Archive for the 'ARRL' Category

Académie des communications 2011

8 mars 2011
Centralia, Washington
Sujet: Académie des communications 2011

Bonjour,

Je voudrais inviter tous les radioamateurs intéressés à assister à
notre Académie des communications les 16 et 17 avril à Seattle. Ce qui
suit est une présentation que j’ai fait circuler. J’apprécierais que
vous la fassiez suivre.

73

Jim Pace K7CEX
Gérant de section ARRL
Washington ouest
wwasm@comcast.net

L’inscription est maintenant ouverte pour l’Académie des communications 2011 qui se tiendra au South Seattle Community College, les 16 et 17 avril. Le thème cette année est “Amener du professionnalisme dans les communications d’urgence radio amateur”.

Nous avons une intéressante brochette de conférenciers d’introduction
et de sessions préliminaires au menu. Quelque chose pour tout le monde. Le conférencier introducteur du samedi est Allen Pitts, W1AGP, directeur des médias et des relations publiques, pour l’American Radio Relay League. Il traitera le thème “Mise au point: les quatre étapes de l’ARES”

Le conférencier introducteur du dimanche est Alan Komenski, AC2K, du comité exécutif de l’interopérabilité entre États, patrouille de l’État du Washington, Bellevue.

Vous pouvez vous enregistrer dès maintenant en cliquant ici ou, pour de l’information générale, activités et plus, au site Web de l’Académie des communications. http://www.commacademy.org

Il y a un appétissant menu de repas inclus dans le coût de
l’inscription, et nous aurons une bonne variété de véhicules de
communications en exposition également.

Une inscription tôt avant le 3 avril économise 15% et les groupes de 5
et plus s’inscrivant en même temps économisent un 10% additionnel,
alors ne tardez pas. Espérant vous rencontrer à cette occasion,

Votre comité organisateur de l’Académie des communications 2011.

(Traduction par Serge Langlois, VE2AWR)

Communications Academy 2011

March 8, 2011
Centralia, Washington
Subject: Communications Academy 2011

Good Morning

I would like to invite any interested Hams, to attend our Communications Academy April 16 and 17 in Seattle. The following is a recent blurb I have been putting out. I’d appreciate you passing it along.

73

Jim Pace K7CEX
ARRL Section Manager
Western Washington
wwasm@comcast.net

Registration is now open for Communications Academy 2011 to be held at South Seattle Community College, April 16th and 17th. The theme this year is “Bringing Professionalism to Amateur Emergency Communications”.

We have an exciting lineup of keynote speakers and breakout sessions
scheduled. Something for everyone. Saturday’s keynote speaker is Allen Pitts, W1AGP, Media and Public Relations Manager, from the American Radio Relay League. He will be addressing “Reality Check: The four stages of ARES”.

The Sunday’s keynote speaker is Alan Komenski, AC2K, State Interoperability Executive Committee, Washington State Patrol, Bellevue, Washington. You can register right now by clicking here or for general information, schedule, and more go to the Communications Academy web site. www.commacademy.org
There is a tasty menu of lunches included in the registration fee and we will have a good assortment of comm vans on display as well.

Early registration by April 3rd saves 15% and groups of 5 or more
registering at the same time save an additional 10% so don’t delay.
Hoping to see you there,

Your Communications Academy 2011 organizing committee.

From the Ontario STM VE3GNA/VA3OPN

The Section Traffic Manager (STM) for Ontario Glenn Killam VE3GNA has sent us some exerpts from the Brass Pounders Quarterly.  This pertains to the NTS System and well worth reading.

Follows are parts of the quarterly article on NTS

=============================

Bob: I have snipped out what I believe are the main points to the
newsletter. They may be editable to some degree due to their length.

If any of the material is used, please ensure that reference is made to the originating document, namely the Brass Pounders’ Quarterly vol V issue 1.

