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NORTH CAROLINA SECTION NEWSLETTER - March, 2011

Posted Apr 1, 2011

Lots of exciting news this month, but first an action item. The threat of Amateur Radio losing a large portion of the 70 cm (420-450 MHz) band is real. Federal bill HR607, the "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011 Act", in its present form would remove Ham Radio access to these frequencies. Many groups are opposing this provision, including the military, which shares this spectrum with us. An excellent story about the potential loss of this frequency appeared in USA Today at www.usatoday.com/money/media/2011-03-29-hamradio29_ST_N.htm So far, less than 5% of North Carolina ARRL members, and only 1% of all NC Hams, have contacted their Congressional House members to ask them to oppose this bill in its present form. We've made it really easy as a two step process to send a letter to your Congressman.

Step 1: Go to http://www.kd4pyr.net/hamletter.htm and fill in your callsign. The letter will automatically put in the address of your Congressional representative along with suggested text. Print it out and sign it.

Step 2: Send your letter to ARRL's Washington, DC agent, Chwat & Co., which will hand deliver it to your Congressman's office. You have three ways to send it to Chwat:

By US Mail - Send to: Chwat & Co.
Suite 103
625 Slaters Lane
Alexandria, VA 22314

By Fax - Send to: 703-684-7594,
or you may also send your signed letter scanned as a PDF or JPG file via email to:
arrl@chwatco.com

To see how the loss of the 70cm band might impact you, please visit ARRL's video on this issue at http://www.arrl.org/hr-607 Thanks for taking a few minutes to save these frequencies for our continued use. DUKE KNIEF, W4DK, IS 2010 ROANOKE DIVISION SERVICE AWARD WINNER Congratulations to Duke Knief, W4DK, winner of the 2010 Roanoke Division Service Award. Duke becomes the first North Carolinian to win this award since former Section Manager John Covington, W4CC, in 2005. Duke is the 44th recipient of the annual award which is given to an exemplary operator in the four states which comprise the Roanoke Division - North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Also known as the "Vic Clark Service Award", it is named after Vic Clark, W4KFC (SK), former Roanoke Division Director and ARRL President. Duke was recognized for his many years of active service in ARES and as a chief proponent for the certification of ARES volunteers in the post 9/11 world. He's ARES District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for Area 15, an active DXer, contester and has served as president of QCWA Chapter 76, the Blue Ridge Chapter. Duke received his award at the Charlotte Hamfest earlier in March. Congratulations, Duke.

YOUTH - Several neat events to report. First, the Old North State Council of Boy Scouts is hosting a huge camporee at Denton Farm Park in Denton April 29 - May 1. Several Hams have succeeded in getting permission to use the national BSA callsign K2BSA that weekend. Thousands of scouts are expected to attend the camporee, whose theme is "Rolling Into The Next 100 Years". Because of the futuristic theme, Ham Radio leaders will showcase digital modes along with traditional phone and CW. The Radio Merit Badge and Technician licensing classes will be offered. For more information, go to the NC JOTA group in Yahoo Groups. Congratulations also to the 29 Boy scouts who earned the Radio Merit Badge at Boy Scout University in Valdese and Boiling Springs who were taught by members of the Cleveland County Amateur Radio Service. ARRL has just signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Boy Scouts of America. You can see the signing ceremony video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izkzuD2MJ-o Many thanks to the countless Boy Scout Ham Radio leaders who are freely donating their time.
 
The other Youth story is the Youth DX Adventure being held in Costa Rica July 21 -25. Planning to attend are 11 year old General class Sam Jenkins KI4TRG, and his dad Steve, KA8HXX, of Raleigh. Several clubs have made generous donations to the DXpedition to help Sam and Steve. To find out more, visit Sam and Steve at the Youth Lounge at RARSfest or check out the DX Adventure's website at http://www.qsl.net/n6jrl
 
Three Youth clubs made it on-the-air during the NC QSO Party. They were Roger Bacon Academy, KK4AMH, in Leland; Powell GT Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh; and Pitt County Community College, K4PCC. Great to see the future of our hobby active and on the air.

ARES MEETING - The annual state ARES meeting will be held Saturday, April 30th, at the state EOC in Raleigh. Agenda and times will be forthcoming.

