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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

Posted May 30, 2015

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

HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (Update) - The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 - known as HR 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" or CC&Rs. HR 1301 was introduced by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). As of May 28th, HR 1301 has 57 co-sponsors, including Representative David Price (D-NC-4). 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 FIELD DAY 2015 (June 27-28) - ARRL Field Day 2015 will occur on June 27th and 28th. It is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On Field Day weekend, more than 35,000 Hams gather with their clubs, groups, or friends to operate from remote locations. For many individual Hams and amateur radio clubs in our Section, planning has begun and they are looking forward to the educational, operating, and public relations opportunities that are key parts of Field Day. For further information on ARRL Field Day 2015, see

Please note that all stations are eligible for certain bonus points, depending on their entry class. Groups can obtain bonus points via message origination to the Section Manager or Section Emergency Coordinator (Rule 7.3.5). This message does not count toward the total of 10 messages needed for the message-handling bonus (Rule 7.3.6). In addition, bonus points are available for copying the special Field Day bulletin transmitted by W1AW (Rule 7.3.9). For further information on bonus points, see the ARRL Field Day 2015 Rules at Day/2015/2015%20Rules.pdf For the 2015 W1AW Field Day Bulletin Schedule, see

As this newsletter was being prepared, an email was received from David Crawford, KF4VXJ, with suggestions on copying the W1AW Field Day Bulletin: "In regards to the W1AW Field Day Bulletin transmissions, the first suggestion is copying the Monday- Friday night CW or Digital transmissions on 80 or 40 meters, with 20 meters as a possible, but not primary, band. Frequencies are 3.5815, 7.0475, and 14.0475 MHz for CW; and, 3.5975, 7.095, and 14.095 MHz for Digital. If you have interference or noise errors when copying the digital bulletin, don't panic. PSK-31 and MFSK-16 have shown to give better copy under "less than ideal" conditions compared to RTTY. The 9:45 PM EST Phone transmissions have been "iffy" recently. If someone wants to copy Phone, then I would suggest trying 7.290 MHz first, and use a recorder or recorder software. The signal strength tends to be a bit lower than 3.990 MHz, but there's usually less noise. On the Saturday and Sunday morning transmissions, I'm just not sure right now. I'd try 40 meters and above for the 10:00 AM EST and 11:00 AM EST transmissions. There is a call at the first of the broadcasts, so you'll have a little time to check a few frequencies. Please remember, this is just a forecast. Conditions sometimes can be better than this." Thanks to David Crawford, KF4VXJ of the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, for providing this report!

DOD, US ARMY MARS, US AIR FORCE MARS COMMUNICATIONS EXERCISE (JUNE 4-5) - On May 8th, the following email communication from James R. Hamilton, K4QDF (AAA4RD), Director, US Army MARS Region 4, was forwarded by Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, ARRL Roanoke Division Director, for inclusion in this Newsletter: "On 4 and 5 June, the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will participate in a Department of Defense HF contingency communications exercise. MARS members are encouraged to use this opportunity to discuss communications interoperability plans with their state and local ARES emergency coordinators, Emergency Management/RACES coordinators and local amateur radio clubs. The goal for MARS-Amateur Radio inter-operability is to establish two-way communications with as many US counties using local VHF/UHF simplex channels, repeaters, or NVIS HF communications. Only one amateur radio contact per county is needed. The contact must be person to person and cannot rely on any communications using internet linked repeaters, internet connectivity systems or store and forward email/messaging systems. MARS operators from all three military services will use their amateur call sign on amateur radio frequencies to establish contact with amateur radio operators from each county. The information exchange requested between MARS and the amateur radio operator is simply the Amateur's call sign, County name, and State. This communications exercise is sponsored by the DOD to provide MARS operators the opportunity to develop and train interoperability procedures with their state, local, and regional amateur radio colleagues. The exercise also demonstrates the capability of MARS operators working with amateur radio operators to reach those counties where no MARS operators are residing. Region 4 US Army and US Air Force MARS are participating in the DOD Communications Exercise 15-2 as a Joint Service MARS endeavor. On receipt of a tasking message through HQ MARS channels from DOD, Region 4's JS MARS Operations Group will issue instructions to MARS members throughout the states of KY, TN, MS, AL, GA, NC, SC, FL, and Puerto Rico. This will begin the task of making contact with as many counties as possible in these respective states. MARS members will check into organized amateur radio nets and seek assistance with this endeavor. My request for assistance in this endeavor is forwarded to you in hopes that the ARES and other amateur radio networks in your Division might be informed in advance of this effort. I might add that this MARS task is applicable to all other MARS Regions covering the United States. A copy of the information provided herein has been sent to ARRL Headquarters by Mr. Paul English, US Army MARS Program Manager, for sharing through ARES channels. Mr. Bruce Nebergall, the Region 4 US Air Force MARS Director and I respectfully ask your cooperation and assistance in passing this most important information to your ARES coordinators and the ARRL amateur radio community." For more information, please contact James R. Hamilton, K4QDF (AAA4RD), Director, US Army MARS Region 4, email: aat4rd at bellsouth dot net, telephone: 352-489-6062. Thanks to James R. Hamilton, K4QDF (AAA4RD) and Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, for providing this information!

US NAVY-MARINE CORPS MARS PROGRAM TO END - On May 13th and 14th, it was announced that the US Department of Defense is phasing out the US Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) program. The MARS operational mission will transition to the other MARS service branches by the end of September. For further information, see

ARRL RECOGNIZING AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE TO SCOUTING AWARD WINNERS WITH CERTIFICATE - On May 14th, it was announced that the ARRL now awards its "Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award" certificate to recognize active Scouting leaders who make significant contributions to providing Scouts with a memorable and valuable Amateur Radio experience. For further information, see winners-with-certificate

UPDATED AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE (ARES) MANUAL NOW ONLINE - The latest edition (March 2015) of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service(r) (ARES) Manual now is online. This edition includes various ICS forms for ARES use, clarifies the role of the RACES, contains an improved chapter on ARES training, and includes all current ARRL memoranda of understanding/agreement. ARES consists of amateur radio licensees who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communication duty in the public service, when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of ARRL membership, is eligible to apply for ARES membership. For further information, see radio-emergency-service-manual-now-online

ARRL TO CHANGE ADMINISTRATOR FOR INSURANCE PLANS - On May 26th, the ARRL will be changing the program administrator for its sponsored Equipment and Club Liability insurance plans. At that time, all program administration including policy application, issuance and claims administration will be handled by Risk Strategies, a privately held, national insurance brokerage firm. The ARRL programs will be administered from their offices in Chicago. This move is being made based on numerous comments from ARRL members about the former administrator, Hays Affinity Group of Minneapolis. The transaction, unlike previous changes, will involve a transfer of the total program business from Hays Affinity to Risk Strategies. Participants in the programs will retain their current insurance policies and the details of the coverage and the cost of coverage will remain unchanged, as will the insurance company, Hanover Insurance Company. An email communication will be sent to all current participants in the programs describing the program changes. For further information, see

FCC ELIMINATES AMATEUR RADIO VANITY CALL SIGN REGULATORY FEE - On May 22nd, it was announced that the FCC is eliminating the regulatory fee to apply for an amateur radio vanity call sign; however, this will not take effect until the required congressional notice has been given. For further information, see

ARRL JUNE VHF CONTEST (6/13-15) - On May 27th, the ARRL website reminded Hams that the ARRL June VHF Contest will be held on June 13-15. The June VHF Contest occurs at the start of the summer sporadic E season, and intense openings on 6 meters and even 2 meters are possible. Several entry categories are available, including portable, rover, and FM-only. In January 2015, the ARRL Board approved rule modifications for the General Rules For ARRL Contests Above 50 MHz, and these changes become effective with the 2015 June VHF Contest. Assistance is now allowed for all entry categories. For further information, see arrl-june-vhf-contest-is-june-13-15

ARRL STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS 2015 (Reminder) - At the January 2015 Board meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors approved a process to create a new ARRL Strategic Plan. The last strategic plan was created in 2009. President Kay Craigie, N3KN, tasked ARRL 2nd Vice President Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, to chair the Working Group. Their charge is to look forward to define where the ARRL should focus its energy to insure that future programs and services meet a changing environment and maintain the current positive aspects of the League's member base. For further information on the ARRL Strategic Planning Process 2015, including how to provide your comments to the Working Group, see

