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Posted Nov 1, 2022

North Carolina ARRL News

November 1, 2022

GREETINGS FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY

The weather up here has been cool, foggy, and damp.  To quote Johnny Cash, “I ain’t seen sunshine since I don’t know when.” Several days of light rain, with some mild winds, have brought down about 95% of the leaves.  Halloween was foggy and damp and the temp was in the low- to mid-50’s.

ARRL MATTERS

1.       Upcoming deadlines--previously covered in earlier newsletters (posted at ncarrl.org). Here are some quick reminders:

a.       Clubs who recruit new members or renewing members can now receive either $15 or $5 from ARRL for the club’s involvement in processing the membership paperwork for each member when the club handles the application paperwork and remits to ARRL the membership fees collected from the member.

b.       Applications are being accepted from schools that wish to participate in the ARRL-NASA ARISS program.

c.       Applications are being accepted from college students for scholarship support in 2023 from the ARRL Foundation.

2.        In a few days, ARRL will have completed the voting for the Southeast Division Director and Vice Director.  The election is using both paper and electronic ballots and members can choose to use one but not both methods to vote.

FCC MATTERS

1.        Amateur License Data

A question that periodically comes up concerns the number of amateur radio operators there are in the United States.  Here is current data from the FCC as of October 29, 2022:

                                 Novice     Tech                  General                Advanced            Extra         Total

USA       6388       389543                 186291                   34751          154463         771436

NC            154        10567                       5833                     1076                5080           22710

2.       FCC Honors Program for Electrical Engineers

The FCC is seeking applications from Electrical Engineers and those who will graduate in December 2022.  The one-year Honors program allows those chosen to work with senior FCC personnel for one year on an exciting variety of new technologies.   Completion of the one year Honors program may lead a permanent job offer.  The FCC will accept applications until 175 applications are received or December 2, 2022, whichever comes first.  Information about the program can be found at http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-seeks-electronic-engineers-for-honors-program .

 

3.       The Temporary Waiver of 300 Baud Limitation permitting ham use of Pactor 4 ends on November 27.

EMCOMM MATTERS

1.       The CISA Auxcomm course will resume in 2023.  One course will be held in Lee County (Sanford) on February 3, 4 and 5.  A second Auxcomm course will be held in Dare County (Manteo) on April 21, 22 and 23.  Registration information soon will appear in TERMS (https://terms.ncem.gov/TRS/).

 

a.       If you want to enroll in the course, you must have certificates for the current versions of ICS 100c, 200c, 700b and 800d. These are free courses and take about one hour on-line to complete.  Registration and completion n of the four courses is done at https://training.fema.gov/is/  .   Get your four on-line  courses perquisites done so you can register for the Auxcomm course.

 

b.       An endorsement of your application from your County Emergency Management Director will be required.

 

c.       NCEM Travel Expense Reimbursement will be available to those who travel more than 50 miles from home to compete the course.

 

2.       In a few days, TERMS will have a listing for the modular online Winlink course developed by Lor Kutchins, W3QA.  Persons who sign up for the course will have approximately a month to complete ten modules each of which has a task that is designed to expose students to various features of Winlink.  Certificates for completion of this course, along with one from the SHARES Winlink Course, will satisfy that portion of the Auxcomm Task Book dealing with Winlink and SHARES.

 

3.       The Dupont Rescue Experience leadership this year has chosen to emphasize a “Back to the Basics” theme so this year DRE will provide training for Incident Management Team personnel as well as for searchers being trained to work in a mountain environment.  There will be no opportunity for Auxcomm personnel to complete portions of their Position Task Books at Dupont this year.

 

4.       The next Disaster Comms School will be held in early in 2023 at a location yet to be chosen. The Disaster Comms School will return to Charlotte in summer 2023.  No word at this time on the courses to be offered at either session of the Disaster Comms School but they will be listed in TERMS once finalized.

 

5.       Report on Western Branch Comms Exercise Held October 29.

Dennis White, N4WHK, Iredell County Auxcomm/ARES Coordinator, initiated a local SET that was expanded into an exercise involving other counties across the Western Branch of NCEM.  The purpose of the multimode EmComm test was to document emergency communications capabilities in the event that Iredell and other Western NC counties lose their normal telephone and internet capabilities.  The exercise is a part of local county PACE Planning (which identifies the agencies Primary, Alternate, Contingent and Emergency systems). 

Despite a one day notice and several counties having scheduled local community events occurring the same time as the EmComm test, thirty (30) amateur participants used a variety of communication modes to communicate with net controls.  Modes involved amateur radio operators using the Western Branch UHF DMR Net (20), the 40 Meter Tarheel Net on 7232 KHz (15), Winlink (18), the local 2 meter repeater (4) and the statewide 800 Mhz VIPER network.  The Western Branch includes 34 counties; sixteen counties participated in this EmComm test. 

6.       ARRL NTS Benchmark  Study and Monthly Message Transmissions

 

ARRL has initiated monthly NTS tests in order to have benchmark data on enhancements being planned for the National Traffic System.  Near the end of each month, Josh Johnston (K5EHV), ARRL Emergency Management Director,  is sending out messages to approximately 200 recipients (Section Managers, Section Traffic Managers, and ARRL Board Members and Officers).  The Traffic is passed over several different NTS modes (CW, Radiograms and Winlink) and the recipients are asked to confirm receipt of the message as well as how and when it was received. This series of monthly tests is designed to track whether the NTS changes result in quicker deliver times and an improved rate of delivery using each of the transmission modes.  Former Roanoke Director Bud Hippisley is analyzing the data and serves on the NTS 2.0 subcommittee of the ARRL EmComm and Field Services Committee.

 

7.       There has been an expansion of the PRN DMR network with the addition of a uhf repeater located in east Charlotte.  It carries the standard PRN talkgroup alignment and operates on 443.5875MHz. The Charlotte repeater is connected 24/7 with Albemarle, Wingate and Crowders .  It also connects to the scheduled Tuesday night (8pm) High Country UHF Digital Net and the Western Branch DMR linking system that connects 16 repeaters across Western North Carolina. Drop me a line if you are interested in learning more about DMR radio.

UPCOMING EVENTS – MARK YOUR CALENDAR

1.       JARSFEST, November 20, sponsored by the Johnston Amateur Radio Society, at the American Legion Building in Benson.  Info can be found at https://www.jars.net/jarsfest-2022/ .

2.       The North Carolina QSO Party will be held on February 26, 2023.  NC ARRL will once again be a sponsor for one of the contest awards.  Information about the QSO party can be found at https://ncqsoparty.org/

3.       Although this event is out of state, the Georgia ARES group will undertake a massive project to a statewide POTA activation and operate from all 50 Georgia State Parks on April 1 and 2, 2023.  Is there interest in the Old North State to show them that Tarheels can do this too? Let me know.

CLOSING COMMENT

In the past few days, two of my local friends died.

One had been ill for some time and had lived a full life, more than her three score and ten,

The second was a first responder, 43 years old, driving to work, like any other morning, and was killed by a drunk driver who lost control of his vehicle, struck one vehicle and then crashed into a second vehicle,  with  Jay dying at the scene. 

Each of these two persons meant a great deal to their families, their friends and their communities because of the good people they were.  Their deaths have left voids in the hearts of many people in Watauga County.

Let your families know that you love them and tell your friends how much they mean to you.   None of us knows how much time we have.

Marv, WA4NC

NC Section Manager

mkhoffman2006@gmail.com