The American Legion Amateur Radio Club
From: March, Joseph H. [mailto:jmarch@...]
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:07 PM
To: Public Relations Division
Subject: The American Legion Amateur Radio Club
A word or two from the President
K9TAL IS ON THE AIR!
After some six months of planning, preparation, clearing, cleaning and gathering materials and equipment together for The American Legion Amateur Radio Club’s shack, we finally “threw the switch” on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at approximately 1930Z. Our first QSO was with a New Jersey station. Marconi could not have been more proud or pleased with his first transmission than we were with ours.
Early on, the headquarters staff set a target date of Veterans Day, November 11, to be up and operating. We came close. All in all, we did well considering that we started with nothing but great enthusiasm, big ideas, and no equipment. The membership of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club continued to grow through the time of formulating and formalizing things. It is interesting, if not somewhat amazing, that we had several hundred members before we had the first transceiver in place. And it is because of a handful of those members, and their “dedication to mutual helpfulness,” that we got the donations of equipment, new and used.
The shack itself, once a 1950’s-style photographic darkroom, is slowly coming to be a new millennium communications room complete with computers, printers, telephones and of course various radio components, not all of which are yet integrated into the system. But we will get there.
Working 20 meters, we got our first QSO with Ron, WU2B, in East Orange , NJ . He gave us a barefoot “5-7” report that was real pleasing to us since, without a tuner we were running only about 20 watts; it delighted our folks at HQ who rigged the antennas and ran the cable down five stories.
Things are coming together, but we have a little ways to go. The shack, when empty, looked very accommodating. It’s slowly filling up. But I suppose it’s no different than what we all experience at our own stations. Things just seem to spread exponentially in the available space.
If you haven’t seen the articles either in QST magazine or on FOX News about the interest and growth in ham radio of recent, take time to seek them out. It is very encouraging news, especially in light of the Legion Club and the opportunity it provides to bring those Legion Family members with an interest into our hobby.
We hope you are directing those interested, to the Club website at http://legion.org/hamradio. The site is a bit sparse right now, but in the next couple of months it will be well populated with amateur radio information, links, FAQs, and maybe just a bit of the Legion’s history of formal involvement with amateur radio that goes back near to the beginning of the Legion itself. Keep in mind, too, the Club forum at http://legion.org/forums/ham-radio. Stop off there when you can and share what you and your group – as members of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club – are doing to promote amateur radio and benefit the community in which you operate.
In the meantime, staff here has more gearing up to do by reading manuals, programming equipment, and adjusting to equipment we’re not yet thoroughly familiar with. Keep an ear out. We’ll be talking with you soon!
Marty Justis, W9WMJ
Here is the news everyone has been waiting for: the first American
Legion Amateur Radio Club net is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, 2011
at 2100 Hrs Eastern. Craig Roberts, Vice President of TALARC, W3CRR, will serve as
net control for the Club and you’ll find him on 40 meters, at or about 7.230MHz.
Additional email notification will go to members this week.
Joe March - KJ9M
The American Legion National Hqs.
700 North Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Office (317) 630-1253
Fax (317) 630-1368
Cell (317) 748-1926
A word or two from the Prez
It's What We Do
Friday, March 2, 2012 is a day that will long be remembered in Southern Indiana and neighboring Kentucky. Early reports of a tornado that left six Indiana counties a federally declared major disaster area, figuratively placed the small town of Henryville, Indiana, on the national map . . . ironically, just hours after the twister literally wiped it away.
Although no mention of amateur radio operator assistance has been reflected in the Indianapolis media, we know that we – ham operators – were there.
Communications support during disasters, as well as with relief efforts that follow, is the mainstay of amateur radio. It's what we do, and we share a proud and remarkable history on that point. We've done much to aid towns, cities, and neighborhoods in the face and wake of major catastrophes, and this brings cause to mention The American Legion's National Emergency Fund.
Every member of TALARC should be thoroughly familiar with the NEF program. Our ability to "reach out" over the airwaves gives opportunity to provide important information to authorities, which in turn can provide aid to Legionnaires and their families that have been displaced or evacuated from their homes due to damages sustained by a declared natural disaster. NEF assistance is available to Legion members and they can apply for a grant up to $1,500 to cover housing costs, food and clothing, while Legion posts can apply for a grant up to $5,000. More information about NEF is available at www.legion.org/emergency.
Inaugural Special Event
The American Legion Amateur Radio Club station, K9TAL, will operate as a special event station Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 15 - 17, to commemorate the 93rd birthday of The American Legion.
This is our chance to let the amateur world know about K9TAL, why The American Legion is involved with the "hobby," and to encourage eligible veterans who are not members to join us in service to the community, state and nation through amateur radio.
Hours of operation are 1000 to 1600 EDT [1400 to 2000 UTC] on the twenty meter band, about 14.270 MHz. Simultaneously, K9TAL will operate on the two meter band at 146.46 MHz simplex, and on IRLP Node 4816.
