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Posted Jul 30, 2013

FIRST OF THE 13 COLONIES - North Carolina finished first in the 2013 13 Colonies Special Event. Over 82,000 contacts were made during this annual event held the first week in July. The NC team logged 9,000 of those QSOs with six North Carolina stations operating under the special K2J call sign. NC team member Nate Moreschi, N4YDU, won the Paul Copeland Top Operator award in the low power category with 4,500 QSOs. The NC team consisted of Marc Sullivan-W4MPS, Jack Ritter- W0UCE, Nate Morsechi - N4YDU, Wes Quinn-K4WES, Dwyane Ayers-N4MIO, and Marty Young-W4MY.

WA9OTP IS 2013 MIRIAM SMITH RECIPIENT - At the Waynesville Hamfest on July 27th, the Roanoke Division's Miriam Smith Award was given to Dave Houser, WA9OTP, Mitchell Co. ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC). This award is named in honor of Miriam Smith, KB4C, former Buncombe County ARES EC who unexpectedly became a silent key in July 1995. It was decided to begin an award in her name to honor an area amateur within the 16 western counties of North Carolina who are active in their commitment to ARES emergency and public service communications. The Miriam Smith Award is one of only two awards given by ARRL's Roanoke Division.

HAM RADIO BALLOON LAUNCH HELPS FIRST LIBRARY IN SPACE - Members of the Triangle Amateur Television Association (TATV) participated in a stratospheric balloon launch July 10th meant to make the Durham County Public Library the first "library in space." In addition to the Amateur TV and APRS ham radio gear, the balloon also carried aloft hundreds of cards imprinted with the library's "FLIS" ("First Library in Space") logo, which were meant to be given away to participants in the library's system's summer reading program. The launch took place at Durham Bulls Athletic Park at the start of a Durham Bulls baseball game. The ATV equipment was intended to provide real-time images sent from the TV transmitter aboard the balloon to the stadium's Jumbotron, but technical issues at the park prevented that from happening. Ham radio operators who participated included Mark Freeze, WD4KSE; Rodney Radford, AK4CH; Michael North, KK4EIB; and Woody Woodward, K3VSA." TATV ( operates a fast-scan NTSC television repeater, callsign NC4TV, which transmits on cable channel 57 (421.25 MHz), located at TV Hill in Durham. TATV launched a second balloon on July 27th from the North Durham branch library in support of FLIS, and plans future launches using APRS and ATV.

VOICE OF AMERICA GOES DIGITAL - With so many nations cutting back analog shortwave broadcasts to deliver programming over the internet, many assumed that Voice of America and its one remaining transmitter site between Greenville and little Washington were following the same trend. In the past year, however, VOA has been experimenting with digital modes from the Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Center, also known as Site B, the last of three VOA sites near Greenville. Called "VOA Radiogram", the program is trying BPSK31, BPSK63, QPSK31, MFSK16, MFSK32 and Olivia digital modes. Reception of digital transmissions in North Carolina is challenging due to the proximity of the transmitters on higher frequencies and the direction of antennas, but many Hams on the east coast are having fun trying to decode messages. For more information go to

QST SOON TO BE AVAILABLE ON ANDROID - the rise in popularity of Android mobile operating system has prompted ARRL to develop an Android version of QST. Its release is expected this autumn, and will join the Apple iPhone version already available.

MEDIA HITS - Field Day stories continued to roll in during July. WECT-TV, Wilmington's NBC affiliate, profiled the GOTA station run by Bill (N2WG) and Karen (KG4BUK) Wetherill, and featured their two grandsons, one of whom is licensed - Nevin, W4ADX. The Independent Tribune featured the Cabarrus Amateur Radio Society's FD station. The story was picked up by other newspapers, including the Hickory Record. The Foothills ARC's FD setup was showcased in the Wilkes Journal. In non- Field Day coverage, the Salisbury Post featured the Firecracker Hamfest sponsored by the Rowan Amateur Radio Society. The Carteret County News Times had a write-up on a demonstration to Cub Scouts by the Carteret County Amateur Radio Society at Camp Sam Hatcher. The Durham Herald Sun wrote about the Durham Bulls balloon launch mentioned above. Members of the Alamance Amateur Radio Club were cited by the Burlington Times-Record for the Burlington Mini-Maker Faire in early July. The Robesonian of Lumberton did a profile on Rob Gable, NA4EA. Finally, our section's newest video star is George Huffman, KD4MXA, of Salisbury. His four and a half minute report on the Rowan ARS's Field Day appeared in Episode 104 of the "Ham Nation" webcast. You can catch his story at

