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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

Posted Feb 27, 2015

Greetings to all Hams across North Carolina from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

NORTH CAROLINA QSO PARTY (3/1) – The North Carolina QSO Party (NCQP) will be held on Sunday, March 1st, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST (1500 UTC, March 1st to 0059 UTC, March 2nd). The goals of the NCQP are for out-of-state Hams to make contacts with NC Hams; and, for NC Hams to activate as many NC counties as possible and make contact with everyone, including other NC Hams. The NCQP is a friendly, low-pressure event, which provides a great opportunity for Hams to gain experience with contesting. For more information on the North Carolina QSO Party, see

ASSISTANCE NEEDED: SANDBLAST RALLY 2015 (3/7) – The following request for assistance was received from Bard Morris, WB4MMG, Mitch Barbato, KX4MB, and Tim Slay, N4IB: “Sandblast Rally 2015 is fast approaching and we are searching for Ham Radio volunteers to help run the rally. Sandblast Rally is one of the largest rallies in North America. Rally is a unique motorsport that uses road legal cars that are highly modified to race on public roads that have been closed for the event. Have you ever had a favorite section of road that you liked to drive quickly? Have you ever wondered how fast you could go if there were no speed limit, and no one else on the road? That’s exactly what we get to do! The best part for us is that it is conveniently located in Cheraw, SC. Volunteers are assigned to positions ranging from Marshals, which monitor sections of the road to make sure no one accidently drives on course, to Start and Finish Controls that start the cars and record the finish times. In many of the positions you will have the very best seat to watch the race! Volunteers will receive a complimentary T-shirt, lunch and dinner, and will be entered in a raffle to win a Yaesu FT-8800 radio. Ham volunteers are responsible for all the communications for the rally and are integral to the successful operation of the event. To find out more about volunteering for Sandblast Rally 2015, please contact Mitch Barbato, KX4MB at mitch at kx4mb dot net, or visit the Sandblast Rally website at” Thanks to Brad Morris, WB4MMG; Mitch Barbato, KX4MB, Vice President, Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society; and, Tim Slay, N4IB, Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club Coordinator, for providing this information!

CHARLOTTE HAMFEST / ARRL NC SECTION CONVENTION (3/13-14) – The Charlotte Hamfest / ARRL NC Section Convention, sponsored by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society Inc, will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 13th and 14th, at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center, 4551 Old Airport Road / 4571 Hwy 49 North, Concord, NC 28025. The activities will include: informative presentations, the ARRL forum, and recognition of the 2014 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award winners David W. Anderson, K4SV and Kent V. Hufford, KQ4KK; hourly prizes; build your own VHF/UHF dual band antenna; testing booth for checking new purchases; VE testing by WCARS; ARRL/CQ awards QSL card checking; 80 commercial booths; and, the flea market. For further information, see

ARRL SOLICITING NOMINATIONS FOR 6 AWARDS (FINAL REMINDER) – The ARRL is soliciting nominations for 6 awards: the Hiram Percy Maxim Award, the key award honoring a young amateur radio operator (deadline, 3/31); the ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award (deadline, 3/15); the ARRL Microwave Development Award (deadline, 3/31); the ARRL Technical Service Award (deadline, 3/31); the ARRL Technical Innovation Award (deadline, 3/31); and, the Knight Distinguished Service Award (deadline, 4/30). For further information on these awards, including the nomination procedures, see

43rd ANNUAL RARSFEST 2015 / ARRL NC STATE CONVENTION (4/4) – The 43rd Annual RARSfest 2015 / ARRL NC State Convention, sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society will be held on Saturday, April 4th, at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. The activities will include: forums and meetings; hamfest prizes, VE testing at 9:00 AM; QSL card checking; Special Event Station; hands-on construction project; new equipment dealers; and, the flea market. For further information, see

ARISS CONTACT PROPOSAL WINDOW FOR 2016 NOW OPEN – The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is now accepting applications from formal and informal educational institutions and organizations in the US – either individually or working together – that would like to host an amateur radio contact with an International Space Station crew member between January 1 and June 30, 2016. The application window closes on April 15th. For further information, see

