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NORTH CAROLINA SECTION NEWS - October, 2010

Posted Oct 22, 2010

October and November are among the busiest months in Amateur Radio, so lots to relay to you.

OPEN HOUSE THIS SATURDAY - Greensboro Amateur Radio Association (GARA) will hold an open house this Saturday, October 23rd, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Hinshaw United Methodist Church at 4501 High Point Rd. The purpose of the event is to encourage new Hams, inactive Hams or wanna-be Hams to learn how to become licensed or improve their skills. Hats off to GARA for holding this Elmer session. I hope other clubs will think about this too. GARA designed a nice flyer for the event which can be seen at www.w4gso.org If you can't make it, say hello to everyone at the Open House on the GARA repeater at 145.45 PL 100.0

UPCOMING TRAINING CLASSES - If your club is holding a class to earn a Technician or General license, please send an email about it to our section webmaster Susan Langley-Jones, WA4AKB, at ncarrl-webmaster@nc.rr.com She maintains a page on the section's website at www.ncarrl.org dedicated to clubs and training sessions. Winter is the perfect time to hold entry level Technician licensing classes, and classes for Techs to upgrade to Generals and Extras.

JOTA - Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and many section clubs and individuals participated last weekend in the 53rd annual Jamboree On-The-Air (JOTA). JOTA is one of the very few Scouting events which is international, and is open to all scouts, meaning Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Here's a summary of activities of NC clubs and individuals:

Although JOTA is always held the third full weekend in October, not all major scout events take place on that weekend. ND4MR, Dave Ritter of Wilkesboro, demonstrated Ham Radio to a large group of scouts the weekend of October 9th, and this weekend the Cleveland County Amateur Radio Society (CCARS) and the Shelby Amateur Radio Club (SARC) will have special event JOTA station K2BSA/4 at the Centennial Redezvous Camporee at Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Shelby, where an estimated 5,000 are expected to attend. Many thanks for showing our youth the value of Ham Radio, and have your club plan to host a JOTA station next year October 14-16, 2011

FAIRLY GOOD - Fall is the time for county fairs. Congratulations to the Kinston Amateur Radio Society, which took 1st Place, Educational Booth, at the Lenoir County Fair.

SENIOR MOMENT - Hats off to 96 year old Weldon Fields, W4AJT, of Greensboro, who was just appointed as an ARRL Official Emergency Station (OES). This is no ceremonial appointment. Weldon is active on the Tar Heel Emergency Net and served a two hour shift as Net Control Station during the HurrEx drill in May. In June, Weldon was honored by the Greensboro Amateur Radio Association (GARA) for his 80th year of holding an Amateur Radio license. Congratulation, Weldon!

SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST (SET) - the NC ARES SET will be conducted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 0900 for a duration of 2+ hours. Currently available information is available at http://www.ncarrl.org/ares/set2010.html . Note that additional details will be added as the exercise date approaches. Please look at that info on a regular basis and remain informed. County ARES groups are not required to participate in the State SET, but it is encouraged. Note: this year's SET will be a very different event from most of the SET exercises from recent years.

NC ARES WESTERN MEETING. - The annual NC ARES Western Meeting will take place on October 30th in Morganton, NC from 0900 -1300. This meeting will cover some new subjects, such as WebEOC and updates about ongoing projects such as Winlink and ICS training opportunities. Information about that meeting may be found at http://www.qsl.net/kd4ozi/DEC/STATE%20MEETING%202010%20WB.htm.