Thanks and 73,
Glenn
Perhaps a header along the lines of :


“Where is NTS Going in the Future?” from Richard Webb, NF5B, Central Area Chair.

.

.

EDITOR’S CORNER

A fork in the road

Well folks, that’s where we are right now, we’re standing at a fork
in the road. One branch leads us toward the untried, an unfamiliar
route along paths we’ve never traveled before. The other fork
takes us past familiar scenes, everything’s just as it always has
been, but that way leads to ultimate failure. Taking the fork
which leads to the unfamiliar is going to require some work on our
part. There are places along the road where we’re going to have to
get out and push a little bit. The going isn’t going to be smooth,
the bumps haven’t been nicely taken care of by the maintainers,
because we’re essentially breaking trail here. The crews haven’t
been out to clearly mark hazards with signs and use the other heavy
equipment to smooth the way for us.

There are two things needed to be done if we choose to take the
unfamiliar way, but again, along that way leads opportunities for
growth, continued relevance and a good possibility of a renewed
interest in what we’re about among the general population of radio
amateurs.

Both of the tasks that need doing to smooth our journey along this
new path are of equal import. First, I hope everyone has had a
look at the new NTS Methods practices and guidelines chapter 6. As
you know, the MPG can be found in Appendix B of the ARRL Public
Service Communications Manual. The new appendix B chapter 6 has
not yet been folded into the pSCM however, but see elsewhere in
this issue to find your way to it on the web. These concepts go a
great deal of the way toward a robust messaging system of the
future, but, they only do this if they’re implemented. TO get that
implementation we need to be sure that those winlink sysops who put
up those packet radio gateways on vhf and uhf are aware of this
work. Then, there ar going to be gaps that need filling with
capable hf stations.

Comments from the trenches

Over the last few months there has been some discussion amongst
NTS leaders and others regarding the future of NTS. The
following are comments I’ve received from active
radio amateurs from within both Ares and NTS. My conclusions
follow their comments.

Note the common thread in all of these comments. those comments,
and similar that I’ve received over the last five years are
reflected in the thinking which went into the white paper I
composed from september through December of 2010.

A long time ntsd traffic handler and leader writes:

National EmComm Traffic system proposal (For example, can NTS be
more effective during emergencies or do we need something
completely new?)

The current NTS is not currently able to respond in a prompt
fashion without internet notifications which take place outside the
RF world. The NTS should be able to function in a “ramped up”
fashion in response to events. Training should be the same as the
exercises, and should be the same as the real events.

The ARRL killed, or hid or suppressed, much of the work that took
place in 2004 and 2005. The world has changed in the last 5-6
years. Some of the material is still current; some is not. An
ICS213 or any other format is only a format. The ability to move
the “information package” is the part the NTS needs to address. Can
the NTS move information point to point in a timely fashion is the
question.

A local ares leader from TEnnessee with a variety of experiences in
various emergency response organizations writes:

ARES has bought into the idea we MUST have a served agency. This
violates the idea of the Emergency Coordinator, what is he
coordinating. This also gives the served agency the veto on ARES
membership. Thus the EC is reduced to a recruiter with training and
management residing in the served agency

In short the problem has been around a while. Unfortunately neither
service, NTS or ARES by enlarge, has kept up with the rapid changes
in communications technology. Back in the day, tube technology, AM
and the Novice license, the current net plan may have been the best
way to pass messages across the county. The capability of the
Amateur Radio infrastructure; including repeaters mobile and Ht
equipment, was valuable to the local community. This was in the day
a Motorola HT220 cost $1,000 per. Many smaller communities could
not afford the cost of such systems which also required a repeater.
Now with the cell phone industry providing a similar infrastructure
at low cost the current Amateur Radio infrastructure is seen as
unnecessary to many of our government agencies. NTS also is looked
at as to slow and not reliable for EMCOMM use by most emergency
responding agencies. Another thought has also come into my head.
That is the personalities that are drawn to ARES and NTS. NTS is an
ordered scheduled system, in normal operation. Thus most NTS
operators can schedule their participation around the various NTS
net schedules. ARES on the other hand is seen as the unscheduled
immediate response organization which also draws many of those that
want to be in the lime light or seek official recognition from
local government agencies. Also by not having a single management
structure there is no perceived or actual national coordination
between the two services. NTS as currently structured is unable to
provide the required long haul message handling that is required
for large scale disaster response. ARES, for the most part, is
unable to provide NTS with messages in the proper format. We
realize the problem, and maybe even the source of the problem.

