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Posted Apr 10, 2014

NORTH CAROLINA QSO PARTY IS FEBRUARY 23 – Thanks to the hard work of its sponsoring club, the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society (RARS), the NC QSO Party this year will be bigger and better than ever. Digital modes have been added to phone and CW, and there are new categories of portable and roving operations, and even an emergency communications (EmCOMM) challenge award for which you need to pre-register. Full rules and details can be found at The contest runs on Sunday, February 23rd, from 10:00 AM local (1500Z) to 8:00 PM local (0059Z). So far only 38 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have stations agreeing to participate. In 2013, 97 of NC’s 100 counties were activated. Let’s get all 100 counties on-the-air!! This is the one time each year we can all pull together as North Carolina operators and let Hams around the world know that Tar Heels are on-the-air.

WINNER OF GEORGE HART AWARD IS NEW BERN’S MARK RAPPAPORT W2EAG – At its January meeting, the ARRL board of directors voted to bestow the George Hart Distinguished Service Award to Mark Rappaport, W2EAG, of New Bern. The national award is named after George Hart, W1NJM (SK), founder and architect of the National Traffic System. At the time it was founded in 1949, NTS was a revolutionary way to send information for free in the Cold War era when there was a charge for each telegram and long distance phone call. While modern communications have replaced some of the expediency of NTS, the skills used in traffic handling are timeless. Mark was cited by the ARRL board as the author and chief instructor of ARRL’s “An Instructor’s Guide To Traffic Handling”, which can be found at . Mark’s guide has been updated numerous times to reflect today’s communications, and is used by most traffic handlers around the United States. Mark will receive his award later this spring.

TRAFFIC HANDLING ON-AIR INSTRUCTION NET - Before he was notified as this year’s George Hart Award winner, Mark Rappaport, W2EAG, already announced that he is creating a weekly net dedicated to traffic handling training. He is calling it the Carolinas Traffic Information Net, or “CTIN” Whether you want to become more involved in NTS, or you want to sharpen message handling skills in EmCOMM, or you just want to become a better Ham, the net is designed for all levels of traffic handling, from beginner to expert. Beginning February 9th, CTIN will meet every Sunday afternoon at 4:30 PM local (2130Z) on 3923 KHz, and is expected to last about 45 minutes. The net is not restricted to North Carolina Hams, so invite your friends from across the country to join. Mark says he plans to run CTIN like a “gathering around a campfire”. For further information or to let Mark know you’d like to join his net, please email him at W1AW/4 PORTABLE NORTH CAROLINA FIRST ROUND HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL - Congratulations to the W1AW/4 team which kicked off ARRL's Centennial Year by hosting W1AW in North Carolina January 1-7. As part of the League's 100th anniversary, its legendary flagship callsign W1AW will originate from each state twice during 2014. North Carolina and West Virginia were the first two designated states. Thanks to Howie Hoyt, N4AF, and his stellar team, they made an astounding 25,813 QSOs over seven days, and firmly let the world know that W1AW was on-the-air from the Tar Heel State. If you missed working W1AW while it was here, it will return to North Carolina September 17-23. You can see more about W1AW portable operations and other on-air events to celebrate ARRL's Centennial at NORTH CAROLINA YOUTH NAMED TO ARRL NATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE – 14 year old Christopher Tate, KJ4UBL, has been appointed by ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, to ARRL’s national Public Relations Committee (PRC). The Burlington native is the youngest ARRL Public Information Officer (PIO) in the U.S. Christopher is known for his YouTube postings on Amateur Radio as well as his PR efforts across the state. In 2013, Christopher worked with section Pubic Information Coordinator (PIC) Woody Woodward, K3VSA, on media coverage for the QSO between the International Space Station and students of McNair Elementary School of Brown Summit near Greensboro. An Extra class license holder, Christopher enjoys CW, QRP and all aspects of HF. Christopher joins North Carolina Section Manager Bill Morine, N2COP, in serving on ARRL’s PRC, which is busy with designing brochures and presentations ARRL will use this centennial year. Christopher is the son of proud parents Randy (KJ4UBM) and Elizabeth (KK4CMA) Tate.

ONSLOW COUNTY SCHOOL TO TALK TO ASTRONAUTS VIA HAM RADIO – Dixon Elementary School in Holly Ridge, about halfway between Wilmington and Jacksonville, has been chosen for an ARISS session with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The selection of Dixon Elementary was made by ARISS, Amateur Radio on the international Space Station, a joint program between ARRL, NASA and AMSAT. Dixon Elementary science teacher Betty Bigney, who applied for her school to be chosen based on a curriculum which teaches space related concepts, will use the approximate 10-15 minute ARISS QSO as the ISS passes overhead for her students to ask questions of astronauts via Ham Radio. Members of the Onslow ARC are coordinating communications. The QSO is tentatively set for late April. This will be the fourth ARISS event in North Carolina since 2006.

SCHOOL CLUB ROUNDUP FEBRUARY 10-14 – Many NC schools, ranging from elementary through universities, have participated in the semi-annual School Club Roundup (SCR) event. Next round is the week of February 10th-14th. Some schools integrate SCR QSOs into class time, but most operate after school. If you know of a NC school operating in the upcoming SCR, please send an email notifying Section Manager Bill Morine, N2COP, at Details of operation and rules can be found at With emphasis in educational programs on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), SCR is a great community outreach.

WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE MOST DESIRED DXCC ENTITY? – Not surprisingly for the second year in a row, it’s North Korea (Prefix P5). And also not surprising is that the organization which pronounces the top sought DX entities annually is DX Magazine, whose headquarters is in Leicester near Asheville, and headed by legendary DXer Carl Smith, N4AA. The complete Top 100 Most Wanted list is available on the DX Publishing website at

ARRL PRESIDENT TO VISIT NORTH CAROLINA TWICE – ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, will be at both the upcoming Charlotte Hamfest and RARSfest. Since 2014 marks ARRL’s Centennial, Kay is promoting the League’s 100th anniversary at many field events. She will make presentations during forums at both hamfests. The Charlotte Hamfest, March 7 and 8, will be the North Carolina Section Convention, and RARSfest, April 19, in Raleigh will be the Roanoke Division Convention.

HAMFESTS – Charlotte Hamfest, which is also the North Carolina Section Convention, Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8, Cabarrus Arena, 4571 Rte. 49 North, Concord. Talk-In 146.655 (No PL) and 146.94 (PL 118.8). Website:

MEDIA HITS – The January 27th Salisbury Post featured the Rowan Amateur Radio Society (RARS) monthly Foxhunt. You can see the article at: The Wilkes Journal-Patriot in its December 27th edition covered the joint Holiday party of the Foothills ARC and the Watauga ARC. Foothills is North Carolina’s newest ARRL affiliated club, and Watauga renewed its charter after several years of inactivity.

PUBLIC SERVICE – March 1, Chapel Hill, NC Odyssey of The Mind. March 16, Wrightsville Beach Marathon, Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, Details for both events at:

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS – Feb. 12, Remembering Tex Beneke 0000Z-2359Z, K0HWY, Hildebran, NC. Bruce Long. 21.300 18.130 14.260 7.260. QSL. Bruce Long, PO Box 1393, Hildebran, NC 28637.

NTS DECEMBER SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT – QNI (Total Check-Ins) 2198. TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 570. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 516 (Qualifies for BPL – Brass Pounders League), W4DNA 228, W2EAG 200, AK4RJ 142, WK4WC 102, WK4P 90, WB4ZIQ 80, KC4PGN 63, KJ4JPE 59, W4TTO 51, K4JUU 45, KK4BVR 36, KE4AHC 30, N2RTF 28, W3HL 17, WB4Y 9. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KJ4JPE 220, WB4ZIQ 160, WK4WC 145, KK4BVR 141, WK4P 140, W4DNA 135, K4IWW 130, W2EAG 110, AK4RJ 105, K4JUU 105, W4TTO 100, N2RTF 98, WB4Y 31.

SILENT KEYS – We regret to report the passing of Onree Fisher, W4RCR, of Wilmington, and John Coldwell, W4VYP, of Southport. Also, two Hams who contributed mightily to the betterment of Amateur Radio in North Carolina passed away in the past month. Tommy Queen, K4BNP, of Asheville was a fixture in ARES for many years and held the post of District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for Area 14. Also leaving us was former Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Billy Mitchell, WB4SGA, of Mebane. In the 1980s, Billy crisscrossed North Carolina, convincing state and county emergency managers of the important role Ham Radio can play in EmCOMM. His efforts set the foundation for today’s ARES system in NC. Billy was also a candidate for a three-way election in the 1998 Section Manager’s race. Although he lost, Billy remained a staunch advocate of a strong framework for Ham Radio in North Carolina.

QUA* - This is my last newsletter as Section Manager. In February, I will resign before my term ends March 31 and let newly elected Section Manager Karl Bowman, W4CHX, take over early. The primary reason for this change is because I will not be able to attend the Charlotte Hamfest due to a scheduled trip, and I feel strongly that Karl should represent the section as Section Manager at the hamfest. The past four years have wonderful, and I thank all North Carolina ARRL members and non-members alike for the privilege of representing them. I leave the SM position feeling very good about all aspects of Ham Radio in North Carolina except one – arrogant and childish behavior on the air by older Hams. Former FCC enforcer Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, wrote last year in CQ magazine that he seldom had to bring action against new Hams. Rather, the most flagrant violators were those who have held their licenses more than ten years. They somehow feel empowered and exempt from many rules. Many 75 meter QSOs at night are a disgrace and an embarrassment to most Hams, and to any members of the public listening. When our very conscientious and polite Official Observer (OO) team members notify these offenders who run wide signals and use profanity, they often reply with disgust and continue to operate with impunity. All I can ask in the face of a lack of strong enforcement by the FCC is that peer pressure be brought to convince offenders that good operating techniques need to be paramount if we are not only going to maintain our frequencies for Amateur Radio, but as a national resource we are taken seriously with respect by government officials and the public at large. You will still see me around at hamfests and meetings, so until we next meet, 73 es TNX.

73 de Bill Morine ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

*QUA - CW Net procedural signal (Prosign) meaning "Do you have any news for me?"