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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

March, 2016

Greetings from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE) – As of March 28th, HR 1301 has 123 co-sponsors, including 5 Representatives from North Carolina: David Price (D-NC-4); Walter Jones, Jr (R-NC-3); Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10); David Rouzer (R-NC-7); and, Renee Elmers (R-NC-2). Source:, copy and paste this link into your web browser.

S 1685 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE) – S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS). The wording in S 1685 and HR 1301 are identical. As of January 27th, there are 3 co-sponsors: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the original co-sponsor of the Bill; Senator Al Franken (D-MN); and, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS). Source:; copy and paste this link into your web browser. For further information on HR 1301 and S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR 2016 – For information on rules, answers to frequently asked questions, activator tips, 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)


March 23 – April 10: Heard Island (VK0EK), see and

March 29 – April 11: Juan de Nova Island (FT4JA), see and For information on upcoming DXpeditions, see, click on Coming Events, click on DXpeditions Listed On NG3K. (sources: VK0EK, FT4JA, ARRL, and Carolina DX Association websites)

44th ANNUAL RARSFEST AND ARRL NC SECTION CONVENTION (4/2) – The 44th Annual RARSfest and ARRL NC Section Convention will be held on Saturday, April 2nd, from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, in Raleigh, NC. The location for the event is the Jim Graham Building, North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607. Talk-in via W4DW 146.64 MHz repeater, no tone. In addition to the commercial vendor exhibits and flea market, RARSfest will have raffle prizes, youth-operated HF/VHF station, a hands-on construction project area, QSL card checking, a competitive fox-hunt, and VE testing at 9:00 AM sharp. The forum sessions will include updates on the ARRL Roanoke Division and the ARRL NC Section; and, presentations on activities and opportunities for new Hams, SKYWARN Basic Spotter Training, and the NC QSO Party. Dan Henderson, N1ND, ARRL Regulatory Information Manager, will make a presentation entitled, “Amateur Radio Myths and Realities.” The 2016 RARSfest is sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society. For further information, see (source: RARSfest website)

2016 CATAWBA NUCLEAR EXERCISE (4/5) – The following report (slightly edited) was received from Tony Lewis, KE4VVF via the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society reflector: “Reminder: 2016 Catawba Nuclear Exercise Tuesday, April 5th. The 2016 Catawba Nuclear Exercise will take place on Tuesday, April 5th starting around 8:45 am and it will last until around 2:00 pm. An ARES Resource Net supporting this exercise will be called on the 146.940- (118.8 tone) repeater linked to the 145.230- (118.8 tone) and 224.400- repeaters. The alternate net frequency will be the 145.290- (118.8 tone). If no repeaters are available, then 146.580 Simplex will be used. Simulated message traffic or check-ins can also be sent via: a) Winlink 2000 / RMS Express to NC4DP; b) Packet to NC4DP on CLTBBS / W4BFB-9 (Access CLTNE / KE4IYH-4 or Spence / W4BFB-6 or NCCLT / W4BFB-1 nodes and type BBS for easy access to CLTBBS). (Please remember that RMS now requires a password to log in and RMS via packet gateway requires you to include the challenge number in your password); and, c) Echolink is also available. The Echolink node is K4NET-L. All Amateurs are cordially invited to check in. Please feel free to check in via multiple modes - Voice, Packet and RMS Express/WL2K. I look forward to hearing you all on the net and thank you for your support. 73, Tony Lewis - KE4VVF…..” Thanks to Tony Lewis, KE4VVF, Emergency Coordinator (Mecklenburg County), for providing this information!

