ARC – Shorts – November 2012

December 2012
by Rick Bunn N4ASX

Club Repeaters: 53.13 (PL107.2) (DFM),  147.315 (PL 107.2), (224.82(PL107.2), 444.6 (107.2) ;  927.6 (-25Mhz, 107.2 PL) and 1282.600 (PL 107.2)  (DFM) ;  DSTAR 145.38Mhz, 442.060, 1284.600 ;  (DFM is Down for Maintenance)

News letter and meeting announcement for the Alexandria Radio Club.

Club repeaters:  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 7PM at 3600 Wheeler Ave. (Police Dispatch Center)

Minutes of Regular Meeting – November 9th, 2012

  • Opening of meeting
  • Introductions:  KJ4FUU, passed sign-in roster
  • Treasurer’s report:  W9TCE, $20 dues, $20 DSTAR fund, 50/50 tickets
  • Treasury total: Club Fund Balance $8,214.40
  • Secretary’s report:  KJ4FUU – 41 members
  • Committee reports:
  • Training Report – KA4GFY – ½ way through, 14-15 students, inquiries already about the next class
  • ARES – N4ASX — Mark Penn of the City of Alexandria has purchased 800 Mhz radios as emergency backups; questions about our role
  • Repeater & remote receivers – KF7IJZ, K4GOR, KA4GFY
  • Rich KA4GFY has the “guts”, and is the controller for the 23 cm repeater
  • DSTAR – KI4MWP –  Nothing new to report
  • Webmaster – K4AXQ – absent
  • Upcoming Events:
    ARRL SSB Sweepstakes, November 17-18th
    Kentucky QSO Party, November 10-11th
    CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW), November 23-25th
  • Hamfests:
    • Richmond on February 2nd
    • Odenton in January
    • Annandale – usually the end of February – no date announced
  • Old Business:
    Marathon successful; new antenna worked under the 14th St. bridge
  • New Business:
  • W9TCE – Ways and Means
  • Election for 2013 club officers
  • President:  ____Tom KJ4FUU___
  • Vice-President:  _Jeremy KF7IJZ_
  • Secretary:  _Bobby KK4CKJ_____
  • Treasurer:  _Steve W8RJH______
  • Holiday Party – December 14th at Mango Mike’s
    Please RSVP with Ian with your menu choices by the 11th; choices off of Duke or Queen menu;
  • (2 each) 900 Mhz radios donated; club will keep one, sell one
  1. Net Controls:
  2. November 15: _Rich KA4GFY __
    November 22: _No net ________
    November 29: _Tom KJ4FUU___
    December 6:   _Harry N4CWP__
    December 13: _Ed W4EDF ____

    December 14:   next meeting/holiday party
Last call for 50/50, then pull winning ticket

November’s Program Speakers:  Rick Bunn N4ASX canceled due to illness. Attending members and guest voted by acclamation to answer new ham’s questions, hang out, and go home early.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is the Annual Holiday party. This year it will be at MANGO MIKE’S on Duke Street.  If you have not RSVP with Ian, N8IK, you NEED to do this before the dinner on December 14th.

When: Friday, December 14th, 2012 at 7 pm.
Where: Mango Mike’s Restaurant, 4580 Duke Street in Alexandria (across from the Foxchase Shopping Center).  Plenty of parking with no antenna height restrictions.
Dress:  guys – look better than you look at a hamfest!  Coat & tie would be nice – this is a holiday party.
Cost:  $25 or $30 per person, plus cash bar
Menu: your choice including salad, dessert, soda/coffee/tea from the “Duke” or “Queen” menu at  <>
CALL IAN if you’re going to attend.  Just walking in is not really an option.


Tim, KT4MV, announced that the 444.6 Repeater is up. It still has a few problems, so it may or may not be up.  When the 2 meter repeater and the yellow cab radios are transmitting we get noise on the 70cm repeater.

Some of us do not have radios that can monitor two VHF frequencies.  I am sometimes on 145.47, and I also will monitor 444.6MHz.  70cm is a shared band where we amateurs have secondary privileges.   We need to make good use of this repeater.   Thanks Tim for your work on this project.  Tim has put a great deal of effort and time into our repeaters.

