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ARRL NC Section Newsletter - January, 2015

Posted Jan 27, 2015

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

ARRL ROANOKE DIVISION DIRECTOR DENNIS BODSON, W4PWF, RETIRES - It was announced on January 21st, that ARRL Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF of Arlington, VA has retired and Roanoke Division Vice Director Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ of Aiken, SC has succeeded him. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN appointed former NC Section Manager Bill Morine, N2COP of Wilmington to fill the remainder of Dr. Boehner's term as Roanoke Division Vice Director, effective immediately. In addition, the ARRL Board elected Dennis Bodson, W4PWF as an Honorary Vice President. For further information, please see

Thank you, Dennis W4PWF, for all that you have done for the ARRL Roanoke Division during your long and distinguished amateur radio career; and, congratulations to Dr. Jim N2ZZ and Bill N2COP on your new positions!

DAVE ANDERSON, K4SV AND KENT HUFFORD, KQ4KK RECEIVE ROANOKE DIVISION ARRL SERVICE AWARD - Earlier this month, it was announced that the 2014 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award winners (listed alphabetically) are David W. Anderson, K4SV of Tryon; and, Kent V. Hufford, KQ4KK of Graniteville, SC. The Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award was instituted in 1968 by then Roanoke Division Director Vic Clark, W4KFC. Vic W4KFC 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 2014 Award were solicited during Fall, 2014. The selection committee is comprised of past Award recipients and administration of the Award is done by the Roanoke Division Director. Although the Award is generally given to only one recipient per year, it was decided to recognize two individuals with the 2014 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award. The Award will be presented to the recipients at the Charlotte Hamfest / ARRL NC Section Convention on Saturday, March 14th during the ARRL forum. For further information, see Congratulations to Dave Anderson, K4SV and Kent Hufford, KQ4KK for winning the 2014 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award; and, thanks to Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, Roanoke Division Director, for providing this information!

ARRL SOLICITING NOMINATIONS FOR 6 AWARDS - 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

K1N NAVASSA ISLAND DXPEDITION 2015 (EARLY-FEBRUARY, 2015) - The K1N Navassa Island DXpedition 2015 will begin in early-February, 2015. On Friday, January 22nd, several DXpedition team members had begun traveling to Navassa Island; the exact dates of operation have not been posted. Please visit the K1N Navassa Island DXpedition website frequently for update information, see As reported previously, activation of Navassa Island (K1N) is very important news for DXers worldwide since Navassa Island is the #1 "most wanted" DXCC entity. Stay tuned!

NORTH CAROLINA QSO PARTY (3/1) - The following report was received from Marty Young, W4MY, Chairman, regarding the upcoming North Carolina QSO Party: "Here we go again! The members of the North Carolina QSO Party (NCQP) Committee have been working hard to grow this event, and 2015 is shaping up to be the best ever. There are two things on my "bucket list" for the NCQP that I'd like to see in my lifetime. First, is to have someone sweep all 100 NC counties. That might be easy for the Rhode Island QSO Party, but that is pretty ambitious for North Carolina. Second, that we surpass 500 logs submitted after one single event. We've got a ways to go, but the vision is there! And one thing here: we don't want to diminish the quality of the NCQP experience for the sake of numbers. When a log is submitted, that's a reflection of your station and operating prowess. We look at the numbers of logs and counties worked in much the same way. It tells the Committee how well we are doing our job making the NCQP an event in which Hams want to participate. Our goal is to make the NCQP a premiere "on the air" event for all amateur radio operators - contesters and rag chewers alike. The Committee listens to your comments and "tweaks" the event so that everyone will want to participate and submit their log.

OK, on to the highlights and changes in 2015. The operating categories remain unchanged for this year. The new Mobile Lone Ranger category was a success last year giving some of the small rovers a chance to compete where they would otherwise be overshadowed by the more serious and dedicated driver teams. The Expedition (QRP) category has been a little anemic, so here's a plug for you QRPers to get out those Altoids(r) tin radios and show us what you can do!

