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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

May, 2016

Greetings from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

ARRL REACHES AGREEMENT WITH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS INSTITUTE ON PARITY ACT – After 2-1/2 months of intense negotiations, ARRL has reached an agreement with the Community Associations Institute (CAI) — the national association of homeowners associations — concerning amended language of the Amateur Radio Parity Act. This will allow H.R. 1301 to proceed to what is hoped will be passage of the bill in both houses of Congress this year. For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

HR 1301 AND S 1685 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE) – The wording in S 1685 and HR 1301 are identical. As of June 6th, HR 1301 has 126 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. As of April 25th, there are 1 sponsor and 3 co-sponsors for S 1685. 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)

REMINDER! ARRL VHF CONTEST REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE CALLS FOR COMMENTS ON PROPOSED “UHF AND UP” EVENT (DEADLINE, 6/15) – The ARRL VHF Contest Revitalization Committee has drafted rules for a proposed new UHF and Up Contest. Presently, input is being sought from Contesters. The invitation follows Committee review of “considerable input from the amateur community.” For further information, see (source: ARRL website)

ARRL “STRONGLY SUPPORTS” PETITION TO DROP 15 dB RESTRICTION FOR AMATEUR AMPLIFIERS – In comments filed on May 26th, the ARRL said it “strongly supports” a petition to the FCC seeking to eliminate an Amateur Service rule, spelled out in §97.317(a)(2), that amateur amplifiers not be able to boost the RF input signal by more than 15 dB. For further information, see and (source: ARRL website)

SPRING 2016 ISSUE OF RADIO WAVES AVAILABLE – The following information was received from Debra Johnson, K1DMJ: “Greetings! We've just published our Spring 2016 issue of Radio Waves. You'll find this issue and past issues on our website at: You can link to this issue directly at: …” Radio Waves has news that can be used in license instruction and radio science education. Thanks to Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, ARRL Education Services Manager, for providing this information! (additional source: ARRL website)

DAVE PRICE, K4KDP APPOINTED SECTION YOUTH COORDINATOR – SCOUTING FOR THE NC SECTION – Kenthony “Dave” Price, K4KDP of Goldsboro has been appointed Section Youth Coordinator – Scouting for the NC Section. Dave K4KDP is an active member and past president of the Wayne County Amateur Radio Association. He has 28 years of service in telecommunications with 14 years as a cell phone tower site technician. Dave K4KDP has been active in Boy Scouts for 21 years, currently serving on the Wayne County District Committee, Troop 258 Chaplain and a merit badge counselor. Dave K4KDP was awarded the District Award of Merit, the ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting (“Square Knot”) Award and most recently, the Silver Beaver Award from the Tuscarora Scout council. He has set up and organized numerous Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) events and taught Radio Merit Badge to approximately 200 Scouts. His website,, has links and information on Ham Radio. Dave K4KDP also has the Facebook pages, “A Scout is Reverent” and “Boy Scout Amateur Radio.” He is Trustee of KT4BSA (Kamp Tuscarora 4 Boy Scouts America), an amateur radio club that activates during Scout events. Dave K4KDP enjoys seeing Scouts, and those new to amateur radio, sitting in front of his Icom 706 radios turning the dial and making contacts they located on the bands. He is interested in helping other Scout leaders earn the ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting (“Square Knot”) Award. Dave K4KDP asks that if you or another Scout leader feel they have completed the requirements, please let him know. On behalf of the NC Section, thanks to Dave Price, K4KDP for accepting this position – we look forward to working with you!

SEEKING NET MANAGER AND NET CONTROL OPERATORS FOR THE TAR HEEL EMERGENCY NET – The Tar Heel Emergency Net (THEN) is looking for a Net Manager and more Net Control Stations. The THEN is the ARES HF net in the NC Section and it has been operating since 1947. The net meets nightly at 7:30 PM EST on 3.923 MHz. All individuals with ARES appointments – Assistant Emergency Coordinators, Emergency Coordinators, and District Emergency Coordinators – should consider participating as the Net Manager or as a Net Control Station for THEN. For further information, see or contact Karl W4CHX, ARRL NC Section Manager at w4chx at arrl dot com. Thanks! (source: NC ARRL website)

NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR (NPOTA) ACTIVATIONS ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY – The following information (edited) was received from William W. Van Nuys, N4OOC: “… I have been working with the administration of The Blue Ridge Parkway, the headquarters here in Asheville, regarding NPOTA. I have met with the Superintendent, the Chief Ranger, and Ryan McCormick, Permit Coordinator. We have developed a working relationship for NPOTA over the entire length of The Blue Ridge Parkway. I have attached the working guidelines for ALL ham operators while working on The Parkway [see below]. I have agreed to help Ryan with any issues we may encounter. I will act as a liaison for any group who want to do a NOPTA activation on The Blue Ridge Parkway and help them obtain a Special Use Permit, if needed. The biggest problem envisioned is that ALL hams must use their own antenna supports. There will be no use of trees, bushes, fence posts, lampposts, or any permanent structure for antenna supports. I feel the guidelines are “very workable” at this time if the ham community will follow the rules. Please let me know if you feel I need to work further with Ryan on any of these guidelines. Please pass the information on to the Section and let's alI have fun playing RADIO! William W. Van Nuys – N4OOC.”

Here are the guidelines: “ HAM radio guidelines. Bureau: National Park Service, Unit: Blue Ridge Parkway (BLRI), Issue: Amateur Radio Operators (HAM radio), Date: March 22, 2016. Issue: There is currently no policy in place that governs amateur radio (HAM radio) operators on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 2016 is seeing an increase in use of the BLRI by Ham radio operators who are participating in the National Parks on the Air program. [ARRL, the] National Association for Amateur Radio ( is planning a National Parks on the Air program to celebrate the NPS Centennial. ARRL's year-long event in 2016 will have federally-licensed amateur radio operators showcasing NPS units across the country by bringing portable communications and transmitting from NPS units.”

“No Special Park Use permit is required for HAM radio operators who are following these guidelines. [1] Group size is less than ten HAM radio operators and five vehicles associated with a HAM radio group in any of the predesignated areas. [2] Use is within the following predesignated areas: Waterrock Knob Visitors Center lot (lower end of lot); Mount Pisgah Picnic Area; Craggy Gardens Picnic Area; Doughton Park Picnic Area; Rocky Knob Picnic Area; Smart View Picnic Area; Peaks of Otter Picnic Area; and, Humpback Rocks Picnic Area (Appalachian Trail located 1/8th mile from back of parking lot). [3] Equipment used to engage in HAM radio operations is largely contained within personal vehicles. Antennas mounted to vehicles or laid flat on the ground that do not cross sidewalks, parking areas trails or other areas where the general public regularly travels by foot will be allowed. Using any permanent structures or vegetation to establish an aerial antenna is not allowed. [4] Ancillary equipment (tables, camp chairs, pop up canopies) is acceptable so long as it is within predesignated areas and does not limit the public’s access to areas, or present a safety concern to the general public (tripping hazards, etc). [5] Displaying signage that advertises affiliation of a licensed HAM radio operator with the ARRL’s National Parks on the Air event is allowed, but limited to personal vehicles only. No signage will be permitted to remain in place that is not attached to a personal vehicle (no A-frame or real estate signs). No use of the National Park Service (Arrowhead) logo is allowed.”

“If proposed use falls outside of these guidelines then please direct HAM radio operators to contact BLRI Permit Coordinator Ryan McCormick at 828-348-3441, or by email at” Thanks to William W. Van Nuys, N4OOC, and Ryan McCormick, BLRI Permit Coordinator, for providing this information!

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)


Between June 6th and August 31st, there are no license classes in the NC Section listed on the ARRL website. 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 2015-2016 High Altitude Balloon Competition and participants from Pitt Community College, see Thanks to Ralph Wallio, W0RPK of Greenville for bringing this article to my attention! (additional source: Google search)

The following report was received from Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE: “North Carolina 2016 QSO Party Winner – unlimited division. The Onslow County Amateur Radio Club, under the call sign of NC4OC, won in the unlimited division with 32,130 points. This included reaching 55 counties and 33 states. On May 7th, the club was honored with a visit from Marty Young, W4MY, who presented them with a plaque showing their accomplishments. Dobie Hoffman, KK4MGK, president of the club, accepted the award for the members. …” Congratulations to the Onslow County Amateur Radio Club for winning the unlimited division of the 2016 North Carolina QSO Party; and, thanks to Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

