News

WARC FOX HUNT ANTENNA BUILFIMG WORKSHOP – 4/23/2023

Here are some pictures from the workshop held at Roger, W4MW’s QTH.

ARRL FFIELD DAY 2021 RESULTD

WARC elected once again to participate in Field Day from individual home stations (Class 1D). Five members have submitted scores so far, and the results are listed below. Thanks to all who participated.

CALLMODEQSOPOINTSPOWERSCORE
NI4ECW70014001002800
K2SDCW4128241001648
N4DEDIGI4284100218
WS4JHSSB6666100132
KE4AAPSSB141410028
BONUS POINTS 250
TOTAL5076

GREETINGS FROM THE HIGH COUNTRY

Temperatures have been quite variable up here in the mountains.  Sometimes it has been too warm to make snow (as now when it is it 45 degrees — but overnight a lot of snow cover is put down on the slopes when the temperatures are in the 20’s. 

Just before Christmas the low here got down to -9 and the Chill Factor dropped to -35.  Dozens of buildings had broken pipes and water damage, including eight medical facilities as well as numerous businesses.

FCC MATTERS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO YOU

ARRL reports that two Members of Congress have each agreed to introduce bills of interest to radio amateurs in the new Congress that was seated a few days ago.

Representative Bill Johnson (OH-6) introduced a bill just before Christmas in the US House of Representatives that would direct the FCC to overturn HOA rules that and subdivision  land use rules that prohibit or severely limit the abilities of amateurs to erect antennas unless the antennas meet the policies set by the local Homeowner Association

In a similar action, in the very last days of 2022, US Representative Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to require the Federal Communications Commission to repeal symbol rate rules that make it illegal to use Pactor 4 on amateur frequencies.  Instead of regulating the baud rate or symbol rate, proponents of Pactor 4 want to take advantage of the higher throughput possible with Pactor 4 but the proposed FCC action would allow any complex digital mode as long as the spectrum used by the digital mode does not exceed that spectrum used by a single side band signal (2.8 KHz).

Both the HOA and Pactor 4 bills cited above died with the end of the 117th Congress on January 3, 2023 and will have to be reintroduced  in 118th Congress which will continue for two years through January 3, 2025.  Once these two ham-related bills have been re-introduced in the 118th Congress, each bill will have a new number.  As a result, the numbers formerly assigned to the HOA and the Baud Rate bills will not carry over in this session of Congress.  Copies of the 2022 version of these bills were posted on the ARRL webpage (arrl.org) and can still be viewed.

The process of taking a bill (proposed law) and turning it into a law is quite complicated.  The House and the Senate operate under different procedures but there are some similarities and bill has to pass both houses with exactly same wording before it goes to the President for signature or veto.

  1. Any member of the Senate or the House may introduce a proposed law (a Bill) which results in it being assigned a number.  HR denotes the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives and S denote the bill was introduced in the US Senate.
  2. Normally a Bill is referred to a committee that has subject manner expertise (for example, Defense, Environment, Banking among many other topics).  Most Bills die at this stage and the relevant committee may choose not to consider the bill or hold hearings.  Some bills made be sent to more than one committee for study.
  3. If the Chair of the relevant Committee decides to hold a hearing so that Congress can learn more about the impact of the proposed law, the Committee Chair (generally his staff) decides who should be invited to testify about the proposed law.  Even though a Bill is the subject to hearing and even if it passes one house, it quite common for the other house to do nothing about the Bill.  Without action by both houses during the two years of a Congress, , the bill dies.
  4. In the House, if the Bill is recommended by a relevant Committee to the entire House, debate on the Bill before the House of Representatives is conducted under rules set by the House Rules Committee which sets the time available for debate before a vote by the House.  The House Rules Committee may allow or prohibit amendments to the Bill reported to the floor by relevant Committee.
  5. If the two houses have similar but not identical bills, and there is enough political backing to find a solution to acceptable to leaders in both houses, a Conference Committee is appointed to work out the differences in the two houses.  Each house then votes to accept the Conference Committee report (or not).
  6. The business of the Senate is more or less controlled by the Senate Majority Leader.  It is very hard for a Senator to get a bill passed if the leaders of the two parties do not support the proposed Senate bill.
  7. If the bill has been passed by both houses, it is sent to President and he may sign it (making it a Law) or Veto it and the bill is returned to both houses which may choose to pass it a second time with a larger majority and override the President’s veto.
  8. Sometimes, just before passage of a Bill by the Senate, a member may tack on an amendment which has nothing to do with the bill that is about to be passed.  
  9. At times there has been a suggestion that a member of Congress friendly to ARRL would add an amendment to a unrelated Bill such attaching on a limitation on a an HOA’s power over amateur antennas to 
  10. There is an old saying that you don’t want to watch laws or sausage being made.

ARRL MATTERS

  1. WINTER FIELD DAY will be held on January 28 and 29, 2023.  Information can be found at https://www.winterfieldday.com/
  2. VOTA – VOLUNTEERS ON THE AIR.  This is a year-long operating event in which stations earn points depending up how many ARRL Volunteers (President, VP’s, Board Members, Section Managers and other Field Service appointees, along with member) that are contacted over the air.  Information on how to participate and how points are earned can be found at http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-volunteers-on-the-air-event-is-underway  
  3. The ARRL Board of Directors will meet in Windsor Locks, Connecticut  on January 20 and 21, 2023.  It is expected that the Board will receive reports form a number of committees on a wide array of topics, perhaps the most important of which is election of the Executive Committee which has authority to act in behalf of the Board between Board meetings.  The agenda for the Board meeting can be found at http://www.arrl.org/files/file/01%20Pro%20Forma%20Agenda%20January%202023.pdf  
  4. An opportunity is coming up for school kids to communicate with Astronauts on the International Space Station.  The ARISS office (Amateur Radio in the International  Space Station has not yet announced the exact time for students at Brentwood Elementary School of Engineering in Raleigh, NC sometime between January 23 and January 26.
  5. ARRL recently posted an updated management organization chart which identifies how the nearly 100 employees at HQ are organized and who reports to whom at ARRL Headquarters.  The most recent org chart can be found at http://www.arrl.org/arrl-management-organizational-chart.

NC ARRL SECTION NEWS

  1. NC QSO PARTY

Once again this year, the NC ARRL SECTION will again be one of the sponsors of the NC QSO Party which is organized by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society.  The NCQP will be held on February 26, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.   Participants attempt to contact  stations in the various NC Counties  and earn points for the power used in making the contacts.  Information about the event and NCQP rules can be found at https://ncqsoparty.org/

  • ARRL-affiliated clubs are reminded that the NC Section is offering a copy of the 100th Edition of the ARRL Handbook to the club what enrolls new or renewing ARRL members through the ARRL Club Commission Program.  Clubs that sign up new or renewing ARRL members, collect the dues and submit the paperwork to ARRL will receive a commission from ARRL in the amount of $15 for each new ARRL member or $5 for each renewing ARRL member that is processed by the local club.  Information can be found at http://www.arrl.org/affiliated-club-benefits

The ARRL-AFFILIATED CLUB in North Carolina that processes the largest number of new or renewing ARRL members between January 1 and March 31, 2023 will be presented with the paperbound version of the 2023 100th Edition of the Handbook.

  •  On May 1, 2023, we will recognize the oldest ARRL-AFFILIATED CLUB in North Carolina and present that club a copy of the 24th Edition of the ARRL Antenna Book

EmCOMM MATTERS

  1. The AUXCOMM COURSE IN SANFORD on January 27, 28, and 29 has been filled.
  2. The next Homeland Security Auxcomm course will be held in Dare County on April 21, 22, and 23rd.
  3. Participants in the course must satisfy the following prerequisites:
  4. Hold a5tf3 valid amateur radio license
  5. Completion of the current version of the four on-line Independent Study Course (Is 100C, 200c, 700b and 800d) with certificates issued by FEMA being required.
  6. Experience operating in EmComm networks.
  7. Endorsement of the applicant by the local emergency management agency (AHJ).
  8. The Dare County Auxcomm course is expected to soon be listed on NCEM’s Training and Exercise Registration Management System (https://terms.ncem.gov/TRS/logon.do)
  9. NCEM will reimburse for lodging, meals and travel for those persons who travel more than 50 miles from home.

UPCOMING HAMFESTS

  1. CHARLOTTE HAMFEST (March 10, 11 and 12, 2023) to be held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4551 Old Airport Road, Concord, NC 28025.  Information about the hamfest can be found at https://charlottehamfest.org/
    1. RARSFEST (APRIL 8, 2023) is to be held at the Jim Graham Building at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.  Information can be found at https://www.rarsfest.org/

MISCELLANEOUS  INFORMATION THAT YOU MAY FIND INTERESTING

  1. Zoom-based General License Course coming up – March 25th, April 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th, May 6th, 13th   and will start at 9:00am to 12:00pm EDT  There is no cost for the course but you must register and purchase a copy of the 9th Edition of the ARRL General License Manual.   There may be a fee to take the License exam and there will be an FCC application fee.  Contact Fred Carroll, AJ4CN in Carolina Shores at aj4cn.x@gmail.com for information.

HAM POPULATION/LICENSES, current as of January 15.2023

CLASSNCUSA
NOVICE1516,270
TECHNCIAN10,551387,349
GENERAL5,841186,371
ADVANCED1,06534,420
EXTRA5,081154,381
TOTAL22,689768,791

STARLINK(ELON MUSK’S  NETWORK OF THOUSANDS OF LOW EARTH ORBITING SATELLITES THAT PROMISE TO DELIVER INTERNET OVER THE ENTIRE EARTH) IS BEING BUILT OUT.  SYSTEM STATUS AND A COVERAGE MAP AS OF JANUARY 5, 2023 can be found at:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1H1x8jZs8vfjy60TvKgpbYs_grargieVw&ll=38.23204128599758%2C-82.22372721874999&z=5
https://satellitemap.space/

GMRS

Some members have noticed that there is an increasingly significant number of persons who want to own and use a GMRS  repeater because of the extended range and higher output power (50 watts) .  A GMRS license can be obtained by anyone over 18 years of age and covers all members of a family

GMRS’ers do not have to pass a license exam and they point out that the application fee for a ten year GMRS license is $35. GMRS repeaters operate on 462 MHz and if placed at a high elevation, a GMRS repeater can have a wide footprint with up to 50 watts of output power.  In some parts of North Carolina, several GMRS repeaters are linked together to provide relatively wide coverage. There are presently 5847 active GMRS licenses in NC.  Information about GMRS operations and linked networks can be found at https://shop.mygmrs.com/ .

CLOSING COMMENTS

We are operating in a new year and several things are likely to change in 2023.  First off, RF propagation will continue to improve with loads of opportunities to work DX.  Second,  we are seeing the startup of some new but small hamfests which may look a lot like tailgate fests without the expense of renting a fairground site or a conference center.   Third, the NC Section will organize a special event later in the year which will involve activation of all State Parks in North Carolina for the biggest single day POTA activation in North Carolina history.  I hope that 2023 involves good health and lots of fun for you  on the radio.

Marv, WA4NC

NC Section Manager