Register Account

Login Help

April 2009

Two new video Public Service Announcements are now available for PIOs, clubs and postings.

The Field Day PSA is a special 3.8 meg size .wmv movie for postings on websites, adding to emails, and sharing via the Internet. While not broadcast quality resolution, it was intentionally made small enough to go through almost all email systems and able to be seen on almost every computer.

"This is our first experiment in 'viral' video work," said Allen Pitts, W1AGP, Media & PR Manager for the ARRL. "We've seen how a good video can spread quickly via the Web and reach people. So we created a special Field Day Internet video for this year. Let's see what happens."

Members are asked to download the video from the Field Day web page or Public Service Announcement (right click on the hyperlink and choose "save target as") and then send it to friends, email lists, websites and every place they can think of that will show it to others.

You are asked NOT to modify it or change the ending! Because the files can go all over the country (and world), the ending needs to be able to direct anyone, anywhere to the closest Field Day site near them. Just be sure your local group is listed on the web listings and they will find you.

Special thanks go to the volunteers of the national ARRL PR Committee who took the concept and helped bring it to reality. Kevin Pauley, KB9WVI, did the excellent video editing (right down to synchronizing shots with the music!) and Don Carlson, KQ6FM, did the voiceover work. Staff creativity came from Allen Pitts, the producer and creator, and Sean Kutzko, KX9X, who did the music. The Delta DX Association in Louisiana, W5RU, with Bob McBride, AE5RN, and Albert Dupont, W5AFD, were a major help by providing action video clips and permissions from their last Field Day.

A SECOND VIDEO PSA for Broadcast and Cable TV which promotes the technologies of Amateur Radio is also available. More general than the Field Day video, it will be able to "run" for much longer.

Hams know that Amateur Radio is the place where people learn about wireless communications and engineers get their hands-on training. A 30 second high quality video announces that to the world in an exciting way in a second PSA created for broadcast and cable TV systems. Showing the technological side of Amateur Radio, it compliments the WeDoThat-Radio campaign and the 5th pillar of the ARRL.

Being targeted for commercial TV uses, it is a high resolution, 43 meg, MOV type file. and it has a formal 60 second lead-in followed by the 30 second PSA which can be downloaded from the ARRL.

A very low resolution version, not meant for distribution but just to see what it looks like, is available if you CLICK HERE CD's and DVD copies of the video are also available by writing to and letting us know on which TV stations or cable systems you are going to place the video.

This second video was also designed by Allen Pitts with extensive volunteer help. Special thanks for this one go to Matt Aaron, KG4WXX, who guided the extensive video editing and to Don Carlson, KQ6FM, who did the audio work.

World Amateur Radio Day 2009

Each year on 18 April, radio amateurs celebrate World Amateur Radio Day. On that day in 1925 the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was founded. In 2009, the theme of the event is Amateur Radio: Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communication.

It is not by coincidence that last year’s meeting of the IARU Administrative Council chose this subject at this time. While the Amateur Radio Service has traditionally made its contributions to emergency and disaster response ever since its very beginnings almost 100 years ago, this role has gained a lot of importance just in the recent past. It has done so mainly for two reasons:

  • The number and dimension of natural as well as man-made disasters is unfortunately on the increase, and
  • The modern communication technologies are increasingly complex, infrastructure-dependent and therefore also increasingly vulnerable.

The Amateur Radio Services puts two equally valuable assets at its disposal for emergency and disaster prevention, preparedness and response:

  • A large number of very flexible and mostly infrastructure-independent, local, national, regional and global networks, and
  • A large number of skilled operators, who know how to communicate with often very limited means and to establish communications even under the most difficult circumstances.

The tools at their disposal range from the most robust means such as battery-operated stations operating in Morse code to links through amateur radio satellites and interconnectivity with the Internet, in voice, text, image and data modes. They range from local VHF networks of fixed, mobile and portable stations to shortwave networks that span the globe. All these networks are operated on a daily basis by men and women who are thoroughly familiar with their technology and their intricacies.

Telecommunications have become a commodity that society takes for granted, and the sudden loss of that service is often felt in a similar way to the loss of shelter, food and medical support. When disasters occur in regions that do not have good coverage by public networks, or when existing communications infrastructures have just been disrupted or destroyed by such events, the Amateur Radio Service comes to the rescue. Amateur Radio operators provide communications for the rescuers and relief workers and their organizations and they help to provide communications for those affected by a disaster.

In fact, contributions to emergency and disaster relief are a major argument for the preservation and the extension of the privileges the Amateur Radio Service enjoys in international and national regulations. This is one of the reasons why more and more Amateur Radio operators, through their clubs and their national societies, prepare very seriously for their role in emergencies. However, their skills can be put to use only if they are known by other first responders. Effective response to emergencies can only occur with the work of volunteers in all the various fields; from search and rescue to medical assistance and those who can provide food and shelter. Communication skills are a new, but equally vital commodity.

