Contact August 2012


Vol 10  No 8

August, 2012


In this issue:


·         September is National Preparedness Month

·         Mc Gan Award Winner K1AYZ

·         A Different Media Hit

·         Business Cards for Simple PR Work

·         Strays

·         Friendly Nation-wide Media

·         Red Cross Smartphone App

·         Amateur Radio History and YOU

·         What is Missing?

·         The Last Word



September is National Preparedness Month


You can see the Power point presentations made for 2012 plans at


Are you doing an event or activity for this?  Be sure to add it to the list at


ARRL has been registered as a Coalition member under the communications grouping.  (Unfortunately, it appears at this point that some of the website there is not working right, so it may be hard to find.)  But we encourage Amateur Radio groups to take advantage of this month’s opportunities to join in by listing their actions on the FEMA website and reaching out to their communities in some preparedness related actions this month.


Free Materials: Want Free Emergency Preparedness brochures, posters & publications and more to support your events?



Mc Gan Award Winner

Ted Luebbers

I am flabbergasted at this turn of events. I am honored and humbled when I stop to realize how many others are so active in the public relations field on behalf of amateur Radio.  Receiving the Philip J McGan Award encourages me to do even more to publicize ham radio in the future.  My thanks to you ,Allen and the Board for recognizing my efforts.


John T Luebbers K1AYZ

( Call me Ted )


The Philip J. McGan Silver Antenna Award

John T. Luebbers, K1AYZ, of Tavares, Florida, was named the recipient of the 2012 Philip J. McGan Silver Antenna Award. Luebbers was recognized by the Board for his “outstanding volunteer public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio at the local and regional levels.”

The McGan award is named for Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ (SK), the first chairman of the ARRL’s Public Relations Committee. After his death, friends in the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to pay a lasting tribute to the important contributions he made on behalf of Amateur Radio. The McGan Award goes to that ham who has demonstrated success in Amateur Radio public relations and best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of Phil McGan. Public Relations activities for which the McGan Award is presented include efforts specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the public's attention (and most often the media’s) in a positive light. This may include traditional methods, such as news releases, or non-traditional methods, such as hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker.  Congratulations Ted!



A Different Media Hit


True P.R. is making friends for your organization.  Often we get focused on simply getting announcements of upcoming events into the media.  But how about after the event?  Tracy Stevens took the opportunity to make some good friends with a thank you article that was published in the Anniston Star.  Nice work!


Thanks from ham radio members    Jul 08, 2012 

            As the public information officer for the Calhoun County Amateur Radio Association, I want to recognize and thank members of the Calhoun/Cleburne County American Red Cross Chapter as well as the deputies from the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office who helped with and participated in our recent American Radio Relay League Field Day on June 23.
            Both of these organizations, along with ours, are proud to work together to serve the residents of Calhoun County in times of need such as a disaster or other incidents. We were also happy to help those Boy Scouts from Troop 4009 who stopped by with their radio merit badge requirements.                  
            Whenever the need arises, ham radio operators have sometimes been the sole means of communication in many instances during a catastrophe such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.

Tracy Stephens
Read more:
Anniston Star - Thanks from ham radio members



Business Cards for Simple PR Work

Business card PR

Ward Silver, NØAX, wrote us...


Attached is a sample of a business card I created for handing out from our parade-float club station on July 4th.  We also had more complete fliers.  This was a simple PowerPoint graphic with a couple of photos of local club members or the comm trailer.  I made an eight-up card with text on the back.  My local office supply house took the PPT file, printed it on index card stock with one glossy side and cut up the sheet into individual cards - we got 400 cards (40 sheets) for 70 dollars and I'm sure you could find less expensive print methods.  The PPTX file is also attached if you wish to modify it - take care to maintain alignment between the front and back and have the same solid color on both sides of the cut so that slight offsets of the cutter don't create unsightly lines along the edges.


Club members and card recipients responded well to the "Service Science Skill" motto that broadly refers to our three main strengths and missions without overemphasis on any one aspect.  We also had "When All Else Fails" signage with our "ARES Rapid Response Team" banner.




JOTA Oct 20-21.  The nice thing about JOTA is that local BSA councils will work with you to send out joint releases, and in all candor, media reps understand scouts more than Amateur Radio.


SKYWARN Recognition Day – December 1(?)  Again, work with local NWS office for joint release.


RSGB’s listing of Olympic special event stations is at


Western Pennsylvania Section

Allen (w1agp) will be at the WPA convention August 26



Friendly Nation-wide Media

Major media friends


Broadcast Television

Last Man Standing

Our favorite perplexed ham, Tim Allen’s portrayal of Mike Baxter, KAØXTT,  trying to cope with changing social conditions has been picked up for the fall by ABC. 



Ham Radio NOW

Gary Pearce began Ham Radio Now as an outgrowth of his excellent ARVN work.  Timely and topical, his videos can be seen at


Ham Nation

Bob Heil’s venture into TWiT Internet broadcasting continues to pay off and his audience for the weekly shows grows.


Broadcast Radio

QSO Radio Show

Ted Randall’s QSO Radio shortwave broadcasts not only cover most of the USA but go worldwide with a big following in Asia.  


In addition, there are several audio podcasts produced weekly including Bill Pasternak’s ARNewsline Report, Hap Holly’s Rain Report and, of course, our own ARRL Audio News.


Red Cross Smartphone App

I wanted to pass along some information pertaining to a newly launched Red Cross smartphone app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand.  Our free First Aid app is available for iPhone and Android devices and can be downloaded at  Please share this information with family, friends and co-workers!

Have a great day!


Joseph P. Kuzma Senior Development Director 

American Red Cross,  Farmington, CT



Amateur Radio History and YOU


In 1922 the broadcast radio industry was growing by leaps and bounds.  Great strides had been made in transmitting equipment, but there was not much available for good reception.  As always, consumers wanted the cheapest equipment that would work for them and did not care much about sensitivity and selectivity parameters.  Receivers were very expensive as it was, and they simply wanted a radio receiver for as low a cost as possible.  This led to a supply of radios that were... well.... er.... of “questionable quality” going to more affluent people and, of course, they got interference from “hams.” 


It is important to note that at this point, no one was really sure just what an “amateur radio operator” was as there was no formal definition yet.  That would come later on in that year.  However it was a real threat to amateur operations when the upper levels of the public were screaming about interference from hams to reception of their commercial broadcasts.  At the same time, there was an increase in the (eternal) push for government to take over all radio communications and only the big commercial groups to be allowed to use the airwaves. 


The ARRL met this problem with the creation of its first “Publicity Department” charged with creating a field organization to disseminate information about the actions of radio amateurs through newspapers and other publications.  The PIOs of today are descendents of that 1922 beginning.


Obviously, not a lot has changed in the past 90 years.  Commercial corporations still want our frequencies and if not for the ARRL they would have them.  Manufacturers still mass market electronic gizmos at the lowest cost and simply blame hams if there are interference issues with them.  While broadcast radio programs may wane, “broadband” has taken its place as the Godzilla of spectrum use.  The role of the PIO goes on.


Note how from the beginning there was the realization that it would take a field organization to spread the word about Amateur Radio.  Even back then, they realized that the idea of press releases issued from one central location far away would not work as efficiently as many volunteers located throughout the country.  In the intervening years there have, at times, been thoughts about hiring outside PR firms, having a national office controlling all the media relations and expectations of having continued interest from major, nationwide mass media outlets.  But common sense prevailed.  “All news is local” and without some local hook the audience has no interest.  PIOs supply the local hooks to stories.


The entire strategy of the Media & PR office here at HQ is to use our limited resources to provide the field organization, ARRL’s PIOs, club PIOs, or even self-appointed speakers, with the best materials we can.  Take them, modify them, use them in your own areas.    To accomplish this, a battery of documents and AV materials have been made available.  With the arrival of the new ARRL website, these all became downloadable.  Start at and watch the left side of the screen for link after link to more materials, helps, ideas, notes, speeches, power points and fill-in-the-blank aids you can use.



What is Missing?


There have been many histories of ARRL and Amateur Radio written over the years.  Some of them such as 200 Meters and Down are excellent. But each author has a particular perspective and, as we approach the ARRL Centennial, I got to wondering what events YOU thought were important in ARRL history.  So here’s an interesting experiment.


Take a look at the following timeline and send in any additions that you think really are important to note.  We’re just looking for the major points, not every little event.  But if something is missing you think is really important, send me the event and the date and let me know at .  You never know where this list may end up in 2014.


 1831   Faraday demonstrates electricity and magnetism are related

1850    Maxwell shows light is electromagnetic wave

1864    Mahlon Loomis transmits signal 18 miles between two kite

            antennas- "wireless telegraphy"

1884    “The Telegraphist” in September of 1884 calls bad code

            senders "hams"

1886    H Hertz proves Maxwell's theory

1899    Marconi sends radio signal across English Channel

1900    R Fessenden transmits voice over radio signal for 1 mile

1901    Marconi sends wireless signal across Atlantic

1904    J Fleming invents first vacuum tube for electronics

            "Fleming valve"

1906    R Fessenden sends Christmas voice signal out to ships

            in the Atlantic

1906    DeForest invents audion tube (triode)

1908    first real "amateurs" doing radio just for the fun of 

            it and not looking for money

1909    First radio club formed (Junior Wireless Club) to become

            Radio Club of America

1912    Radio Act of 1912 - first licensing of amateurs under

            Dept of Commerce

1912    non commercial radio stations forbidden to use frequencies

            longer than 200m

1912    Hams working on 200m (plus or minus 50) all in narrow

            frequency range

1913    Midwest storm isolates large areas – U of Michigan & Ohio

            State radio clubs  save lives

1914    H P Maxim organizes ARRL

1914    ARRL's Maxim goes to Washington to secure licenses to

            establish relay routes (and gets them)

1915    ARRL publishes QST

1917    ARRL's relay nets transmit across the country

1917    6000 licensed amateurs shut down as America enters WW1  (April)

1918    Armstrong invents superheterodyne

1918    HR13159 and S5038 attempt to give all control of radio

            to the navy

1919a  April  - Navy has control for duration of war, but won't

            turn over control

1919b  ARRL launched "blue card" campaign to defeat radio grab

            by navy

1919c  April - Navy tries to quiet hams by giving them OK to

            receive radio signals, but NOT to transmit

1919d  S4038 Navy wants to retain control of all radio signals

            going oceanic or international

1919e  Sept - ARRL connections in Congress introduce  HJ Res #217

            forcing navy to remove restrictions

1919f   Amateur Radio resumes after the war

1919g  Amateur Frank Conrad 8XK plays music over the radio

            - broadcasting is born

1920-6             Approx 10 proposed laws giving freqs to commercial

                        interests or gov't defeated in Congress

1921    Radio Club of America shows off shortwave abilities

            from CFT to Scotland

1921    Dept of Commerce admits that it cannot control large

            number of hams -asks ARRL help. 

1922    Hams prohibited from broadcasting to public -

            separate commercial broadcast license required

1923    2nd National Radio conference - hams able to operate

            anywhere within specified bands

1924    "provisional" licenses issued for 75-80, 40-43, 20-22,

            4-5 meter freqs

1925    International Amateur Radio Union formed

1925    J Reinartz writes in QST - proposes his "skip" theory

            of why short waves go so far

1925    IARU formed in Paris

1927    Federal Radio Commission is formed

1927    Radio Act of 1927  "amateurs" finally defined

1929    amateur's initial transmitting bands 80 40 20 10m

            become official (result of 1927 conference)

1929    "International Technical Consulting Committee" in D.C.

            tries to impose uniformity on hams like the European


1930-1938       Great many instances of amateur radio saving

                        lives and property

1931    ARRL holds first national "Field Day" emergency drill

1933    Federal Radio Commission requires amateur applicants

            to appear in person for testing to get license

1934    FCC is formed

1934    Communications Act of 1934. Part 97 rules for

            Amateur Radio

            ARRL defeats local ordinances against radio

            transmissions in federal courts  (OR & KY)

            Amateur Radio Emergency Service formed - ARES

1936    there are about 42,000 "hams"

1940    Hams prohibited from talking to other countries

1941    June - radio tube shortage causes military to ask

            hams for donations

1942    Of the 51,000 hams in the USA, >25,000 enlist while

            others teach or do development work

            (like proximity fuse, radar, etc)

1945    hams back on the air but limited

1946    hams get most of their privileges back

1950    about 90,000 US hams

1955    commercial gear overtakes "homebrew"

1956    about 140,000 US hams

1957    US hams first to hear signals from sputnik satellite

1960    hams bounce radio signal off the moon and back to earth

1961    first amateur radio satellite (OSCAR) launched

1976    NN3SI station opens at the Smithsonian

1983    SAREX Program - amateur radio contacts with space shuttle

1984    FCC delegates license testing to Volunteer Examination

            Coordinators - 5 organizations qualify -

            ARRL is largest by far

1985    The FCC's PRB-1 document, an 11 page Amateur Radio

            Memorandum Opinion and Order, released September 19, 1985.

1996    formation of ARISS - Amateur  Radio on the

            International Space Station

1999    The FCC also clarified the FCC's PRB-1 Order on

            November 19, 1999.

2000    FCC reduces licenses to 3 classes - technician,

            general and extra

2001    Ham radio only major systems working in lower

            Manhattan during early hours of 9-11 -

            all else was on the towers

2005    Hurricane Katrina  - "When all else fails, ham radio works!"

2007    FCC drops Morse code proficiency from all license testing

2012    Section 6414 of Middle Class Tax Relief and Job

            Creation Act of 2012 mandates FCC study of

            impairments to ham radio uses


The Last Word


With the completion of the July 2012 Board meeting, plans for the 2014 Centennial of ARRL are congealing quickly now.  Thank you for many of the suggestions and ideas that have been sent in.  A lot of them were very similar so it will be hard to say just who came up with any one particular idea, but they all were considered quite seriously.  The creativity of our members is a constant pleasure.  In the coming months I am sure you will hear a lot more about what’s being planned. 


While the June crush of media hits from Field Day has ended now, I am pleased to see that our PIOs are not taking the summer off and the number of Amateur Radio stories in mass media remains high.  In contrast to the daily swarm of articles reporting bad news around the world, the positive notes about what hams are doing and the enthusiasm for the Service is quite a contrast.  Keep it up!


Allen  -w1agp