ARC Shorts – March 2010

News letter and meeting announcement for the Alexandria Radio Club.

Club repeaters and detailed info can be found at 

Club Net: 147.315 (-600Khz, PL107.2) on Thursday’s at 8 PM local time

Club Meetings: Second Friday of each month at 7:30PM at the Alexandria Fire Training Center.

Minutes of the last meeting.

VA QSO PARTY Program,  NCS, GW events

GW Birthday 10K RACE and GW Birthday Parade

Our next meeting is scheduled for March 12th at the Fire Training Center behind the Nanny J. Lee Center.  At 7:30 PM.  Many members and guests meet at the Chicken Out Restaurant on the Corner of Washington and Franklin Streets at 6 pm for dinner.  The schedule program for this meeting is Mr. Bob Bruninga WB4APR and the topic is “Advances in APRS”

February Hamfests Report

Richmond Frostfest  February 6th – This is the Virginia State Convention.  It’s held at the Richmond Raceway Complex (the old fairgrounds).  It has expanded from its days in the old department store on US 360.  Well worth making the trip.

Vienna Winterfest (club has two tables) February 28th – Conveniently located at the Northern VA Community College campus in Annandale.  Just two traffic lights west of 495 on Route 236.  The Vienna Wireless folks put on a nice hamfest.  This is a great opportunity to meet up with friends you haven’t seen in awhile.

Tech and General Classes

If you know someone who wants to get into the hobby, it’s still not to late!

The next licensing class starts Tuesday, March 2 and ends May 4, 2010.  The location will be in room 3 of the Health Education Center at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, 4320 Seminary Road in Alexandria.  The cost is $50, which includes the book, test fee and materials.  Time is 7PM to 9:30 PM.

As in the past, both Technician and General classes will be covered.  For more information, contact Rich, KA4GFY, and (703) 960-4096 or

Future Programs

March – Bob Bruniga – APRS

April – Craig Church K4GOR – Repeater Engineering.

May – Terry Hines – N4ZH Antenna Modeling

June – Field Day Planning – Dennis Bodson ARRL

July – Tim O’Neill – Test Equipment and trouble shooting

August – City Emergency Preparidness – Mr. Mark Penn / Ms. Kim Purcell

September – Eric Parker KG4DZA – City Radio System

October – Gary Sessiums – MARS / Club officer nominations


December – Dinner

If you have an idea for a program you would like to hear, please let the VP (N4ASX) know and we will try to arrange it.

Social Events

Many of the club members meet prior to our meetings at the Chicken Out Restaurant at Wilkes and Washington Street at 6 PM.  This is also a chance to meet our guest speaker as we offer to buy dinner for them prior to the meeting.

Monday Night Half Price Burgers – There is a group that gets together at Shooter MaGee’s on Monday evenings at 6:30 PM.  A good burger, and soft drink runs about $8.

Richmond Frostfest February 6th. Many of our members car pool.  As we don’t have a meeting before this event, check into out THURSDAY Night net to coordinate.

A Word or two from the President 

Troubleshooting Tips for Used Amateur Radio Equipment – Part 2

Next time this column will address techniques to locate intermittent faults.

Tim  KT4MV

Ham Humor – You might be addicted to ham radio if:… (with appolgies to Jeff Foxworthy) Top 10

Looking for inputs – Fill in – “You might be an amateur radio operator if________________”

Please send your inputs to Rick,


Timmonium (Baltimore) March 27th and 28th – Well worth making the trip.  Located at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timmonium, off I-83.  This is by far the largest hamfest in the area.  There are large indoor areas for tailgating and commercial exhibits, as well as an outdoor fleamarket.

Its not too early to start thinking about the Dayton Hamvention.  Its May 14th through May 16th.  If its ham radio related, it WILL be at Dayton.  This is the time when manufacturers bring out their new equipment.  For those with an interest in aviation, Wright Patterson Air Force Base is home to the US Air Force Museum.  The museum has some familiar aircraft as well as some one of a kind.

Rich, KA4GFY, has rooms reserved  We also need folks willing to drive their vehicle (about 1200 miles round trip).  If you are interested in going, see Rich. (

One of the ideas that came up recently was to have an informal spring cleaning tailgate party at one of the local parks.  No vendors, no refreshments (unless you bring them), just a chance to clean out your excess stuff and buy other stuff.  Tentatively we will schedule this when the weather gets warmer.  We can invite other clubs to join us as well.

Upcoming Contests

QSO parties are a great way to get started in contesting.  Most states have one.  They tend to be low key events.  If you’re working on DXCC, the ARRL DX contests are a good way to work new countries.

ARES and upcoming public service events.

The Nations Marathon is March 20th.  I will have more info on this event, but sign up is via their website.

Potomac Marathon, date unknown, but usually supported by amateur radio with Mt Vernon ARC in the lead role.