ASSISTANCE NEEDED: 2015 CYSTIC FIBROSIS “EXTREME HIKE” (4/18) – The following request for assistance was received from Tim Slay, N4IB: “Do you enjoy combining Ham Radio public service and hiking? The 2015 Cystic Fibrosis “Extreme Hike” will be held on April 18th. Participants will walk a 30-mile section of the Appalachian Trail in a single day, crossing Avery, Mitchell, and Carter County (TN). Communications with five rest stops will be provided by members of the Mayland, Watauga, and Carter County (TN) Amateur Radio Clubs. But, with as much as 10 miles of rugged trail between rest stops, and little or no cell service, communications between rest stops is a big challenge. The event team could use some hardy volunteer Hams with HTs who would be willing to hike a portion of the trail during the event to help assure the safety of the hikers. If you’re interested, contact Stephen Williams, KI4ZUI, at” Thanks to Tim Slay, N4IB, Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club Coordinator, for providing this information!

ARRL SEEKS MEMBER INPUT ON DRAFT HF BAND PLAN PROPOSALS – The ARRL is asking Members to comment by April 19 on possible changes to the ARRL HF Band Plans, which have been suggested by the HF Band Planning Committee. For further information, see

FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON RADAR SHARING SCHEMES THAT COULD DISPLACE AMATEUR RADIO AT 76-81 GHZ – The FCC is seeking comment on issues involving expanded use of various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. For further information, see

ARRL FIELD DAY 2015 PACKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE – On February 10th, it was announced that the packets for ARRL Field Day 2015 are available online. There are no rule changes for 2015. ARRL Field Day 2015 will be held on the June 27th and 28th. For further information, see

FCC “PAPERLESS” AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE POLICY NOW IN EFFECT –As of February 17th, the FCC no longer routinely issues paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. For further information, see

K1N NAVASSA ISLAND DXPEDITION 2015 COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY – The K1N Navassa Island DXpedition 2015 has been completed successfully. K1N was QRV on February 1st and QRT on February 15th at 1130 UTC. K1N logged more than 140,00 QSOs with at least 30,000 unique call signs. For further information, see and

LICENSING CLASSES – Four Oaks (NC), Technician licensing class, March 7 to April 4, 2015, sponsored by Johnston County NC ARES, contact Mike Callam, KD4MC, phone: (919) 934-9623, email: for further information. To find upcoming classes, go to Please note that a licensing class sponsored by your club or organization will not be listed on the ARRL website unless you register your class. ARRL Registered Instructors may list upcoming classes on the ARRL website. For further information, see Also, please let me know if your club is sponsoring a licensing class. Thanks!

MEDIA HITS AND REPORTS – The following media hits and reports are included in this month’s newsletter: On Anthony Ray (“Tony”) Curtis, K3RXK (SK), see and and

On amateur radio operators being the original social network, see Thanks to Jim Johnson, KI4TAT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, and Bill Morine, N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director for providing this media hit!

On Kenneth Westfield (“Ken”) Boyd, K4DXA (SK), see and

On the Technician licensing class offered at Wilkes Community College, see Thanks to Dave Ritter, ND4MR for providing this media hit!

The following (edited) report was received from Carl Starnes, W4EAT: “Keith Andrew, KK4LGM, sent an email on December 22, 2014 of an opportunity to warm-up for the Uwharrie Fun Run that the Stanly County ARC participates in each year. Keith is a member of The Friends of Morrow Mountain and was contacted about getting volunteers for a trail race on Saturday, January 3, 2015. The race was put together by The Friends of Morrow Mountain and Go Run Trails organizations. This event would have a 5K, 10K and a 1/2 marathon, and already had 90 runners signed up. By December 26th, Keith had 3 other club members volunteering. On December 30th (3:22 AM) Keith emailed information about aid stations we might staff. This was followed with a late evening email on December 31st suggesting places along the trails we might staff, since only 4 members had answered the call. Keith was familiar with the trails and where help might be needed rather than at aid stations. By January 2nd, Keith was down to just himself and 2 others. He issued the weather forecast with instructions to "dress appropriately". On January 3rd at 1:33, Keith sent the following: ‘Hey everyone, I just got home from the Morrow Mountain Trail Race. First off, I want to thank William [Thomas] KI4JDA and James [Jarrett] KK4ZAL for coming out. Awesome job guys! After the event, I spoke to several of the organizers. They were very appreciative of our efforts and said they would love to have us back next year. I really don’t see how they ran in the past without radio support. The weather was perfect. I came prepared for the worst, but only needed a light jacket. The rain held off, and it only misted here and there. Thanks again, James and William! Keith KK4LGM.’ Keith was licensed in 2012. He didn't become involved in the Stanly Co ARC immediately, but he sure did a great job of organizing this event on short notice. He showed great skills and willingness to be involved and experience what Hams can do if / when needed. Thanks Keith. Great job! Carl Starnes, W4EAT, Stanly Co ARC, Stanly Co ARES AEC Digital.” Thanks to Carl Starnes, W4EAT, Official Emergency Station, for providing this report!

