ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter February 2015

ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter
February 2015
Antenna Inspection with Agriculture Drones
By Bruce Frahm, K0BJ
I love my ACOM 2000A autotune amp. Recently it's been reporting an ARC FAULT and shutting down, ONLY when I use my T-11 Tennadyne log periodic antenna. I have checked the
coax run from the remote antenna switch up to the boom/mast intersection, with no visible
problems. Before hiring a crane truck to come out, I got the idea to beg the use of a drone. I
recently retired from farming and have rented land to my nephew's big operation. They have a
drone used for agriculture -- I think it gets used for lots of "fun" too.
Their "pilot" came to my QTH a while back. The wind was up to about 10 mph but the drone is
pretty stable so he was willing to forge ahead. My log antenna is at 64' AGL. It was a surprise
to me that there is no onboard proximity warning -- the pilot must navigate and avoid collisions
either by eyeball or monitoring live HD video. That said, GPS stabilization is quite good on this
machine and he got impressively tight shots.
I have suspicions the problem is either loose coax to boom lugs at the director end or loose
hardware on the DC-short 12M hairpin at the reflector end. It's also possible the coax common
mode choke or the boom coax run has exposed braid. I also figured there might be wet, conducting debris between the square tubular steel booms, but that is the one item our flight was
more or less able to visually rule out.
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 2
Antenna Inspection with Agriculture Drones (Continued)
By Bruce Frahm, K0BJ
I'll need to find the culprit once the crane truck is out here so in that sense the project wasn't a
success. But I have neat stills from a unique vantage point and intriguing video. By the way
the high definition video is spectacular -- the clip in my online album is much lower definition.
Here's the album location with some stills and two videos:
I feel I have a decent antenna system, but I recently saw a drone video of new WPA SM
K3LR's multi-operator contest station. You can see I-80 in the background after takeoff. Tim's
QTH is a half mile east of the OH/PA border -- if you find yourself on I-80 back there, take a
look to the south and enjoy the view of this wonderful antenna farm.
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 3
Thanks for the Warm Welcome!
By Art Zygielbaum, K0AIZ
As you know, I was appointed as the new Vice Director for the Midwest Division on
January 1. For the past year and a half - since I resigned as Nebraska Section Manager, I had given ham radio a bit of a rest as I concentrated on my career. But, I’m
back and looking forward to getting more active on the air and, of course, supporting
Rod, KØDAS, in his role as the Director.
I was amazed at the number of congratulatory notes and “welcomes” I received from
people in the Nebraska Section, the Midwest Division, and the ARRL Board. While I
thanked you individually, let me also thank you collectively for your kind words. Trying to fill Rod’s shoes while he takes on Cliff’s is a big order. But with your continued
support, we can do it.
On January 15, I made my second pilgrimage to W1AW and HQ (my first was the
Section Manager’s workshop). My day started watching from the peanut gallery as
the Directors and Vice Directors conducted committee meetings. I came away impressed at the level of knowledge and experience this group had in understanding
amateur radio and the challenges of a big organization. The level of discussion was
friendly and in earnest. I had no doubt that these folks wanted to do the best they
could for ARRL members.
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 4
Thanks for the Warm Welcome! (continued)
The actual Board meeting was January 16 and 17. Officers and Directors sit around
a big square. Vice Directors were seated at a table behind their Director. It was our
role to answer questions when posed, write comments and thoughts on a piece of
paper and pass them to our director, and to act as pages by retrieving newly printed
motions and information from mailboxes just outside the room. Once again, I was
impressed by the level of discourse. These are a bunch of very knowledgeable and
dedicated people. To be sure, there were disagreements. There were even a couple of times when a face got red and a chest a bit huffy. But the discussions were
pretty much to the point. When I was given a chance to speak – we all were at the
end of the meeting – I indicated how much I appreciated the quality of the conversation. I also couldn’t resist pointing out that the Board included some pretty high quality curmudgeons. People who push back against what seems to be popular opinion
are vital to a well-run organization. These guys make you think.
