Show Menu

NORTH CAROLINA SECTION NEWS - August, 2013

Posted Aug 28, 2013

SHELBY HAMFEST AND NORTH CAROLINA SECTION CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND - August 31 & September 1. The "Grand-Daddy Of Them All" is back at the Cleveland County fairgrounds in its namesake hometown of Shelby after a multi-year absence. There will be QSL card checking, lots of forums and lots of vendors at the newly rebuilt fairgrounds. Talk-in 146.88 with no PL tone. Details at www.shelbyhamfest.org

TRIBUTE TO TAR HEEL HAM JOURNALISTS - From the state with a rich history of journalists such as Edward R. Murrow and Charles Kuralt of CBS, Vermont Royster of the Wall Street Journal, David Brinkley of NBC, Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS, Whitey Bulger biographer and Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr, and dozens more, we honor four of our own whose reporting on Amateur Radio related issues and topics have national and international audiences. The August issue of the North Carolina pays tribute to Bob Grove, Carl Smith, Gary Pearce and George Huffman.

GOODBYE TO MONITORING TIMES - Straddling the Cherokee and Clay county line in far southwestern North Carolina just a shade north of Georgia lies Brasstown, which has been home for 33 years to Judy and Bob Grove, W8JHD, publishers of Monitoring Times. This December will be the monthly magazine’s last issue. Over the past three decades, MT has covered shortwave and broadcast listening, scanning, military, maritime, and aviation monitoring, equipment reviews, clandestine stations, public safety monitoring and, of course, Amateur Radio. You’ll be able to find both archived and current issues at www.monitoringtimes.com Fellow North Carolina Ham journalist Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, has a splendid interview with Bob on his Ham Radio Now website as Episode 89 at www.arvideonews.com/hrn/HRN_Episode_0089.html Many thanks Bob and Judy for a superb run, and enjoy a very well earned retirement.

DX MAGAZINE - Few things in Ham Radio are as thrilling as rare DX, and one of the kings of DX is Carl Smith, N4AA, of Leicester, just outside Ashville. Many fellow North Carolina Hams know Carl for his dedication to EMCOMM and ARES, and forget that he is a world renowned DXer. For the past 15 years, Carl has been publisher and editor of DX Magazine, a bimonthly bible for DX enthusiasts, and he was CQ magazine’s DX editor for 13 years until he stepped down this year. How good is Carl himself as a DXer? Try DXCC # 1 Top of the Honor Roll; 5B- DXCC; 5B-WAS and numerous other awards. In 2012 he was inducted into CQ’s DX Hall of Fame. Carl and DX magazine are the keepers of the annual "Most Wanted Survey" of the Top 100 most prized DX locations. We are fortunate to claim Carl as a North Carolinian. You can learn more about Carl and DX Magazine at www.dxpub.net

HAM RADIO NOW - From the mountains of North Carolina we turn to the Piedmont and the Raleigh suburb of Cary, where Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, produces and edits his webcasts of Ham Radio Now. Gary’s has a true journalistic background. He has worked for years in major market television and radio, and for advertising agencies. Seeing a void in quality video about Amateur Radio, Gary began Amateur Radio Video News (ARVN) which produces DVDs on a variety of Ham topics. From there he’s been a guest on Twit TV’s Ham Nation, and has filled in as a guest host for regular host Bob Heil. Wanting to concentrate on one theme at a time instead of a weekly format, Gary created Ham Radio Now, which has released almost one hundred episodes on all facets of Ham Radio. For the past 20 years Gary has been an ARRL Public Information Officer (PIO) and has served as a member of ARRL’s national Public Relations Committee. He was 1994 recipient of ARRL’s Philip McGan Award as best Amateur Radio PIO in America. Gary’s websites are www.arvideonews.com and hamradionow.tv He’s another contributor we can be proud hails from the Tar Heel state.

HAM NATION REGULAR - Rounding out our review of four North Carolina Ham journalists is newcomer George Huffman, KG4MXA, of Salisbury. George was profiled in the July section newsletter as a budding regular contributor to Ham Nation. Since our last report, George has appeared in three more episodes of Ham Nation showing how to build a homebrew 6 meter Yagi. You can catch Ham Nation on demand at twit.tv/hn. The live broadcast every Wednesday at 9:00 PM Eastern is fun because the bloopers haven’t been edited out yet. Look for George and his fellow members of the Rowan Amateur Radio Society in episodes 109, 110 and 111. We’re sure he’ll be appearing in many more episodes ahead.

These are just four of the many Tar Heels who frequently write and comment about Ham Radio around the globe. We acknowledge and thank all Ham journalists who call North Carolina home.

CQ DX HALL OF FAME - Congratulations to Gary Dixon, K4MQG, for his induction into CQ magazine’s DX Hall of Fame. Gary technically lives in South Carolina, but he might as well have a NC address because he’s in our state all the time as a founding member of the Charlotte based Carolinas DX Association www.cdxa.org Gary is seen at many NC hamfests as a QSL card checker for ARRL and CQ awards. He’s also the founding President of INDEXA, the International DX Association, which has helped provide financial support for DXpeditions to rare locations. He ran ARRL’s W4 QSL bureau for seven years. Like Carl Smith above, Gary is an accomplished DXer. He holds the #1 DXCC Honor Roll spot, has earned 10 band DXCC, 10 band Worked All States (WAS) and was the first North American to earn 5 band Worked All Zones (WAZ). From the Tar Heel state to the Palmetto state, congratulations Gary and thanks for all you do north of the state line in NC.

APRS ON THE AT - On July 20th, Dave Simmons, K4KWL, and Glenn Crissman, N4AZR, climbed 6,300 ft. Roan Mt. in northern Mitchell County on the North Carolina- Tennessee border as one of 15 stations in the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet event (http://www.aprs.org/at-golden-packet.html) For the past five years, Hams gather on the peaks of mountains along the Appalachian Trail (the "AT") to try to make a continuous relay of 2,185 miles from Maine to Georgia using APRS and other voice and digital modes on VHF and UHF. Roan Mt. was the only North Carolina peak activated this year. Dave and Glenn put up an omnidirectional vertical on a 36 ft. fiberglass pole. They were able to hit Charlotte D-Star repeaters and confirmed their signal was being digipeated to the internet on www.aprs.fi You can read their report in detail at www.aprs.org/hamtrails/Roan/Roan-2013-report.txt

TAKE REFUGE IN HAM RADIO, OR VICE VERSA - October is a glorious time to do portable outdoor Hamming, and October 12-20 will be a perfect opportunity with the National Wildlife Refuge Week Amateur Radio Special Event, which you can find at www.nwrweek-radio.info Amateur Radio participation is part of overall National Wildlife Refuge Week. North Carolina is home to eight wildlife refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Although the rules this year permit state managed refuges to be included, North Carolina does not have any designated as such.) This would be a chance to operate from the National Wildlife Refuges located at Alligator River, Cedar Island, Currituck, Mackay Island, Mattamuskeet, Pea Island, Pee Dee, Pocosin Lakes, Roanoke River and Swanquarter. Because of the sensitivity of the habitat, you must file an operating plan in advance with the manager at a refuge and obtain permission before operating. The organizers of this event can help with operating plans at info@nwrweek-radio.info You can find the hyperlinks to the eight National Wildlife Refuges in North Carolina at http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/ByState.cfm?state=NC

JOTA OCTOBER 19-20 - Another great outdoor tradition in October this year will be the 56th annual Jamboree On-The-Air (JOTA), which is unique in three respects. 1) It is officially the largest event in scouting with 750,000 participants, eclipsing the next largest event, the U.S. Boy Scout National Jamboree, by a factor of almost twenty times; 2) it is a global event - not just the U.S. or North America, and 3) JOTA is one of the very few joint events between Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. Last year local clubs helped to put 14 JOTA stations on the air in North Carolina. Plan now to reach out to your local Boy Scout or Girl Scout council to volunteer to host a JOTA station, then register your station at http://scouting.us.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_2gH1Qhj1HcPbOUB An overview of JOTA can be found at http://www.scouting.org/jota.aspx

