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ARRL NC Section Newsletter -- March, 2015

Posted Mar 31, 2015

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

BREAKING NEWS! 2015 NORTH CAROLINA QSO PARTY RESULTS – Here are the results from the 2015 North Carolina QSO Party, see Congratulations to the winners; and, thanks to Marty Young, W4MY, NCQP Committee Chairman, and the NCQP Committee – Marc Sullivan, W4MPS, Logs Chairman; Paul Stroud, AA4XX, Member at Large; Andy Peterson, AA9P, "IT Guy"; Joanne Mars, AK4RJ, Clubs Manager; Dwayne Ayers, N4MIO, Awards Manager; and, Bill Turner, W4WNT, Member at Large – for making the 2015 North Carolina QSO Party such a successful event!

HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 – The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 – known as H.R.1301 – was introduced in the US House of Representatives on March 4th. The Bill would require the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners' association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as "covenants, conditions, and restrictions" (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to include such private land-use agreements without direction from Congress. H.R. 1301 was introduced by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and as of March 28th, it has 31 co-sponsors, including Representative David Price (D- NC-4). The Bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Representative Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure. ARRL members are urged to contact their US House members and ask them to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor. For further information, see

ARRL CENTENNIAL POINTS CHALLENGE AND W1AW WAS AWARDS APPLICATION WINDOW OPEN – The application window for the ARRL Centennial Points Challenge and W1AW Worked All States awards is now open! For further information, including information on the total number of QSOs, see

ARRL TEACHERS INSTITUTE ON WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY – As part of the ARRL educational outreach to schools, multiple sessions of the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, an expenses paid professional development seminar, are being offered this summer in several US locations. The Teachers Institute has provided elementary school- to university-level teachers with tools and strategies to introduce basic electronics, the science of radio, space technology and satellite communications, as well as weather science, introduction to micro-controllers and basic robotics in their classrooms. The Teachers Institute curriculum is designed for motivated teachers, and other school staff, who want to learn more about wireless technology and bring that knowledge to their students. The 2015 Teachers Institute schedule has been posted and applications are being accepted until May 1, 2015. For further information, see If you know an educator that would benefit from this training, please forward this information to them.

43rd ANNUAL RARSFEST 2015 / ARRL NC STATE CONVENTION (4/4) – The 43rd Annual RARSfest 2015 / ARRL NC State Convention, sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, will be held on Saturday, April 4th, at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. The activities will include: forums and meetings; hamfest prizes, VE testing at 9:00 AM; QSL card checking; hands- on construction project; fox hunt demonstration and competition; new equipment dealers; and, the flea market. The forums and meetings will include an ARRL Open Forum with Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, Roanoke Division Director and Bill Morine, N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director; "Exploring MANY of the Activities and Opportunities for NEW Hams" with Virginia Enzor, NC4VA; "ARRL Interference Issues and the Product Review Program" with Ed Hare, W1RFI, ARRL Laboratory Supervisor; "NWS Basic Spotter Training" with Brandon Dunstan, KI4ZCX, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist and Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, Emergency Coordinator, Central Carolina SKYWARN; "NC QSO Party Forum" with Marty Young, W4MY and the NC QSO Party Staff; and, the ARRL NC Section Forum with reports from the NC Section leaders. For further information, see

FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 15 – The deadline to apply for 2015-2016 academic year scholarships administered by the non-profit Foundation for Amateur Radio has been moved to April 15th. These scholarships, sponsored by individuals and amateur radio clubs throughout the US, are available to licensed Hams worldwide. Applicants must hold a valid amateur radio license and be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at an accredited university, college, or technical school. Individual scholarships may have additional requirements. For further information, see Thanks for Jim Cross, WI3N, Maryland-DC Section Manager, for providing the reminder on this scholarship opportunity!