HAMFESTS: April 16 - Catawba Valley Hamfest, Burke Co. Fairgrounds, Morganton. Website: http://www.cvhamfest.com Talk-In: 147.15 ; April 23 - RARSfest, the North Carolina State Convention, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. Website http://www.rars.org/hamfest Talk-In: 146.64

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS: April 9 - the 146th General Hardee's Retreat Civil War Reenactment, 1330Z-1900Z, NC4AR, Trinity, NC. Tri-County Amateur Radio Club. 7.030 CW 7.210 SSB 145.290 REPEATER 53.010 REPEATER. April 23 - the 39th Annual Raleigh Hamfest and ARRL NC State Convention, 1200Z-1930Z, N4C, Raleigh, NC. Raleigh Amateur Radio Society. 14.235 14.055 7.235 7.055.

PUBLIC SERVICE: April 2 - MS Spring Fling, Morrisville; April 9 - MS Triangle Walk, RBC Center, Raleigh; April 16-17, Coastal Carolina Air Show, Wilmington. More information: www.hampublicservice.org

MEDIA HIT - Nice article in the March issue of CQ magazine highlighting SKYWARN Recognition Day at the Raleigh National Weather Service office this past December. Congratulations to Central Carolina SKYWARN Emergency Coordinator (EC) Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, and her accomplished team.

NTS - Do you enjoy CW? The Carolinas Net (Daily 1900 and 2200 on 3573 KHz) is looking for a Net Manager. For details, go to http://www.ncarrl.org/nets/nc_nts_nets.html or contact Section Traffic Manager (STM) Dave Roy, W4DNA, at w4dna@arrl.net Congratulations to West Jefferson's Adam Lawler, WK4P, new Net Manager for the North Carolina Evening Net held daily at 1830 local on 3923 KHz. Thanks to Mark Rappaport, W2EAG, of New Bern for speaking to clubs about traffic handling. Mark is the author of the excellent "AN INSTRUCTORS GUIDE TO TRAINING TRAFFIC HANDLERS" available on ARRL's national website at http://www.arrl.org/files/file/trainingTrafficHandlersGuide.pdf
 
MARCH NTS REPORTS - QNI (Net station check-ins) 2,511 (dn 851, or 25%). Messages passed - 371 (dn 84, or 23%) STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 536 (BPL level), W2EAG 161, WK4P 140, W4DNA 77, KI4YV 69, W4TTO 53, KE4AHC 41, W3HL 24, WB4Y 21, KC4PGN 19, NC4VA 12, KD5SM 9. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) K4IWW 130, W4DNA 120, NC4VA 117, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 100, WK4P 95, KI4YV 67.

ARES - TOTAL MEMBERS 591. 37 of 100 counties reporting. ATTN: DECs and ECs - if you're not filing your monthly reports, your data is not being included.

SKs - We regret to report the passing of Monica Ellison, KI4AXG, and Ron Mercer, KI4OSO, both of Wilmington; Josh Brehm, AE2L, of Rose Hill; Duel Davis, KE4ZUZ, of Grover; Jeffrey Michael, KI4BGI, of Bessemer City; and James Hodges, WD4FLV, of Concord.

LAST WORD - You wouldn't know that it's spring with the chilly WX around NC, but the azaleas are beginning to bloom here along the coast, a sure sign that warmer days are ahead. With this time of year come many public service activities, such as races and community events designed to help raise awareness and funds for non-profit organizations. I am pleased to see an uptick in Ham Radio participation in the provision of communications for such events. In the mid 1990s, Amateur Radio took a back seat to then new cell phone companies and especially the "Push-To-Talk" semi-duplex technology which became the rage. Cell providers were willing to donate rental units for events as a promotional tool. As the technology matured and profit margins for the providers slimmed down, cell companies withdrew their support from community events. Suddenly after almost a two decade absence, Amateur Radio has become favorable again. And why not? Reliable communications available through professionally trained and licensed volunteers. Of course we all benefit from the skills we get to hone during these events, and some ARES organizations have taken to model their participation as NIMS/ICS exercises. Bravo! As I mentioned last month, Ham operators represent less than 1/5th of 1% of all North Carolinians. Providing communications as a public service is an excellent way to help the public understand who we are, what makes us unique in what we can provide as a community service, and why we are a tax-free benefit to the public. Please take some time this year to volunteer to help with an event in your community using Amateur Radio. To make volunteering easy, Bill Cole, KG4CXY, of Cary has a dedicated website to Ham Radio community service volunteering called www.hampublicservice.org Bill and his team pour hours of their time into ensuring that Amateur Radio has the opportunity to participate in worthwhile community events. Take advantage of this remarkable resource. If there's not an event on his website near you, find one, or better yet, offer to help to the organizers of a local event. You'll be helping yourself and your brethren with the long term health and public perception of Amateur Radio.
 
Glad today is March 32nd, so I got the March newsletter out on time. April Fool!
 
73,
Bill Morine N2COP
ARRL North Carolina Section Manager