Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Sections - Kentucky



Contact Information

Section Name:
Charlie O'Neal, KE4AIE
Daytime Phone:

Basic Information

Great Lakes

December 10, 2023 - Update

Let's Talk ARES

After seeing some recent postings on the Kentucky ARES Discussion Group on Facebook, I feel the need to clarify some issues relative to ARES in Kentucky. You must remember that disasters, no matter how much geography is impacted or how many jurisdictions are affected, are local. They start local and they end local. As such, ARES activations start at the local level. Kentucky ARES, under my watch, will never deploy resources anywhere without a request from local Emergency Management. When received, my first action will be to contact the ARES organization or club in that jurisdiction to determine their ability to respond to the request. If they are unable to assist, I will begin contacting ARES organizations in the closest, unaffected jurisdictions to see if they can assist with responding to the mission. I will continue to move outward until sufficient personnel can be located to fulfill the mission. I do not envision ever sending out a Section email or posting a Facebook message for any and all ARES members to respond.

So why would I contact a club in a county where there is no organized ARES group before contacting ARES organizations in neighboring jurisdictions to respond? The answer is pretty simple. ARES is not for everyone or every club. Does the lack of an ARES organization mean that the amateur operators in that jurisdiction are unwilling to assist in emergencies? Absolutely not! My club/county has no ARES organization at present but I can assure you that if needed and appropriately requested, they will respond to assist with EMCOMM. That being said, I will always contact local amateur organizations first to determine their interest in responding to a request for assistance. Think about it from your personal perspective. How would you feel if the SEC or SM deployed amateur operators from outside your jurisdiction into your jurisdiction to assist your local Emergency Management agency when you were able, ready and willing to assist? Remember what I have preached since I got appointed to the position of SM. “ARES is not the only agency capable of providing amateur radio emergency communication support for events, emergencies or disasters”. ARES will not go where it is not invited through appropriate channels.

                Now let’s talk about responding outside of Kentucky to assist. Any request to respond outside of the geographical boundaries of the Commonwealth of Kentucky would have to come through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request. Those requests are handled State EOC to State EOC. If KYEM should receive a request for amateur radio support from another state or commonwealth, Kentucky’s ESF 2 Lead (who is an amateur radio operator) would contact me and provide me with details regarding the mission request. I would then begin the process of locating the individuals that met the minimum qualifications for the mission (license class, ICS or IMT training, etc.) and that have the ability to deploy in the window provided and for the duration (usually 10-14 days) of the mission request. If I were able to assemble a team to respond to the request, I would contact the ESF 2 Lead at KYEM and advise him I had a team that could deploy. The team would then begin preparing for a possible deployment. There will be multiple states that may respond to the request for assistance and our response may not be chosen. After responding to the EMAC request, operators that volunteered for the mission would wait and perform preliminary tasks to ready themselves for deployment (review the family emergency plan with family members, prepare clothing appropriate to the mission for packing, assure the availability of sufficient quantities of medicines, etc). If our response were to be chosen by the requesting state then, and only then, would we begin to mobilize for deployment.

 There are some things you should know about an EMAC deployment. 1. It is not a vacation assignment. Conditions are harsh and unfriendly in many cases. You may be sleeping in tents, or shelter locations on cots and air mattresses with sleeping bags. There may be no prepared food.  2. You will generally not be paid for your services. You will likely be reimbursed for receipted, approved, out-of-pocket expenses but reimbursement could take many months to be processed. 3. You will not be reimbursed for lost wages at your place of employment. This is not an opportunity to take vacation time at work and pocket some extra cash. 4. You are going to a disaster area. There will probably be no Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, or other retailers in operation in the affected area. You’re unlikely to be able to run out and buy what you forgot to bring with you. This includes things like running out of medications. If you want to know about EMAC, go to: There you will find several educational opportunities that will educate you about EMAC and how it works.

I have taken some criticism since becoming SM for now building out the State ARES Leadership structure more quickly. I have embraced a belief that having a vacant position is better than having a filled position with the wrong person. So, my philosophy has been and continues to be: move slowly, find the right people for the right position, and change the mindset of what ARES is and how it operates by recruiting the right people for the positions. ARES is a local organization and I have made some new, and replacement, EC appointments since becoming SM. It’s the responsibility of that local organization to establish essential relationships and work with their local Emergency Management Director to define their role in the community’s response plan. If you broke it or dynamited the bridge at the local level, it’s not the job of your ARES Leadership to fix it. Can we support you in making repairs? Certainly! We can help you identify the source(s) of your issue(s) and help you address potential fixes that may help you move forward, but repairing the damage still rests with the local ARES organization. It may take months of work to re-establish trust between ARES and your local Emergency Management Director.  

Now, to wrap up this little educational offering let me address another misperception. If you are waiting on State ARES Leadership to deploy you, you’ll be waiting for a long, long time. If you want your local ARES organization to be utilized, you need to develop a working relationship with your local Emergency Management Director. If you read this email, you should know that I’m not deploying ARES resources anywhere without consultation with the Emergency Management Director and amateur radio resources in the affected jurisdiction and with the State EOC and the State ESF 2 Lead. We are not a “State” organization. We don’t assist with a response like a state organization. Our organizational structure more closely aligns with non-governmental organizations (NGO) such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Baptist Disaster Relief, etc. which means we do not self-deploy and that our response always begins at the local level (whenever possible). If one of the agencies that ARRL holds a MOU requests assistance, they should be directed to forward that request through the local emergency management agency. If your local ARES group has done its homework, you’ll get the call. If you don’t get the call, that tells me you have done your homework and built the relationships needed with local officials to ensure that they know your capabilities and who to call when they get a request.   

 Many of these procedures will be outlined in the Kentucky ARES Response Plan which is nearing completion. It will be widely shared once complete and vetted by key players at Headquarters, Division and within the Section. Following established procedures is essential in order for ARES members to have liability protection and worker’s compensation coverage when volunteering their services. These protections are extended to ARES members by Emergency Management when you are appropriately vetted and affiliated with your local Emergency Management agency - Just one more reason to build that relationship with your local emergency Management Director. Remember: ARES never, ever self-deploys.