LICENSING CLASSES - Raleigh (NC): Technician licensing class, July 11 to August 1, 2015, sponsored by Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, contact Murray Merner, K4MHM by phone at (919) 803- 7973 or by email at for further information. Raleigh (NC): General licensing class, August 8-29, 2015, sponsored by Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, contact Murray Merner, K4MHM by phone at (919) 803-7973 or by email at for further information. 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 18th Annual Catawba Valley Hamfest, see amateur-radio-clubs-to-throw-annual-hamfest/article_40d652da-e496-11e4-8000- af36b087768b.html

On balloons, science, and amateur radio, see have-a-scientific-purpose/14661726/

On a tribute to 20 Veterans that died during 2014 and 2015, which included C. Weldon Fields, Sr, W4AJT (SK), see vets-who-died-in-and/article_3a35b8b3-de07-5c93-bc77-ca9bd5bfea56.html The following edited report was received from Steve Williams, KI4ZUI: "Thirteen amateur radio operators from 3 amateur radio clubs in NC and TN successfully supported the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Charlotte Chapter) "Xtreme Hike" on a section of the Appalachian Trail on April 18, 2015. The Mayland Amateur Radio Club (NC, coordinating club), the Wautaga Amateur Radio Club (NC), and the Carter County Amateur Radio Association (TN) combined resources to man five rest stops for a one day, charitable event involving more than 80 hikers on a rugged 30-mile segment of the Appalachian Trail along the NC-TN border. Using area VHF repeaters and VHF simplex, and ICS planning procedures, we tracked progress of the hikers and facilitated support activities. Beginning at 0400 local time and ending at 2000 local time, we helped the CF Foundation administer its hike. All but one of the starting hikers finished the hike. The skilled professional assistance of the Carter County EMS Service (TN) and the Avery County Volunteer Fire Department (NC) greatly assisted the effort. This was the first time that amateur radio participated in this particular event and it was successful. We expect to support these events in the future; and, we hope to train/recruit some of the hike participants to acquire Technician-class FCC licenses to enhance their hiking activities in the future." Thanks to all Hams providing support to the "Xtreme Hike"; and, to Steve Williams, KI4ZUI, Assistant Emergency Coordinator, Mitchell County and Secretary, Mayland Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!

The following edited report was received from Dudley Hale, W4WNC: "Another successful event was completed by the Haywood County Amateur Radio Club. The "Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon" was held in Waynesville, NC, on Saturday, May 2, 2015. A foggy 39-degree start time at 0730 EDT turned into a sunny 70-degree finish at 1200 EDT. Net Control was at the finish line and 5 club members were positioned around the 13.1-mile course providing timely updates to race officials. Two club members rode their bicycles, with HTs, and shepherded the last two participants across the finish line. We interfaced with State, Town, and County law enforcement in planning and during the event. Net Control was Tony Knight, KK4FFE assisted by Doug Knight, KM4FHO. The bicycles were ridden by Cecil Yount, KM4DOP and Price Berryhill, W4CPB. The rest of the crew on the course were Adam Caudill, WX4WNC; Paul Yeager, W4SKI; Bill Laney, KF4GUW; Betty Laney, KF4RVT; and, Harold Lhoest, W4HML. We used a 2m repeater and a simplex frequency for communications. Also, 70cm simplex was used between Control and myself to keep race officials informed. Total cost of service was $11,691.00 and 89 hours provided by members in planning and actual race time. I submitted FSD-157 to ARRL." Please note that the Haywood County Amateur Radio Club has accounted for their donation of communication services to their community by completing FSD 157: Public Service Activity Report on the ARRL website. For further information, see report Thanks to all Hams providing support to the "Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon"; and, to Dudley Hale, W4WNC of the Haywood County Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!

On May 5th, an email was received from Dave Langley, W4YDY, which read in part: " ..... The Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club, Greenville, NC, May 2015 issue of Ham Chatter is on-line. ...... The Ham Chatter editor, W4YDY, is retiring after this issue, May 2015. It will mark the end of the 18th year. There have been many rewards, mostly meeting with many new friends and contributing to the club activities....." Congratulations to Dave Langley, W4YDY, Ham Chatter Editor, Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club (Greenville), on completing and delivering the latest edition of Ham Chatter - the last in a dedicated 18 year-long run of publishing an informative, timely, and well-designed newsletter for the Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club! To view the May 2015 edition of Ham Chatter, see

