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ARRL NC Section Newsletter

November, 2015

Posted Dec 3, 2015

Happy holidays from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE) - As of November 30th, HR 1301 has 114 co-sponsors, including 5 Representatives from North Carolina: David Price (D-NC-4); Walter Jones, Jr (R-NC-3); Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10); David Rouzer (R-NC-7); and, Renee Elmers (R-NC-2). For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act (from the ARRL website)

S 1685 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 (UPDATE #1) - In June, S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 was introduced in the US Senate. The wording in S 1685 and HR 1301 are identical. Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS) introduced S 1685 into the US Senate. As of November 30th, there are 3 co-sponsors: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the original co-sponsor of the Bill; Senator Al Franken (D-MN); and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS). (from the ARRL website)

S 1685 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE (UPDATE #2) - On November 18th, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation endorsed S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015. This action means that the Bill is successfully out of committee for a vote on the floor of the full US Senate. It is not known when the full Senate vote will take place. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/view/amateur-radio-parity-act-passes-senate-committee-gains-cosponsors Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), the sponsor of S 1685 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, has praised the approval of the Bill by the Senate Committee, see http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-parity-act-senate-sponsor-praises-bill-s-committee-passage (from the ARRL website)

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 PAGE ON ARRL WEBSITE (REMINDER) - A combined web page has been setup by the ARRL to provide information related to HR 1301 and S 1685. ARRL members are urged to contact their Members of Congress in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate and ask them to sign on to the Bills as a co-sponsor. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act (from the ARRL website)

SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY 2015 (12/5) - The following report was received from Virginia Enzor, NC4VA: "SKYWARN Recognition Day 2015 officially takes place on Saturday, December 5th from 0000 - 2400 UTC. Over 100 National Weather Service (NWS) offices across the nation, including the Raleigh NWS, are expected to participate in this annual event. SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the NWS and the ARRL to celebrate the contributions that SKYWARN radio operators/spotters make to the NWS. During a 24-hour period, SKYWARN operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world. Central Carolina SKYWARN, operating under the call sign WX4NC, will join in the fun on Friday night (December 4th) from 7:00 PM EST to midnight and on Saturday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, making contacts on the WB4TQD 146.88 repeater, the K4ITL 147.105 repeater, the K4ITL 147.135 repeater, the Carolina 440 UHF Link System, IRLP, Echolink (WX3H and WX4NC), and HF (10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters SSB). Radio operators will exchange names, call signs, locations, signal reports, and a 1- or 2-word weather report. New this year is a special event certificate from the Raleigh NWS and Central Carolina SKYWARN! Instructions for obtaining a 2015 SKYWARN Recognition Day Special Event Certificate from WX4NC can be found by going to http://www.weather.gov/rah/skywarn Additional information may be found at www.centralcarolinaskywarn.net on December 1st. Hope to get you in the log! Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, Emergency Coordinator Central Carolina SKYWARN"

The following report was received from Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE: "[Here is some information on] Newport SKYWARN'S program. We will be operating on December 5th from 07:00 through 19:00 [EST] at NWS Newport. They are located at 533 Roberts Rd, in Newport, just off Hwy 70. Several of the clubs will be setting up their own radios for the contest during the day. On 2 meter IRLP, we will use the K4GRW repeater with 4903 IRLP. We will be under WX4MHX for all contesting. Chief Warning Meteorologist John Cole will be running any programs, which will include Basic Spotter training. Mr. Cole, along with Hal Austin meteorologist and Ham (NC4HA), will be giving tours of the building and answering all questions including their new Doppler Radar. 73, Janice KJ4JPE [an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer]"

The following report was received from Chris Gay, N1CRG: "The NWS office in Greer, SC will recognize their SKYWARN Spotter networks in upstate SC and the western Piedmont of NC by operating a special event station for SKYWARN Recognition Day. They will operate with the call sign, W4G, and plan to be operating on HF (80m through 10m) as well as 2m and 70cm. No set frequency at this time. They will also utilize the K9OH repeater 145.470 located on Caesars Head Mtn, which also has Echolink (K9OH-R). They plan to operate on Saturday, December 5th, starting at 7:00 AM local until later that afternoon, schedules permitting. Details on the event can be found at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/hamradio or by visiting http://charlotteskywarn.com/ Chris Gay, N1CRG, Emergency Coordinator, Charlotte Regional SKYWARN"

Thanks to Virginia Enzor, NC4VA, Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, and Chris Gay, N1CRG for providing these reports! And, thanks to all participants in SKYWARN for their service to their communities!