The real question is, what is the solution?

Can NTS restructure itself to meet the needs of ARES during a large scale disaster? Can  ARES be required to have Radiogram format trained operators as well  as the competence to operate on NTS nets?

I could go along with a training requirement for EC’s and above as
well as performance requirements for certifying any ARES
organization. A similar requirement may be needed for NTS NCS and
above. AT least NTS does provide continued reinforcement in the net
held and traffic that is passed. Until we professionalize the ARES
side and make NTS responsive to the needs of ARES both may be
heading for the grave yard as functional services.

One real problem the ARRL made was to push for ARES to provide
services to one served agency. This holds ARES hostage to the needs
of a single local agency without the thought of interagency
communications. Interoperability has been the buzz word for the
last 5 years but we, the Amateur Radio community, have not taken
this to heart. In my opinion ARES can best serve the local
community by knowing and working with multiple agencies. No single
agency would control the local ARES group but help support the
training and communications needs of the local community. ARES has
lost site of the definition of coordinator used in the title of all
ARRL appointed ARES positions.

Not all agencies need a full range of communications services. Some
need only local communications. Others need long range
communications, but does each agency need a dedicated team to
provide them or could one team provide the same service for
multiple agencies? One example of a real problem with ARES serving
a single agency. County A uses ARES for local hospital
communications. The next county uses ARES for EMA communications.
County C they are ARC members. County D is ties to Satern. Now
County C needs to coordinate medical evacuees with County A. Can
this be done? And County D could use the help of county B for
traffic control. I do not see much coordination under this
situation.
K, rant done. Just very frustrated within the current structure
and lack of even a concept of professionalism, or do they even
care?

My comments:
The sad truth is the man makes some valid points. We have allowed
ourselves to miss the forest as we look at trees. Instead of
adaptability and flexibility we’ve got various entities and
organizations that don’t work well together and poor participation
in emergency communications among the amateur radio community. YEt
if you ask the majority of amateur radio operators they’ll tell you
that emergency communications is one of the primary reasons that
the service exists. IF the majority of radio amateur agree with
this they don’t show it by participating. Have our leaders
bothered to consider why this is so? some are, hence some of the
efforts that are ongoing to improve participation and provide
better service to the public we serve.

An emergency coordinator from Indiana sent the following comments
by email to some colleagues …

Referencing the INdiana traffic net (on ssb).

1) the net runs at two times a day when most fully employed
operators aren’t available. I work a 7:30 to 4:30pm schedule. By
the time I get home at 5:15, the net is over. I suspect only
retirees or unemployed operators can routinely check into the ITN
due to schedule conflicts.

2) I question the relevancy of the current ITN mission to serve
EmComm. Nearly all the traffic handled falls into one of 3
categories:

a) Happy Birthday, you aren’t SK yet

b) Congratulations on your license upgrade, real hams know code so
learn it NOW!

c) Your license is about to expire, so get off your butt and renew
it.

I understand the need for practice and if these are the only
messages that can serve as practice, then so be it. Most hams
aren’t motivated to handle mundane traffic that originates from the
same Oklahoma station just to earn top score in the PSHR each
month.

