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Posted Mar 2, 2016

February, 2016

Greetings from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE) - HR 1301 continues to gain co-sponsors! As of February 29th, HR 1301 has 123 co-sponsors, including 5 Representatives from North Carolina: David Price (D-NC-4); Walter Jones, Jr (R-NC-3); Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10); David Rouzer (R-NC-7); and, Renee Elmers (R-NC-2). Source:, copy and paste this link into your web browser. For further information on HR 1301, including its progress through the legislative process, see

S 1685 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE) - In June 2015, S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS). The wording in S 1685 and HR 1301 are identical. As of January 27th, there are 3 co-sponsors: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the original co-sponsor of the Bill; Senator Al Franken (D-MN); and, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS). Source:; copy and paste this link into your web browser. For further information on HR 1301 and S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, see

ARRL CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER HAROLD KRAMER, WJ1B, RETIRES AFTER 11 YEARS AT HEADQUARTERS - The ARRL Headquarters staff bid farewell and happy retirement to Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, on February 26th. For further information on his retirement party and accomplishments, see (source: ARRL website)

DAVID RITTER, ND4MR RECEIVES 2015 ROANOKE DIVISION ARRL SERVICE AWARD - The following communication was received from Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ: "The Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award was instituted in 1968 by then Roanoke Division Director Vic Clark, W4KFC. Vic intended the award to be recognition for a long history of significant and consistent contributions to Amateur Radio. The amateur selected would have, over the years, dedicated much of his or her time to Amateur Radio and the ARRL. Nominations for the award were solicited in late 2015. The selection committee is comprised of past award recipients, and the administration of the award is done by the Roanoke Division Director. Out of a field of five very worthy candidates, one clearly received the majority of the votes. Congratulations to our 2015 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award winner: David Ritter ND4MR of North Wilkesboro, NC. The award presentation is currently planned at the 2016 Charlotte Hamfest on Saturday, March 12, 2016 during the ARRL forum: Please join us in congratulating our 2015 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award winner!" Congratulations to David Ritter, ND4MR; and thanks to Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, ARRL Roanoke Division Director, for providing this information!

2016 CHARLOTTE HAMFEST, CONCORD, NC (3/11-12) - The Charlotte Hamfest will be held on Friday, March 11th from 3:00 to 7:00 PM, and on Saturday, March 12th from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, in Concord, NC. The location for the event is the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4551 Old Airport Road, 4571 Hwy 49 North, Concord, NC 28025. In addition to the commercial vendor exhibits and flea market, the 2016 Charlotte Hamfest will have raffle prizes, GoBox Contest, Bingo, and VE testing by WCARS. The forum sessions will include presentations on emergency communications; weather spotting; ARRL updates and presentation of the 2015 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award to David Ritter, ND4MR; digital voice progress; the recent DXpedition to K5P Palmyra Atoll; and, the NC and SC QSO Parties. The 2016 Charlotte Hamfest is sponsored by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society Inc - W4BFB of Charlotte, NC. For further information, see (source: Charlotte Hamfest website)

REMINDER, AGAIN! ARRL INVITING NOMINATIONS FOR SIX AWARDS (DEADLINES, MARCH - APRIL, 2016) - The ARRL is inviting nominations for six (6) awards honoring excellence in amateur radio. The awards include: 1) the Hiram Percy Maxim Award, which honors a young amateur radio operator; 2) the ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award; 3) the ARRL Microwave Development Award; 4) the ARRL Technical Service Award; 5) the ARRL Technical Innovation Award; and, the Knight Distinguished Service Award. For further information on these awards and others, the nomination procedures, and deadlines, see solicited-for-six-arrl-awards-2 and (source: ARRL website)

REMINDER! FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO INVITES SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS (DEADLINE, 4/15) - The Foundation for Amateur Radio Inc invites applications for the 2016-2017 academic year for the 46 scholarships it administers. The deadline for applications is April 15th; however, the applications can be edited until May 7th. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

VHF SUPER CONFERENCE, STERLING, VA (4/14-17) - The following information was received from Mickie Clement, W1MKY: "Hello VHF-UHF-Microwave Weak Signal Enthusiasts: The First Ever, VHF SUPER Conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles International Airport, Sterling, VA, April 14-17, 2016. If there ever was One VHF Conference to go to - This Is IT! The Southeastern VHF Society (SVHFS), North East Weak Signal Group (NEWS) and Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club (Pack Rats) have come together to sponsor this VHF "Super Conference". It is being hosted by the Grid Pirates Contest Group (K8GP) and Directive Systems and Engineering. For further information and to register for the conference go to ....." Thanks to Micky Clement, W1MKY of Henniker, NH for providing this information!