Rick, KA4GFY, is working on the 23cm (1.2Ghz) repeater and we are looking for a home for it on a very tall building.  If you have a T-81A, one of the new Alinco’s, or an ICOM ID-1 you can make use of this machine when Rich get’s it running.

When we get these repeaters up,  we hope to organize some nets to make use of the repeaters.

Some Sad News and reflection on club history

In Memoriam:

Kathleen Gregson, WB4JJE, a former member of the Alexandria Radio Club and XYL of Wilfred Gregson III, K4GCM, former President of the Alexandria Radio Club, became a silent key on November 27, 2012 at Mary Washington Hospital Hospice care in Fredericksburg Virginia.  Wil is also a silent key. Kathy worked as a hospice nurse and was retired.  For many Field Days at the Episcopal High School,  Wil and Kathy operated W4HFH from their 80 cw position out of their 1968 VW van,  using a 1/4 wave wire vertical supported by surplus hydrogen balloons, designed for life raft situations.  The balloons were bought from Fair Radio Sales and were not reusable.  An ARC 5 Command Set Receiver was used for cw monitoring.  She is survived by her daughter Heather, Heather’s husband and grandchild.  Wil and Kathy were into Scottish Heritage and attended the Alexandria Scottish games.  Wil was a private pilot and flew his Ercoupe out of the old Woodbridge Airport.

They were members in 1968 when I joined and there at least to 1973.  We were all doing the boat races at the old torpedo factory  and Gtown boat house using Motorolla Dispatchers, mainly Nicad P33s on 146.82 simplex.  Dean May WB4EIY would haul a huge GE base up to the roof with a rope.  We were so glad to get 6 channel Drake TR22’S.  We had an AREC and RACES group and helped Red Cross with that hurricane in ’72, name escapes me at the moment.

From William Apple – WB4KFO

Editor’s Note:  I joined the club in 1978 at that time the club will supporting the crew races on the Potomac River at the old boat house in Old Town Alexandria.  We would have one operator in the safety boat and one operator with the announcer on the roof of the boat house.  This continued until about 1981 when the clubs moved the races to the Occoquan Reservoir.  Activities like this were a great deal of fun and as Bill points out the gear used was not as compact as it is today.

Licensing Class and Exam –

The current class is winding down with the exam scheduled for December 11 at the Alexandria Police HQs.  If you are not licensed (shame on you for not taking the class) and would like to take a test, or, if you are looking to upgrade your license, send me an email ( so I will have enough test materials on hand.  Anybody is welcome to take a test.  Be sure to bring your ORIGINAL license AND a copy if you have one.  If you have any CSCEs, bring the original AND copies of those as well.  We do not have copying facilities available.  We look at the originals and send the copies to ARRL.

Also, be sure to bring two forms of ID.  Drivers licenses, school IDs, military IDs, government building passes, credit cards, school report cards and Social Security cards are all forms of IDs that work.  Your amateur license counts as one of the IDs.  But make sure at least one of the IDs has your picture on it.

We are already getting inquiries about the next training class.  Its scheduled to begin Tuesday, February 26 and end May 7 at the Alexandria Police Department HQs on Wheeler Avenue.  If you know somebody looking to become a ham, send them our way.  As always, the exam is the last class. 

I want to thank Eric Parker, KG4DZA, for his assistance in obtaining the community room for teaching the Alexandria Radio Club Training Class.

Rich, KA4GFY

Upcoming Contests –

Attention Technicians!

The ARRL 10 Meter Contest December 8 and 9 is great way to get started in contesting if you have never tried one before.  This is both CW and phone.

Technicians have CW privileges between 28.100 and 28.300 MHz as well as SSB privileges between 28.300 and 28.500 MHz.  There is usually plenty of activity in the phone portion.  If you are looking for WAS or beginning to work on DXCC, this is one you won’t want to miss.  The exchange is simple, it’s the other station’s signal report and your state.  DX stations will be sending a serial number.

