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Posted Nov 30, 2011

13th ANNUAL SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY THIS SATURDAY --December 4th marks the annual SKYWARN Recognition Day. Both Central Carolina SKYWARN in Raleigh and coastal NEWPORT SKYWARN near Morehead City plan daylong on-air events to showcase what they do. The tornado outbreaks last April and Hurricane Irene underscored the importance of SKYWARN in the Tar Heel state. There are seven statewide SKYWARN organizations with many Hams who provide vital information to the National Weather Service and to their regions. Raleigh SKYWARN will operate under WX4NC on 146.88 and on IRLP node 9219 as well as other frequencies. Newport SKYWARN will be on 146.685 (PL 88.5) and other frequencies. Both Raleigh and Newport SKYWARN will be on the Carolinas 440 Network at You can read about SKYWARN Recognition Day in general at Check-in and say hello to these dedicated volunteers.

CHARLOTTE LOOKING TO REVISE TOWER ORDINANCES -- Over 1,000 of North Carolina's 19,000 Hams live in Mecklenburg County, and the majority of those reside within the city of Charlotte. The K3XC tower case earlier this year showed that Charlotte city ordinances have not been updated to reflect the 2007 North Carolina state antenna laws. Regulators and legislators will tell you this is not unusual. The four year old state laws (one for city and towns; the other for counties) are designed to be a guideline for municipalities to adopt provisions with "reasonable accommodation" for the installation of Amateur Radio antennas and towers up to 90 feet. Unless there is a push from the local Ham Radio community, local ordinances are seldom updated until a specific case comes up. The road to getting an ordinance which is satisfactory to both Hams and zoning officials can be a long and arduous one. Cleveland County embarked on revising its ordinances when the Cleveland County Amateur Radio Society wanted to install a new repeater. It took nearly two years before changes were adopted. The majority of North Carolina municipal ordinances do not comply with the state's antenna laws. If you want to be successful in making a change, Hams need to be both patient and, above all, unified in their actions before municipal boards and staff. We'll keep you updated on developments on this and other ordinances from around the state.

STATE E.O.C. TO OPEN SOON -- state ARES will have a home soon in the new state Emergency Operations Center (EOC), scheduled to open December 5th. The state-of-the-art facility located on the outskirts of Raleigh will replace the older EOC downtown where ARES operations were shoe-horned in the basement. Ham Radio operations will have a dedicated room in the new center near the 24 hour Communications Center with new furniture and a new Pactor IV modem. Many thanks to our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Tom Brown, N4TAB, for his countless hours volunteering to ensure that ARES will have the equipment and accommodations to ensure effective responses when necessary.

ARES -- This year's tornadoes and Hurricane Irene showed the value of ARES in disaster times. NC ARES now has 869 members, 420 of whom have obtained ICS 100,200,700 and 800 certificates, the highest concentration in the southeast. CQ magazine's December issue has an article on how well the ICS command system worked during Hurricane Irene, especially from the North Carolina Emergency Management's Regional Coordination Center (RCC) in Kinston where ARES operators handled communications from the Outer Banks and other eastern areas cutoff in the aftermath of the storm.

ELECTRO-MAGNETIC PULSE -- One of the surprising questions frequently asked of me is how to protect Ham gear from an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP). This is a topic with many urban myths about what will and won't work in the event of an EMP. The current issue of CONTACT!, ARRL's monthly Public Relations newsletter, addresses how best to configure your gear to survive an EMP. You can see the article at

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Orange County Radio Association (OCRA), which turned 20 years old on November 1st. Orange County is home to beautiful towns such as Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.

LICENSING CLASSES -- Don't forget that ARRL's website now has webpages to list and find licensing classes. We all know people who either want to become Hams or who want to upgrade. To list one that your organization will be sponsoring, go to and to find one go to The Pamlico Amateur Radio Society (PARS) in Oriental, North Carolina's quaint sailing capital located on the Neuse River in Pamlico Sound, will hold a Technician and General class Monday afternoons 2 PM -4 PM beginning in January. For details, contact Bill Michne, WM3X, at

NTS OCTOBER SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT -- QNI (total check-ins) 3340 (down 2% over September). TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 875 (up 15%). STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) WK4P 399, K4IWW 379, W4DNA 312, W2EAG 183, KB3LR 106, W4TTO 81, KC4PGN 68, N2RTF 62, K4JUU 60, WB4Y 55, KJ4JPE 49, KE4AHC 42, KK4ANZ 34, NC4VA 23, KA4IZN 18. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KA4IZN 158, WK4P 145, W4DNA 140, K4IWW 130, K4JUU 120, W2EAG 110, KJ4JPE 100, W4TTO 100, NC4VA 99, N2RTF 79, KK4ANZ 62.

HAMFESTS -- January 14, Winston-Salem FirstFest, Summit School Eagles Nest, 2100 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem. Talk-In 146.64 (PL 100.0) Details:

MEDIA HITS-- The Charlotte Observer ran a nice story on Jack Bost, KA4CMC, of Mt. Pleasant, who has overcome a lifetime of disabilities. The Associated Press released a wire story just before Veteran's Day about how Fayetteville's Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society (CFARS) was going to honor Vietnam era veterans by demonstrating phone patch communications from the pre satellite and internet era. Finally, Fox News had a national story on how the number of licensed Hams in the U.S. has topped 700,000. It's worth watching at

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS -- December 6-7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, NI4BK, from the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, beginning December 6, 7 PM local time (Dec. 7, 0000Z) Original CW transmitters and receivers to be used. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club. Details:

PUBLIC SERVICE -- None found listed for December.

SKs -- We regret to report the passing of Norm Plaks, KN4G, of Raleigh.

LAST WORD -- It's hard to believe that I've already served a year and a half as your Section Manager. I hope you agree that I've tried to manage our section for the greater good of ARRL members first, and secondly for the overall benefit of North Carolina's Amateur Radio community. We are blessed to have a team of very conscientious and dedicated ARRL section officers. Thanks to them and their volunteer efforts, we've seen the following accomplishments over the past 18 months:

We have done much but there is still much to do. I plan to run for a second term, which begins next April, and I hope you agree with the direction in which our section is headed. If you have any suggestions or concerns at any time, please drop me an email at Let me take a moment to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and the best of season to you and your families.

73, Bill N2COP