A special commemorative certificate will be provided to all stations that work K9TAL during that period. For the certificate, please mail a SASE (9x12) after successful QSO, to The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, ATTN: Joe March, PO Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
Any TALARC members in the Indianapolis area are welcome to operate the National Headquarters station for this event. Contact Joe – KJ9M – at kj9m@... to sign up or to get more information.
March 10 and 11 Nets
The latest Club nets that operated on the weekend of March 10 and 11, 2012, did a little better this go ‘round than last. Bill, NZ9S, transmitting from his station north of Indianapolis and acting as net control for VHF IRLP logged about a dozen stations.
Craig, W3CRR, net control for the HF net and transmitting out of Silver Spring, Maryland, with the aid of relay station KI0CW, Bill, in Dell Rapids, SD, logged more than 30 stations in 12 states on 20 meters last Sunday. More information on TALARC nets will be available at www.legion.org/hamradio.
TALARC membership continues to grow with every mention of our call-sign by us and by major amateur radio publications and websites. As of March 13, 2012, 506 Legion family members have joined the Club. Help make and keep us visible, inside and out, by reporting your amateur radio club's activities and events – at every opportunity – to your post and to the media in your area. Stay up with what's happening among Legion amateurs by participating in the email discussion forum on the TALARC website (www.legion.org/hamradio). Just click on "Ham Radio Forum" at the left side of the page to enter or begin a discussion thread on any Club related topic. Email k9tal@... with any questions.
Marty Justis, W9WMJ
A word or two from the Prez
Did you ever fire up your rig, start a QSO with another operator and, after exchanging signal reports and QTH, suddenly find your communications thoughts and ideas scattered all over the place? That's sort of where I am this month. There are several things I want to impart to the TALARC membership. There are a few new things and some not-so-new things. Each is important, and here they are.
The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, as of May 21, is enjoying a membership of 642 American Legion Family members, making it one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing amateur radio clubs. Soon, we will issue, via email, a short notice to all Departments of the Legion with the headline, "Calling all Legion Family ‘Hams’," with the request that it be placed in their newsletters. It directs amateur operators to the Club website and notes the new TALARC brochure that is available on the website, click on Club Updates.
Special Event Station
It was noted in earlier Prez columns that the March 15-17 Legion Birthday Special Event Station operations were a resounding success. And just to close this chapter in Club business, know that we realized just under 300 contacts through the 3 days. Two hundred and seventy of those logged have been issued the Special Event Certificate. If you're one of those who confirmed contact with K9TAL, but haven't gotten your certificate, it's not too late to get it. Write to us at The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, The American Legion, PO Box 1055, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206. Include a SASE that will accommodate the 8X11 certificate and we'll turn it right around to you.
The Forum, which you can reach through the Club website [click on Ham Radio Forum in the left column] can be of great benefit to those looking for ideas to establish a "ham" presence within their post. But that specific subject won't resonate without good ideas coming in from those members who have already traveled that road. The Forum is an electronic meeting place that is there for debate, discussion or just general "round-table" discourse, i.e., networking, on items of interest to our members. Let others know of your successes, what you're planning, and how things work in your group. It will be appreciated by those who are just starting to build their amateur operations.
What's happening with your group? What's your shack look like? What are you doing to promote amateur radio within the Legion, or to let the community know that you exist? If you can answer that in pictures, we would love to promote your activities on the Club website. Email photos to us at K9TAL@....
Next Nets/Special Event
We are now planning the next Nets - both IRLP and HF – for the second Saturday in June. That would be the 9th. Information on time and freqs will be forthcoming and we will notify the TALARC membership via email, along with a posting on the website.
Being who we are, The American Legion, we are looking toward Veterans Day 2012, Sunday, November 11th for the next Special Event Station operation. Mark your calendar. More information to come as we close on that date.
Following requests or inquiry from several members, National Emblem Sales now has created a TALARC polo shirt. It has been designed for your name and call sign on one side and the Legion emblem, along with the words "Amateur Radio Club," on the other. All embroidery is on the front of the shirt. http://emblem.legion.org/American-Legion-Radio-Club-Polo/productinfo/707.912D/
The TALARC brochure, as briefly noted above, has been written to benefit the membership, to help them explain to others who we are, what we are about, and why. You can download the brochure from the website (http://www.legion.org/documents/pdf/amateur-radio-brochure-web.pdf) and print it at home or take it to your local copy center for reproducing in quantity. You can get a sample copy from National Headquarters just for the asking, through K9TAL@....
And finally, for this month anyway, there is a 2-to-3 minute video that was shot in the TALARC shack during the March Special Event. Take a couple of minutes and check it out. You can link to it at http://www.legion.org/legiontv?pid=latest&v=qPGOONaZ5AQ.
Marty Justis, W9WMJ