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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

July, 2016

Greetings from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT RECEIVES FAVORABLE HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE REPORT – An amended version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, received a unanimous favorable report on July 13 from members of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill now will go to the full House for consideration. For further information, see and (source: ARRL website)

COMMENTS ON THE AMENDED VERSION OF HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT – The following commentary was received from Bill Morine, N2COP, ARRL Vice Director for the Roanoke Division and former North Carolina Section Manager, in response to concerns expressed by members of the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society and Carolina DX Association about the amended version of HR 1301 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015: “Dear MARS and CDXA Members: By now many of you have read the Opinion page Op-Ed article in the Charlotte Observer authored by Charlotte attorney Chris Gelwicks regarding the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2105 (HR1301/S1685). [hyperlink not available] I disagree with the interpretation that the bill has been “watered down” by HOA opponents, so at this juncture leading up to the anticipated September vote in Congress, let me explain why. And also keep in mind that letter writing to your U.S. Representatives and Senators in Congress needs to continue up to the expected vote in September. I and other ARRL officials will be at the Shelby Hamfest over Labor Day weekend to help members continue to write letters to their Congressmen in the House and Senate.

The Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARPA) was never meant to be a blanket free check for Hams in HOA restricted neighborhoods to erect antennas, just as its predecessor counterpart, the FCC 1985 PRB-1 ruling, was likewise never a blank check. Both measures are designed for parties to come to the table and hammer out an agreeable solution, rather than have a Ham get an automatic “NO” and have no recourse. The key language of PRB-1 for the past 35 years – “reasonable accommodation” – has worked exceedingly well and has built up three decades of case law which can be applied to ARPA when enacted. In the case of ARPA, the key language will be an “effective outdoor antenna” (page 4, lines 6-7, see True, Amateur Radio operators will have to apply for permission with their HOA before erecting an antenna, but this should be no more burdensome than if you had to go to your municipality to seek a building permit. The walk away points in the ARPA bill are that you as a Ham must be given the opportunity to present your case and design for an “effective outdoor antenna”, and the HOA must work with you to find a compromise. What does this mean? Well, if you are a member of ARES®, and the Tar Heel Net on 3923 KHz is the recognized North Carolina state ARES® net, the applicant Ham and the HOA need to find a way for the Ham to have an effective 75-meter outdoor antenna. You may not get a full length 75-meter loop, but you will likely get some kind of stealthy end fed or coiled antenna which will need a tuner. At this point, I encourage all readers to take time to read the six-page amended bill available for view through the hyperlink above.

Will ARPA eliminate legal action for erecting an outdoor antenna in a HOA restricted neighborhood? No, but neither would have the original version of the legislation before a compromise was reached with Communities Associations Institute (CAI), the national HOA trade association which has opposed ARPA. With its passage, however, Amateur Radio operators now have another law to which to point in seeking permission for an antenna. In North Carolina, you can demonstrate to state and local governments and to the courts a continuum of intent through three legal measures: 1) PRB-1; 2) the 2007 NC state antenna law; and, 3) when enacted, ARPA. And, while the 2007 NC antenna law which permits reasonable accommodation up to 90 feet does not apply to HOAs, it demonstrates the intent of state government and its support for Amateur Radio.

Let me take a moment to throw in a dose of reality. ARRL has been working for almost two decades to get an antenna bill for HOA restricted Hams. The stars aligned in this session of Congress when Congressman Greg Walden (R-Oregon), W7EQI, Chairman on the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, agreed to hear such a bill. In addition to Rep. Walden’s willingness to hold hearings on an ARPA-like bill, ARRL owes much of its success to YOU, ARRL members. As of today, there are 126 co-sponsors for APRA, or 28% of the full U.S. House of Representatives. This is an astounding number – so much so that ARRL has had tremendous momentum in forcing CAI to negotiate. Be assured, during this process, ARRL took the high road. There were times earlier this year when things looked bleak. There were several key House and Senate members so opposed to the bill that it would never have come up for a vote. We all owe a tremendous round of thanks to Rep. Walden’s staff for encouraging CAI to reach a compromise, and for having CAI announce to its supporters in Congress that it no longer opposed ARPA after it was rewritten to the version available for view in the hyperlink above. Is this version of ARPA perfect? No, of course not. But neither is PRB-1 nor the NC state antenna law. They and ARPA are all designed to open the door for a meaningful exchange for antenna erection. After ARPA becomes enacted and goes into effect, a Ham who is outright dismissed from erecting an effective outdoor antenna in an HOA restricted neighborhood will have legal recourse. No matter whether the original language of “reasonable accommodation” was passed, or the current language of an “efficient outdoor antenna”, this legislation opens a previously closed door, and it is not watered down. If the Amateur Radio community had not worked out a compromise with CAI, there would not be an ARPA bill, and we could all easily have waited many, many more years for another window of opportunity to have such a bill.