WX4NHC WILL BE ON THE AIR FOR SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY (12/5) - The National Hurricane Center amateur radio station, WX4NHC, will be on the air during SKYWARN Recognition Day, Saturday, December 5. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/wx4nhc-will-be-on-the-air-for-skywarn-recognition-day-on-saturday-december-5 (from the ARRL website)

SPECIAL EVENT STATION, W1Q, WILL MARK QST CENTENNIAL (12/1-15) - The special event station, W1Q, will be operating from December 1st to the 15th to honor the 100th anniversary of QST. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/december-special-event-w1q-will-mark-qst-centennial (from the ARRL website)

REVAMPED FCC WEBSITE EXPECT TO DEBUT ON DECEMBER 10 (12/10) - For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/revamped-fcc-website-expected-to-debut-on-december-10 (from the ARRL website)

ARRL INVITES NOMINATIONS FOR 2015 INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD (DEADLINE, 12/31) - Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. The ARRL established the annual prize to recognize amateur radio operators who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster. The deadline for submitting nominations is December 31, 2015. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-invites-nominations-for-2015-international-humanitarian-award (from the ARRL website)

THE 2016 ARRL FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IS NOW OPEN (DEADLINE, 1/31) - The ARRL Foundation is currently accepting applications from eligible radio amateurs pursuing higher education. In 2016, more than 80 scholarships will be awarded with amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000. One applicant will be selected for the prestigious William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship, which is presented to a high school senior pursuing a degree in business, computers, medical, nursing, engineering, or science. The application window will close at 11:59 PM EST, January 31, 2016. Transcripts must be received by Thursday, February 18, 2016. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-program (from the ARRL website)

ARRL INVITING NOMINATIONS FOR SIX AWARDS (DEADLINES, MARCH - APRIL, 2016) - The ARRL is inviting nominations for six (6) awards honoring excellence in amateur radio. The awards include: 1) the Hiram Percy Maxim Award, which honors a young amateur radio operator; 2) the ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award; 3) the ARRL Microwave Development Award; 4) the ARRL Technical Service Award; 5) the ARRL Technical Innovation Award; and, the Knight Distinguished Service Award. For further information on these awards and others, the nomination procedures, and deadlines, see http://www.arrl.org/news/nominations-solicited-for-six-arrl-awards-2 and http://www.arrl.org/arrl-award-nominations (from the ARRL website)

ARRL NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR 2016 - In 2016, amateur radio will help the National Park Service (NPS) celebrate its 100th anniversary by activating NPS units, promoting the NPS, and demonstrating amateur radio to the public via National Parks On The Air 2016 (NPOTA). For information on rules, answers to frequently asked questions, activator tips, NPOTA documents, answers to basic questions from NPS employees, the Leaderboard, list of NPOTA units, merchandise, NPOTA on social media, and latest news, see http://www.arrl.org/NPOTA (from the ARRL website)

FALL 2015 ISSUE OF RADIO WAVES NOW AVAILABLE - The Fall 2015 issue of the Radio Waves is now available. Articles in this issue include: Using sensors to explore terraforming; STEM school and academy ARC builds repeater; Community college's DIY spirit shines for ARISS contact; Amateur radio club helps Boy Scouts earn radio merit badge; Education and Technology Program news; Getting new Hams on the air: the evolution of a licensing class; Ham radio instruction for people with disabilities; Amateur Extra question pool being revised for 2016; Licensing statistics; and, Upcoming events, opportunities, and deadlines. To read the current issue, or to access archive issues, see www.arrl.org/radio-waves Thanks to Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, ARRL Education Services Manager, and Steve Ewald, WV1X, ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor, for providing this information!

