2024 Skywarn Spotter Training

The Wilmington Office of the National Weather Service has started publishing class dates for this year’s Skywarn Weather Spotter Training.

The training is listed here

There will be both Virtual and In-Person classes available

Please check the Wilmington Training page often and before traveling for any changes or updates.

Selected District 3 training sessions as of 7 February 2024 (see the linked page for details):

Virtual Training:  Thursday 29 February and Tuesday, 14 May

In Person Training:

Advanced Spotter course, Columbus, Saturday, 20 April

Miami/Shelby Counties Wednesday, 6 March

Clark/Champaign Counties Thursday, 7 march

Montgomery County: Saturday 9 March

Preble/Darke: Monday,  11 March

Greene County: Wednesday 27 March


Total Eclipse 8 April 2024

Ohio and District 3 will be in the path of  the Solar eclipse on the afternoon of 8 April 2024

Indications based on past events of this type is that there will be an influx of visitors to this area, with possible issues of traffic congestions, etc.

State and local officials are making plans to handle any situations that come up.  Part of these plans in many of the District 3 counties involve Amateur Radio.

Details for District 3 as they are available will be published here.  Contact your County EC for more information or to volunteer to help in your local response.

Request for D3 ARES Net Control Volunteers

District 3 is looking for 3 to 4 volunteers to act as Net Controls on the District net the day of the eclipse.  If you are interested or have questions, contact the Net Manager, Phil, N8OTQ at  nm@ohd3ares.org  You do not need to have been a regular Net Control operator in order to fill one of these positions.

Some general eclipse resources:

Ohio EMA

Ohio Department of Natural Resources


Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County


Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest Helps Operators Plot Coverage Areas

From the 19 January 2022 edition of the ARES E-Letter:

Ever wonder how far you can reach on VHF/UHF frequencies? On January 8, from 10 AM to 4 PM, Ohio ARES members answered that question. It was the ARES Ohio VHF plus Simplex Contest, with all amateurs having been invited. Bands used were 6 meters, 2 meters, and 70 cm. Entry categories were Fixed, EOC, and Rover. Bonus points were given out by ARES officers (AEC, OES, EC and above). Complete rules, submission forms, and other pieces of information were promulgated. Participants entered their operating plans on the website. W8SGT was in operation from the Ohio state EOC this year. It’s a contest with a purpose: ARES and other operators plot their simplex coverage area to know where they could dependably communicate on simplex during an emergency.


Stan Broadway, N8BHL, Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator, reported on the results: Forty-eight logs were submitted, including five from the Rover stations. On average, eight counties were contacted by each station, with two reporting 18 counties worked, one Rover reporting 22 counties worked, and one fixed station reporting a whopping 34 counties contacted. Thirteen stations reported contacting double-digit counts of counties.

Joe Wigal, W8JTW, was heard across the state – he operated from the N8OJ tower site in Washington County with a 2 meter antenna height of 190 feet, and 280 watts of RF output. He also worked the 6 meter antenna with a height of 150 feet and 100 watts. Wigal worked 27 Ohio counties and seven in West Virginia for a total of 34 counties. He worked eight of the 10 Ohio ARES Districts, and five of the 10 West Virginia ARES Districts. His furthest contact was 163 air miles on 2 meter FM. He said, “Was fun, looking forward to next year.”


“I was operating fixed and it was fun to follow the Rovers to various counties. I made contacts with Rovers in six counties.” “First time participant. Nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon monitoring 2m, 6m, and giving points to the Rovers and fixed stations I could hear and get back to.” “Great participation in northwest Ohio. Worked five Rovers! Furthest contact was 107 miles on 6 meter FM. Had a great time, lots of really good operators in our area!” “It was lots of fun, taught me a lot about my equipment, working through pileups and propagation challenges, making new friends and connecting with old ones and more.” “I operated as a Rover in Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage, and Summit counties. Another excellent event this year, thanks to all who helped organize and participate!”