The following report on a Scouting event that took place in November 2014, was provided by Betty Williams, KC2BFN: “On November 22nd, 2014, two members of the Greensboro Amateur Radio Association (GARA), Tom Bertolino, KB1P, and David Macchiarolo, AJ4TF, participated in a "Merit Badge College" for the Old North State Council (North Carolina) of the Boy Scouts of America. As merit badge counselors, Tom and David taught a class on the Boy Scouts Radio Merit badge. Since the Radio merit badge has strong amateur radio content, it was a natural fit for them, as they are both interested in promoting radio education and perhaps gaining a few new Hams along the way! Tom and David taught an all-day class to approximately 20 Scouts covering the requirements of the Radio merit badge. During the class, the Scouts were shown an operational Ham station and given the chance to make contacts on a local repeater and 20 meter band. At first, the Scouts were hesitant to talk on the radio, but after the first contact was made, David and Tom had more volunteers to talk than time allowed. Following the class, several of the Scouts stayed afterwards and demonstrated successfully some required elements of the Radio merit badge. All of the Scouts showed interest in the class and hopefully many will continue the process of completing the requirements for the merit badge. Tom and David have volunteered as Merit Badge Counselors so that any Scout can contact them and get assistance in completing the Radio Merit Badge. The requirements of the Radio merit badge are fairly detailed; it is not a "give-away" and requires the Scouts to have a good understanding of radio fundamentals. A Scout that completes this merit badge has an excellent chance of getting a good score on the Amateur Radio Technician exam and become a Ham!” Thanks to Betty Williams, KC2BFN, Public Information Officer, Greensboro Amateur Radio Association, for providing this report!

An email was received from Jim Johnson, KI4TAT, which included the following information: “MOCARS [Moore County Amateur Radio Society] is off to a fast start for 2015 with Winter Field Day Jan 24-25 and communications support for the Uwharrie Mountain Run February 7. More than 45 area Hams participated in the 2 events. Amateur radio looks forward to another exciting year enjoying the communications hobby and providing communications resources for local civic groups.” Thanks to Jim Johnson, KI4TAT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR JANUARY, 2015 – QNI (total check-ins): 2,933; Total messages passed: 606. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: KC4PGN 333, K4IWW 212, W2EAG 174, WK4WC 133, W4DNA 107, AK4RJ 89, KF4OCU 80, WB4ZIQ 48, W4TTO 44, KE4AHC 43, KJ4JPE 29, KW4EMG 28, N2RTF 14. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: W4DNA 160, WK4WC 155, KW4EMG 138, WB4ZIQ 135, KJ4JPE 119, K4IWW 110, W2EAG 110, AK4RJ 100, W4TTO 100, N2RTF 89, KF4OCU 78. Thanks to all stations for participating in NC Section traffic activities and to Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information!

READY TO COPY SOFTWARE AVAILABLE FOR NTS TRAFFIC HANDLERS – The software program, Ready To Copy, developed my Lane Kendall, WK4WC of Mount Pleasant, is now available for use by NTS traffic handlers. Lane WK4WC was asked to provide information on Ready To Copy and here is his report: “Ready to Copy (RTC) is message management software for NTS traffic handlers. Radiogram text as well as received / sent information is stored in a database with automatic date time recording. The heart of the program is a free form editor much like Notepad. No individual text boxes to tab through. The RTC “check” feature formats the free form message with five words per line and compares the actual word count of the message to the check in the message preamble. Features include: small screen footprint and minimal computer requirements; station activity reports (SAR) available instantly; radiogram forms can be printed; clone feature for receiving book traffic; standard text (canned message) support; generates and tracks outgoing message numbers; internet call sign and phone number lookup as well as maps (when on line); and, NTSD features, import messages from AirMail 2000. The program was designed to be used in real-time, with the user typing as messages are received. However, some users prefer to take traffic on paper and transfer to RTC after the fact. Doing this is typically less effort than compiling a station activity report (from paper) each month. More information and free download at”