My advice is that all Hams extend a hand of appreciation to HOAs. Now Hams can practice their skills in emergency communications, enjoy on air fellowship in the “original social media”, and an often-overlooked third attribute, permit experimentation, which has been a hallmark of Amateur Radio for over a century. Much of today’s wireless communications innovations have been invented by or perfected by Ham Radio operators. If America wishes to keep its technological leadership in wireless communications and encourage students to supplement their STEM studies to lead to the engineers of tomorrow, ARPA’s passage and enactment is a step in cementing a positive future.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Shelby Hamfest over Labor Day weekend. Please stop by the ARRL booth and sign letters to your House Representatives to vote for HR 1301 and to your US Senators to vote for the mirror Senate version S 1685. Please feel free to contact me, or Roanoke Division Director Dr. Jim Boehner N2ZZ, if you have further questions. Above all, thank you for your commitment and support. 73 de Bill, N2COP.” Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP, ARRL Roanoke Division Vice Director, for providing this commentary!

PAST ARRL ROANOKE DIVISION DIRECTOR, HONORARY VICE PRESIDENT DENNIS BODSON, W4PWF, SK – Past ARRL Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, of Arlington, Virginia, died on July 1. He would have turned 77 this month. Bodson had been recovering from recent surgery, but his death was unexpected. For further information on his career as an electrical engineer and his contributions to amateur radio and the ARRL, see (source: ARRL website)

RALPH J. ROGNSTAD, JR, W4RRJ RECEIVES 2016 KB4C – MIRIAM SMITH MEMORIAL AWARD – The recipient of the KB4C – Miriam Smith Memorial Award for 2015 is Ralph J. Rognstad, Jr, W4RRJ, of Madison County. The Award was presented to Ralph W4RRJ at the WCARS Hamfest in Waynesville on July 30, 2016. The KB4C – Miriam Smith Memorial Award, a Roanoke Division Award, honors an amateur radio operator within the 16 western counties of North Carolina who is active in their commitment to emergency and public service communications through the ARES/RACES programs.