ARRL TEACHERS INSTITUTE ON WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY ANNOUNCES 2016 SCHEDULE (DEADLINE, 5/1) - May 1, 2016 is the application deadline for educators seeking admission to the summer sessions of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, which are being offered by the ARRL Education & Technology Program (ETP). This year, three sessions will be conducted: two introductory sessions and one advanced session. The Introduction to Wireless Technology course will be presented in Rocklin, CA on June 20th to 24th; and again, at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT on July 25th to 29th. The advanced Remote Sensing and Data Gathering course will be offered July 18th to 21st, at the Dayton Amateur Radio Association in Dayton, Ohio. The introductory course is a prerequisite for the advanced course. The ARRL Teachers Institute is an expenses-paid, professional development opportunity for teachers in a school, college, or professional educational organization who want to acquire training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom and incorporate mathematics and science with engineering and technology. Currently, the ARRL Education & Technology Program has provided resources, including amateur radio equipment and training, to more than 650 teachers and 570 schools. The ARRL Teachers Institute is funded by individual, corporate, and institutional donations. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL 2016 FIELD DAY PACKET IS NOW AVAILABLE, NEW BONUS POINT CATEGORIES - ARRL Field Day will be held June 25-26, 2016. The 2016 ARRL Field Day packet (.pdf) is now available for download. This year, there are two new bonus point categories, social media and safety officer. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL BOARD ADOPTS NEW STRATEGIC PLAN - The ARRL Board of Directors has adopted an updated Strategic Plan, which defines the ARRL vision and direction for the next 5 years. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL SIGNS NEW MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS - The ARRL and the American Red Cross signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January, which will cover the next 5 years. The MoU details how ARES volunteers will interact with the American Red Cross when they are requested to assist the American Red Cross in disaster or emergency response. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARISS OPENS WINDOW TO INVITE SCHOOL AND GROUP PROPOSALS FOR ISS HAM RADIO CONTACTS (DEADLINE, 4/15) - The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is seeking proposals from schools, formal or informal educational institutions, and organizations to host an amateur radio contact next year with an ISS crew member. The deadline for applications is April 15th. ARISS anticipates that contacts would take place between January 1st and June 30th of 2017. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

RETIRING CEO DAVID SUMNER, K1ZZ, "PASSIONATE ABOUT AMATEUR RADIO" - Retiring ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, was the keynote speaker at the Orlando HamCation banquet on Saturday, February 13, 2016. During his speech, Dave K1ZZ talked about the role of amateur radio in his life and was optimistic that amateur radio will be important to future generations, as well. For further information, see For an audio recording of the K1ZZ speech, see (source: ARRL website)

NEW AMATEUR EXTRA QUESTION POOL PUTS GREATER EMPHASIS ON DIGITAL, SDRs, PROPOGATION - The new Amateur Extra class license examination question pool, effective from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2020, is now available at the National Conference of Volunteer Coordinators (NCVEC) website. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARTICLE PROFILES FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN RADIO AMATEUR, RUFUS TURNER, W3LF - Hackaday, the computer hardware/software/DIY blog, has profiled Rufus Turner W3LF, a very interesting person and the first African-American radio amateur in US history. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

"HAM RADIO NOW" HOSTING 2015 ARRL/TAPR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS - Full-length video of all major presentations at the 2015 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference is now online, courtesy of "Ham Radio Now." For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

FCC INVITES COMMENTS ON ARRL PETITION THAT SEEKS 80/75 METER ADJUSTMENTS - The FCC has placed the ARRL Petition for Rule Making RM 11759 on public notice and is soliciting comments from interested parties on what the ARRL has called "minimal but necessary changes" to 80 and 75 meters. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

