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Posted Jan 31, 2013

IMPORTANT CLUB NEWS - Attention club officers. Please be sure to update your club information if you are an ARRL affiliated club by completing the annual update form at: You must complete this form at least once a year, even if your list of club's officers hasn't changed, or file it right after election of new officers. Failure to update the form could lead to a possible cancellation of your club's ARRL liability insurance coverage, or denial of a claim. In addition, if your club is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of North Carolina, you should be filing an annual report through the North Carolina Secretary of State's office at

SHELBY HAMFEST TO RETURN TO SHELBY - The "Granddaddy" of hamfests is returning to its roots. The Shelby Amateur Radio Club (SARC) announced that the Shelby Hamfest is coming back to its former home at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Shelby. The move was covered in the town's daily newspaper, The Shelby Star, at The Shelby Hamfest this year will be August 31st and September 1st.

SCHOOL CLUB ROUNDUP - February 11-15 are the next dates for the semi-annual School Club Roundup (SCR), an event which encourages students from elementary school to college to get on the air. Topsail Middle School in Hampstead will be QRV under the direction of 8th grade General class operator Nevin Wetherill, W4ADX, and his grandfather Bill Wetherill, N2WG. You can learn more about School Club Roundup at and introduce kids to the world of Amateur Radio.

MEDIA HITS - In addition to The Shelby Star's coverage of the Shelby Hamfest returning to Shelby mentioned above, Dave Ritter, ND4MR, scored coverage in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot and The Record of Wilkes for the Technician licensing classes he holds at Wilkes Community College. Last year Dave ran a rare Amateur Extra class which resulted in 7 upgrades to the highest class of license.

SIGN UP FOR SECTION NEWSLETTER - If you're reading this newsletter, you probably are getting it through an option you selected in your ARRL membership profile. Only half of all North Carolina ARRL members subscribe to the section newsletter. Many of the other half don't realize it's available. Please tell your fellow Ham buddies if they're not getting this monthly newsletter, they can go to the "Edit Your Profile" page at!/edit-info-email_subscriptions and check the box halfway down the page which says: "News and information from your Division Director and Section Manager". Let's make sure as many North Carolina hams know what's happening in the Tar Heel state.

NC QSO PARTY FEBRUARY 24th - This month we have a guest columnist: Marty Young, W4MY, Chairman of the NC QSO Party. Marty provided the following to the NC Section News:

North Carolina QSO Party February 24, 2013 (10 am - 8 pm)

by Marty Young, W4MY, Chairman

The Raleigh Amateur Radio Society has assumed leadership of the North Carolina QSO Party as of its 2013 running. Check out the website, the new rules are posted. We made some changes for 2013.

We moved the time up two hours to go from 10am to 8pm. We kept the duration of 10 hours, but felt this gives us more daylight to work the upper bands. Also, by ending earlier folks have more time to get ready for work Monday. Activity always slowed down past 8pm in our experience, possibly for that reason.

Added 6 and 2 meters. Now the small signal VHF guys can participate using their native mode if they wish. So, welcome small signal VHFers! No specific categories exist for VHF yet, you'll compete with everyone else. If participation is strong on these new bands a new category may be considered in the future. W4DW will be operating 6, but its up to you small signal VHFers to get the propagation gods to cooperate.

We have "normalized" the point structure for all participants. 2 points for all phone QSOs and 3 points for each CW QSO. It doesn't matter who your QSO is with. This greatly simplifies our job to score your log. Everyone sounds the same on the air, so you don't need to keep track of it either!

Added a QRP Expedition Class. With the success of expeditions we're giving the QRPers a chance to compete for an award. And speaking of expeditions, we cleaned up most of the early problems with managing this class by making the points the same as everyone else. We didn't want the expeditions to become a "super mobile" and attempted at first to write restrictive rules to prevent someone from creating efficient ways at blowing through counties like a mobile. We'd like expeditions to consider going to rarer counties and putting up an antenna that works pretty well and stay a while to really activate that county. But in the end, we decided to keep the restrictions out and allow each one to decide what strategy is best for their situation and fun factor. A competitor will have to determine the trade off of getting their QSOs by working fewer per county with a small antenna but moving to new counties to work 'em again, vs. putting up a more substantial temporary antenna and moving less, staying a while in the county to really activate it.

For mobiles, and expeditions also, the rules were left to enable county sitting. So, be careful with safety being the top priority, if you want to do it, remember that you can only have one QTH per QSO. So, you will have to manage your pile up in a way to have multiple QSOs with callers if you are doing this. We provided the link in the rules to the MARC county hunter site to help you with determining the county line and how to sit on it.

We added DC as a multiplier and clarified the 14 Canadian provinces.

We will be awarding new plaques for the winners. They are really neat transparent monoliths that refract a cool Carolina Blue hue. Marc, W4MPS, did a great job securing them. Marc has also revamped the certificates with a new battleship NC header.

