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NORTH CAROLINA SECTION NEWS - OCTOBER, 2013

Posted Oct 31, 2013

Remind ARRL members they can get delivery of this monthly newsletter by logging into their member profile at http://www.arrl.org/Users/edit#!/edit-info-email_subscriptions and clicking on "News and information from your Division Director and Section Manager". This newsletter is not copyrighted, so it can be reproduced and used in club newsletters or forwarded to anyone. Current and past issues of the North Carolina Section Newsletter can be found on the section's website at www.ncarrl.org

WELCOME CLUBS - A big hello to the Foothills Amateur Radio Club of North Wilkesboro, the newest ARRL club in the North Carolina section. Also, renewing its charter after a period of inactivity is the Watauga Amateur Radio Club in Boone. They become respectively the 68th and 69th actively affiliated ARRL clubs in North Carolina.

WAKE ISLAND DXPEDITION FINALLY ARRIVES - The government shutdown the first two weeks of October prevented the Wake Atoll Commemorative DXpedition from arriving on its originally scheduled date because the small Pacific atoll is controlled by U.S. authorities. The group finally got the green light and will be QRV as K9W beginning this Saturday, November 2nd, and will be on the air until November 15th. Three Carolinas DX Association (CDXA) members are team participants: Lou Dietrich, N2TU, and Dick Williams, W3OA, both from Mooresville, and Joe Blackwell, AA4NN, of Lake Wylie, SC. Latest news on the DXpedition can be found at wake2013.org

MORE BALLOONS - Western Carolina University's Physics Dept. will launch Catamount 6, another in its high altitude balloons series, this Saturday from the Jackson Co. airport about 9:30 AM. The balloon, which is tracked through APRS, is projected to reach a height of 100,000 feet before it bursts, and its payload will parachute to earth, expecting to land somewhere between Statesville and Gastonia. You can follow the balloon and its estimated two hour flight on www.aprs.fi

ARES WESTERN BRANCH ANNUAL MEETING will be Saturday, November 2nd at the Higher Education Center of Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. For more details, go to www.kd4ozi.org

SIMULATED EMERGENCY TESTS - Dates will be announced shortly for the SET exercises in November and December. Go to http://www.ncarrl.org/ares/set2013.html for the latest information. There will be emphasis on digital modes, such as Winlink using PACTOR modems and Winmor, and for the first time peer--to--peer modes MT--63 and Olivia. (See QUA commentary below).

PUBLIC SERVICE TRAINING - The newly created North Carolina Public Service Net will conduct two consecutive Wednesday nights of Net Control training at 7:30 PM on November 13 and 20. See details below on frequencies on the Carolinas 440 Link System.

PUBLIC SERVICE - For an update on Public Service opportunities in North Carolina, visit the "Ham Public Service - NC" group in Yahoo Groups at groups.yahoo.com/groups/hpsnc, and join its weekly net heard in the Piedmont and the eastern part of the state on the Carolina 440 Link System net Wednesday nights at 7:30 PM. To find a repeater near you, visit the Carolina 440 Link System webpage at http://www.carolina440.net Nov. 3 - City of Oaks Marathon, Raleigh. Nov. 24 -- Making Room For Turkey Ride, Raleigh. Details at www.rars.org/public-service.php

FROM STEM TO STEAM - Many Hams have heard of the STEM educational movement (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), but Wake County's Hilburn Academy sponsored "STEAM" night on October 24th, with the letter "A" meaning "Art". Demonstrating fast motion Amateur Radio Television (ATV) during STEAM night was the Triangle Amateur Television Association (TATA). Thanks to TATA's Mark Freeze, WD4KSE, Rodney Radford, AK4CH and Woody Woodward, K3VSA, for showing a different mode of Ham Radio to kids.

ZOMBIE GIRLS - In the spirit of Halloween, the Greensboro Amateur Radio Association (GARA) and the Orange County Radio Association (OCRA) teamed up with the North Carolina Girl Scout showcase Ham Radio during the "Zombie Apocalypse" on Saturday, October 26th at a district camporee in Archdale. The scouts used Echolink to speak with Hams around the country, and several scouts wanted to learn more about getting licensed.

CELEBRATING 100 EPISODES is Ham Radio Now, the webcast produced and hosted by Cary's Gary Pearce, KN4AQ. You can catch all 100 episodes at http://arvideonews.com/hrn Congratulations to Gary and his team -- Jeff Wittich -- AC4ZO, Cliff Broughton - W4FT, and Cyndi -KD4ACW, Gary's supportive and long suffering YL, as Gary himself admits.

CONTEST CORNER - June ARRL VHF Contest and Field Day results expected next month

MEDIA HITS - The Gaston Gazette in its October 12th edition told how CDXA club members were having trouble getting to Wake Island for the K9W Wake Island DXpedition because of the government shutdown. Ham Radio was called "Low--Tech and Reliable" in article about the Cabarrus Amateur Radio Society (CARS) and ARES in the Concord Independent Tribune. New Bern ABC affiliate WCTI--TV carried a story about the Maysville Hamfest on its website.

HAMFESTS - Nov. 17, JARSfest, Benson American Legion Bldg., 605 N. Wall St., Benson. Talk--In 147.27. Details at www.jars.net

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - Nov. 9, Dupont National Forest Rescue Drill, W4GTC, Flat Rock, NC. Special event HF station will be part of this drill. More details at www.gfdyodas.com

LICENSING CLASSES - Nov. 7 - Dec. 19, Skyland, General level class. Details at http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-class Note: if your club is offering a licensing class, please register it at www.arrl.org/register-a-new-license-class

FREQUENCY CHANGE - The nightly Carolinas Net - Early Edition (CNE) has gone back from its summer spot on 7114 KHz to its regular frequency of 3573 KHz at 1900 local.

NTS SEPTEMBER SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT - QNI (Total Check--Ins) 2222. TOTAL MESSAGES PASSED 662. STATION ACTIVITY REPORTS (SARs) K4IWW 239, W2EAG 218, W4DNA 184, AK4RJ 140, WB4ZIQ 137, WK4WC 123, WK4P 115, KC4PGN 89, W4TTO 72, KK4BVR 43, W3HL 42, KE4AHC 39, WB4Y 38, K4JUU 35, KJ4JPE 32, N2RTF 24. PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL (PSHR) KK4BVR 230, W4DNA 155, WB4ZIQ 155, WK4P 150, WK4WC 140, KJ4JPE 132, K4IWW 130, W2EAG 110, K4JUU 103, AK4RJ 100, W4TTO 100, N2RTF 94, WB4Y 82.

SILENT KEYS - We regret to report the passing of the following Hams: Nick Conigliaro - N2FWL, Swansboro; David Keith - K4TQH, Fuquay--Varina; Raymond Upchurch - W4GXT, Raleigh; Benton Blalock - WA4CHZ, Norwood; Robert Hedrick - KI4TTX, Oak Island; Jake Smit - AA4DC, Deep Gap; and Dr. Joe "Peck" Garner - WD4DMV, Boone.

QUA* - "IS THERE ANYONE THERE...ANYONE?" This October 30th marks the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles's famous radio rendition of the science fiction novel, War of the Worlds. Most know of the chaos which ensued when Welles's production failed to insert ongoing disclaimers. (One of the reasons we say, "This is only a drill" frequently during ARES and AUXCOMM exercises.) It's still chilling dialogue even three quarters of a century later, especially after the Martians have destroyed much of earth and we hear the plaintive cry of a Ham pleading, "2X2L calling CQ. Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there... anyone?" Many times I feel like 2X2L as I drive around North Carolina and put out a call on local repeaters. With the exception of some regular nets, most repeaters are not only quiet, but I suspect not even monitored. Not only is this a shame, but it's potentially dangerous, especially if someone needs help. What I find surprising is that designated repeaters are quiet before regularly scheduled club meetings and exam sessions. I was a guest at a club meeting and wanted to alert the group I would arrive a few minutes late. No one came back to my calls on the machine associated with the club hosting the meeting. At a recent exam session, I'm glad I had an HT because a Ham looking to upgrade couldn't find the exam location and luckily I was monitoring. We all need to listen more, but especially before and after Ham related events in case someone has questions. Also, remember to bring your HTs to a meeting or session in case there's inquiry traffic. It seems our cell phones have replaced our mobile rigs and HTs, and we need to get back to basics for the good of all Hams.

DIGITAL DUTY -- This autumn's section Simulated Emergency Test (SET) exercises in November and December will have a new emphasis - digital modes. Like all electronic communications, EMCOMM is evolving. The nation's cell infrastructure has matured and now exceeds landlines in reliability. Hurricane Sandy confirmed the new reality. So what role can Amateur Radio emergency communications play in this new environment? Where emergency communications remain challenging is in rural areas where cellular coverage is spotty. According to the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, 85 of North Carolina's 100 counties are considered rural, and almost 5 million, or over 50%, of the Tar Heel state's 9 million residents live in rural counties. With vast distances to cover, digital modes will increasingly complement voice communications in providing reliable and trackable communications with government agencies. I encourage all ARES and AUXCOMM operators to learn to become proficient in current and emerging digital modes, which will become the future of EMCOMM.

73 de Bill Morine ARRL North Carolina Section Manager

*QUA - CW Net procedural signal (Prosign) meaning "Do you have any news for me?" Follow the ARRL North Carolina section on its webpage at www.ncarrl.org, on Facebook at NC ARRL and on Twitter at ARRLNCSM