IMPROVE YOUR CODE - Over five years have passed since the code requirement ended for licensing, yet CW is more popular than ever. For those looking to improve their CW skills, there is no better training tool than the daily Carolinas Slow Net (CSN). Serving both North and South Carolina, the net meets nightly at 8:00 PM local on 3.571 MHz. The speed averages 5-8 WPM, but the Net Control Station will slow down for newcomers. This is a traffic net that is part of the National Traffic System (NTS) so learning to handle messages also increases speed. Because CW net procedural signals (prosigns) are used, it's best to download a list of prosigns and "QN" signs used in traffic handling at CSN is also looking for some Net Control Stations (NCS) to help out. To find out more about CSN, go to its webpage at:

CONTEST CORNER - ARRL International DX Contest (NC high score results). CW: Multi 2 NY4A-10,990,662 (Roanoke Div); Single Assisted High: K5EK - 2,577,198 (Roanoke Div); Single Assisted Low: AA4R - 576,870. Single High: N4AA - 525,780. Single Low: N4DYU - 2,111,910 (Southeastern Region, #5 W/VE category). Single QRP: N4CW - 759,600 (Roanoke). Thanks to Adam Lawler, WK4P, for his help with Contest Corner.

HAMFESTS - Aug. 3, Cape Fear Swapfest, Cumberland County Shrine Club, 7040 Ramsey St., Fayetteville. Talk-In 146.91 (PL 100.0). Details: ; Aug. 31-Sep. 1, Shelby Hamfest ("The Grand-Daddy of Them All") and North Carolina Section Convention, (NOTE: New location - Cleveland Co. Fairgrounds, Shelby) Talk-In 146.88. Details:

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - None known for August, however, N4F will be operating for 10 days September 6th -15th at the NC Mountain State Fair at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. N4F organizer, The Road Show Amateur Radio Club, is looking for volunteers. If you can help, please contact Bill Van Nuys, N4OOC, at

PUBLIC SERVICE - Aug 10, Hillsborough, 2013 Bike Fest. Details at:, Aug 14, Concord, Carolina Cycling Time Trial Association, Lowe's Speedway. Details at, Aug 17, Lake Junaluska,Blue Ridge Breakaway bike race. To volunteer contact Al, WD4A, at

NTS JUNE SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT - QNI (Total Check-Ins) 2717. TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 594. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 366, W2EAG 203, W4DNA 176, AK4RJ 152, WK4WC 113, WB4ZIQ 101, WB4Y 84, WK4P 52, KK4BVR 51, KC4PGN 44, W4TTO 43, K4JUU 38, KE4AHC 38, W3HL 32, KJ4JPE 28, N2RTF 24. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KK4BVR 230, KJ4JPE 228, WB4ZIQ 160, WK4P 150, W4DNA 145, K4IWW 140, WK4WC 135, W2EAG 130, K4JUU 115, AK4RJ 105, W4TTO 105, WB4Y 100, N2RTF 94.

SILENT KEYS - We regret to report the passing of the following Hams: KG4GOY, Luther Brown, of Wilmington; K4ENL, Dave Bamford, of Raleigh; KF4ZT, Rev. Scott Turner, of Hamlet; and W4EHF, Bill Finch, of Greenville.

BILL FINCH - Anyone who lives to age 101 deserves recognition, but Bill Finch, W4EHF, was more than just a Ham who had passed the century mark. He was still active on the North Carolina Morning Net as recently as this month. Because of his many years of service to Amateur Radio, to the National Traffic System (NTS) and to the communities in which he lived, Gov. Beverly Purdue bestowed the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor, on Bill in 2012. He was also a committed athlete. He tried to run a mile each day, and was hoping to attend Senior Olympics to compete in the one mile race. Sports Illustrated featured Bill when he was 96 as a national badminton champion. Bill became licensed in 1935, one year after the creation of the Federal Communications Commission. The section extends our condolences to Bill's family and his son, Bill Jr., AI4TN.

QUA* - A big tip of the hat to all the clubs and individuals who participated in Field Day this year. I visited 9 sites in Elizabeth City, Manteo, little Washington, Greenville, New Bern, Morehead City, Swansboro, Wilmington and Elizabethtown, and each was exciting in its own way. I thoroughly enjoyed learning that the Outer Banks Repeater Association had its Field Day station on land adjacent to where Reginald Fessenden conducted his 1901-1902 Amplitude Modulation experiments, and it was a blast to visit the FD location for the Brightleaf club at former Voice of America Site C, a 570 acre complex which still has 18 shortwave antennas and is now managed by Eastern Carolina University. Talk about gain! What is fascinating about Field Day is the ingenuity which brings out team dynamics as the "MacGyver" Hams show how to get on the air successfully under adverse conditions. Special thanks to almost every club which monitored its published repeater frequency and made it easy for me and other visitors to make contact easily and get guided into some backwoods places. Field Day is a day which makes you proud to be a Ham.

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

73, Bill Morine, N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager