A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club September 2017

 Bible Verse

Psalm 55:22-23 / Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in You. (NIV)



Next MARC Business Meeting

The next business meeting will be held at the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 beginning at 10 A.M. Come join us for breakfast, coffee and fellowship.



President's Report

Hello all,

Here we are again... another month has come and gone. First I would like to pass along our thoughts and prayers for the Doug Brown family. Most of you that knew Doug Brown N5FKP knew that it was always a pleasure to talk to him when he was on the air. I remember talking to him several nights on the radio. I first met Doug on the 11 meter band years ago. He was always knowledgeable about how to setup antenna systems weather it be mobile or stationary. He will be missed.

For you that missed the Huntsville Hamfest, you missed some great deals and some good ideas. I was there and it was larger than last year with more dealers and what looked like more personal tables as well. I myself missed out on a few deals but came away with some neat project ideas. It was also great to catch up with some friends from outside of our county, like Tom Ford KC5NMB and his wife Cheryl as well as Johnny Walker KE4NRZ and John Buckley K5DDT.

Hurricane Harvey has moved back into the Gulf again and is intensifying as it makes its way along the coast line. The weather service is uncertain at the moment where it will make landfall next, but we should be getting prepared for it now before it arrives. Everyone needs to make sure you have water, food and other supplies in storage just in case it causes a lot of damage. Stay tuned to your local nets and other radio broadcasts to stay up to date on this storm as it could be threatening us later this week.

73's Charles Grisham KB5SZJ

Editor's Note: MARC President KB5SZJ was recently featured on the WTOK First responder series.



Vice President's Report

Doug Brown N5FKP SK 01/05/1943 - 08/16/2017
He no longer struggles with the Cancer.


Over the fifty odd years I was around Doug Brown, he taught me many things. One fine Day in December of 2009 he called and asked if I had about a minute and a half and I said yes. He stated I had put off getting my Ham Radio License over 30 years and if he was blind and got his License I needed to quit making excuses and then he just hung up.

I got my first License “Tech” in January 2010 and moved up to level two “General” in July. My biggest mistake was not listening to him sooner. I can if I try. I will find a way. Postponing things at my age is not good.

Don’t Panic. Never Give Up. Keep Praying.

73' Frank KF5ETN



Pictures from Huntsville Hamfest

Shared by KF5ETN. Thank you Frank.

Columbus group with Tom Ford

Tom KC5NMB & Cheryl Ford (Left) with Columbus "Hams Eating Chicken"



Charlie KB5SZJ



Frank KF5ETN



ARRL finally realizes status quo isn't going to cut it
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

An item in the July 2017 ARRL board meeting caught my attention. It notes that a committee of staff members was tasked with identifying the challenges facing ARRL and possible solutions. The August 3, 2017 issue of the ARRL Letter ran the following report:

"ARRL Chief Executive Officer Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, presented the report of six Headquarters staffers who had been tasked with identifying the challenges facing ARRL and devising feasible solutions. Specifically, the committee addressed market research findings that have continued to reveal that only a small percentage of new hams join the League, and only about one-half of new hams actually get on the air.

"The committee began with the premise that ARRL must act in order to remain relevant going forward. It proposed instituting a Lifelong Learning Program to focus on developing a clear developmental path for all radio amateurs, from newcomers to established radio amateurs. The committee recommended the creation of new programs and services to increase the knowledge base of newcomers in order to get them active, as well as programs to keep experienced amateurs up to date with changing technology and practice."

The board meeting minutes were a little more detailed:

"Mr. Roderick yielded the floor to CEO Gallagher who presented the report of a committee of staff members tasked with identifying the challenges facing ARRL and possible solutions. The members of the committee - Diane Petrilli, KB1RNF; Norm Fusaro, W3IZ; Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY; Debra Jahnke, K1DAJ; Steve Ford, WB8IMY; and Sean Kutzko, KX9X, joined the meeting at 9:20 AM, to present this report. Their findings show the importance to ARRL of getting newly licensed hams actively on the air and how that relates to continued growth of the organization. In order to achieve that goal, the committee proposed developing a lifelong learning department, which would address the needs of all amateurs with the focus being on developing a clear knowledge path for all amateurs. They proposed creating straightforward programs and services to enhance the knowledge base of new amateurs as well as to enhance their sense of community within the hobby.

"Another recommendation involved refocusing the priorities of the emergency preparedness department to address the current trends in public service.

"A third recommendation was to improve the value proposition of membership. The committee proposed doing a survey, which would include test material that is targeted to the interests of newer hams. The content would include a strong emphasis on serving communities, agencies, and partners; digital communications, and human interest. Projects would be simple. The survey would obtain information on new ham's interests and needs in the hobby. The survey would also try to determine the delivery system that might best meet the newcomer's desire for receiving this type information (print, digital, messaging, etc). The test material is proposed to be delivered to recipients in fall 2017.

"From the committee's vantage point, the status quo is no longer adequate: we need to have a vision of the future and convey it to our current membership [emphasis is mine... Dan]. If we do not convey the need to change the paradigm, the ARRL's relevancy will not move forward."

The good thing here is that the ARRL finally realizes that there are some serious problems. I've written about these in the past. I've challenged the ARRL to set a membership goal of 25% of the licensed amateurs in the U.S. ( I've also encouraged the ARRL to play a bigger part in emergency communications research (

Unfortunately, it appears that the ARRL is approaching this issue in typical ARRL fashion. That is, working on these issues in their little cocoon in Newington and then issuing these statements as if they expect everyone to just fall in line. I quote, "From the committee's vantage point, the status quo is no longer adequate: we need to have a vision of the future and convey it to our current membership." That approach is doomed to failure. Any "visioning" or strategic planning that doesn't get the membership involved right from the start just isn't going to work.

The ARRL HQ staff just doesn't have the horsepower to pull this off properly. The staff is already pretty bare bones, and they still have to publish QST every month, keep Logbook of the World running, process thousands of license applications, etc., etc. The only way this is going to be a fruitful effort is if they get members-and lots of them-involved in this process.

If you agree with me, please let your director know. Contact your director and tell him that you want to be involved. The status quo of having the HQ staff not working with the membership "is no longer adequate." That's how we got here in the first place.

--- Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the "No Nonsense" amateur radio license study guides and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU. Com. You can email him at



Quote of the Day

Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

Bradley Whitford



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