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Posted Nov 27, 2010

I hope everyone had a healthy, peaceful and restful Thanksgiving, and that you gave thanks for the blessings we have.

FIELD DAY RESULTS - Congratulations to the 69 clubs and individuals who submitted Field Day logs from the Tar Heel state. The overall score total winner was the combined location of the Orange County and Durham FM radio clubs. They ran a 10AB configuration and scored 13,445 points. Close behind running 8A was RARS, the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, as W4DW with 12,802. Other notable performers were the Cary Amateur Radio Society (CARS) as K4M with 8,852 points running 2A, and the NC Contesters running 3A under NR3X with 9,638 points. Thanks to all who participated. You can see more results in the December issue of QST and on the ARRL website at field-day-results-now-online where you can download the results in a spreadsheet format and sort data. Start planning now for FD 2011, which will be June 25-26, 2011.

WELCOME NEW CLUB - A hearty hello to the Haywood County Amateur Radio Club, which became an ARRL affiliated club on November 11th, and has 31 members. They meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Haywood EOC in Waynesville, about 25 miles west of Asheville. The club's website is There are now 63 ARRL affiliated clubs in North Carolina.

SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY - Saturday, December 4th is national SKYWARN Recognition Day. At least three National Weather Service (NWS) centers in North Carolina plan special event stations that day. Look for the Raleigh NWS under call WX4NC, the Wilmington NWS under WX4ILM and Newport using WX4MHX on local repeaters in their areas and on IRLP and Echolink. A special event certificate is available from NWS. More details at: Thanks to all SKYWARN spotters for your year round vigilance. If you haven't yet been trained as a SKYWARN spotter, consider taking the basic spotter class through your local NWS office.

ANTENNA LAW SETBACK - Cleveland County commissioners voted for an ordinance which challenges the intent of the 2007 North Carolina state antenna law. The good news: no height restrictions are in the ordinance and Amateur Radio antennas are now allowed in all zoning districts. The bad news: many antennas can now possibly be defined as a "tower" and subject to a $200. permit fee. The state law contains the phrase "reasonable accommodation" which is not defined. This is the first municipal ordinance in North Carolina since the state antenna law went into effect and which could require many common antennas, especially guyed verticals, to have a permit. Cleveland County Hams and ARRL are assessing options in addressing this issue. If your city or county is looking to enact an antenna ordinance, please take advantage of ARRL's extensive resources and experience in this arena.

ARES SET EXERCISE - Many Hams were surprised at the theme behind the November 13th Simulated Emergency Test (SET), which was based on terrorists taking out some key communications installations in North Carolina and paralyzing most phone networks. The scenario is not far fetched. Two of the largest ARES activations in the past two years have been massive phone outages in California and Nebraska. We are fortunate that the number and intensity of disasters in North Carolina have diminished over the past decade, but that means all the more we need to keep our response skills sharp. We need to add manmade disasters alongside natural ones for which we must prepare. Thanks to all who were flexible and able to respond in this fairly realistic exercise.

WESTERN BRANCH ARES MEETING - Thanks too to the 46 Hams who attended the Western Branch ARES meeting on Saturday, October 30th at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton. This was the best turnout in years, and a lot of ground relative to ARES was covered.

PUBLIC SERVICE - Big tip of the hat to the 38 Hams who helped with the iron distance (140.6 miles) Beach 2 Battleship triathlon in and around Wilmington on November 13th. This is the only iron distance triathlon in the Roanoke Division, and it was recently ranked by two racing magazines as the 5th best triathlon in the world and the 2nd best in the U.S. The event spans 17 hours for the 2,000 athletes, with Ham Radio operations beginning at 5:00 AM and securing at 12 midnight - 19 hours of air time. An iron distance triathlon consists of (in order): 2.4 mile swim, 112.0 mile bike race, 26.2 mile run (a full marathon)

OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE - Fuquay-Varina Christmas Parade, Sunday, December 5th, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS: See SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY above. Wilmington's Azalea Coast ARC will fire up the original CW equipment along with modern SSB transceivers aboard the Battleship North Carolina for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. They'll operate (local time) Dec. 6 from 7 PM to about 10 PM, and on December 7th from about 9 AM to 1 PM. Look on DX reflectors for frequencies.

