park. The club brought their new ARRL provided HF Go Kit to insure it
was ready to go in the event of emergency. Always a great crowd,
TRO/TARC, had a large number of operators actively making contacts.

The Broken Arrow ARC put in a lot of hard work and even organized a
group BBQ for Saturday night. They had prepared a schedule to have
someone working all bands throughout the event. There was a lot of
space for antennas and individual stations which made for a nice
comfortable atmosphere.

At the end of the day, a stop at Osage Hills State Park to visit with
the Bartlesville ARC was planned. Unfortunately, by the time
Woolweaver and O'Dell arrived, the club had finished dinner and had
closed their station.

Vice Director Stratton visited multiple clubs in North and Central
Texas over the course of the weekend. Starting off on Saturday in
McKinney, which was one of two NTX clubs who were forced to move their
locations on Field Day. Due to a permitting mix up, McKinney had to
switch locations at the last minute and began setting up at 1:00 p.m.
at the Pole Barn at Myer's Park, but was in full operation in short
order, including having its well-known communications trailer set up.
The last minute move did not dampen participation as McKinney had 72
total visitors and participants.

Plano assembled at the Russell Creek Park pavilion with an impressive
antenna farm for its 4A effort. Participation was excellent with
approximately 40 participants and between 15-20 visitors, including
Plano's Mayor.

Garland set up at the Winters Park Soccer Fields with 16 participants
and managed to contact all but 3 of the ARRL Sections during FD. Ten
visitors, including 4 children, one of whom enthusiastically made
contacts, added to the fun.

Sachse, a new NTX Club – just 9 months old - held an outstanding
first Field Day with 23 of the 24 Club members participating. The
home-cooked BBQ made the heat bearable. The Mayor and the entire City
Council came out on Saturday and participated in building their own CW
keys and learned to transmit their names in Morse code.

Dallas again operated at its famous Flag Pole Hill location, but due to
a city booking mistake had to initially set up on the Water Pump Station
lawn and then move its entire operation, a station at a time, to the
Pavilion starting about 5:30 p.m. – managing to never go off the air
during the move. Dallas, as usual, had an excellent turnout with 68
people in its logbook, including representatives of the Dallas County
Commissioners Office, Dallas County Chief Deputy Sheriff Foster, and a
City of Dallas Police Sergeant. Like McKinney, Dallas also operated its
mobile communications trailer, using it to run its TechNet on Saturday

Irving operated from the Heritage Park headquarters' building in the
center of downtown Irving with an excellent turnout.

Arlington was graciously permitted by the City of Arlington to operate
from inside the Arlington Human Service Center. Thirty-one Hams –
over half of AARC's members participated and 24 visitors attended.
Arlington, due to the skills of one of its members maintained a Wi-Fi
link and continuously posted its operating scores to its website.

Bedford operated from outside the Bedford Law Enforcement Center with
21 Club members – over half its membership - participating and a
total of 46 visitors, including the Mayor, 5 of the 6 City Council
members, representatives from multiple Bedford served agencies and 8
Bedford CERT members. In addition to its Field Day operations, BARC
simultaneously conducted a radio operations training class for CERT,
which included an introduction to Amateur Radio. Further proof that
Amateur Radio, in an age of cell phones and computers, still appeals to
the young, was BARC's newest member (licensed only 2 weeks), Greg
Heartsfield, KF5QMG, who was so enthusiastic about Amateur Radio that
he built an Elecraft before he was even licensed and volunteered to
serve as BARC's IT Section Chief for Field Day.

Heart O' Texas, operating from Hewitt Park with 46 participants and
visitors, had the distinction of having John Curry, K5IMC, as its
primary CW operator. John is believed to hold the current ARRL record
for the most continuous Field Day participations at 56. K5IMC made a
total of 794 CW contacts, just missing his target of 800.
Congratulations, John!! State Representative "Doc" Anderson, the
City of McGregor's Mayor, the City of Robinson Chief of Police and
representatives from the Salvation Army and the Waco/McLennan County
Emergency Management gave HOTARC a broad response from government and
agency representatives.

