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Posted Sep 26, 2013

Lots of news this month. Remind ARRL members they can get delivery of this monthly newsletter by logging into their member profile at!/edit-info-email_subscriptions and clicking on “News and information from your Division Director and Section Manager”. This newsletter is not copyrighted, so it can be reproduced and used in club newsletters or forwarded to anyone. Current and past issues of the North Carolina Section Newsletter can be found on the section’s website at

RALEIGH HAM TRIES TO CROSS ATLANTIC WITH BALLOONS – Jonathan Trappe, KJ4GQV, attempted to cross the Atlantic from a launch point in Maine using 370 helium filled balloons. While the image may resemble the movie “Up”, the concept is formally called "cluster ballooning", and Trappe has crossed the English Channel and the Alps using the technique. He holds the world’s record for longest cluster balloon flight at 14 hours, and was hoping the flight to Europe at a projected 62 hours would set a new record before he was forced to land in Newfoundland. Trappe used Amateur Radio beacons on 14.0956 MHz running 110 Baud ASCII RTTY (8N1) and 144.390 MHz APRS. Jonathan is an IT manager. You can read more about him at his own website at and on ARRL at

UNITED STATES ARDF CHAMPIONSHIPS IN NC – The 13th USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Championships will be held October 8-13 in the Birkhead Wilderness section of the Uwharrie National Forest near Asheboro. Also taking place simultaneously will be the 7th ARDF Championships for International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (the Americas). Both events will bring the Western Hemisphere’s best ARDF athletes who will compete for slots for the next world ARDF championships. While most Hams know ARDF through informal foxhunting, ARDF is a recognized international sport which emerged as an outgrowth of military troop spotting during the post World War II era in the former Soviet Bloc nations. Events will run the gamut from 2 meters down to 80 meters. A list of events can be found at The hosts for the championships are Raleigh couple Joseph Huberman, K5JGH, and his wife Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG, herself an ADRF champion. The courses are being designed by Charles Scharlau, NZ0I, of Cary.

JOTA OCTOBER 19-20 Seven North Carolina stations have already registered for the 56th annual Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) which will be October 19-20. JOTA is the largest event in Scouting with an estimated 700,000 participants worldwide. JOTA is unique in two aspects – it’s global in scope, and it includes Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts. As of the time of this newsletter, the following seven North Carolina stations had registered as JOTA stations on the Boy Scouts’ website at - W4MOE Asheville, K4T Aurora, WT4IX Charlotte, K4MN Fayetteville, KT4BSA Four Oaks, KE4NIP Fuquay-Varina and N1XI Raleigh. Last year North Carolina had 14 JOTA stations across the state teaching Scouts about Amateur Radio. JOTA is held the same weekend as its web cousin, JOTI, Jamboree Over The Internet, and many JOTA-JOTI activities are held simultaneously. To learn more about JOTA, go to ARRL’s JOTA page at and the JOTA page on the Boy Scouts of America at JOTA is a great time to coordinate the teaching of the Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge and the Communications Activity Pin for Cub Scout Webelos.

HAM NAMED TEACHER OF THE WEEK – Madison County middle school teacher Allen Stines, KF4ZDS, has been named "Bright Ideas Tar Heel Teacher of the Week" by the French Broad Electric Membership Corporation (EMC). Only 12 teachers across North Carolina will receive this honor in 2013. Allen has been recognized for his leadership in a curriculum called "Project Lead The Way", a pre-engineering program which teaches design and modeling, energy and environment, and automation and robotics. Allen teaches at Madison Middle School in Marshall. He is the ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Madison County and is Assistant Chief for Big Pine Volunteer Fire Dept. Kudos to Allen.

COLLEGE HAM RADIO – North Carolina State’s station, W4ATC, had a pizza party on September 6th for its Fall recruitment campaign. W4ATC is one of at least four active North Carolina college Ham stations. The other three are WF4DD at Wake Forest, WB4TOP at Wake Technical Community College, and K4PCC at Pitt Community College. Please spread the word that college Ham stations will have a chance to be active in college specific contests for ARRL’s upcoming centennial celebrations in 2014.

CHARLOTTE SKYWARN REORGANIZED – The North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia ARRL sections reorganized Charlotte SKYWARN. The Greenville/Spartanburg National Weather Service office (GSP NWS) serves 28 counties in North Carolina, 12 in South Carolina and 6 in Georgia. Serving as the new GSP SKYWARN Emergency Coordinator (EC) is Billy Irwin, K9OH, of Gaffney, SC. Appointed as Assistant SKYWARN Emergency Coordinators (AEC) are Chris Gay, N1CRG, of Lincolnton for the Charlotte/Western Piedmont District, and Asheville’s Dwight Danner, W4DCD, for the Asheville District. The reorganization brings Amateur Radio SKYWARN structure for the GSP NWS office back into alignment with the North Carolina ARES Emergency Plan and the plans of the other two sections. Many thanks to Kelly Cook, KG4YTR, for his years of service as the Charlotte SKYWARN EC.