Carl Smith, N4AA, the husband of Miriam Smith, KB4C (SK), provided this Award presentation information: “2016 KB4C - Miriam Smith Memorial Award. Ralph J. Rognstad, Jr. W4RRJ, of Madison County. First let me apologize for not being able to be with you this year to make the presentation. I have asked Steve Emory, N4SET, the DEC for Area 14 [and nominator] to do so. It should be noted that this award is recognized by the ARRL Roanoke Division Director and is listed on the Division website. I am pleased to recognize Ralph Rognstad, W4RRJ, for his outstanding contribution to Amateur Radio and Emergency Service Operations in Western North Carolina. Ralph was first licensed in 2014 as KEØBTY, but has upgraded to General Class and was assigned the call W4RRJ. From his earliest days as an Amateur he has been heavily involved in Buncombe County ARES (BCARES) group activities. He volunteered for various duties, from Station Operator for Special Events, such as the Biltmore Marathon and a number of biking events, and serving as Incident Commander for those events. No assignment has been too large or small for Ralph to complete with equal enthusiasm. Ralph volunteered for the Emergency Coordinator (EC) position in Madison County, where he lives, when the long serving EC resigned after many years of outstanding service. Ralph has expanded his interest and participation into the Carolina Mountain Area (CMA) Skywarn group activity. As the current Madison County EC, Ralph has already surpassed the NC ARES minimum FEMA education requirements to hold the position; he has been active in the WNC region, becoming involved in ARES planning meetings; actual events and amateur radio club participation well beyond just basic membership, even joining in activities in neighboring counties. Ralph is currently working with other amateurs in Madison County to re-establish a local club identity and to organize special event participation by members of the club. The 2016 Field Day is a notable example of Ralph’s serious interest in creating the opportunity and renewed interest in ARES/amateur radio activity in Madison County, which will extend well beyond any real or imagined boundary and into the community as a whole. Ralph is knowledgeable as to radio and other matters, and is also the first to listen to others, accept friendly advice, or offer it, always with a friendly, infectious smile that welcomes everyone. Ralph’s contribution to amateur radio and the community itself is immeasurable. I am pleased to recognize Ralph with the 2016 KB4C Miriam Smith Award for his outstanding contribution to Public Service and Emergency Communications in the western North Carolina area. Carl Smith, N4AA, July 30, 2016.” Congratulations to Ralph J. Rognstad, Jr, W4RRJ on receiving the 2016 KB4C – Miriam Smith Memorial Award; and, thanks to Carl Smith, N4AA; Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, Director, Roanoke Division; and, Raymond (“Woody”) Woodward, K3VSA, Assistant Director, Roanoke Division, for providing this information! For further information on the Award, see (source: ARRL Roanoke Division website)

60th ANNUAL SHELBY HAMFEST/ARRL NC STATE CONVENTION (9/2-4) – The 60th Annual Shelby Hamfest/ARRL NC State Convention, sponsored by the Shelby Amateur Radio Club – W4NYR, will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 2nd to the 4th, at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 1751 East Marion Street, Shelby, NC 28150. On Friday, the hours of operation are 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. On Saturday and Sunday, the gates open at 7:00 AM. The inside Dealer Buildings will be open 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturday, and 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM on Sunday. Talk-In: 146.880 MHz (-), no tone, W4NYR Repeater. WCARS is providing the VE testing for a cost of $10.00. For more information on VE testing, please contact Forum presentations are scheduled for Saturday (9/3). Please visit the ARRL Booth and participate in the letter-writing campaign for HR 1301 and S 1685 The Amateur Radio Parity Act. For further information on the Shelby Hamfest, including forum times, VE testing, flea market, vendors, camping, accommodations, tickets, and prizes, see (source: Shelby Hamfest website)

JAMBOREE ON THE AIR (JOTA) TO BE HELD OCTOBER 14-16 – The following update (slightly edited) on JOTA was received from Dave Price, K4KDP: “Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is just a few weeks away. On October 14-16, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be operating Ham radios set up by volunteers. This year, the Girl Scouts will also be able to work on their Radio and Wireless Technology patch, see To operate a JOTA station, it would be best to work with your local Boy Scout troop or Council office. A Ham radio operator can contact a Boy Scout office by doing an internet search using the terms, “Boy Scouts of America” and “your location”, or meet with a local Scout Troop leader. You may also see a Boy Scout information table at local elementary school orientation meetings, which are usually held the evening before students return to school from the summer break. There are several options, which range from registering to be a Radio Merit Badge Counselor to assisting a Scout leader to teach the Radio Merit Badge. I like to take out my older radios, and allow the Scouts to hold the microphone and spin the tuning dial – just like fishing, let the child hold the fishing pole. If you have a 2 meter repeater and you plan to set up a “Scout Net” during JOTA, please share the information with us. Try to record the number of Cub, Boy, and Girl Scouts that attend, the radio operator’s name/callsign, and a few highlights of your JOTA station. K2BSA,, has a lot of information and sends out updates on their Facebook page. Search for K2BSA on Facebook. K2BSA also has links to register a JOTA station before the event and for submitting log information afterwards. There is a JOTA net that you can join. The August net information can be found at It is nice to see the excitement a child has when someone responds to their call on the radio. Since 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (as well as the NC State Parks!), please consider holding your JOTA event at one of these Parks and pursue NPOTA activation at the same time. Boy Scouts also have a “STEM” program; STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. A lot of Scout parents are interested in seeing their child get an early introduction into technology and see STEM programs as a great way to start. The Boy Scout STEM website,, has more information on the fast growing STEM program. Feel free to contact me at if you need more information on supporting the Boy Scouts. K4KDP, K. Dave Price …” Thanks to Dave Price, K4KDP, ARRL Section Youth Coordinator – Scouting, for providing this report!