WORLD RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE APPROVES GLOBAL 60 METER ALLOCATION! - The frequencies, 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz, with a power limit of 15W EIRP, were approved for allocation on a secondary basis to the Amateur Service at the 2015 World Radiocommunications Conference in Geneva. The new band will not be available until the FCC adopts the Acts of the Conference and sets up operating rules. For now, the "5 channel plan" on 60 meters will be observed. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/world-radiocommunication-conference-approves-global-60-meter-allocation (from the ARRL website)

PUTTING CONTESTING TO WORK FOR YOUR PUBLIC SERVICE TEAM - For information on the value of contesting for Hams involved in public service, see http://www.arrl.org/news/putting-contesting-to-work-for-your-public-service-team (from the ARRL website)

UPCOMING DXPEDITIONS - Early January 2016: Antipodes Island (ZL9A), see http://iotahunter.org/ Thanks to Bernie McClenny, W3UR and the Weekly DX for providing this information! January 11-26, 2016: Palmyra Atoll (K5P), see http://palmyra2016.org/index.html On island team members include Lou Dietrich, N2TU (Co-Team Leader) and Dick Williams, W3OA, both from Mooresville. January 17-25, February 1-9, 2016 (projected dates): South Sandwich Island (VP8STI) and South Georgia Island (VP8SGI), see http://www.intrepid-dx.com/vp8/index.php For information on other upcoming DXpeditions, see http://www.cdxa.org/ , click on Coming Events, click on DXpeditions Listed On NG3K.

MARTTI LAINE, OH2BH, ARTICLE ON WORKING DX PILEUPS NOW AVAILABLE - An article on working DX pileups written by renowned DXer and DXpeditioner, Martti Laine, OH2BH, is now available. For further information, see http://www.arrl.org/news/martti-laine-oh2bh-article-on-working-dx-pileups-now-available (from the ARRL website)

LICENSING CLASSES - Gastonia (NC): Technician licensing class, February 13, 2016, sponsored by Greater Gaston Radio Society, contact Tony Jones, KK4TRL by phone at (704) 827-2138 or by email at kk4trl@bellsouth.net for further information. To find upcoming classes, go to www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class Please note that a licensing 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 licensing class. Thanks! (from the ARRL website)

MEDIA HITS AND REPORTS - The following media hits and reports are included in this month's newsletter: On the Brunswick Shores Amateur Radio Club and the severe weather in October 2015, see http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/amateur-radio-club-gets-weather-frequency Thanks to Bill Turner W4WNT; Ward Newcomb N4PEX, Emergency Coordinator (Brunswick County); and, Ed Kuebert, K5EK, for providing this media hit!

On medical preparedness and communications at the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, see http://www.jems.com/articles/print/volume-40/issue-12/features/beach2battleship-triathlon- highlights-importance-of-preparedness-for-medical-response-team.html (via Google search)

The following email about the upcoming NC QSO Party was received from Marty Young, W4MY: "..... [the] NC QSO Party is now looking for 2016 award sponsors. Cost is $50 and we are looking into going back to the wood plaque in the shape of the NC state outline. The sponsor's name and/or affiliation are recognized on the plaque and on the NCQP website. Those interested should contact me by email, w4my at reagan dot com. 73 Marty / W4MY." The NC QSO Party, sponsored by Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, from 1000 EST to 2000 EST. For further information, see http://www.rars.org/ncqsoparty/ Thanks to Marty Young W4MY, NCQP Committee Chairman, for providing this information!