ARISS CONTACT PROPOSAL WINDOW FOR 2016 NOW OPEN (REMINDER) – The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is now accepting applications from formal and informal educational institutions and organizations in the US – either individually or working together – that would like to host an amateur radio contact with an International Space Station crew member between January 1 and June 30, 2016. The application window closes on April 15th. For further information, see

2015 CYSTIC FIBROSIS "EXTREME HIKE" (4/18) (REMINDER) – The 2015 Cystic Fibrosis "Extreme Hike" will be held on April 18th. Participants will walk a 30-mile section of the Appalachian Trail in a single day. Communications with five rest stops will be provided by members of the Mayland, Watauga, and Carter County (TN) Amateur Radio Clubs. But, with as much as 10 miles of rugged trail between rest stops, and little or no cell service, communications between rest stops is a big challenge. The event team could use some hardy volunteer Hams with HTs who would be willing to hike a portion of the trail during the event to help assure the safety of the hikers. If you’re interested, contact Stephen Williams, KI4ZUI, at Thanks to Tim Slay, N4IB, Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club Coordinator, for providing this information!

ARRL SEEKS MEMBER INPUT ON DRAFT HF BAND PLAN PROPOSALS (REMINDER) – The ARRL is asking Members to comment by April 19th on possible changes to the ARRL HF Band Plans, which have been suggested by the HF Band Planning Committee. For further information, see

FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON RADAR SHARING SCHEMES THAT COULD DISPLACE AMATEUR RADIO AT 76-81 GHZ (REMINDER) – The FCC is seeking comment on issues involving expanded use of various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. For further information, see

LICENSING CLASSES – At the present time, there are no classes listed on the ARRL website with a starting date between April 1st and June 30th. 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 Battle of Guilford Courthouse commemoration and Special Event Station N4G, see

On digital voice communications in amateur radio, see

The following report was received from Bill Schwiegeraht, N8KSG: " The Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club has installed two new Yaesu DR-1x System Fusion repeaters. On 147.345 MHz (pl 103.5) is our machine located in Madison, NC, and our 146.85 MHz (pl 103.5) repeater is located between Eden and Reidsville, NC. Both repeaters are being operated in mixed mode (FM and CF4M active). The Club is planning to connect both repeaters to the internet in the future when the wires-x firmware upgrade is released by Yaesu. All amateurs are encouraged to make use of these repeaters, and any reports on performance can be sent to" Thanks to Bill Schwiegeraht, N8KSG, President of Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club, for sending this report!

The following announcement was received from Ron Rogers, WW8RR: "The Southeastern VHF Society is proud to announce the upcoming 2015 Spring Technical Conference will be held at the Space Science Center of Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky on April 24th and 25th. In addition, this conference has just been upgraded to an Operating Specialty Convention by the ARRL. Two days of various VHF-UHF-Microwave technical presentations covering weak signal work, VHF-UHF- Micro contesting, construction technique, demos, antenna testing, preamp testing, vendor displays, flea market, and a Saturday evening banquet with its history of valuable door prizes. The SVHFS website and links to the conference registration, program, and hotel info are at" Thanks to Ron Rogers, WW8RR, Technical Specialist, ARRL Georgia Section, for providing this report! Attached to an email from Bill Morine, N2COP was this message from Stan White, KI4NC on Elmer Day in Wilmington on Saturday, March 21st: "The inaugural Elmer Event was a huge success. Thanks to all local Hams who attended and to CARES for sponsoring the event. Special thanks to those Hams who gave presentations on DMR, Contesting, Power Poles, soldering, and radio programming. Other Elmer events are already being planned to include antenna building and air cannon construction. We will keep you posted as we hear more from the event organizers. ?73 Stan." In addition, images from Elmer Day were provided, see Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP, Vice Director, Roanoke Division and Stan White, KI4NC for providing this report; and, to the Hams from Carolinas Amateur Radio Emergency Services (CARES), Wilmington VHF Association, Hampstead Hams, and the New Hanover and Pender County ARES group for donating their time and talents in Elmer Day – great job! The following announcement from the Brunswick Shores Amateur Radio Club was forwarded by Bill Morine, N2COP: "The Brunswick Shores Amateur Radio Club will be going to Bald Head Island to operate from the "Old Baldy" lighthouse on April 11, 2015. This will be a fair-weather only event. Discounted round-trip ferry tickets will be available for those wishing to take the Bald Head Island Ferry. Free transportation is available on Paul's (KI4SPO) boat. We will plan on being on the island by 10:00 AM and leaving on the 4:30 PM ferry to return to the mainland. We will be operating two transmitters, a G5RV and one or two dipoles. We will have a cooler and ice. This has been a fun event the past several years. Family and friends are invited. Please RSVP to George Fryer, ki4kk at n4gm dot org by April 6 if you want discount ferry tickets. All who plan to attend should RSVP no later than April 9 so we can set up schedules for equipment transportation and setup." Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP, Vice Director, Roanoke Division, and the Brunswick Shores Amateur Radio Club for providing this information!