W4DXCC AND CONTEST CONVENTION SET FOR SEPTEMBER – The 12th Annual W4DXCC DX and Contest Convention is set for Friday and Saturday, September 23-24, in Pigeon Forge, TN. The ARRL-approved operating specialty convention will feature “Ham Radio Bootcamp,” which covers things every ham should know – kind of like the Elmer you may not have had. The presentation schedule is replete with DX and contest fare, including presentations on the TX3X Chesterfield Island, K5P Palmyra Atoll, South Sandwich and South Georgia, and Heard Island DXpeditions. Ward Silver, N0AX, will offer his contest operating tips and tricks. For further information, see (sources: Dave Anderson K4SV, ARRL website)

MARS SETS INTEROPERABILITY COMMUNICATIONS EXERCISE FOR AUGUST 15 – US Department of Defense (DOD) Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) operators in the US, Germany, and Japan, will take part in an interoperability communications exercise on August 15th, from 1200 UTC to 2359 UTC. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

FCC SEEKS COMMENTS ON WAIVER REQUEST FROM EXPERT LINEARS (DEADLINE, 8/29) – The FCC is inviting comments on a June 11 request from Expert Linears America LLC to waive §97.317(a)(2) of the Amateur Service rules to permit it to import, market, and use its model 1.3K FA amplifier in the US. The Texas company is seeking the waiver pending resolution of its earlier Petition for Rule Making (RM-11767), which called on the Commission to eliminate the 15 dB gain limitation on Amateur Radio amplifiers altogether. Expert said the version of the model 1.3K FA amplifier it now imports has been modified to comply with current rules. On May 26, ARRL told the FCC that it “strongly supports” Expert’s petition seeking to eliminate the Amateur Service rule, spelled out in §97.317(a)(2), that amateur amplifiers not be able to boost the RF input signal by more than 15 dB. Comments on the waiver request are due by August 29, reply comments by September 13. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

FCC PROPOSES RULE CHANGES IN RESPONSE TO ARRL’S “SYMBOL RATE” PETITION, SEEKS COMMENT (DEADLINE, 9/28) – The FCC has proposed to revise the Amateur Service Part 97 rules in response to the ARRL’s so-called “Symbol Rate” Petition for Rule Making (RM-11708), filed in late 2013, and it has invited comments on its recommended changes. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL 600 METER EXPERIMENT REPORTS 202,400+ HOURS OF OPERATION, ZERO INTERFERENCE – The ARRL 600 Meter Experiment under the WD2XSH Part 5 Experimental license reports that no interference complaints have been received from other services operating in the 465-515 kHz band over the course of more than 202,400 hours of operation, nor was interference from other operations an issue for any of the experiment’s participants. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

FUTURE FAA RULES COULD AFFECT SOME AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNAL SUPPORT STRUCTURES – Yet-to-be-developed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules stemming from the recent passage in Congress of H.R. 636, the FAA Reauthorization Act, could pose additional marking requirements for a small number of Amateur Radio towers. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL 2015 ANNUAL REPORT NOW AVAILABLE – For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

DAYTON HAMVENTION MOVING TO GREENE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS IN XENIA – The Dayton Hamvention® announced that it will be moving to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Xenia, Ohio, after 52 years at Hara Arena. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR ALL ACTIVITIES THAT STRENGTHEN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE – During its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors approved revisions concerning the management and governance of its National Traffic System™ (NTS) program. In response, some NTS™ participants have proposed to form a new organization with the stated purpose of engaging in current NTS activity, independent of ARRL. This action, in part, was a reaction to ARRL’s announcement regarding the creation of an enhanced emergency communications plan, scheduled for implementation later this year. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

