ARC – Shorts – April 2012

May, 2012
By Rick Bunn – N4ASX

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


Our next meeting is FRIDAY, MAY 11th at Alexandria City’s new Emergency Operations Center at 3600 Wheeler Ave.  We will meet in the Community Room on the first floor. Parking is the public lot right in front of the building.  DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET!!!  At 7:00 there should be plenty of spaces.

Our program will be Dr. Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, Roanoke Regional Director of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).  We are very happy to welcome Dr. Bodson back to fill us in on what’s going on with the ARRL.  This is an interesting time when some see our support to public service as being out of step with technology (cell phones, internet, broadband, etc.).  Some of those same services are putting great pressure on our spectrum and ARRL is our only real collective defense.


Minutes from 04/13/2012

Conducting: Marshall KI4MWP


Secretary’s Report: Nothing to report

Treasurer’s Report: Total: 8737, Share: 4809, Trailer 573, Checking: 928, Education: 2427

Committee Reports: 

Training: Rich KA4GFY reports that 10 signed up, 1 dropped, 2 or 3 added, 1 general, the rest are for technician classes

ARES:  Hoping to have SKYWARN class for a program, but not available in the near future, but available on the internet. The city would like SKYWARN trained operators. Check the National Weather Service web site.

DSTAR: Added 2 users. Still intermittent problem. Replaced UPS to hopefully solve the situation. Richmond W4FJ now online using VA State internet connection.

Training in Midlothian. Maybe we can get a public service free connection from the city?

NVFMA needs money for DSTAR, would like contributions, but afraid everyone  would register for free with us.

Repeaters: 2M up (no RCOM controller, will add voted receiver sometime), 440 up, 900 up, 23cm off, with no plans to start it up again, 220 down, 6m down, P25 possible.

Webmaster: Major updates, net checkins, meeting attendance, ARC Shorts archive, announcements.

Upcoming Events:

Bull Run Run tomorrow @ 6:00AM.

Dayton — 5/18-20, KF7IJZ Jeremy and KI4BXU Eric will be driving, contact Rich KA4GFY ASAP.

Old Business: Timonium was very much smaller than in the past.

New Business:

Ian N8IK showed statistics from the VA QSO Party.

Jack K5OTZ is planning a special event station at Fort Ward to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, target date 9/8 – 9/9, can expect 100/day/band. Mechanics still to be worked out.

Ian N8IK says that a hole drilling/NMO mount installation for KI4BXU was done, others to be done in the near future.

Mango Mike’s and Paradiso were voted on as the location for the holiday party. Mango Mike’s was the winner.

Field Day: Stephanie (Mrs. KA4GFY) has volunteered to be food chairperson. Jack K5OTZ is our replacement Field Day Chairperson, replacing Rick N4ASX who had family commitments. Band captains so far: Jack K5OTZ – 20, Jay KV3W – 15,  Rich KA4GFY – 75, Ian/Erik CW 40/80, Kevin CW 10/15/20, Don KI4D 6M.  Power hasn’t been decided yet.

Net Controls:

04/19/2012: Ian N8IK

04/26/2012: Rich KA4GFY

05/03/2012: Rick N4ASX

05/10/2012: Craig K4GOR

Program: KT4MV Tim about Avionics

Larry WA7LB  won 50/50.

Next meeting: 05/11/2012, at 3600 Wheeler Ave. Program will be W4PJF Dennis Bodson from the ARRL. Please submit questions ahead of time.


73 Tom/KJ4FUU

President’s Notes

As ARC members can attest, this past winter and spring have had a variety of temperature swings and weather extremes  that have not been typical for the areas normal weather patterns.  A variety of news sources have indicated we are either  finally leaving the La Nina phase of weather and can look forward to a more calmer period, or the upcoming summer months are going to see some severe weather trends visiting the area.   In any event, I encourage ARC members to investigate the SKYWARN program that is offered by the National Weather Service.   For those who may be unfamiliar with the program, SKYWARN is a national network of volunteers that provides the National Weather Service with “eyes on the ground” before, during, and after significant meteorological events.   Ham radio operators are uniquely positioned in their capability to provide direct information to SKYWARN coordinators via their radios that allows local weather offices to quickly adjust a forecast so as to provide more accurate information as conditions rapidly change.    The city of Alexandria has contacted our ARES liaison, Rick Bunn, N4ASX, and asked how many of our club members are SKYWARN certified,  and we are working with the Sterling office of the National Weather Service to set up some SKYWARN training for either late fall or early in 2013.   In the meantime, if you are interested in more information on the local SKYWARN program, please see .   Learning about how weather can impact your day to day life and being able to use your ham radio skills to aid others when severe weather threatens is just one aspect of the amateur radio service that make this hobby so interesting!



Upcoming Contests –

May 5 & 6 – 7th Area QSO Party – The entire 7th call area comes out for this one, so you should be able to work a station in Montana or Wyoming.  Both states can be hard to find.

May 5 & 6 – Indiana QSO Party – If you need the Hoosier state, here’s your chance.  While Indiana isn’t that hard to find, some of the counties are.

May 5- New England QSO Party – Some of the New England states can be hard to find on some of the contests, so this is often a good place to look.  Maine and Vermont seem to be hardest, but both can be found this weekend.

May 12 & 13 – Nevada Mustang Roundup – Here’s another chance to work Nevada if you missed it the previous weekend.

May 12 & 13 – 50 MHz Spring Sprint – Sprint contests are interesting in that no one station can camp out on a frequency and rack up contacts.  Once you call CQ and make a contact, you have to move to another frequency.  There is lots of activity in these contests.

May 12 & 13 – Fists Spring Sprint – A great contest from the folks at FISTS, the CW organization.

May 26 & 27 – CQ World Wide WPX Contest – This is the CW portion of the CQ World Wide Contest.  If you need a new country, this is a great contest to get it, especially if you need or want it on CW.  Everybody’s callsign prefix is a multiplier.

May 12 & 13 – Armed Forces Day Communications Test – While not a contest, it is the one time a year we get to communicate with stations outside the amateur radio bands.  The idea is to see how well the military and amateur stations could communicate with each other in an emergency.  The military stations transmit to us on their frequencies (usually just outside the ham bands) and listen for us in the ham bands.  Most of the military stations do QSL.

Hamfests –

May 5 – Great Hagerstown Hamfest, sponsored by the Antietam Radio Association.  Its located at the Washington County Agricultural Center near Hagerstown, MD.

May 18 – 20 – Dayton Hamvention, sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association.  Its located at the Hara Arena in Trotwood, Ohio.  The big kahuna of hamfests.  There is lots of talk on the internet about what new equipment is coming out at Dayton.

May 27 – Memorial Day Hamfest, sponsored by the Maryland FM Association.  Its located at the Howard County Fairgrounds, just off I-70 and Routes 144 and 32 in West Friendship, MD.

From the Schoolhouse –

Its hard to believe another semester is about to wrap up.  We stated out with 12 students in the Technician class and have held steady at 10 since the second week.  While a few students have decided ham radio is not for them, we added a few students in the second week.  A couple students have been working practice exams on the internet and are reporting successful results.  The test session is scheduled for May 22.  Within a month or so, we will be hearing some new calls on the air.  Be sure to welcome them to the world of ham radio.

The test session isn’t just for class members, but space is limited.  If you are planning on taking a test, let me know ASAP so we can make sure to have the right test materials on hand.  I can be reached at

Most importantly, I want to thank Roy, K4AXQ, for making the arrangements for using the office space to teach our classes.


Rich, KA4GFY

Future Programs

May  – ARRL News – Dennis Bodson W4PWF (Confirmed)

June  – Field Day

July – D-Star 201  – KI4MWP (beyond the local repeater)

August –  ARES/AMSAT/Other??

Sept –MCM – Howard, WD5DBC or Tom, N4ZPT (tentative)

Oct – AMRAD (tentative)

Nov – Elections

Dec – Party

Up Coming Events

CLUB Christmas Dinner

Not too early to mark your calendar for this annual event!  This year we will have the holiday party on our regular meeting night December 14th (second Friday).  We have two choices of locations, primarily due to no room charge which is always an issue in this area, and both restaurants are available on 12/14.  First choice is Mango Mike’s on Duke Street which we’ve been to for a couple of years.  Price range is $25-30.

Field Day – JUNE 23/24

Field Day is a national event!  The idea is to test our ability to communicate to as many places as we can to prove that we can communicate in time of any emergency.   No permanent antennas, no commercial power (except for lights and logging computers).  We work on the pre WARC 79 bands (160/80-75,40,20,15,10 meters and UP).  The club has lots of field day antennas,  members and the club have sufficient generators.

What members should do is PARTICIPATE.  Join a team or come out and ask to operate.  If you work with a band team, then no one has to supply all of the station equipment.

This is a great learning experience and great fun for all of the members. Field Day is a “more the merrier event”  If you can spare all weekend fine, but if you have only a few hours try to come out and operate.  The club has a lot of gear and we have several antennas made up that are good for this year.

Due to family commitment, Rick, N4ASX cannot continue as Field Day chairman this year.  He will continue to support planning and help team captains with putting teams and gear together.

We have the Armistead Booth Park reserved and that worked well for us two years ago.

73 Rick/N4ASX

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 30 PM. A good burger and soft drink runs about $9.50.