 Hope this helps clear the muddy waters.



Charlie, KE4AIE



November 1, 2023 - Update 

Good Evening Folks,

                 I need to apologize for the length of time it has been since I have communicated with you. I have had a variety of issues that have consumed my time. A quick update on my foot surgery – it accomplished its goal! The partial amputation of my fifth metatarsal was accomplished and within a couple of weeks, the open wound on the bottom of my foot had healed completely and my surgeon was able to remove my sutures. Since then, I have been working on making some changes to compensate for balance issues I have because of that bone missing in my foot. I’m progressing nicely and just have to be cautious particularly on uneven surfaces or when stepping.          

                 I also need to apologize for missing so many hamfests this fall. So many of you had hamfests in September and October and I just wasn’t able to be a part of them. I hope to see you at some of them next year before I finish up my one and only term as your Section Manager.

                 And while I am at it, I need to apologize for not having the time to coordinate with the volunteers that offered to help us pull off an exercise on November 4, 2023, to take the place of the SET. I am still committed to try and accomplish that exercise before the end of the year and for the exercise to encompass as many different amateur radio platforms as possible and to provide opportunities for Techs through Extras to participate at some level.

                 I am working towards completion of the Kentucky ARES Response Plan. I hope to have it ready before the end of the year. Once it has been reviewed and approved by Headquarters it will be posted to the website for everyone to review. Keep in mind that this is not a detailed plan that dictates how ARES personnel will respond. That is the role of the local ARES Emergency Pan that must be integrated with the County Emergency Operations Plan and coordinated with the local Emergency Manager. I will let everyone know when it is posted.

               I hope you have cast your ballot in the Division Director election process. You still have time to vote. I voted electronically and found it to be a very easy process that is secure. Voting is a privilege of your membership. I encourage you to exercise that member benefit and to impact the future direction of the Great Lakes Division.

                 In closing, I want share that it has been a great honor to serve as your Section Manager. I’m not delusional. I know I’m in this position only because no one else in the Section was interested in stepping up to serve, not because I was elected or chosen by the Section Membership. I knew when I accepted the appointment that my schedule was very busy and that I really didn’t have the time needed to dedicate to the role of Section Manager. But when no one stepped forward, I made the decision that having some leadership was better than having no leadership as the Section had been without a SM for almost six (6) months. In many ways, I have failed miserably, but there have been a few victories and successes. I do not intend to seek another term as your SM. I hope that someone qualified and capable will start planning now to file to run next year. If you are interested and would like some insight into what the position entails, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to give you an overview.

                Thank each of you for continuing to support the League with your memberships and gifts through the Diamond Club, Spectrum Defense Fund and other League philanthropic endeavors. You are appreciated.





Septmber 5, 2023 - Update

Greater Louisville Hamfest, the SET, and the Section ARES Response Plan

Good evening folks. The Louisville Hamfest is coming up this Saturday, September 9, 2023 at the Paroquet Convention Center, 395 Paroquet Springs Drive, Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Things get cranked up at 8;00 A.M., EDT. There will be several special guests from ARRL Headquarters including Mike Walters, W8ZY, Field Services Manager and Josh Johnson, KE5MHV, Director of Emergency Management will be in attendance along with Great Lakes Vice Director, Scott Yonally, N8SY. They will be available to meet with you in the booth during the hamfest and then will coordinate an ARRL Forum where a wide variety of topics will be discussed. I hope each of you will make a point to visit with them. If you are planning to attend the Forum which starts around noon, please log into this site and fill out a brief registration form so they can prepare for an appropriate number of folks. The link is:

I have had an unplanned turn of events in the last couple of weeks. Many of you know that I am a diabetic. Back in March, while on a teaching assignment, I twisted a callous underneath the 4th and 5th to of my right foot. Since that time, I have worked diligently to get it to heal up. My podiatrist had told me when I returned from the assignment, that I was going to need to have a partial amputation of the middle bone in the 5th toe as it was causing pressure and preventing the site from healing. I had the same surgery on the 4th toe about 11 years ago and have had no problems since until this.  A couple of weeks ago, I could tell it was infected again. After a discussion with my podiatrist, the decision was made to move forward with surgery on the foot as soon as I completed my regimen of antibiotics. I had hoped to put it off another 6 weeks but that just wasn't possible. My surgery is Friday and as such, I won't be able to attend the Forum on Saturday. I will be in close contact with Mike, Josh and Scott regarding discussions held at the Forum and try to capture all of your comments. I apologize for my absence 

The Section will be conducting an SET but not on the weekend of October 7 and 8, 2023. Discussions are underway to develop our plan for the SET. Our goal for the SET will be to have as many Kentucky counties as possible to make contact with the Kentucky EOC utilizing some amateur radio communications platform. This may range from HF, to Winlink, to the various digital platforms, and even Echolink. This exercise will give us the data needed to demonstrate that amateur radio has the capability to provide redundant communications pathways when traditional pathways have failed or are overloaded. More on the exercise will be coming out in the near future.

I also wanted you to know that I am currently in the process of revising the ARES Plan for the Section. In the future it will be referred to as the ARES Response Plan and will be restructured from its current format. I hope to have it ready for review sometime in late November. 

Again, I hope as many of you as possible will attend the Greater Louisville Hamfest ( and visit with Mike, Josh and Scott. 73 until next time. 



August 24, 2023 - Exercise Thank You
I just want to communicate with each of you that participated in the Hart County Communications Exercise on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, how much your involvement was appreciated. An exercise that started out to be strictly a Hart County exercise grew rather quickly to encompass regional and state HPP partners and amateur operators. The exercise identified some areas for improvement that will help steer the development of new policies and procedures and revision of those already in place. The exercise findings will also help identify additional purchases or infrastructure changes that might be needed to support communications capabilities .In addition to the areas for improvement, several strengths were identified that were captured and will now be documented for use in the future.  Without your participation, in the exercise many of the points, negative and positive, may have been missed. So again, many, many thanks for participating in the exercise.

