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

There were some very cold days last week with Chill factors down to -9 degrees.  We had three weekends in a row with frozen precipitation and high winds and it is possible that on this coming Sunday we will have frozen precipitation once again, along with the possibility of flooding.  The ski operators love the local weather, as do their customers.  Despite the cold weather, Boone has been crowded with restaurants and motels packed.

ARRL Matters

The ARRL Board met in Connecticut on January 21 and 22.  Committee Reports have been publicly released and can be read at http://www.arrl.org/committee-reports .

No minutes of Board actions have been released but the following items have been mentioned by HQ staff in various meetings with Section Managers:

  1.  Club Grant program.  The ARRL Board approved a program whereby clubs can apply for grants that would involve clubs undertaking new activities.  The ARRL Foundation has allocated $500,000 for competitive grants to clubs in amounts up to $25,000.  Guidelines for applying will soon be released but the idea is to encourage clubs to engage activities that make the clubs more visible in their home communities.  Preliminary information on the program can be found at http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-foundation-to-create-club-grants-program .
  • ARRL Emergency  Management Director 

On January 4, 2022, ARRL HQ announced the hiring of Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, of Ozone, Arkansas as Emergency Management Director and he was introduced to the Section Managers on January 25.  Josh serve d for sixteen years as Emergency Management Director for Johnson County, Arkansas.  Information on his background and new duties can be found at http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-welcomes-new-director-of-emergency-management .

  •  NC Section Manager Election

Ballots for the election were mailed by January 1 and must be returned to ARRL HQ no later that February 18.  Ballots will be counted on February 22.  Some NC Section members have reported not having received their ballots.  If you have not received a ballot, you should call HQ at 1-860-594-0200 and ask for a ballot to be mailed to you via first class mail.  Because of the limited time available, you should immediately return the ballot so that it arrives in CT no later than February 18.

  • 3.45 to 3.5 Ghz Band

On January 14, 2022, the FCC announced the awards of the recent for this frequency band for 5G cellular service. From 2020, amateur radio was authorized as a secondary user.  Once the FCC made the Auction awards, it ordered amateur use to end no later than April 14, 2022.  The ARRL was unsuccessful in its efforts to convince the FCC to allow amateur use to continue until such time as the frequencies are actually placed in service for 5G operation.   Therefore, amateur use must cease prior to April 12, 2022.  Information can be found at http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-operation-in-3-45-3-5-ghz-segment-must-cease-by-april-14-2022.

Upcoming Hamfests

  1. February 10-13, Hamcation, Central Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Park, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32808.  Hamcation is sponsored by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club.  This is considered by many to be the second largest hamfest in the US, second only to the Dayton Hamvention held in May.  The 2022 ARRL National Convention will be held a day earlier at the Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld, 10100 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32821.  The National Convention involves a luncheon on Thursday as well as advanced training on several topics (emergency communications, how to most effectively use the ARRL Handbook, the Contest University, and the Technology Academy)that will be held prior to and after the Luncheon.  Information can be found at https://www.hamcation.com/ .
  • February 22, Dalton Hamfest, North Georgia Ag Fair, 500 Legion Drive, Dalton, GA 30719Dalton GA Hamfest.   Hams in the Southwestern portion of the state may wish to consider attending the 40th Annual Dalton GA Hamfest.  Information can be found at 

https://fb.me/e/RvTKhD5g .

  • March 11 and 12, Charlotte Hamfest, Cabarrus Arena & Events Center – Gold Hall.  This hamfest is sponsored by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society and will be held at the same site as in year’s past but in a different building that will include indoor and outdoor flea market areas.    https://charlottehamfest.org/
  • April 16, RARSFest, Jim Graham Building, NC State Fairgrounds.  This hamfest is sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society and is a large hamfest that involves an indoor flea market, as well as several forums.  Information can be found at  https://www.rarsfest.org/

EMCOMM MATTERS

The Cybersecurity and Information Security Administration of the US Department of Homeland Security has released a new version of the National Interoperability Field Operations Guide Version 2.0.  The NIFOG contains a wealth of information that you may find useful.  It can be downloaded at https://www.cisa.gov/safecom/field-operations-guides .

US FOREST SERVICE APPLICATION FEE PROPOSAL

On December 22, 2021, the US Forest Service published in the Federal Register a proposal to levy application fees for transmitter sites (cell phones, business radios, amateur radios, tv as well as AM and FM broadcast stations) that are located on federal property within US National Forests.  A 2018 Law required the Forest Service to calculate an administrative cost associated with reviewing applications, visiting sites, and issuing leases for transmitter sites. This is not the same application fee that the FCC will soon implement on each amateur license application.

 Using a complicated methodology to calculate the administrative costs, the US Forest Service determined that a $1400 annual fee would be appropriate for each of the 1367 communications sites involving more than 10,000 wireless transmitters.

Although few amateur operators (compared to all amateurs) operate repeaters located on federal lands, the proposal has the potential to make it difficult, if not impossible, to afford to build and maintain a repeater within a National Forest.

ARRL published a document ( http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-oppose-forest-service-administrative-fees-for-amateur-facilities) which explains the procedure for filing comments.  Furthermore, ARRL urges amateur operators to oppose the proposed fee because of its likely adverse impact on the availability of amateur repeaters when owners are unable to pay the $1400.  Instructions for filing comments with the US Forest Service are contained in the document cited above.  The deadline for filing comments about the new, annual fee is February 22, 2022.  Comments can be made in writing or by means of an electronic filing.

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS

Severe Weather Preparedness Week has been set for March 6 – 12, 2022.  The National Weather Service Raleigh has announced that a statewide Tornado Drill will be held on Wednesday, Machr 9, 2022 at 9:30 AM.  Expect NWS Weather radios to be activated.  More details will be forthcoming in a future NC Section Newsletter.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

NC QSO PARTY, February 27, 2022 from 10 am to 8 pm.  Organized by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, this is a contest that encourages stations to make contact with stations in as many of the 100 counties in North Carolina as is possible.  The NC Section is a sponsor for a prize that is awarded to the single operator, in-state, digital stations.  Rules for the contest are found at http://ncqsoparty.org/

There is a proposal by a Japanese group that seeks to build an amateur radio satellite constructed of wood.   Concerned over the growing amount of space junk (spent rocket boosters, failed or decommissioned satellites, tools, and other space debris) that pose risks to functional communications satellites and the International Space Station, an environmentally-conscious amateur radio group has proposed to construct its satellite from wood which would burn up upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.  Although the idea has not been approved or implemented, it has attracted interest.  https://www.space.com/first-wooden-satellite-will-launch-in-2021.

Also, in connection with space-based amateur radio activities, I received notice that a school in Western North Carolina (in Spruce Pine) has been selected as one of eight schools chosen to participate in the Fall in communications with the Astronauts aboard the International Space Station.  Information about school students being involved with the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) can be found at http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2022/january/eight-us-schools-moved-forward-in-ariss-selection-process.htm#.YfwRDfxOldg  

PREVIOUS CARRINGTON EVENTS MAY OFFER INSIGHTS INTO FUTURE EVENTS

            As many of you know, there was a so-called Carrington Event in 1859 which involved a massive solar flare that resulted in a wide-scale power outage and damage to electrical equipment across a large area in Canada.  

A recent ARRL article linked the expected uptick in solar activity in Cycle 25 (which is expected to peak in 2024-26) to the potential for future events of Carrington-level magnitude in our future. 

The article, (http://www.arrl.org/news/research-on-ancient-massive-solar-storms-suggests-a-need-to-prepare-for-the-next-ones ), looks at scientific research analyzing  from  potential Carrington-magnitude events in 7176 BC and in 5259 BC, as well as radionuclide evidence from an event in 775 AD (which may have been 100 times stronger than the 1859 documented Carrington Event).  While this topic is way above my training, if the solar flares levels reach the potential suggested in the article, society as we know it today will be very much affected by the previous Carrington Event, let anyone one that is 100 times stronger.

CLOSING COMMENT

The pace of ham radio is picking up, with several  hamfests having been announced.  And, there is some evidence to suggest that COVID may be winding down.  So, despite Punxsutawney Phil, predicting six more weeks of winter, even in the depths of winter, those of us in the High Country know that eventually the Spring that we enjoy so much will eventually arrive and the current lack of color in the mountains will fade in favor of the beautiful colors that renew our spirits.  While there is much that bothers us in the current season, there is a certainty that the cycle of life, with its renewal and pageantry, will carry our spirits forward.

Marv, WA4NC

Boone