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Western Pennsylvania Section News, Septmber 2018

ARRL Board Elects New CEO

The ARRL Board of Directors has elected Howard E. Michel, WB2ITX, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to be ARRL’s new Chief Executive Officer. He will start on October 15. Michel (rhymes with “nickel”) is currently Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, and Senior Vice President of UBTECH Robotics.

Michel will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who had been serving as ARRL’s CEO since January, following the resignation of Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. Shelley previously served ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer since 1992.

Major Changes to ARES and OO Programs

The ARRL Public Servie Enhancement Working Group has completed its two-year project to re-tool the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to meet the requirements of partner agencies, nationwide. The new program will consist of ARES Members who are “organized, trained, qualified and credentialed” to better serve our partner agencies.

The new program features three levels of ARES membership, which are matched by three levels of required training and certification. The training requirements will be met by members completing free, online courses including NIMS IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 and the newly revised ARRL EC-001, which will be provided free of charge to ARES members. Additional training is required for all ARES leadership appointees (“*ECs”).

The ARRL Board has opened a public comment period which runs until October 31. ARRL requests your comments to be sent through your Section Emergency Coordinator <sec@wpa-arrl.org> and Section Manager <sm@wpa-arrl.org> only. The Board will review all comments and vote on the final program at the January 2019 ARRL Board Meeting.

The current OO program will end, and be replaced by a new Volunteer Monitoring program, administered by ARRL HQ, working closely with FCC. All current OOs will be invited to apply for the new program, which will concentrate on major enforcement issues the FCC requests. The goal is to provide more rapid enforcement response to significant, developing on-the-air violations rather than more minor operating and technical issues.

Much more information about these developments is available online at www.arrl.org and in upcoming issues of QST.

2018 Summer Recap

What a busy Hamfest Season we have had! Our WPA Section Convention and the first Pennsylvania State ARRL Convention in many years were well attended and widely appreciated.

Public Service Activity reports have been pouring in every month. Our WPA Section hams have been very active indeed! Nice work, everyone!

Our Section Staff officials have been busy making plans to keep serving our section better and better. ASM Dr. Juan Manfredi NA0B has embarked on a mission to rejuvenate College Radio Clubs across our section. SEC Bud Plants N3TIR and ASEC Steve Fazekas K3FAZ have been working overtime to implement the new, enhanced ARES program, develop a wider cooperation with Western PA Red Cross, and building plans to expand ARES communications capabilities, including the 60 meter band and digital messaging across the WPA Section.

Section Traffic Manager Herb Gilliland W3YNX reports that an increasing number of WPA hams are making their presence known on the Public Service Honor Roll. Section Youth Coordinator Bruce Gibson K3BEG is working with schools and scouts with plans for amateur radio activities that support educational and operating activities for young hams everywhere in our WPA Section.

Upcoming Events

Our WPA Section always has something going on, and here is what is happening next!

Oct 13-14On the AirPA QSO Party

Date Location Event
Sep 9 Unionville Butler Hamfest
Oct 6 WPA Section Simulated Emergency Test
Oct 13-14 On the Air PA QSO Party
Oct 19-21 On the Air Scouting –
Jamboree On The Air
Nov 4 Cannonsburg WACOM Hamfest
South-1 District Meeting

[HELP WANTED! I seem to be having a LOT of trouble getting this very important section right. Will someone who is detail-oriented please step forward and volunteer to keep our Upcoming Events list current and correct, and make sure we don’t leave out any events???]

Upcoming License Classes

Pittsburgh: September 24th – November 5th

The North Hills Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring Technician License Classes on Mondays, 6:00 to 9:00 pm beginning September 24th and continuing until November 5th, at the American Red Cross Building, 2801 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Please register by September 17th via email to class@nharc.org – Seating is limited!

  • For more information, please visit the club website: www.nharc.org or email to info@nharc.org .
  • Students under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
  • Classes are FREE but purchas of Licensing Materials is strongly recommended.
  • License examinations for class attendees will be held November 5th by ARRL Volunteer Examiners.

Erie: September 13th

The Radio Association of Erie is sponsoring beginning Amateur Radio Classes. Location is the Red Cross of Erie, 4961 Pittsburgh Avenue on seven Thursdays at 6PM to 8 PM.

Classes start September 13th and are free. For more information and to register call 814-455-1061

Indiana: October 10th – 31st

Classes will begin on October 10, 2018, continuing on successive Wednesday evenings through October 31, 2018. Class hours are 6:00-9:30pm and classes will be held at the Indiana County Emergency Management Agency. The final session on October 31 will be an examination session and will be open to all those who notify our VE team. The deadline for class sign-up is September 28, 2018. To register for the class, send an email to icarc73@gmail.com. Details on the VE session can be found on the club website at www.qsl.net/w3bmd.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a program for your club meetings, why not put together some activities for new hams and those who are interested in Amateur Radio? Demo the latest entry level radios like the Icom 7300 and the Yaesu 991A (for example), have some Advisors available to answer questions, have a show and tell about DXing, digital modes, SDR, signal location… the list is endless.

Advertise it as much as you can, especially in schools, colleges, on bulletin boards at work, on your nets, and in person to the hams in your communities who recently got licensed. It doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to be done. Who knows, you might make the difference needed to gain some active new members!

Above all else, go out of your way to make new hams feel welcome and respected! We want to make good amateur radio friendships in the best 100+ year tradition of Amateur Radio!

Still looking for more ideas for meeting programs? Drop me an invite or a request for a visit by any of our section staff. We are available to travel to your group, and can discuss a variety of very interesting Amateur Radio topics.

73 and Press On!

Joe Shupienis W3BC

Western Pennsylvania Section Manager
ARRL – the national association for Amateur Radio®


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