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Posted Mar 18, 2024

NCARRL Section News

March 17, 2024

GREETINGS FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY

Spring is teasing us every so often with blue skies and temperatures in the upper 50ís.† Donít be fooled!† Monday is predicted to have a low of 22 and certainly some of the budding plants and trees will get zapped.† A freeze warning has been issued for much of the High Country.

LOSS OF A FRIEND AND A GIANT IN HAM RADIO

Danny Hampton, K4ITL, passed away on February 28 while at his home near Raleigh.† For those of you had met Danny, you know that he was blind for his entire life but that did not limit his technical achievements or his ability to install and maintain wide-area analog or DMR repeaters at locations around the state.† Danny designed and built the PCRN system of analog linked repeaters in the 1970ís.† In the 1990, along with Shane Autrey (KI4M) and Ralph Bartlett (W4ZO), Danny put on the air the first DMR repeaters and started the PRN system which now includes 60 digital repeaters in NC and SC.† At the time of his passing he was the NC Director and President of the Southeast Repeater Association.† Danny was chosen as Ham of the Year in 2009 at the Dayton Hamvention.† Thanks go out to his wife, Rose, who drove Danny to appointments and cared for him for 32 years.† Rest in peace, Danny.

SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT

Set out below is an abbreviated Section Traffic Report as prepared by Dave Roy, W4DNA.† Unfortunately the ARRL email system is quite limited in its ability to post tables, Word documents and photos. A complete report as developed by Dave can be found at† https://www.ncarrl.org/documents/TrafficReports/2024-02_NC_STM_Report.pdf.† Thanks go out to the traffic handlers.


 

 

W4DNA SECTION MANAGER REPORT

NET

NMGR

QNI

LISTED

PASSED

TIME

SESSIONS

TFC %

 

SECTION NETS

CN

AA4MP

264

110

102

452

58

92.73%

CSN

KI4KZS

119

29

28

627

29

96.55%

NCEN

WK4WC

358

93

90

387

29

96.77%

NCMN

W3OJO

218

124

123

312

29

99.19%

THEN

K4SEH

325

NA

NA

439

18

N/A

 

LOCAL TRAFFIC NETS

CWTN

N4CNX

370

99

99

420

29

100.00%

ENCTN

W4DNA

89

7

7

149

25

100.00%

PCTN

W4TTO

210

43

43

236

29

100.00%

 

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NETS

C-MNN

KI4FAQ

330

NA

NA

307

29

TOTAL

2283

505

492

3329

275

97.43%

 

PRN NETIQUETTE

Recently the PRN repeater operators have seen an increase in attempts to use improper talkgroups on the PRN system.† These include attempts to access Brandmeister and other talkgroups which are not carried over the PRN.†

Users who program radios to operate on the PRN system are reminded that the only talkgroups that work on the system are listed at https://ncprn.net/repeater/.† The PRN server does not connect to other networks and it is not possible to access World Wide 91, TAC310, TAC1 and other talkgroups over any of the PRN repeaters.†† I use a hotspot to connect to several Brandmeister talkgroups including the Saturday World Wide 91 net. A portable radio that talks to the hotspot gives me access to thousands of the talkgroups carried by Brandmeister and other networks but the traffic is not carried over PRN repeaters.

HAMFESTS

The Charlotte Hamfest on March 8 and 9 is history but the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society deserves congratulations for putting on a very successful event.

RARSfest will be held on April 6 in the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.† They have the largest indoor flea market in the state and will have several forums. License testing and satellite demonstrations are on the hamfest agenda.†† HRO is expected to be there for first time in several years.† Information can be found at https://www.rarsfest.org/.

The Winston-Salem hamfest will be held at the Robinhood Road Baptist Church in Winston-Salem on April 13.† Information can be found at https://w4nc.com/hamfest/.

HAM RADIO CLUBS

During 2024, ARRL is placing renewed emphasis on helping clubs recover from COVID (during which many clubs stopped meeting).† This is based on a recognition that clubs are local resources for ham radio classes and activities designed to sustain operator interest.

ARRL has asked each club to update its information about meetings and officers which is posted on the ARRL webpage.† Instructions on how to do this can be found at https://www.arrl.org/club-update. This will help visitors and interested persons to find out about your club and how to participate.

ARRL is also encouraging clubs to place a supply of ham radio books in your local library.† Eleven of the most popular ARRL books can be purchased by a club for donation to a school, college, or public library at a substantially reduced cost.† Information on the Library Book Set program can be found at https://www.arrl.org/library-book-set.

