News

PICTURES FROM AUGUST PICNIC

WARC held a picnic August 5 at Julian Price Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Over 25 members and guests attended, and a good time was had by all.

MAY FOX HUNT RESULTS

Congratulations to Corey WB0RXQ, and Team Stella, for finding the Fox first in the WARC Spring Fox Hunt.  Corey and his team (wife Debbie and pup Stella) found the Fox at about the 1 hour mark of the hunt.

The Copeland/Dove team checked in at the Fox location less than 5 minutes after the leaders to finish second in the hunt.  JD, AD4JD has filled up the top shelf in his shack with Fox Hunt trophies.  JD was teamed this time with Rick Dove WB4ROX.  Congratulations Rick, for medaling in your first WARC fox hunt.

The Douglass/Lassiter Team finished third.

All the hunters, and many of our wives, enjoyed lunch and camaraderie at New River Ale House after the hunt.

Thanks to all those who participated.

WARC PARTICIPATES IN 2023 EMERGENCY FEST

On Sunday, May 20, 2023, WARC participated in the annual Watauga County Emergency Fest. This event highlights a wide variety of emergency services from Watauga and surrounding counties. Our club has participated in this event for many years, with the intent of showing the public how amateur radio can assist with emergency communications. Special thanks to JD-AD4JD, Danny-KE4AAP, Corey-WB0RXQ, Mark-KX4IK, and Rich-K1HE.

WA4J PARTICIPATES IN NC QSO PARTY!

On Sunday, February 26, WARC participated (for the first time ever) in the North Carolina QSO party. A mix of old-time and brand-new Contesters assembled at the QTH of K2SD, and operated from 10 AM till 8 PM. We operated two stations in the Low-Power1 (100W) & Mixed (Cw/SSB) mode.

The team included Dennis+-KA4BOE, Lory-W3AX, George-K2ODV, William-KK4NLU, Mark-KX4IK, Rich-K1HE, Corey-WB0RXQ, Eric-NI4E, and Scott-K2SD.

This is a summary of our contest results. The score does not reflect any bonuses we may get.

We worked all six special event stations: N4W, N4R, N4I, N4G, N4H, & N4T (Spelling, ‘WRIGHT”),

So we should be credited with bonus points for that

“Clean Sweep”.   We had only five duplicate log entries which had to be removed, and a few entries that had to be deleted due to missing data, but this was a remarkably clean log given we had some newcomers who had to quickly learn the finer points of Skookumlogger and  other contest mysteries.

BAND  QSOs    CW    SSB  REGIONS

80          30         30      0        2

40          170        101    69      46

20          392       168    224    53

15          31          31     0       1       

10          1            1       0        1

TOT     624        331   291    102

SCORE (Before Bonus) = 161,108

UPDATE – MARCH 28, 2023:

The results are in, and our club took third place in the Multi-operator all mode low power In-State category. There were seven entrance in this category. This is an excellent result for our training-mode activity, and we hope to use the lessons learned to win this category next year.

The contest results may be viewed at http://ncqsoparty.org/results-2__trashed/results2022-2/

Below is a snapshot of the results showing how we finished:

Thanks to Dennis Busher- – KA4BOE, for the above pictures, as well as the outstanding video he produced, which can be seen at

https://drive.google.com/file/d/130y1U8NPLC46bBOpNRxT04X7AkJaUf2W/view?usp=sharing


GREETINGS FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY

This is the 90th NC Section Newsletter written and distributed since I became your Section Manager on April 1, 2020.  Many people find the newsletters interest and informative.  All previous newsletters can be found in an archive at ncarrl.org.  If you are not getting the newsletters twice a month and wish to be added to the mailing list, drop me an email with your contact information and we will add you to the distribution list.

There has recently been a lot of variation in the weather up here.  The storm that dumped the heavy snow in NJ, NY and New England gave us high winds (45 mph) and a dusting of snow but over a couple of days we had highs of 50 and lows of 28 degrees.  Skiers seem happy but no one I know is upset that each day brings up closer to the start of Springtime.

ARRL MATTERS

The ARRL Board of Directors met in Windsor, CT on January 18-20 and made a number of important decisions including:

  1. Offering students under 21 free ARRL memberships, including receiving a digital copy of QST.
  2. Affirming the Board’s previous decision to decouple ARRL membership from receiving a printed, mailed copy of QST. A person whose membership might still have two years before the membership expires will no longer be receiving a mailed, printed copy of QST, effective January 1 2024.  