Bottom line, I thank Director Rod and President Kay Craigie, N3KN, for the opportunity to once again serve amateur radio. Based on my first meeting, this is going to be
a fun and rewarding part of my life.
Please let me know how I can help ARRL be of service to you and the other members in the Midwest Division.
Art, K0AIZ
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 5
ARRL Midwest Division Convention
A Call for Proposals
It has been customary to hold an ARRL Midwest Division Convention every two years.
Our last - very excellent one - was produced by the Lebanon, Missouri ARC in 2013.
So the time is ripe for another in 2015.
A division convention is more than just another large hamfest and therefore involves
more planning, work, and management by the local club. However, it provides a larger
scale venue for amateurs across the four states to gather and participate in a broad
spectrum of amateur radio activities. It also provides an opportunity for favorable public exposure to ham radio as well as attracting new folks to the hobby.
The Midwest Division Conventions held in the recent past were:
2013 — Lebanon, Missouri
2011 — Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2008 — South Sioux City, Nebraska
If your club is interested in organizing an ARRL Midwest Division Convention, please
contact me for additional detailed information.
73’s, Rod, K0DAS ([email protected])
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 6
The Missouri QSO Party
By Randy Wing, N0LD
For those of you who participated in the 2014 Missouri QSO Party, thank you! Many of
you sponsored awards, activated rare counties, operated as 1x1 operators for the
“SHOW ME” 1x1 sub-contest, or perhaps even decided to operate for the first time you made this event a memorable one! We activated all 115 Missouri counties during
the contest! Over the past several years we have had about 70 contest submittals –
this past year saw over 200 contest entries, 100 “SHOW ME” certificates issued, and
10 cherry plaques awarded!
This year, we have changed the MO QSO Party to:
1. Make the exchange easy! - just name, RST, and location. We’ve eliminated
the sequence number to encourage more contacts and participation.
2. Added additional operating categories! – to provide additional certificates/
plaques and to encourage the “Missouri Expedition” class to be competitive.
3. Add non-repeater VHF operation!
4. Add digital mode operation!
I encourage you to participate in this year’s Missouri QSO Party on 4-5 April
2015! Here are the many ways you can help:
A. Sponsor a plaque! We have 19 plaques and can create more! A club or a
person can sponsor a plaque for $50.
B. Activate one or more counties! Operate as fixed, mobile, or as an expedition. Operate individually, or as part of a team.
C. Participate in discussion online! The facebook group is: Missouri QSO Party or!/groups/MissouriQSOParty/
D. has all the information about rules and will be kept up to
date with where we need further assistance.
Contact Randy Wing, N0LD at [email protected] for more information.
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 7
Special Event Station WW1USA
At the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
in Kansas City, Missouri
By Randy Schultz, KD0HKD
Fellow Amateur Radio Operators! As many of you know, WW1USA, the Amateur
Radio Club of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial at Kansas City is
hosting a number of Special Radio Events, commemorating moments in history during
the four year centennial of the Great War. On the weekend of February 7th and 8th,
such a special event will be “on the air” in observance of the Beginning of War from the
Previous to the First World War, aviation had been used primarily for scouting and intelligence since the mid-nineteenth century, primarily from balloons and eventually powered dirigibles and airplanes. For instance, the first use of airplanes by the United
States with limited success for scouting and observation was during the Punitive Expedition into Mexico during March 1916.
With the outbreak of World War I on the European Continent, the use of aircraft as a
potent weapon was being seriously considered by the major powers at war. In January
1915, Germany began what is today referred to as Strategic Bombing against England
and France. The intended outcome was not only to damage targets of military interest,
but also to strike fear in the hearts and minds of the citizens, which would inhibit the will
of the targeted nation to wage war.
Due to the limitations of technology of the time, actual damage to targets was not extensive, if the intended targets were hit at all, however the perception of the hated Zeppelins as a weapon of terror did achieve an appreciable degree of success. As a result
of these raids, considerable resources and effort were diverted from the front in order to
combat the weapons from the sky. Experience, both defensive and offensive was
gained by both side of the conflict, which evolved in to the policies and tactics used in
the Second World War, and ultimately to the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction,
(MAD,) used during the latter half of the twentieth century during the Cold War and beyond.
