Coordinator: Rich Adamy, KA4GFY


First Class Date:  Tuesday March 7, 2017 and ending May 9, 2017 (10 weeks).
The FCC Exam will be given on the last session in May.
Class Start Time: 1900 hours until 2100 hours ( 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM)
Teaching Site: Alexandria Police Department Headquarters, 3600 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA (Just off Duke Street about 1 block west of Quaker Lane)
Cost: ARRL License Manual $30.00 + FCC Exam Fee $15.00 + Class Material $5.00 = $50.00. We prefer cash or checks at the first class since PayPal charges us transaction fees.

Licensing Classes

For additional information contact Rich at (703) 969-6615 or ka4gfy@arrl.net.

Rich is assisted by cadre of founding faculty instructors who were electronic and communications specialists in local industry and/or military training centers.

The FCC License Class Syllabus covers 400 question topics from which 35 pool questions make up the license exam. Classes incorporates ARRL PowerPoint Topics & Film Clips portraying historical evolution of radio communications. License practice exam questions are available on the Internet.

Learning International Morse Code is NOT a FCC license requirement, but is highly encouraged.

FCC Title 47 Telecommunications Part 97 Amateur Radio Service Federal Regulations

Download (PPTX, 7.54MB)

Rick Bunn - N4ASX - ARC Shorts Newsletter Editor

Rick Bunn – N4ASX –  ARC Shorts Newsletter Editor

ARC-SHORTS Newsletter

April 2017

Club Repeaters:  53.13 (-) , 147.315 (+) , 444.6 (+) , 224.82 (+) , 927.6 (-25Mhz), and 1282.600(+). All repeaters (PL 107.2)  DSTAR 145.38Mhz, 442.060, and 1284.600



Our March meeting is April 14th at 7 PM at the Police Dispatch Center at 3600 Wheeler Ave.  Just off of Duke St on the south side half a block west of Quaker Lane.  Dinner at Atlantis Restaurant at about 5:30 prior to the meeting.  This month’s program will be provided by Ian, N8IK on DMR.  Many of us have purchased these radios with varying degrees of success.  We will have a laptop and the programming software for the CS750 radio.




Our March program was a practical guide to Packet and APRS.  If you have a Kenwood APRS radio you already have a first class packet station. TNCs (unit between your computer terminal and the radio can be found used at hamfests for good prices.  The most common is the Kantronics KPC-3 or 3plus.  If you’re going to use Packet as a way to get into WinLink 2000 networks, then you may want to look into a 9600 baud TNC. What I’ve found is that the Kenwood radios with built in TNCs are a better deal. 


Many of our members have purchased DMR or Digital Mobile Radios.  This mode is similar to the systems used by police and fire.  Some of our members have been figuring out how to use these radios.  Handhelds and Mobile are available in the $200 to $300 range.  New DMR repeaters are being installed all the time and may provide another way to play on UHF.  The radios also work as FM radios on 440Mhz.  We will get a program together as soon as we figure out how to make use of these new radios.

Club Activities

One of our activities is the weekly 2 meter net.  Every Thursday at 8PM on oujr 147.315 repeater.   We have a club with over 50 members, but the check in counts are around 10.  We do not have a time limit so as more folks can check in, check out their 2 meter gear and practice net procedures.  Further our club only meets once a month, so the net is a great venue to get to know other in the club, find out what others are doing in ham radio and share our thoughts on ham radio. 

We start with check in and then we go around the list twice.  This give members a chance to react to what other have said during the first run. 

Please try to check in if only to hear what’s up in the hobby.

Other actives include a bunch of members who go out Monday evening at 6:30 PM for burgers, but from time to time the group goes to a new location.  Find out by marking up on, you guessed it, the 147.315 repeater.  The more the more fun. 

Some members have lead trips to various weekend field trips. Got an idea bring it up at the next meeting. 

Club’s exist for the common interest.  Lets find some common interests.

If you ever figure that ham radio has run it’s course and you start to put your gear under dust, it time to find other ham radio interests. 

Membership – We are not real big on membership cards, but more on participation.   If you do not get this ARC SHORTS but read it on our web site (W4HFH.ORG) PLEASE let the club officer know and they can add you to the list-server.  We try to keep the span to a minimum. 

HAMFEST – Great places to get used gear, parts etc, but also good to see what going on.  We carpool to most of the hamfests in the area.  Don’t want to drive, catch a ride.

