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ARRL NC Section Newsletter for September 2014

Posted Oct 2, 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 Fall 2014, the grassroots campaign in support of HR 4969 Amateur Radio Parity Act continues. As a reminder, there 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.

In the ARRL News item dated September 24th, it was reported there are now forty-seven (47) co-sponsors for HR 4969. This includes 2 Representatives from North Carolina: Mike McIntyre (D-NC-7); and, Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-NC-3). It was reported that ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN emphasized that HR 4969 is still being considered and ARRL members still need to contact their Representatives to request support of the Bill by becoming cosponsors. Please see, sponsors-swells-before-congressional-recess for more information and additional comments from ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN on HR 4969 and the grassroots campaign.

Important information regarding the HR 4969 grassroots campaign can be found at You are encouraged to monitor the news section of the ARRL website for updates. Also, please consider subscribing to the ARRL Legislative Update, which can be done via Edit Email Subscriptions on your ARRL website account. Thanks for all that you are doing for the HR 4969 grassroots campaign!

JOTA: JAMBOREE-ON-THE-AIR (October 18-19) - For 2014, Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) will be held on the weekend of October 18th and 19th. According to Bill Morine, N2COP, Assistant Section Manager and ARRL Public Relations Committee Member, JOTA is officially the largest event in Scouting, even larger than the national and world jamborees for three reasons: 1) it's worldwide and not just US; 2) it includes all branches of the Boy Scout movement, meaning Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Sea Scouts, Venturers, etc; and, 3) it includes Girl Scouts. Boy Scouts estimates 500,000 to 700,000 people get on the air for JOTA. There is the NC JOTA group on Yahoo Groups for those in North Carolina who want to exchange information. For additional information, see and For information on the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, see Thanks to Bill Morine, N2COP for his assistance with this article!

W1AW CENTENNIAL QSO PARTY - The 100th anniversary of the ARRL is still being celebrated! 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

W1AW/PORTABLE CENTENNIAL STATIONS OFFER GREAT FUN - Since I wanted to include more information in the Newsletter on DX, John Scott, K8YC of Mooresville, a member of the Carolina DX Association, was contacted to gain his perspective on topics for a series of DX articles. John K8YC commented that an article on techniques for working DX would be the place to start and that information might help individuals trying to work the W1AW/portable stations. Here is John's article: ______________________________ Whether you are a ragchewer with friends, a community service operator, an ardent DXer, or a dyed-in-the-wool contester, working the W1AW/portable stations offers great fun and a challenge. If you decide to participate, you will hone your listening skills, really get to know your rig, and get a taste of working DX and contesting while you are earning the Worked All States (WAS) award in an operating environment, which is less intense than a full-fledged contest or DX pileup.

There is still time to make QSOs with states that can be hard to find, and here is the best part: your fellow hams in those states are working hard to make sure you can put their state into your log! A bonus is that all QSOs are being uploaded to Logbook of the World (LoTW) very shortly after the W1AW/portable operations in each state complete their week on the air. Why not end up with a WAS award at the end of 2014?

Amateur radio operations rely on acute listening skills regardless of whether an operator has an interest in community service communications, DX, or contesting. Below, a few tips are provided to assist you in getting that elusive station in your log in short order. It is assumed that you know how to operate "split" with your rig, because many of the W1AW/portable stations are doing just that. Remember, you've gotta find 'em, to work 'em!

If you are not pursuing DX regularly, you may not be aware of the DX spotting networks or clusters, which are available online. The best known cluster is probably DX Summit in Finland, see By navigating to this open website, you can see "spots" aggregated from all over the world by merely clicking on the "DX Spots" tab. Using information filters, you can restrict the listings to "50/HF spots", "HF/CW spots", or "Band Spots", which focus on a particular band and/or mode. If you only need a QSO with a certain state (or DX entity) on a particular band, the latter choice is where you want to be. By using the "Search" tab, you can determine, for example, when a W1AW/portable station has been on the air for a specific band and mode - say, 80m CW - so that you can plan the best time to make that QSO. Using the DX spotting networks or clusters sure beats the old DX mantra of: listen, listen, and then, listen. Now, you can work 'em like a pro!

Okay, you now know where your target is, so jump in, right? Nope. While spinning the knob and listening for DX or the W1AW/portable stations may have been ameliorated by clusters, the really successful operators know that once they know where their target station is, this is when the listening really starts. First, did the cluster identify the station's call sign correctly? LISTEN to check that out. Is the station being operated simplex or split? Didn't hear too many callers when LISTENing? Maybe now is the time to call! Oops, the operator just gave his/her call sign and said "....QRZ, up 5", which means, "please call, I'm listening up 5 kHz." If the mode is CW, it will probably be "....599 TU UP 1", which means, ", thank you, I'm listening up 1 kHz." So, now you know he/she is operating split "up" somewhere. Better LISTEN to determine where the pileup (those calling) has gathered. There it is: about 5 kHz above the operator's transmission frequency.