Although this was not officially an ARRL or ARES exercise, there was widespread support from the amateur community which was greatly appreciated. We will take this exercise and try and build on it for the Simulated Emergency Test (SET) in October. The SET will not be held on the traditional date as it has historically conflicted with the Kentucky Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) exercise but we will conduct the SET during the month of October. The SET will have one simple objective and that will be to have at least 1 check-in to the State EOC from each of the 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Doing that may be accomplished through a variety of different RF methods. More specific information on the exercise will be coming in the future. I hope you will be watching for additional information and plan to participate.

Charlie O'Neal, KE4AIE

Kentucky Section Manager


August 23, 2023 Exercise Update

PLEASE NOTE: The exercise will officially start at 0900 CDT/1000 EDT and will end at 1100 CDT/1200 EDT. The Hotwash will begin at 1115 CDT/1215 EDT. Email invitations to the ZOOM based Hotwash have been sent.


As of 0900 CDT this morning, widespread power outages are occurring across the Commonwealth. Utility companies are unable to explain the outages at this time. Power has been off in some areas for up to 6 hours. Additional sections of the grid are systematically failing as a result of a domino type effect as outages occur.

The local Emergency Manager has activated the EOC and requested an amateur radio presence. At this point, no one has reported to the EOC to check the status of the amateur radio equipment. As you travel to the EOC, you see very few lights. Traffic control devices are non-functional. There appear to be some lights at critical infrastructure (hospital, utilities) but none in commercial businesses other than emergency exit lights.

On arrival at the EOC you are briefed:

1.       There is widespread historic flooding on the west coast and somewhat inland to include Nevada and Idaho. There has been significant damage to utility infrastructure including the loss of poles and lines as well as substations being inundated.

2.       There is currently a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico and multiple other tropical disturbances lining up that could potentially enter the Gulf of Mexico or impact the Atlantic coastline.

3.       These weather issues are having an impact of grid failures and will make securing necessary replacement parts difficult as what is available will have to be prioritized and will likely go towards restoring service in metropolitan areas first.

4.       There are rumors of a cyber attack also bring about part of the failure. Such information has not been confirmed or collaborated and there have been no claims of such by any adversary at this time.

5.       Local public safety radio systems are operational at this time. The 911 Center is operational. Cellular, cable television and internet services are operational for the most part at this time. The EOC has landline and cellular telephone service and internet for now. There are spotty outages in your county at this time. Even though the situation is not yet dire in your county, the Emergency Manager wants to try and be ahead of any deterioration of conditions.

At this point, regardless of whether you are operating from the EOC or from home, your assignment is to accomplish the following:

1.       Activate your equipment (on emergency power if possible)

2.       Attempt to make contact with KY4EOC (the State Emergency Operations Center) on 7.228 (40m) or 3.960.0 (75m).

3.       You may also attempt to make contact with the following:

a.       Members of the Region 4 Hospital Preparedness Group (HEART) on 147.330, + offset, 107.2 CTCSS. There may not be a NCS so be prepared to put your call out and see if you get a response.

b.      The State EOC via Winlink at Please attempt to send your message via HF or FM RF link and use telnet as a last resort.

c.       The NCS on Echolink Node KK4FWU-R (#655896) may also be used for this exercise to test your Echolink capability.

Additional email messages will be sent with inject information during the exercise.

The exercise will officially start at 0900 CDT/1000 EDT and will end at 1100 CDT/1200 EDT. The Hotwash will begin at 1115 CDT/1215 EDT. Email invitations to the ZOOM based Hotwash have been sent.



August 22, 2023 Exercise Update #2


Sporadic power outages are being reported across the Commonwealth but outages are being restored in a reasonable time frame. You have experienced power outages at your home lasting an hour or less. All refrigerated and frozen foods are still within safe temperature limits.  

Your local Emergency Manager has contacted you and asked you to put together a tentative staffing plan for 24 hour operations, on 12 hour shifts, 2 operators per shift, in the local EOC for a 7 day period. You begin the process of calling local ham operators to see who is available when. One operator on each shift must hold General or Extra Class licensure. He also would like someone to stop by the EOC and confirm the amateur radio equipment in the EOC is operational.  


1. Do you know what the safety limits are on refrigerated and frozen foods when power is lost?

2. If you don’t have a generator available for home use, what are you plans for preserving or using refrigerated and frozen foods before they become unsafe?

3. Do you have a container(s) you can fill with and store potable water should the local water system go offline?

4. Do you have a 30 day supply of freeze dried or dehydrated food supplies to support your family? (Now you know why I asked question 3)

5. Do you have a 30 day supply of essential medications? How will you keep refrigerated medications cooled should there be a prolonged loss of power?

6. How will you provide power to ancillary medical devices for you or family members in your home? (Oxygen generators, CPAP, etc.)

7. Is/are your car(s) full of fuel?  


1. What is your plan to deal with large numbers of call-ins or no-shows? (Staff can’t get fuel or can’t leave their family; single parent homes have no childcare – sound familiar?)

2. What level of reserve do you maintain of essential supplies needed for operations?

3. How will you secure essential supplies if a widespread power outage occurs and fueling centers are no longer operational for your normal transportation providers?

4. If you have to scale back normal operations, what do you consider your essential missions?  

Additional information will be provided for this exercise in future emails. If you forward this email, please be certain to include the notation that it is an exercise message.  