Activities on the occasion of World Amateur Radio Day 2009 can be a great opportunity to spread the word about what the “hams” are doing.

Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP / HB9AQS, IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications -- 28 January 2009

Sherri Brower, W4STB, found this website: is an excellent podcast on Storytelling and Social Media use for nonprofits by Beth Kanter and hosted by Go to the right side of the page and you can download the file or listen to it as a recording.


Anyone who spends much time on the Web soon learns about Craig's List. But there is another Web-based listing service which is growing quickly and actually has whole sections where local clubs can (and should) put in their information.

Check out and you will see that you can list your group, the activities you have and other things for folks in the community to see. It's free!

Bet you didn't know this...

Another ham invention is the PC Modem. Dale Heatherington of Roswell, GA, WA4DSY, was a big contributor to the Hayes Modem design. A few references that might be helpful if there are any questions about his contribution.

Co-founded by Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington, it brought the first modem for home and personal computers to market, and the Hayes command set that controlled its modems became an industry standard still in use today.

Several solutions to the problem were studied, and in the end Heatherington decided the only practical one was to have the modem operate in two modes. In one, data mode, all data forwarded from the computer was modulated and sent over the connected telephone line as it was with any other modem. In the other, command mode, data forwarded from the computer was instead interpreted as commands. In this way, the modem could be instructed by the computer to perform various operations, such as hang up the phone or dial a number.

PIC Mike Langner, K5MGR, wrote:

Our New Mexico Amateur Radio Alliance, a project of the Upper Rio FM Society, Inc., obtained a booth at one of New Mexico's largest "Home Shows," the "Albuquerque Home and Lifestyle Expo", February 21 and 22.

With at least two very socially active (some would say evangelists for Amateur Radio) hams in the booth at all times reaching out to show attendees, passing out information on "How to become a Ham," and invitations to attend next August's Duke City Hamfest, thousands of attendees walked by the presentation, some pausing to watch the slide show about Amateur Radio, some remarking "Y'know, my brother-in-law is a Ham," some spending time talking with the Hams in the booth, and taking our handout material.

The estimated February 2009 attendance for the show, according to the organization that presents it, is between 18,000 and 20,000 people during the two day event.

Because the Ham Radio booth was located right on the main traffic pattern in the largest of the three rooms of the show, we expect that 85 to 90% of the show attendees saw our material. Many of them spent time chatting with us, and many of them took our handouts.

In short, we think a great success for Ham Radio!

Special thanks to our SM, Don Wood, W5FHA and to Larry Goga, AE5CZ for their outstanding work on this Amateur Radio exhibit!

Press Releases available in Spanish

A Field Day release and Hans Zimmermann's World Amateur Radio Day release are now available in Spanish at
Editors note: currently the external site is down.

The Last Word

Guest author this month is Bill Morine, N2COP, Chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee. Bill writes:

We’ve all heard of a “Round Tuit”. That’s the mythical circle that symbolizes an activity which will get done when I get “around to it”, or shortened to a “Round Tuit”. Well I’m going to add a new one, “Can Do”. This is much like an aerosol spray lubricant you keep on your workbench. When things get tight and you feel you can’t get something done, spray some “Can Do” on the project. Hams are not only resilient, but they are creative too. When we’re in the field, or in an emergency situation, it’s a rewarding feeling to cobble together a solution that gets you on-the-air. Why shouldn’t we apply the same “Can Do” spirit to public relations on behalf of amateur radio? One of the common reasons we hear is that many PIOs have the spirit, but lack the formal training on what to do. For the past few years, the PIO page on ARRL’s website has provided many of the tools needed. Still, some PIOs find the PIO page with its release templates, PowerPoint presentations and video and audio PSAs is not enough; they want formal training. Thus we have a new can of “Can Do” to the rescue. At the upcoming Dayton Hamvention®, ARRL’s Public Relations Committee will launch a course called PR101. This course is optional, but will help every current and aspiring PIO to become effective in promoting amateur radio. PR101 is a major breakthrough in explaining step-by-step how to be a productive PIO for amateur radio.

What's in a can of "Can Do" (Pr-101) ? Here's a brief run-down.

What is PR?
PR and non profits
"In Group" vs. Public

Job Expectations of a PIO
ARES, Clubs and PIOs
Resources available to you

Types of Media and their unique needs

Building Relationships

Media, Hams and FCC Rules

Creating the Basic News Release

Interviews and Live Talks

Making your own show
Cable TV
PSA & Video

Easy P.R.
Letters to the Editor

Maximize Public Service Events

How to Piggy-back to National Events

Pictures NOW!
How to
Send to

P.R. Research Aids

Making Friends In Disagreements
“The loyal opposition”

The ARES® PIO in emergency situations

I encourage all to get the disk, study the materials and take this course when it becomes available in late May. It will be the best can of “Can Do” on your shelf.

Bill Morine – N2COP

ARRL Public Relations Chairman


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn