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Today, April 1, 2020, marks my first day as North Carolina Section Manager for the American Radio Relay League.

Let me offer a brief introduction. My interest in radio goes back for more than sixty years, starting out as an SWL and fixing old radios. When my Dad was Fire Chief in a small town, as a kid, I operated their base radio station. I grew up in a family that produced four generations of volunteer fire fighters and first responders beginning in 1938. Radio and public safety activities have been a passion for nearly all my life.

My interests include working special events and operating DMR, HF and EMCOMM stations. I maintain five analog and digital repeaters on 2 meters, 440 and 220 mhz. I passed my FCC 1st Class Commercial Radiotelephone Operator license back in 1974 and hold an Extra class amateur license, having been a ham for over 27 years. The Watauga Amateur Radio Club elected me as their President five times and granted me one of their two life memberships.

Some of you have met me at hamfests or through my involvement in ARES and AUXCOMM. I am one of three NC State Sponsored AUXCOMM instructors and also a Credentialed Type III COML, COMT and Incident Management Team Liaison Officer. My professional career involved twelve years as a city and county manager and twenty nine years teaching Local Government courses at Appalachian State until I retired in 2011.

As Section Manager, I have several priorities that I hope will make ham radio more interesting and active across the state:

a. Encouraging each of you to attract more persons, young and old, to become interested, licensed and active in amateur radio.

b. Encouraging local clubs to partner with local high school science clubs to form high school amateur radio clubs and to serve as Elmers for new hams.

c. Highlighting opportunities for hams to become properly trained, credentialed and able to support Emergency Management in times of disaster.

d. Visiting with clubs, when possible, to hear your concerns and then pass them along to your Roanoke Division Director and Vice Director, Bud Hippisley W2RU and Bill Morine N2COP.

I need your help in order to accomplish any of these goals and hope you will offer your ideas, time and talent to make the North Carolina Section known far and wide as the best section in the ARRL in terms of contesting, EMCOMM, traffic handling and outreach to youth.

One of the first steps I am taking is to revitalize the Tarheel Emergency Net to make sure it meets each evening at 7:30 p.m. on 3923 kHz. I am seeking net control stations for each night and want to avoid having operators complain they waited for ten minutes but there was no control station to call the net to order. In keeping with tradition, I will serve as Net Control Station for the Tarheel Net on Thursday nights. This may take a little adjusting on both our parts but the Tarheel Net will soon have some new features that will generate more participation.

Soon there will be a resumption of a Section Newsletter that appears on a regular interval, along with a revamped Facebook and Section web pages. I want to improve communications among hams by producing an interesting and informative monthly Section Newsletter that highlights club activities and interesting projects that you share with me.

Exciting and interesting ham radio happenings in North Carolina will be highlighted in both the newsletter and the webpage. Stay tuned.

There are a number of ways in which you can be involved in Section activities. Drop me a line and tell me what you would be interested in helping with.

Before I close, I want to comment on the unusual times in which we live. In the past two weeks, each of us have had our lives disrupted by the pandemic. People are upset and worried about the future.

Disregard rumors that you may hear that this or that government action is supposedly about to happen because of the pandemic.

Authoritative information will come from NC Emergency Management and Governor Roy Cooper about the unfolding disaster. There is no communications emergency and normal communications systems are functioning as they should.

Ham radio operators can help out best by staying home unless it is necessary to go out for groceries. Keep yourself and your family healthy so that, if you are needed, you will be capable of helping local emergency management. Legitimate requests for your help will come from your local Emergency Coordinator or from the Section Emergency Coordinator, Tom Brown, N4TAB.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the many hours, miles traveled, and clubs visited by Karl Bowman, W4CHX, while he served as Section Manager for the past six years. Each of us owes thanks to Karl for his service.

73, Marv, WA4NC
828 964 6626

ARRL North Carolina Section
Section Manager: Marvin K Hoffman, WA4NC