August 22, 2023 Exercise Update

For those of you planning to participate in the Hart County Exercise tomorrow, there will be a couple of emails that precede the start of the exercise. Each of the emails will contain a Situation Report (SITREP) on current conditions and provide some questions that you should honestly answer regarding your preparation and status to support a mission request should one be received. The next email will be published this evening. A final email will be published tomorrow morning just ahead of the exercise that will complete the scenario and provide you with directions for participation. 73, Charlie O'Neal, KE4AIE Kentucky Section Manager   


The National Weather Service is forecasting excessive temperatures over the next several days. Power companies are urging customers to turn up thermostats to 78 degrees in an effort to conserve energy. There have been multiple reports about concerns regarding the power grid’s ability to support the demand for electricity during this heat wave. The possibility of brown outs and rolling blackouts exist based on demand and the grid’s ability to support record breaking demand. In addition to the excessive heat conditions, a tropical depression and an earthquake has stricken the west coast which has placed additional demand on the power grid regionally and nationally.  

The Governor has declared a State of Emergency because of the excessive heat forecast. State Emergency Management has advised local Emergency Managers that they should be prepared to open their local EOCs in the event that widespread power failures occur. Local Emergency Managers have advised local amateur radio operators that there services may be required this week. In preparation for a possible activation amateur radio operators should:

1. Make certain their family emergency plan is up to date and that all family members understand the plan and are prepared to carry out their role and responsibilities in the plan.

2. Generators and other alternate power sources are fueled and checked to be operational. Extra fuel should be available to support generator operation for at least 48 hours of run time without having to secure additional fuel.

3. Amateur operators should check their radio equipment to assure that it is operational. If battery backup is available, batteries should be checked to assure they currently have a full charge and if not, placed on charge to make sure they are ready for use. All handheld radios batteries should be fully charged and a supply of AA or AAA batteries should be available for clamshells (battery packs that use off the shelf batteries)

4. Double check you go-kit(s) to make sure they are up to date and ready to support you for the first 72 hours of a deployment.    


1. Are you ready to/can you deploy? 

2. Can you deploy to the field or will you activate at home to serve as a relay or traffic station? 

3. Are you unable to support this mission because you have not addressed the items listed above?

4. What other items need to be addressed in order for you to be ready for deployment? (Coordinate your absence with your employer, for example)  

QUESTIONS FOR NON-AMATEUR ENTITIES Many of the points covered above are relevant to your operation as well.

1. Do you have a generator? 

2. Is it functional? 

3. How much backup fuel do you have? 

4. Do you have a Continuity of Operations Plan?

5. Is your staff trained on the plan? 

6. Are you prepared for another COVID type event but this time, with no electricity?

 Additional information will be provided for this exercise in future emails. If you forward this email, please be certain to include the notation that it is an exercise message.





August 16, 2023 Update - TIME SENSITIVE

Exercise Opportunity - Wednesday, August 23, 2023

In conjunction with an exercise being conducted by Hart County Emergency Management, the KY4EOC station at the Kentucky EOC in Frankfort will be on the air and available to take check-ins on the following frequencies: 7.228.0 (40M0 and 3.960.0 (75m). There will also be at least one HF relay station (W4IOD) operating during the exercise

In addition to HF, stations can check in using AllStar through the Shelbyville KB4PTJ 444.050 repeater. The repeater has a PL tone of 91.5, AllStar Node 40152. KY4EOC can normally both receive and transmit on the Shelbyville machine. In addition to Shelbyville, the W4IOD repeater operating on 442.100 with a PL tone of 107.2, AllStar Node 576150 and the KK4FWU operating on 146.940 with a PL Tone of 88.5, Allstar node  58021 in Lexington will be connected for the exercise.

KY4EOC will be operational from 0900-1100 CDT or 1000-1200 EDT ONLY! Any appropriately licensed station may check in with KY4EOC as a part of this exercise. Stations should provide their call, county of operation, and signal report. Please let Net Control know if you are checking in physically from a hospital. Stations may also submit a Winlink "Field Situation Report" to but we ask that it be sent using FM or HF only.

The scenario will be posted to the Kentucky Section page ahead of the exercise on Wednesday morning, August 23, 2023.

Please feel free to participate in this exercise. Questions ahead of the exercise may be emailed to I will try my best to answer your questions ahead of the exercise. If you participate in the exercise, you may email comments for the Hotwash/AAR to Please send your Hotwash/AAR comments by 1200 CDT on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. 


Charlie O'Neal, KE4AIE

Kentucky Section Manage





July 18, 2023 Update  

Good Evening Folks!      

         I have just returned from an assignment in Youngstown, Ohio. It was a great week with 15 students successfully completing the course offering. Glad to be home and have all of the class records complete and in the file drawer for that assignment. Now to try and catch up on my email from the Section.        

         First of all, many thanks to Daniel Rubino for updating the site. We now have tabs for Section Hamfests and Card Checkers. The Hamfests tab will be updated as new dates are added and as dates pass. If you have a hamfest or tailgate event planned that's not on the calendar, please email that info to me or Daniel so it can be included in the tab. If you're looking for a Card Checker for your WAS or DXCC awards, you can now find contact information for all of our folks under the Card Checker tab. We really appreciate all that they do for the Section. Some folks might say that QSL cards are a thing of the past but I would disagree. I still love to get a card from a QSO and have maintained all of mine from Day 1. I also use electronic logs but there's really nothing like having a card in your hand that you can add to your collection.        

         Next, I continue to get questions about when the new ARES District map will be posted. The answer is, I hope to get it to Daniel this week so he can start working his magic. We'll let you know when it's posted.           

         The next most popular question is when do I plan to appoint an SEC? The answer is, Maybe by the end of the year. Several things have to happen before I make that appointment.

1. I want to finish a revision to the Kentucky Section ARES Plan and put it out for comment. I would like to have the revision finalized before a new SEC comes on board so they don't have that headache to deal with.