ARES WESTERN BRANCH ANNUAL MEETING will be Saturday, November 2nd at the Higher Education Center of Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. For more details, go to

ARES/AUXCOMM SET EXERCISES – North Carolina ARES will soon announce Simulated Emergency Test (SET) drills in October and November. Because North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) has endorsed the AUXCOMM model of emergency communications, the upcoming exercises will be conducted under AUXCOMM procedures, which means reports will be documented on appropriate ICS forms. Emphasis will be on digital modes, including Winlink, MT63 and other EMCOMM friendly modes. Those ARES members who are not yet AUXCOMM credentialed are encouraged to take FEMA’s training classes under the National Incident Management System/Incident Command System (NIMS/ICS) courses 100, 200, 700 and 800b available at no charge online at North Carolina ARES will not be participating in ARRL’s suggested national SET date of October 5 because its exercise will not be AUXCOMM compliant.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ASEC STEVE MISEL, K4WEB, who has been named to the Winlink development team. Steve is the ARES Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator (ASEC) for the Central Branch overseeing ARES and AUXCOMM operations in North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) districts 6-10, and he maintains the North Carolina AUXCOMM database and U.S. AUXCOMM Society’s website at Steve, who is a high level computer network consultant, joins the Winlink team which has brought so many reliable store and forward software applications which support the Winlink protocol, such as RMS Express and PACLINK. You can learn more about Winlink at

TWO NEW PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL RECIPIENTS – Congratulations to Adam Lawler, WK4P, of West Jefferson and Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, of Swansboro for qualifying for ARRL’s Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR). The Public Service Honor Roll recognizes the efforts of Amateur Radio operators who are active in many aspects of public service, including net operations, traffic handling, emergency operations and public service communication support. Adam is Net Manager for the North Carolina Evening Net, and Janice is SKYWARN Emergency Coordinator (EC) for the Newport National Weather Service office and is active on the Eastern Carolina Traffic Net. Details about Public Service Honor Roll can be found at

CW USE UP – There’s been anecdotal evidence that the volume of CW is higher just by listening to the bands, but now an empirical study confirms the trend. In the summer issue of FISTS magazine, Elwood Downey, WB0OEW, used reports from Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) CW skimmers to confirm that CW is growing about 8% per year. For those who want to sharpen their CW skills, there are two great CW nets for beginners and veterans alike. The Carolinas Slow Net (CSN) meets nightly at 8:00 PM at 3571 KHz and the Hit & Bounce Net has a slow version which meets daily at 7114 KHz at 7:30 AM By the way, two dedicated North Carolina CW Traffic Handlers administer the Hit & Bounce Net – New Bern's Mark Rappaport, W2EAG, is Net Manager and Will Harper, K4IWW, of Cary is the Net Statistician. Thanks to them and to Dick Burns, W8SKX, of Asheville who is Net Manager for the Carolinas Slow Net for nurturing budding CW ops.

WONDERFUL DONATION – Orange County Radio Association (OCRA) is very active in public service. Because of its support for many local athletic events, OCRA Public Information Officer (PIO) Ed Best, AK4W, applied for a grant for an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). As a result of Ed’s work, Triangle Orthopaedic Associates donated a new AED to OCRA, noting that nearly half of OCRA’s members are Red Cross CPR and AED certified. Triangle Orthopaedics issued a national press release on its donation which you can see at

PUBLIC SERVICE – For an update on Public Service opportunities in North Carolina, visit the “Ham Public Service – NC” group in Yahoo Groups at, and join its weekly net heard in the Piedmont and the eastern part of the state on the Carolina 440 Link System net Wednesday nights at 7:30 PM. To find a repeater near you, visit the Carolina 440 Link System webpage at OCT 5 – Cystic Fibrosis Bike Ride at Gregory’s Vineyards at McGee’s Crossroads in Angiers. Details at OCT 5-6 – Ride Without Limits in Little Washington, which supports Easter Seals. Details at OCT 5 – Light The Night, Durham OCT 12 – Light The Night, Raleigh. Both Light The Night events support Leukemia & Lymphoma research. More info at OCT 26 – Help with the Aptalis CF Cycle For Life on behalf of Cystic Fibrosis starting in Waxhaw. To volunteer, contact Tim Slay, N4IB, at OCT 26 – the 6th annual PPD Beach 2 Battleship (B2B) iron distance Triathlon in Wilmington. This is the longest single duration public service event in North Carolina running 18 continuous hours over 140.6 miles across four counties covering overlapping events in swim, bike and run. The B2B is one of only 20 iron distance triathlons in the U.S. and the only one in the Carolinas. Proceeds benefit youth scholarships for the Wilmington YMCA. To volunteer, contact Bob Kiehlmeier, WA3IRG, at