How is the target station working the pileup? Time to LISTEN a bit more. Here are some things that have been heard in the past: 1) the operator is listening up, 3 to 6 kHz, alternating from the top frequency to the bottom frequency from call to call; 2) the operator is moving up 1 kHz each call to the top and then starting over at the bottom; 3) the operator is bouncing around randomly (your best bet is to pick a clear frequency, stay put, and hope the operator comes to you); 4) the pileup is sitting at either the top or bottom of the range, but the operator is working the few callers who are calling in the middle of the range; 5) the operator is picking up callers who are calling up, 6.5 kHz, even though the operator says he/she is working up, 3-6 kHz (What gives? Answer: do what works!); 6) the operator is picking up callers who are repeating their call signs once "in their head" before transmitting resulting in their signal, or part of their signal, being "in the clear" as the pileup noise wanes; 7) the operator is working up, 1 kHz, on CW, but even with a sharp filter, the operator seems to be working callers who are about 90 Hz higher or lower than the zero beat frequency of the group. Understanding these patterns can help you determine the frequency to select within the range of split operations, which will maximize your chances of completing the QSO.

There are other things to be learned, which will also assist your efforts in making the QSO. Once again, LISTEN. Is the station working "by the numbers", i.e., accepting calls from stations with a certain number in the call sign? Or, from a certain geographical area, e.g., working stations from North America, only? What is the target station's calling pattern? LISTEN to determine when the best chance is to have the operator hear you. Does the operator seem to ignore callers who "tailgate", i.e., call while the QSO is still being completed? You don't want to make the operator mad! Oh.... it seems like the best time to call is right after the operator has given a signal report, sent thank you, and provides his/her call sign.

Okay, it's time to jump in! You've tuned your rig using a dummy load or at least you've tuned it well away from the pileup in an unused portion of the band. Your rig is all set with the proper split frequency and you know the correct VFO is being used. Now, call with your full call sign and have some fun!

On crowded bands, a really big pileup can lead to some inappropriate, even rude, operating styles, which are unbefitting of the traditionally polite way of "doing things" in amateur radio. DXers have established a DX Code of Conduct to set behavior standards for DX operations. A complete listing of the DX Code of Conduct, and the reasons WHY each element of the Code is ideal, can be found at All amateur radio operations will benefit if the DX Code of Conduct becomes part of our operational practices. ______________________________ Thanks to John Scott, K8YC for contributing this article!

NC MOUNTAIN STATE FAIR AND SPECIAL EVENT STATION, N4F (September 5-14) - The following report was received from Philip Jenkins, N4HF regarding the NC Mountain State Fair and Special Event Station, N4F: ______________________________ N4F - that's a wrap! N4F, the Special Event Station at the NC Mountain State Fair near Asheville officially ended on Sunday, September 14th. Nearly 1,350 QSOs were completed during the 10 days of the Fair on 40, 20, 17, 15, 10, and 2 meters. QSL information is on Additionally, the visitors tent was quite busy - especially on Saturday, September 13th - answering non-ham visitors' questions, demonstrating some facets of ham radio, and passing out information on upcoming licensing classes. Like last year, we had people come by who had never heard of ham radio (but are now interested), and those who had always wanted to get their license, and hams who have been inactive for a few years and were amazed by the technology changes, and hopefully for whom that spark was reignited. The members of the Road Show ARC would like to GREATLY thank Cleveland County ARS, Haywood County ARC, and Blue Ridge (Henderson County) ARC for each taking one weeknight to man the tent, operate N4F, sign up prospective licensees for their upcoming ham classes, and recruit new members for their respective clubs. No way could The Road Show ARC do this alone! We would also like to show our appreciation to those who came to help out individually with day-to-day operations at the Fair and with set-up and break-down. We had several prominent visitors/operators, including Bill Perkins, KB4KFT, President of the Atlanta Radio Club and Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, of HamRadioNow. Very special thanks go to Icom and Elecraft for supplying radios for the event, and TenTec for providing kits for our rig repair/construction workbench in the tent. We're already making plans for next year, so come join us for the madness - and fun! ______________________________ Thanks for Philip Jenkins, N4HF for providing this report! For further information, see or contact Phil N4HF at

ARDF TEAM USA TAKES HOME A SILVER MEDAL FROM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (September 8-12) - It was just reported on the ARRL website that a member of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Team USA medaled in the 17th ARDF World Championships earlier this month in Kazakhstan. Vadim Afonkin, KB1RLI, of Boston, MA, took home a silver medal in the men's age 40-49 category in the 2 meter competition. In addition to Afonkin, Team USA 2014 included Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG, of Raleigh, NC; Jennifer Harker, W5JEN, of Austin, TX; Ken Harker, WM5R, of Austin, TX; Joseph Huberman, K5JGH, of Raleigh, NC; and, Leszek Lechowicz, NI1L, of Bridgewater, MA. For further information, see championships Congratulations to Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG and Joseph Huberman, K5JGH of Raleigh for being named to ARDF Team USA 2014; and, thanks for your dedication, hard work, and achievement in amateur radio direction finding!