The most frequently asked question I always get in the Fall leading up to the Committee meeting is what NC counties are slated for bonus status. Since it was decided that Cherokee and Dare counties would not always be bonus counties, this has caused a bit of buzz and anticipation. This year, the bonus counties will be Person and Surry counties. We needed to give the expeditioners (portable operators) an incentive to go to these very under represented (in terms of QSO's logged) counties. What is the draw for an expeditioner to go to a bonus county to operate? Well, handing out QSO's worth 50 points, in addition to the regular points earned for a valid QSO, gives everyone big incentive to search and work you!

Speaking of bonus points, we have added some new bonus stations. NI4BK (USS North Carolina Museum Battleship) and W4DW (RARS Official Bonus Station) remain unchanged for 2015, earning a participant 50 extra points each to their score for working them. This year, Bill McDowell, K4CIA of Raleigh is participating in the NCQP as a bonus station. Bill was the winner of the first NCQP in 1970 and is still a top operator today. It's our honor to have him in this capacity for 2015. Also, the Committee is activating bonus station, NC4QP, which will be manned by the Committee members. We're going to pass that call around amongst ourselves (one at a time) to hand out bonus points on Phone, CW, and Digital. NC4QP will be located in different parts of the State, on different modes, at different times. So, including stations in the bonus counties, that is six opportunities for working a bonus station. As an added incentive, if you sweep the bonus and get all six, another 200 points is added on top of the 300 bonus station points. That's a possibility of 500 points! In many cases, 1st and 2nd place between two top operators could come down to the bonus points!

Let me see, what are some of the other things going on for 2015? Oh, the map is up now on the website to see which counties have ops who have announced their intentions to participate. We've got some new pictures of the Committee members on the general info page, be kind with your comments! We've also got some great statistics up on the web site under the RESULTS tab about the activity during the 2014 NCQP. Many have asked for this information, which could help in determining where to go to activate less-covered areas of the State.

So, at 1500 UTC (10:00 AM EST) on March 1, 2015 the North Carolina QSO Party will start. I hope everyone reading this is making plans to be on the air, and submit their log afterwards. Participating in the NCQP couldn't be any simpler. There are many ways to do it. If you are a seasoned contester, just go to the website, read the rules, and go. For those Hams that are not so experienced, participating with your club station is a great place to learn about the NCQP and contesting. On March 1st, folks from all over the world will be looking for NC stations, why not get on the air and work 'em?" For more information on the North Carolina QSO Party, see Thanks to Marty Young, W4MY, Chairman, North Carolina QSO Party 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; 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

LICENSING CLASSES - Wilkesboro (NC), Technician licensing class, February 2 to April 13, 2015, sponsored by Foothills Amateur Radio Club, contact Dave Ritter, ND4MR at for further information. Asheville (NC), Technician licensing class, February 10 to March 19, 2015, sponsored by WCARS, contact Norman Harrill, N4NH, phone: (828) 253-1192, email: for further information. Raleigh (NC), Technician licensing class, February 21 to March 14, 2015, sponsored by Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, contact Murray Merner, K4MHM at 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 the retirement of Army MARS Public Affairs Officer Bill Sexton, N1IN/AAR1FP, see

On Weldon Fields, W4AJT receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, see Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director, for providing this media hit!

On the STEM conference for teachers at UNCW, see

On amateur radio still being alive and kicking (from SC), see

The following report was received from John Snellen, AI4RT, Public Service Director, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society: "Hello Everyone... I hope you had a great Holiday Season and are having a good start to 2015... we did, and now it's time to resume the 2015 version of the weekly Ham Public Service Net on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm on the Carolina 440 Link System. (Check the HPSNC Yahoo group site for the various 440 frequencies... ) We will begin on Wed. Jan. 7th with some thoughts on "Planning and Operating Special Events Communications". Join us if you can. Cheers, John AI4RT" Thanks to John AI4RT for providing this information!

The following report was received from Keith Stroud, KK4PLI, President, Carteret County Amateur Radio Society, regarding the Neusiok Trail Run, which was held on Saturday, January 3rd. The report has been edited: "Just some stats and comments for you to share about the race. Thanks again for all the help and support from a great group of HAMS!! Next year's Neusiok Trail Run will be on January 9, 2016 - mark your calendars!