The following report was received from Irv McWherter, K3IRV: "On March 27, three members of the Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society (CFARS), Burt Vander Clute, N4ERM, Bob Tigh, WA4WHV, and Irv McWherter, K3IRV, provided a demonstration and information on amateur radio and its importance in emergencies to the Lake Rim Home School Program, a group of about 12 mothers and 35 students. Our demonstration started out with operation of a Jacobs Ladder, which worked great to capture the students’ attention. Next, we had a brief demonstration using HTs and allowed a few of the students to operate and have a short conversation, using control operators of course. Amateur Radio's support of the Cumberland County EOC and Emergency Shelters was discussed and several handouts explaining amateur radio and the location of the six emergency shelters were given to the students."

In the same email, Irv K3IRV commented, "FYI we are scheduled to have a booth at the Cumberland Disaster Recovery Coalition's Disaster Preparedness Expo in April, and we will have another demonstration for an 80-member home school group in September." Thanks to Irv McWherter, K3IRV, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer for providing this report!

The following report was received from Keith Stroud, KK4PLI: "As part of the NC Science Festival 2015, the Carteret County Amateur Radio Society (CCARS) will be operating portable at Fort Macon State Park on Saturday, April 25. The NC Science Festival is a multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology's impact on education, culture and finance through hands on activities, tours, experiences and exhibits. The staff at Fort Macon presented CCARS with an opportunity to participate in the NC Science Festival at the Fort itself by setting up a portable station to further educate visitors about Amateur Radio and its capabilities. CCARS additionally has expanded the event to include an activation of Bogue Banks, NA-112 through the Islands On The Air (IOTA) at the same time. An IOTA activation was a goal of the Club for 2015 and this event presented an excellent opportunity to accomplish this goal since Fort Macon is located on Bogue Banks." Thanks to Keith Stroud, KK4PLI, President, Carteret County Amateur Radio Society, for providing this report!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR JANUARY, 2015 – QNI (total check-ins): 2,677; Total messages passed: 647. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 432, KC4PGN 182, W2EAG 174, KF4OCU 163, AK4RJ 103, WB4ZIQ 64, WK4WC 59, W4DNA 56, W4TTO 55, KE4AHC 34, KW4EMG 28, KJ4JPE 17, N2RTF 14. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 188, WK4WC 180, W4DNA 170, K4IWW 130, WB4ZIQ 125, KJ4JPE 122, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 100, N2RTF 99, AK4RJ 90, KF4OCU 80. 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: Virginia ("Jini") May Blackstock Drye, K4LDA (SK) of Albemarle; Allen L. ("Al") Guin, Jr, W4ZQB (SK) of Charlotte; Timothy Edward ("Tim") Howland, KC4LRY (SK) of Beaufort; and, Anita Golden Kellum, KC4AQB (SK) of Raleigh. 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 – 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 and 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 April 19: BSA Troop 49/USS North Carolina Battleship (tentative). The following report was received from Tim O’Rourke, W4YN: "Troop 49 will be on board April 19th, if we can work out details look for us on 20 or 17M with troop call WT4IX." Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP, Vice Director, Roanoke Division, and Tim O’Rourke, W4YN for providing this information! April 25: NC Science Festival 2015 at Fort Macon State Park (NA-112), 1300Z-2000Z, Atlantic Beach NC. Carteret County Amateur Radio Society. 14.260 18.128 7.055 and other IOTA published frequencies as needed. For more information or contact Additional information on this Special Event Station can be found in the Media Hits and Reports section of this Newsletter. May 9: Inaugural Special Event Celebrating 150th Anniversary of Last Shot Fired of the Civil War, 1400Z-2000Z, KW4P, Waynesville, NC. Haywood County Amateur Radio Club. 28.440 21.340 14.340 7.240. Certificate. HCARC, PO Box 1435, Waynesville, NC 28786. More information and downloadable certificate July 15-17: Royal Rangers 2015 Camp-o-Rama, 1500Z-2200Z, K4R, Browns Summit, NC. Royal Rangers. 28.450 21.250 14.250 7.150. QSL. Steven R. Allen, 5691 Howell Dr, Dublin, VA 24084. Royal Rangers is a boys Ministry of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and the Assembly of God Church. 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 – 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 May 9: Rockingham County ARC Swapfest, Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club, Reidsville, NC, see May 16: FreeGate 2015, Qorvo Amateur Radio Club, Greensboro, 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 August 8: 17th Annual Cape Fear Amateur Radio Swapfest, Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society, Fayetteville, NC, 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* – It has been a very busy month! On Sunday, March 1st, my wife, Gale K4GGB, and I visited the field operations site for two clubs that were participating in the NC QSO Party – the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club at the USS North Carolina (BB-55) in Wilmington and the Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society at Smith Lake in Fayetteville. It was fun to visit these sites, observe their operations, and most importantly, meet with the Hams! We would have liked to visit at least one more site, but the adverse weather impacted our plans.

