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Posted Mar 28, 2013

ARRL NORTH CAROLINA STATE CONVENTION is this Saturday, March 30th, at RARSfest at the Jim Graham Building inside the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Lots of vendors and forums, with this year's theme on" Emergency Communications." Talk-In 146.64 (No PL). More info at


Ronald E. McNair Elementary School in Browns Summit, just northeast of Greensboro, has been selected by ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) to have a QSO with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The approximate 10-15 minute QSO, which will take place during one of the ISS's passes over the area, is scheduled to take place the week of April 29th-May 4th. The exact date and time will be determined in late April. This is the third ARISS contact in North Carolina schools in recent years. In March, 2012, students at Salem Elementary School in Apex spoke with the ISS. International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, talked in 2006 with students at Peterson Elementary School in his home town of Red Springs. Schools apply with the ARISS organization to arrange QSOs with the ISS. Part of the criteria for selecting a school is based on how it integrates into its curriculum STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - and how Amateur Radio supports STEM studies on an ongoing basis. The school is named for astronaut and physicist Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who received his bachelor's degree from North Carolina A&T State University. He was one of seven crew members killed on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. You can learn more about ARISS at

DEREK BROWN, W4DTB, RECEIVES HIRAM PERCY MAXIM AWARD - 16 year old Derek Brown, W4DTB, from Chapel Hill, received the Hiram Percy Maxim award at the Carolinas DX Association (CDXA) dinner in Kannapolis on March 8th. The Hiram Percy Maxim award is ARRL's annual recognition of the most exemplary Ham under the age of 21 in the nation. Derek was honored for his work in DXing and contesting (he has almost 200 countries confirmed), his position as an Asst. Emergency Coordinator for ARES in Orange County, and his leadership as an ARRL appointed Public Information Officer (PIO) in developing outreach programs for younger Hams through the Youth Amateur Radio Club of America (YARCA) and its website

SECTION EMERGENCY COORDINATOR FIRST NON-GOVERNMENT EMCOMM REPRESENTATIVE - Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Tom Brown, N4TAB, has been named to the North Carolina State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC). Tom is believed to be the first representative from a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in the nation to be appointed to a SIEC. Tom's appointment is based largely on the rapid development of AUXCOMM (Auxiliary Communications) of which ARES is a contributor along with MARS, Military Auxiliary Radio System.

NORTH CAROLINA AND TENNESSEE LEADERS IN EMCOMM - North Carolina now has 540 ARES members who have passed FEMA's Incident Command Structure (ICS) courses 100, 200, 700 and 800, the four basic ICS courses. North has the second highest concentration of ICS credentialed Amateur Radio operators in the U.S. behind Tennessee, which has over 600. North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) and virtually all county emergency management organizations have made ICS training mandatory for government communications deployments and assignments.

NORTH CAROLINA QSO PARTY - Hundreds of North Carolina ops were on the air for the annual North Carolina QSO Party on Sunday, February 24th. Logs are due next Monday, April 1st but 25% more logs have already seen submitted over last year. For more details go to Results will be announced in April.

FIRST LOCAL GOVERNMENT LIAISONS NAMED IN N.C. -ARRL has had the position of Local Government Liaison (LGL) for years but none were appointed in the North Carolina section until now. State Government Liaison (SGL) Chuck deCourt, W3WZN, has appointed Dr. Karl Bowman, W4CHX, and Cliff Broughton, W4FT, as LGLs to work with officials in the City of Raleigh in the redesign of its zoning ordinances affecting Amateur Radio antennas. The North Carolina state antenna laws are almost six years old, and only recently have counties and municipalities begun to look to bring their ordinances into alignment with state law.

MEDIA HITS - On March 4th, the Wilson Times carried an article during North Carolina Severe Weather Awareness Week March 3-9 about Wilson County ARES. PIO Ben Gufford, W4BRG, was quoted throughout the story. Wilmington's WWAY-TV featured Red Cross chapter volunteer recruitment as its lead story on Sunday, March 24th, including the importance of Amateur Radio with nice shots of the chapter's station, K4CFC. You can view the story at

FIELD DAY PACKAGE READY FROM ARRL - Hard to believe, but Field Day is less than 90 days away, with this year's dates as June 22-23. You and your club can now download all the information you need at Eleven North Carolina clubs have already listed their 2013 FD locations on ARRL's website at Last year over 60 locations were listed by the time Field Day took place. In addition, ARRL's Public Relations Committee will hold a free webinar on Thursday, April 25, at 8:00 PM for anyone who wants to know how to promote Field Day in their community. Register now at

YOUTH ROUNDUP - In addition to the news above about the upcoming ARISS contact and Derek Brown winning the Hiram Percy Maxim award, two Triangle clubs showed Amateur Radio to youth in March. The Raleigh Amateur Radio Society (RARS) helped the Odyssey Of The Mind (a problem solving competition) Eastern Region Tournament in Chapel Hill on March 2nd, and the Durham FM Association (DFMA) helped with displays at the Creekside Elementary School Science Fair in Durham on March 21st. 8th grade General Class licensee Nevin Wetherill, W4ADX, and grandparents Bill Wetherill, N2WG, and Karen Wetherill, KG4BUK, helped 78 students at Topsail Middle School in Hampstead get on the air during the semi-annual School Club Roundup in February.

CLUB UPDATES - Many thanks to the 63 of 69 North Carolina ARRL affiliated clubs which have updated their annual club information at It's important to keep your club's profile and contact information up to date, especially for inactive or relocating Hams who want to get in contact with local groups. Make a note to update your club's information at least once a year. The best time is right after the club's annual election so the names of the new officers are listed.

IMPROVE YOUR CW - A proven way to improve your code is to get on the air, but if you're looking for a bit of help, there are two nets which will help enormously. Both of these are traffic handling nets. If you've never done CW traffic handling before, no need to be afraid. Both of these nets are designed for CW beginners or those who want to improve some rusty skills. Traffic handling, even if you do it for a short time, will vastly improve your overall CW skills. The first is the daily Carolinas Slow Net (CSN) which runs nightly at 8:00 PM local on 3571 KHz. The second is the Hit & Bounce Net, an East Coast 40 meter CW net with a slow speed version at 7:30 AM on 7114 KHz. To understand the CW Net Control "Q" signals that are used, you should download and print out the "Pink Sheet" of Procedural Signals, or "Prosigns", at The Prosign chart is nicknamed the "Pink Sheet" because it used to be published by ARRL on pink paper, and many CW traffic handlers keep their copies on pink paper. Although the Hit & Bounce Net is an informal traffic net, it is managed by legendary CW traffic handler Mark Rappaport, W2EAG, of New Bern.

NTS FEBRUARY SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT - QNI (total check-ins) 2834. TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 584. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 341, W4DNA 241, KS4PG 118, WB4Y 100, WB4ZIQ 100, W2EAG 93, WK4P 74, KJ4RUD 63, AK4RJ 60, KC4PGN 57, K4JUU 53, KJ4JPE 47, W4TTO 45, KE4AHC 40, KK4BVR 36, W3HL 30, N2RTF 20, KA4IZN 13. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) WB4ZIQ 170, W4DNA 145, WK4P 140, K4IWW 130, K4JUU 120, KS4PG 120, KK4BVR 116, KJ4JPE 115, W4TTO 115, AK4RJ 110, KJ4RUD 110, W2EAG 110, N2RTF 90, WB4Y 90.

HAMFESTS - Saturday, March 30, RARSfest, Raleigh (see details top of this newsletter); Saturday, April 20, Catawba Valley Hamfest, Burke County Fairgrounds, Morganton. Talk-In 147.15. More info at Saturday, April 27, Downeast Hamfest, Lenoir Community College, Kinston. Talk-In 146.685 (PL 82.5) More info at

PUBLIC SERVICE - April 18, Carolina Cycling Time Trail Association, Charlotte Motor Speedway. More info: April 20, MS Walk, Wilmington. More info: April 27, Southern Pines Spring Fest. More info go to April 27, TarWheel Century bike race, Elizabeth City. More info:

SPECIAL EVENTS - April 6, Old Baldy, lighthouse on Bald Head Island, N4GM, Brunswick Shores ARC. Details at April 27-28, Warriors & Warbirds WWII weekend, W4B, Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport, Monroe. Host is Union County Amateur Radio Service. More details at:Š If you have a Special Event station coming up, please be sure to list it at

LICENSING CLASSES - None listed at the present time. To find an upcoming class, go to To register an upcoming class, go to

SILENT KEYS - None reported in the last month

QUA* - Lighten up. Ham Radio got a gift on March 15th. That Friday night, ABC-TV's hit comedy Last Man Standing featured Amateur Radio before an estimated audience of 13 million Americans. The show stars Tim Allen as a beleaguered father raising three teenage girls. One of his daughters abuses her social media privileges and he takes away her cell phone. She then discovers his Ham station in the basement and proceeds to talk on 20 meters with her boyfriend, her father's boss who's in South America on a jungle trip (both licensed Hams in the story) and several older Hams, one of whom helps her complete a term paper on WWII describing his experiences on D-Day. All this masterfully compressed into a witty subplot over the course of just a few minutes. Amateur Radio was portrayed in a humorous but tasteful light where it was shown to be a fun hobby. Well, as soon as the show was over, the naysayers flocked to the internet to complain how the daughter wasn't licensed, didn't ID, her Dad wasn't present as a 3rd party control op, etc. Some Ham Historians believe the last time that Amateur Radio was formally incorporated into a television program was The Arthur Godfrey Show in the early 1960s. Arthur Godfrey! A half century ago! At this pace the next time we can expect to see Ham Radio on TV again will be 2063. Given the time constraints of the show, it would have been impossible to fit a by-the-book QSO and still have the plot maintain an even flow. Several hundred or thousand Hams may be sore about nitpicking accuracy, but 13 million other Americans got to see that Ham Radio is alive, well and still hip. Last Man Standing Producer John Amodeo, NN6JA, deserves a pat on the back for showcasing Ham Radio on TV after a 50 year absence.

73 de Bill Morine N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

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