Watch an edition of NOVA from PBS on this subject at:
A good article on the use of Strategic Bombing during World War I can be found at:
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter— Feb. 2015 p. 8
Special Event Station WW1USA (continued)
Special Event Station WW1USA of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial will be on the air at Kansas City, Missouri to commemorate this historic event,
and invite all licensed amateur radio operators in the region to come to the museum
to operate during this special event. Simply go to and look for the
link in the article regarding the February 7th and 8th Event. That link will take you to a
page where you can schedule when you’d like to operate! This is a great opportunity
to participate at the fun side of a radio pile up, where everyone wants to talk to
YOU! (Time slots are available on a first come / first served basis.)
ATTENTION ELMERS! Do you know a newly licensed ham? Here’s a great opportunity to present the thrill and excitement of HF Radio to your protégée! Sign up for a
time slot at and work with your new ham as he or she operates the
WW1USA Event Station. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce new operators to
the excitement of a pile up!
Additionally, operators who present an operator license will receive $5 admission to
the Museum for themselves and $5 each for up to three guests. (No other discounts
If you’re not able to come to Kansas City to operate at the WW1USA Special Event
Station, operators from around the world are invited to make contact with WW1USA
via radio during the Special Event. Look for details how you may receive your Contact Certificate at A QSL Card can be obtained via mail by sending SASE or by providing other return postage. You can also obtain an Electronic
QSL Card via eQSL.
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter– Feb. 2015 p. 9
Assistant Director, Roger Volk, KØGOB, on the right, was joined by George Schindler, WBØIIS, the
Technical Specialist in the MO Section as they demonstrated and discussed the D-Star technology at
the recent Winterfest Hamfest (St. Louis, MO area). Roger, George and NØOBG funded, built and manage the first and still the only complete four module D-Star system (KØMDG) in the Midwest Division. They are available to answer questions of anyone working with the D-Star System.
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter– Feb. 2015 p. 10
Around the Midwest Division
K0BXF - SK: Bob Summers K0BXF died peacefully January 20, 2015 at age 86
following a few years of declining health. Bob dedicated decades to ARRL Kansas
Section leadership. He was Section Emergency Coordinator in 1962, and in 1965 was
elected Section Communications Manager/Section Manager and served for thirty-one
years. He served as SEC again for a while after the long stint as SM.
Bob was a Professional Land Surveyor and retired as City Street Inspector for Kansas City, Kansas, where he was born. Between his profession and love of gardening
and bird watching Bob sported a healthy tan. His business-like yet friendly demeanor
was a staple of hamfests, section nets and casual contacts. He was a member of
Jayhawk ARC and is survived by his second wife Caroline as well as two children,
two step-children and three siblings. A memorial service was held January 27, 2015
Mahaska ARC: The Mahaska Amateur Radio Club located in Oskaloosa, Iowa
recently became an ARRL affiliated club. Club president is Steve Brown, WA0DKC.
Midwest Division News and Photos Wanted!
If you have news and photos about events or activities from the Midwest Division, email them to
Director Rod Blocksome K0DAS at [email protected] We will try to include as many as
possible in upcoming editions of the Midwest Division News. Thanks and 73, Rod, K0DAS
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter– Feb. 2015 p. 11
Midwest Division Special Events
01/30/2015 | Old Capital Valley District Winter Event
Jan 30-Jan 31, 2200Z-2359Z, K2BSA/0, Central City, IA. Hawkeye Area Council BSA.