QSL BUREAU LETTER SORTERS NEEDED – The following request for assistance was received from Paul Sturpe, W3GQ: “QSL Bureau Letter Sorters. … I could use one or maybe two new sorters. … Paul Sturpe, W3GQ, QSL Bureau Mgr, 4th Call Area, W4 K4 N4 Prefixes.” If you are interested in becoming a QSL Bureau Letter Sorter, please contact Paul Sturpe, W3GQ, by email at sturpe at gmail dot com. For further information on incoming and outgoing QSL service, see (source: ARRL website)

REMINDER! NET MANAGER AND NET CONTROL OPERATORS NEEDED FOR TAR HEEL EMERGENCY NET – The Tar Heel Emergency Net (THEN) is looking for a Net Manager and additional Net Control Stations. All individuals with ARES appointments – Assistant Emergency Coordinators, Emergency Coordinators, and District Emergency Coordinators – should consider participating as the Net Manager or as a Net Control Station. For further information, see or contact Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL NC Section Manager, at w4chx at arrl dot com. Thanks! (source: NC ARRL website)

ARRL NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR 2016 – For information on rules, answers to frequently asked questions, activator tips and NPS documents, NPOTA documents, answers to basic questions from NPS employees, the Leaderboard, list of NPOTA units, merchandise, NPOTA on social media, and latest news, see (source: ARRL website)


Sparta (NC): Amateur Extra license class, July 21 to December 22, 2016, sponsored by Sparta Amateur Radio Club – SPARC, contact Sam Burgiss, KA4APE by phone at (865) 659-3035 or by email at sburgiss at yahoo dot com for further information.

Raleigh (NC): Technician license class, August 6 to September 10, 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.

Kitty Hawk (NC): Technician license class, September 21 to November 2, 2016, sponsored by Outer Banks Repeater Association, contact Jim Bailey, N4ACT by phone at (252) 480-3065 or by email at n4act at earthlink dot net for further information.

Raleigh (NC): General license class, October 1 to October 22, 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 Richmond County Amateur Radio Club, see (source: Google search)

On the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club and Field Day, see (source: Google search)

On the Iredell County Amateur Radio Society and Field Day, see (source: Google search)

On the Rowan Amateur Radio Society and Field Day, see (please copy and paste this hyperlink into your web browser). Thanks to Ralph Brown, WA4AQK, Trustee, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, for providing this media hit!

On the Rowan Amateur Radio Society and Field Day, see (please copy and past this hyperlink into your web browser) Thanks to Ralph Brown, WA4AQK, Trustee, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, for providing this media hit!

On the McDowell Amateur Radio Association and Field Day, see and (sources: ARRL website, Google search)

On Hurricane Bertha and amateur radio (historical article), see (source: Google search)

A newspaper article from the Wilkes Journal-Patriot dated July 18th on the Foothills Amateur Radio Club and Field Day was received from Dave Ritter, ND4MR. Thanks, Dave!

On the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club and the Blue Ridge Brutal, see and (source: Google search, ARRL website)

The following report (edited) was received from James Johnson, KI4TAT: “Moore County Amateur Radio Society (MOCARS) Field Day… MOCARS annual field day demonstrated the science, skill and service of amateur radio. Members of MOCARS participated in the national Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field Day exercise June 25-26, 2016 at Cannon Park, Pinehurst NC. … This event was open to the public and all were encouraged to attend. We had representatives from local governments, served agencies including the Boy Scouts, Moore County Emergency Services, the Moore County Health department and the ARRL Section Manager for NC, Karl Bowman. …” In addition, a newspaper article dated July 31st from The Pilot (Southern Pines, NC) on the Moore County Amateur Radio Society and Field Day was received. Thanks to James Johnson, KI4TAT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

