Coordinator: Rich Adamy, KA4GFY


First Class Date:  Each Tuesday, October 2, 2018 through December 4, 2018.
The required FCC Exam will be given on the last session in December.
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 a 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 incorporate ARRL PowerPoint Topics & Film Clips portraying the historical evolution of radio communications. License practice exam questions are available on the Internet.

Learning International Morse Code is NOT an FCC license requirement, but is highly encouraged.

FCC Title 47 Telecommunications Part 97 Amateur Radio Service Federal Regulations

Rick Bunn - N4ASX - ARC Shorts Newsletter Editor

Rick Bunn – N4ASX –  ARC Shorts Newsletter Editor

ARC-SHORTS Newsletter

September 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!

SPECIAL NOTE: DMR IS UP AND RUNNING 442.4125 +5Mhz Color Code . 


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. Meeting starts at 7PM and ends at 9PM. The next meeting is September 14th.

Mark KM4GML will also provide us with more on Linex. Tentatively, I will have someone from the City’s Emergency Management office come talk to us.

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.

August Meeting Minutes

Howard WD5DBC provided a run down on the Marine Corps Marathon for this year. The race needs 135 amateur radio operators and he now has 75 volunteers. Howard stressed that there are positions for everyone. If you have just a 2-meter handheld that can be all you need for some positions.

There are aid station positions that require more equipment and may start using AREDN nodes this year. You might remember that Mark talked to us earlier this year about the experiment with AREDN at last years marathon.

Howard is also looking for Net Control operators as well.

To sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon, you need to go to WWW.MARINEMARATHON.COM <http://WWW.MARINEMARATHON.COM> and volunteer as a HAM radio volunteer. Then go to the ham radio site (MCMHAM) to provide
details on your gear and what your preferences are. This is the most PUBLIC of public service events. The Marine Corps says nice things about ham radio and so do those whom we interact with on race day. If your free, please consider volunteering.

One highlight of the business portion of the meeting was the appointment of Don, KI4D as the 2019 Field Day chairman. Don and Jack have been talking to the Vienna Wireless Association club looking for ideas on how to make our field day better. One issue is having 60 club members and getting everyone some radio time during the 24 hours of field day.


On Friday evening during the storm, our 2-meter repeater had a problem.

Matt, KN4IJH, brought this to my attention. I forwarded the info to Rich, KA4GFY, our trustee. At the time Rich was on the eastern shore, but he came back early and was able to get access to the repeater and reset the repeater. It is now up and operating. May thanks to Rich for rushing back to fix the problem.

An important note on the use of the 147.315 repeater. AFTER EVERY transmission, you need to let the repeater drop THEN key up. For those of us who are used to ‘tail-gating’ this may cause the repeater NOT to key up for you meaning SILANCE on the receiving end.

On the net last Thursday, we had many check ins who did not listen before checking in so we had some stations covering up other check-ins. We had one station that called in with a CQ CQ. This means you are calling for ANY other station to come back to you. Don, KI4D, our net control station (NCS) handled that very well, but the station may not have understood, so.

Future Programs – September 14,2018 — City Emergency Service and ARES / Linex October 12, 2018 –    Planning for 2019, Nominations, budget etc.

– November 9, 2018 — Elections

– December 14,2018 – Annual Holiday Party. (Fiona’s ??)

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 SAD NEWS from our friends at Mt. Vernon ARC.

I am saddened to inform all of you that our fellow MVARC member and friend Frank Lempicki AA4ZS passed yesterday morning.

I’ve known Frank since November of 1995. Back then, Frank was very active in all of the club’s events, including: Field Day, GW Special Event, monthly meetings, monthly breakfasts, Ham Radio test sessions, and club events created on his own initiative. He was formerly one of the club’s Vice Presidents.

During the last 7 years or so, health concerns somewhat limited Frank’s participation to the club’s monthly breakfast, weekend Cherry Tree HF net, and usage (especially during rush hour) on the club’s 2 Meter repeater.

On page 3 of the June 2003 Club’s former Newsletter ( http://www.geocities.ws/mvarc/yorfo/2003/yjun03.pdf ) is an article (“MVARCERS BRING HAM RADIO INFORMATION”) describing an event put together by Frank. There were other such AA4ZS run events (such as the first ever MVARC QRP Field Day at Lee District Park in 2002, and first Elmer program), but the article cited is the only article (of several that I know exist) I could locate on-line. I do wish I could have done better.

We will all certainly miss Frank.

Bob, KT4KS


The St. Mary’s County Amateur Radio Association’s TailgateFest takes place on October 6, 2018 at the Hollywood Fire Department Bingo Hall. It’s located on Three Notch Road in Hollywood, MD. Here is the link: http://www.k3hki.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/tailgate-flyer.pdf
The Columbia Amateur Radio Association’s CARAFest is on October 7, 2018 at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD. Its near the intersection of I-70 and Route 32. Here is the link: http://www.carafest.org/
Training –

Our next class starts on October 2 and ends December 4, 2018. We do have students signed up.

I have been asked many times why we teach a “traditional” Technician class where the material is spaced out over several weeks, rather than the weekend or one day “cram session” approach. We tried a one weekend class once and we came to the conclusion that the students did not get very much out of the class. In fact, the only people who did pass were the XYL (or soon to be XYL) of club members, both of whom had been around ham radio for a while.

There are 257 pages divided into 11 chapter in the current ARRL Technician book and over 400 questions on the exam.

So, in an abbreviated course, how do you decide what is covered and what is left to the students to do themselves? Its incorrectly assumed that most students need the technical material, so those parts of the book are covered and the non-technical parts are left to the students. Somebody with a background in electronics may not need the technical side, but the rules, regulations and operating techniques are what they need, and it’s not covered.

Unlike many other licensing classes, we teach the material, not the test.

So, it won’t matter what the question is, the student will know the correct answer. Our success rate runs around 95% of our students passing the material, often with very good scores.

The new Technician question pool became effective on July 1 and the questions have been updated to cover areas today’s Technicians will be doing once licensed.

If you know of anyone interested in becoming a ham, let them know. There are spaces available.

Contests –

  • September 8 – Ohio Parks on the Air. Exchange is your state.
  • September 8 through 10 – ARRL September VHF Contest. Exchange is 4 character grid square.
  • September 9 – North American Sprint, CW. Exchange is the other station’s call, your call, serial number, your name and state.
  • September 15 and 16 – Iowa QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • September 15 and 16 – New Hampshire QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • September 15 and 16 – Washington State Salmon Run. Exchange is RST and state.
  • September 15 and 16 – New Jersey QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • September 16 – North American Sprint, RTTY. Exchange is the other station’s call, your call, serial number, your name and state.
  • September 22 and 23 – Maine QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • September 23 – North American Sprint, SSB. . Exchange is the other station’s call, your call, serial number, your name and state.
  • September 29 and 30 – CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY. Exchange is RST, CQ Zone and state. We are in zone 5.
  • September 29 and 30 – Texas QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • October 6 and 7 – California QSO Party. Exchange is serial number and state.
  • October 13 and 14 – Nevada QSO Party. Exchange is serial number and state.
  • October 13 and 14 – Pennsylvania QSO Party. Exchange is serial number and ARRL section.
  • October 13 and 14 – Arizona QSO Party. Exchange is serial number and state.
  • October 13 and 14 – South Dakota 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, Call sign 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.

Contests may not be your thing, but contests are a great way to show outside interests we do use our valuable spectrum. By showing we use our spectrum, other services will have a hard time proving that we don’t use our spectrum and it’s up for re-allocation to someone else.

Contests can also be a great way to become introduced to HF communications.

While it can be intense, pick the contest and jump in. Most contests have a limited exchange so it is usually easy to get what the other station needs.

Repeaters (Trustee report)-

In addition to the regular Thursday night net on the 147.315 repeater, there was a proposal in the February ARC Shorts to do a follow – on net on other ARC repeaters. The rotation would include other analog repeaters as well as the digital repeaters.

If you are active on the club’s digital repeaters, you will often hear hams from all over using them. Some of these people are linking into our DMR repeater via the DMRVA talk groups or into the DSTAR repeaters through the various DSTAR reflectors. But, we also have a large number of local hams who are regular users of our DSTAR repeaters who are not members of the Alexandria Radio Club.

While club membership is not a requirement for using the repeaters, there is an unwritten rule in ham radio that you SHOULD join the club that owns/operates the repeater(s) if you are a regular user. So, when you hear a new call on one of the repeaters, and they live in the local area, ask them if they belong to the Alexandria Radio Club. If they are not a member, invite them to the next club meeting.

The club repeaters are all up and running. The Alexandria Radio Club has analog, DSTAR and DMR repeaters. No other club in the area has that many repeaters. As always, ham it up and get on the air.

73, Rich, KA4GFY


Three items

1 – It looks like Hurricane Florence is headed our way. If it hits as a cat 4 in S.C. you can expect that it will turn north. This may have an impact on our area. Please keep your handheld radios ready to go and think about checking your go-kits as we may be needed if the city’s super system fails.  Remember to make sure all is safe at home before you offer to volunteer.

2 – Ian, N8IK, dropped by my (N4ASX) QTH and we checked out my AREDN node and installed MESHCHAT. This new system may be the way we can provide 100MB digital communications for ARES supported organizations. Once we know more, ARES will look into installing AREDN nodes in the city. Unlike D-Star 1.2GHz this system is much cheaper and so far, once installed seems to work well. The units we have been looking at are 2.4 GHz so LINE OF SIGHT is the rule.

3 – For those who have CITY ID-51A, Please bring them to the next meeting so we meet our inventory requirements (once a year) and please check in to ONE of the weekly nets a month to make sure they are still working and you are familiar with their operation. No list of repeaters is 100%, so if you want changes, let me know and we will set up a programming session to update the list.

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 suggest it to the group.

Trailer construction of ARC Trailer


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!   <https://www.arrl.org/npota> https://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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