W4HFH-ARC

 W4HFH Field Day 2014
JOSEPH HENSLEY PART, ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA
CHAIR HAMS: Jack (K5OTZ) and Rick (N4ASZ)
Team Leaders: 75/80 Rich (KA4FGY), 40 Ian (N8IK), 20 Harry N4CWP, and 15 Tom (KJ4FUU

Alexandria Mayor Euille (Right) on the Radio

Harry N4CWP (Left) and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille (Right) on the 20 M Radio

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Alexandria Boy Scouts Team with Alexandria Radio Club Members
by Don Lewis – KI4D
 Don (KI4D) teaching Radio Merit Badge at BSA Camp Powhatan

Don (KI4D) teaching Radio Merit Badge at BSA Camp Powhatan

Over 100 Scouts have received Radio Merit Badges during the past year with the help of Alexandria Boy Scouts and Radio Merit Badge Counselors from Alexandria Radio Club (ARC).

Colin speaking about his QSO with W5BIII on the USS Orleck

Colin speaking about his QSO with W5BII on the USS Orleck

In late June, Scout Colin Baird, a member of Troop 4077, assisted ARC member Don Lewis, KI4D, with Radio Merit Badge sessions at Boy Scout Camp Powhatan resulting in over 40 Scouts earning Radio Merit Badges.  Colin, who had already been awarded the Radio Merit Badge, told each class how exciting it was to earn his Radio Merit Badge while in a QSO with W5BII on the USS Orleck, a Museum Ship in Lake Charles, Louisiana, during Museum Ships Weekend.  The USS Orleck was one of over 100 museum ships participating in amateur radio during Museum Ships Weekend, 2014. It just so happened that Colin’s QSO with the USS Orleck was conducted with a Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge Counselor who was very excited to be talking with Colin.  His contact resulted in Sam Nelson, WA5VDM, sending Colin a beautiful certificate verifying his QSO.  Sam spared no effort to rush Colin’s certificate, which was immediately presented at a Scout Court of Honor along with his Radio Merit Badge.

Colin receives his certificate for QSO with W5BII on the USS Orleck

Colin receives his certificate for QSO with W5BII on the USS Orleck

During the spring of 2014, Scout Nicholas Clevenger, Troop 993, assisted ARC Radio Merit Badge Counselors Don Lewis, KI4D, Steve Wagner, W8RJH, and Lee  Ciereszko, N4TCW, with three separate Merit Badge Jamboree Day events resulting in over 60 Scouts earning Radio Merit Badges.  Nicholas, also known as Nick, is also a General Class ham.  For each class, he demonstrated the power of SSB HF ham radio by contacting DX stations as far away as Russia and Spain using portable equipment in the classrooms.

Last fall, Steve and Don combined forces at an annual Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air event while Steve conducted Radio Merit Badge sessions for approximately 15 Scouts.

Steve (W8RJH) teaching Radio Merit Badge at BSA JOTA Event

Steve (W8RJH) teaching Radio Merit Badge at BSA JOTA Event

This is good news for ARC and the amateur radio community as a whole.  While Scouts are earning their Radio Merit Badges, they learn about 50% of what they need to know to earn a FCC Technicians License.  Potentially this gives them a jump start into amateur radio, bringing much needed younger interest and energy to the amateur radio hobby.

Register Here for W4HFH Fall Training Session to learn & grow in ham radio

AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR TRAINING CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT
TECHNICIAN AND GENERAL LICENSE

Beginning:  Tuesday September 30, 2014   FCC Exam:  (10 weeks) December 6, 2014
Start Time:   19:00 hours until 21:00 hours ( 7 PM to 9 PM)
Location: Alexandria Police Department HQs, 3600 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA  (Just off Duke Street about 1 block west of Quaker Lane)
Cost:  ARRL Study Book $30.00 + FCC Exam Fee $15.00 + Misc. Study Class Material $5.00 = $50.00

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

Chief Volunteer Instructor: Rich KA4GFY assisted by cadre of able and willing club member instructors who teach their discipline subject.

Student Syllabus covers 400 question pool topics from which 35 questions make up license exam including ARRL produced PowerPoint Topics and Film Clips portraying historical evolution of radio communications.  In addition, all exam questions can be previewed online with practice exam without cost.  Learning Morse Code is NOT a requirement, but is encouraged.

FCC Title 47 Telecommunications Part 97 Amateur Radio Service Federal Regulations
(Up-to-date July 14, 2014) 

Sign up for 39th Marine Corp Marathon is open

The new site maintains a database  of last year’s information as well as changes that you make this year.  If you need to make a change, log back into http://www.mcmham.org and make your changes, no more having to reenter everything.  This is also the site where we will be placing files for downloads.

At the end of the ham form, is a link into the Marathon sign up page.  You need to continue onto the MCM site and fill out their form.  Until you do both sites, you are not signed up…

ARC-SHORTS July 2014
Rick N4ASX – 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 AR UP AND RUNNING – HAM IT UP! Get on the air!

NEXT CLUB MEETING

Our next meeting is July 11, 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 will be a rundown of D-STAR tutorials  provided by Rich, KA4GFY and a short recap of Field Day.  I would also like to suggest that the club look for a container or old trailer to use to store club equipment and think about the procurement of pelican or other protective boxes for our club HF radios.

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.

JUNE  MEETING MINUTES

We had two programs.  Erik, KK4BXU, provided a good brief on the ARRL in-coming DX bureau.  Sending and receiving QSL cards to confirm those rare countries can be expensive.  As we are seen as ‘wealthy’ by most of the rest of the world,  it is expected that we send an SASE, nice card and sufficient funds to cover the return postage.  Some active DX stations will have a US QSL manager, so that can save some cash.  Most active DXer’s will now send $2 with their outgoing cards, so this can be expensive if you just worked a contest and made a few hundred DX contacts.  Using the bureau is a way to save on this.  You make up your cards and send them to the OUT GOING bureau at ARRL.  You also need to find your IN COMING bureau volunteer and make sure he or she has 6×4 or 8×10 envelopes with postage on hand.  As your cards come in from various DX clubs around the world, they are sorted and sent to each volunteer and they then put cards for you in your envelope until it’s full or it’s been worked on for a few months and then they send it to you.  The postage for one envelope will cover many cards.  This method is slow, but it does work.  If you don’t have envelops and postage on file then your cards stop there. Some of the bureau volunteers will look you up on QRZ and send you a note that you have cards, but…

The other way to go is Log Book of The World, but that does not give you nice cards.

Thanks Erik, great program.

73 DE Rick/N4ASX

PRESIDENT’S column

We had another successful Field Day, thanks to the efforts of our curmudgeonly coordinators, Rick N4ASX and Jack K5OTZ, who made sure things were set up on time, and Steve W8RJH who provided some excellent (and reasonably healthy) food. The location was great, and we had a couple of visitors from the city government: Mayor William Euille and Councilman John Chapman. Another change from years past was the absence of sugary sodas, successfully fending off and invasion of bees and

yellow jackets. I saw one bald faced hornet, but he soon got bored and left. Cold water was just as welcome. I suggested the use of headphones next year, and Jack pointed out to me that using headphones would keep interested bystanders from hearing the action. I would still like to use them when conditions get rough, but his point is well taken. I would like to see them as a part-time option next year, but since I won’t be president then, my opinion won’t count.

Speaking of the presidency, now is the time to start thinking about who the next club president will be. We will also need a new treasurer, since both Steve W8RJH and myself are not eligible due to the term limits specified in the bylaws. Larry KK4CBL is still eligible to be vice president, or he can run for one of the open offices. The same goes for Erik KI4BXU, our current secretary.  The office of president requires that the holder has been a ham radio operator for 3 years.

The 13 Colonies Special Event ran from 7/1 to 04:00 7/7. Running QRP, I missed a clean sweep by 1 (North Carolina was strong, but had too much static in the environment for me to get them on 40m on the last night of the contest). I did get both bonus stations.

My biggest surprise was getting an eQSL from an SWL in France reporting reception of my signal on 7/5 @ 02:53 on 40 meters! My antenna isn’t very high off the ground, so I was expecting DX on 40m to be out of the question (I did almost get Utah in a contest once). I did get two stated (CT and GA) on CW. I had never worked K2G in Georgia in the past 13 Colonies events. You’re never to old to learn: I couldn’t figure out why the S9+ station in Massachusetts couldn’t hear me on 15m, one of my best bands, until I

looked at the display and saw I was still operating split. The transmit VFO was in CW mode, so I think the only thing I sent was the longest dash. I hope I didn’t interfere with the Georgia station too badly. Sorry! At least I was only using 5 watts…

Thanks again to our Field Day team, and everyone who turned out to setup, operate, and take down. I did send thank you e-mails to the Mayor and Councilman Chapman for coming.

73,– Tom Kirby KJ4FUU
President, Alexandria Radio Club

Field Day

This year’s Field Day (FD) was my sixth one. It was the best yet, as we had no problems. The Club worked the radios for the first time on my shift for the whole 24 hours of Field Day. We made 763 contacts which is a record for the last six years. Alexandria Mayor Euille visited us, and Jack, K5OTZ put him on the radio: Harry (N4CWP) and Ian (N8IK) had him working stations in Ontario and Kansas. They were real contacts for FD hams elsewhere. Again, Steve’s food brigade was great. This Field Day was finally a club event, not an event for someone’s personal FD. Our radios were operated continuously.

This year’s Field Day event was one for the record books.  With the exception of the 40 meter station, all of the radios were owned by the club.  There were several reasons for this, the first being that no-one’s personnel gear would be at risk should we have bad weather or a careless operator.  The second being that if we were to be asked to provide HF communications in the event of a real emergency,  our members / volunteers should have some familiarity with the gear owned by the club.  The one radio we had problems with was the IC-746.  We can discuss the repairs at the July meeting.

We went 4A vice 5A this year with an idea that fewer radios would cause less work and be more effectively on the air for the full 24 hours.  This seemed to work out well.  Each band had some good and not so good propagation.  75 meters (Ten-tec Jupiter, in the trailer, full size dipole up on ball field lighting towers) worked well be the band was not very productive until late in the evening but turned in about 210 contacts.  The 40 Meter band (Ian’s IC-706MkIIG,  ¼ wave vertical and running CW) had ____ Contacts.  The 20 meter station (FT-920, and Harry’s water pipe vertical) racked up _____.  10 and 15 meters was not as much in the running.  From 2 PM Saturday to 9 AM on Sunday the station only made 34 contacts on 15 meters and nothing on 10 meters.  But, at 9AM the 15 meter band started to open and by 2 PM Sunday there were 115 contacts in the 15 meter log.  Looks like this year may be a record for contacts and with lots of CW activity; we may have a record score.

Special thanks go to Steve, W8RJH, volunteered to be the chief cook and bottle washer this year, given his vast experience with feeding Boy Scout leaders.  We all ate more than we should and Steve work full time.  Next year we need to get him ON THE AIR.

Club turnout was less than we expected, but we still had many visitors and some new prospects for the club.  Maybe the new park was harder to find.

Field Day is an event that does many things.  It’s an experiment in how well we can establish communications in support of any type of disaster without commercial power, without installed and tested antenna systems and without all the comforts of home.  Looking at each band you will see that for any given time we could have established contact just about anywhere we needed to.  Field Day is also a team building exercise and it is a learning about radio exercise.  Many of our members do not have access to an HF station, Field Day given these members and some of our NEWBIE members a good introduction.

Thanks to Jack, K5OTZ, for herding the cats on Field Day. Thanks; Tom, KJ4FUU (10-15), Harry, N4CWP (20), Ian, N8IK (40) and Rich KA4GFY (75/80) for setting up the stations.   Thanks Ted for the flow of lemon aid and to Steve for all the great food which makes this event most enjoyable.

73 Jack K5OTZ and Rick N4ASX

Hamfests –

July 17 – 19.  ARRL Centennial in Hartford, CT.  This is a once in a lifetime event with training on Thursday, July 17 and the hamfest itself on Friday and Saturday.  The event includes tours of ARRL HQ and W1AW.  There are hotel rooms available.  Check out the ARRL’s website for details.

The Baltimore Radio Amateur Telecommunications Society is holding their annual hamfest on July 20 at the Howard County Fairgrounds.  Its easy to get to off I-70 and state route 144.  There are usually lots of bargains to be had, even the occasional Collins radio for a good price.

The first Sunday in August (August 3) is the annual Berryville hamfest, always an Alexandria RC favorite.  Its one of the few hamfests still held outside under the trees and the best part is the Ruritans barbeque.  The food line forms early.

Training -

Our nest class begins September 30 and concludes with the exam on December 4.  The cost remains $50, which includes the book, test fee and class materials.  If you know of someone who wants to become a ham, send them our way.  As always, they are welcome to attend our meetings.

Contests -

  • July 12 and 13 – IARU HF World Championship.  Both SSB and CW.  Exchange is the RST and ITU zone number.  We are in zone #8.  This is a great contest to work lots of DX.
  • July 19 and 20 – CQ Worldwide VHF Contest.  6 and 2 meters.  Exchange is your 4 digit grid square.  We are in grid square FM18.
  • August 2 and 3 – North American QSO Party, CW.  Exchange is your name and state.
  • August 2 and 3 – ARRL UHF Contest.  222 MHz and above.  Exchange is your 4 digit grid square.

73, Rich, KA4GFY 

T-MARC ADVISORY 

We are asking that you please distribute the following to members of your organization:

The cross-band repeat functionality in many of the VHF/UHF amateur radios these days can provide a useful function in a number of scenarios. However, a number of cross-band repeaters have shown up using un-authorized repeater input, un-authorized repeater output, or the national simplex calling frequencies (52.525, 146.520, 223.50, 446.000, etc.) This practice interferes with repeater operation and mis-uses the simplex frequencies. Also, please remember that proper station identification is required per FCC Part 97.119.

T-MARC The Mid-Atlantic Repeater Council
www.tmarc.org

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.

 EVENTS PLANNED FOR AMATEUR RADIO ENTHUSIAST 

 

Virginia Beach Hamfest – September 6 2014 – Va. Beach Convention Center
The time is fast approaching this awesome event.  Tickets are on sale now..see contact on attached flyer.  Tables on sale for the tailgating area.  Lots of good speakers at the forums.
VE Test sessions going on during the day.
Come and spend the date buying goodies, meeting New friends and renewing old friendships.
www.vbhamfest.com for further info as this site starts to come to life with information as the date get closer.  Douglas Duggan – PIO –  Douglas.duggan@vbcert.net - Cell: 757-416-8782

 

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