Eighty-five (85) runners started: 56 for the 21.5 mile leg; 9 for the 43 mile leg; and 20 for the 100K leg. Six (6) runners did not finish. The youngest runner was 13 years old and the oldest runner was 70 years old (21.5 mile leg with time of 3:22:14.3). Three (3) runners (100K leg) were still on the course after Midnight. Best effort award has to go to runner Gary Veen from Michigan - it was his third attempt to finish the 100K part of the race, which he did at 01:02 AM Sunday morning. Complete race results can be found at

Members from 3 Amateur Radio Clubs provided communications at the 4 race aid stations (Start, Finish, 2 stations along the course). The supporting Clubs were the Carteret County Amateur Radio Society, the New Bern Amateur Radio Club, and the Onslow Amateur Radio Club. Each Club was stationed at a race aid station with the Onslow Club manning 2 stations. Many thanks to all the club members who devoted time to help keep track of these 85 runners from 6:00 AM Saturday morning till 12:30 AM Sunday morning. I also want to recognized NC ARES leadership that supported and participated with the radio clubs even though they do not want to be recognized. They were ARES District ECs, Joe Frohwitter, Area 3 (WO3F) and Jerry Jones, Area 4 (KF4ASE); and, County ECs, Ed Wafford (W4EDW) of Craven County and Bob Chambers (K4GRW) of Carteret County. Special thanks to Bob Chambers (K4GRW) for use of the K4GRW repeater for the entire event; and, to Joe Frohwitter (WO3F) and Pete Wenk (W3ENK) for backup support via their repeater, WO3F." Thanks to everyone for supporting this event; and, to Keith KK4PLI for providing his report! The following report was received from Marc Sullivan, W4MPS, Logs Manager, NC QSO Party: "3 new videos have been uploaded documenting Marty Young's (W4MY) terrific overview presentation of the North Carolina QSO Party. Feel free to share these links with anyone you think might benefit from learning more about our great annual event. Here are the links for these 3 sequential videos:" 73, Marc, W4MPS" Thanks to Marc W4MPS for providing this information!

The following report from Jim Howard, W4SDJ, Emergency Coordinator, Cherokee County (NC) Amateur Radio Emergency Service, was forwarded to me by Paul Robinette, KD4OZI, Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator (Western Branch). The report has been edited: "What a difference a year makes! This time last year we had 22 members with 6 AUXCOMM qualified. Now we have 34 members with 11 AUXCOMM qualified. ..... at our last formal meeting in November, we had a program on the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS). Our January meeting will have a workshop on programming VHF/UHF radios. We want to spend most of our time helping each other understand the programming process and gaining enough knowledge to be able to quickly program in a simplex or repeater frequency under emergency conditions. When you leave, you should have all our local frequencies in your radio!

It's not too early to begin thinking about the North Carolina QSO Party. Last year, our Cherokee NC ARES organized the NC ARES District 14 entry for the EMCOMM Challenge, which came in second. We would like to bring home the first place trophy this year! Your humble EC will be defending his first place in the Single-Op/In- State/Digital category. More on this for next month, but check out the rules at 73, Jim Howard, W4SDJ, Emergency Coordinator, Cherokee County NC Amateur Radio Emergency Service" Congratulations to the Cherokee County NC Amateur Radio Emergency Service on its growth; and, thanks to Jim W4SDJ and Paul KD4OZI for providing this report!