The following press release was received from Jim Johnson, KI4TAT: "Moore County Amateur Radio Society (MOCARS) Simulated Emergency Training (SET). Every year as part of our recertification training for Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) participation, members get together to upgrade our skills and capabilities. In early October, we visited the North Carolina Emergency Operations Center, Raleigh NC to gain familiarity with the NC state plans and objectives including communications protocol, techniques and equipment requirements, an excellent session. Subsequently in early November, teams of members inspected each of the Moore County designated shelters to confirm radio communications connectivity and standby power availability in case of disaster response. MOCARS is a group of local amateur radio enthusiasts that volunteer for a wide spectrum of community activities including the Carthage Buggy Fest, Moore County Fair, Uwharrie Ultra and 100 mile Marathons and the Aberdeen Sardine Festival. Members provide their own equipment and have capability to operate free-standing. MOCARS meetings are held the third Thursdays of each month (except December) at 7:00pm at the Moore County Health Department, 705 Pinehurst Ave., Carthage NC. Everyone with an interest in amateur radio is welcome to attend, you do not need to be licensed, only interested. The club also offers licensing study classes and examinations on odd months, the third Saturday of odd months, also at the Health Department at 9:00 AM. 2 meter nets are Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 8:00 PM on 147.240 MHz plus offset and 91.5 Hz tone. A Sandhills 6 meter net is held every Monday evening at 8:00 PM on 50.200 MHz USB. For additional information, check the club website, www.mocars.org or contact Jim Johnson-PIO at (910) 400-3019. Ham radio will be there when all other methods of communications fail." Thanks to Jim Johnson, KI4TAT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this press release!

The following email was received from Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, which has been edited slightly: "Radio Ham's PhD thesis on NVIS. [Message begins with a website link, http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2015/november/radio_hams_phd_thesis_on_nvis.htm#.Vl84j3uX87B ..... HF NVIS, Near Vertical Incidence Skywave, propagation is very important for state and regional ARES networks. The series of papers and presentations by PhD candidate Ben Witvliet, PE5B, are new sources of NVIS information, see http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ben_Witvliet/publications, for free access to several of his NVIS papers. Initial review of his conference posters may prove helpful: Conference Paper: [poster] Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) Antenna and Propagation Research in The Netherlands http://www.researchgate.net/publication/268467967_poster_Near_Vertical_Incidence_Skywave_%28NVIS%29_Antenna_and_Propagation_Research_in_The_Netherlands

Conference Paper: [poster] The Importance of Circular Polarization for Diversity Reception and MIMO in NVIS Propagation http://www.researchgate.net/publication/262372734_poster_The_Importance_of_Circular_Polarization_for_Diversity_Reception_and_MIMO_in_NVIS_Propagation

Also see -- Thoughts on NVIS circular polarization -- by PA3ECT via http://www.pa3ect.eu/start/thoughts-on-nvis-circular-polarization-by-pa3ect/ for another helpful NVIS discussion. It appears that use of NVIS circular polarization could yield significant improvement in communications reliability. Most of us use either horizontal or vertical receiving antennas, which often suffer from polarization fading.

My experiment with weak signal reception with polarization diversity may be of interest, see http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/POLAR.html Above discussions, eventual experiments and potential results with NVIS circular polarization may prove very helpful. I have all of Ben's papers downloaded and saved as I slowly work my way through his extensive discussions. Regards from Greenville. TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, W0RPK." Thanks to Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, for providing this information on NVIS!

The following email (edited) was received from Hutch Hutchison, NK0S: "Azalea Coast ARC participation Barnes & Noble's Mini Makers Fair 7 Nov 2015. Good Evening! Representatives of the ACARC who participated: H.C. "Hutch" Hutchison, NK0S; Steve Wilder, AJ4JJ; George Morse, KM4DSI; and, Jean-Paul Louis, AC9GH. Items on display included: KX3, homebrew 160M preamplifier, TV "rabbit ear" antenna modified for use on 2m and 440 MHz, DXCC certificate/information sheet, WAS certificate/information sheet, WAZ certificate/information sheet, information sheets outline what is ham radio and how to obtain a license, QSL cards, ACARC brochures, CW Demonstration, and ARRL Video. ..... Hutch, NK0S (OA4/NK0S, HL9HP, YS9HH, HP1XHH)"

In response to an email inquiry from Bill Morine, N2COP regarding the number of visitors, this email (edited) from Hutch NK0S was received: "Didn't really keep count. Store was not well populated at that time of the evening. Had a long conversation with the manager ..... and next year we could garner a longer, primetime slot if we had some hands-on things. Going to discuss ..... what they did at the Williamsburg (VA) store. Their group was there at least two hours. Great potential to put amateur radio in the public eye. ARRL might want to consider highlighting the event next year to all members/clubs. Hutch, NK0S (OA4/NK0S, HL9HP, YS9HH, HP1XHH)." Subsequently, an email communication from Sean Kutzko, KX9X, ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager, commented that this event happened too quickly to generate national support, but next year, this will be emphasized in the ARRL outreach to Maker Faire. Thanks to all Hams from the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Society for participating in the Barnes and Noble Mini Maker Faire in the Wilmington area; and, to Hutch Hutchison, NK0S, for providing this report!

The following report was received from Michael Callam, KD4MC: "With generous help from John Creel - WB3GXW, owner of the Wash_DC Echolink conference server and Ronnie Casey - K4JDR, Trustee of the Raleigh NC IRLP Reflector, the Johnston Amateur Radio Society will begin the East Coast Amateur Radio Emergency Information Net on Wednesday December 9th at 7 PM Eastern time. The net will be held on the second Wednesday of every month. Stations can connect to the net from the *Wash_DC* Echolink conference server, node# 6154 or the Raleigh NC IRLP Reflector 9210. Each month we will call upon an amateur radio operator interested in emergency service from different areas to tell what their team is doing to assist their specific location with amateur radio communications during an emergency or disaster. More information on the East Coast Amateur Radio Emergency Information Net or suggestions for future nets may be obtained by contacting either Michael Callam, KD4MC at mcallam@centurylink.net or Bob German, KB4RGC at bob@rgerman.net." Please note that the focus of the East Coast Amateur Radio Emergency Information Net is exchange of emergency preparedness information only. Thanks to Michael Callam, KD4MC, President, Johnston Amateur Radio Society and Emergency Coordinator (Johnston County), for providing this information! . The following email (edited) was received from Stan White, KI4NC: "Turkey Trot 2015. All, Public Service season has come to a close. The Hampstead Hams are appreciative of opportunities to provide communications support for charitable events in and around Pender County. We wrapped up this season by providing communications support for the 8th Annual Hampstead Kiwanis Turkey Trot on Saturday, November 21st. During the Turkey Trot, Hams accounted for 45 volunteer hours! The event was successful, in part, by the service you provided to race officials, athletes, and other volunteers. Thank YOU for making a difference! We have already been invited back for next year's race!

A special thanks to the following Ham volunteers: Bob Kiehlmeier WA3IRG, Charlie Watson KK4NJD, Dave Santacapita KK4DVS, Frank Divinie KO4FD, Jeff Conerly WB4GQO, Jeff Holmes NC4JF, Kirk Binning KD5OSN, Lucas Coleman KK4FVC, Mack Coleman KK4IRV, Max Gregor KM4HFM, Nick Zedlar KK4FYL, Stan Harts KK4WCW, Stephen Russ NI4SR, and Sue Conerly WA4SAZ. All proceeds from the Hampstead Kiwanis Turkey Trot benefit Hampstead area youth with enhancements/improvements to playgrounds, ball fields, and fitness stations. Please follow the link below to our website ..... to enjoy a few pictures of our Ham Volunteers: http://hampsteadhams.com/turkey-trot-2015/ Happy Thanksgiving and 73! Stan White, KI4NC, Hampstead Hams President" Thanks to all Hams providing volunteer services to the 8th Annual Hampstead Kiwanis Turkey Trot; and, to Stan White, KI4NC, for providing this report!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2015 - QNI (total check-ins): 1,931; Total messages passed: 383. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: W4DNA 150, WK4WC 146, K4IWW 140, KC4PGN 121, W4EAT 43, W4TTO 43, WB4ZIQ 43, AK4RJ 42, KE4AHC 37, KW4EMG 16. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 241, WB4ZIQ 175, WK4WC 165, W4DNA 155, K4IWW 130, W4TTO 100, KM4HXX 98, AK4RJ 90, KK4LGM 89. Thanks to all stations for participating in NC Section traffic activities; and, to Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information!

NET CONTROL STATIONS NEEDED FOR TARHEEL EMERGENCY NET - The Tar Heel Emergency Net (THEN) is the North Carolina ARES net on the HF bands. It is on the air every evening at 7:30 PM local time on 3.923 MHz. The purposes of the THEN are to provide emergency communications, provide training in net operations, serve as a forum for discussion, and promote fellowship among radio amateurs. Presently, additional Net Control Stations are needed. If you are involved in ARES - NC AUXCOMM activities, would like to participate in net operations, and would like to meet and interact with colleagues on the air, please consider becoming a Net Control Station for the THEN. For further information, see http://www.ncarrl.org/nets/THEN/index.html or contact me by email at w4chx at arrl dot org, or by cell phone at (919) 669-6068. (from the NC ARRL website)

SILENT KEYS - With deep regret, the passing of the following amateur radio operators is reported: John Franklin Anderson, KQ4UO (SK) of Winston-Salem; Jerry Wayne Horton, KE4QBG (SK) of Selma; Donald Edward Johansson, WA4UPN (SK) of Tobaccoville; and, Harold Leon Winter, Jr, WX6I (SK) of Waxhaw. 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 - No Special Event Stations in the NC Section are listed for the period November 30, 2015 to January 31, 2016. 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!

UPCOMING HAMFESTS AND CONVENTIONS - January 9, 2016: Winston-Salem FirstFest, Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, Winston-Salem, NC, see http://www.w4nc.com It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club's 2016 hamfest! For more information, see http://www.arrl.org/arrl-sanctioned-events QUA* - Since the end of October, I have participated in the Western Branch ARES - AUXCOMM Fall Meeting and attended the 27th Annual JARSfest 2015.

The Western Branch Fall Meeting was held on Saturday, October 31st in Morganton. The event was organized by Paul Robinette, KD4OZI, Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator (Western Branch) and Michelle Suddreth, KD4YTU; and, attended by 44 individuals. The topics and presenters included: Introduction and selected topics by Paul Robinette, KD4OZI; Status of ARES, NC AUXCOMM, and related matters by Tom Brown, N4TAB; Comments on the NC Section by Karl Bowman, W4CHX; DMR in NC by Marv Hoffman, WA4NC; the NC Communications Unit by Frank Pleshe, N3FRP; and, the ARRL National Traffic System by Hal London, WB4ZIQ. Following the meeting, there was an informal gathering of the attendees at a local restaurant. As always, it was good to see friends and colleagues in western NC. Thanks to everyone for their participation at the Western Branch Fall Meeting!

The 27th Annual JARSfest 2015, sponsored by the Johnston Amateur Radio Society, was held on Sunday, November 15th in Benson. I enjoyed going to JARSfest! The weather was beautiful, the flea market and indoor vendors had many items for sale, there were many attendees, and the food was excellent! Even though most of my time was spent at the ARRL table, Bill N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director and I had a great time interacting with everyone. Thanks to the Johnston Amateur Radio Society for putting on another, outstanding JARSfest!

Congratulations to the Red Foxes, and team member, Ro Maddox K4HRM, for winning 2 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals at the NC Senior Games State Finals Basketball Tournament at East Carolina University in Greenville! For further information, see the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club newsletter, page 7, at http://n4lnr.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/LARC-11-2015C.pdf. Ro K4HRM is the editor of their newsletter, and she does a great job with that as well!

Finally, I am pleased to announce that there are 2 new ARRL-affiliated amateur radio clubs in the NC Section: the West Stanly Middle School Radio Club of Locust; and, the North Carolina Radio Group of Cherryville. Congratulations!

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! I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming hamfest or club meeting. Thanks for everything you are doing for amateur radio and your community. Finally, have a happy and safe holiday season! 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)