Members who want to receive a mailed and printed copy of QST each month will pay $24 per year which is in addition to the recent increase of ARRL dues increasing from $49 per year up to $59 per year.  Members who want to continue to receive printed and mailed issues of QST may call ARRL HQ at 1-860-594-0200 to arrange payment for the mailing of QST.  The ARRL Treasurer calculated that continuing to send a printed copy of QST to members (as compared to allowing them to pay the $24 QST increase) would require another rate increase for all members, including those who choose not to get a printed copy of QST.

  • Approving in concept the resumption of new ARRL Life Memberships which were suspended last Fall.  ARRL has contracted with an actuarial firm to determine the life expectancy of new Life Members.  Once that data is calculated ARRL will calculate how much to set aside from the newly established life membership fee to cover the actual costs for services provided to Life Members.  No word has been released about the increased fee that new Life Members will have to pay but all indications are that it will be substantially higher than the previous Life Membership fee.
  • Establishing a competition among students 21 years and younger who wish to engage in writing computer code for ARRL.  Up to $25,000 will be awarded by ARRL to the most successful student competitors solving computer coding problems for the ARRL.
  • Changing the methods for handling election complaints as well as complaints coming before the Elections and Ethics Committee.  The Board recognized that different members of the Election and Ethics Committee, over time,  handled complaints differently since there was no uniform guidance as to how the rules should be applied.  An independent, outside committee will be created and training will be strengthened for E&E members to insure more consistency in decisions reached over time.
  • Re-electing ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and ith 11 votes chose a new 1st Vice President, Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, who replaces former 1st VP Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, who received four votes.
  • Approving the release of minutes of the Board meeting and posting the minutes at http://www.arrl.org/files/file/About%20ARRL/Board%20Meetings/Annual%20Board%20Meeting%20of%20Directors%20January%202024%20Minutes.pdf
  • Releasing and posting on the ARRL website many of the committee reports filed by the standing and special purpose committee that made recommendations to the ARRL Board of Directors.    No report was posted from the Emergency Management and Field Services Committee.  The available committee reports can be found at http://www.arrl.org/committee-reports .

ARRL is seeking applications for the next round of the ARRL Teacher Institute.  The institute is a five day training session for teachers to learn about advanced robotics, computers and satellite communications so that their students receive highly effective and exciting training designed to increase their interest in and excitement for amateur radio.  Information about the Teacher Institute, part of the ARRL Education and Technology Program, can be found at  http://www.arrl.org/education-technology-program .  If you have a friend who is a teacher involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) instruction in your local school, pitch the idea and see if your teacher-friend would be interested in applying.  The institute covers all expenses (travel, kits, etc) and provides top-notch instructors to help the teachers get the latest in the way of technology instruction.

ACTIVITIES ON THE AIR

  1. You can make on-the air contact with the USS Iowa and celebrate the 81st Anniversary of its Commissioning which occurred on February 22, 1943.  Go to https://pacificbattleship.com/learn-the-history/statistics/ for details about the ship which is moored at the National Museum of the Surface Navy at San Pedro, California.  The on-the-air event will be held from 1600 TO 2400 UTC using call sign NI6BB and legacy equipment.  Additional information about contacting the Iowa can be found at the Battleship Iowa Amateur Radio Association website, https://biara.org/ .
  2. February 25, 2024 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST), Sunday, will generate a lot of activity when this year’s NC QSO party is held.  Details about the goals and how points are earned can be found at https://ncqsoparty.org/ .   Congratulations to the Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society will be working the QSO party as a club this year.  Zach Thompson has posted the following information.  “As you may already know, the WCARS club has decided to make this their first year participating in the NC QSO party as a club. Everyone is invited to attend!  For those of you unfamiliar with the QSO party, the NC QSO party is an annual single-day contest in which the goal is to make contact with as many NC counties as possible. For more information on the NC QSO Party, consult the official contest rules here: https://ncqsoparty.org/rules/ .  The South Carolina QSO Party will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024.
  3. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has successfully placed a station on the surface of the Moon.   Information can be found at http://arrl.org/news/the-first-amateur-radio-station-on-the-moon-js1ymg-is-now-transmitting. Listen up on 437.41 MHz for the station that uses a 1 W UHF transmitter and antenna with circular polarization.   Perhaps you can receive the transmissions from the Moon!
  4. A fifty member committee has been working for a year to develop updated operating principles for NTS 2.0 which will soon be released.  Although NTS2.0 would be available to handle emergency traffic, the NTS2.0 project is creating additional traffic nets, releasing new Radiogram templates and implementing other enhancements for traffic and training messages.  Information from ARRL about NTS  Modernization can be found at https://nts2.arrl.org/ .
  5. School Club Round up.  Each year ARRL sponsors two periods of on-the-air activity for students in schools, community colleges and universities.  Information can be found at https://www.arrl.org/school-club-roundup.
  6. NC Section Traffic Report

Because of the cumbersome ARRL email system it is not possible to simply attach a spreadsheet within a text document sent out by ARRL.  Dave Roy, W4DNA’s, complete traffic can be found at ncarrl.org.