Each ARRL Section is encouraged to have an Affiliated Club Coordinator whose job it to encourage activity among the clubs.† Tim Slay, N4IB, has served well in this position but wishes to have more time for his interests in Astronomy and his local club.†

I need an ARRL member who is willing to take on this job.† Duties include:

a.      Determining which counties have active clubs and updating the club list for the Section;

b.      Developing an accurate mailing list of club presidents and club program chairpersons;

c.      Encouraging clubs to exchange their newsletters so successes in one club can be shared with other clubs in the Section;

d.      Holding a virtual meeting every two months with club leaders to exchange ideas and news;

e.      Attending local hamfests to meet with club officials;

f.        Participating in periodic virtual meetings held by ARRL staff in order to exchange success stories across the 71 Sections that comprise ARRL;

g.       Inform the Section Manager of successes or problems learned during the information exchanges.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the ARRL Field Organization by serving as the Affiliated Club Coordinator please contact me at wa4nc@arrl.org.

FIELD DAY

ARRL holds its annual Field Day each year during June.† This year the dates will be June 22-23.† It appears that there will be minimal, if any, changes in Field Day rules for this year.† Clubs are particularly encouraged to use the event to interest members of the general public and youths in becoming licensed amateur radio operators.† Information about the 2024 Field Day can be found at https://www.arrl.org/news/2024-arrl-field-day-theme-be-radio-active.

YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN HAM RADIO

ARRL has placed considerable emphasis on increasing the number of young people who become amateur radio operators.† Last weekend, I heard a statistic mentioned that the average ham in their mid-70ís and unless younger people become hams, the average age in ten years will have hamís in their mid-80ís and most likely less active than they are today.

The ARRL Board has voted to provide free ARRL memberships to students aged 21 or younger.† This will be an Associate Membership but will provide for downloadable digital copies of QST.† Information can be http://www.arrl.org/member-bulletin?issue=2024-01-21.

A second initiative approved by the Board at the January 2024 board meeting involves a computer coding competition that will soon be announced.† Students will be urged to take on ARRL projects and write computer programs that solve certain problems.† Up to $25,000 in prizes can be award for the most elegant computer solutions.† Information can be found at http://www.arrl.org/member-bulletin?issue=2024-01-21.

YANCEY COUNTY EmCOMM TRAILER TRAINING

Yancey County Emergency Management recently equipped an Emergency Communication trailer that will serve Yancey and neighboring counties upon request.† On Saturday, March 23 in Burnsville, Bob Rodgers (KC4TVO) will lead a training session on how to use the various equipment installed in the trailer.† Operators in the Western portion of the State may wish to participate in the training which is without state or federal travel and meals reimbursement.† If interested in participating, contact Bob at 828ó385-2452.

DAYLIGHT TIME MARCH 10 BATTERIES FOR SMOKE DETECTORS

By now we should have adapted to the change to Daylight Time even though some wish the US would choose Standard or Daylight Time and stick with it through the entire year.† Regardless of your feelings as to EST versus EDT, take the time change as an opportunity to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detectors.† It could save your life.

CoCoRAHS

You can help the Weather Service and our farmers if you choose to participate in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.† Data that is gathered by volunteer observers is used by the US Department of Agriculture (and others) to provide information on the amount of moisture in the ground which is useful information in estimating future crop yields.† Water supply planners use the data about droughts and snow pack information to estimate their impacts on reservoirs.† CoCoRAHS involves numerous observers who make on-line reports about rain and precipitation to central website.† Information about COCORAHS can be found at https://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=aboutus.

CLOSING COMMENT

Section Managers serve two year terms which begin on particular dates depending upon the Section (which prevents all the Section Manager terms coming due at the same time).† The new two-year term of the North Carolina Section Manager will begin on April 1, 2024, in just a couple of weeks.†

It has been my pleasure to serve you for the past four years and I will continue to expand opportunities for readers to learn about ham radio activities in North Carolina.† I hope you feel that you have received accurate and useful information in the 100 newsletters that I have produced during the past four years.† Each newsletter is archived at ncarrl.org and you can see for yourself the volume and quality of information available to members and non-members.

In my service as Section Manager, I traveled approximately 3000 miles visiting Field Day sites in 2021, 2022 and 2023 plus another thousand miles in travel to hamfests† Your dues are paying for that mileage.† Section Managers do not receive a salary but the Section budget covers expenses for books given out at hamfests, plus mileage, a meal or two and a motel room.† Sometimes I have someone to stand in for me because of the distance involved from Boone or another commitment.† All these expenses come out of the $4,045 budgeted to the North Carolina Section in 2024.†† Budgets are set by ARRL and depend upon the number of members in a section and the distances involved in traveling across a particular Section.

I plan to continue along the same lines we have followed over the past four years, emphasizing openness and a strong desire to get more persons actively involved in ham radio.† However the future of amateur radio depends on your involvement and your clubís efforts to recruit additional hams.

Marv, WA4NC