FCC SEEKS COMMENTS ON PETITION TO GRANT LIFETIME AMATEUR RADIO LICENSES - The FCC is seeking comments on Petition for Rule Making RM 11760, which requests that the FCC grant lifetime amateur radio licenses. For further information, see (source: ARRL website) WINTER 2016 EDITION OF RADIO WAVES NOW AVAILABLE - The Winter 2016 edition of ARRL's Radio Waves for Ham radio license instructors and radio science educators is now available. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

US AMATEUR RADIO NUMBERS CONTINUE TO SOAR - For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR 2016 - For information on rules, answers to frequently asked questions, activator tips, NPOTA documents, answers to basic questions from NPS employees, the Leaderboard, list of NPOTA units, merchandise, NPOTA on social media, and latest news, see In the ARRL Contest Update (2/11), it was stated that, "Tom, N4TL, has assembled a checklist of NPOTA codes (PDF) to assist in the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) operating event that is running all year." For further information, see (sources: ARRL website and ARRL Contest Update for February 11, 2016) ARRL ROANOKE DIVISION WEBSITE HAS BEEN REDESIGNED - The website for the ARRL Roanoke Division has been redesigned by the Division's new Webmaster, Raymond L. ("Woody") Woodward, K3VSA of Hillsborough, NC. It looks great! For further information, see

LICENSE CLASSES - Gastonia (NC): Technician license class, April 2, 2016, sponsored by Greater Gaston Amateur Radio Society and VE Team, contact Tony Jones, N4ATJ by phone at (704) 827-2138 or by email at n4atj at bellsouth dot net for further information. Raleigh (NC): Amateur Extra license class, April 16 to June 11, 2016, sponsored by Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, contact Murray Merner K4MHM by phone at (919) 803- 7973 or by email at k4mhm at arrl dot net for further information. To find upcoming classes, go to Please note that a license 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 license class. Thanks! (source: ARRL website)

MEDIA HITS AND REPORTS - The following media hits and reports are included in this month's newsletter:

On the partnership between IEEE and American Red Cross to provide natural disaster assistance, see Thanks to John Covington III, W4CC, Past Section Manager (2000-2006) and IEEE Senior Member, for providing this media hit!

On a high-altitude balloon launch by Duke University students, see (source: ARRL website)

The following information (edited) was received from Jim Johnson, KI4TAT: "For those of you who subscribe to The Pilot, Saturday edition, in the 1/31/2016 insert, "A Guide to the Sandhills", page 112 has a reference to MOCARS. Jim Johnson-pio." Since the newspaper is available online, but not the insert, Jim KI4TAT sent me a copy for review. In the Guide, information is provided on the Moore County Amateur Radio Society, including its involvement in community activities, licensing courses and examinations; meeting times and location; two meter nets, and contact information. Thanks to Jim Johnson, KI4TAT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this media hit!

The following report was received from Steven Burke, KI4FAQ: "Successful VE Session on Saturday! On Saturday [1/30] we had 6 applicants who all passed their Technician exams. I'll let you know the new callsigns once they are posted. We had great VE participation! Stu Alpart, N1STU, Paul Jones, K4VCF, Dave Wentzel, KD4ITI, David Keever, K8IP, Diane Laval, KF5JJW, Jerry Malin, N2HV, David Leonard, AE4AT and Rodney Moore, W2ROD helped me in every way. THANKS! The next VE Session will be part of the Charlotte HamFest on March 12th, and the next MARS VE Session will be Saturday, April 16th. Steven KI4FAQ, MARS VEC Liaison." The next day the following email was received: "New Hams. John KM4QQA, David KM4QQB, Evan KM4QQC, Michael KM4QQD, John KM4QQE, John KM4QQF. Please welcome them! Steven KI4FAQ, MARS VEC Liaison." Congratulations to the new licensees; thanks to the VE team for their participation in testing; and, thanks to Steven Burke, KI4FAQ of the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, for providing this information!

