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November 2010

November 2010


Leonard Award happening NOW

National notification drive coming

75th anniversary idea

Booth tips

A good press release

The Last Ward

Leonard Award Action

The annual nominations for the Bill Leonard Award for professional media coverage of Amateur Radio are happening NOW. Nominations are due in no later than December 10. If you know of a good media hit in the past year, nominate the author, reporter or writer! Forms and information are at .

National “Sign up for notification” drive coming

Walt Palmer, W4ALT, spotted this:

Soon you will start to hear a lot more announcements on TV and radio about ways to get emergency notifications sent to you - from email to iPhones and anything digital in between. Many media outlets will be asking people to sign up for notices. that is a coming national event. The question is – “Is there a linkage that we can develop with this coming media activity that will benefit our neighbors and/or Amateur Radio?” Put on your creative thinking caps and let’s see what might be done. Everything from the obvious (a sign up your friends drive) to the more ambitious (“You just got notified -now what???”) . Share your ideas and let’s see what we can develop together.

75th ARES® anniversary idea

We lost the email of who sent this in, but it is a very good idea!

Amateur astronomers have come up with "Sidewalk Astronomy" to make it easier for the public to learn about skywatching. They are a lot like hams - they do what they do out of the public eye, at night, and away from people. Sidewalk Astronomy encourages individuals and clubs to set up a telescope or two in a public place and let people have a look. Even if the "seeing" isn't great at the mall, many folks have never looked through any telescope at easy targets like the Moon, Jupiter, etc. I suggest starting a "Sidewalk Radio" program to encourage similar setups in public places showing off digital communications, satellites, D-STAR, meteor scatter, Morse - any mode that does well with modest antennas. No one will care if you don't contact Afghanistan :-) Just get out there and operate. Do it on a regular basis - like once a month or so - and in a place where people will see you; malls, sports fields, etc.

Tips from the 2010 USA Science & Engineering Expo…

Booth Design Tips we “borrowed” and modified to fit here:

• People learn in three main ways: by listening, by seeing, by experiencing or touching. Creating a booth that engages all three learning modalities will reach the greatest number of people.

• All booths should be targeted at tenth grade science students or below. Ideally, all booths will be staffed with a “Meet the Hams” or “Meet the Wizard” so the subject matter can be brought up a level if so engaged.

• Plan your booth around one main ‘take home’ message to be conveyed by an interactive hands-on activity.

• Keep in mind, “wiz-bang” demonstrations can be exciting to present but are also very ‘static’ to audiences. Participants love to touch things and be physically involved with the learning process. They find interactive hands-on activities the most fun and memorable.

• Create an activity with efficacy in mind. Consider how to most effectively reach many people per day with your activity. Activities should only take a few minutes and be presentable to 5-6 participants at a time. Booths should be designed with throughput in mind.

• An activity can be ‘high tech’ like letting kids explore virtual reality headsets or ‘low-tech’ like making batteries with pickles. The goal is an interactive activity that teaches your ‘take home’ message.

• Decorate your booth to be visually attractive through table and tent decorations. Boring booths, old or spoor signage, lack of table covers – all these make us look bad.

• Matching outfits for your staff and volunteers are highly encouraged. Matching t-shirts, vests or lab coats let people know who to direct their questions to.

• Hands-on activities can involve getting kids’ hands or clothing messy or dirty. Please bring any necessary cleaning materials (paper towels, trash bags, etc.) for your participants. Keep in mind any safety precautions for an activity and plan accordingly. Keep in mind you will have a wide range of children with a variety of hands-on/lab experience and kids love to dig in and get messy.

Helpful tips for your staff and volunteers:

• Keep some experts on-hand at all times so that kids can “Meet the Scientist or Expert”. Their expertise adds a unique level of teaching to your booth.

• At least 2-3 people should staff the booth at all times to help with explaining and crowd control.

• Have the volunteers overlap shifts so that they can observe the activity.

• Have enough volunteers for shifts of 2-3 hours long. If you are limited to a number of people, have them rotate throughout the day and explore other booths for a few hours to help refresh them.

Most of all: HAVE FUN!!

A Good Press Release

There is no required format for a press release. There are several models you can choose from, but each has certain elements that MUST be included for it to be of any use by the media. David Russell Mann Jr, KD7ZYM, recently wrote a release that had all the key elements. We reprint it here as an example of one way that helps TV and radio reporting. (Well done, David!)




Attention Assignment Editors: Photo and Sound opportunities between (9:30-11:00 AM)

Radio Emergency Communications Hub Site set up at the front entrance of the Magnolia Community Center, with Ham Radio and Community Volunteers assisted by Boy Scouts from Queen Anne Troop 72.