The following report was received from David Houser, WA9OTP: “A recent amateur (“ham”) radio licensing class conducted by the Mayland Amateur Radio Club (MARC) in Mitchell County, NC resulted in nine new licensed radio operators. Based on the results of a standard examination administered by MARC at the end of the classes, the FCC issued Technician class operator licenses and call signs to Fred Barnard KM4TOJ, Gary Curtis KM4TDP, Audra Edwards KM4TNR, Morgen Houchard KM4TOZ, Josie Houchard KM4TPA, Steven Kautz KM4TPE, Tony Martin KM4TNS, Sam Sirios KM4TPB, and Peter Sirios KM4TPC. In addition, class attendee Tamara Houchard KK4NLV successfully upgraded her license class from Technician to General. Ages of the new license holders ranged from 11 to the 70s. The VE testing followed a 9-week Technician license class taught by as many different members of the club. All the new “ham” operators look forward to enjoying their hobby while at the same time standing ready to provide backup emergency communications to their communities in the event normal channels are disrupted. The Mayland Amateur Radio Club is comprised of members from Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties. In addition to its other activities, MARC provides communications for special events in the area including the recent Burnsville Metric Bicycle Ride and the Roan Moan Bicycle Ride. Many parts of the tri-county area do not have dependable cellular telephone service, but ham radio operators can communicate from anywhere. David Houser, WA9OTP, MARC President.” Congratulations to those individuals receiving new or upgraded licenses; thanks to the MARC members for conducting the license class; and, thanks to David Houser, WA9OTP for providing this report!

The following report (edited) was received from Stan White, KI4NC: “New members, license upgrades, and the trifecta. … Jimmy KM4PJC has upgraded to Amateur Extra and Al KM4TTK on has upgraded to General. Congratulations gentlemen! Lastly, Richard KW4UN has joined a very exclusive club reserved only for those very few who achieve the trifecta of Ham Radio: passing Technician, General, and Extra ALL in one sitting! Congratulations Richard! 73 Stan KI4NC.” Congratulations to those individuals receiving new and upgraded licenses; thanks to the VE team; and, thanks to Stan White, KI4NC, President, Hampstead Hams for providing this report!

The following report was received from Lane Kendall, WK4WC: “NTS at Dayton Hamvention. For the second year, the ARRL has provided booth space for the National Traffic System in the "high rent" ARRL area of the Dayton Hamvention. Last year, Hal WB4ZIQ and I volunteered to man the booth for shifts on Friday and Saturday. This year we were invited to participate again for the same shifts. It was a nice display with some paper handouts and a visitor's register. There was also a poster for folks to list the traffic nets they represented. The purpose of the booth, of course, was to raise awareness and to promote the National Traffic System. It was a very positive experience. We spent a total of 6 hours in the booth and fielded all kinds of questions. Many active traffic handlers stopped by and all were encouraged to see the NTS presence at Hamvention as part of the ARRL display. Besides the active traffic handlers visiting the booth, the other visitors fell into two general categories. First, there was the "I used to do that years ago" group. There was a surprising number of former NTS ops, both phone and CW. We encouraged these folks to become active again. Then, there was the "What the heck are you talking about" group. These folks were given an overview and referred to their Section Traffic Manager for details. They were also encouraged to participate. Amateur radio is indeed the greatest hobby on Earth. There are so many facets that nobody could participate in everything. That said I would encourage every ham to learn how to pass formal traffic, even if they are not interested in being a regular participant. The discipline of passing formal traffic within a formal net will certainly improve your operating skills and is an essential skill in an emergency. The NTS booth at the Dayton Hamvention means that the organization is alive and well. Stay tuned for good things to come. 73 Lane WK4WC, NTS Official Relay Station/Digital Relay Station, and North Carolina Evening Net Manager.” Thanks to all traffic handlers from the NC Section that staffed the NTS booth; and, to Lane Kendall, WK4WC for providing this report!

The following report, part of a request for VE assistance, was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC: “… I am asking for a favor from you. ASU has a team that is competing in the American Solar Challenge along with 25 other teams from around the country. The local team wants to use ham radio to coordinate their activities over the 1800 mile-long course that goes from Ohio to South Dakota. In addition to 2m voice, they will be using APRS to show their sponsors, family, and friends how they are progressing. There are approximately 15 members on the ASU team involved in building their solar powered vehicle. An anonymous donor gave them $100,000 to support their efforts. Three team members took and passed their Tech license exams at our last session and one other person later tested and passed at Marion. There will likely be eight others who will be taking the test on June 9th. I have offered to give the remaining members of the team a crash course on June 5th in order to prepare for the exam on June 9th. They want to take the exam and get everything pertaining to getting licenses processed before they leave for Ohio (with some possibly having to retake an exam somewhere else) and then get their radios set up before they leave for Ohio. In order to meet their schedule, it was necessary to come up with an exam session on short notice. Vern W5VM agreed. I called the League VEC today and they are sending ten Tech exams, five General exams, and five Extra exams along with necessary materials (CSCE, etc). Please respond to this message if you will be able to be an examiner on June 9th at 6:00 PM at the Lois Harrill Senior Center. Thank you in advance for considering this request. Marv, WA4NC.” Subsequently, Marv WA4NC informed me that six VEs volunteered to conduct the testing. Thanks to all Hams involved in assisting the ASU students prepare for and compete in the American Solar Challenge; and, thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, President, Watauga Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!

The following report on the recent NPOTA activation of Moores Creek National Battlefield by the Kuebert family was received several days ago: “NPOTA was a ball for us. 147 QSOs. Arrived at 9 am and left at 3pm. Enjoy the photos. Ed, K5EK.” Thanks to Ed Kuebert, K5EK for providing this report; and, to Brian Kuebert, N4UEZ for providing the pictures! To view the photos, see

The following report was received from David Macchiarolo, AJ4TF: “The Future of Amateur Radio. It's not very often that new amateur radio operators are younger than one of those radios in your shack. But it does happen. And on Saturday, May 28, 2016, the W4VEC volunteer examiner team in High Point, NC was pleased to help 11-year old Melinda “Mindy” Riewe (now KM4UHV) of High Point, NC successfully pass the technician exam and obtain her license. Her dad, Chris Riewe, KM4RQM, is a recently licensed ham himself. Shortly after Chris was licensed, he and Mindy came out to operate during a recent special event station/NPOTA activation in our area, the N4G Guilford Courthouse National Military Park special event station (NPOTA MP04). While under supervision, Mindy made several contacts for the station, and became interested in ham radio. After weeks of studying, Mindy came to our May 28th testing session in High Point, NC and methodically completed her exam. While the VE team was grading it, she was understandably nervous. However, when we announced to the room that she had passed, not just the VE team but all of the other candidates broke into applause! Congratulations to Mindy, and all of the other recently licensed amateur operators, and be sure to say “hi” to them if you hear them on the air! David Macchiarolo AJ4TF, W4VEC Session Manager, High Point, NC.” Congratulations to Mindy Riewe, KM4UHV, on receiving her Technician class license; thanks to the VE team; and, thanks to David Macchiarolo, AJ4TF, for providing this information!


QNI (total check-ins): 2,123; Total messages passed: 579.

Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 287, WC9CW 157, WB4ZIQ 149, KC4PGN 130, WK4WC 126, AK4RJ 85, KW4PD 85, W4DNA 62, W4TTO 58, KE4AHC 34, W4EAT 32, KW4EMG 20, KJ4JPE 18, W3HL 11, W2EAG 0.

Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 220, WC9CW 220, KW4PD 205, WK4WC 175, W4DNA 160, W4TTO 155, KJ4JPE 148, K4IWW 130, WB4ZIQ 130, AK4RJ 105, KM4HXX 96, KK4LGM 81, KB4RGC 79. 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: Gary T. Coffey, K4AVC (SK) of Morehead City; Kevin James Dunphy, W4KJD (SK) of Cary; and, Robert ("Bob") Vincent Southworth, KI4YV (SK) of Statesville. 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.


June 25-26: NPOTA/Field Day at Bear Den Family Campgrounds, Blue Ridge Parkway PK01 Mile Marker 324.8, 1800Z-2100Z, NC4MI, Spruce Pine, NC. NC4MI. 80-10 Meters. Certificate and QSL. Luther W. Lipfird Jr, 220 Blue Ridge Rd, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Event will be at the "Bear Den Family Campgrounds" on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A Special QSL card for the event. Your QSL to Add. in QRZ and SASE to NC4MI Please. A certificate will be available for guest who operates during Field Day. (NPOTA Code PK01).

July 16: Candor NC Peach Festival, 1400Z-1800Z, NC4MC, Candor, NC. Montgomery Amateur Radio Society (MARS). 14.250 USB 14.030 CW 7.250 7.030. Certificate. Don Grady, KG4ZRH, 120 Woodline Dr, Troy, NC 27371. Annual Peach Festival and Parade.

July 16: Operation Red Sleigh, 1000Z-2010Z, K4NWJ, Asheboro, NC. Guilford ARES - AUXCOMM. 14.265 3.950 7.232. QSL. W4S/Operation Red Sleigh, 5186 Farlowe Davis Dr, Sophia, NC 27350. 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!


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,

April 17, 2017: 45th Annual RARSfest/ARRL Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, 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* – Please accept my apology for the delay in sending out the May 2016 edition of the NC Section Newsletter. The production of the Newsletter was affected by vacation trips, personal and professional commitments, and brief illness.

The recent News item regarding the agreement between the ARRL and the Community Associations Institute on amended wording of HR 1301 Amateur Radio Parity Act is a significant (and favorable!) development. There are still more hurdles. The ARRL leadership will keep you informed of the progress of HR 1301 and S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act in Congress. Please note, if the Bills are voted upon, your assistance will be needed, specifically to contact your Member(s) of Congress and request their favorable vote on HR 1301 or S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act.

On May 14th, I attended the 12th Rockingham County Swapfest. It had been 2 years since my last visit to the Swapfest. I enjoyed the early morning drive to Reidsville. The weather was sunny and warm, the Swapfest facilities were excellent, and I had a good time speaking with everyone. Congratulations to the Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club for putting on a great Swapfest and thanks for your hospitality! There were 2 other amateur radio-related events in NC that I wanted to attend, and I did not go to the Dayton Hamvention this year. Vacation and family visits precluded my participation in those events.

For the last 2 months, I have been focused on a “bucket list” goal in amateur radio: learn Morse code (again) and become fluent with its use. Although I had been thinking about that for awhile, a chance encounter with 3 hams at the W4DXCC meeting last fall provided clarity on how to proceed. They encouraged me to enroll in the CW Academy Level 1 Course, which is sponsored by the CW Operators Club. So, I did. I was accepted into the sessions beginning January 2016. Soon, I would learn that there were more students than available advisors and I was deferred to the April-May sessions. In late-March, I was contacted by my advisor, Larry K7SV, to make sure that I could attend the twice weekly class sessions conducted via Skype (and later, on the air), and that I would practice 30-45 minutes daily. During an orientation session in early April, I met Larry K7SV and my classmates – John KD2HEK of New Paltz (NY) and Scott KW4JM of Asheville. Hopefully, I would meet their expectations as a student and colleague. On Tuesday, April 5th, the sessions began. And then a funny thing happened: I realized that I was losing track of time while practicing Morse code. I was enjoying the training! A lot of that probably had to do with the fact that I knew what CW would allow while DXing, so I was motivated to improve. Having said that, though, I still have a LOT more to learn.

As mentioned above, the CW Academy is quite popular and there are more students than advisors. I am not surprised. Larry K7SV was an outstanding advisor – more appropriately, an outstanding Elmer – and he spent a lot of time with John KD2HEK, Scott KW4JM, and myself. Larry K7SV was friendly, patient, and he gave us constructive, positive feedback. At the end of May, all 3 of us received our certificates of successful completion of the CW Academy Level 1 Course. I have enrolled for the next Level 2 course, but it is not clear when those sessions will begin. Until then, there is “real world” CW practice on the air daily!

If you would like to learn more about the CW Academy, see Please note that Jack Ritter, WØUCE (SK) of Youngsville (CWops #64) compiled the learning resources for the CW Academy. Thanks to Mac NN4K (CWops #1227), Paul W4KLY (CWops #1540), and Norm WA4ZXV for encouraging my participation in the CW Academy; to the CW Operators Club for sponsoring the CW Academy; to Bill K4CIA for putting up with my not-so-error-free Morse code during my first CW QSO; to my classmates, John KD2HEK and Scott KW4JM for their friendship; and, to Larry K7SV (CWops #1004) for his mentorship!

Finally, I want to let everyone know that during ARRL Field Day 2016, I will be visiting club sites in central North Carolina. Please keep me informed of your club’s plans for Field Day, specifically the street address for your club site and your setup, operating, and teardown schedule. I have already heard from some clubs and I am now thinking about my Field Day itinerary.