Posted May 9, 2022
North Carolina ARRL Section News
May 8, 2022
GREETINGS FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY
Spring has finally reached the highest elevations in Northwestern North Carolina.† Leaves are out on at least 95% of the trees and some homeowners around Boone have mowed their lawns twice.† Up here (near 4000 ft amsl) lawn mowers will start to get a workout this week.†
In town, Appalachian held its two days of commencements this weekend and one can only hope that traffic will improve on Monday when students leave town for summer jobs, internships or a large variety of activities off-campus.†
We have to come to expect the return to the High Country of the Floridians who begin to arrive soon after Mothersí Day.† By the end of May, Boone-Blowing Rock-Banner Elk will be packed with visitors.†
Merchants dream of the sound of cash registers and their dreams will soon be fulfilled when the visitors and summer students descend on what was once a sleepy mountain town.† Congestion will again sweep over Boone when the 2000 graduates who just graduated are replaced with 2500 students who take their places on August 1.
If you come up to the High Country, try out out analog repeaters on 147.360 (-600 khz, 103.5 hz tone) or 444.575 (+5 mhz, 151.4 tone) or the Boone and Sugar DMR repeaters listed in the ncprn.net webpage.
Here is radio-related information that you need to know:
NCEM HURRICANE EXERCISE May 11 and 12
State Emergency Management will hold its annual hurricane exercise this week.† Most of the activities will be focused on Eastern North Carolina and a lot of activity will take place at the Eastern Branch Regional Coordinating Center in Kinston and at the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh.†
EmComm operations will take place on VIPER, SHARES HF, and on two meter and 440 MHz repeaters as well as the Eastern Healthcare Preparedness Coalition DMR system.† Information on the EHPC DMR repeater system can be found at https://www.nc4es.org/
EmComm operators who wish to participate in exercises such as this one should contact their Auxcomm Branch Coordinator (Charlie Ingle, KI4DEE Eastern Branch; Virginia Enzor, NC4VA Central Branch or Monroe Hicks, K4RQ Western Branch.†† The listing of local Auxcomm/ARES Emergency Coordinators listed at https://www.ncarrl.org/ares/ will be updated shortly with appointments current through May 1, 2022.
Exercise activities tend to focus on the Eastern Branch as happens during most actual hurricanes. The other two branches are tasked to support the Eastern Branch.† †Counties across the state were given the option to design local exercises while the Stateís Regional Coordinating Centers will be quite busy.
Western Branch DMR Test during the Hurricane Exercise††
During this Hurricane Exercise on May 11 and 12, we will be testing coverage of the Western Branch system of linked DMR repeaters.† The question is which counties can reach an existing DMR repeater and have direct radio contact with the Western Regional Coordinating Center in Conover.
Operators with DMR radios who are in the Western third of North Carolina are invited to participate by driving to the parking lot at your local county emergency operations Center and checking in on one of the PRN repeaters in the Western NC.
Supply chain issues have delayed the installation of new DMR equipment at the Western Branch Office in Conover but the network and the linking system have been in place for several years.† It is anticipated that DMR equipment will be installed at the Western Branch soon.
On May 11 and 12, we will activate the Western Branch linking between 11 and 11:45 a.m., we will accept check-ins from County EOCís in the Western Branch.† You do not have to operate from inside the local EOC or operate for an extended period of time.† We will activate PRN DMR repeaters at West Jefferson, Fancy Gap, Wilkesboro, Lenoir, Boone, Sugartop, Spruce Pine, Crowders, Albemarle, Hendersonville, Sylva, Franklin, and Cashiers. †
The WNC network in the Southwestern-most part of North Carolina is not part of this test as it is a separate system.
DMR CHANGES IN THE CHARLOTTE AREA
The local talkgroup on the Crowders and Wingate DMR repeaters are now connected 24/7.†
As soon as certain programming is completed, the local talkgroup Albemarle repeater in Stanly County will be added which will tie together Wingate, Albemarle and Crowders local to form a Charlotte area local. Once the programming is completed, anything said on Albemarle Local, Wingate Local or Crowders Local will be heard over all three repeaters without any further operator intervention.† Operators with DMR radios are invited to use the new Charlotte Area Local and to participate in the High Country UHF Digital Net which is held at 8 p.m. on the repeaters listed in this section or those listed in the section immediately preceding this one.