On February 5th, the following information was received from Ralph Wallio, W0RPK: "Subject: Where to go during a communications shutdown. Emergency Management article by Ken Reid, KG4USN, ARRL ARES EC of Atlanta, GA ( ..... " One day later, John Snellen, AI4RT sent a link to this article, as well. Thanks to Ralph W0RPK and John AI4RT, for providing this information! (Note: a link to this article was included in the ARES E-Letter for February 17, 2016)

The following report was received from Jerry O. Jones, KF4ASE: "13 Feb AREA 4 meeting/training. All, Another great gathering today! Thanks to everyone that was able to attend. Here is a quick recap: We heard from each county that was present and a lot of exciting events are going on within our area. We discussed most every county is planning to activate for the 2016 NC QSO party and Field Day this year. Jeff WM4YD demonstrated to everyone how to locate, download and install the required files for FLDigi, Look for the main setup file and then FLMSG too. We broke for lunch and provided everyone an opportunity to download the applications. After lunch Jeff WM4YD and Mike KK4VBG provide a P2P demonstration of FLDigi using various modes and data rates. Jeff discussed how to save data and bring it back up for review. The ability to copy and paste data into preformatted messages and print received data. Upon conclusion, we decided to speed up the training process and now plan to conduct a team deployment exercise at our next meeting. This meeting is tentatively scheduled for 4 June 2016 at the Onslow EOC. 73, Jerry O. Jones, KF4ASE....." Thanks to all Hams in Area 4 for attending the meeting; and, to Jerry O. Jones, KF4ASE, District Emergency Coordinator (Area 4) for providing this report!

The following report was received from Dave Price, K4KDP: "..... Cub Scout Cage Bullard is in the QST magazine March issue on page 20. He worked very hard in earning his Morse Code interpreter Strip and is seen receiving the strip during JOTA 2015. ..... K. Dave Price, K4KDP, Boy Scout Troop 258 Chaplain, Torhunta District Committee Member, Trustee, Tuscarora Radio Club, KT4BSA." Thanks to Dave Price, K4KDP for providing this report!

The following report was received from Stan White, KI4NC: "NPOTA recap. All, On behalf of Pender ARES and the Hampstead Hams, thank YOU for making our first NPOTA activation a huge success! Unofficially, we made 273 contacts over the weekend; including 38 states, Belgium, Canada, and Mexico! We will get to work on logging contacts in LOTW and preparing QSL cards. A very special thank you to the following who spent time with us at Moores Creek National Battlefield: KA4SQN - Randy, KC4RB - Ron, KD5OSM - Clayann, KD5OSN - Kirk, KE4SAJ - Troy, KF4ASE - Jerry, KI4DUK - Joey, KI4QLC - Carrie, KK4IRV - Mack, KK4FVC - Lucas, KK4PWA - Wayne, KK4WCW - Stan, KK4ZKP - Andy, KK4ZKQ - Scott, KM4CXP - Ron, KM4DNR - Tricia, KM4QZV - John, KO4FD - Frank, KQ4TG - Jake, N1KFC - Mark, N2COP - Bill, N4COW - Charlie, N4JPG - John, N4NPH - Bobby, NC4JF - Jeff, NK0S - Hutch, W4TRM - Tom, WA3IRG - Bob, WA4SAZ - Sue, and WB4GQO - Jeff. And "thank you" to the others who joined us on the air from their home stations! For those who were unable to attend, we missed you. However, don't worry, we will be activating Moores Creek several more times this year. In addition, the Azalea Coast ARC will also be activating from Moores Creek, and maybe as soon as April. We hope everyone will get a chance to join in the fun. Stay tuned..... A few pictures from the event are now on the website. See them here: 73 Stan KI4NC." Thanks to all Hams participating in NPOTA at Moores Creek National Battlefield; and, to Stan White, KI4NC, President, Hampstead Hams, for providing this report!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR JANUARY 2016 - QNI (total check-ins): 2,060; Total messages passed: 567. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: KC4PGN 229, WK4WC 145, W4DNA 107, WB4ZIQ 90, WC9CW (formerly KM4HSO) 66, AK4RJ 58, KJ4JPE 54, W4TTO 51, KE4AHC 37, KW4EMG 27, W4EAT 13. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: W4DNA 165, WK4WC 160, WB4ZIQ 140, K4IWW 130, KK4LGM 118, AK4RJ 105, KJ4JPE 105, KM4HXX 100, W4TTO 100, WC9CW (formerly KM4HSO) 100. Thanks to all stations for participating in NC Section traffic activities; and, to Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information!