The following report (edited) was received from Bill Fisher, W4GRW: “CDXA 35th Anniversary Party Photos. Hello DX'ers. Thanks to everyone who was able to attend the 35th Anniversary party, yesterday, thank goodness for air conditioning! There were lots of pictures taken [see] … The turnout was great with over 70 DX'ers and family attending. Congratulations to all of the Charter Members who were able to attend! K4SQR Jim Miller, K4MQG Gary Dixon, W6NWS Larry Knain, AA4SC Ric Porter, WA4ZMM N1PD Paul Deyo, K2SD Scott Douglass, N4ZC Roger Burt "George Washington" (our first president). Here are the Charter Members who were unable to attend: AA4R Bill Parris, W4PNY Martin Lafferty, N4AXT Hugh Campbell. 73 de w4grw, Bill.” Congratulations to the Carolina DX Association on their 35th anniversary; and, thanks to Bill Turner, W4GRW, Vice President, Carolina DX Assocation, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Philip Jenkins, N4HF: “N4F - NC Mountain State Fair News. Due to increased financial considerations from the administrators at the NC Mountain State Fair, it has been decided to forego ham radio demonstrations and a special event station at the NC Mountain State Fair in September, at least for 2016. The Road Show ARC will use the respite – with input from other clubs – to decide how to proceed with the Fair ham station in the coming year(s). New ideas and contributions from ham clubs are always welcomed, even from outside the mountain region. TRSARC would like to thank the following clubs who have helped with the Fair efforts from 2013-2015: Cleveland County ARS, Blue Ridge ARC (Henderson county), Haywood County ARC, Lenoir ARC, Watauga ARC, Mayland ARC (Mitchell/Avery/Yancey counties), and Catamount Amateur Radio Group (Western Carolina University). There are also way too many individuals operators and members from other clubs to try to name them all, but their time at the Fair is equally as appreciated. …” Thanks to all clubs and individuals that contributed to the success of the amateur radio booth at the NC Mountain State Fair during 2013-2015; and, to Philip Jenkins, N4HF, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Kevin Heyboer, KD4UYR: “… Field Day 2016 was quite a success given that only 8 of our regular members participated. We operated a 3A station from the Sheriff's Training Center in Marble, contacting 148 stations and accumulating just under 1000 points. The greatest result was very good press in the "Cherokee Scout," both before and after the event. We were also visited by the Mayor of Hayesville (Clay County Seat) …” Thanks to Kevin Heyboer, KD4UYR, Acting Emergency Coordinator (Cherokee County), Cherokee County NCARES, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC: “Appalachian Solar Vehicle Team. As you may know, the competition has been underway between approximately 20 teams racing solar powered vehicles across middle America. The Appalachian Solar Vehicle Team invested a tremendous amount of effort to build their vehicle and are doing well in the race. WARC is proud to have played a small role in helping the team. Back in May and June, the Watauga Amateur Radio Club held an accelerated Technician license class and a special test session and eight members of the team became licensed amateur radio operators in March and in June. You can track their progress as they move towards the finish line in Hot Springs, SD. You will see that are presently in Nebraska. To find their location, go to [please copy and paste this hyperlink into your web browser] and in the box on the right hand side, enter the callsign km4swu-9. receives feeds from various Igates around the world and whenever an aprs unit transmits and is in range of a digipeater, the location and other information is picked up from that unit and fed into [please copy and paste this hyperlink into your web browser]. Numerous photos of the vehicle and the team can be found on the team's facebook page: [please copy and paste this hyperlink into your web browser]. Information about the team and its progress is featured on the main page for Appalachian State University: [please copy and paste this hyperlink into your web browser]. Congrats to the team and we look forward to helping them in the future with any of their communications needs as well as helping additional team members to become licensed amateur radio operators.” Best wishes to the Appalachian Solar Vehicle Team for success in the competition; thanks to the Watauga Amateur Radio Club for providing assistance; and, thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, President, Watauga Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Larry Ford, K4AEC: “Larry K4AEC and Bob KK4NUJ represented Clay County ARES (and NC ARES, as well) in the Annual "Golden Packet" APRS Exercise by deploying to Clingmans Dome, on the NC/TN border in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (6,600 feet MSL).” Thanks to both ops for participating in this annual exercise; and, to Larry Ford, K4AEC, Emergency Coordinator (Clay County), for providing this report!


QNI (total check-ins): 1,775; Total messages passed: 641.

Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 232, AK4RJ 230, KC4PGN 227, WB4ZIQ 190, WK4WC 190, WC9CW 161, W4DNA 126, W2EAG 122, KW4PD 115, W4TTO 74, W4EAT 50, KJ4JPE 40, KB4RGC 37, W3HL 28, KW4EMG 26, KE4AHC 0.

Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: W4DNA 355, KW4EMG 306, KW4PD 280, WK4WC 280, WB4ZIQ 240, KJ4JPE 220, WC9CW 215, KI4UDZ 135, K4IWW 130, AK4RJ 120, KB4RGC 112, W4TTO 105.

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: Madora Cooley Blackburn, KC4SZO (SK) of Winston-Salem; Charles Dennis Bodson, W4PWF (SK) of Arlington, VA; Joseph Browne Evans, Sr, AA4PR (SK) of Saint Pauls; and, Olivia Elvira Martin Talbert, KJ4FCO (SK) of Tobaccoville. 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.


September 1-4: 60th Annual Shelby Hamfest Special Event, 1600Z-2200Z, W4NYR, Shelby, NC. Shelby Amateur Radio Club. All HF bands, SSB and CW. QSL. SARC, PO Box 2206, Shelby, NC 28151. Times will vary daily.

September 10: 48th Annual National Hollerin’ Contest Spiveys’ Corner, 1500Z-2200Z, KK4NC, Dunn, NC. Sampson County Amateur Radio Service. 14.264 14.242 7.264 7.242. Certificate. Cliff Ireland (KK4NC), 170 Pinecroft Dr, Dunn, NC 28334.

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! (source: ARRL website)


August 13: 18th Annual Cape Fear ARS Swapfest, Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society, Fayetteville, NC,

September 2-4: 60th Annual Shelby Hamfest/ARRL NC State Convention, Shelby Amateur Radio Club, Shelby, NC,

September 24: FreeGate 2016, Qorvo Amateur Radio Club, Greensboro, NC,

November 20: JARSFest 2016, Johnston Amateur Radio Society, Benson, NC,

April 15, 2017: 45th Annual RARSFest/ARRL Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, 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* – Once again, the news regarding HR 1301 Amateur Radio Parity Act is encouraging. But, there are still more hurdles. Please remember: if the Bills are voted upon, your assistance will be needed, specifically to contact your Member(s) of Congress and request their favorable vote on the House (HR 1301) or Senate (S 1685) versions of the Amateur Radio Parity Act.

There is a new ARRL-affiliated club in the NC Section! The new club is the Greater Gaston Amateur Radio Society of Gastonia, NC. Congratulations and welcome!

In July, I attended the 31st Annual Firecracker Hamfest (7/9), in Salisbury, which was sponsored by the Rowan Amateur Radio Society; and, the 2016 Cary Mid-Summer Swapfest (7/16), which was sponsored by the Cary Amateur Radio Club. Congratulations to both clubs for putting on great hamfests and thanks for your hospitality!

I commented to a Ham the other day that I was pleased he had noticed that Media Hits, eg, links to newspaper articles, Reports, and articles from amateur radio clubs are featured in the NC Section Newsletter. My goal as Section Manager is to provide a monthly Newsletter that is focused on information of interest (hopefully!) to Hams in our State. It has taken time to grow the readership of the Newsletter. Likewise, it has taken time to let Hams and amateur radio clubs know that their contributions to the Newsletter are welcome.

Currently, the Media Hits, Reports, and most of the articles are derived primarily from four (4) sources: email communications from Hams associated with clubs or initiatives; ARRL-trained Public Information Officers associated with clubs; the ARRL website; and, Google searches using the “News” filter and key words, “amateur radio, NC” and “ham radio, NC.” Please note that source information is provided at the end of each Media Hit, Report, or article in the Newsletter.

If you, or your club or group, would like for me to know about your activities, please send a report for possible publication in the NC Section Newsletter. It is preferred that the report is “publication ready”; however, I can assist you with editing, as needed. If you have a hyperlink to a newspaper article, please forward it to me for possible inclusion in the NC Section Newsletter. In the absence of a hyperlink, a scanned copy of the article(s) can be forwarded. I will acknowledge receipt of the article(s) along with any comments that you provide.

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)