W4DNA – NC Section Net Report – JANUARY 2024
NETNMGRQNILISTEDPASSEDTIMESESSIONSTFC %
SECTION NETS
CNAA4MP3001401365816297.14%
CSNKI4KZS123191957531100.00%
NCENWK4WC374107984333191.59%
NCMNW3OJO3011221154503194.26%
THENK4SEH3590044723N/A
LOCAL TRAFFIC NETS
CWTNN4CNX40411511561831100.00%
ENCTNW4DNA1077717927100.00%
PCTNW4TTO233474725631100.00%
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NETS
C-MNNKI4FAQ3290035031N/A
TOTAL2530557537388929896.41%

UPCOMING  HAMFESTS

  1. Charlotte, March 8-9, sponsored by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society and held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4551 Old Airport Road, Concord, NC 28025.  The hours are Friday, March 8, 2024:  3:00PM – 7:00PM; Saturday, March 9, 2024:  8:30 AM – 4:00 PM. 

The Mecklenburg Club is asking for volunteers to work two hours at the hamfest in exchange for receiving a yellow hamfest shirt and free admission to the hamfest.  To sign up to help, go to:

For Friday sign-up , https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090B44ACAB28A7F85-46898253-2024

For Saturday sign-up,  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090B44ACAB28A7F85-46918189-2024.  General information about the hamfest can be found at https://charlottehamfest.org/ .

  • RARSFest, April 6, sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society and held in the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds.  The hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  General information about RARSFest can be found at  https://www.rarsfest.org/ .

POLICY MATTERS

  1. What about AM car radios?  

A debate is underway in Washington as to whether there should be a requirement that new EV cars should or should not come with receivers capable of receiving conventional AM broadcast stations.  

There are several sides to this controversy.  

Automobile manufacturers indicate that the numerous microprocessors in new EV cars will require substantial rf noise reduction (and at considerable monetary cost) to prevent rf noise coming from the hundreds, if not thousands, of microprocessors in EV cars from interfering with AM broadcast reception.  

On the other hand, a coalition of broadcast interests has joined together to resist dropping AM reception in new EV cars.  Broadcasting and attracting audiences is how they have made their livelihood for decades.  They do not want changes made in their business model.

Furthermore, some emergency management agencies are concerned that many drivers will be unable to receive various emergency alerts now carried over AM broadcast stations because the vehicle may not be able to pick up AM broadcast stations. 

There is also debate over whether more emergency alerts will be heard over FM broadcast stations than over AM stations due to the program content each type station carries.  US House of Representatives member Josh Gottheimer is calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require carmakers who exclude AM radio to paste a safety warning in the window of any new EV car sold stating: “Warning: No AM Radio. Vehicle Unsafe in Certain Emergencies.”

  • Please remember to have someone in your club to update information at ARRL about your local club  This will allow visitors to learn about your club and will allow prospective members to learn about your club and its goals.  Information on how to update your club information can be found at https://www.arrl.org/clubs .

CLOSING COMMENT

We are all getting older and unfortunately some of us are dying too soon.  

One of the duties of a Section Manager is to follow up on information that comes in regarding hams who recently passed away, making sure their name and call appears in QST.  It is rare that a week or two goes by without my receiving notice of a ham passing away somewhere in North Carolina.  Most of the time the information comes in an unexpected email and sometimes I learn of a death from a club’s newsletter.

So it was an unusually solemn set of emails I have sent out since January 15th advising ARRL that twelve hams in North Carolina had recently passed away and should be listed as Silent Keys in upcoming issues of QST.

As much as members are missed when they pass away, their death also has a revenue impact on the ARRL.  A member of the ARRL Revenue Enhancement Committee opined that it appears that the Board failed to take into adequate account the combined effects of deaths of members, the aging of members who apparently are no longer interested in amateur radio and did not renew their membership.  There are also members who have not renewed as a protest over the dues increase.

How important each of these factors is cannot be estimated at this time.  The data mentioned here about the unusually high silent keys may be atypical but data for January over a three year period may informative about the changing demographics of the membership.

ARRL members, January 2022    158,520

ARRL members, January 2023    150,918

ARRL members, January 2024    148,669

Best wishes to each of you and your families.

Marv, WA4NC