Ian N8IK find
Understanding LF and HF Propagation
RSGS Propagation Committee

November 2014
Rick – K4ASX Editor

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 November 14, 2014  at 3600 Wheeler Ave.  Just off Duke Street in Alexandria about 1 block west of Quaker Lane.  We start the meeting at 7PM with our program and follow with a short business meeting.

This month’s program is uncertain.  If N4TCW is available, I’ve asked him to talk about the HackDC bunch and what they have been working on.  If not, we still have the formal election of officers for 2015 and planning for next year.

Dinner prior to the meeting will be at Atlantis (Bradlee shopping center of Rt. 7 just east of 395) with folks starting to gather about 5:30.  Our guest speakers get a meal on the club.


Our program was Bryan Dorbert, N3ST vice president of the Middle Atlantic Repeater Council (T-MARC).   Bryan is also the frequency coordinator.  Bryan provided a run down on how T-MARC works to allow us to share our VHF/UHF and other spectrum.  With each repeater taking up two frequencies,  it is important that they be DE conflicted so we minimize interference between clubs and areas.  T-MARC has been doing a great job.

Next Meeting

I’ve asked Lee N4TCW to talk to us about Hack DC.  He may or may not be able to attend.  If he cannot attend, we will hold our elections and do some planning for 2015.

December  Meeting 

The December meeting (December 12th)  is our annual Christmas Party.  This year, thanks to Ian, N8IK, it will be at Fiona’s in the Kingstown Shopping Center.  If you have not R.S.V.P.ed yet call Ian and tell him you plan to attend (N8IK@arrl.net) .

The club usually recognizes members who have done something special during the year.  If you have an idea for an award,  please send your idea to Rick, N4ASX, (N4ASX@Arrl.net)

Next Year’s Programs

We are trying to find NEW programs.  We hope to get a few from Amateur Radio Research and Development (AMRAD), maybe one from FEMA,  one from our DEC,  Something on Antennas, a project or two.

We will be supporting the Washington’s Birthday Parade,  carpooling to hamfests, Field Day and maybe a Fox Hunt or two.

Got an idea for a program or for an activity, let us know.


I only have two more of these to write. I have been president of the club for the past two years, and I was secretary for two years before that. I don’t think I’ve done great, and I haven’t done terrible. I’m probably going to be remembered as a Millard Fillmore category president.

Really, it’s not that hard. The guys doing the training work harder than I ever have, as well as our ARES representative, and the guys who put Field Day together. I think the only requirement for the office of president is that you have been a ham for 3 years. The next time someone asks if you want to serve in a club office, ask what the job entails rather than just automatically running away. The club members will appreciate it. However, my club pension and $1.79 will buy be a pack of twinkies, so nobody is in it for the money.

For my accomplishments, I can’t think of anything right off hand. No major initiatives were required or done. The last two Field Days had city government representatives (last year, councilwoman Del Pepper, and this year, another councilman and the mayor of Alexandria himself).

I can claim *some* credit, since

It was my job as president to invite them. I don’t think my “President’s Corner” articles will be considered literature in the class of Hemingway or Steinbeck (unless we’re referring to Iggy Hemingway or Fred Steinbeck).

At least I didn’t do anything dumb like declaring that we were going to have a QRP-only Field Day.

I realize that not everyone can make it to every meeting, but we would be glad to see more of you if you could come occasionally. You may find an opportunity to serve that would be appreciated by the club, and make you feel all warm and fuzzy, too. The next thing I know of that’s coming up is in February, when we normally assist the city with the George Washington’s Birthday Parade. If you have a 2-meter HT, you have all the equipment you need.

The club election is going to be at the next meeting. I will turn over my gavel to the next president at our Christmas party, which will be at Fiona’s Irish Pub in Kingstowne. I ate there for lunch one day, and I was impressed. I hope to see everyone at the meeting and the party.

73, — Tom Kirby KJ4FUU
President, Alexandria Radio Club


Above are our current President’s words.  Tom underestimates the work he’s done.  For two years, he’s made sure that the club is running well.  Without his efforts and his participation,  it’s very easy for a club to go into decline.  Tom does not drive, but he’s been willing to participate in all of our public service activities.  He’s been very active in getting on all of our repeaters.

Far from being Millard Fillmore he’s been more like Teddy Roosevelt he speaks softly (QRP) and carries a big stick (efforts that show us that the hobby is multifaceted!

The job of a club officer is to manage.  Find members willing to do the work needed.  It is a lot of work.  Many hands make light work, but without his push,  the work falls to those few.   Tom is right to encourage all members to participate actively in the club.  The club is made up of all of us, the OLD HANDS and NEWBIES.  Once in a while I hear someone say “The Club should do this or that”  To me that’s a volunteer!

Tom,  Thanks for your work over the last several years (two as president and a few years in other jobs) and welcome to the past president’s club and to the peanut gallery.

While I’m at it, thanks to Larry KK4CBL for jumping in when needed, for Erik for his efforts and for Ted who braves the fund raising efforts.

Special thanks to Jack, K5OTZ for chairing our successful Field Day.  It is one of the biggest efforts of the year and he got a lot of us out and got a great place for our event this year.

73 Rick N4ASX


Many of us just helped out with the 39th Marine Corps Marathon.  This is the BIGGEST and MOST PUBLIC event in the area for amateur radio.   It is also one of the best practices for emergency services.

It’s a ALL DAY event and you never really know what’s going to happen at your assigned position.   The net set up is somewhat more complicated than our normal operation.  Two hams were asked to leave the Pentagon ground by a person who claimed to be part of Pentagon Force Protection Agency telling them that they did not have a permit to operate on the Pentagon Reservation and had to depart.  This is being checked out and will not happen again!

This is also a great time to check out your go kits.  For me I learned that misplacing a simple DC power distribution block could cause great problems.  I was lucky that a sharp eyed Navy Chief (KP6FFP I think) spotted in in the grass under the table at 6AM.  The newest revision to my go kit is a Rig Runner bolted to the shelf in the power box.

Early next year we will have folks show off their go kits.  I know that Don KI4D, Ian N8IK and a few others have go boxes.  Just something to think about.

Thanks to all who volunteered for the MCM.  The feedback I got from Marines, Navy folks and others tells me that we are GREATLY appreciated.   We may be amateur radio operators, but there is no doubt about our professionalism with radio operations.

73 Rick N4ASX

Hamfests –

We have hit the winter slow period for hamfests.  The next one in the area is Odenton, MD, so keep an eye out for that.  Richmond Frostfest is scheduled for Feb 7, 2015.

A couple hamfests have made big changes.  The Vienna Wireless Society’s Winterfest is moving to March 22, 2015, according to the VWS website.  The Baltimore ARC’s hamfest is moving to Father’s Day, June 21, 2015 and the location is in Upperco, MD.   More details to follow.

Training -

Our class kicked off with 22 people in attendance and we have maintained most of that number. We are getting a lot of good questions from the students which is a sign of how engaged they are.

We look forward to hearing them on the air in December and early next year.

Plans are being made for the next class starting in March and ending May.

Contests -

November 15 thru 17 – ARRL Sweepstakes, SSB portion.  The exchange is fairly complex, serial number, precedence (A, B, M, Q, S, U), your callsign, check (year licensed) and ARRL section.  So, my exchange with N8IK would be:   N8IK 001A KA4GFY 79VA.  Some radios w store both voice and CW strings in a keyer. Use the memory keyer on your radio to store everything from the precedence to the end.  Then, you are only sending the other station’s callsign and the serial number.  This is a great contest for working the US and Canada.

November 29 and 30 – CQ WW DX Contest, CW portion.  Exchange is RST and CQ Zone.  We are in Zone 5.

December 5 through 7 – ARRL 160 meter contest.  Work as many stations on 160 as possible.  Exchange is a signal report your ARRL/RAC section.

December 6 – Skywarn Recognition Day.  While not a contest, the goal is to work as many of the participating NWS stations as possible.  The exchange will be the weather conditions at your location.

Club Repeaters – 

The Alexandria Radio Club owns more repeaters than other clubs in the area.  We have repeaters on every ham radio band between 6 meters and 23 cm.  Here is a great opportunity to try a new band.  With the exception of the 23 cm repeater, all our repeaters are commercial grade equipment which should run for many years with minimal work.  The 23 cm repeater is constructed from 2 Yaesu 23 cm mobile radios with a controller in between.  All the repeaters provide good coverage in Alexandria and the surrounding area.

A big thanks to KI4D who spearheaded an effort to promote new activity on our 1.25 meter and 33 cm repeaters with arranging for a group buy of Alinco DJ-G29 handhelds from HRO.  Be sure to give these two repeaters a try.

73, Rich, KA4GFY

Social Events 

Monday Night Half Price Burgers – There is a group that gets together at Shooter McGee’s (Duke and Paxton Streets) on Monday evenings at 6:15 PM. A good burger and soft drink runs about $11.00.

FROSTFEST – Saturday, February 7, 2015 with 10,000 sq. ft. exhibition space under one roof at Exhibition Hall at the Richmond Raceway Complex.  The Frostfest website at http://www.frostfest.com has all the details. One large floor of commercial vendors space, flea market sellers, and club tables! VE testing, forums, meetings, and presentations on the second floor with a new and improved QSO Lounge.
Erik Misavage, KI4BXU <ki4bxu@arrl.net>

Erik has reservation for Cabin 10 at Bear Creek Lake State Park (Cumberland County, VA) for weekend February 20th thru the 23rd, which coincides with the ARRL DX Contest (CW) and same cabin reserved for March 20th thru 23rd for the VA QSO party. The cabin is a 2 bedroom unit (1 queen bed and 2 single beds).

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