Contests – We are not really a contest club, but they can be a real education and a bunch of fun.  Only way to get good is to try it!

73 Rick N4ASX


If you have ANY questions, ask us at the club meeting or on the net and we will find the answers and maybe add it to the next ARC SHORTS.

Topics include: other modes, D-Star, DMR, antennas, older radios. All up to you!

73 Rick


It’s not too early to start planning for Field Day.  Chief Smedley has agreed to sponsor us so we can use the park for both Saturday and Sunday.  We hope to get the same location as we have had for the last three years.  Erik, our president, has agreed to be our Field Day chairperson. 

We have a club of 50 members, the club provides the food, so plan to come out and operate!

This is a combination of an HF contest and emergency exercise.  There is no need to be an experienced HF operate, this is the best training you can get on HF.  We only have four or five station and we can use the club’s HF gear if folks don’t want to bring out gear.  The club has one generator and some of the members have generators so no power problems. 

Logging will be using laptops and N3FJP Field Day software which works very well. We have a club license so no need to buy the software.  All you need is to operate for a few hours and/or log for another operator.  Bring the kids, we will put them ON THE AIR.

For the last several years, Steve has been our food chair, but this year we are looking for a new volunteer.  We’ve not seen Steve for a while.

We have the park with the help of the city EMS chief and Parks and Rec.

73 Rick

Hamfests –

The next hamfest in our area is the Vienna Wireless Society’s Winterfest in Annandale, VA on March 19.   The Alexandria Radio Club usually gets a couple of tables, so if you have radio equipment for sale, feel free to put it on the table.  It’s a nice hamfest and the best part is, it’s local.  The location is the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College, just west of I-495 on Route 236.  Talk-in will be on the 146.910 MHz repeater.

Later in March is the Frederick Amateur Radio Club’s Fredfest on March 25.  It will be held in the Social Hall of the Independent Hose Company on Baughmans Lane in Frederick.

It’s not too early to start thinking about this year’s Hamvention.  As you probably already know, it has moved from its home of 50+ years to a new location at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, OH.  Everybody will be getting used to the new layout.    The Hamvention website has a tour of the site and ARRL posted a video tour provided by DX Engineering from a drone.  It looks like a fairly large place.

I have 4 rooms at the Holiday Inn Fairborn, same place we were at 2 years ago. Two of the rooms are spoken for.  If you are a QRP enthusiast, this hotel hosts the Four Days in May QRP event.  The plan is to leave on Wednesday, May 17 in order to visit the US Air Force Museum on Thursday.  The 4th building was opened last June.  If you have even a passing interest in aviation, this is a great place.  

Training –

Our current class starts March 7 and end May 9.  If you know of someone who has always wanted to get into ham radio but hasn’t been able to do it on their own, here is their opportunity.  If they miss the first class, it’s not too late to get going. 

As always, the exam is always the last class.  We don’t believe in making our students hunt down an exam session after the class. 

The best part is the cost is still $50.  How often can you say a price hasn’t changed for several years?  

Contests –

  • March 11 and 12 – Oklahoma QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • March 11 and 12 – Idaho QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • March 12 – North American Sprint, RTTY.  Exchange is other station’s call, your call, serial number, your name and state.
  • March 13 and 13 – Wisconsin QSO Party.  Exchange is your state.
  • March 18 and 19 – Virginia QSO Party.  Exchange for VA stations is serial number and county (or independent city).
  • March 18 and 19 – Louisiana QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • March 25 and 26 – CQ World Wide WPX Contest (SSB) – RS and serial number.
  • April 1 and 2 – Missouri QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • April 1 and 2 – Mississippi QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • April 8 and 9 – New Mexico QSO Party.  Exchange is name and state.
  • April 8 and 9 – Georgia QSO Party.   Exchange is RST and state.
  • Be sure to listen for W4HFH in the VA QSO Party.  KI4BXU and KV3W will be operating from Scott County, VA.  That is way down in the Southwestern tip of VA. 

Repeaters –

While not necessarily repeater news, the Alexandria Radio Club recently acquired a Kenwood TK-981 33 cm mobile radio for the club’s communications trailer.  These radios can be had on the used market rather inexpensively.  The best part is they go into the 33 cm ham band just by programming the new frequencies.  They are normally rated for 15 watts out, but there is a modification for 35 watts out.  If there is enough interest, we might look around for more.  

If you are a DSTAR user, don’t forget you can link any of the 3 voice repeaters to any reflector.  The 2 meter repeater is defaulted to Reflector 62C, but the 70 cm and 23 cm are not connected to any reflector until somebody links them. 

The club repeaters are all up and running.  Make 2017 the year you try a new band.

As always, ham it up and get on the air.

73, Rich, KA4GFY

Future Programs

  • March 10th  –  Practical Packet and APRS
  • April 14th  –  Fox Hunting BRING YOUR GEAR to share tech.
  • May 12th  – CRYSTAL SET RADIO CONTEST (do your research now and set up your team)
  • June 9th  – Field Day Planning
  • July 14th  – City EMS (Tent.)
  • August 11th  – Other digital radio systems (Need help with system fusion, P25 and DMR)
  • September 8th  –
  • October 13th  –
  • November 10th  –  
  • December 8th – Annual Christmas / Holiday Party

Possible programs: City EMS and Radio system, D-Star part II, Antenna Modeling, Contesting HF/VHF,  AMSAT,  AMRAD, RF Interference (power company), Logging programs,  Dayton follow up, Marine Corps Marathon.

Let me know what you want to hear about.  HELP !!!!  If you have an idea for a program, please let Rick know and he will try to find someone to provide the program.  If you known someone you would like to have present a program, let me know Rick, N4ASX

Social Events

Monday Night Burgers – There is a group that gets together at 6:15 PM on Mondays at a local burger joint.   Mark up on the 147.315 repeater and join them for the fun.  Mark up on the repeater about 6PM and join the group.  The location does change!  IF you have a good spot, you might make a suggestion.



Amateur Radio Parity Act

Download (PDF, 243KB)

UPDATE FROM: Don, KI4D February 11, 2016

This is a short update on progress of HR#1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act in the House.  The House Bill is attached.  Over the last couple of days, the bill markup received passage on a voice vote in the Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.  This weekend the at the ARRL National Convention, February 12-14, at the Orlando HamCation, ARRL representatives will be on hand to help visitors to generate letters of support to members of Congress.


You are invited to Amateur Radio Roundtable, a new series of W5KUB.com live weekly webcasts.  The webcast is every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM EDST (0200 UTC Wednesdays) at W5KUB.COM. To watch click on Live Events and sign in with your existing User Name and Password.

Amateur Radio Roundtable is an informal discussion of all aspects of ham radio with the intent of allowing viewers to watch this live webcast or be a guest via Skype or Google Hangout.  A question and answer session with viewers will follow each topic.

The show covers all aspects of ham radio; such as, balloon launches, Satellite, go-kits, emergency communications, SDR, digital modes, DXing, home brewing, and much more. This week’s guests include Arnie Shatz, N6HC, a team member of many great DExpeditions; Eric William discussing SRD; and Franc Dunatov, ZL1SLO, discussing Special Event operations from New Zealand.

Looks like fun!   <http://www.arrl.org/npota> http://www.arrl.org/npota
Lots of activation possibilities in this area.

All – this is a critical time for survival of hopes that amateur radio will have the same rights and privileges as, or parity with, commercial radio interests regarding antenna installations in communities across the U.S.   ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has issued an urgent call for League Members to contact Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation members representing their states to urge their support of S. 1685, the US Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015.  Action on this legislation in the Senate is scheduled this week.

Neither Virginia Senator Warner or Senator Kaine is on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, however, they could be persuaded to be a co-sponsor S. 1685 as is Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who is also not a member of the Committee.  See link below for ARRL details.

If the legislation becomes law, radio amateurs living in antenna-restricted communities would have the opportunity to negotiate with homeowners associations to install antennas that reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communication.

Taking the time out to contact our Virginia Senators for support of S. 1685 would contribute to passage of this legislation, and may contribute to amateur radio capabilities to support to the public in case of emergencies.   Phone numbers are listed below,

  • Senator Mark Warner
  • 475 Russell Senate Office Building
  • Washington, DC 20510
  • Phone: 202-224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine
  • 231 Russell Senate Office Building
  • Washington, D.C. 20510-4607
  • DC Phone:    202-224-4024
  • DC Fax:    202-228-6363

–Don, KI4D

Be sure to copy and submit the practice emergency message each week.

Sample format

ARRL Radiogram Sample

ARRL Radiogram Sample

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