STANLY COUNTY RADIO SCIENCE DAY (4/9) AND NC SCIENCE FESTIVAL (4/8-24) – On March 10th, the following information from David Nichols, KW4PD was forwarded by Carl Starnes, W4EAT: “….. Wanted to share the Stanly Community College’s (SCC) announcement [about] Radio Science Day on April 9th. ….. Carl W4EAT [forwarded message follows] ….. SCC will host Stanly County Radio Science Day on April 9, 2016, in conjunction with the NC Science Festival. Read all about it,” Approximately 2 weeks later, a second email was received from Carl W4EAT: “….. I was wondering if you would post a query to your NC Section mailing list to see if any other clubs plan to participate. Would be nice to work other NC clubs that are participating. ….. 73 Carl W4EAT.” These emails prompted me to search for information on the NC Science Festival, specifically any amateur radio events associated with the Festival. Here is what I found. According to its website: “The North Carolina Science Festival is a multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology. The Festival highlights the educational, cultural and financial impact of science in our state. Through hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits, and performances, the Festival engages a wide range of public audiences while inspiring future generations” (from, accessed on March 29, 2016). A search of the website did not reveal any amateur radio events, including the activity scheduled at the Stanly Community College, even though that event is listed on the Festival calendar. Therefore, it is not known if other amateur radio events are scheduled for the 2016 NC Science Festival. Regardless, it was great to learn that amateur radio will be featured in at least one location this year and in the future, there may be opportunities to promote amateur radio in this well-organized, statewide event! For further information on the NC Science Festival, see Please consider having your club participate in the 2017 NC Science Festival. Thanks to David Nichols, KW4PD and Carl Starnes, W4EAT of the Stanly County Amateur Radio Club, for providing this information! Finally, if there are other amateur radio clubs or Special Event Stations participating in the 2016 NC Science Festival, please inform Carl Starnes, W4EAT (and me, too)!

SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER CLASSES, HENDERSON COUNTY (4/9) – The following information from John Quinn, N9JZX, was forwarded by Tom Brown, N4TAB: “….. There will be a Skywarn Class in Henderson County on Saturday, April 9 from 9 to 12. NOAA's Anthony Sturey from Greer, SC will conduct the class. Interested parties should contact John Quinn at for details. ….. Thanks. John Quinn N9JZX.” Thanks to John Quinn, N9JXZ, Emergency Coordinator (Henderson County), and Tom Brown, N4TAB, NC Section Emergency Coordinator, for providing this information!

REMINDER! VHF SUPER CONFERENCE, STERLING, VA (4/14-17) – The VHF Super Conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles International Airport, Sterling, VA, on April 14-17, 2016. For further information, see Thanks to Micky Clement, W1MKY of Henniker, NH for providing this information!

REMINDER! FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO INVITES SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS (DEADLINE, 4/15) – The Foundation for Amateur Radio Inc invites applications for the 2016-2017 academic year for the 46 scholarships it administers. The deadline for applications is April 15th. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

REMINDER! ARISS OPENS WINDOW TO INVITE SCHOOL AND GROUP PROPOSALS FOR ISS HAM RADIO CONTACTS (DEADLINE, 4/15) – The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is seeking proposals from schools, formal or informal educational institutions, and organizations to host an amateur radio contact next year with an ISS crew member. The deadline for applications is April 15th. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER CLASSES, HICKORY, NC (4/30) – Charlotte Regional SKYWARN will be hosting SKYWARN Storm Spotter Classes on Saturday, April 30, 2016, in Hickory, NC. The location for this event is the Hickory Regional Airport, 3101 9th Ave Dr NW, Hickory, NC 28601. Tony Sturey, of the NWS Forecast Office Greenville – Spartanburg (SC), will teach the classes. The Basic Course will be held from 10:00 AM sharp – 12:00 PM, and the Advanced Course will be held from 12:45 – 2:15 PM. There will be a lasagna buffet offered for $7, which includes salad, bread, and your choice of coffee, tea, or water. Please RSVP to, with your name, the number of people in your group, your contact telephone number and email address, and the city in which you reside. Since available spaces are likely to fill quickly, an overflow list will be established so that individuals can be contacted when space becomes available. Thanks to Lee Sossamon, KK4GEV, Emergency Coordinator (Charlotte Regional SKYWARN), for providing this information!

