Coordinator: Rich Adamy, KA4GFY


First Class Date:  Tuesday March 7, 2017 and ending May 9, 2017 (10 weeks).
The FCC Exam will be given 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 specialist in local industry and/or military training centers.

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

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

January 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 January meeting is January 13th at 7PM 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 Don, KI4D on antenna poles.  We will have a practical packet program in February.


On Monday, February 20, 2017…George Washington’s Day.

The annual George Washington Birthday Parade is held annually on the third Monday in February. It winds through a one-mile route along the historic streets of Old Town on President’s Day. It is the oldest and largest, thanks to thousands of participants. More programs scheduled throughout the birthday weekend make it the cornerstone of a month of celebratory events.

WE need volunteers to help with the parade this year.  We will set up the club trailer at the start of the parade and need about 6 operators using handhelds to work with the organizers to make sure we get any changes to the parade order of march to the trailer just as the parade starts.  It’s a short parade so the guys in the trailer will send the changes by either D-Star of Packet to the Reviewing stand.  Those who work with the parade marshals are welcome to go up the parade route and meet up at the reviewing stand.  We meet at the Fire Training Center at 10AM,  Move to the start point or the reviewing stand No LATER THAN 11 AM ,  Police close the roads for the parade at 11AM.  Parade starts at 1PM and ends about 2 or 2:30. We than find a warm place to have a late lunch.

Send Rick, N4ASX@arrl.net an e-mail if you can volunteer.  If we have two members with APRS handhelds we can provide the reviewing stand with position info for the start and finish of the parade.  N4ASX has one that he can loan out.

73 Rick N4ASX


Except for the current bitter cold, hope everybody is getting settled into the new year. We’ll have quite a few important topics to cover during this Friday’s meeting: budgeting/dues, repeater issues, upcoming activities, and I’m sure more will spring up. If you have anything to add, please show up and offer your contributions. Hope to see you Friday.

Erik Misavage, KI4BXU


Jan 8 2017


OK—-here we go again. Virginia legislators are scheduled to convene again in the next several days.  There is a Senate Bill # 860 which again is trying to prevent the operation including texting and other operations affecting two way radio while operating a motor vehicle. The bill as you can read below—-shows an exception for citizens band radio and other special equipment and situations——-HOWEVER IT DOES NOT EXEMPT AMATEUR RADIO OPERATION.

It is important you contact your local Virginia Legislator and request the they MODIFY the wording in Senate Bill #860 —–TO INCLUDE AMATEUR RADIO ——IN ADDITION TO CITIZENS BAND RADIO —AS AN EXCEPTION IN ITEM B-5, AS NOTED IN THIS EXISTING BILL.2017 SESSION

Offered January 11, 2017
Prefiled December 7, 2016

A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to hands-free operation of handheld personal communications devices in motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.
Patrons– Surovell; Delegate: Kory
Referred to Committee on Transportation
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

  1. That § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
  • 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.
  1. It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to: unless the handheld personal communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner 1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or 2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.
  2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
  3. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties; 2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped; 3. The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or 4. The use of a handheld personal communications device for purposes of navigation or generating audio transmission, provided that such device is physically mounted to a vehicle; 5. The use of a citizens band radio; or 6. Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency.
  4. A violation of this section is shall be punishable as follows:
  5. As a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250; or 2. If such offense occurs concurrently with an additional traffic offense set forth in Title 18.2 or 46.2, or a valid local ordinance governing traffic, or proximately results in an accident, it shall be punishable as reckless driving as set forth in § 46.2-868.
  6. For the purposes of this section, “emergency vehicle” means:
  7. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer while engaged in the performance of official duties; 2. Any regional detention center vehicle operated by or under the direction of a correctional officer responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation; 3. Any vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles, when traveling in response to a fire alarm or emergency call; 4. Any emergency medical services vehicle designed or used for the principal purpose of supplying resuscitation or emergency medical services relief where human life is endangered; 5. Any Department of Emergency Management vehicle or Office of Emergency Medical Services vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation; 6. Any Department of Corrections vehicle designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections, when (i) responding to an emergency call at a correctional facility, (ii) participating in a drug-related investigation, (iii) pursuing escapees from a correctional facility, or

(iv) responding to a request for assistance from a law-enforcement officer; and 7. Any vehicle authorized to be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights pursuant to § 46.2-1029.2.

  1. E. Distracted driving shall be included as a part of the driver’s license knowledge examination.

Please respond to this needed change in this bill by contacting local legislator ASAP since this is an active matter that AFFECTS EACH AND EVERY AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR IN VIRGINIA. 

Dr Joe Palsa
Virginia Section Manager


Hamfest season is upon us.  If you’re a new ham, then hamfests are a great way to find good deals on both new and used gear.  BUT, Cavoite Emptor – let the buyer beware.  When I get started in the hobby in the 1970s, if a ham at a hamfest said the radio worked, it worked.  Now not so true.  These days we do have hams who will palm off a piece of gear that has failed or needs repair and tell you “it worked the last time I used it”.  Another line that should send up warning bells is “It’s from an estate of a friend and I’m doing the family a favor”.  By itself, this has NOTHING to do as to whether it works or not.  Most hamfest organizers have a table to allow you to fire it up and check to see that the radio works.  TEST IT!   I have a fondness for the old Kenwood TR-7950 radios, They were made in early 1980s, only cover 2 meters, and do not come with tone encoding unless you have the optional 3 tone board, no tone decoding, and only 21 memories.  BUT, they have excellent receivers and put out 45 watts. I’ve purchased two where the seller told me that the only problem was the memory battery, but when I got them home, one had a dead microprocessor and the other had a burned out final amp.  You can buy the tone board for $80, but for the price of a 7950 plus the tone board (which both sellers said was installed), you very close to the cost of a new quality dual band mobile. 

So, how do you NOT GET TAKEN FOR A RIDE?  Go to the hamfest with some of the more experienced club members / Elmers.   Some radios are golden and worth buying used and some were not a good deal when they were new. 

We have a list of hamfests and the club usually has a group going to them so you can join the carpool and get the help you may need. 

73 Rick N4ASX


We had a good time at the December party but we did not have any awards as no-one offered any suggestions.  There were many members who have contributed greatly to our success as a club in 2016 that should be recognized.  I will not get all of them here, but I would like to thank some of them.

First our club officers, they keep the club moving forward and have done a great job.

Rich, KA4GFY, continues to be our chief instructor, Lead volunteer examiner, and club trustee.

Ian, N8IK, Is always there to provide help to other members and sets a great example of what is best in amateur radio.

Don, KI4D – Our connection to Dr. Fong for one of our better programs, our CERT lead and fellow VE and instructor.

Mark, KM4GML is one of our newer members but twice this last year came up with really great programs. 

Hamfests –

The next hamfest in our area is the Maryland Mobileers Hamfest in Odenton, MD on January 29.   I have found some really cool items there.  The location is the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department station on Route 175.  It’s a short drive North on I-95 or 295 (BW Parkway) and East on Route 175.  Talk-in will be on the 146.805 MHz repeater (PL 107.2 Hz).

The following week, February 4, is the Richmond Frostfest.  It’s sponsored by the Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society.  The location is the Richmond International Raceway complex.  For those of us who have been around awhile, it’s the old Virginia State Fairgrounds.  Talk-in on the 146.88 repeater (PL 94.8 Hz). 

In past years, we have met for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel on the South side of Fredericksburg at about 7 AM and caravanned to the hamfest afterwards.  It’ an easy drive and well-marked, and carpools are already forming.

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 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.  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 next class is scheduled to start 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. 

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 –

  • January 14 and 15 – North American QSO Party, CW.  Exchange is your name and state.
  • January 21 through 23 – ARRL January VHF Contest.  All VHF/UHF bands above 50 MHz.  All modes.  Exchange is your grid square.  Most of us are in FM18.
  • January 21 and 22 – North American QSO Party, SSB.  Exchange is name and state.
  • January 28 – Montana QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • January 28 and 29 – Winter Field Day.  Exchange is the number of transmitters, whether you are operating from home, indoors, or outdoors and your state.
  • February 4 and 5 – Vermont QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • February 4 – Minnesota QSO Party.  Exchange is your name and state.
  • February 4 and 5 – North American Sprit, CW.  Exchange is other station’s callsign, your callsign, serial number, and your state.

Repeaters –

The club repeaters are all up and running.  There was a power problem in the room with the 2 meter, 70 cm, 33 cm and 23 cm repeaters, but that has been resolved.

Make 2017 the year you try a new band.

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

73, Rich, KA4GFY

Future Programs

  • January 13th –  Don KI4D on new poles for portable antennas
  • February 10th – Washington Birthday planning – Practical Packet and APRS
  • March 10th  –  City EMS
  • April 14th  –  DMS and Other digital radios
  • May 12th  – CRYSTAL SET RADIO CONTEST (do your research now and set up your team)
  • June 9th  – Field Day Planning
  • July 14th  –
  • August 11th  –
  • 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 kown 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.

Many years ago, the club visited the National Air and Space Museum.  This would be a weekend event. Other possible weekend trips include the radio and electronics museum up near Baltimore.


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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