The NTS needs a mission overhaul that focuses on customer needs
rather than a self-serving mission that keeps outdated ham
practices on life support.

summing up

I hear comments such as those above from a variety
of individuals. Average hams have a scheduling problem with
current NTS structure and aren’t inclined to even participate
regularly in section phone nets because many involve too much time
spent unproductively. Many of the section phone nets utilize a
format with a long drawn out role call which is unnecessary. When
propagation conditions deteriorate these nets often don’t even
utilize relay stations effectively. Section nets that choose
counties or other geographic entities alphabetically and therefore
result in long role calls taking 45 minutes to an hour should
endeavor to call different sections of the alphabet first so as to
give the poor folks in counties beginning with letters t through z
a chance to be first, get in and get out. NTS phone nets need to
provide better training and relevant service to today’s amateur
operator. Region and area “guard frequency” nets such as I propose
allow NTS to develop better training tools serving a variety of
subsets of the amateur population whilst providing useful and
relevant training to operators. Though it must be admitted that
the bulk book traffic *does* provide some training opportunities
its usefulness is limited as a primary training tool. Currently it
is the only NTS training tool which reaches most amateurs. All one
need do is listen closely to a variety of section phone nets for a
period of a few days to realize that net controls themselves often
are not properly trained, or exposed to an operation which would be
similar to that which would be needed for emergency communications
phone circuits.

NEts such as those on 14300 khz; Satern, MIdcars/southcars, etc. do
a better job at exposing net control operators to the variety of
conditions that will be encountered when controlling a busy
tactical or other emcomm circuit using voice. NEt controls are
exposed to how to work with relays; medical and other emergencies;
malicious interference; untrained operators with communications
needs that must be met, etc. NTS section phone nets in some
sections are well run operations, but others are “hi bubba did ya
catch any fish today” sessions. Any emcomm circuit, including the
health and welfare or information net is going to be a very busy
circuit and net controls must know how to prioritize the handling
of business effectively. MOst of these section nets don’t even
acquaint operators handling traffic with building a stack off
frequency allowing the net to continue with other business. IN
short, NTS offers poor training for today’s radio amateur instead
of the operating skills he or she needs to learn.

The preceding paragraphs make some strong statements that fly in
the face of conventional NTS thinking, and every time such
statements are made we hear the same old tired whine that the
person making them is advocating the abandonment of cw. Quite the
contrary! Those of us who have been around any time at all
understand the value of fostering the skill. So, please move past
that and consider the following in support of those statements I
made.

I’ve participated more than once in a busy network in support of
such an activity as a parade, marathon, bike event or other
activity. Net control often cannot acknowledge more than one
station and handle each in turn in an orderly fashion. Net control
often is the person expected to copy participant numbers and other
information which must be copied accurately. Yet you never hear ncs
do a read back or in any other way verify that he copied the
traffic accurately and in full.

Most section and local nets do not provide the intensive training
needed for net controls to be at all comfortable handling a busy
net such as those which will be needed during emergencies or
disasters.

we hear all this talk of “professionalizing” emergency
communications, but within this talk we never hear about
professionalizing the operational side. Yes, knowing about the
incident command structure is a must, knowing how to devise and
critique exercises is important as well! However, our operators
such as our net controls should present a professional sounding
efficient operation to their fellow amateurs, and the public, which
*will* be listening.

Even local nets are going to require seasoned skilled net control
operators. Repeater systems may fail and automated links be
unavailable. Controlling a busy tactical or other net on simplex
where net control can’t hear all the stations utilizing net
services, and all stations can’t hear each other is a challenge.
That challenge is met every day in the world of utility comms, and
has been now since there was such a thing as radiotelephony. This
skill is basically ignored in training available to operators who
only control local and section nets. AS I stated above, some
section phone nets are well run efficient operations. Others not so
much so.

NTS needs to broaden and deepen its activities if it truly wishes
to remain viable and relevant. To that end I’ve composed a white
paper discussing some possible ways forward for the system and the system’s possible long term goals. You can download it on the web at

http://www.wpusa.dynip.com/files/FDIST/HAMNEWS/NTSFUTUR.ZIP>

If you have any points you would like to discuss with the Ontario STM on the topic of the NTS , Glenn can be reached via email at ve3gna@xplornet.ca or via his blog at ve3gna.wordpress.com.