SILENT KEYS - With deep regret, the passing of the following amateur radio operators is reported: Harold Alvin Bouton, Jr, N4QT (SK) of Charlotte; and, Jack A. Ritter, W0UCE (SK) of Youngsville. 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 12-13: Battle of Guilford Courthouse - 235th Anniversary, 1300Z-1900Z, N4G, Greensboro, NC. Greensboro Amateur Radio Association. 21.325 14.325 7.235. QSL. N4G Special Event Station, GARA, PO Box 7054, Greensboro, NC 27417. DSTAR REF054C. This event is NPOTA activation (MP-04). Request SASE for QSL. www.n4g- April 8-10: 69th North Carolina Azalea Festival Special Event, 0059Z-2359Z, AC4RC, Wilmington, NC. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club. 14.230. Certificate & QSL. ACARC, PO Box 4044, Wilmington, NC 28406. Special Event stations may be found up from the bottom end of the general portion of each band. Confirmation via LoTW (preferred). Contacts confirmed via QSL cards require SASE. Stations wanting a certificate via USPS $4. Certificates may also be received via email in PDF format. April 29-May1: Mile High Radio, 1900Z-1900Z, W4G, Banner Elk, NC. Randolf Amateur Radio Club. 14.265 14.065 7.265 7.115. QSL. Butch Simpson, WS4H, 6747 Kings Mt Rd, Asheboro, NC 27205. The "Mile High Radio" Special Event station is likely to be found around the following frequencies +/- QRM: SSB - 3.865 - 7.265 - 14.265 - 21.365. In case of QRM, move up CW - 3.065 - 7.110 - 7.120 - 14.065 - 21.065. A tribute to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. At one mile above sea level, it's beyond ordinary. Spotting. Real time skeds at:,, or (cut and paste into your web browser) 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 AND CONVENTIONS - March 11-12: Charlotte Hamfest, Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, Concord, NC, April 2: 44th Annual RARSfest/ARRL NC Section Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, NC, April 16: Catawba Valley Hamfest, McDowell Amateur Radio Association, Morganton, NC, April 23: 26th Annual Down East Hamfest, Down East Hamfest Association, Kinston, NC, May 14: 12th Annual Rockingham County Swapfest, Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club, Reidsville, NC, May 28: 42nd Annual DurHamFest, Durham FM Association (DFMA), Durham, NC (new location), July 9: 31st Annual Firecracker Hamfest, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, Salisbury, NC, July 16: Mid-Summer SWAPFEST, Cary Amateur Radio Club, Cary, NC, July 30: WCARS Hamfest, Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society, Waynesville, NC, (note: this is the correct date for this hamfest) August 13: 18th Annual Cape Fear ARS Swapfest, Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society, Fayetteville, NC, September 3-4: 60th Annual Shelby Hamfest/ARRL NC State Convention, Shelby Amateur Radio Club, Shelby, NC, It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club's 2016 hamfest! For more information, see (source: ARRL website) QUA* - It is hoped that everyone was minimally impacted by the severe weather on February 24th. I would like to thank all Hams that provided public service to their communities during the adverse weather. I listened to Central Carolina SKYWARN for extended periods on the day of the storm. The SKYWARN spotter reports were excellent! And, Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, did a great job running a busy and organized net for the Central Carolina SKYWARN! Again, thanks everyone!

On behalf of the participants in the Tar Heel Emergency Net, I would like to welcome Cy Rowe, K1CY of Gastonia, as the new Net Control Station for Saturday night. Thanks for volunteering your time and operating skill, Cy!

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, photos, 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. 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)

*QUA is an international Q signal (prosign) meaning, "Have you news of _____?" In the absence of a question mark, QUA means, "I have news of ____."