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR APRIL 2015 - QNI (total check-ins): 2,257; Total messages passed: 610. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 314, W2EAG 192, AK4RJ 137, KC4PGN 111, WB4ZIQ 94, K4JHB 92, WK4WC 81, KF4OCU 79, W4DNA 78, W4TTO 64, KW4EMG 47, KE4AHC 34, KJ4JPE 20, W4EAT 18. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 210, WB4ZIQ 170, W4DNA 150, WK4WC 150, KJ4JPE 140, K4IWW 130, AK4RJ 110, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 105, N2RTF 86, K4JHB 80, 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: Menola Sandford ("Nola") Alderman, KD4OLZ (SK) of Raleigh; Charles Weldon Fields, Sr, W4AJT (SK) of Greensboro; Jack Edward Foster, N6UYB (SK) of Franklinton; and, Theodore F. ("Ted") Goldthorpe, Jr, W4VHF (SK) of Nashville, TN. 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 - June 6: USN "Badin Bomber" Crash, 1400Z-1800Z, NC4MC, Troy, NC. Montgomery Amateur Radio Society. 14.250 USB; 7.250 LSB; 14.030 CW. Certificate. Don Grady, KG4ZRH, 120 Woodline Dr, Troy, NC 27371. 71st anniversary of the crash of the USN "Badin Bomber" into Badin Lake, Badin, NC on June 08, 1944. June 27-28: Field Day, 1212Z-1212Z, N4T, Lake Lure, NC. Isothermal Amateur Radio Club. 14.800 14.700 7.275 7.080. Certificate. Bob Bischoff, 180 Persimmon Rdg, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. 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. September 12: 47th Annual National Hollerin' Contest, 1500Z-2200Z, N4C, Spivey's Corner, NC. Sampson County Amateur Radio Service. 14.264 7.264. Certificate. Cliff Ireland, KK4NC, 170 Pincroft 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!

UPCOMING HAMFESTS - 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* - On Friday, May 1st, I drove to Boone, NC to attend a special meeting of Hams from the Watauga Amateur Radio Club and surrounding area. The next morning, May 2nd, I attended the Saturday morning breakfast meeting of the Foothills Amateur Radio Club in Wilkesboro. The turnout for both meetings was excellent; and, the opportunity to present information about the NC Section and photos from my visits to ARRL Field Day 2014 sites in western NC was appreciated greatly. Thanks to everyone for the hospitality and friendship extended to me!

From Tuesday, May 12th through Thursday, May 14th, I attended the Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOMM) Training Course, in Beavercreek, OH. The course was very informative, thought-provoking, and it helped consolidate principles that I had learned from the online courses ICS-100, -200, -700, and -800; and, the 5 day-long course series, ICS-300 and -400. Amateur radio operators interested in emergency communication are encouraged to attend an AUXCOMM Training Course. For further information, see TA_Cat_V2_7-16-12_0.pdf (pages 19-20) and On Friday, May 15th through Sunday, May 17th, I attended the Dayton Hamvention. Most of my time was spent working in the ARRL EXPO 2015 booths, where I was able to interact with many Hams, including individuals from our Section. This year, ARRL EXPO 2015 had a new booth promoting the National Traffic System (NTS). It was great to see traffic handlers from our Section - Lane Kendall, WK4WC, Official Relay Station and Net Manager; Hal London, WB4ZIQ, Official Relay Station; and, John Covington, W4CC, Official Relay Station and Past NC Section Manager - staffing the NTS booth. Thanks to Lane WK4WC, Hal WB4ZIQ, and John W4CC for taking the time to inform Hams about the NTS - great job! For more information on this year's Hamvention, see

Last weekend (5/23), I attended the 41st Annual DurHamFest in Bahama, which is located about 10 miles north of Durham. The Durham FM Association sponsors DurHamFest and similar to previous events, they put on a very friendly hamfest. Congratulations!

Regarding ARRL Field Day 2015: this year, I am planning on visiting club Field Day sites primarily in eastern NC. My plans have not been finalized, but will likely include visiting Field Day sites on Friday (6/26) while driving eastward, staying overnight on the coast, and continuing with site visits on Saturday (6/27) and Sunday (6/28). Please let me know about your club's Field Day plans for this year, particularly your setup schedule and operating times.

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 ____."