REMINDER! ARRL TEACHERS INSTITUTE ON WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY ANNOUNCES 2016 SCHEDULE (DEADLINE, 5/1) – May 1, 2016 is the application deadline for educators seeking admission to the summer sessions of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, which are being offered by the ARRL Education & Technology Program (ETP). The ARRL Teachers Institute is an expenses-paid, professional development opportunity for teachers in a school, college, or professional educational organization who want to acquire training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom and incorporate mathematics and science with engineering and technology. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARISS MARKS ITS 1,000TH CONTACT! – The following report from Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, ARRL Education Services Manager, was forwarded by Steve Ewald, WV1X, ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor: “In case you haven’t seen some of the great press the ARISS program is generating lately around the celebration of the program’s 1000th scheduled school contact, I’d like to bring these stories to your attention. The 1000th scheduled educational contact occurred yesterday, March 10. It was a conversation between astronaut Tim Kopra, KE5UDN and students in Grand Forks, North Dakota, hosted by the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium. You’ll find a local news story here: ….. In tribute to the program’s milestone, NASA also published a news release, which you’ll find at: In addition, the NASA public affairs office has published three videos telling the story of ARISS. The first features astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB talking about the impact of the program to her personally. The second features astronaut Tim Peake, recorded on board the ISS explaining how the amateur radio contacts are conducted from space. Here are links to the first two: and The third NASA video is longer featuring comments from several astronauts who have participated in the program reflecting on the impact of the program: In addition, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center published a wonderful video about a recent contact hosted by the Space Hardware Club at University of Alabama, Huntsville for local middle school and home schooled students. The video includes interviews with students and educators reflecting on the experience, which makes it a powerful tool for marketing the program. Here’s the link: Enjoy! You’ll find all of these news items documented on the website at: where you can refer your constituents. A reminder: The proposal window for schools and educational organizations wishing to host a contact during the first half of 2017 is open until April 15. Find more information at 73, Debra.” Thanks to Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, ARRL Education Services Manager and Steve Ewald, WV1X, ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor, for providing this report! For additional information on the 1,000th ARISS contact, see (source: ARRL staff and website)

ARRL TO REVIEW, EVALUATE, AND EXPLORE POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS FOR OO PROGRAM – The ARRL Headquarters staff has been directed by the ARRL Executive Committee to “review and evaluate the Official Observer (OO) program, solicit input from the field organization, and explore areas of possible improvement including in the area of training for OOs.” For further information on this topic, and other actions from the March 12th meeting of the ARRL Executive Committee, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL TELLS FCC TO RESTORE BALANCE OF MODES ON 80 AND 75 METERS – In comments filed on March 23rd on its Petition for Rule Making (RM 11759) seeking changes to 80 and 75 meters, the ARRL has told the FCC that its primary objective is to “rebalance” the bands by correcting a 10-year old FCC error. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)


Gastonia (NC): Technician license class, April 2, 2016, sponsored by Greater Gaston Amateur Radio Society and VE Team, contact Tony Jones, N4ATJ by phone at (704) 827-2138 or by email at n4atj at bellsouth dot net for further information.

Raleigh (NC): Amateur Extra license class, April 16 to June 11, 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 and fox-hunting, see (source: Google search)

The following media hit was received from Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE: “Pamlico Amateur Radio Society in the News. ….. This is exciting news for Ham radio. Tom Finta K8TF of Pamlico Amateur Radio Society spoke at the Oriental History Museum on Sunday, March 13th, about types of safety communications using Amateur Radio while on long or short cruises. ….. Information was passed to me by PARS member Tom Corwin KI4NSP. 73, Janice KJ4JPE …..” For further information, see Thanks to Tom Corwin, KI4NSP of Arapahoe and Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

On amateur radio operators preparing for natural or man-made disasters, see Thanks to Ralph Wallio, W0RPK of Greenville, and Paul Jones, K4VCF of the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, for providing this media hit!

