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NC Section News - November 2014

Posted Dec 3, 2014

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

HR 4969 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2014 AND THE ARRL GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN - As we enter the holiday season, the grassroots campaign in support of HR 4969 Amateur Radio Parity Act continues. There are 2 parts to the grassroots campaign: letter-writing by individual ARRL members; and, small group meetings with Members of Congress or their staff, at or through their district offices. The goal of the grassroots campaign is to gain co-sponsors for the Bill.

As of December 2nd, there are sixty-six (66) co-sponsors for HR 4969, including 4 Representatives from our State: Representatives Mike McIntyre (D-NC-7); Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-NC-3); David Price (D-NC-4); and, Howard Coble (R-NC-6). For information on the co-sponsors for HR 4969 Amateur Radio Parity Act, see Based on a recent communication from ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, the ARRL learned that Representative David Price (D-NC-4) would become a co-sponsor of HR 4969 when the House of Representatives reconvened after the Thanksgiving recess. After Representative Price was listed as a co-sponsor, Kay N3KN recommended that ARRL members in his district contact his office to thank him for his support of the Bill. Since Representative Coble has just become a co-sponsor of the Bill, ARRL members in his district should contact Representative Coble's office and thank him for his support, too. For further information on the HR 4969 grassroots campaign, see Please monitor the news section of the ARRL website for updates. Thanks for all that you are doing for the HR 4969 grassroots campaign!

SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY 2014 (12/6) - SKYWARN Recognition Day 2014 will be held on Saturday, December 6th, from 0000-2400 UTC. For overview information on this event, see Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, forwarded this report about events that will be held at the NWS Newport/Morehead City: "To all, This is the highlight of the year for Newport Skywarn! Contesting to your heart's content from Friday, Dec 5th, 7pm through Sat, Dec 6th, 7pm. Plenty of room for club trailers, or in conference room radio setups. Take a tour given by Hal Austin (NC4HA-WX4MHX), Meteorologist at NWS Newport, of the building, radar, etc. Ask questions, and enjoy! 533 Roberts Rd. in Newport, NC (Carteret County) off Hwy 70. Let Hal or me know who is coming, so NWS Newport will know how many to prepare for. Thanks. 73, Janice KJ4JPE, Newport Skywarn"

Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, Emergency Coordinator, Central Carolina SKYWARN provided the following report: "SKYWARN Recognition Day 2014 officially takes place Saturday, December 6th from 0000-2400 UTC. Over 100 National Weather Services offices across the nation, including the Raleigh National Weather Service, are expected to participate in this annual event. SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League to celebrate the contributions that SKYWARN radio operators/spotters make to the National Weather Service. During a 24-hour period, SKYWARN operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world. Central Carolina SKYWARN, operating under the call sign WX4NC, will join in the fun on Friday night (December 5th) from 7:00-9:00 PM and Saturday (December 6th) from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, making contacts on the WB4TQD 146.88 repeater, the K4ITL 147.105 repeater, the K4ITL 147.135 repeater, the Carolina 440 UHF Link System, IRLP (node 9219), Echolink (WX3H and WX4NC), and HF (10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters SSB). Ask a SKYWARN operator on the 146.88 repeater for our frequencies. Radio operators will exchange names, call signs, locations, signal reports, and a 1- or 2-word weather report. A QSL card will be available for this event. Stations logging a contact with WX4NC may send a SASE envelope to the following address to receive a QSL card: National Weather Service, Raleigh Forecast Office, 1005 Capability Drive, Suite 300, Centennial Campus, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606. Hope to get you in the log!" Thanks to Steve Ewald, WV1X, ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor; Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer; Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, Emergency Coordinator, Central Carolina SKYWARN; and, Susan L. Jones, WA4AKB, Official Bulletin Station and Dave Langley, W4YDY for providing information and reports!

2014 ROANOKE DIVISION ARRL SERVICE AWARD DEADLINE (12/15) - Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award. The Award was instituted in 1968 by then Roanoke Division Director Vic Clark, W4KFC (SK). Vic W4KFC intended the Award to be recognition for a long history of significant and consistent contributions to amateur radio. The amateur selected would have, over the years, dedicated much of his/her time to amateur radio and the ARRL. Nominations and resumes are encouraged and accepted from the ARRL members in the Roanoke Division. Winners of the Roanoke Division ARRL Service Award become members of the selection committee and vote on subsequent nominees. An individual may receive the Award only once. The Award is administered by the Roanoke Division Director. Please contact Dr. James Boehner, N2ZZ, Roanoke Division Vice Director at for further information on the Award and the nomination procedures. The deadline for nominations is December 15, 2014. Thanks to Dr. James Boehner, N2ZZ, Roanoke Division Vice Director for providing this information!

ARISS APPLICATION DEADLINE (12/15) - The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program has announced that the application window is open for proposals from formal and informal educational institutions and organizations to host an Amateur Radio contact with an ISS crew member. The deadline for proposals is December 15th. For further information and related links, see

ARRL INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD NOMINATION DEADLINE (12/31) - The nomination period is open for the ARRL International Humanitarian Award for 2014. For further information on this award, see For information on all ARRL awards, see Please consider nominating a deserving candidate for an ARRL award. Thanks!

DECEMBER IS YOUNGSTERS ON THE AIR (YOTA) MONTH - During December, special event stations around the world will take part in the first, worldwide Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) activity. Stations using YOTA-suffix call signs will be active from all three IARU regions. IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, said YOTA Month is an opportunity to give individuals aged 25 and younger a chance to make contact via Amateur Radio in all available modes. For further information, see

CSRA (GA-SC) D-STAR UNIVERSITY, AIKEN, SC (1/17) - Recently, an email was received from Dr. James Boehner, N2ZZ, Roanoke Division Vice Director, about a D-STAR workshop, which will be held in his hometown of Aiken, SC on January 17, 2015. Jim N2ZZ commented that a number of "heavy hitters" in the world of D-STAR would be participating in the event. In addition, he noted that Aiken, SC is a beautiful city, with ample lodging and restaurants near the event. It is located about 20 miles northeast of Augusta, GA, and very close to I-20.

Here is an edited description of the workshop, which was provided by Kent Hufford, KQ4KK of Graniteville, SC: The Aiken SC D-STAR Club will hold a one-day CSRA D-STAR University on January 17, 2015 at University of South Carolina, Aiken campus, in Aiken, SC. It will start at 12 noon and run until 5 PM EST. This one-day D-STAR workshop will provide information and training on all levels of D-STAR, the Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio. Classes will be organized to allow participants, from new users to repeater system administrators, to gain knowledge about D-STAR's digital voice and data technology. The goals and objectives are to present D-STAR definitions, equipment, DVAPs, Dongles, linking, D-Rats, and comprehensive training for programming the radios. There will also be presentations and demonstrations on advancements in D-STAR high-speed data communications and other emergency communications techniques using D-STAR equipment. There will be time for "hands on" instruction on how to program D-STAR radios without a computer. And, come early and D-STAR experts will be available to program your D-STAR radio. The classes will be taught by experienced instructors from the Georgia D-STAR group and, who have presented dozens of seminars and training across the country. John Davis WB4QDX, Ed Woodrick WA4YIH, Robin Cutshaw AA4RC who developed the DVDongle and DVAP, and others will present high speed data and other advancements in communication using D-STAR systems. The target audience for this session includes those new to DSTAR, emergency management personnel, hospital administrators, and more advanced D-STAR users. No matter what your D-STAR experience, there will be a wealth of information provided so that the beginner can go home and put his/her equipment on the air, and the more advanced operator can explore the new data transfer methods which will have emergency management applications. Topics of interest to beginning D-STAR users include D-STAR basics; D-STAR user registration process; getting started with your D-STAR radio; programming your D-STAR radio; using DR mode for easy D-STAR operation; updating your memories; and, linking to repeaters and reflectors. More experienced users will enjoy using the DV Dongle and DV Access Point (DVAP); making and using a Hotspot with a Raspberry Pi; D-STAR nets and reflectors; using D-STAR data capabilities including D-RATS and the ICOM ANDROID free application; where to find D-STAR Resources; history and competitive analysis between D-STAR, DMR, FUSION, and P25; and, operating D-STAR voice on the HF bands.

The cost for the D-STAR University is free and light refreshments will be served. Individuals may register for this course by sending an email to More detailed information about class schedule and instructors will be forthcoming. We encourage amateur radio clubs to make this information available to their members and include it in their newsletters. Thanks to Dr. James Boehner, N2ZZ, Roanoke Division Vice Director, and Kent Hufford, KQ4KK, for providing this information!

NAVASSA ISLAND DXPEDITION 2015 (K1N) APPROVED FOR JANUARY, 2015 - The Navassa Island DXpedition 2015 (K1N) has been approved by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A team of 15 operators, including Lou Dietrich, N2TU of Mooresville, will activate Navassa Island (K1N) for 2 weeks beginning in late January, 2015. This is great news for DXers worldwide since Navassa Island is the #1 "most wanted" DXCC entity. For further information, see

FILING FOR 501(c)(3) STATUS - During a recent visit to the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, I attending their business meeting where the process of filing for 501(c)(3) tax status for their club was discussed. MARS member Tim Slay, N4IB, Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club Coordinator commented to Paul Jones, K4VCF, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, that the information might be of interest to other clubs. Soon thereafter, Paul K4VCF sent me an email with information for distribution to the NC Section. Here is his report: "I suspect most people are not aware that in July 2014, the IRS streamlined the procedure for organizations, such as amateur radio clubs, to qualify under 501(c)(3). The new form is 1023-EZ While the old procedures involved many pages that would have required a CPA and or an attorney, the new form is two and a half pages. There are instructions that MUST be read and a check-list that must be completed (only for in-house and filed in the event the IRS had any questions). The new form can only be filled out and filed on-line. Until July, as we were working on the process of filing, we were looking at an $800 filing fee due to our revenue picture. Now, we only have to pay $400, which is paid with a credit card when the 1023-EZ is filled out and filed. We have one member whose father is a qualified expert in IRS matters and was extremely helpful in tuning our mock-up of the 1023-EZ. He got us past a couple of very simple points that could have slowed the process after filing. Note that we will be happy to share our information with any club that is thinking they want to file for 501(c)(3) status. Once 501(c)(3) status is granted, it behooves the treasurer of a club to make "sure" the annual filing to the IRS occurs. It's a simple one-pager or something close to that. For our club, our treasurer files an annual statement with the IRS, so the process is already routine for our club. Under the new procedures, it highly possible the IRS could grant our request for IRS non-profit status within 30-60 days. Since our basic information mirrors ARRL's status and that of other clubs, such as RARS (Raleigh ARS), we should not have any problems." Thanks to Paul Jones, K4VCF, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this information! W1AW CENTENNIAL QSO PARTY - The 100th anniversary of the ARRL is still being celebrated, but not for much longer! The W1AW Centennial QSO Party is still "on the air" and consists of two main activities: 1) portable operation of W1AW in each state and most territories; and, 2) The Centennial Points Challenge which is the accumulation of points from qualifying contacts made throughout 2014. For further information on the W1AW Centennial QSO Party, see

LICENSING CLASSES - Presently, there are no (new) licensing classes in the NC Section listed on the ARRL website for the period extending from December 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. 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 amateur radio and the Field Day activities of the Cabarrus County Amateur Radio Society, see

On the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship in Westborough, MA, see radio/qFhpmZvTkGAPIUdu56o3IP/story.html

On a homemade radio station (historical article), see

On the amateur radio exhibit and special event station, N4F, at the NC Mountain State Fair in September, 2014, see Thanks to Bill Van Nuys, N4OOC; and, HamRadioNow and Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this media hit!

On the value of amateur radio in emergency and disaster situations (from California), see Thanks to Paul Jones, K4VCF, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this media hit!

On JOTA and the Carteret County Amateur Radio Society, see (scroll down to article and click for text and pictures). Thanks to Joe O'Brien, Editor, Tarheel Scouter Newsletter for the article and photos; and, to Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for forwarding this media hit!

On the restoration of the Old Elise Depot and the Moore County Amateur Radio Society, see

On a presentation made by Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement, to the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club that the FCC is still active in amateur radio enforcement, see Thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC; and, Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG, ARRL Field and Regulatory Correspondent, for providing this media hit!

The complete talk by Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH appears as Episode 174 of the online amateur radio television series HamRadioNow, produced by Gary Pierce, KN4AQ, see Thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC; Cliff Fox, KU4GW; Chuck Skolaut, KØBOG, ARRL Field and Regulatory Correspondent; and, HamRadioNow and Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this media hit!

On the presentation by Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH on amateur enforcement, see

On the interview with Bill McDowell, K4CIA, first winner of the NC QSO Party during its inaugural year (1970), see Please note that the next NC QSO Party will be held on March 1, 2015. Thanks to Marc Sullivan, W4MPS for providing this media hit! On the participation of the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club in the Lenoir Downtown Christmas Festival, see Thanks to the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club for providing this report!

Notification was received that ARES Henderson County conducted a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) on November 1, 2014. Thanks to John Quinn, N9JZX, Emergency Coordinator (Henderson County); and, Paul Robinette, KD4OZ, Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator (Western Branch), for providing this report!

The following report was received from Larry Ford, K4AEC, Emergency Coordinator (Clay County): "Results of "Mini-SET" (test of Simplex Net on 146.490 MHz) following last week's Net: Following stations checked-in on the Simplex Net, all "Loud & Clear:" KK4EKN Mike SE Clay County; KK4AMM Blairsville, GA; W4FED Dave Blairsville, GA; N4AOW Cleveland, TN; KK4JTH Mike Brasstown; KK4JQV George Brasstown; KK4JQU Lois Brasstown; W8JHD Bob Brasstown; W4SDJ Jim Murphy; K4SMW Jim Young Harris, GA. Overall, a very good test of our ability to hold a Net on Simplex in case of an emergency. Future "Mini-SETs" will include net operations, both Simplex and repeater, on emergency power supplies (i.e., batteries, generator, mobile, etc., not on AC commercial "Mains" Power)" Thanks to Larry Ford, K4AEC, Emergency Coordinator (Clay County), for providing this report!

The following report was received from Bill Morine, N2COP regarding an upcoming STEM conference at UNC-Wilmington: " Ham Radio will be one of 36 presentations to 150 teachers at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) on January 9th. NC Asst. Section Manager Bill Morine, N2COP, and Dr. Karen Wetherill, WA4CR, will showcase applications of Ham Radio in the classroom, such as ARISS Space Station contacts, the semi-annual School Club Roundup, science fair projects, and Do-It-Yourself kits. Karen is the former Dean of the Watson School of Education at UNCW, and an avid DXer. She and her husband Bill, N2WG, have taught many Technician licensing classes to youth over the past 15 years." Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP, Assistant Section Manager, for providing this report!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR OCTOBER, 2014 - QNI (total check-ins): 2,792; Total messages passed: 491. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 310, W2EAG 167, WB4ZIQ 107, W4DNA 99, AK4RJ 85, KC4PGN 70, KF4OCU 67, WK4WC 64, W4TTO 44, KJ4JPE 36, KW4EMG 36, KE4AHC 35, N2RTF 22. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 251, W4DNA 170, WK4WC 160, WB4ZIQ 140, KJ4JPE 136, K4IWW 130, W2EAG 110, AK4RJ 100, W4TTO 100, KF4OCU 90, N2RTF 87. 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 - No report of a Silent Key was received during the month of November. 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 - December 6: SKYWARN Recognition Day 2014, 0000Z-2400Z, see and the article above for further information. January 24, 2015: Madison County Special Olympics Polar Plunge, 0700Z-1500Z, WA4TRS, Fairview, NC, sponsored by The Road Show Amateur Radio Club. 14.245 7.245. Certificate and QSL. The Road Show ARC, 57 Echo Lake Dr, Fairview, NC 28730. This is also a USI Activation - USI 036R, 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 - January 10, 2015: FirstFest, Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, Winston-Salem, NC, see March 13-14, 2015: Charlotte Hamfest/North Carolina Section Convention, Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, Concord, NC, see April 4, 2015: 43rd Annual RARSfest/North Carolina State Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, NC, see July 11, 2015: 30th Annual Firecracker Hamfest, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, Salisbury, NC, see September 5-6, 2015: 59th Annual Shelby Hamfest/Roanoke Division Convention, Shelby Amateur Radio Club, see It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club's 2015 hamfest! For more information, see QUA* - I would like to thank everyone for sending emails and club newsletters - they keep me informed about the many activities that go on in our Section. I appreciate receiving updates on the growth of the new clubs and the discussion of new initiatives by established clubs. Please don't forget to visit the ARRL website for information on the benefits for ARRL-affiliated clubs, see And, please do not hesitate to contact Tim Slay, N4IB, Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club Coordinator, if your club needs assistance.

On Saturday, November 1st, Charles Good, KM4AMT and Murray Merner, K4MHM of the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, invited me to go with them to the 2014 University of Scouting at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh. The University of Scouting, sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America Occoneechee Council, provides leadership training for adults involved with Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturing, Varsity, and Sea Scout programs. A display table was set up with amateur radio equipment, banners, brochures, and books, including licensing manuals. During discussions with the adult leaders, we answered questions about amateur radio; talked about how amateur radio fits into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education; and, offered assistance with scouting events and programs, eg, JOTA, merit badge counseling, etc. We were encouraged by our experiences at the University of Scouting and look forward to future interactions with the Boy Scouts of America Occoneechee Council. Thanks to Charles Good, KM4AMT, RARS Public Information Officer and Murray Merner, RARS President-Elect, for their efforts on this initiative!

I enjoyed attending JARSEST on Sunday, November 16th. The weather may not have been perfect, but everything else was great! I would like to thank the Johnston Amateur Radio Society members for their hospitality and congratulate them for putting on another successful hamfest!

In closing, 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. Thanks for everything you are doing for amateur radio and your community. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season! 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)