The following PRN System Update was received from the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club. The report has been edited slightly: "High Country DMR Users: The digital repeater system continues to grow!!! Take a look at under the repeaters tab to see the latest coverage map and the coverage maps on new repeaters that are soon coming on line..... You may view the latest post at" Thanks to the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club for providing this information! It has just been learned that Paul Jones, K4VCF, Public Information Coordinator was named Ham of the Year 2015 by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society (MARS). Congratulations to Paul Jones, K4VCF; and, thanks to Stefanie Comerford, KK4LZR, MARS Secretary and Newsletter Editor, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Les Zavadil, W4FRA, Secretary and Newsletter Editor, Tar River Amateur Radio Club: "Members of the Tar River Amateur Radio Club and engineers from Keihin Carolina System Technology teamed up to teach a Boy Scout Electronics Merit Badge Course at the East Carolina Council Winter Camp out the weekend of January 17-18. The Scouts learned to identify common electronic components and schematic symbols and basic soldering. Part of the course was assembly of a small kit that used a 555 timer circuit to produce the sound of a European siren along with alternately flashing red LEDs. Seventeen Scouts took the course, fourteen of the kits worked correctly the first time power was applied, one kit had a short between excess component leads that had not been clipped off, one had the 555 IC inserted backwards, and one had several bad solder joints. All the kits were working by the end of the second class session." On a related note, it was reported in the Tar River Amateur Radio Club newsletter (1/15) that the Wilson County Auxiliary Emergency Communications helped 67 Scouts earn their Radio merit badge during 2014. Thanks to the members of the Tar River Amateur Radio Club for teaching the Electronics Merit Badge class in January; to Wilson County Auxiliary Emergency Communications for assisting the Scouts working on their Radio merit badge in 2014; and, to Les W4FRA for providing the report and the newsletter!

Just as this newsletter was being completed, a letter from Dave Ritter, ND4MR was received. His club, the Foothills Amateur Radio Club, is "pulling out all the stops to make" their upcoming Technician licensing class "the largest ham class we've ever had." Along with his letter, Dave ND4MR included a newspaper article on their class, which appeared in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot on January 21st; a class announcement flyer "(which members put up 'everywhere')"; and, a copy of a newspaper ad for the class "(which we pay for!)" For further information, see their entry in Licensing Classes above. Thanks to the Foothills Amateur Radio Club their efforts to recruit new hams; and, to Dave Ritter, ND4MR for proving this information! Former Boy Scout National Jamboree K2BSA staff member and newly appointed Roanoke Division Vice Director Bill Morine, N2COP, has been maintaining since 1999 a Yahoo! Group on Boy Scouts and Ham Radio called NCJOTA. With his new duties, Bill N2COP would like to see a North Carolina Scout leader take over as moderator of this Group, which has served as a coordinator of Radio Scouting activities in the Tar Heel state. NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR DECEMBER, 2014 - QNI (total check-ins): 2,668; Total messages passed: 578. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 387, KC4PGN 170, WK4WC 166, W2EAG 131, W4DNA 96, AK4RJ 79, KF4OCU 54, WB4ZIQ 54, KJ4JPE 47, W4TTO 45, KE4AHC 37, KW4EMG 28, KK4ZHL 27, N2RTF 18. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: W4DNA 145, WK4WC 145, KW4EMG 138, K4IWW 130, WB4ZIQ 125, W2EAG 110, KJ4JPE 100, W4TTO 100, AK4RJ 95, N2RTF 88, KF4OCU 70. 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: Anthony Ray Curtis, K3RXK (SK) of Laurinburg; The Reverend Andrew J. Hill, WB4AMP (SK) of Deep Run; and, Charles Harwin Smith, KI4TGG (SK) of Wilmington. 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 & 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 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 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* - Even though there are reports of declining participation in JOTA, I am becoming increasingly aware of many interactions between NC amateur radio clubs and their local Scouting groups. Since I am interested in promoting such interactions, it would be appreciated greatly if you would let me know if you or your club is working with a Scouting group (or similar) and if so, provide some information on those activities, eg, JOTA, merit badge counseling, etc. I am considering appointing a Youth Section Coordinator with a primary focus on Scouting. As envisioned currently, this individual would assist local clubs and individual Hams with initiating, promoting, and facilitating interactions with their local Scouting groups (or similar). Please let me know what you think about this idea. Thanks! During January, I attended FirstFest in Winston-Salem (1/10) and made a presentation at the monthly meeting of the Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society in Fayetteville (1/19). It was great to see everyone at these events! As always, thank you for sending your emails and club newsletters - they keep me informed about your activities and programs!

In closing, 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. Thanks for everything you are doing for amateur radio and your community. Best wishes for 2015! 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)