Coordinator: Rich Adamy, KA4GFY


First Class Date:  Tuesday March 6, 2018 and ends on May 8, 2018 (10 weeks).
The required 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

February 2018

Club Repeaters: 147.315 (PL 107.2), 444.6 (PL107.2), 224.82 (PL107.2), 53.13 (PL107.2) 927.6 (-25Mhz, PL107.2), and 1282.600 (PL 107.2), DSTAR 145.38Mhz, 442.060, and 1284.600 ALL ARE UP AND RUNNING – HAM IT UP! Get on the air!



Our next meeting is February 9th, our program will be provided by Mark Braunstein WA4KFZ. Mark used MESHNET as an experiment during the last MCM.  Our meeting is held on the 2nd Friday of each month at the Alexandria Police Dispatch Center at 3600-Wheeler Ave.   Just off Duke Street just east of Quaker Lane.  The meeting starts at 7 PM and ends at 9 PM.  Many of our members have dinner at Atlantis Restaurant in the Bradlee Shopping Center on the south side of Rt 7 just east of 395 most arrive around 5:30. Our program presenters are invited to join us.


Our January meeting did not have a program, but it was an important business meeting with Ian, N8IK going over our 2017 finances and reviewing his proposed 2018 budget for the club.  Due to the past dues process, the majority of our members renew their memberships in January.  Dues are $25 per year.  All who use DMR and DSTAR are encouraged to make a donation to support the DSL line that makes DMR and DSTAR possible.  We pay $70 per MONTH for that internet connection and we also have some other yearly expenses to support DMR and DSTAR.   If you use or plan to use either mode please consider making an additional donation.     

Meeting Minutes

Date: January 12th, 2018
Time: 7:00pm

Presentations: None, but anyone who had projects shared what they had or were working on.


  • Treasurer: Dues collection, the annual budget was discussed and approved of
  • Membership: 55 current members (not including any new members)
  • Repeaters: All up and running
  • Training/Education: Next class is soon
  • Trailer: All good and running

Net Controls:

  • 1/18/18: Young Ian, KM4KLD
  • 1/25/18: Rick, N4ASX
  • 2/1/18: Rich, KA4GFY
  • 2/8/18: Zea(the Bonanno Clan), KM4GMP(and Q)

Other Business: D-star talk/conversation and discussed the President’s Day Parade

-Casey Bonanno  aka KM4GMQ/Midna

President’s Corner

Many of you have already paid your dues at January’s meeting and I thank you for that.  The services we provide as a club (our numerous repeaters, classes, testing, fully equipped radio trailer, public service events, table space at hamfests, etc.) are not free, and we rely on membership dues to continue to support our community.

Annual dues are $25, and membership runs month to month, meaning if you pay in March you are covered until next March.  Our treasurer, Ian N8IK has made it so easy to pay your dues, if you can’t make it to a meeting you can use PayPal (http://w4hfh.org/join) and if you find yourself at a meeting without cash we also have a Square account to accept your credit card. If you haven’t joined already, please consider it.

Also, our numerous repeaters are getting lonely!  They need some RF to keep them warm and happy.  Please use them frequently and often, just think about those poor electronics sitting out in the cold just waiting for your signal.

Speaking of sitting out in the cold, the GW birthday parade is coming up on Feb. 19, and they need hams.  Details on volunteering coming soon.

73, Monica, KC2IAY

P.S.  Here’s another silly video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OidowSpbxJo&list=PLLJ9vid785-aVathnNkd0lsIsoHLnrk9_&index=6

Richmond Frostfest

We had a great club turn out at the Frostfest.  Nice day for a drive but a bit cold, but the Frostfest was indoors, so…

DMR was selling well, but the price of mobile DMR is not as cheap as the handhelds.  Many of us in the club used both the DMR digital simplex frequency 441.0 and it’s value added to add 440Mhz analog (FM) channels to your code plugs so that you can talk to those who do not have DMR.  We have a default FM simplex on the output of our 440 repeater 444.6 it also worked well at the hamfest.

Lots of older gear for sale and a good showing by commercial vendors.   Seems like most of us left at different times.  Jack and I took the scenic route back going up US 1 and stop by Green Top to look at toys for our other hobby.  

Future Programs

  • February 9, 2018 — Washington’s Birthday follow up, After action on Marine Corps Marathon use of MESHnet.
  • March 9, 2018 – VA QSO PARTY Program
  • April 13, 2018—  WINLINK 2K, WINLINK RMS and WINMOR May 11, 2018 – Dayton Hamvention June 8, 2018— Field Day Prep meeting July 13, 2018 – August 10, 2018 – September 14, 2018 — October 12, 2018 – Planning for 2019, Nominations, budget etc.
  • November 9, 2018 — Elections
  • December 14, 2018 – Annual Holiday Party. 

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 know someone you would like to have present a program, let me know Rick, N4ASX Hamfests –

The next hamfest on the calendar is the Vienna Wireless Society’s Winterfest on March 18, 2018.  It’s located at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College just west of the beltway on Little River Turnpike (Route 236)    It’s a nice hamfest close to home.  If you have equipment that needs a new home, we always have a few tables to sell your excess equipment. Here is the link:  http://viennawireless.net/wp/events/winterfest/

Its not too early to start think thinking about Hamvention.  This year’s event takes place May, 18, 19 and 20.  For many years, it was held at the Hara Arena in Trotwood, OH.  It moved to a new venue, the Greene County Fairgrounds and Convention Center in Xenia, OH in 2017.  As might be expected, there were a few bumps in the road, but those are being addressed.  A few of the Alexandria Radio Club attendees appeared in a picture on EHam after last year’s Hamvention.  Here is the official Hamvention link:  http://hamvention.org/ 

As an added bonus, the US Air Force Museum is rolling out the restored B-17 bomber “Memphis Belle” in a ceremony on Thursday, May 17.  So, Thursday is museum day.  Here is a link about that event:      http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/Boeing-B-17F-Memphis-Belle-Exhibit-Opening-May-17-2018/

It always amazes me the number of hams who visit the Air Force Museum on Thursday and not just from the US.

As of press time, I have four rooms booked at the Hampton Inn Fairborn, which is right down the road from the UASF Museum and a short drive from the Greene County Fairgrounds.  I plan to order the tickets by April 15 or when the rooms are full.  Let me know ASAP if you are planning on going.

Training –

Our next class is scheduled to run from Tuesday March 6, 2018 through May 8, 2018.  If you know of someone who wants to be a ham, send them our way.  We are already getting inquiries about the next class and a few people signing up.  I can’t help but think some very positive news items about hams has raised awareness about what we do.

Contests –

  • February 12 through 16 – ARRL School Club Roundup. 
    Exchange is RST, class, and state.
  • February 17 and 18 – ARRL International DX Contest, CW. 
    Exchange is RST and state.
  • February 24 and 25 – South Carolina QSO Party. 
    Exchange is RST and state.
  • March 3 and 4 – ARRL International DX Contest, SSB. 
    Exchange is RST and state.
  • March 10 and 11 – Oklahoma QSO Party. 
    Exchange is RST and state.

Don’t forget, be sure to send in your log within 5 days after the contest ends for all ARRL sponsored contests.

REMEMBER to support the CLUB’S score for contests by providing Ian N8IK your info (Name, Callsign and Grid Square location) and submit your scores for the contests you play in.  Contesting is one way we show that we are using our frequency allocations.

Repeaters –

Our DMR repeater is now on the air.  We opted to partner with DMRVA, so we have the standard DMRVA talkgroup lineup.  The VA Statewide talkgroup appears to have quite a bit of activity, so finding somebody to talk to isn’t much of a problem.  There are even a couple of local talkgroups which mimic any other local repeater. 

Don’t forget DSTAR.  Our DSTAR repeaters do get a lot of traffic, particularly through the reflectors.  Changing reflectors is fairly easy, so if there is one you want to listen to, feel free to change it.  All we ask is you change it back after you are done.  

As I have been learning more about the workings of DMR, I see a major difference between DSTAR and DMR.  DSTAR was written by hams, for hams, while DMR was written for the commercial world.  It’s a very different environment.  However, in true ham fashion, we are making it work for us. 

Be sure to use the club repeaters and log those contacts with other club members for the year-long club QSO Party.  Each band and mode count as a separate contact. 

The club repeaters are all up and running.    As always, ham it up and get on the air.

73, Rich, KA4GFY


Our club has MORE repeaters then just about any other general interest radio club. Look at the banner at the start.  BUT, if you listen to the repeaters they are so quiet you wonder if they are working.  Rich, KA4GFY and I (N4ASX) came up with an idea.  Lots of folks played with the ARRL’s National Parks On the Air.  This was a yearlong contest so there was no rush. So we think a contest that gets’s folks in the work each other and others over a year would be fun.

To make the contest fair, we will have classes for each type of operator: 2 Meter HT only, Dual Band (2/440) only, 2 Meter Mobile/Base only, Dual Band Mobile/Base only, All bands.  Points are awarded for working club members who have been (within the last two years) or are club members.  You can work club members on each repeater, on simplex on each VHF/UHF band and work them on any mode (D-Star, Packet, PSK-31, CW, SSB, AM, etc.)  So, you can work a member many times but only once per band using the same mode.  We will go from June 10th 2017 to June 10th 2018.  We encourage the use of LOTW, but you can use any logging program or paper.  For those who are not members, they too can participate but points are awarded for working Alexandria Radio Club members.  A club member will get a point for non-members they work on our repeaters.

Hope your keeping your logs up to date.  This contest is open to all.

73 Rick N4ASX


Our next ARES training / Public Service event will be Washington’s Birthday Parade on February 19th (on the Monday president’s day holiday.).  I don’t think we will do the order of March this year, but I would like to set up APRS using APRS HTs and a display at the reviewing stand.   I have not talked to Joe Shumard (city coordinator) yet but will do so this week.

We will be using 2 meters HTs and the Trailer at the beginning of the parade and a mobile station at the reviewing stand.  Could use about 10 operators.  We will meet at the Fire Training Center (Nanny J Lee Center) off Franklin Street at 9 AM to coordinate assignments and provide the latest handouts.  Need to be on site at Parade Start/Finish by 11AM when the police close the roads down. Parade will start at 1PM  (between 12 and 1PM we will help the parade marshals coordinate the parade order and who shows up and who does not show up.

We hope to get permission to use the Mt. Vernon 146.655 (PL 141.3) repeater for the parade, but we will also use 147.315 both repeater and simplex as needed prior to parade start.  With DMR in the trailer, we may also set up on Alex Local to see how well it covers Old Town as an experiment. 

The parade ends around 2:30 or so and the club budget includes lunch afterward.  We will try to meet after the parade at Atlantis Restaurant.

More details at the club meeting this Friday.

Communications for ARES

As amateur operators, we get caught between the need to use new technology and the cost of that new technology.  One of these new technologies is DMR.  This has the ability to allow us to communicate over a network that works Statewide when needed using a DMR UHF handheld, we can also use it like a local UHF repeater.  The drawback is that is a bit more complex than regular FM.

If you have a packet TNC in your shack, and some of us use it only for APRS, you also have the ability to use WINLINK 2000.  We will have a program on WINLINK in the near future, but it’s a way to send e-mail via your packet station into the internet and receive e-mail sent to you once you are registered into the WINLINK system.  WINLINK also has HF gateways that are used when the INTERNET GOES DOWN and can also be used via internet FTP if radio fails.  TNCs can be had inexpensively and attached to your standard 2 meter FM radio.  The WINLINK EXPRESS program is free, but they would like a small donation to register. 

MESH net uses WIFI channels and modified WIFI routers to create a network covering a very wide area.  We will hear more about that at the next meeting.   Your radio for this would be your laptop with WIFI.

Just some thoughts on the progression of the hobby.

73 Rick – N4ASX

Social Events

PROPOSAL We have MORE REPEATERS than any other club in the area, but they sit unused for days even months at a time.  In order to get those who have the gear up on the air I would like to suggest that we set up a time after our Thursday night net, for each repeater.  For those who don’t know our NORMAL CLUB NET is each Thursday at the 8PM local time on the 147.315 repeater.  I know that the most of our members do not have radios for all of our repeaters, but I’m going to suggest the following schedule:  THURSDAYS 9 PM

First Thursday of the month – 444.6 (107.2) Second Thursday – 224.82 (107.2) and/or DMR (Alex Local).  The net control can work both and relay Third Thursday – 6 meters (53.13, 107.2) many of you have HF radios that work on 6 meters.

Fourth Thursday – D-STAR 2 meter 145.38Mhz W4HFH..C Fifth Thursday –  no second net.

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 suggest it to the group.

Download (PDF, 322KB)

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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