On Stanly Community College hosting Stanly County Radio Science Day, see Thanks to Carl Starnes, W4EAT of the Stanly County Amateur Radio Club, for providing this information! (additional source: Google search)

The following report was received from Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE: “Newport Skywarn held NC Statewide Tornado Drill, 3/9/2016 from 09:30-10:30. 21 check-ins. 5 repeaters and IRLP link. Onslow County Health Department, Onslow County Schools, American Red Cross, Camp LeJeune, and New River Air Station all represented! 73, Janice KJ4JPE ……” Thanks to Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, Assistant Emergency Coordinator (Newport SKYWARN) and ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Stan White, KI4NC: “Hampstead Hams Annual Picnic. All, The weather was absolutely perfect yesterday for our annual club picnic; 80 degrees and sunshine! We built antennas, we soldered, we installed Power Poles, we played radio, and like a good Ham, we ate! Thanks to all who attended and to those who couldn't be there, we missed you! Everyone enjoys the friendships, fellowship, and food at a Hampstead Hams event! There are many responsible for the success of yesterday's activities. The Hampstead Hams are a growing group who exemplify the true spirit of ham radio by helping others and making a difference in their families and communities. I appreciate all of YOU! Thank YOU for all YOU do! Thank you Bob WA3IRG. Bob spent time elmering others with hands-on demonstrations in soldering and Anderson Power Poles' installation. Bob has a passion for teaching and it's evident in the time he spends helping train others so they, in turn, can help someone else. Thank you Mark N1KFC. Mark has lots of cool "toys" and enjoys sharing them with the group. Yesterday he conducted a show-and-tell of sorts on a go-kit he built using the new BTECH UV-2501 tri bander. Had he been a salesman, he would have had at least 6 orders by the end of the presentation. Thank you John KM4QZV for providing Hampstead Ham buttons for the entire group. The 3" buttons look great! A nice way to help promote the club. And thank you for inviting your wife to join us. Spouses, children, and grandchildren are always welcome. You will always find a family-friendly atmosphere with fun for all ages. Thank you Debbie KM4QIG and Jimmy KM4PJC for making the drive from Trenton to be with us. No one drove further than you and we appreciate it so much! Enjoy your new J-Pole antenna! Thank you Carrie KI4QLC and Troy KE4SAJ for your support in new membership. Your enthusiasm and excitement for ham radio is contagious! Welcome! Thank you Clayann KD5OSM and Kirk KD5OSN for the delicious dessert you graciously provided the group. Thank you for the warm hospitality you both share with our members and guests at every meeting and event. Thank you Randy KA4SQN for bringing one of your HF antennas to share. And thank you Lynn for joining Randy, as well as, notarizing Hampstead Hams, Inc. documents. Thank you Sue WA4SAZ and Jeff WB4GQO for ALWAYS being available and taking pictures to share with the group. Because of you the Hampstead Hams history is being documented in photos for future Hams to enjoy. Thank you Rich W4GKR for being there with your wife. It's so nice to see husband and wife enjoying the hobby together. 7 couples were in attendance yesterday. Thank you Stan KK4WCW for recapping our NPOTA activation. 273 contacts, 38 states, 4 countries, and 2 continents. Awesome! Thank you Nick KK4FYL for leading our invocation and providing ARES updates. Remember, Nick runs the ARES net on Saturday nights on 146.94 repeater. Please check-in! Thank you Frank KO4FD for providing the February ragchew totals and running our net on Friday evenings. 72 check-ins in February! Great job! Thank you Walt KM4LSK for presenting your good friend, John KM4QZV, with his ARRL First Contact Award. How appropriate that the first contact would be with you. Fine business! Thank you Joey KI4DUK, Jeff NC4JF, and Bobby N4NPH for your strong support of the Hampstead Hams. Should we round up some perfect attendance awards? You guys are at every event! Thank you. Lastly, thank you Mack KK4IRV and Lucas KK4FVC. This father/son team is the backbone of our group. They spent hours preparing for yesterday. They procured materials for antennas, they fabricated parts for antennas, they set-up, they broke down, they cooked, they cleaned, they did it ALL. They care deeply about the Hampstead Hams because of it's members. Members are not just members, but family. What a wonderful family picnic we had! A few pictures are now on our website. See here: Catch you down the log... 73 Stan KI4NC” Thanks to Stan White, KI4NC, President, Hampstead Hams for sharing his thoughts about members in the Hampstead Hams!

