W4HFH Field Day 2014
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



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…

September 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 September  12, 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 Ian, N8IK who will tell us the right way to learn the art and science of CW (Morse Code for those who missed the jargon class).

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.


August was a rare meeting in that we did not have a program, but we had a social hour.  Like most things with this club it lasted well over two hours.

Due to your editor’s memory issues, there was no ARC SHORTS last month either.  I will try to not miss for the next few months.


Well, fellow club members, I only have about 4 more of these to do, and then you’ll get a new president. For September, here’s what’s on my mind.

1.) I just ordered a book about radio operations in emergency situations. It’s probably more RACES based, but it will still be handy to have. HOWEVER, book + no practice = next-to-useless ham. We have several events each year where we have a chance to practice communications to coordinate activities, such as the George Washington’s Birthday Parade, and the Marine Corps Marathon, to name a couple. If your schedule doesn’t permit you to participate in the events, try to check into our weekly Thursday night nets at 8:00PM local time, or at least listen in, to see how a controlled net operates.

2.) I’m bummed — the Hawaii QSO Party was in August, but I wasn’t able to get them. Even on CW, the propagation just wasn’t there for me. It’s the last state I need for the Worked All States Award, and I’m doing it with what Rick N4ASX refers to as  “light tackle”. I’m a dedicated QRP’er and none of the HF radios I use will go above 10 watts. Propagation is better in the winter, at least in my experience, with fewer thunderstorms to cause noise, and the ARRL will be operating from Hawaii in December, so I have another shot before the year is out.

3.) Rick N4ASX coordinates our programs, and I think he would like a few suggestions on future programs that would interest you, the members. Give him your ideas! I have been working on a presentation on QSLing, but it is not anywhere near complete, and I haven’t found much time to work on it lately.

4.) I think that the nominating committee is still looking for a secretary for next year. I’ve been the club secretary before. I think the main responsibilities are to keep minutes (not a transcription, just a summary or a list of what has been discussed, but with any motions made in club business included), and send out the press release for Field Day to the local media. It doesn’t sound  like much, but it is important.

I hope to see you all at the meeting on September 12th!

73, — Tom Kirby
President, Alexandria Radio Club

September is National Preparedness Month

This month is National Preparedness Month and is the 11th year for the observance.  It was created   following the terrorist attacks on 9/11 as a way to encourage us to be ready and prepared for any emergency.  And this year’s National Preparedness Month also is the first to include the America’s Prepare Athon Fall Day of Action, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 30.

As ham radio operators, we have a special obligation to be ready and prepared for emergencies.  One of the fundamental reasons the amateur radio service was created as non-commercial communications service was for an emergency communications capability. In this regard, we have to be mindful that our region is considered a “target rich” area for terrorism, and we also have to be prepared for natural hazards, such as earthquakes, snow, extreme temperatures and flooding events.

For ham radio operators to be prepared for emergency communications, they much first be prepared for emergencies.  The National Preparedness Month is a great reminder to set aside a few minutes to review your emergency plans at home and work, as well as restock supplies in your emergency kits at home, work and in your car. And if you don’t have plans or a kit, that now is the perfect time to do so.  In Fairfax County information and resources are available online, including tips on making an emergency kit and an emergency plan for your family or your business.  You may also  review a list of 30 simple steps you can take to become better prepared with our 30 ways in 30 days. These are simple things you can do — at your own pace — to ensure that you and your family are better prepared by following an easy-to-accomplish checklist.

Prepared by Don Lewis, KI4D


The club’s trailer got a workout on Field Day.  The new LED lights as well as the other improvements made operation much better.  We have a few other improvements in store; we hope to add some kind of awning on the outside so that we can have some additional operating positions.  We will add another power distribution box on the bench so that HF gear or other gear running on 12 volts can be plugged in.  For the Kenwood TM-D710A we will remote the radio body into the cabinets to keep the wires out of the way.  We also will add shelves in the cabinets to keep ‘stuff’ off the radios and some drawers for better organization of connectors, adapters etc.

In addition the Pelican cases have been delivered so we can better protect the four HF radios the club owns.  This will keep corrosion to a minimum.  We hope to add an AC power supply in the cases for each radio as well.

The city’s EMS director is in the process of procuring gear for the new EOC and we hope to have a permanent station in the EOC.  Hopefully, we can move one of our HF stations and our Henry 2K amplifier to the EOC station as well.  We hope to get access so that our members will have access.

If you are interested in volunteering for ARES, please contact our Emergency Coordinator, Rick, N4ASX.

73 Rick N4ASX

Future Programs

Craig, KK4INZ, has been asked to provide a program on how FEMA can make use of Amateur Radio in times of an emergency.

I have asked AMSAT and AMRAD to provide program.

We hope to have an update on use of some of the newest solar technology,  use of the new micro computers and I am trying to find someone to talk about converting our old XP laptops to use a version of Linux.

If you have an idea for a program, please let Rick know and he will try to find someone to provide the program.

Hamfests –

  1. The Virginia Section Convention at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on September 6.  Its an easy drive and the convention center is right off I-264 in Virginia Beach near the ocenfront.  Talk-in is on the 146.970 (PL 141.3).  Also, the VA DXCC dinner is also on September 6 at one of the restaurants near the VA Beach Towne Center, also off I-264.
  2. The Delaware State Convention in Georgetown, Delaware is on October 4.  The location is the Sussex County Technical High School.  Talk-in is on the 147.090 (PL 156.7) repeater.
  3. The Columbia ARA CARAFest takes place on October 5 at the Howard County Fairgrounds.  Always a good hamfest to find odds and ends.  It’s a short drive located off Routes 144 and 32 and I-70.

Training - 

Our nest class begins September 30 and concludes with the exam on December 2.  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.

Big changes to element credit – 

Effective July 21, 2014, the FCC now allows some former license holders to receive element credit for past (now expired) licenses.  Former holders of General class licenses now get credit for element 3.  Former holders of Advanced class licenses get credit for element 3 and former holders of expired Extra Class licenses will get credit for elements 3 and 4.  This does not mean anybody with an expired General, Advanced or Extra Class license is automatically gets a license by producing their now expired license at a VE session.  They will be required to take the Technician exam to test their knowledge of current rules and regulations.

Contests - 

September 6 – Indiana Parks on the Air.  Exchange is your state.
September 6 – Ohio Parks on the Air.  Exchange is your state.
September 7 – North American Sprint, CW.  Exchange is callsign, serial number, name and state.
September 7 – Tennessee QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
September 13 and 14 – Worked all Europe DX Contest, SSB.  Exchange is RS and serial number.
September 13 and 14 – Arkansas QSO party.  Exchange is RST and state.
September 13 and 14 – ARRL September VHF Contest.  All bands above 50 MHz.  Exchange is 4 digit grid square (most of us are in FM18).
September 13 and 14 –  North American Sprint, SSB.  Exchange is callsign, serial number, name and state.
September 20 and 21 – South Carolina QSO party.  Exchange is RST and state.
September 20 and 21 – Washington State Salmon Run.  Exchange is RST and state.
September 27 and 28 – Maine QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
September 27 – Texas QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.

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.



The W4DXCC DX and Contest Convention located in Pigeon Forge, TN starts September 26th and 27th, that’s in 30 days.  This is our 10th year and it will be another great event.

The presentation schedule is full and packed with presentations.  We have had two new arrivals, Heil Sound and Steppir Antennas.  Our manufacturers are located in the lobby right outside of the conference hall allowing you easy access to all the gear.  Come and have a one on one conversation with the manufacturers and twist the knobs. 

Heil Sound will have two workshops called “The Science of Audio” on Saturday.  Come learn how to improve your audio from Bob Heil himself. 

We will conduct Amateur FCC License testing.  It’s a great time to upgrade or get your spouse or friends licensed. 

Pigeon Forge is a wonderful place for the family too, bring the family and they can enjoy the local attractions while you enjoy the convention. 

Check out the details here  W4DXCC > Home 

I hope to see everyone at the convention
Dave Anderson, K4SV

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