In the email communication accompanying his report, Lane WK4WC commented that, “….. I have been writing database management code for over 30 years. When I see data lying around I tend to try to organize it. I wrote RTC for my own use because the monthly station activity report was taking hours per month to compile. RTC proved to be so useful for me that I decided to share it with other traffic handlers.” Thanks to Lane Kendall, WK4WC, Official Relay Station, Digital Relay Station, and NC Evening Net Manager, for developing the Ready To Copy software and providing his report; and, to Bill Morine, N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director and Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for recommending this topic for inclusion in the NC Section Newsletter.

SILENT KEYS – With deep regret, the passing of the following amateur radio operators is reported: Robert E. ("Elmo") Bass, III, KB5WY (SK) of Monroe; Kenneth Westfield (“Ken”) Boyd, K4DXA (SK) of Mint Hill, NC; and, Benjamin Bernice Phillips, Jr, K4CMI (SK) of Greensboro. Please note it is not possible to post information about an amateur radio operator that has become a Silent Key without confirmation via a copy of an obituary or death certificate.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS – March 14-15: Commemoration of the 234th Anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, 1300Z-1900Z, N4G, Greensboro, NC. Greensboro Amateur Radio Association. 21.324 14.324 7.234 3.900. QSL. N4G - GARA, PO Box 7054, Greensboro, NC 27417. Frequencies ± QRM. Watch for spots on DXSUMMIT. April 10-12: 68th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, 0000Z-2359Z, AC4RC, Wilmington, NC. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club. 14.225 14.035 7.225 7.035. Certificate and QSL. Via LoTW or direct to ACARC, PO Box 4044, Wilmington, NC 28406. SASE required. Paper certificates available for $4 or in PDF format at no cost. For more information or July 15-17: Royal Rangers 2015 Camp-o-Rama, 1500Z-2200Z, K4R, Browns Summit, NC. Royal Rangers. 28.450 21.250 14.250 7.150. QSL. Steven R. Allen, 5691 Howell Dr, Dublin, VA 24084. Royal Rangers is a boys Ministry of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and the Assembly of God Church. Special Event Station listings in the NC Section newsletter are based on what appears on the ARRL website, see Please consider listing your Special Event Station at least 60 days before the event, see Also, please let me know if your club is sponsoring a Special Event Station. Thanks!

UPCOMING HAMFESTS – March 13-14: Charlotte Hamfest/North Carolina Section Convention, Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, Concord, NC, see March 28: 25th Annual Down East Hamfest, Down East Hamfest Association Inc, Kinston, NC, email: April 4: 43rd Annual RARSfest/North Carolina State Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, NC, see April 18: 18th Annual Catawba Valley Hamfest, McDowell Amateur Radio Association, Morganton, NC, see June 13: Winston-Salem Hamfest, Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, Winston-Salem, NC, see July 11, 2015: 30th Annual Firecracker Hamfest, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, Salisbury, NC, see July 18: Mid-Summer SWAPFEST, Cary Amateur Radio Club, Cary, NC, see July 25: WCARS Hamfest 2015, Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society, Waynesville, NC, see August 8: 17th Annual Cape Fear Amateur Radio Swapfest, Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society, Fayetteville, NC, September 5-6: 59th Annual Shelby Hamfest/Roanoke Division Convention, Shelby Amateur Radio Club, Shelby, NC, see It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club’s 2015 hamfest! For more information, see QUA* – Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or want to provide input on our Section. I can be reached via email at or via cell phone. As always, thank you for sending your emails and club newsletters – they keep me informed about your activities and programs! I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming hamfest or club meeting.

Thanks for everything you are doing for amateur radio and your community, particularly during the adverse weather this month! 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)