2. I need a qualified applicant. In addition to meeting the qualifications outlined in the SEC job description, the new SEC must possess certifications for the following Emergency Management Institute courses: IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800. I would also expect them to have, or complete within 6 months of their appointment, the ARRL EC-001 training. The SEC must also have exemplary interpersonal communications skills and be able to play well with others in the sandbox. Remember that my philosophy is that ARES is not the only amateur radio solution for emergency/disaster response in the tool kit. During my tenure, we will not seek to overthrow other entities that are meeting the amateur radio needs of their jurisdiction. We will offer our assistance, should it be needed, and will build relationships with those groups so that they might assist us if an incident occurs that exceeds the ability of local, regional or state ARES resources. I once served in a support role for a Commander that embraced "The three "C's" of success: Communication, Collaboration, and Coordination". He made a believer out of me. I hope I can make one out of you.           

         And finally, when are you going to make public your Section Appointments? The answer is very soon. Daniel will be adding another tab to the page entitled "Section Staff". Their contact information will be found there. In addition, I hope that many of them will be at the Greater Louisville Hamfest so I can introduce them during the ARRL Forum. Keep reading! That's really BIG NEWS!           

         Fred Jones, WA4SWF, with the KYARCS dropped me a flyer about a raffle they will be conducting in conjunction with the Paintsville Hamfest on September 30. Here's a great chance to pick up a great radio and to also help a club. I'll be looking for a ticket or two myself!  Read below.....      

"Win a brand new Yaesu FT-891 ! We will be giving away a new Yaesu FT-891 at our annual hamfest on September 30, 2023. Tickets will be $10 each and we will be selling only 150 tickets. You do not have to be present to win. We are selling tickets now and will sell them until we reach our cap of 150. This gives you a much better chance to win. Look for them to be sold at area hamfests or contact Rich Salisbury or Ron Grossl at the following: Rich 606-939-2178 Ron 606-789-7767 This is a good opportunity to win a great radio with good odds. Please spread the word ! Notice ! We changed the cap from 200 to 150, so you have an even better chance to win.          

          And this folks, is BIG NEWS. In conjunction with the Greater Louisville Hamfest, the Kentucky Section with support from ARRL Headquarters staff will be conducting an ARRL Forum from 1300-1700 EDT at the hamfest site to discuss League activities and the plans for Kentucky ARES moving forward. Plans are for Mike Walters, W8ZY, ARRL Field Services Manager and Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, Director of Emergency Management to be on site that morning to meet hamfest participants at the Section booth. Scott Yonally, N8SY Great Lakes Division Vice Director will also be on site and be participating in the forum. We will be sending out a link in the near future so you can register for the event. Registration will not be required but it will help us to plan for sufficient seating at the venue. Here's your opportunity to come and present your questions and concerns to ARRL leadership at the Headquarters, Division and Section levels. The League has never before undertaken an event such as this. I would love to see a couple of hundred or more individuals involved in this forum. Please mark September 9, 2023 on your calendars and plan to join us at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, 395 Paroquet Springs Drive, Shepherdsville, Kentucky. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!            

        That's all for this update folks. Happy radioing! Hope to catch you on the air!


Charlie O'Neal, KE4AIE

Kentucky Section Manager.




June 28, 2023 Update

Not as long tonight......

ARES REPORTS - I have been made aware of several ARES/SKYWARN/Weather nets that were conducted recently for the multiple rounds of severe weather that occurred in the Commonwealth over the last week or so. PLEASE - be sure that you include those nets, including the manhours for NCS and check in stations, in your reports to Steve Morgan when you submit your June reports. Capturing those numbers is of critical importance to the Section and the League. Those hours and nets equate to activity and justify the need for us to retain access to every single grain of spectrum assigned to the amateur radio service. I know we are missing a ton of nets that occur across the Commonwealth. If any net is being conducted in your area, please make sure the Net Manager (not the NCS) is reporting that information up to Steve each month. Thanks for your help!  

CLUB INFORMATION - Also, we need to make sure our information for amateur radio clubs is up to date. Steve has attempted to email some of the clubs we currently have on the list and the emails were kicked back for invalid or closed email addresses. Please help us out by making sure someone in your club emails Steve Morgan (  with the following information for your club: Club Name Club Mailing Address Email Address for Club Name of Club Contact Email Address for Club Contact Telephone Number for Club Contact Steve will ten communicate with the Club to complete gathering the information needed to get our master club list, up to date.  

GREAT LAKES DIVISION VOTA - Don't forget that the Great Lakes Division VOTA will be conducted 0001 - 2359 GMT (1901 to 1859 CDT and 2001 to 1959 EDT) on July 1. During that period, the Division Director and Vice Director will be on the bands along with Section Managers from the three (3) Great Lakes Sections at different times during the event. This will be a great way to add to your point totals. Folks will be on the air at unscheduled times and frequencies. I hope to have a QSO with some of you during the event.  

KYHAM.INFO ADDITIONS - I have spoken with Daniel Rubino who maintains our page.... and by the way Daniel, many thanks! We are making plans to add some tabs to the page that will contain a tab with information on our Card Checkers, a Section Staff tab, and a Hamfest tab. I'm working to assemble and send Daniel the information needed to update the site. Changes will occur gradually so check back regularly to stay current on Section Information  

IN CLOSING - Hope everyone had a safe and prosperous Field Day. I responded to 28 Winlink messages and made 33 QSOs from my home QTH. If you didn't get a response from me to your email, please let me know. We'll get it fixed. Don't forget to help increase our Section League Membership. Be 1, Get 1.


Charlie O'Neal, KE4AIE

Kentucky Section Manager




June 14, 2023 Information Update.


Unfortunately, it appears I have hit on a nerve with some of the information I shared in the June 13 email. I tried to make it very clear that I am working from multiple lists (paper and electronic) that have information regarding Kentucky Section Appointments. I also tried to make sure that you were all aware that sometimes information on these lists conflicted with each other and in some cases folks were on one list but not another. If you have previously held a Section position, think your appointment is still current, and didn’t see your name on the list I sent out in the email on the 12th, please let me know so we can work to rectify the issue. I can’t try to fix the problem if I don’t know the problem exists. Thanks to our Headquarters Staff and Card Checkers who have helped me get our DXCC and WAS Card Checker information correct. (I think) 

 Our DXCC Card Checkers are:

Jim Vaughan – K4TXJ, Louisville, Kentucky;

Carol Laferty – K4SAF, Clearfield, Kentucky; and

Ed Pflueger – AB4IQ, Paducah, Kentucky. 

 In addition the following individuals are recognized as WAS Card Checkers

William Gann – N4HID, Bowling Green, Kentucky;

Ed Pflueger – AB4IQ, Paducah, Kentucky;

Carol Laferty – K4SAF, Clearfield, Kentucky;

Phillip Carruthers – AE4GH, Rineyville, Kentucky; and

John “Buddy” Sohl – KC4WQ, Shepherdsville, Kentucky. 

 Thanks for your patience, understanding, and assistance as I try to create a clean Master of all Section and County Appointments. 


I want to apologize to the Louisville Hamfest group for my omission of the following information from my June 12, 2023, email and posting. Buddy Sohl, KC4WQ, had emailed me the following information and asked me to share it with the membership in the next email I sent out. I forgot and I apologize to the group. Please give it a read and help them identify a worthy candidate for this honor. Here is that information…. 

 “Hi Charlie 

 The Louisville Hamfest group will be presenting an annual “Kentucky Ham of the Year” award beginning this year. Would you mention this in your section roundup post on the ARRL site please. Deadline for nominations in August 7. Info as follows. 

 The Radio Amateur in the Commonwealth of Kentucky whose outstanding record in the year preceding nomination merits recognition for contribution to the Amateur Radio Service.  The Amateur of the Year, is an all-around Amateur, whose activities, attitudes and achievements may serve as a guiding example to others.  Devotion to Amateur Radio is balanced with attention to work responsibilities and family life.  The Amateur of the Year exemplifies the "Amateur's Code."  In selecting the award recipient, emphasis is placed on service to others rather than self, diversity of Amateur Radio interest and activities, evidence of continuing self-challenge and outstanding contributions to Amateur Radio. 

 The Radio Amateur is

CONSIDERATE...The amateur never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others. 

LOYAL...The amateur offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, the IARU Radio Society in their country, through which Amateur Radio in their country is represented nationally and internationally. 

PROGRESSIVE...The amateur keeps their station up to date.  It is well-built and efficient.  Their operating practice is above reproach. 

FRIENDLY...The amateur operates slowly and patiently when requested; offers friendly advice and counsel to beginners; kind assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the marks of the amateur spirit. 

BALANCED...Radio is a hobby, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community. 

PATRIOTIC...Their station and skills are always ready for service to country and community. 

 When nominating an individual refer to the 5 points of the amateur code and how each represents the nominee.  A successful application should supply examples of the nominees activities as it relates to the Amateur code. Selection is the sole discretion of the Louisville Hamfest organizing committee.  Submit your nomination to


Buddy Sohl 




Thanks again to those that have been providing information to me on Section Appointments. As soon as I get the Section list complete, I’ll move on to the counties. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you find that my list has errors or omissions. We’ll get it done, and then we’ll try to keep it current. 

Hope to catch you on the air – 73, 

Charlie O’Neal, KE4AIE 

Kentucky Section Manager




June 12, 2023 Information Update

Hello Section Members! This is going to be long but we have a lot of material to cover, so let’s get going! (You may find this information easier to read and follow in the email format that was mailed out last night. Check you email box.)  

FIELD DAY                                                                                                             Field Day 2023 is upon us (June 24-25, 2023). Whether with your club, contest group, or as a solo operator from your home QTH, I hope you’re planning to participate in Field Day at some level. I will be active at several locations over the two days and will try to respond to all emails I get from the field. The best way to contact me will be to send me an ICS 213 via Winlink ( I will try my very best to regularly check my email and respond to inbound contacts. Don’t forget to send it in an ICS 213 template. There are changes this year. Be sure to check for this year’s changes so you can capture all the points that are available.  

LEWIS AND CLARK TRAIL ON THE AIR                                                                Don’t forget, this special event station is going strong through June 19, 2023. LCTOTA will be held from 0000 UTC June 3, 2023, through 2400 UTC June 18, 2023. The goal of this operating event is to attempt to contact at least one club station in each of the sixteen (16) states through which the Trail passes. A reminder that Kentucky has two (2) club stations participating: the Amateur Radio Transmitting Society in Louisville; and Bullitt Amateur Radio Society in Shelbyville. Additional information about this event can be found at:  

VOTA – GREAT LAKES DIVISION SPECIAL EVENT                                            Recently, our Great Lakes Division Director, Dale Williams, WA8EFK, posed the question: "Should we consider holding a 'Great Lakes VOTA Night' where we can all get on the air and share some of our VOTA points?"  Well your response was favorable and Dale has targeted Saturday July, 1st as the day.  The idea of a VOTA Night has now grown into "Great Lakes VOTA Day". Plans are to have the Division Director, Vice Director and all three of the Great Lakes Division Section Managers on the air that day, to make contacts and give you some points to add to your total.  Operations will include CW, phone and digital, focused on 80, 40 and 20 meter bands.  There will be no schedules; it will all be random, so no one will have any idea of the bands or times on which any given person will be operating. I hope you’ll put this on your calendar and join us for points and fun!  

CQ DX MARATHON PROGRAM                                                                           Mark Wohlschlegel, WC3W, the Program Administrator for the CQ DX Marathon Program, recently contacted me to report the great success that had seen in activity in 2022 as compared to 2021. The group saw 46% growth in 2022 which is a huge feat. Now I’m certain, that several of you are like myself. You’re not familiar with the CQ DX Marathon Program. Mark advised me that he had developed a ZOOM presentation that he would be more than happy to provide to clubs and contest groups that wanted to know more about how to participate. If you’re club might be interested in hosting a presentation, Mark says it runs about 30 minutes plus 10 minutes allowed for questions and answers at the end of the presentation. If you’re interested, feel free to contact Mark at If you want to know more about the program, their website is: The CQ DX Marathon is a program of CQ Magazine.  

KENTUCKY SECTION APPOINTMENTS                                                              I continue to work on cleaning up the Section Appointment list. I have sent three (3) separate emails to all of the folks that were on the Section Appointment list I inherited when appointed in January. To date, over 40% of those contacted have not replied to my email. I really don’t want to hurt feelings but I need to confirm that you want to continue holding your appointment or very soon, I’m going to vacate those positions from which I have received no response. I have already made the decision to vacate a few positions. If you are burned out, tired, no longer interested…. whatever the case might be, please just let me know one way or the other regarding your continued interest in your position.  Current Kentucky Section positions include:

Section Manager: Charlie O’Neal, KE4AIE

Section Emergency Coordinator: Vacant

State Government Liaison: Jack Hedges, KY4TPR

Traffic Manager: Steve Morgan, W4HNO

Assistant Traffic Manager: Glenn Foley, KO4OL

Affiliated Club Coordinator: Steve Morgan, W4HNO

Technical  Coordinators/Specialists:

Charles Milam, N9KY

David Clark, N4YHC

Mitchell Sparks, KG4EAB

Section Youth Coordinator: Mark Volstad, AI4BJ

DXCC Card Checker: James Vaughn, K4TXJ

         I am working from multiple lists and may have inadvertently left an appointment off of this list. If I did, please contact me directly at In addition to these Section appointments, several County level appointments are being made or are soon to be made. I am also working to make appointments in the five (5) districts we will be working with in the future. I will share additional appointments as they are made.   

ARES UPDATE                                                                                                        This past Thursday, I made a lengthy post on the Kentucky ARES Discussion Group Facebook page. You all need to know that is not my preferred way of communicating with the membership. The reason for that belief is that YOU are members of the ARRL and your membership provides some exclusive rights and privileges. I consider one of those to be communications from me regarding the information that is, for example, shared in this email. When I share that information in a public forum, non-members get that privilege. Now I’m not self-centered enough to think that communications from me are that all high and mighty or wonderful, but I do think having access to those communications is a members-only privilege. I want amateurs to join the League and support what the League is doing to help the amateur community. So, as I have said before, I will use direct emails to the membership and posts to the Kentucky Section page on the ARRL website to communicate with you. In this particular case, a lengthy discussion had taken place regarding my lack of communicating on the issue of ARES. As I mentioned in that post, my absence on public sites does not reflect inactivity on my part. It’s just that I choose not to use public venues in lieu of direct communications with you, our members. I have included my Facebook post for the 1,000+ ARRL members that are not a part of that page. “Hello folks. Just wanted to let you know I’m working on a release to Kentucky Section members this weekend. It will include significant amounts of information on a variety of topics including ARES. I have intentionally put ARES on the back burner and allowed it to have a “cooling off” period. It had become such a confrontational issue in the amateur community that it was tearing down more than it was building, as it relates to the professionalism and credibility of amateur radio within the public safety and public service community. ARES is still working where it already existed prior to my taking office. We are supporting those ARES elements that need and request assistance. We will assist in re-establishing ARES in areas where it previously existed and for whatever reason, ceased to exist. We will consider the establishment of ARES units in areas where it did not previously exist after scrutinizing the actual need for ARES service. Let me make this statement again and please, hear me clearly. We will not support the creation of an ARES group in a county/area where another organization is meeting the need for amateur support for public safety/ public service. If the amateur community can’t find a way to work together within an existing organization, the creation of a second group is not the solution to the problem. Other items: 

I am in the process of reducing the number of ARES districts from 10 to 5.

1. The realignment of the districts will not change the alignment of counties you currently work with.

2. Districts will still align with Kentucky Emergency Management Area offices.

3. One district will be made up of one KYEM area, three districts will be made up of two KYEM areas, and one district will be made up of three KYEM areas. No KYEM Area will be divided.

4. My goal is to have the following appointments in each district, at a minimum: Asst. Section Manager Asst. Section Emergency Coordinator  District Public Information Officer Official Emergency Station Coordinator  Official Relay Station Coordinator District Youth Program Coordinator

Why the change?

1. The Span of Control under ICS is exceeded with the ten district format.

2. There aren’t enough qualified, capable people interested in filling the slots in 10 districts. Quality is far more important than quantity.

      I have the map hand drawn and no, I will not share the hand drawn version. I am working to improve the professional image of our community. I am working on it being professionally done in an electronic graphic format. In the concept format, when you click on a county in a district, the county appointments will pop up for viewing. I will post it when done.  I realize that I’m not working as quickly as some of you would like but I’m carrying out my plan to try and change the direction of our momentum, and that takes time. It takes much longer to build bridges than it does to blow them up. The other obstacle to progress is I’m still working. I’m sitting in the airport in Providence, Rhode Island, waiting for a trip that will eventually get me back to Nashville. I feel guilty that I can’t give this my full time attention but having me part time is still better than having no one at all, which is what we had for over 6 months. My finger is sore from typing this out on my iPhone and there are no telling how many mistakes I’ve made trying to do it this way, but I wanted you to know I’m working in the background. I will be sharing this and more information soon. Watch for my email. If you’re not an ARRL member, you won’t get my email. I encourage you to join today. If you are a member, I encourage you to get another ham to join us.”  

KENTUCKY HAMFESTS                                                                                          So far, I have the following hamfests on my calendar:                             

 Cave City FreeFestAugust 12, 2023, Cave Area Conference Center, 7:00 A.M. to Noon CDT, 502 Mammoth Cave St, Cave City, Kentucky, Outside Only – Bring your own tables and chairs Restrooms available                Information:                                                    Website:   

Letcher County Hamfest, September 9, 2023, Mountain Shrine Club, 8:00 A.M. to Noon EDT, 95 Maryland Drive, Whitesburg, Kentucky,            Information:                                                        Website:  

KY4ARC Hamfest, September 30, 2023, Paintsville Recreation Center, 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. EDT, 232 Preston Street, Paintsville, Kentucky          Information:  

Central Kentucky Hamfest, October 7, 2023, Highlands Baptist Church, 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. EDT, 2032 Parallel Road, Lexington, Kentucky,      Information:                                                        Website:

If yours is missing from this list, email me your information. 

FINAL REMARKS First, let me thank you all so much for your support during these first six (6) months. I am doing my best to try and move us in a new, more progressive direction. Second, I clearly understand I did not win an election with a landslide margin that dictated the adoption of my philosophies or ideas for the Section. I was appointed by League Headquarters because the position had been vacant for over six (6) months and the Section needed leadership. It was floating aimlessly with no one at the wheel. As far as I’m concerned, I’m filling in here until we can get some water off the boat and get it headed in the right direction. Your next Section Manager will hopefully be able to step in and take the helm without a lot of baggage to sort through in their new position. Third, I am not an advocate of the concept of “Section Manager for life”. A term or maybe two and it’s time for fresh ideas and leadership if the Section is going to stay on target and not become dormant and stale. So, I say all of that to say this. I consider it a high honor to be serving as your Section Manager. But, I am already looking for the next one. Someone I can mentor and prepare for the role starting in April 2025. I certainly could have performed much better if I had been mentored and had some understanding of the political structure of the League and the Section and the role of the Section Manager. I’m trying to do my best but I’m looking for the next person to prepare for this role? Is that you? Feel free to communicate with me directly at 


Charlie O’Neal, KE4AIE

Kentucky Section Manager  


Good morning, folks! Hope you’re having a great day! I need to share several things of interest with you today. Let’s hit the ground running….

 Kentucky QSO Party

 The Kentucky QSO Party will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, from 0900 to 2100 EDT or 0800 to 2000 CDT. I really hope that you’ll plan to participate. In particular, I encourage club stations to get on the air and participate. The QSO Party is a great prep opportunity for Field Day. Clubs can get their equipment and generators out and make sure they’re ready to go for the last weekend in June by participating in the Kentucky QSO Party. You can find all the details at Take a look at the site and plan to participate! I’d love to see contacts from all 120 Kentucky counties for this event. And a special thanks to the Kentucky Contest Group for making this event happen.

 Lewis and Clark Trail on the Air (LCTOTA)

LCTOTA will be held from 0000 UTC June 3, 2023, through 2400 UTC June 18, 2023. The goal of this operating event is to attempt to contact at least one club station in each of the sixteen (16) states through which the Trail passes, Kentucky has two (2) club stations participating: Amateur Radio Transmitting Society in Louisville; and Bullitt Amateur radio Society in Shelbyville. Additional information about this event can be found at:

Field Day

The annual ham radio mega-event, Field Day, will be held June 24-25, 2023. I consider this to be the ultimate ham radio operating event of the year. Not only does it give operators the opportunity to sharpen their operating skills and make contacts across the country and around the world, but it gives us the opportunity to showcase our capabilities to the public. I hope that club PIOs will make sure that local media sources have the information needed to get the word out to the public to stop by and visit. Also, this is a great opportunity to come together and fellowship while at the same time, enjoying our hobby. Everything you want to know about Field Day can be found at:

These are all excellent operating opportunities. I hope to catch you on the air!

Membership – Please Don’t Skip This Section

 Now, let’s talk about membership. One of my primary goals as Section Manager has been to increase League membership in the Kentucky Section. So far, I’ve failed miserably. Not only have I failed to generate an increase, the Kentucky Section has actually seen a slight decrease in League membership since I took office in January. Why is League membership important to me and why should it be important to you? The League protects our spectrum. If for no other reason, we should support the League’s daily efforts to protect our spectrum. The amateur community has no idea how much the amateur radio spectrum would generate in revenue for the FCC if it were taken away and put up for sale in a spectrum auction. The process of protecting our spectrum is no small feat. It requires daily monitoring of every bureau action at the FCC, daily monitoring of Legislative Committee Agendas on the Hill, and having legal staff ready to respond to any action posted for public response by the FCC or other government entity. I’ve personally worked on the legislative processes at the local, state, and federal levels. I know what a daunting task it can be, and the amount of money that is required to support legislative efforts. If for no other reason, we should support the League so they can work to protect our spectrum. Without it, our hobby would become silent. But if spectrum protection isn’t enough, look at all the other things the League does for the amateur community:

 ·          The League produces high quality, professionally published periodicals that are full of information relevant to new operators, long-term operators, contesters, hobbyists, EMCOMM and public safety enthusiasts alike. I would challenge you to find some component of the hobby that isn’t addressed in a least one of the periodicals published by the League during a publication cycle. The cost of the annual membership is worth receiving one of the periodicals.

 ·         The League maintains a store full of amateur related texts, supplies and gifts that aren’t available anywhere else. The products are high-quality, and texts are written by credentialed authors that have experience in the subject matter about which they are writing. Compare the costs of items available in the ARRL Store against those found in the open market and you’ll see that they are a bargain.

 ·         The League maintains a full compliment of staff that support the amateur radio community across the nat

Links: Your Source for KY ARRL/ARES and Other Info, Kentucky Section Facebook Page

Kentucky Officials

  • Gregory Lamb

    Public Info Coordinator

    Gregory T. Lamb W0QI

  • Charles O Neal

    Section Manager

    Charles M. O Neal KE4AIE

  • Charles Milam

    Technical Coordinator

    Charles Robert Milam N9KY

  • Mark Volstad

    Section Youth Coordinator

    Mark J. Volstad AI4BJ

  • William Call

    Assistant Section Manager

    William L. Call KJ4W

  • Steve Morgan

    Section Traffic Manager,
    Affiliated Club Coordinator

    Steve Morgan W4NHO

  • Jack Hedges

    State Government Liaison

    Jack A. Hedges KY4TPR

  • Glenn Foley

    Assistant Section Manager

    Glenn A. Foley KO4OL


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn