Vol 12 # 6
In this issue:
There was considerable buzz at the Connecticut Convention Center for the ARRL Centennial Convention. Over 3300 attendees made it a grand event. The highlight was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between FEMA and ARRL on Friday afternoon. We’ve had an agreement with FEMA since the 1980’s but this new agreement better defines how we will work with each other in the realm of disaster communications and support. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, is a “ham’s ham,” and came back to the convention Saturday just to enjoy himself. You can read the entire MOA here. We’re also working on getting video of Fugate’s keynote speech up on the web as soon as possible.
The PR booth on the Expo floor was busy! Led by ARRL PR Committee member Allen Pitts, W1AGP, numerous PR outreach efforts were conducted. A continuation of the “I Am The ARRL” campaign netted over 100 new videos, reminding us that ARRL is people, not radios. Watch the “I Am The ARRL” video here.
Several members of the PR team manned the booth and made presentations during the convention weekend, including PR Committee members Ed Tyler, N4EDT and Mark Kraham, W8CMK. ABC’s “Last Man Standing” producer John Amodeo, NN6JA, was at the PR booth a lot and also gave us a great presentation on how to showcase Amateur Radio to the media.
We are glad so many of you came to Hartford and helped us celebrate our centennial. Thanks to all for your support.
Another major PR initiative at the Centennial Convention was a grassroots effort to support HR4969, a bipartisan bill that would extend the PRB-1 laws to private land-use regulations, including Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC & Rs). There is a web page on the ARRL site devoted to HR4969 which explains what the bill is, why it is so important to many amateurs whose ability to operate is restricted under these conditions and how radio amateurs can petition their member of Congress to co-sponsor the bill.
Which is exactly what we need. As PIOs and PIC’s, this is the biggest item on the ARRLs PR plate. We need co-sponsors for this legislation. A delegation from ARRL visited Capitol Hill last week and walked the halls of Congress for several days garnering support for HR4969; we also need YOUR help getting the word out about this critical bill. Get informed and ask your clubs and fellow Amateurs to write to or visit their Congressional representative during the August recess and ask them to co-sponsor this bill. We are collecting letters at ARRL HQ, which will be hand-delivered to Capitol Hill. Opposition is steep and vocal. Time is of the essence. Please act now.
We always enjoy welcoming new Public Information Officers and Public Information Coordinators into our ranks. Congratulations to the following new PIOs and PICs. Thanks for stepping up, folks!
PIO’s: Martin Diamond, KA1WBN (Connecticut), John Walker, K9SVL (Indiana), Scott Roberts, KK4ECR (Northern Florida), John Wright, K6CPO (San Diego), Irv McWherter, K3IRV (NC)
PIC’s: John L. Marshall, WA7BSR (Arizona), Joy Foss, K1SEW (Maine)
There comes a time in every PIO’s job where they need to edit video captured on their phone. While you can certainly export the video to a more robust computer to edit the video, you may not always have that option in the field. Here’s a list of 10 apps that allow you to manipulate video directly on your phone for sharing or uploading.
ARRL has produced a few pieces of literature introducing Amateur Radio to the Maker movement. The Makers are our people; read this article for an explanation. If you or your club will be attending a Maker Faire and want to promote ham radio, drop us a line and request some handouts!
I just returned from a few days R & R. The Centennial Convention, while fun, was hard work, and it was time to unwind a bit. I rented a small cabin on a lake for a long weekend in Vermont and listened to the birds chirp while watching the sun set over the water.
I also operated some CW and RTTY, too. After all, I’m still a ham, and a portable rig and open-wire fed doublet high in the trees allowed me to hand out the semi-rare Vermont multiplier in the North American CW QSO Party. The cabin’s owner lived a few hundred yards up the road, and naturally wondered what the wire was for. I answered several questions over a cup of coffee on the front deck. Southern Vermont was ravaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011; indeed, during my walks into town, I noticed several of the local businesses along the main street — in a valley, unfortunately — were still being repaired. A line painted on the side of the police station indicated the water level at the height of the storm; it was well over my head. My conversation had a real and lasting impact on somebody who was directly affected by a natural disaster. After explaining what ham radio is and how it is not only important during disasters, but a fun and interesting hobby in and of itself, I gave her my card and pointed her toward the ARRL web site.
We never know when we’ll be asked about Amateur Radio. Be prepared for answering questions, especially if you’re out operating portable for the weekend or afternoon. Keep some flyers in your car and a couple of your QSL cards, too. You may find yourself promoting Amateur Radio when you least expect it.
Thanks for all you do.
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Media and Public Relations Manager