We really want to get logs electronically. But, we realize that there are still folks logging manually and we don't want to dissuade them from participating and sending in their log. So, continue to send in your log however you have it! We're going to have some really cool tools on the new website to enter your log, and I suppose the day is coming sometime that all logs will have to be submitted electronically. We on the committee want to be ready for it.

We are keeping the established map to track activations that are announced. This surprised me how popular this was, so we are giving it high priority. If you don't see it quite yet, Andy, AA9P, our IT guy will have it up shortly.

The things that have made NCQP unique and great are staying. NI4BK aboard the battleship USS North Carolina will be one of the bonus stations, and they tell me they will again be using the original WW2 era radio equipment during the event. The other bonus station, W4DW, will be activated at the super station of N1LN and staffed by seasoned operators to give out as many QSOs as humanly possible. And if you've seen the N1LN station, you know they can do it!

We kept the CHE/DAR bonus as is, a very cool way to get another bonus and an incentive to expeditions and mobiles top go to these rare ones.

Lastly, I'd like to put a word in for one style of operating that is quite effective in QSO parties. That is calling CQ. In regular contests, searching and pouncing can be just as fruitful as calling CQ, especially in the early going. But QSO parties are different. In ours, everyone out there is looking for you! They won't know you're there if you're not calling! Ninety six percent of those outside NC are searching and pouncing, so it's best if you are calling CQ. Think about it. Why should someone out there call CQ when only 1 out of 50 states count for credit? (Some do it, yes, but not many) Believe me, if you're calling CQ you'll get answers back from more than you thought!

So that's it. Mark your calendar, and get on the air! It's lots of fun! 73 de Marty, W4MY

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - Other than the NC QSO Party, none in North Carolina listed at

HAMFESTS - Charlotte Hamfest (NOTE: now Friday, March 8th 4:00 PM to 8 PM, and Saturday, March 9th 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. No Sunday), Cabarrus Arena, Rte. 49, Concord. Talk-In: 146.655 (-), No Tone. For more info go to:

PUBLIC SERVICE - None listed for February at (primarily Charlotte and western part of the state) or (primarily RDU and eastern part of the state).

LICENSING CLASSES - Three classes are underway across the state. A General class course goes Thursday nights until February 28th in Oriental, with an exam scheduled on the final night. Email for more information. Technician class courses have started in Wilkesboro (see Media Hits above) going to March 7th and in Skyland until February 21st. The Skyland group under The Road Show ARC will begin a General class February 28th to April 11th. For details on the Wilkesboro course, contact Dave Ritter, ND4MR, at and for the two courses in Skyland contact William Van Nuys at If your club is hosting a licensing class coming up, please list it at To find a class, go to

NTS DECEMBER SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT - A bumper crop of messages during this year's Holiday season. QNI (total check-ins) 3010, TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 1008. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 457, W4DNA 371, WK4P 254, W2EAG 252, KC4PGN 155, WB4ZIQ 153, WB4Y 98, AK4RJ 96, KF4OCU 96, KJ4RUD 91, KS4PO 87, KJ4JPE 66, W3HL 66, W4TTO 59, KE4AHC 53, KK4BVR 36, K4JUU 35, KA4IZN 27, N2RTF 15. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KJ4JPE 155, W4DNA 155, WK4P 150, WB4ZIQ 145, K4IWW 130, AK4RJ 125, KK4BVR 116, W2EAG 110, K4JUU 103, KJ4RUD 100, W4TTO 100, N2RTF 85, WB4Y 85, KF4OCU 80, KS4PG 80. New category - DIGITAL RELAY STATIONS (DRS) W4DNA 1487, WB4ZIQ 134, KG4GPJ 8.

SILENT KEYS - We regret to report the passing of Clyde Reece, KD4JGX, of Fairview; Dorothy Peek, KB4KIO, of Candler; and Marc Huennekens, KG4OPM, of Weaverville. Marc was known as "Mr. Saturday Night" because he served as that night's Net Control Station (NCS) for the Tar Heel Emergency Net (THEN). We also want to pass along our sympathies to former Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Bernie Nobles, WA4MOK, on the loss of his wife, Phyllis.

QUA* - Once a year, we get our turn, as every state does, to showcase ourselves during the annual North Carolina QSO Party. For many, many years, Henry Heidtmann, W2DZO, and Winston-Salem's Forsyth Amateur Radio Club did a magnificent job hosting this event. Now Marty Young, W4MY, is spearheading the effort on behalf of the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society (RARS). Lots of "new" things in the Party this year: new start time (10 AM), new bands (6 and 2 meters - great for Technicians), new Expedition category to encourage portable operations in rare counties with few Hams, and even a new QSL card showing the mighty guns of retired battleship USS North Carolina in Wilmington. Sunday, February 24th will be the day when we Tar Heels will rule the airwaves, to paraphrase the slogan of a dominant cell phone carrier. If you've ever wanted to be on the receiving end of a pile-up, there will no more tailor made opportunity than the NC QSO Party. Get out and enjoy it.

73, Bill Morine, N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

*QUA - CW net control signal meaning "Do you have news for me?"