The Hub Site volunteers will practice their ability to establish radio links with Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center and handle simulated emergency communications assisting the City for response and recovery efforts during a catastrophic event should it happen.

Site Communications leader contact, Bob Helling, cell phone (206) 349-9454

Magnolia Community Center 2550 34th Avenue West

Contact information: Dave Mann (206) 365-9700 ACS, PIO

Attachment: Printable MS-Word.Doc of Media Release


SEATTLE: Earthquake preparedness draws Ham Radio operators and citizen community teams together playing a major roll, providing back-up communications to Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center, during a training exercise on October 16th, centered on day two of a simulated magnitude 6.7 quake causing wide spread catastrophic damage to the City and compromising the municipal radio system and 911 call center.

“Radio communications volunteers that serve the City will have an opportunity to train in a realistic classroom situation, setting up radio networks to relay simulated emergency communications from neighborhoods, area medical facilities and City agencies to Seattle’s Emergency Operations Center during this exercise that would assist the City’s response and recovery effort from the devastation and damaged that can be caused by a major earthquake event.” said Mark Sheppard, Director of Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service.

During the exercise ACS members a group of trained Ham Radio operators that serve the City will practice their readiness by setting up portable battery powered Amateur Radio Networks at various areas in the city to assist city agencies and also provide personnel to staff the Ham Radio Station (W7ACS) at the EOC to handle back up communications with the City.

A second Group of Ham Radio volunteers (King County Medical Service Team) will operate radio stations at Harborview Hospital and various Seattle medical facilities passing on information to the EOC to facilitate medical issues during the exercise.

Also participating are neighborhood volunteer responders who are part of a new neighborhood based Emergency Communications Hub program organized in communities across the city and are equipped with GMRS radios working with ACS members relaying information to the City EOC for requesting neighborhood emergency services and community needs.

“Sound Shake, Day Two” Exercise Design Coordinator, Brian Daly said, “Volunteer radio operators establishing communications networks in the field with the City will be challenged with some twists and turns with serious aftershock damage occurring on the second day. Participants will have to practice their preparedness ability to deal with changing conditions using team work and combining resources supporting Seattle’s emergency communications response needs.”

The Seattle Office of Emergency Management conducts emergency communications training exercises on a regular basis with the purpose of developing strong relationships with neighborhoods to build partnerships in preparation for surviving disasters.

For more information about preparedness and amateur radio - please visit:

Seattle Emergency Management:

West Seattle Be Prepared:

Seattle Auxiliary Communications Services:

Western Washington Medical Service Team:

The Last Word

I feel good.

I make more typos than most people. Perhaps it is because, all my life, I have been a four finger typist. Despite the valiant attempts of several High School trainers, I just never did get that asdf-jkl; trick of touch typing. So my fingers sometimes get ahead of my head’s spelling and there’s a typo that I don’t see. The real fun is when the typo happens to be a word in itself, then even the spell checkers never spot it.

I thought I was bad at this. But look again at the booth tips about two items up. Read it carefully. There’s a really wild “ooops!” But its niece to see I am not the only one that does that.

One of my friends was made “Ham of the Year” in the Pacific Division. Don Carlson, KQ6FM, has been the voice behind many of the audio PSAs that we’ve done for several years. He’s helped me write everything from papers to books. He’s the SEC for Nevada and active in more ham related things than I can list here. He also owns a very cool (and coveted) muscle car he shows on weekends. He’s on the national PR Committee. But most of all, he’s one of the really “good guys” in Amateur Radio. So it was a real joy to hear he won the Pacific Division’s “Ham of the Year” award. It’s very well deserved, Don. Thanks for all you have done for PIOs all over the country.

What else is happening?

I spotted two holes in our campaigns. The first is that we have no good video to go with the technology campaign. So I gathered several video people I know and we are looking at what is possible. If all works out, we should have a 10-15 minute movie by about September 2011. The second hole is that we have nothing at all telling people about the public services we do. These are the parades, marathons and other events where we provide communications for the event coordinators. I hope to fix that very soon.

How can you help?

I will need video clips. Broadcast level (high resolution) video that we can use- this means it is free of copyright issues ! Specifically, I will need clips showing the following activities/modes:




Satellite operations

Small kit-built radios (especially phone units, not just CW)


QRP backpacking in action

If you have video of these, send me an email and tell me about what you have available. It just might get used in a national campaign!


Allen w1agp

Media & PR Manager


ARES 75th Logo


Image of Don  KQ6FM

Don Carlson won the "Ham of the Year" for the Pacific Division


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