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NORTH CAROLINA SECTION NEWS - November 2012

Posted Dec 1, 2012

(NOTE: Section Manager Bill Morine, N2COP, is traveling outside the U.S. at the time he was writing this newsletter. Some information contained in it may be inaccurate or missing due to his limited internet access overseas. Bill will be back in NC soon and any errors or omissions in this newsletter will be covered in the December newsletter.)

FIELD DAY RESULTS ARE IN - Congratulations to the 79 clubs and individuals who posted their Field Day results to ARRL. Top prize this year in North Carolina goes to the combined Orange County Radio Association and Durham FM Association’s Class 9A series of stations which garnered 17,385 points. Overall winners by class in North Carolina were: CLASS CALL CLUB POINTS 1A N4A Potomac Valley RC 5,526 2A K4OO Smith Chart 8,666 3A N4UH Rowan ARS 4,092 4D K4SWR 454 5A W4MOE Western CARS 4,940 6A KJ4YEN 2,264 8A W4NC Forsyth ARC 7,828 9A W4EZ OCRA/Durham FM 17,385

Here’s a breakdown of NC stations by Class: 1 - 36, 2 -2 1, 3 - 13, 4 - 1, 5 - 3, 6 - 2, 7 - 0, 8 - 1, and 9 -2. It’s a pleasure to see seven Class "F" stations in NC this year. Class F are stations located in served agencies, such as county emergency management and American Red Cross chapters. Details on all results can be found on ARRL’s website at http://www.arrl.org/results-database%3Fevent_id%3D37444 Start planning for 2013 Field Day now, which will be June 22-23.

DECEMBER FIRST IS SKYWARN APPRECIATION DAY - NOAA’s SKYWARN weather program is approaching its 30th anniversary, and in North Carolina, this group has proven its worth with severe weather reporting over the years. The Raleigh and Newport National Weather Service (NWS) offices will celebrate SKYWARN APPRECIATION DAY on Saturday, December 1st in both locations. All Hams who’d like to learn more about SKYWARN are encouraged to visit these two locations or contact their regional SKYWARN team, of which there are seven in the Tar Heel state. The website for Central Carolina SKYWARN is http://www.centralcarolinaskywarn.net and Newport SKYWARN is http://www.mhxskywarn.org , and the SKYWARN webpage for the North Carolina section is www.ncarrl.org/skywarn

WCU STUDENTS WORK WITH HAM RADIO GROUP ON SUCCESSFUL BALLOON LAUNCH - On Saturday, October 13th, physics students at Western Carolina University successfully launched ‘Catamount 3’, a hydrogen filled balloon from Jackson County Airport. Earlier balloons ‘Catamounts 1 and 2’, which used GPS and cell phones only, were launched but never found. Catamount 3 used Ham gear designed by the Haywood County ARC and WCU’s Amateur Radio club. The balloon reached a height of 15 miles and traveled 43 miles from the launch site. You can read more about this exciting experiment at http://thereporter.wcu.edu/2012/10/wcu-community-work-together-to-launch-research-balloon Catamount 3 is the second high altitude balloon experiment using Amateur Radio within a year. In 2011, a student at Asheville Day School successfully launched a balloon.

MEDIA HITS - Chapel Hill couple Dan Sears, KD4AGQ, and YL Marisa, KJ4TAL, had a well deserved profile about them in the Fall, 2012 issue of MS Connection, a publication of the North Carolina Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. Dan and Marisa have a trailer outfitted just for Ham Radio which they use when they donate their time and services to many charitable events. Dan and Marisa exemplify thousands of Hams across North Carolina who generously volunteer to help many deserving non-profit organizations. Congratulations and thanks on behalf of all NC Hams to Dan and Marisa.

NTS OCTOBER TRAFFIC REPORT - TOTAL CHECK-INS (QNI) 2782, TOTAL MESSAGES LISTED 823. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) W4DNA 323, K4IWW 294, WK4P 284, W2EAG 188, KJ4RUD 148, KC4PGN 84, W3HL 80, KK4CWT 60, KF4OCU 58, KS4PG 47, KK4BVR 42, WB4ZIQ 41, W4TTO 40, KE4AHC 32, AK4RJ 31, KJ4JPE 31, K4JUU 29, N2RTF 24. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KJ4JPE 216, W4DNA 190, KK4BVR 170, WK4P 140, WB4ZIQ 135, K4IWW 130, AK4RJ 111, W2EAG 110, KJ4RUD 100, W4TTO 100, K4JUU 99, N2RTF 91, KS4PG 80, KF4OCU 78.

SILENT KEYS (SKs) - We regret to the report the passing of the following NC Hams: Ed Redington, W3NZ, of Wilmington; Robert Keitz, KC4RUU, of Cary; Herman Stone, K4GHH, of Hendersonville, and Jim Morris, KA4MPP, of Woodleaf.

QUA*- Three items this month I’d like to comment on. First, I had a few Hams ask what we in the North Carolina section could do to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. As I shared with them, the "2" in my callsign, N2COP, comes from when I lived in New Jersey in the 1980s. As a former corporate commuter to and from Manhattan, I am familiar with almost every city and town hit by Sandy. I told the NC Hams who asked me if we could do something that there are so many wonderful disaster response organizations, it would be unfair to single out one. Instead, I encourage all NC Hams to think about organizations which can use support, especially in the aftermath of a large storm like Sandy. Disaster recovery experts will point to studies that the needs of those impacted last months and years after the event, so it’s never too late to give something. Secondly, the Wall Street Journal has had three articles since Sandy on the overall poor state of emergency communications response. Most criticism has been leveled against cell phone carriers for defeating in court a 2007 FCC regulation which would have required cell sites to have a minimum 8 hour back up. Many towers are engineered for a 4 hour traffic load under emergency power. The third story in the series has been the most interesting, recommending that the federal government set up emergency communications teams under the National Guard. Although none of the articles ever mentioned Amateur Radio, many of the components in providing the relief are already contained in ARES and especially in the newly evolving federal AUXCOMM program, which coordinates ARES, RACES and MARS. AUXCOMM has proven very successful in North Carolina, and more states are adopting this model. I recommend everyone to read the Wall Street Journal article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323330604578143073045710876.html and think more about the future of emergency communications. Finally, I encourage all Hams to reach out in the spirit of this Holiday season, put any grudges aside, and celebrate our hobby and each other. Several years ago I got caught in a dispute between whether to call a club’s year end celebration a "Christmas" party or a "Holiday" party. The issue became ridiculously absurd with Hams taking sides over an evening with few religious overtones. What should have been a convivial dinner enjoying one another’s company turned into a Hatfield-McCoy feud which lasted a couple of years. Ham Radio is a hobby and a public service which embraces people from all walks of life. We should celebrate our differences and different interests, and learn from one another. There is no better symbol to represent the universality of the season and to unite us fellow Tar Heels than the fact that the White House’s National Christmas Tree this year comes from Jefferson, NC in beautiful Ashe County. Whether you say ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Hanukkah’, something else or nothing else, I wish you and your family my very best for the season ahead.

73 de Bill Morine, N2COP ARRL North Carolina Section Manager