SPECIAL EVENT STATION AT NC MOUNTAIN FAIR - In addition to the State Fair in Raleigh, there is the NC Mountain State Fair held September 6th to the 15th at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher. The fair’s website is www.mountainfair.org Several western NC radio clubs will be hosting special event station N4F at the fairgrounds and will be demonstrating voice, CW, D-Star, PSK-31, Packet, PACTOR-Winlink, digital voice and satellite. If you can help out, please contact "The Road Show" Amateur Radio Club President Bill Van Nuys, N4OOC, at n4ooc@arrl.net

SPECIAL EVENT STATION AT SPIVEY’S CORNER HOLLERIN’ CONTEST - Every September in Sampson County is the National Hollerin’ Contest held at Spivey’s Corner on Rte. 421. The contest goes back to the days before radio and telephones when lung power was the best form of DX. The Sampson County Amateur Radio Service will be on the air September 14th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM local time as N4C on 7.264 MHz and 14.264 MHz. With the background being hollerin’, SSB makes more sense for authenticity than CW. Information on this fun event at http://www.nationalhollerincontest.com

OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS IN NC - September 21-22, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM both days, Carousel Festival, Burlington, to celebrate the city’s restored circa 1910 Dentzel carousel, or Merry-Go-Round, which has 46 riding positions over three concentric rows. Alamance Radio Club, K4EG. www.k4eg.com; September 28, 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM, Everybody’s Day, Thomasville. NC4AR, Tri-County Amateur radio Club. Details: www.nc4ar.net You can find special event stations listed at www.arrl.org/special-event-stations

MEDIA HITS - WCQS, Asheville’s flagship NPR station for Western North Carolina Public Radio, lists two Ham radio related stories on its website at wcqs.org. One on commercial radio raconteur and Ham, the late Jean Shepherd, K2ORS, and the other on the possible end of the "Space Fence", the military system which monitors objects in space which might enter the atmosphere and potentially endanger terrestrial life. The story says Hams like to listen to the Fence on its 216.98 MHz frequency. The Asheville Citizen-Times mentioned Hams helped with the Blue Ridge Breakaway bike race, and the Jefferson Post had a nice profile on the aid which the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club gives to the Blue Ridge Brutal bike race. The Mint Hill Times ran a story on how the Charlotte Amateur Radio Club sets up a station every other Saturday at the Carl J. McEwen Historical Village to showcase Ham Radio to the public and to answer questions. Meteorologist Mike Moss of Raleigh’s WRAL-TV was a guest speaker at the Johnston Amateur Radio Society’s (JARS) monthly meeting.

CONTEST CORNER - High NC Scores-International DX Contest-Single Op Assisted High-N4ZC (Southeastern Region); Single Op Single Band-W4AAA (W/VE); Single Op High-KU4V (Roanoke Division); Single Op Assisted Low-AA4R (Roanoke Division); Single Op Low-W4FT: Single Op QRP-N4ZAK (Roanoke Division). Thanks to Adam Lawler, WK4P, for compiling Contest Corner.

NEW PUBLIC SERVICE NET AND YAHOO GROUP - Many thanks to John Snellen, AI4RT, for alerting the Ham Radio community about public service opportunities in North Carolina through the creation of a new Yahoo Group at groups.yahoo.com/group/hpsnc and the Ham Public Service Net every Wednesday night at 7:30 PM on the Carolinas 440 Link System and simultaneously on IRLP reflector 9210. Please give back to your community through public service participation.

PUBLIC SERVICE - Sept. 7-8, MS Bike Ride, New Bern. Details: http://www.rars.org/public-service/ps_signup.php; Sept. 10, Carolina Cycling Time Trial Assn., Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord. Details: www.ridemaps.com; Sept. 21, Tour D’Orange bike race, Hillsborough. Details: http://www.rars.org/public-service/ps_signup.php; Sept. 21-22, MS Breakaway to the Beach, Monroe, NC to Sunset Beach, NC via Florence, SC. Details: www.ridemaps.com; Sept. 28, Asheville Citizen-Times Marathon. To volunteer, contact Tony Jones, KJ4CRO, at tbjones12@bellsouth.net

LICENSING CLASSES - Sept. 9-28, NC State University, Raleigh; Sept. 19-Oct. 31, Skyland. For more details, go to: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class

NTS JULY SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT - (NOTE: Traffic handlers will meet at the Shelby Hamfest at 11:00 AM on Saturday at Weathers Arena on the Cleveland County Fairgrounds). QNI (Total Check-Ins) 2750. TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 670. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 349, W4DNA 282, W2EAG 198, AK4RJ 131, WK4WC 128, WK4P 102, WB4ZIQ 95, WB4Y 75, W4TTO 58, KC4PGN 55, KJ4JPE 51, KE4AHC 47, KK4BVR 40, W3HL 40, N2RTF 31, K4JUU 28, KA4IZN 2. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KK4BVR 250, W4DNA 170, WK4P 155, WB4ZIQ 150, K4IWW 130, KJ4JPE 130, WK4WC 120, K4JUU 115, N2RTF 111, W2EAG 110, WB4Y 110, AK4RJ 105, W4TTO 105.

SILENT KEYS - We regret to report the passing of Ronald Sherwood, KO4XC, of Clayton, and Lee Hunt, K4WLH, of Wilson.

REMINDER ABOUT CALLING FREQUENCIES - Several North Carolina Hams have recently complained that lengthy QSOs are taking place on designated calling frequencies, such as 146.52 MHz, 50.125 MHz, and 29.600 MHz. Please remember that once you have made contact on a calling frequency, please QSY to a non-calling frequency.

HELP ARRL WITH ITS UPCOMING CENTENNIAL - ARRL will be 100 years old next July. Many plans are underway to celebrate the League’s centennial. One of the campaigns beginning now is to have Google’s search engine have a Ham Radio design on its main search engine page on Friday, July 18, 2014 to coincide with the League's centennial. In order for Google to design a cartoon, called a "Google Doodle", on its search engine splash page that day, many Hams need to petition Google to honor Amateur Radio that day. To help, please send a quick email to Google at proposals@google.com and in the subject line type in "Google Doodle for Ham Radio July 18, 2014", then in the text type that you’d like to see Google celebrate the world’s two millions licensed operators and the 100th anniversary of ARRL by making the Google Doodle on July 18, 2014 a Ham Radio Google Doodle.

QUA* - What makes a good hamfest? I’m asked that question all the time by clubs and by individual Hams. With a tight economy these past few years, the number of vendors at some hamfests has dwindled, further prompting the question ‘What entices people to attend hamfests?’. These days the #1 answer I hear is fellowship. Hams love to have eyeballs and ragchew at a hamfest. But for some, this is not enough. True, the internet and the ability to buy, sell and swap equipment through shipping has taken away some of the urge to attend. My answer increasingly are good forums. There are a gazillion You Tube videos on all aspects of Ham Radio, but there is no substitute for in-person learning. Forums these days seem confined to larger hamfests, but I very much encourage smaller hamfests to find a place to hold 30 minute to one hour training sessions. You don’t need a formal classroom. The forums at the Waynesville Hamfest are held in empty (and cleaned) horse stalls in a pole barn. Operators are begging to learn more about digital modes - how about more forums on these? And more hands on demos. No wonder the Raleigh MakerFaire this year drew almost 5,000 people, because they could touch and operate something at almost every booth and display. Fellowship is fine, but learning is even better. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, the end of summer, and I’ll see many of you at the Shelby Hamfest this weekend.

73 de Bill Morine - N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

*QUA - CW Net procedural signal meaning, Do you have news for me?"