Register Account

Login Help

July 2009



The first ARRL course for PIOs is complete and available! Unveiled at Dayton, PR-101 is available on the ARRL Web site for a cost of $19.95 plus shipping and handling. (It used to be that only death and taxes were certain. Now it’s S&H.) Initial comments from students have been very positive. See the June 09 issue of CONTACT! for the topics list.

We already have some graduates! Congratulations and praise goes to:

Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW
Walt Palmer, W4ALT
Bill Morine, N2COP
Mark Taylor, N8MDT
Jon Burchfield, KJ2N
Daniel McGlothin, KB3MUN
Randy Ross, KI4ZJI
Joe Krupa, N1ESB
Tim O'Shea, KY7Y
Steve Sanders, KE7JSS
Dana Borgman, KA1WPM
Tomas Bagdas, NU2I
Stanley Klein, W0CHF
Melissa Hall, W4RXG
Geof Franklin, KE4IGD
Allen Harpham, KBØASQ
James Valega, WB5LSH
William Bybee, KI6OBV
Alexander Dutkewych, N2PIG
Michael Carline, KD5ZCA
Jeff Holstein, K8JMH
Debra Dutkewych, K2PIG
Jody Fontenot, KB5RXZ
Gordon McCraw, WX7EM

Well done!

National Preparedness Month coming up

This September will be the 5th annual National Preparedness Month.

You can register your group and show your community service in this area by going to

Last year hundreds of ARES and Amateur Radio groups signed up to participate. There were so many that this year, in the place where the form asks “How would you describe your organization?” there is a special Amateur Radio group designation.

Free publications you can use are at

“National Preparedness Month is a great time for the American public to learn about how to prepare for natural disasters and the ever-present threat of terror-strikes," said FEMA Regional Administrator Susan Reinertson. "This year's themes focus on taking simple, but potentially life-saving steps to enhance preparedness, including: Get an Emergency Supply Kit; Make a Family Emergency Plan; Be Informed about the different types of emergencies and their appropriate response; and Get Involved in your community's preparedness efforts."

Each September the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign hosts National Preparedness Month (NPM), asking Americans to promote emergency preparedness in their communities, businesses and schools. NPM 2009 will focus on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and will help Americans understand what it truly means to be Ready. We will illustrate how preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks and extra food in the pantry.

The Ready Campaign would like to extend an invitation to your organization to participate as a National Preparedness Month Coalition Member. In the chance that you are not the appropriate person to address this subject, could you please forward?

It is free to join the National Preparedness Month Coalition. You simply need make a pledge to spread the emergency preparedness message throughout September and beyond. Only organizations are able to become Coalition Members, and only one person per organization should complete the registration form. It is also important to note that if you signed up as a Coalition Member last year, you WILL need to register again this year.

Once registered for NPM you will be given access to the Coalition Member Web site, where you will find a toolkit, event calendar and area to post and view success stories. In addition, organizations that register will be officially listed as a Coalition Member on the Ready Web site.

Thank you for your interest and support of National Preparedness Month. We hope you can join us. Together we can make a difference!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, or the Ready Campaign via email at . We look forward to hearing from you!


The Ready Campaign

Pictures Wanted

Action pictures are like gold to us here at HQ. Good shots of Amateur Radio action with something going on in the background are rare. If you have good pictures that you can share, we want them!

For publication uses, they should be at least over ½ Meg in size -the higher the resolution the better for us. We also need to have the OK from the person who took the picture, names (and calls) of who is in it and a brief statement of what is happening.

How About Audio?

The summer storm season is here and there’s a lot of Skywarn action happening. While no one wants an emergency, we know they will happen. How about recording some audio?

During Katrina there were recordings made of some of the emergency nets that have been excellent for explaining what hams do in crises. But they are getting old now. Recording an emergency net and then editing it down to the “exciting parts” to use in explaining our activities to the public makes for good PR material to present to the public, other organizations and the media.

Keeping one of the new digital recorders handy as you monitor is not hard to do. (Some rigs have this capability built right into them.) If you capture something good, send us a copy as an mp3 file! ( ~ Ham Social Network

Chris Matthieu, N7ICE, is the founder of - a social network for ham radio operators. He explains 73s as the “FaceBook™ for Hams.” Now, before you comment on the domain, Chris writes that he realizes hardcore hams have an issue with the plural form of 73 and equate it to meaning "Best Regardses" but he was lucky to find this domain available!