It is not too late to make plans to attend the Dayton Hamvention which will be held at the Greene County Exposition Center and Fairgrounds, near Xenia, Ohio.†
This is the largest hamfest in the United States and 2022 will mark the 70th year for the Hamvention.† ARRL will be well represented with Officers, Directors and HQ staff.† You can expect the manufacturers to be showing off new models of ham equipment.† Older radios and parts will be found at a large flea market with several hundred spaces filled with items for sale.† Information about Hamvention and the various forums can be found at https://hamvention.org/
ARRL CLUB GRANT PROGRAM
Your club may wish to spend some time considering whether it should apply for a grant under the recently announced ARRL Club Grant program. ARRL recently received a $500,000 gift that is earmarked for grants to club for projects that increase participation in amateur radio, revitalize struggling clubs, increase emergency preparedness and expand public understanding of the good things that amateur radio does in the community.† A wide variety of potential projects are eligible for consideration with budgets up to $25,000.
Information on the grant program can be found at http://www.arrl.org/club-grant-program. Applications are now being accepted and it is expected that the first round of grants will be announced in August 2022.
FIELD DAY PLANS
As Section Manager, I attempt to visit as many Field Day sites as can be fitted in the available time.† This year I will leave Boone on June 25 and generally travel in an Easterly direction, ending up near Raleigh at the conclusion of Field Day on June 26. ††Last year, I traveled in the Southwestern portion of the state and visited Field Day sites in Hayesville, Franklin, Waynesville, Mars Hill, Asheville, Hendersonville (2), Shelby, and Charlotte (2), traveling 1300 miles and making eleven stops.
If your group plans to operate on Field Day in a traditional Field Day setting, please drop me a note telling when you will begin to set up, how long you will operate each day (June 25 and June 26) and where your group will be operating.†
In addition to contacting me, I hope you will post information about your Field Day activation at https://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator. This will allow visitors and the public to stop by to meet your group and to learn about amateur radio.†
Overall information about Field Day, including rules, can be found at http://www.arrl.org/field-day .
SECTION MANAGER VISITS WITH CLUBS
A number of clubs in North Carolina have resumed their club meetings, either in-person or in a hybrid format with some members participating from home.†
I am available to speak to clubs through zoom or another meeting technology.† If the timing works out, I may be able to visit in-person. If you would like me to address your club, please send an invitation with information on when your club meets.
ARRL EMAIL ISSUES
Although the operation of the ARRL IT systems has been restored, there remain problems that are being worked on.† One issue appears to involve intermittent problems with forwarding messages that have @arrl.net or arrl.org addresses.
If you wish to contact the Roanoke Division Director, Vice Director or the NC Section Manager, it is recommended that you use the following addresses which do not go through the ARRL email system:
††††††††††††††† Director Jim Boehner, N2ZZ can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
††††††††††††††† Vice Director Bill Morine, N2COP can be reached at email@example.com
††††††††††††††† NC Section Manager Marv Hoffman, WA4NC can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
DELAYS IN FCC ISSUING AMATEUR RADIO LICENSES
The FCC reports that it has not issued amateur radio licenses since the $35 application fee went into effect on April 19.† Although the Universal License System operated without problem prior to the implementation of the $35 application fee on April 19, programming anomalies cropped up and the FCC system issued licenses without fees when a fee was required and rejected applications despite the fee having been paid.† Volunteer Examination Coordinators have been instructed to hold (i.e. do not submit to FCC) successful test results until the FCC system is working properly.† VECís can continue to give tests but the issuance of licenses is on hold until further notice.
The Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society will once again hold its annual hamfest on July 23 at the Smoky Mountain Event Center (formerly known as the Haywood County Fairgrounds) located near Lake Junaluska and Waynesville.† Information can be found at https://wcars-club.org/wcarshamfest.htm.
My next newsletter, near the end of the month, will report on the Dayton Hamvention and share with you information about what new pieces of radio gear were demonstrated.