VE7CVA Field Day 2010

Today’s movie comes to us from our friends in VE7Land who posted an exceptional You Tube Video on Field Day 2010.  Their comments were as follows:
“Here is a video we made at the Cowichan Valley Amateur Radio Society’s (VE7CVA/VE7RVC) Field Day in 2010. We were set up at a local community hall and had twenty operators present.”

Good Production Technique in the Video and also Nice Toys in the video itself

Thanks to Gabor Horvath, VE7DXG for bringing this to my attention

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

RAC President attends ARRL Board Meeting

As part of the cooperation and warm relationhip between RAC and ARRL the President of RAC has traditionally been invited to attend the twice yearly Board of Directors meeting held in Windsor Falls, Connecticut. This January, the President of RAC, Mr, Geoffrey Bawden, VE4BAW drove From his QTH of Winnipeg to New England to attend the Board meeting as an observer. The 15 Directors and senior officers of ARRL meet twice annually to define policy for the US association representing the interests of their 156K members and approximately 700K US amateurs.

The President and Chair of ARRL is Kay Craigie, N3KN and the Secretar is David Sumner, K1ZZ. Also in attendence as an observer is IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD.

The ARRL is the world’s largest amateur radio association and is headquartered in Newington, Connecticut. This association is a key driver both within the United States and worldwide for the interests of hams.

.

Geoff Bawden VE4BAW

President and Chair, RAC

January 21/11

Some upcoming events

Now that the Christmas Rush is over and you are resting up for New Years I thought I would mention a few upcoming Amateur Radio Events to think about.

The First event which starts at 0000hrs (UTC) on Jan 1st 2011 is the ARRL Straight Key Night.If you click on the ARRL Logo (above) you will end up at the ARRL Website where you can read up on the where, what and wherefores of the event but basically its a CW Contest where the participants use the Straight Key rather than paddles, keyers, computers etc.

Although I (with my lousy CW Skills) will not be participating in this event I do recommend that you at least give a listen ( I will be) and if you have the necessary skills or think you do try making a few contacts…  I find it interesting that now that CW is not a requirement that the mode is actually gaining in popularity especially with the QRP Portable types as now everyone who is operating CW actually wants to operate CW…

If your not into CW HF but into CW and SSB VHF Work why not give the ARRL Jan VHF Sweepstakes a try.

Click on the above logo to go to the ARRL Contest site for more info.

Date and Contest Period: The date will be announced annually by the ARRL but will generally be the third or fourth weekend in January. Begins 1900 UTC Saturday, ends 0359 UTC Monday (January 22-24, 2011).

With all the various HF rigs that now offer 2m, 6m and 70cm as well (Such as the TS 2000, FT897, IC 7000 just to name a few) most of you have no excuse to at least listen to the contest and give out a few contacts to those who are actively contesting.

Also remember that they do call 6m the magic band for a reason and if there is any sort of opening you can have a blast operating just with the output of your radio and a simple dipole antenna.  But you can’t make any contacts if your not on the air…

I will be there for this one using a simple 1/4w rotatable dipole for 6m with my FT 847 with the rigs 100w and hope at least to get a couple of grid sq

Last but not least The SPAR Winter Field Day event is at the end of the month…

From their website:

The 2011 Winter Field Day will be held from 1700 UCT (12:00 noon EST) Saturday January 29, 2011 through 1700 UCT (12:00 noon EST) Sunday January 30, 2011. The object of the event is familiar to most Amateur Radio operators: set up emergency-style communications and make as many contacts as possible during the 24 hour period. The rules encourage as many contacts on as many bands and modes as possible, because during a real emergency, the most important factor is the ability to communicate, regardless of band, mode or distance.

If you click on their logo (above) you will be taken to the SPAR Website for more information.