14.290. QSL. John Andrews, 832 Rundell St, Iowa City, IA 52240. Will be QRV as
K2BSA/0 from Camp Waubeek Iowa. QSL vie AC0XY
02/21/2015 | 11th Annual "Freeze Your Keys"
Feb 21, 1400Z-2200Z, W0EBB, Leavenworth, KS. Kickapoo QRP Amateur Radio
Club. CW 14.058 7.035; SSB 14.325 7.240. QSL. Gary Auchard, 34058 167th St,
Leavenworth, KS 66048. [email protected]
04/01/2015 | Lunar Eclipse
Apr 1-Apr 4, 0001Z-1200Z, K0L, Emporia, KS. Emporia State University Amateur Radio Club. 14.270 21.310 7.230. QSL. Dwight Moore, Campus Box 4050, 1 Kellog Circle, Emporia, KS 66801.
For updated Special Event listings, see:
ARRL State Conventions in the Midwest Division
March 21, 2015—Nebraska State Convention
Location: Lincoln, NE
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Lincoln Amateur Radio Club
August 16, 2015—Kansas State Convention
Location: Salina, KS
Type: ARRL Convention (pending Executive Committee approval)
Sponsor: Central Kansas Amateur Radio Club
ARRL Midwest Division Newsletter– Feb. 2015 p 12
Midwest Division ARRL Hamfests, Conventions & Events
02/07/2015 | Mine Creek Winterfest
Location: LaCygne, KS
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Mine Creek ARC
03/07/2015 | SWIARC Hamfest
Location: McClelland, IA
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: SouthWest Iowa Amateur Radio Club
04/11/2015 | Hamboree 2015
Location: Boone, IA
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: 3900 Club
04/11/2015 | OARS Springtime Hamfest
Location: Aurora, MO
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Ozark Amateur Radio Society
04/18/2015 | Ararat Shrine Hambash
Location: Kansas City, MO
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Ararat Shrine Amateur Radio Club
04/18/2015 | Bellevue Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Location: Papillion, NE
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Bellevue Amateur Radio Club
08/02/2015 Cedar Valley ARC Hamfest
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Cedar Valley Amateur Radio club
11/14/2015 | NARCfest 2015
Location: Nixa, MO
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Nixa Amateur Radio Cub
For updated Hamfests and Conventions Calendar, go to:
Midwest Division Leadership
Director: Rod Blocksome K0DAS
Vice Director: Art Zygielbaum K0AIZ
[email protected] 319-393-8022
[email protected] 402-421-0839
Iowa Section Manager: Bob McCaffrey K 0CY
Kansas Section Manager: Ron Cowan KB 0DTI
Missouri Section Manager: Dale Bagley K 0KY
Nebraska Section Manager: Matt Anderson KA 0BOJ
DX Advisory Committee: Bill Morgan K 0DEQ (MO)
Emergency Communications Advisory Committee: Reynolds Davis K 0GND (NE)
Contest Advisory Committee: Jim Cochran K 0RH (KS)
Division Legislative Action Chair: Mike Edwards WB9M (MO)
Legislative Action Coordinators: Nick Critelli K 0PCG (IA); Bruce Frahm K0BJ (KS & NE); Mike
Edwards WB9M (MO).
Assistant Directors (Missouri): Paul Haefner K 0JPL, Fred Miller KB0WIL, Dave Propper K2DP,
Barbara Rich KG0UT, John Rogers W 0WC, Kent Trimble K9ZTV, Roger Volk K0GOB, and Eric Zust
Assistant Directors (Kansas): Mike Albers K 0FJ, Jim Andera K0NK, Andy Anderson W 0AFQ, Bill
Henderson K0VBU, Charlie Hett K0THN, Jon Jones N0JK, Brian Short KC0BS, and Rick Tucker
Assistant Directors (Iowa): Don Boyvey AK 0BG, Dennis O’Brien KA0DOS, C.W. Pantel K0IIR,
Jim Spencer W 0SR, and Jim Lasley N0JL.
Assistant Directors (Nebraska): Frank Cahoy K 0BLT, Stan Coleman N0YXV, Reynolds Davis
K0GND, Bill Duffy KA0VXK, Joe Eisenberg K0NEB, Allen Harpham KB0ASQ, Todd LeMense
KK0DX, and Mike Nickolaus NF0N.
Midwest Division Webmaster: Steve Schmitz W0SJS