The following report (slightly edited) was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC: “FYI – Updates on PRN digital radio system. ….. Here is information that you may find useful: 1. There are several new repeaters coming on line or have just been added to the PRN system: a) Roanoke VA 440.6125; b) Roanoke VA 441.8875; c) Farmville VA 444.5375 (this is located east of Lynchburg); d) Wallops Island VA 444.88000; e) Richlands NC 443.975 (this is located NNW of Jacksonville NC); f) Hillsborough NC 443.1375 (this is operated by the Durham FM club); and, g) Ocean City MD 444.0125. All of the above repeaters are or will be connected to the NC PRN CBridge. 2. There is a new group called the Western NC group that has purchased their own CBridge and have the following repeaters connected: Franklin, Waynesville, and Marion. Additionally, they will add a repeater in downtown Asheville, a different repeater (than the PRN repeater) on Bearwallow near Hendersonville, and a repeater in Murphy. Their goal is to cover much of the southwestern part of North Carolina. The WNC group has their own talkgroup (WNC) that brings up all the WNC system repeaters simultaneously. Each of the WNC repeaters also has its own talkgroup and well as other talkgroups. The lineup of which talkgroups and the timeslots they are being carried on differs from the standard PRN lineup. Although the WNC system provides the PRN talkgroup on demand, it is not carried 24/7. This means that if someone from most of North Carolina is traveling into southwestern NC, they will not hear traffic on PRN when listening on a WNC repeater. However, they can “kerchunk” the PRN talkgroup and make it active for 15 minutes in order to talk to operators on the rest of the PRN system. Information about the WNC system can be found at 3. Motorola has issued a firmware update for Generation 1 (XPR6550 portables and XPR4550 mobiles) radios that improves the audio and makes it comparable to the newer Generation 2 radios (XPR 7550 and XPR5550 mobiles). If you want to update your Generation 1 radios (6550/4550) and do not have the CPS, contact the person who programs your radio. It is necessary to have Motorola CPS 12.1 software and access to the internet to download the firmware update into the software. Marv, WA4NC.” Thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, Assistant District Emergency Coordinator (Area 12) and President, Watauga Amateur Radio Club, for providing this information!

The following report was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC: “WARC VE Team Report. The Watauga Amateur Radio Club ARRL VE Team led by Vern W5VM had a successful test session for nine persons on March 21. At the end of the testing, there were four new Technicians, three upgrades to General by current Techs, and two persons passed all three elements and became Extra class hams on their first attempt. Congratulations to each of the new hams. We look forward to hearing all of them on the air soon.” Congratulations to the new and upgrade licensees; thanks to the VE Team; and, thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, Assistant District Emergency Coordinator (Area 12) and President, Watauga Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!


QNI (total check-ins): 1,887; Total messages passed: 574.

Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 293, WK4WC 164, W2EAG 123, AK4RJ 121, KC4PGN 116, WC9CW (formerly KM4HSO) 102, W4DNA 101, WB4ZIQ 79, W4TTO 74, KW4EMG 34, KJ4JPE 31, KE4AHC 30, W4EAT 15.

Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: WC9CW (formerly KM4HSO) 295, KW4EMG 204, WB4ZIQ 180, WK4WC 180, W4DNA 165, KJ4JPE 156, KK4LGM 148, K4IWW 130, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 105, AK4RJ 100, KM4HXX 98, KI4UDZ 85. 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 – Thankfully, no report of a Silent Key has been received this month. 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.