I have participated in this event in the past and am looking forward to doing it again this year.  The plan is to set up in a park close to home and operate QRP/P from the great outdoors till I freeze up or I go through one battery pack with the FT817.  Either way I figure that I am good for about 3 hours or so …  Noon till 3 pm or 4pm would be a fun way to spend an afternoon giving out contacts and getting some fresh air at the same time.

So there you have it…  Three events to start off the New Year with…  Hope to hear you at least in one event…

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

The ARRL PR Committee

One of the fun things I get to do every month is participate in the ARRL’s national public relations committee teleconference. It’s a tremendous kick of me to represent Radio Amateurs of Canada on the teleconference and I have to thank the ARRL’s Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP and Committee Chair, Bill Morine, N2COP for allowing me to participate.

It’s also a kick to realize that the PR committee serves the around 450 public information officers (PIOs). These volunteers help publicize ham radio by letting local media know what’s new.

The ARRL with its 160,000 or so members creates a lot of publicity and good ink for ham radio. Just check out QST (the ARRL’s excellent monthly magazine) which runs a column of PR activities.

Just like Radio Amateurs of Canada, the ARRL is involved in tons activities behind the scenes. We’re in for a very interest decade in ham radio across North America.

Santa Cruz hams help out at wildfires

This edit from the ARRL Letter (Vol. 28 No. 33 – Friday, August 21, 2009:

As wildfires threaten the central California coast near Santa Cruz — located between San Jose and Monterey — area radio amateurs have been providing support to law enforcement and fire authorities. According to Santa Cruz County Public Information Officer Bill Conklin, AF6OH, the Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center requested support from ARES on Wednesday, August 12: "We activated and established an informal Net to provide fire support resources." Just two days later, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a State of Emergency for Santa Cruz County.

The damage is estimated at $21.4 million.

“Once again amateur radio and ARES proved to be an essential resource in times of emergency," Conklin said. "The citizens of Santa Cruz County are fortunate to have this trained, technical resource available to provide these essential communications resources."

Cautionary lesson

This post comes to us via the ARRL and was been sent to all the volunteer public information officers, emergency coordinators, district emergency coordinators and affiliated club presidents listed with the ARRL.

Written by Nick White, NV9V, District 3 Emergency Coordinator, ARRL Kentucky Section PIO, the post discusses the weekend media story about amateur radio that appeared in the New York Times. Nick talks about the positive news story which had the potential of creating a negative impression about ham radio.

The following information pertains to the situation in the U.S. but good media relations information can be found here. (Also, in Canada, the Radio Amateurs of Canada site has lots of information that is useful in working with the media.)

I (VE3HG) am also available to you as a resource. (I was a vice-president of a national public relations agency.)  We amateurs in Canada are not letting the media know enough about us and the great service work being done by our clubs, associations and ARES groups among others. It’s important to the future of amateur radio that we start doing a better job of getting the word out about amateur radio in Canada. If you need help, send me an email to: ve3hg at rac.ca and I’ll do my best to help.

Here’s what Nick, NV9V, had to say (with slight editing):

We were beneficiaries of some good publicity about the success of Owensboro recruiting new amateur radio operators, which had a peculiar twist that diminished the story.   Various versions of the article were picked up in regional and national print media such as Henderson, KY and the New York Times.  Attached is link to both versions.
NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/us/02kentucky.html

Henderson:  http://www.kentucky.com/181/story/882239.html

At issue is the direct quote in the original article and reprinted in the Times describing amateur radio, saying, [amateur radio] was “a dying thing”.   

Overall, the article was positive and the amateur radio operators interviewed did a good job.  Interestingly, the Henderson paper redacted part of the original quote, illustrating how the media can selectively quote their sources.  In this instance it was a benefit, but clearly, someone opposed to amateur radio could have focused on “dying” to support a negative point of view.

Realistically, most of the licensed radio operators in Kentucky’s 120 counties have probably said something similar in casual conversation.  However, we all need to remember that speaking to the press or issuing written statements about amateur radio events is more than casual talk and can have untended consequences.  While, we enjoy the hobby and appreciate what volunteer licensed operators can contribute in the event of a communications emergency, not everyone agrees and they can use our own words against us.  Moreover, civil authorities want to know that what the amateur radio service provides isn’t “old”, “obsolete”, and “dying”, but “dependable”, “proven”, essential”, and “reliable”.

While some may say this is much ado about nothing, the ARRL spends a lot of effort to build the image of amateur radio of which we are the major beneficiaries.  That effort extends to our state section manager (SM), section emergency coordinator (SEC), and many DEC’s, EC’s as well as local amateur radio clubs.  As amateur radio operators, club affiliates, ARRL officials, we all have a material influence on how amateur radio is viewed by the public and government alike.

Recognizing this, I think it is all our best interest to formalize Amateur Radio PR activity for ARES and ARRL affiliated clubs in Kentucky when ever possible.  By formalize, I suggest the following:

1. Establish a policy to review press releases and interviews with county Public Information Officers (PIO’s) early, before releasing the information to the media.   In the case of interviews, use PIO’s wherever possible.  But if that position is vacant, EC’s should advise their DEC and discuss, perhaps role play, the interview before hand.  That isn’t to restrict amateur’s access to media, but help them prepare for it.  Moreover, the process doesn’t diminish ones skills, but enhances it.  I know of no PR professional that is intentional interviewed without prior preparation.

2. If you are concerned about the interview, ask for assistance.  As the Kentucky Section PIC, I am available daily and can be reached by email at nv9v@arrl.net.   In addition, ARRL Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP is available to provide PR assistance by email apitts@arrl.org.

3. The ARRL provide an abundance of material to guide and assist local PR efforts.  For instance, see the link http://www.arrl.org/pio/prtools.html for a comprehensive guide to working with the media.  In addition, the ARRL recently introduced PR-101 (http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/15/10817/?nc=1 ), a course intended to give hams quick instruction in public relations activities.   According to ARRL’s count, about 3 in 4 ARRL PIO’s describe their training in public relations as none, little, and some.  This course was designed to fill in the gaps.

4. Lastly, bear in mind that the key to good public relations doesn’t depend on who writes the release or gives the interview, but getting the right message out to producers that will air it and reporters that will write about it.  Sometimes that means local cub presidents or club PIO’s should be the center of attention, while at other times it may be best for the Section Manager, Public Information Coordinator, DEC or EC to represent amateur radio’s interests.  In the end, it’s about telling Amateur Radio’s story, simply and consistently.

5. In the near future, we will draft some talking points that are particularly relevant to Kentucky amateur radio issues and activities.

I know that “one” goal of the ARRL is to build Amateur Radio’s image in the minds of citizens, non-government organizations, local, state, federal government decision makers alike as a group of technically capable, conscientious, radio operators that are proficient in the use of modern modes of communications, not only, for their own personal use, but equally so in the event of a communications emergency.  That’s my interpretation, anyway.  So, lets try to make that the underlying message when get an opportunity to “Meet the Press”.  If I can help, please call. 

Why did the Americans go to the moon?

With the sad announcement of the death of Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, on July 17th there seems to be some added poignancy to the news that right now two Canadian astronauts Julie Payette1807011 and Robert Thirsk are making history by being onboard the International Space Station at the same time. 

Cronkite was a keen advocate and space enthusiast. With his passing we see the end of an era of space exploration which culminated 40 years today ago with the landing of Eagle and the flight of Apollo Eleven.

We can read the insider’s account of those early days thanks to a link sent by Tom Clark, K3IO, and forwarded to us by Allen Pitts, W1AGP, the ARRL’s media and PR manager. Thanks to Tom and Allen.

This link takes us to the online story prepared yesterday by EE Times. Enjoy.