John regrets not being able to get to all of the Field Day locations
that he had planned to attend and extends his apologies to those clubs
that he missed.

Rounding out the Division Field Day reports, Assistant Directors John
(AE5B) and Carla (K5RLA) Dyer traveled a little over 800 miles,
visiting the Lubbock ARC and the Panhandle ARC in Amarillo. John and
Carla enjoyed visiting for about three hours with the Lubbock crowd,
who had brought out their trailer and unloaded enough ham equipment to
challenge the generator that accompanied them.

The Panhandle Amateurs had things running smoothly when John and Carla
stopped by Cal Farley's Boys Ranch to visit. Picturesque
surroundings and lots of shade provided for a great time had by all.
John even discovered a new Field Day food…grilled jalapenos stuff
with peanut butter. Noting that he was reluctant at first, John admits
to going back for more!

--- ARRL Youth Committee Seeks Your Input, Ideas

At its July 2011 meeting, the ARRL Board approved a motion authorizing
the appointment of a Youth in the Second Century Committee. ARRL
President Kay Craigie, N3KN appointed the committee made up of active
youth hams from across the country: Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF, Jeremy
Breef-Pilz KB1REQ, Emily Bishop WE4MB, Sterling Coffey N0SSC, Joel
Monza KC2SNL, ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director Andrea Hartlage
KG4IUM, and Rocky Mountain Division Director Brian Mileshosky N5ZGT

The purpose and goals of this committee are to enhance the League's
outreach to potential Amateurs among America's youth. The League's
centennial in 2014 will highlight not only the accomplishments of the
past but also point towards Amateur Radio's future. Meaningful plans to
excite young Americans about Amateur Radio today and in the future must
take into account the ideas, lifestyles, and experiences of youthful
Amateur Radio operators.

The Committee on Youth in the Second Century seeks input from youth and
also from adult Amateurs working with young people, and will make
recommendations to the Staff and the Board of Directors.
We are all very aware of the importance of getting more young people
involved in Amateur Radio. Many of you are making a difference in young
people's lives and doing exciting things to interest youth in our hobby.

ARRL needs your input on how we can improve our outreach to young
Americans. Director Woolweaver would appreciate it if you would also
share your thoughts and comments with him, so that working together, we
can all help with this vital effort for the future of Amateur Radio.

(From the ARRL website)

--- How ARRL Operates, a Continuing Series

Earlier in this series, we explained how the Board Members and Section
Managers are elected and how they interact within the ARRL business
structure (see WGD Newsletter, November 2011). Today, we will explore
the volunteer structure.

Today, there are approximately 100 officers and staff members employed
in Newington – servicing approximately 162,000 ARRL members and
supporting over 44,450 volunteers.

Let that soak in. One hundred employees are servicing 162,000 members,
coordinating a volunteer body that consists of 27% of the membership.

In most business models, leadership is described as a pyramid, with the
leader at the top occupying the most important position. In a volunteer
organization, it is important to view the pyramid in reserve, because
without the volunteer base, the ARRL would not be successful.

The base is composed of amateurs who contribute faithfully to positions
like Section Managers, Section Emergency Coordinator (Amateur Radio
Emergency Service™ - ARES™), the Official Observer Coordinator, the
Affiliated Club Coordinator, the Public Information Coordinator, the
State Government Liaison, the Section Traffic Manager, Assistant
Section Managers (ASM's), Directors, Vice Directors and Assistant
Division Directors (ADD's). There are, also, Volunteer Examiners,
Volunteer Counsels, Volunteer Instructors, Volunteer Mentors, Volunteer
Consulting Engineers, Volunteer Technical Specialists, Volunteer QSL
Bureau Chiefs, Volunteer DXCC Card Checkers, and Official Observers.
The list is almost endless and we apologize to anyone whose specialty
is not specifically listed because we truly do value what you do on
behalf of the ARRL.