April 8-10: 69th North Carolina Azalea Festival Special Event, 0059Z-2359Z, AC4RC, Wilmington, NC. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club. 14.230. Certificate & QSL. ACARC, PO Box 4044, Wilmington, NC 28406. Special Event stations may be found up from the bottom end of the general portion of each band. Confirmation via LoTW (preferred). Contacts confirmed via QSL cards require SASE. Stations wanting a certificate via USPS $4. Certificates may also be received via email in PDF format.

April 9: Stanly County Radio Science Day, 10:00 AM to 3:00-4:00 PM EST, K4OGB, Locust, NC. Stanly County Amateur Radio Club. Listen for K4OGB on various modes and frequencies. For further information, see Thanks to Carl Starnes, W4EAT (Member) and Ray Sipe, KI4UDZ (President) of the Stanly County Amateur Radio Club, for providing this information!

April 29-May1: Mile High Radio, 1900Z-1900Z, W4G, Banner Elk, NC. Randolf Amateur Radio Club. 14.265 14.065 7.265 7.115. QSL. Butch Simpson, WS4H, 6747 Kings Mt Rd, Asheboro, NC 27205. The "Mile High Radio" Special Event station is likely to be found around the following frequencies +/- QRM: SSB - 3.865 - 7.265 - 14.265 - 21.365. In case of QRM, move up CW - 3.065 - 7.110 - 7.120 - 14.065 - 21.065. A tribute to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. At one mile above sea level, it's beyond ordinary. Spotting. Real time skeds at:,, or (cut and paste into your web browser)

May 15-21: National EMS Week, 0000Z-2359Z, W4A, West Jefferson, NC. W4YSB – Ashe County Amateur Radio Club. 14.225 7.300. QSL. Steve Adams, 234 Mount Jefferson State Park Rd, West Jefferson, NC 28694. In honor of national EMS week..... Qsl cards sase 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!


April 2: 44th Annual RARSfest/ARRL NC Section Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, NC,

April 16: Catawba Valley Hamfest, McDowell Amateur Radio Association, Morganton, NC,

April 23: 26th Annual Down East Hamfest, Down East Hamfest Association, Kinston, NC,

May 14: 12th Annual Rockingham County Swapfest, Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club, Reidsville, NC,

May 28: 42nd Annual DurHamFest, Durham FM Association (DFMA), Durham, NC (new location),

June 11: Winston-Salem Classic Hamfest, Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, Winston-Salem, NC,

July 9: 31st Annual Firecracker Hamfest, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, Salisbury, NC,

July 16: Mid-Summer SWAPFEST, Cary Amateur Radio Club, Cary, NC,

July 30: WCARS Hamfest, Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society, Waynesville, NC,

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, It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club’s 2016 hamfest! For more information, see (source: ARRL website)

QUA* – There are two new ARRL-affiliated clubs in the NC Section! The first club is the Duplin Emergency Communication Alliance, Inc of Wallace; and, the second club is the Over The Hill Gang Contesters of Belhaven. Congratulations and welcome!

On Friday and Saturday (3/11-12), I attended the Charlotte Hamfest. As always, it was great to renew friendships and meet new colleagues in amateur radio! Once again, the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society did an outstanding job putting on the 2016 edition of the Charlotte Hamfest. Thanks to all their Club members for their efforts!

On Saturday and Sunday (3/19-20), I attended the 2-day basic training course on the Community Emergency Response Team, also known by its initials, CERT. Here is some background information on CERT. Following 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security initiated the Citizens Corps to improve safety and preparedness in the community via increased public participation. The Citizens Corp is administered by FEMA, but carried out locally. The CERT program is part of the Citizens Corps. It is focused on training individuals to aid their communities with disaster response preparations. The major components of the CERT Basic Training course included disaster preparedness, fire safety and utility controls, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, CERT organization, disaster psychology, and terrorism. Each course participant received a comprehensive manual. I was very impressed with the course and its leaders. I concluded that any Ham interested in disaster response and communications would benefit from attending a CERT Basic Training course in their community. To learn more about CERT in NC, see Also, there is a 2-page article on CERT in the April 2016 issue of QST.

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)