But more to our PR purposes, in addition to all of the social technology on 73s, he produces and hosts HamBrief.TV. HamBrief is a weekly video podcast covering his adventures in ham radio. Past episodes have demonstrated entertaining hacks like how to surf the web from your D-Star radio (while mobile), how to tweet on Twitter from your ham radio via APRS, how to start a Ham TV station with a Barbi Cam, and even how to make a stealth antenna out of a clothes hanger, a paper clip, and bubble gum. These short videos can be useful in public promotions depending on your situation. Check it out - they are nice to have as options!

July Promotion – IARU HF

The 2009 IARU HF World Championship Contest takes place the second full weekend of July, beginning 1200 UTC Saturday and ending 1200 UTC Sunday (11-12 July 2009). All licensed amateurs worldwide are eligible to participate in this contest. The
objective of this contest is to contact as many other amateurs, especially IARU member society HQ stations, around the world as possible using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands.

If you have a local group participating, here’s text you can use!

International Radio Championship - Coming To A Radio Near You

With plenty of opportunities to work distant stations from all around the globe and making contacts with many International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Member Society club stations and officials, “The IARU HF Radio Championship is one of Radiosport’s more unique events,” ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X said. Contestant teams have 24 hours to make as many contacts as they can. “It’s the only major contest that uses International Telecommunications Union (ITU) zones as part of the contest and gives extra points for IARU Member Society stations -and their officials.”

Some of the international teams travel hundreds of miles to erect radio stations in advantageous positions, such as mountain tops. Others erect extremely elaborate antenna systems. Locally, the team of (names and callsigns) will be participating from (location) using (gear). Although their station may not be as elaborate as some others, changes in the way radio signals bounce off the atmosphere may just give them an edge.

Numerous IARU Member Society stations will be on the air this year, including the German DARC (DAØHQ), France’s REF-Union (TMØHQ), the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society (9K9HQ), the Nigerian Amateur Radio Society (5N0OCH and others), the Japan Amateur Radio League (8N1HQ, 8N2HQ, etc), the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (HSØAC), the Namibian Amateur Radio League (V51NAM), the Radio Amateurs of Lebanon (OD5RAL) and dozens of other Member Society stations from around the world. “It is always special to see so many nations represented on the air by their national organization,” Kutzko said. “It reinforces the global nature of Amateur Radio and the common bonds all Amateurs have.”

Amateur Radio contests also have a very practical purpose. The problems encountered in making contact with other stations while under the pressures of time, constantly changing radio conditions, background noise, stress and lack of sleep are very similar to what happens in emergency communications during disasters. The skills learned by the operators during the contest and the endurance testing of their equipment are a major part of why the Amateur Radio Service’s capabilities are so valued by emergency response planners worldwide.

The IARU HF World Championship begins at 1200 UTC Saturday, July 11 and goes until 1200 UTC Sunday, July 12. Complete rules may be found at

The Last Word

Several thoughts come to mind this week:

It was a really wonderful Field Day season for PR. All sorts of media hits – TV, commercial radio, newspapers, Web, shortwave broadcast and more were involved. But in the “after Field Day hangover” don’t forget to follow up with the people who visited your site. Invitations to meet, thank you notes and a few phone calls can really pay off in July. I want to push harder on this – but truthfully we know that some folks will and some won’t. Those that do will see benefits. Those that don’t will wonder why they have so little activity and growth. PR, in the end, is about relationships between people. It only takes a few minutes and a personal note (heck, even an email) can make all the difference.

You also need to take a bow. The PIOs around the country obviously worked extra hard this year and your efforts are most appreciated.

Now that FD is over, summer often means lack of activity and everyone takes it easy. But that would be missing opportunities. I hope you will stay PR-active as there are pitches best made in these coming weeks. For example…

The Independent Sector announced that the 2008 estimate for the value of a volunteer hour is $20.25, an increase from $19.51 per hour in 2007 and $18.04 in 2005. We do not know what the figure for 2009 will eventually be, but despite the economy - or because of it – the value of a volunteer is considerable to any organization of enterprise. With budgets stretched, the services of volunteers saves money in many ways. But how many hours does your group donate to your community? I hope you keep track in some way. If not, please start keeping some form of record. (Even scribble notes are better than faulty memories.) But if you have records, this is a good time to gently remind local media that you exist and are worth a fortune! Many localities are soon going to release their tax bills. In the middle of the heart attacks and screaming, it’s nice to see even a brief article “Frump Amateur Radio Club donates $500,000 in free services to community in 2009.”


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn