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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

January 2017

Greetings from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT SPEEDS TO US HOUSE PASSAGE, HEADS TO US SENATE – Just 10 days after being introduced, the 2017 Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation, HR 555, passed the US House of Representatives this week on unanimous consent under a suspension of House rules. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, HR 1301, which won House approval late last summer after attracting 126 co-sponsors, but failed to clear the US Senate last fall as the 114th Congress wound down. The new bill, again sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), was introduced on January 13 with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“The grassroots effort of Amateur Radio operators across this nation in support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act has been remarkable, nothing like we have ever seen before,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said. “To all hams, keep going! Now is the time to charge forward with that same momentum to the Senate. We can do it!” The bill arrives in the US Senate with ample time in which to garner its approval through an education campaign. “We’re very encouraged by the speed with which this bill made it through the House. It’s amazing that this happened,” said ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who has been at the forefront of the legislative initiative. “With the help of ARRL members, we believe we can get this done,” Lisenco continued. “We came within a hair’s breadth last time, with 110,000 e-mails to members of both houses of Congress, as well as letters and telephone calls. Member participation in this final push is critical.”

HR 555 calls on the FCC to establish rules prohibiting the application of deed restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio communications on their face or as applied. Deed restrictions would have to impose the minimum practicable restriction on Amateur Radio communications to accomplish the lawful purposes of homeowners association seeking to enforce the restriction. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-parity-act-speeds-to-u-s-house-passage-heads-to-u-s-senate (source: ARRL website)

NEW FCC CHAIRMAN AJIT PAI OFFERS PRAISE FOR HR 555, OTHER TELECOMS BILLS – Newly designated FCC Chairman Ajit Pai [photo not included] praised the House action on HR 555 and other telecommunications-related legislation that cleared the chamber on Monday. “I want to commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a number of important, bipartisan telecom bills yesterday,” Pai said on January 24. “These bills will help bring greater efficiency to the Commission, provide consumers with greater protections, improve rural call completion, help Amateur Radio operators, and take several steps to promote public safety,” he continued, adding, “I look forward to working with Congress on these and other important issues as Chairman of the FCC.” President Donald Trump named the 44-year-old telecommunications attorney – who has served on the Commission since 2012 and is its senior member – to succeed chairman Tom Wheeler, who stepped down on Inauguration Day, January 20. Pai is the FCC’s 34th chairman. Pai will chair his first open meeting of the Commission on Tuesday, January 31. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/new-fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-offers-praise-for-h-r-555-other-telecoms-bills (source: ARRL website)

REMINDER! NORTH CAROLINA QSO PARTY (2/26) – The North Carolina QSO Party, sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, from 1000 EST to 2000 EST. For further information, see http://www.rars.org/ncqsoparty/ (source: RARS website)

SOUTHEASTERN VHF SOCIETY ISSUES CALL FOR PAPERS (DEADLINE, 3/13) – The Southeastern VHF Society (SVHS) has issued a call for papers and presentations (PDF attached below) for delivery at its convention, April 28-29, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Papers and presentations are solicited on both technical and operational aspects of VHF, UHF, and microwave “weak-signal” Amateur Radio. The submission deadline is March 13. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/southeastern-vhf-society-issues-call-for-papers (source: ARRL website)

REMINDER! ARRL SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR SIX AWARDS (DEADLINES, 3/15 to 4/30) – The ARRL is inviting nominations for awards that recognize educational, technological, and service pursuits in Amateur Radio: the ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award, the ARRL Microwave Development Award, the ARRL Technical Service Award, the ARRL Technical Innovation Award, and the Knight Distinguished Service Award. In addition, nominations are being accepted for the Hiram Percy Maxim Award, the League’s premier award honoring a young licensee. The nomination deadlines are between March 15 and April 30, 2017. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-seeks-nominations-for-six-awards (source: ARRL website)

ARRL ASKS FCC TO ALLOCATE NEW 5MHZ BAND, RETAIN CHANNELS AND CURRENT POWER LIMIT – ARRL has asked the FCC to allocate a new, secondary contiguous band at 5 MHz to the Amateur Service, while also retaining four of the current five 60-meter channels and current operating rules, including the 100 W PEP effective radiated power (ERP) limit. The federal government is the primary user of the 5 MHz spectrum. The proposed action would implement a portion of the Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) that provided for a secondary international allocation of 5,351.5 to 5,366.5 kHz to the Amateur Service; that band includes 5,358.5 KHz, one of the existing 5 MHz channels in the US. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-asks-fcc-to-allocate-new-5-mhz-band-retain-channels-and-current-power-limit (source: ARRL website)

CIA DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS ABOUT AMATEUR RADIO AVAILABLE IN SEARCHABLE ONLINE DATABASE – Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports about Amateur Radio in the former Soviet Union (including the Baltic States) and Warsaw Pact member countries have been declassified to a new searchable online database, the CIA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Electronic Reading Room. Documents include translations and assessments of Amateur Radio clubs, including Soviet DOSAAF (Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Fleet) groups; training; monitoring Sputniks; technology and equipment, and even QSL cards. All documents have been declassified and occasionally “sanitized” and made available to the public for the first time in this archive. Some of these documents were only available previously in a closed system at the US National Archives. – Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News via Andy Thomas, G0SFJ. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/cia-declassified-documents-about-amateur-radio-available-in-searchable-online-database (sources: G0SFJ, ARRL website)

LICENSE CLASSES –

Grantsboro (NC): Technician license class, February 2 to March 30, 2017, sponsored by Pamlico Amateur Radio Society, contact Bill Michne, WM3X by phone at (252) 249-1175 or by email at billmichne at embarqmail dot com for further information.

Gastonia (NC): Technician license class, February 4, 2017, sponsored by Greater Gaston Amateur Radio Society, contact Tony Jones, N4ATJ by phone at (704) 827-2138 or by email at N4ATJ at bellsouth dot net for further information.

Gastonia (NC): General license class, February 4, 2017, sponsored by Greater Gaston Amateur Radio Society, contact Tony Jones, N4ATJ by phone at (704) 827-2138 or by email at N4ATJ at bellsouth dot net for further information.

Asheville (NC): Technician license class, February 14 to March 23, 2017, sponsored by Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society, contact Norman Harrill, N4NH by phone at (828) 253-1192 or by email at N4NH at arrl dot net for further information.

To find upcoming classes, go to www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class Please note that a license 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 http://www.arrl.org/License-instructor-registration Also, please let me know if your club is sponsoring a license class. Thanks! (source: ARRL website)

MEDIA HITS AND REPORTS – The following media hits and reports are included in this month’s newsletter:

On Winter Field Day at Linville Land Harbor, see http://www.hcpress.com/email-announcements/todays-email-announcements-370.html (source: Google search)

On the Winter Field Day Association and Winter Field Day, see http://www.hcpress.com/events/amateur-radio-operators-host-winter-field-day-january-28th.html (source: ARRL website)

The following (edited) report on Hampstead Hams activities was received from Stan White, KI4NC: “… Here's a pop quiz from today's meeting. What are 3 ways you can send SOS in Morse code if involved in a car accident after dark? a) horn, b) headlights, c) brake lights, or d) all of the above. Please email your answers. All correct answers will be entered into a drawing to win a prize! It was a pleasure having Dave Price, K4KDP, speak with us today. Dave is the ARRL NC Section Youth Coordinator with an emphasis on scouting. A gifted speaker, Dave had the crowd on the edge of their seats. He told us kids like things that are "big and unusual" and he thought we would too. After all, we are all kids at heart. His presentation was certainly big on substance and unusual, because many of us were just as in awe of his plethora of Morse code keys as some of his kids are! He shared interesting stories, funny stories, and some emotional stories about kids he's taught and mentored. Dave provided valuable information that will help the Hampstead Hams begin our own story of helping youth get involved in amateur radio. We will be talking more about this in the months ahead. In addition to the ARRL NC Section, the ARRL Roanoke Division was also represented today. Thank you, Bill N2COP, for stopping by to say hello and for your continued support of ham radio in Pender County.

Winter Field Day is the weekend of January 28-29. There is interest in participating this year. … Our February meeting has been canceled to give everyone the opportunity to attend basic and/or advanced SKYWARN spotter training. Spotter training will be conducted by the National Weather Service, on February 11th, beginning at 0830, at the Sloop Point Fire Department located at 19470 US HWY 17 North in Hampstead. You may attend either one or both. The training is free and the community is invited to attend. Looking ahead, March is our annual club picnic. The picnic will … include a NVIS antenna build, along with some other educational opportunities, and of course lots of fun, food, and fellowship.

Congratulations to Charles KM4ZJK, Fred KN4AAH, and Ron for passing their ham radio licensing exams today. Charles upgraded to Amateur Extra, Fred upgraded to General, and Ron passed both the Technician and General exams today. A special thank you to our VE Team who administered the exams.

Welcome Bob N1OTL, Member #80! You looked great in your Hampstead Hams green this morning! Thank you for your support. It was great seeing so many good friends today. For those friends who were unable to attend, please know you were missed. We look forward to seeing you next time. Using my Boy Scout Morse code flash card: --. --- --- -.. -. .. --. .... - 73 Stan KI4NC.” Congratulations to the new licensees; thanks to the VE team for their efforts; and, thanks to Stan White, KI4NC, President, Hampstead Hams, for providing this report! (source: KI4NC)

The following report was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC: “The Watauga Amateur Radio Club offered a test session on 1/30/17 for 17 prospective hams. We are happy to announce that once their call signs are issued, we will have 12 new Technicians as well as 2 new Generals in the High Country. …” Congratulations to the new licensees; and, thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, for providing this information! (source: WA4NC)

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR DECEMBER 2016 –

QNI (total check-ins): 1,615; Total messages passed: 484.

Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 240, WC9CW 203, WK4WC 189, KC4PGN 138, AA3N (formerly AK4RJ) 96, WB4ZIQ 68, W4TTO 64, W4DNA 61, W4EAT 55, KF4OCU 43, KE4AHC 35, KB4RGC 34, KW4EMG 31, KW4PD 23, KJ4JPE 17, KI4UDZ 8, W4JHU 6, W3HL 3.

Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 221, KJ4JPE 197, W4DNA 145, WC9CW 145, K4IWW 130, WB4ZIQ 130, KI4UDZ 120, WK4WC 120, KB4RGC 105, KW4PD 103, W4TTO 100, AA3N (formerly AK4RJ) 90, W4JHU 43.

Thanks to all stations for participating in NC Section traffic activities; and, to Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information! (source: W4DNA)

SILENT KEYS – No Silent Key notice has been received since the last NC Section Newsletter was distributed. Please note: it is not possible to post information about an amateur radio operator that has become a Silent Key without confirmation via a copy of an obituary or death certificate.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS –

February 16-17: Samuel F.B. Morse Exhibition, 1500Z-2000Z, N4M, Winston Salem, NC. Forsyth Amateur Radio Club of Winston-Salem, NC. 21.044 14.044 10.120 7.044. QSL. Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 11361, Winston Salem, NC 27116. The Forsyth Amateur Radio Club of Winston-Salem, NC, will sponsor Special Event Station, N4M, in celebration of the opening of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art’s Exhibition – Samuel F.B. Morse’s “Gallery of the Louvre” and the Art of Invention. The station will operate from 1500 to 2000 UTC on both February 16 and 17, 2017. This CW station will operate on 7044, 10120, 14044 and 21044 kHz. http://www.reynoldahouse.org/exhibitions/detail/samuel-fb-morses-gallery-of-the-louvre-and-the-art-of-invention and www.w4nc.com

April 7-9: 70th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, 0001Z-2359Z, AC4RC, Wilmington, NC. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club. 14.225 7.175 3.800; CW/Digital all bands. Certificate and QSL. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club, PO Box 4044, Wilmington, NC 28406. Confirmation of contact LoTW free; QSL card w/SASE; Certificate requires $4 for postage and handling, QSL card may be included with certificate mailing if requested. http://www.ac4rc.org/

Special Event Station listings in the NC Section newsletter are based on what appears on the ARRL website, see http://www.arrl.org/special-event-stations Please consider listing your Special Event Station at least 60 days before the event, see http://www.arrl.org/special-events-application Also, please let me know if your club is sponsoring a Special Event Station. Thanks! (source: ARRL website)

UPCOMING HAMFESTS AND CONVENTIONS –

March 10-11: Charlotte Hamfest, Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, Concord, NC, https://charlottehamfest.org/

April 15: 45th Annual RARSFest/ARRL Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh, NC, http://www.rars.org/rarsfest/

April 22: 27th Annual Down East Hamfest, Down East Hamfest Association Inc, Kinston, NC, contact Byron Highland, K4BMH by phone at (252) 347-1498 or by email at bhighland at nc dot rr dot com for further information.

April 28-29: 2017 SVHFS Conference, Southeastern VHF Society, Charlotte, NC, http://svhfs.org

July 8: Firecracker Hamfest, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, Salisbury, NC, http://www.rowanars.org/firecracker-hamfest/

July 15: Mid-Summer SWAPFEST, Cary Amateur Radio Club, Cary, NC, http://www.qsl.net/n4nc/

August 12: 19th Annual Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society Swapfest, Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society, Fayetteville, NC, http://www.cfarsnc.org

September 1-3: 61st Annual Shelby Hamfest/ARRL North Carolina State Convention, Shelby Amateur Radio Club, Shelby, NC, http://www.shelbyhamfest.org

It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club’s 2017 hamfest! For more information, see http://www.arrl.org/arrl-sanctioned-events (source: ARRL website)

QUA* – Like many Hams, I was very disappointed by the outcome of HR 1301 Amateur Radio Parity Act in the 114th Congress, but I was hopeful that this legislation could be passed on a second attempt. On January 13th, the new Bill – HR 555 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 – was introduced into the 115th Congress. I began preparing for a prolonged grassroots campaign in support of the Bill. Translation: I would need to have the ARRL software, and my laptop computer and printer at hamfests and club meetings so that ARRL members could send a letter to their Members of Congress requesting support of the Bill. No problem, I’ve done that before. Needless to say, I was very surprised when – 10 days after its introduction – the US House of Representatives suspended its rules, passed the Bill by unanimous consent, and sent HR 555 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 to the US Senate for further consideration. Remarkably, we had returned to the situation with HR 1301 at the end of the last congressional session. This was great news! But, it also means there is much more work to do. And, we will need your assistance again. Stay tuned!

On Tuesday, January 10th, I attended the monthly meeting of the Brightleaf Amateur Radio Club in Greenville and presented an update on the ARRL and the NC Section. Four days later – Saturday, January 14th – I attended the Winston-Salem Firstfest, which was sponsored by the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club. I enjoyed visiting with my Ham colleagues at these events. And, I look forward to interacting with you at an upcoming hamfest or club meeting!

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 w4chx@arrl.org or via cell phone. As always, thank you for sending your emails, photos, and club newsletters – they keep me informed about your activities and programs! Thanks for everything you are doing for amateur radio and your community. 73! Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)