On Saturday, March 7th, I participated in the NC Central Branch AUXCOMM meeting, which was held at the NC State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Raleigh. This was my first visit to the new EOC, which provides facilities for the National Guard, the Division of Emergency Management, and communications support for the NC Department of Transportation and the State Highway Patrol. The Central Branch meeting included a tour of the EOC, which was impressive. Equally impressive were the presentations on the NC Communications Unit by Frank Pleshe, N3FRP; FirstNet in NC (a nationwide public safety wireless broadband system) by Tom Brown, N4TAB and Allan Sadowski, AH6LS; and, the hands-on training with VIPER radios conducted by Tucker Sizemore of the NC State Highway Patrol. Thanks to Frank Pleshe, N3FRP, Statewide AUXCOMM ASEC and Deputy Statewide AUXCOMM Coordinator, Special Operations, for organizing the Central Branch meeting and to the presenters for providing these important updates to the participants!

On March 13th and 14th, I attended the Charlotte Hamfest / ARRL NC Section Convention, which was sponsored by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society. On Friday evening (3/13), I went to the Carolina DX Association banquet. As always, these are well-run events and it was great to see everyone! At the Hamfest, I enjoyed being involved in the awards presentation for the 2014 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award winners David W. Anderson, K4SV and Kent V. Hufford, KQ4KK; and, visiting the National Traffic System (NTS) booth, which was organized and staffed by the NTS traffic handlers in our Section. In addition, the ARRL booth was set up to allow ARRL Members to participate in the HR 1301 letter-writing campaign. As a result, 74 letters were produced and sent to the ARRL for subsequent distribution to the appropriate Representative’s office. I am pleased to announce that similar database and computer resources will be available at RARSfest (4/4), which will allow additional ARRL Members to participate in the HR 1301 letter-writing campaign.

On Thursday, March 19th, I attended the monthly meeting of the Johnston Amateur Radio Society (JARS) and made a presentation on my visits to Field Day sites in Western NC last year. It was nice to visit with the JARS members and enjoy a great meal at their meeting!

On Saturday, March 21st, I attended the quarterly meeting of the Quarter Century Wireless Association in Clayton. Gary Coffey, K4AVC of Morehead City gave an excellent presentation, "All 60 Meters Holds for You". Three individuals received certificates recognizing their 60th anniversary of amateur radio licensing: Lou Alexander, K4BYN of Raleigh, Wayne Ashworth, W4HG of Salisbury, and Robert McNeill II, W4MBD of Morehead City. In addition, Tom Lewis, N4TL of Raleigh and Ernie Wall, NC4EW of Oak Ridge received their 50-year certificates. Congratulations!

On Saturday, March 28th, I attended the 25th Annual Down East Hamfest in Kinston. I enjoyed interacting with the Hams from eastern NC and greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved with the Down East Hamfest to put on a great event!

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 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. Finally, 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)

*QUA is an international Q signal (prosign) meaning, "Have you news of _____?" In the absence of a question mark, QUA means, "I have news of ____."