SILENT KEYS - Byron King, K4NGJ, of Raleigh as the result of a motorcycle accident

HAMFESTS - Sunday, November 21, 8 AM - 4 PM JARSfest, Johnston Amateur Radio Society, American Legion Complex, Hwy 301, Benson. Talk-In 147.27 and 146.97

PUBLIC SERVICE - Nov. 7, City of Oaks Marathon, Raleigh; Nov. 13, Beach 2 Battleship iron distance Triathlon, Wilmington area; Nov. 21, Makin' Room For Turkey bike ride, Raleigh. Sign up to volunteer at www.hampublicservice.org Organizers for public service events are encouraged to file an ARRL Public Service Activity Report at http://www.arrl.org/fsd-157-public-service-activity-report

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - Oct. 23, Lexington Barbeque Festival 1200-2200Z, 14.250 and 14.050; Oct 23, 22nd NASCAR Day Festival, Tri-Count ARC, 14.270 and 7.208.

SEPTEMBER NTS REPORTS - QNI (Net station check-ins) 2,858, dn 84 or 2%. Messages passed - 464, dn 37 or 7%. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 277, KI4YV 238, W2EAG 198, W4DNA 101, WK4P 99, W3HL 88, W4TTO 57, KE4AHC 43, K8SKX 19, NC4VA 18. AUGUST PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) NC4VA 168, W4DNA 140, K4IWW 130, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 105, KI4YV 90.

ARES - Members, 753, up 78 or 11%. ICS credentialed - 245, up 35 or 16% DEC/EC reports - 37 out of 100 counties (down 2). ATTN ECs and DECs - if you're not filing your monthly reports, your ARES members aren't included in section reports.

LAST WORD - CONTESTING FOR THE REST OF US. Contesters are a special breed, and a breed we should look up to. The biggest contests of the year in terms of activity are coming up: the "November Sweepstakes". The CW portion is November 6-8, and the Phone version is November 20-22. When you hear a seasoned contester in action, you are hearing the essence of Amateur Radio. Cool, concise, efficient and meticulous are adjectives which describe them. Contesters are many times the ones we admire when we wish we could become better operators. Like anything in life, contesters have worked hard to achieve their success. What's more interesting is that in more casual day-to-day operating, contesters still stand out as exemplary operators. Their habits spill over to normal operating. If you want to become a better operator, there is no substitute for getting on the air, becoming a better listener, and trying a contest or two. But where to begin? Here are some suggestions:

First, if you have expanded HF privileges as a General or Extra, devote an uninterrupted block of time to an upcoming contest. The November Sweepstakes are overwhelming, but you will hear contesting at its utmost. Concentration could net you some unexpected QSOs you might not otherwise get. If you can handle Sweepstakes, you can handle any contest. Listen to segments an hour at a time so you won't burn out. Soon you'll begin to see patterns and rhythms which will help you.

Next, work your way up to the pace of Sweepstakes. State QSO parties are a wonderful starting point. In CW, there are some 4 hour sprints that will really help your CW skills to improve. An excellent source for all kinds of contests, especially ones for rookies, is WA7BNM's Contest Calendar at http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal

Finally, in North Carolina, 46% of all Amateur Radio licensees are Technicians. Many are seeking a migration path to motivate them to General. With the upper bands opening up again, 10 meter contesting is making a comeback. Techs have the grandfathered Novice CW privileges plus HF SSB privileges 28.300-28.500 MHz. Try a 10-10 contest. More info at http://www.ten-ten.org Also, the VHF Sweepstakes are January 22-24. Try some 6 meter or 2 meter sideband. According to the "Most Wanted Grids" map at http://www.arrl.org/files/file/FFMA/Most%2520Wanted%2520Grids%25202007.pdf, North Carolina is home to three highly desired Maidenhead grids: FM25 and FM26 in the Outer Banks, and FM13 at Kure Beach, Fort Fisher and a portion of Bald Head Island. Have your club sponsor a "DXpedition" in a rare grid or close to home, and open up the world of contesting to Technician licensees.

Getting on the air is the best prescription to becoming a better operator. Happy Halloween to all, and be safe. C U DN THE LOG.

73 de Bill
Bill Morine, N2COP
ARRL North Carolina Section Manager
For the latest news about Amateur radio in North Carolina, go to the section's website at ww.ncarrl.org and on Facebook at NC ARRL