W1AW/4 IN NORTH CAROLINA (September 17-24) - The W1AW/portable operations returned to North Carolina on September 17th at 0000 UTC (September 16th, Tuesday, 8:00 PM EST). Nate Moreschi, N4YDU of Youngsville, team leader, and approximately 30 operators from NC were on the air for the next 7 days. When W1AW/4 in North Carolina operations were concluded on September 23rd at 2359 UTC (7:59 PM EST), the team had made more than 35,000 QSOs! A complete report will be included in an upcoming Newsletter. Thanks to all hams that were involved in the W1AW/4 operations this year!

LICENSING CLASSES - Skyland (NC), Technician licensing class, September 18 to October 30, 2014, sponsored by The Road Show Amateur Radio Club, Inc. Manteo (NC), Technician licensing class, September 24 to October 29, 2014, sponsored by the Outer Banks Repeater Association (this class was not listed when the last Newsletter was distributed) Raleigh (NC), Amateur Extra licensing class, October 4-November 1, 2014, sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society. Skyland (NC), General licensing class, November 6 to December 18, 2014, sponsored by The Road Show Amateur Radio Club, Inc. 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: This press release was received from Johnston County ARES: "Four Oaks, NC, 8/16/2014. With generous help from the Carolina 440 UHF Link System Johnston County ARES has completed the installation of a county-wide VHF Winlink system. The system allows sending and receiving of email using Amateur Radio and covers all of Johnston County and parts of the surrounding Counties. It consists of two fixed and one mobile Winlink gateway, two packet nodes located at commercial repeater sites, and several transportable clients." Thanks to Robert German, KB4RGC and Michael Callam, KD4UJC for providing this press release! And, please accept my apology for the delay in publishing this information. On the 58th Annual Shelby Hamfest, see hamfest-1.365712

On the 58th Annual Shelby Hamfest, see 1.366663

On the 58th Annual Shelby Hamfest, see enthusiasts-gather-in-shelby-for-annual-event/

On Bike MS: The Historic New Bern Ride, see advance-pledges-1.368017

On Prepper Camp in Saluda (NC), see tomorrow/ On Camp Butler (Alleghany County, NC) and amateur radio, see 0017a43b2370.html

On amateur radio and Raleigh (historic article), see raleighs.html?sp=/99/106/ Thanks to Gary Pearce, KN4AQ; Paul Jones, K4VCF; Bill McDowell, K4CIA; Cliff Fox, KU4GW; and, Hank Montgomery, K4HM for providing this information!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR AUGUST, 2014 - QNI (total check-ins): 2,513; Total messages passed: 527. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 295, WK4WC 161, WB4ZIQ 158, AK4RJ 140, W2EAG 121, W4DNA 117, KC4PGN 70, KF4OCU 55, W4TTO 53, KW4EMG 49, KJ4JPE 38, KE4AHC 35, N2RTF 24, WB4Y 21. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 285, W4DNA 160, WB4ZIQ 150, K4IWW 130, WK4WC 130, KJ4JPE 118, W2EAG 110, AK4RJ 100, W4TTO 100, N2RTF 96, KF4OCU 75. Thanks to Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information!

SILENT KEYS - We regret to report the passing of Perry Milton Davis, Jr, KQ4XM of New Bern; and, Alfred Ray ("Al") Waters, N4ARW of Washington. Please note it is not possible to post information about amateur radio operators that have become Silent Keys without confirmation via a copy of an obituary or death certificate.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - October 11: Uwharrie Mountain Festival, 1400Z-1800Z, NC4MC, Troy, NC, sponsored by Montgomery Amateur Radio Society. 14.250 14.030 7.250. Certificate. Donald L Grady, KG4ZRH, 120 Woodline Dr, Troy, NC 27371. Recently, it was learned that Alamance ARC and Bladen ARS operated Special Event Stations in September. Please accept my apology for not listing those, and any other, Special Event Stations in the Newsletter. Special Event Stations listings 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 - October 12: Maysville Hamfest, Maysville Hamfest Association, Maysville, NC, email: November 16: JARSFEST 2014, Johnston Amateur Radio Society, Benson, NC, see QUA* - In September, I attended the 58th Annual Shelby Hamfest/ARRL NC State Convention in Shelby (8/30-31); and, traveled to the NC Mountain State Fair in Fletcher (9/7) to see the amateur radio booth and Special Event Station, N4F. Those events were outstanding! Congratulations to the participating clubs and their members for a job well done!

Also during September, I visited and made presentations at two clubs - the Brightleaf ARC in Greenville (9/9) and the Cary ARC (9/25). I always enjoy interacting with amateur radio operators at hamfests, club meetings, and special events. In addition, to seeing colleagues and meeting new friends, it gives me an opportunity to learn more about their community and local activities.

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! 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)

*QUA is an international Q signal (prosign) meaning, "Have you news of _____?" In the absence of a question mark, QUA means, "I have news of ____."