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To My Fellow Hams in North Carolina:

This message is my fourth biweekly Section Manager message.

I hope each of you are healthy and using your quarantine time to learn something new or to take some projects off your ďto doĒ list.

In the upcoming days, I hope you will use some of your at home time to work on your hf antennas. Several reasons lead to that suggestion.

Hurricane Season A recent press release from the National Hurricane Center reports their prediction that we will likely have four major hurricanes this season (June 1-November 30) that are Category 3-5 Storms. Researchers at North Carolina State University predict there will be 22 hurricanes, making this year an above average year for hurricane activity.

If you want to see if your hf radio is up to snuff, here is a test for you. On May 30, WX4NHC, the radio station at the National Hurricane Center will be on the air to test their radio equipment and to receive reception reports from around the country. Operation will be on the Hurricane Watch Net frequencies which are 14.325 MHz and 7268 KHz. Tune in on May 30, 2020 from 1300 to 2100 hrs UTC and make a contact with WX4NHC.

Tar Heel Emergency Net Update Effective June 1, 2020, there will be changes in the Net Control Stations calling the Tarheel Net at 7:30 pm on 3923 KHz.

The new schedule for Net Control Station on THEN is as follows:

Sunday, K4AEC, Larry Ford, operating from Warne which is located in Clay County in SW NC.

Monday (1st), NC4VA, Virginia Enzor, covering WX topics and operating from Cary in Wake County. (2nd), To Be Determined. (3rd), N2COP, Bill Morine, operating from Wilmington in New Hanover County (4th), To Be Determined

Tuesday, KK4NC, Cliff Ireland, operating from Spiveys Corner in Sampson County. WB4NCQ, Cliff Greene in Mecklenburg County is KK4NCís back up.

Wednesday, N4IB, Tim Slay, operating from Mooresville in Iredell County.

Thursday, WA4NC, Marv Hoffman, operating from near Boone in Watauga County.

Friday, AE4MF, Mike Fagan, operating from Spruce Pine in Mitchell County.

Saturday, K1CY, Cy Rowe, operating from Gastonia in Gaston County.

Ask an ARRL Board Member We are delighted that Bill Morine, N2COP, has agreed to be on the air with us once a month to give a report about ARRL issues and to take questions from amateurs across the state. This is a unique opportunity to learn about ARRL workings and to engage in a Q and A with your Roanoke Division Vice Director.

Thank you, Bill, for agreeing to do this. Bill will be on the Tarheel Net on the 3rd Monday of each Month beginning in June. Tune into 3923 KHz at 7:30 p.m.

Safety First Ham radio has some safety risks and perhaps the most risky ones involve antennas. Unfortunately, hams in North Carolina have died when masts and vertical antennas have come in contact with overhead electric lines resulting in electrocution. Falling poses a risk as well. Hams have fallen off towers or their roof when mounting or repairing antennas.

A recent story on the QRZ news site told of a ham in South Dakota who climbed a crank down tower and injured his arm when an inside tower section suddenly slid down and caught his arm between sections of the tower. Fire personnel had to use jacks to raise the interior tower section and free the manís arm which was severely injured.

There are several important takeaways from these stories. a. Avoid working near power lines where a mast could touch the power line. b. Donít work alone. In some of these incidents, the person was unable to call for help until someone came by and discovered what had happened. c. Crank up towers pose special risks involving hands, arms and feet being caught between tower sections. d. If you are going to climb a tower, use a safety belt to minimize the risk of falling off the tower.

On Line or Remote License Exams Because of the social distancing restrictions and the closing of many public buildings due to the COVID-19, almost all VE license testing came to a halt in late January. Prospective hams are frustrated as are those who want to upgrade.

Some VE teams experimented with on line testing while other VE groups questioned whether on line or remote testing was legal. On April 30, the FCC issued a public notice indicating that remote testing is legal.

Volunteer Exam Coordinator groups may develop procedures for on-line or remote testing that comply with normal rules for the involvement at least three examiners be present (and hold the appropriate license depending upon whether the test was for a Technician, General or Extra class license) and that normal record keeping requirements still apply. Not all VECís have embraced new ways of offering tests but some VECís are gearing up to do it. Check with the VEC your team uses. The FCC notice can be found at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-467A1.pdf .

ICS Update On May 6, FEMA issued a new version of the ICS 800 course which can be competed on line. Certain advanced ICS and COMU courses may have the latest versions of the on-line ICS courses listed as prerequisites.

A couple of people I know have already taken ICS800d and have their certificates back. If you want to include your newest ICS certificates in the NC Auxcomm database, contact me for instructions on how to replace older certificates with newer ones in the database.

Volunteer Monitoring Program On Monday, May 11, the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club was privileged to have Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, as their guest via video meeting technology. Riley was the Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement at the FCC for many years until his retirement. He now heads up the newly created Volunteer Monitoring Program established by an MOU between the ARRL and the FCC. His talk about the Volunteer Monitoring Program was very interesting.

The Forsyth group has made Rileyís comments available on Youtube at https://youtu.be/lEK4GDtuYnU. It is well worth watching, particularly his desire to get interference problems corrected locally without having to bring in the FCC.

Thanks go out to the Forsyth Club for setting up the session with Riley and for making it available to other groups. Showing the video could be a part of an your upcoming local club meeting.

Section Manager Availability Like most of you, I long for the opportunity to get out and meet with friends and to visit with hams across North Carolina. At the present time, that type travel still is not reasonable. If your club holds its meeting over one of the video meeting systems and you want me to visit electronically, drop me a line and we will set up a connection so I can extend my greetings and answer your questions.

ARRL Life 70+ Membership ARRL has created a new membership category for ARRL members 70 or older who wish to have a life membership. Details can be found at http://www.arrl.org/membership-levels .

Time for Giving Thanks Memorial Day will soon be upon us. When I was a kid, almost every town had a parade and a visit to the local cemetery to honor fallen veterans. These days, there are statues and plaques but some of the reverence has been lost for the great sacrifices made by our veterans, including those fallen, injured or living with pain that never goes away. Thank you to all who have served and who are now serving in the military.

And one more thing, a lot, but not enough, has been said about the health care professionals and all that they are doing to keep us well. Lots of gratitude is owed to the doctors, nurses, lab technicians, paramedics, EMTís, and the multitude of others behind the scene who are keeping the doctorsí offices, clinics, emergency rooms and pharmacies open even at the risk of their own health.

Others who deserve shout outs are the fire, police, ems, rescue and law enforcement personnel who, doing their jobs each day, put themselves at risk because they care about their neighbors and communities.

Recently, these risks were clearly brought home to me. A terrible tragedy occurred in Western North Carolina ten days ago when a member of the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad died in the line of duty while on a mission to rescue a young man who slipped at a waterfall and was missing.

Those of us in the Auxcomm community who have had the privilege of being at Linville Gorge and Dupont State Forest during the Mountain Search and Rescue training sessions know that these personnel train, then train some more and are professional in their operations. My sympathy goes out the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue, Jackson County Fire, and the Henderson County Rescue Swift Water teams who were on scene during this incident and to the family of Mr. Eldon Jamison who died in the line of duty.

Closing Comment I am still learning about the Section Managerís duties and welcome your input if you think I am overlooking something.

73, Marv, WA4NC NC Section Manager wa4nc@arrl.org 828 964 6626