Dec 16, 2012 – CW portion of the ARRL Rookie Roundup.   The exchange is both calls, name, check and state.  The check is the last two digits of the first year you were licensed.  A little long, but it gets you into practice for other contests such as the November Sweepstakes.

Dec 21, 2012 through Jan 8, 2013 – Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party –  Phone, CW and digital modes.  Work as many lighthouse stations as you can.  The exchange is the lighthouse number or a serial number.

Dec 29, 2012 – Radio Amateurs Canada Winter Contest –  Phone and CW modes.  Exchange is RST and a serial number.  Work as many Canadian stations as possible.

Jan 1, 2013 – ARRL straight Key Night – CW only.  Not really a contest, but friendly QSOs are encouraged.  Use “SKN” in place of “RST” to let other hams know its Straight Key Night.

Upcoming Hamfests –

All is quiet for the rest of the year in this area.  The Post Holiday Hamfest sponsored by the Maryland Mobileers ARC at Odenton is on January 27, 2013.

Richmond Frostfest – Richmond Raceway February 2, 2013.  Many of us carpool and for the gun enthusiast there is usually a gun show next door.  CARPOOLING IS A GREAT WAY TO GO TO THIS ONE!  Most of us leave about 6 AM and stop for breakfast around Fredericksburg. (Cracker Barrel???)

Merry Christmas, and A Happy New Year.

As the year ends, as your editor,  I want to, on behalf of all of the members, thank those in the club who have done so much to make this club a success.

Our out-going club officers – Thanks guys for herding all the cats, supporting public service events,  putting on a great Field Day,  and sponsoring classes that bring in our new members

Rich, KA4GFY,  Rich has been very busy this year,  but still finds time to lead our classes, organize instructors, answer student’s questions and work the logistics.  Rich is also our club trustee,  a sparkplug in the D-Star group and has supported ARES and public service efforts.

Roy, K4AXQ, has been our Webmaster and computer guru.  He has put up a website that is WORLD CLASS,  he has provided us with a place to hold our classes and been even provided some students!

Ted, W9TCE has been our treasurer and our ways and means person.  Not only does this add some fun to the meeting but it also provides for funds to support the club.  If you have some amateur radio gear you don’t need and want to donate to the club, Ted has been the guy to go to.

Tim, KT4MV, has been our technical leader and repeater builder.  He’s been working quietly to improve our many repeaters.  Tim also provided a very interesting program on avionics early in the year.

Craig, K4GOR, has also been working to improve the club by making valuable suggestions on programs and providing technical assistance to Tim on repeater upgrades.

Marshal, KI4MP, has been our club president for the past two years and has been our best example of what amateur radio is all about.  Marshal has lead by example,  provided his hard learned expertise in the D-Star world to keep us on the cutting edge of amateur radio and has demonstrated that this club is a FUN club.

Ian, N8IK,  has been one our best instructors and has been willing to go the extra mile to support all of our club efforts.  Like Marshal he exemplifies the best in our hobby.  Ian has also been the guru of CW.

Jeremy, KF7IJZ, is our incoming V.P. and from his joining the club a few years ago has been active participant and gave a great program on solar power.  He also work his …. Off on Field Day.

Tom, KJ4FUU, our incoming President,  has proven that antenna and power limitations do NOT mean you cannot have fun on HF.  Tom has been collecting DX cards from all over the word on less than 5 watts on a wire antenna.  With Tom, no others have any excuses!

Eric, KG4DZA,  was able to arrange for our move from the Hospital to our current home, he’s been working with the City EMS folks to get antennas up for the EOC stations.

73 Rick/N4ASX

Christmas humor

Normally, there would be an attempt at a parody of a Christmas carol like our ‘Night Before Christmas” which was developed with mass quantities of beer about 15 or so years ago,  but as some of us have gotten older,  we don’t drink that much beer anymore and so the creativity was missing.  So, next year some of the newer members need to submit an effort.

Amateur Social Activities

Monday Night Half Price Burgers – There is a group that gets together at Shooter McGee’s (Duke and Paxton Streets) on Monday evenings at 6:30 PM. A good burger and soft drink runs about $9.00.