ARC – Shorts -June 2012

July, 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, July 13th 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 Mr. Gary Sessums KC5QCN and the program will be the Military Affiliated Radio System (MARS).  Many of us have at one time or another been active with MARS or may have passed MARS traffic.

MARS use to be the communications lifeline for service members away from home.  You might remember Sen. Goodwater’s station where traffic was passed via HF between those deployed to Vietnam and their families in the states.  During Desert Storm, internet and commercial satellite communications were not as cheap as they are today and a great deal of traffic was passed via MARSgrams between deployed service members and their families.  With the World Wide Web being truly worldwide, the need to send a 25 word MARSgram has gone away, but MARS still has a valuable mission.  The missions now are related to backing up military comms and support to homeland security.

We look forward to hearing more from Gary.


Alexandria Radio Club Minutes 06/08/2012

Presiding: Marshall KI4MWP


Treasurer’s Report: Total                              $8,334
Checking                                                           $   383
Trailer fund                                                      $   573
Education                                                         $2,238
Share                                                                 $5,139


Training: 3 recent graduates in attendance: Vern (Technician), David (General), and Ed (General).

ARES: Rick N4ASX met with Joe Henderson, who was interested in SKYWARN trained operators (Rick will try to get a class for May 2013 meeting). Weather stations would be a plus to have.

DSTAR: Smooth until today, down now?.

Web:       Absent.

6M: At Craig K4GOR’s house.
2M: Up. 1.25M: Connected to MICOR controller,    XMIT not working (crystal problem, crystals on order).
70CM: Off the air,  awaiting a controller.

Old Business:

Civil War special event has been canceled due to city bureaucracy.

Dayton Report:
Kenwood 990 introduced
Yaesu FT1D, FT-3000 introduced
NW Digital D-STAR repeater introduced
Flex-6000 radio introduced ($200/year for updates)
Elecraft KX3 backordered about 6 months

New Business:

Manassas hamfest 6/10, $8 admission, VA QSO Party certificates available for pickup.

IARU HF contest (CW/SSB), 7/14.

ARRL VHF contest, 6/9.


Jack Hranicky, K5OTZ – Field Day plans (we will run 6A this year, police have been notified that we will be there all night at Armistead Boothe Park).

Ways & Means Auction

50-50 Drawing

Net Controls:
05/17/2012         Tom KJ4FUU
05/24/2012         Larry KK4CBL
05/31/2012         Rich KA4GFY
06/07/2012         Ted W9TCE


President’s Notes

On the weekend of June 23 and 24, the Alexandria Radio Club once again held a very successful and enjoyable Field Day at Armistead Booth Park. Operating as 7A, the weather co-operated with clear skies and warm temperatures, which allowed the various stations to make close to 1,000 QSO’s.   We also had several visitors from a local scouting group that participated in the fun, with one of the visitors making several QSO’s for the very first time, something that he seemed to enjoy quite a bit. Hopefully, we will see him in our Technician class this fall, which will be held at the Emergency Operations Center on Wheeler Avenue.   In addition, we had a wonderful write-up on our Field Day activities in the local Alexandria Gazette Packet newspaper, which will hopefully spark some interest in the local Alexandria/Fairfax/Arlington communities as what amateur radio can offer.

Thanks go out to everyone that made this such a successful effort, including Jack, K5OTZ, our Field Day Chairman;  Rick, N4ASX, who did the early work in securing the park and developing the early information for this year’s Field Day effort, and Rich’s wife Stefanie, who did such a wonderful job with the food we had on Saturday.    And, I know myself and others are looking forward to the see the video that KF7IJZ, Jeremy, shot of our activities up on the club web site soon!   On behalf of all the ARC members, let me say how appreciative I am  of all the hard work that everyone did prior to and during the event to make this year’s Field Day the success it was–THANK YOU!”


Training Report –

After graduating our Spring 2012 class, its time to start thinking about the Fall class.  Through the efforts of KG4DZA, we will be teaching our Fall class in the community room at the Alexandria Police station, the same room we use for meetings.

We would like to see the room full of students, so if you know of someone who has always been interested in becoming a ham, send them our way.  The class meets on Tuesday evenings and runs from Oct 9 through December 11.  The cost should still be around $50, which includes the book and test fee.

Upcoming Hamfests –

7/22 – Baltimore Radio Amateur Telecommunications Society Hamfest and Computerfest.  Held at the Howard County Fairgrounds, right off I-70 and Route 32.  It’s a short drive and there are usually some good deals to be had there.

8/5 – Berryville Hamfest. Sponsored by the Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club and hHeld at the Clark County Fairgrounds just outside Berryville.  A favorite of many ARC members.  Nice drive to the country for us city slickers and a great barbeque lunch cooked right there on the fairgrounds.  Get in line early.  Yes, plenty of shade.

Upcoming Contests –

7/14 and 7/15 – IARU World Championship – Great opportunity to work some DX.  The exchange is simple, the other station’s RS9T) and your IARU zone.  We are in zone 8.

7/21 and 7/22 – CQ World Wide VHF Contest – The exchange here is your 4 character grid square.  We are in FM18.

7/22 – RSGB Low Power Contest.  This contest is for 80 and 40 meter CW only.  See how far you can communicate on the lower HF bands with low power.  Exchange is RST, serial number and your power level.

7/28 and 7/29 – IOTA contest – Work as many islands as you can.  There are more out there you realize.  The exchange is is the RS(T), serial number and IOTA number for stations located on islands.

7/28 and 7/29 – New Jersey QSO Party.  Here’s your chance to work all the counties in New Jersey for that County Hunters award.  Should be pretty easy on 40 and 75 meters.  The exchange is the NJ county for stations in NJ or state/province/DX for stations outside NJ.

Field Day

The Club had 30 people attend Field Day this year. We had 8 stations set up which worked all the bands except 160 M. We set up a Got-to-Get-on-the-Air station which introduced new hams to HF. And, we had Cub Scouts working the station. They were also featured the Alexandria Gazette. Food was great prepared by Stephanie Adamy, and, we had the best weather in recent years. Thanks to Jeremy, we operated a completely standalone solar station.

The Band captains were:
6M and up Phone, Don KI4D
10-15M Phone, Jay KV3W and Jeremy KF7IJZ
20M Phone: Jack K5OTZ and Harry N4CWP
20M FSK, Don KI4D with David KK4JQQ
40M and 75 Phone: Rich KA4GFY also Chief on site Cook and bottle washer.
(2 Stations – One band captain!)
40-80M CW Ian N8IK
20, 15, 10M CW Kevin KF4BBT

I think my only comment for Field Day for next year is better antennas.

Jack Hranicky
Field Day Chairmen (Retired)

ARES Notes:

It appears that we had a very good Field Day from the President’s and Field Day chairman’s (Retired) notes:  From the ARES prospective, Field Day is a test of our ability to operate when we survive a major disaster.  As we are in an urban environment, we expect that our operations will be VHF and UHF but HF operations can be critical.  Weather events can be wide spread and other disasters can cover a very wide area.  Our earthquake is another example of a wide spread, multi-jurisdiction type of an emergency.  We don’t expect these types of events, but the WHAT IF?, should be in our minds.  So, If we think of Field Day at that WHAT IF drill, you need to ask:

1 – Were we equipped ? – As a club we have all we need to operate, individually, did you have your VHF / UHF gear ready to go,  could you contribute if you needed to?

2 – Did we have a plan? – What do we do as an ARES chapter? (EC still owes all a new updated operations plan.).  What is YOUR plan?  It should start with your home and your family, THAN you can figure out what you can do to support the community.

3 – Are you trained? – ARRL has great distant learning classes,  FEMA has IS-100 and IS-700 which all should take and there are now several other good classes that only take a little time .

4 – Experience?  Field Day and other events are great ways to figure out how to work in ARES environments.  Our weekly VHF net is great practice for a controlled net, you might also want to listen to the 147.300 traffic nets and get an idea of how that type of net operates.  For HF many of us lean a great deal on Field Day because it’s the first time we get on HF.

On Friday June 30th, we had a rare weather event where power went out and more importantly 911 systems in the area went out.  Alexandria EMS did not call on ARES for support due for the most part because they had NO PHONE SERVICE at EOC for the first few days.  While ARES does not activate unless we are asked to do so by a served agency,  it would be VERY HELPFUL if those who are up in this type of event, would send an e-mail or call on147.315 to advise the EC or assistant ECs of their availability and status.  No commitment, but it would make it easier to know what our status if we checked in.  Our 147.315 repeater was down due to power outage for a day or so, but simplex and relays (old school) works.

We had an e-mail from City EMS asking us for inputs on what we want in the new City Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This is NOT the fire and police dispatch center at 3600 Wheeler, but the new building.   Ideally we would want what we have in the club trailer plus a ROBUST HF station.  The club has 4 HF radios and a Henry 2K legal limit amplifier for HF.  I would very much like to have a club station that is located in the EOC that is accessible to all for practice and for ARES operations.  Some of the ARES members will meet with EMS to figure out what we can get from the City and if we can get a room we can access for day to day operations.  If we have a station with all this equipment, we need to have member access so that all know how to operate the station when needed.  Results will be briefed at the next meeting.

Future Programs

July –  MARS – Gary Sessums – KC5QCN

August –  Solar power systems – KF7IJZ

September – DX program

Oct – D-Star 201  – KI4MWP (beyond the local repeater) – Marshall DeBerry KI4MWP

Nov – Elections

Dec – Party

January 2013 – New Year Business meeting – New officers, budget, plans and programs Washington’s Birthday operation.

February 2013 –

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013 –

June 2013 – Field Day prep meeting

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November  2013– Club Elections

December 2013 – Club Party

Possible Programs:
AMRAD/AMSAT/DX/VHF Contesting/ Stealth Operations/ ARES (city official?)/ Trailer work session/City Radio System/ FAA program/ Newbies on the air/  We will also try to get one or two of the National Weather Service SKYWARN classes so that members who wish to can qualify as spotters.

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.

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.

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