Often times, SM's or Directors appoint specialty positions to fill
the need of a specific interest. For example, in the West Gulf, the
Division Leadership has collectively agreed to focus in on Scouting so
each section now has an ASM for Radio Scouting and the Division now has
an ADD for Radio Scouting. Collectively these folks will work to
increase Amateur Radio's presence in the various Scouting

Webster defines "voluntary" as proceeding from the will or from
one's own choice or consent; acting or done of one's own free will
without valuable consideration or legal obligation." All of these
volunteers give of their time generously, typically at their own
expense and often at the expense of their own family time. Many times
one hears, "They are just a volunteer" or "They need to do
more". Remember that without volunteers the ARRL could not
effectively exist. Sure, it might take a day or two to have an email
answered, or an issue addressed – but that volunteer might be dealing
with a family situation, be working, be away on vacation, or simply has
not had an opportunity to respond. These volunteers who have stepped
up to the task of assisting in the Amateur service are doing their very
best to make sure that you as a member are heard and validated.

The truth is ARRL volunteers give their time because they believe in
the Amateur service and they have chosen the ARRL as their way of
giving back. Please take a moment to thank them the next time you see
them at a hamfest or club meeting and consider what you can do to give
back to this amazing service. No matter your level of involvement, you
too can make a difference.

An expanded discussion of the operations of the Board and Staff will be
presented in following issues.

--- ARRL to Host Webinar on Amateur Radio Response to 2012 Hurricane

The ARRL will host a webinar from 8-9:30 PM EDT Tuesday, July 17
(0000-0130 UTC Wednesday, July 18) to present information about the
2012 hurricane season and the Amateur Radio response. The program will
offer presentations from representatives from the National Hurricane
Center (NHC) and WX4NHC (the Amateur Radio station at the NHC), the
VoIP Hurricane Net, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and the ARRL. Webinar
registration is open to all, but this informative web session will be of
particular interest to those amateurs in hurricane-prone areas. If you
are interested in emergency communications and hurricane preparedness
and response, you are invited to attend this online presentation. To
register for this webinar, please click here.

(From the ARRL website)

--- Radio Merit Badge "Doubleheader"

Preparedness was the theme of the day as over 212 Boy Scouts from three
states came together this month for the annual Radio Merit Badge program
at Ham-Com 2012 (June 8-9), the state's largest Amateur Radio convention
in Plano, Texas.

Scouts learned new skills and got a close look at the latest Amateur
Radio gear during the day-long event at the Plano Convention Center.

This popular Radio Merit Badge program strives to cover all of the
badge requirements in a fun and interactive way, and to highlight the
importance of Amateur Radio as an emergency preparedness tool. Scouts
at this year's event enjoyed special speakers, class participation
activities and actual on-air contacts with radio "hams" around the

Citing the need to "plant seeds for the future," Ham-Com began
sponsoring the program a decade ago at their annual Amateur Radio
convention by offering free admission and meals to Scouts in uniform.
Their goal was to inspire Scouts to pursue Amateur Radio as an
avocation, or to perhaps put their newly-learned radio skills to use
during times of disaster when normal communications systems are knocked

Richard Phillips and James Alderman have been conducting the day-long
program at Ham-Com for the past eight years and have seen attendance
levels steadily increase. They estimate close to a thousand boys have
been through their program so far.

As the Radio Merit Badge program has gained popularity in the Scouting
community, Ham-Com's support has grown also. Now Scouts can take their
Amateur Radio license exam at no charge during the event.

Allan Batteiger teaches Amateur Radio license classes in the local
community and heads up the exam team for the event. This year two
lucky Scouts who passed their license exams were each presented with a
special bonus—a brand new ICOM V80 handheld radio and matching
antenna courtesy of Ham-Com and Diamond Antenna Corporation.

Event organizers faced a unique, although daunting challenge this year
when a computer glitch failed to shut down the online class
registration system once all available seats were filled. By the time
the error was discovered, almost 600 boys had signed up for the Radio
Merit Badge program—three times more than the classroom would seat!

Phillips and Alderman decided to try and accommodate overflow crowds by
making this year's program a "doubleheader"—two Radio Merit Badge
programs back-to-back in a single day.