IS YOUR CW RUSTY? - There's on old joke among musicians: Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? A: Practice, practice, practice. The upcoming winter months are the perfect time to enjoy a warm beverage and practice your CW skills. And in the Carolinas, there's no better way to watch your skills improve than to check into the Carolinas Slow Net (CSN) held every night at 8:00 PM local time on 3571 Khz. This friendly net welcomes newcomers and will really help your speed to improve. All you need to know can be found at CSN's website at

MEDIA HIT - Dave Ritter, ND4MR, had his picture in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot of North Wilkesboro demonstrating Ham Radio to a group of Boy Scouts. A group of Hams appeared on WECT-TV programming weather radios at Walgreen's in Leland. The event was part of Wilmington's WECT-TV weather radio awareness campaign. Hams got four live, on-air shots during the 90 minute newscast, including one with WECT meteorologist Rob Ellis giving viewers a tour of the EmCOMM trailer belonging to Mike Hamby, KG4SRW. If you have a media hit in your area, please share it with our section Public Information Coordinator (PIC) Woody Woodward, K3VSA, at

MORE JOTA - Last month I failed to include activities in Raleigh and Southport to show Scouts about Amateur Radio through JOTA, the annual Jamboree-On-The-Air. The Raleigh 146.88 repeater was abuzz with young voices, and the Brunswick Shores ARC had a JOTA station in scenic Franklin Park in downtown Southport. Many have asked me for resources to teach the Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge. There's a full PowerPoint presentation in the files section of the Scout Radio group in Yahoo Groups.

HAMFESTS - Good to see a strong turnout at JARSfest in Benson on November 21st. Next hamfest is Winston-Salem FirstFest, Saturday, January 8th, Summit School Athletic Complex, 2100 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem. Talk-In 146.64 PL 100.0 website:

ARES - Members, 700, dn 53 (due largely to inactive appointments being terminated) DEC/EC reports - 38 of 100 counties (up 1) ATTN: ECs and DECs - if you're not filing your monthly reports, your ARES members aren't included in section reports.

OCTOBER NTS REPORTS - QNI (Net station check-ins) 2,966 up 108. Messages passed - 490, up 26. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 504 (BPL level), W2EAG 228, KI4YV 196, W4DNA 123, WK4P 114, W4TTO 63, W3HL 50, KE4AHC 40, K8SKX 33, KC4PGN 25, NC4VA 21. OCTOBER PUBLIC SERVICE ROLL (PSHR) NC4VA 218, W4DNA 140, K4IWW 130, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 100, WK4P 100, KI4YV 90

LAST WORD - Since it's Thanksgiving time, I want to take a few lines to give thanks. The first is to all of you for giving me the opportunity to be your Section Manager. I took over this past April from Tim Slay, N4IB, who passed on a great organization to me. I also give thanks to a marvelous team of North Carolina section officers who devote many hours of selfless work to make Amateur Radio better in our state. And I'm glad we have ARRL as a resource to keep our airwaves open and accessible. Finally, I'm grateful to live in a place where we can exercise our hobby and service freely.

Can we do better? Absolutely. That's why in late January, the North Carolina ARRL Section Officers will be holding a retreat to discuss ways we can improve our section. I'll have more on this in the December section newsletter, but feel free to email me with things you'd like to see us discuss to make Amateur Radio in North Carolina even better.

May the blessings of the season be with you and your loved ones.

73 de Bill Bill Morine, N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

For the latest news about Amateur Radio in North Carolina, go to the section's website at and on Facebook at NC ARRL.