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NORTH CAROLINA SECTION NEWSLETTER - March, 2012

Posted Mar 30, 2012

AMATEUR RADIO WINS IN CELL PHONE BAN - Many thanks to Hams in Chapel Hill for working with the Town's councilmen and mayor in trying to include an exemption for Amateur Radio in the municipality's new ordinance which bans cell phone and mobile electronics use while vehicles are in motion inside town limits. The ordinance is the most sweeping in North Carolina, and was passed March 26th in a controversial 5-4 vote. The language in the new ordinance, which takes effect June 1st, prohibits use of any portable electronics and two-way communications, including Blue Tooth. Hams alerted Chapel Hill town officials about federal preemption for Amateur Radio and the ordinance includes an exemption for federally licensed services. Although vague, the wording partially addresses Amateur Radio exclusion. Should a citation be issued for Amateur Radio use, such violations have usually been dismissed by courts. The response of Chapel Hill and Orange County Hams to this measure was exemplary, and should be a model elsewhere should other ordinances like this be introduced in North Carolina in the future.

FIELD DAY BEGINS NOW - Well, not exactly. We're still about three months away from the 79th annual Field Day, which this year will be June 23-24. Many of the clubs sponsoring the approximate 50 Field Day public locations across North Carolina have begun planning, but some leave out at this stage one key component of planning - publicity. Sending out an announcement the week before Field Day is too late. Many clubs want to publicize their Field Day activities but don't know what to do. On Thursday, April 12th at 9 PM local time, ARRL will host a free webinar on how to design a Field Day PR campaign, including how to write a release and get it distributed to media in your area. You don't have to be an ARRL PIO to join the webinar - it's open to anyone. Pre-register at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/278619454 Also, if you already know where you 2012 Field Day location is going to be, please make sure it's listed at: http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator All the rules and supplies for 2012 Field Day can be found at http://www.arrl.org/field-day

MEDIA HITS - The Jacksonville Daily News profiled in its March 16th edition how Pamlico Amateur Radio Society (PARS) of Oriental helped the Lucky Charms Challenge Walk which raises money for the Wounded Warriors project. The Chatham County edition of the Raleigh News & Observer covered the March 21st QSO between the International Space Station and Salem Elementary School in Apex. The kids spoke through the ARISS program (Amateur Radio on The International Space Station). High Point's WGHP-TV, Fox 8, reported March 8th that SKYWARN spotter classes are full in Reidsville and that Hams make up many weather spotters. Wilmington's WECT-TV covered the Azalea Coast's Amateur Radio Club's NC QSO Party activities aboard the Battleship North Carolina, including 40 meter CW using an original transmitter and receiver.

NTS FEBRUARY SECTON TRAFFIC REPORT - QNI (Total check-ins) 2590 (down 964, or 27% over January). TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 614 (down 133 or 17%). STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) W4DNA 401, K4IWW 182, KJ4RUD 137, WK4P 135, W2EAG 95, W3HL 69, KJ4JPE 56, W4TTO 50, KE4AHC 40, N2RTF 32, K4JUU 26, KC4PGN 26, KK4AZN 25, NC4VA 14, KA4IZN 6. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KA4IZN 268, NC4VA 214, W4DNA 155, WK4P 155, K4IWW 130, KJ4JPE 125, K4JUU 120, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 100, KJ4RUD 80, N2RTF 75, KK4ANZ 54.

HAMFESTS - April 7, RARSfest (also North Carolina State Convention), Jim Graham Bldg., NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. Talk-In 146.64, more info www.rars.org ; April 20-21, Southeastern VHF Convention, Doubletree Inn Airport, 2600 Yorkmont Rd., Charlotte. Details: http://www.svhfs.org/conference.html ; April 21, Catawba Valley Hamfest, Burke County Fairgrounds, 145 Bost Rd., Morganton. Talk-In 147.15. Details at: http://www.cvhamfest.com

PUBLIC SERVICE - April 11, Charlotte Motor Speedway Cycling Time Trial, Lowe's Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord. Details at: http://www.ridemaps.com

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - April 14, NC4AR, General Hardee's Retreat Civil War Reenactment, Trinity, NC. Details: http://www.nc4ar.net

LICENSING CLASSES - Apr. 14 & 28, Technician Class, Raleigh. More info: www.rars.org For a full list of ongoing and upcoming classes go to: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class If you have a class coming up, please register at: www.arrl.org/register-a-new-license-class

PASSING OF W4FAL - Every month we receive notice of Hams who have passed away, and each has a compelling story as to what led them to Amateur Radio and their achievements in our hobby. While all deserve to have their stories told, occasionally we have to remind folks about the legacy of a Ham who has left his mark on all of us. Frank Lynch, W4FAL, died suddenly this month. Frank had been a NTS traffic handler and the ARES District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for Area 7. However, we'll best remember him as one of the tireless advocates fighting Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) which interfered with Amateur Radio, and his role as Frequency Coordinator for the Southeaster Repeater Association (SERA), permitting hundreds of repeaters on the air with minimal interference. Whenever any of us get on the air with relative ease in North Carolina, we have Frank Lynch to thank. Frank was 57 years old.

SILENT KEYS - We regret to report the passing of Frank Lynch, W4FAL, of Raleigh; Ernie Hufham, W4WH, of Clarkton; and John Prokop, N8MPX of Winterville.

QUA* - Hurry up and wait. Anyone who has served in the military knows that expression. It's apropos as we await the Public Notice (PN) from the FCC on the "Study on Emergency Communications by Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications", which was enacted on February 22nd as part of the Payroll Tax bill. The FCC should release its PN in the next few weeks. Once released, the FCC is expected to announce a 45 day comment period during which two different types of responses can be submitted: 1) from emergency managers about their experiences with Amateur Radio, and 2) evidence of antenna restrictions in neighborhoods with covenants, codes and restrictions (CC&Rs) and experiences from Hams who have been restricted by homeowners associations in erecting antennas. We don't know at this time the formats for submitting documentation and information, but when we do, we expect the window to be both quick and short. We urge Hams to be on standby, and to alert emergency managers that we will need their assistance in remitting information for the study. The Amateur Radio community has been waiting almost 15 years for this opportunity, which could ultimately result in some form of federal antenna relief. When the starting bell rings, please be ready to respond. *QUA is a Net "Q" signal meaning "Do you have news for me?"

73 de Bill Morine, N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

Follow the North Carolina section on its website at www.ncarrl.org and on Facebook at NC ARRL.