MEDIA HITS – The Sampson County Amateur Radio Club received prominent coverage in the Sampson Independent and the Sampson Weekly for its special event station at the 45th annual National Hollerin’ Contest at Spivey’s Corner. The return of the Shelby Hamfest to Shelby got front page coverage in the daily Shelby Star leading up to the hamfest over Labor Day weekend. Then in a follow-up story, Max Hopper, K4BMN, who is also mayor of the nearby town of Earl, was quoted in the Shelby Star that more local hotels and lodging incentives are needed to draw Hams to Shelby for the hamfest. The Stanly News & Press carried an article in its September 19th edition about radio direction finding and an upcoming Foxhunt sponsored by the Stanly County club. Chapel Hill’s WUNC radio carried a story on how Ham Radio was instrumental in the invasion of Grenada in 1984. The Fayetteville Observer published a tribute to Bill Finch, W4EHF-SK, who passed away this year at age 100.

HAMFESTS – October 13, Maysville Hamfest, Rotary Club Park Community Center off Rte. 17 in Maysville. Talk-In 145.31 (PL 82.5)

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS – OCT 5-10, BATTLE OF KINGS MT., 1300Z-2000Z, NA4CC, Kings Mountain, NC. Cleveland County Amateur Radio Services. 14.270 7.270. QSL. Cleveland County Amateur Radio Services, PO Box 864, Shelby, NC 28151. for information on the park events.; OCT 19, TRINITY CAR SHOW & CHILI COOK-OFF, 1300Z-1700Z, NC4AR, Trinity, NC. Tri-County Amateur Radio Club. 7.211. Certificate. NC4AR, PO Box 747, Trinity, NC 27370. then OCT 26 – NASCAR Days, 1330Z-1730Z, NC4AR, Randleman, NC. Tri-County Amateur Radio Club. 7.211. Certificate. NC4AR, PO Box 747, Trinity, NC 27370. Info on receiving both certificates at or

LICENSING CLASSES – Two General Class courses coming up. OCT 19, 26 and NOV 2 in Raleigh, 8 :00 AM to 12 Noon each Saturday. To enroll, contact Murray Merner K4MHM, at Also, NOV 7 to DEC 19, in Skyland. Contact: Willam Van Nuys N4OOC at

NTS AUGUST SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT – QNI (Total Check-Ins) 2758. TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 583. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 303, W4DNA 216, AK4RJ 127, W2EAG 127, WB4ZIQ 106, WK4WC 104, WK4P 95, WB4Y 69, W4TTO 67, KC4PGN 47, KJ4JPE 44, KK4BVR 44, KE4AHC 38, W3HL 35, K4JUU 30, N2RTF 26. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) WK4P 215, KK4BVR 180, W4DNA 170, WB4ZIQ 150, KJ4JPE 135, K4IWW 130, WK4WC 130, N2RTF 126, K4JUU 113, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 100, WB4Y 100, AK4RJ 95, KD4SM 91, KD4UKT 73.

SILENT KEYS – We regret to report the passing of Bruce Eggers, WA9NEW, of Garner

*QUA- Statisticians will tell you that outliers are every bit as important as the middle. The majority of us who concentrate on mainstream Ham Radio activities sometimes overlook the important contributions made by those who use Amateur Radio in ancillary capacities. This month the newsletter features two such applications. The first was the use of beaconing and APRS by Jonathan Trappe, KJ4GQV. I was not aware of Jonathan until I learned of his attempt to cross the Atlantic using cluster balloons. Despite his setback which forced him to cut short his intercontinental flight, I’m sure Jonathan will be back soon. The second are the ARDF championships. Don’t confuse this with a weekend Foxhunt. These are world class human bloodhounds who use Amateur Radio over rigorous terrain. The use of 80 meters for ARDF is loosely akin to those clubs who use medium wave HF in the hollows of western North Carolina mountains instead of VHF and UHF to coordinate race communications. And let’s not forget a story I did last year about high school student Margaret McGuire, KJ4RGQ, of Little Washington who used Ham Radio to track the movement of turtles as part of a science project. Or the students at Western Carolina University and Asheville Day School who have used APRS for high altitude balloon launches. These operators may not be hard core operators in the traditional sense, but they sure are making strong contributions to our hobby by showing alternative uses for Amateur Radio, and hopefully opening up our minds and appreciation of what they do in the process.

73 de Bill Morine, N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

*QUA – CW Net procedural signal (Prosign) meaning “Do you have any news for me?” Follow the ARRL North Carolina section on its webpage at, on Facebook at NC ARRL and on Twitter at ARRLNCSM