Even with two packed sessions, scores of boys who had pre-registered
had to be turned away. But stay tuned! Another Radio Merit Badge
class is being planned for later this summer.

(Contributed by Allan R. Batteiger, WB5QNG)

--- New Volunteer Examiner Apparel and Supply Items

If you're an ARRL Volunteer Examiner, take note: The ARRL has
recently introduced new apparel and supply items just for you. Choose
between a new black polo-style shirt (sizes S-4XL) or a white
long-sleeved button down shirt (sizes S-3XL), each embroidered with the
ARRL diamond logo and "Volunteer Examiner" on left chest. Wear your
VE badge on the new ARRL VE lanyard. This stylish white lanyard is
imprinted with "ARRL Volunteer Examiner" and "Amateur Radio" in
black. It includes a bulldog clip for your call sign badges or your ARRL
VEC credentials. Carry your VE exam supplies in style with the ARRL VE
Portfolio. This black portfolio features a zipper closure and is
imprinted with the ARRL diamond logo and words "ARRL VEC Exams."
There is a lot more available in the ARRL VEC Online Store, including
the ARRL VEC Volunteer Examiner Manual, ARRL VE patches, challenge
coins and pins.
(From the ARRL website)

--- Planned ARRL Events for K5RAV and N5AUS

Director Woolweaver, K5RAV and Vice Director Stratton, N5AUS are
planning to attend the following upcoming events:


– ARRL Second Annual Board Meeting, July 20-21, Newington, CT
– Ham Holiday, OK Section Convention, July 27-28, Oklahoma City, OK
– Austin Summerfest, TX State Convention, August 3-4, Austin, TX
– ARRL Executive Committee Meeting, September 29, Denver, CO
– ARRL 2012 National Convention, October 12-13-14, Santa Clara, CA
– Texoma Hamarama, October 26-27, Ardmore, OK


– ARRL Second Annual Board Meeting, July 20-21, Newington, CT
– Austin Summerfest, TX State Convention, August 3-4, Austin, Texas

ARRL Convention and Hamfest events are a great place to visit with the
Division and Section Leadership! Each event will also include an ARRL
forum where you can receive additional insight into Division and
Section matters.

At anytime that you have a concern or just want to say hello, contact
Director Woolweaver at K5RAV@arrl.org. Visit our website at
www.arrlwgd.org; follow us on Twitter at ARRL_WGD or on Facebook at
ARRL West Gulf Division.

-- Upcoming Hamfests and Conventions

07/27/2012 | Ham Holiday 2012 – Oklahoma Section Convention
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs
Website: http://www.hamholiday.com

ARRL President Kay Craige, N3KN, joins Director Woolweaver in Oklahoma
City where she will be speaking at the Ham Holiday banquet Friday night
and the ARRL Forum on Saturday morning.

08/03/2012 | Austin Summerfest – Texas State Convention
Location: Austin, TX
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Austin Amateur Radio Club & Texas VHF-FM Society
Website: http://www.austinsummerfest.org

Joining Director Woolweaver and Vice Director Stratton at Summerfest
will be Ward Silver, N0AX, Lead Editor of the ARRL Handbook, the ARRL
Antenna Book and is a QST Contributing Editor. Ward is an avid
contester with many stories to share and he will be participating in
multiple forums. Summerfest organizers encourage you to make your
reservations now as the two host hotels (next each other) fill quickly.

08/25/2012 | Gainesville Hamfest 2012
Location: Gainesville, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Cooke County Amateur Radio Club
Website: http://www.gainesvillehamfest.org

09/14/2012 | Ada Hamfest
Location: Ada, OK
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: ADA RC, Durant ARA, Marshall County RC

10/20/2012 | Lufkin Hamfest 2012
Location: Lufkin, TX
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Deep East Texas & Nacogdoches ARC's
Website: http://www.lufkinhamfest.com

10/23/2012 | Texoma Hamarama
Location: Ardmore, OK
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Texoma Hamarama Association, Inc.
Website: http://texomahamarama.org

ARRL West Gulf Division
Director: David A Woolweaver, K5RAV

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