ARC Shorts – September 2010

Club Repeaters: 147.315 (PL 107.2), 444.6 (107.2) (down for maint), 224.82(PL107.2), 53.13 (PL)107.2) DSTAR 145.38Mhz


The June meeting was held on August 13th at the INOVA Alexandria Hospital Health Educations Center.

As with many of our meetings this year, we did not have a large number of members in attendance, but we did have a good program.  Mr. Charlie McRorie with the City’s Emergency Management Office (EMS) was our guest speaker and pointed out that amateur radio was still a critical part of any emergency response.  There are a great deal of issues on how proper identification is to be handled in the event of an emergency.  The city had originally planned to issue ARES volunteers a common federally designed ID card which conforms to the ID system being implemented by federal agencies.  We also talked about upgrading installed radio systems at various locations.

As a side note, the club does have some equipment that we could install at a few locations if needed.

Charlie talked about the city’s planning and about a new EOC and communications center being built by the city. The plan is to have some location in that EOC to support an ARES presence


Our next meeting is September 10th at the INOVA Alexandria Hospital.  The assigned room is TBD. Check into the club net the night before or check at the front desk on meeting night.

The program for our next meeting is Eric Parker KG4DZA.  Eric works in the City’s radio shop and will tell us how the system is set up and the changes being made to that system.

CLUB Family Assistance

In the last few years we have dealt with Tommy Lucas’s (W4TBL) stroke and tried to help the family by selling his equipment.  At Berryville we sold the last of his radios and provide an additional $800 to the family.  One of our club members recently purchased Tommy’s last HF rig, so the family has the cash and the radio is back in use.  We still need a working party when the weather gets cooler to help clean out all the parts and junk in Tommy’s shack / basement so the family can make use of the space.

We were given limited time to pick up Jim Schwitz’s equipment and we held an auction as the fairest way to sell his equipment for the family.  We sent the family a check for $2500 from the auction.

Recently, we were informed of the passing of Ralph Schneider K4TXD.  Ralph was a Radar engineer during WW II, a MARS member, and avid amateur radio operator.  Ralph was also one of the charter members of the Alexandria Radio Club.  While he was not active with the club in the last 20 years, many of us saw him at hamfests and he was until a few years ago the trustee for our repeater systems.  Ralph’s family asked if we could come by his QTH and clean out his shack. Jack, Rick, Tim and Mike have been to the shack and some fine PROJECTS have been collected. The family has donated the gear to the club and we will use the proceeds to fund upgrades to our trailer.

TEN TEC HAMFEST Some members of the club have Ten Tec gear and some are looking for one more hamfest to find that great deal.  Below is info from the Ten-Tec website on the Ten Tec hamfest.  Some of us are thinking about a long road trip.  If you would like to join us, let Rick N4ASX, Ted W9TCE, or Rich KA4GFY know.

The 11th annual Ten-Tec factory hamfest! Featuring a discount sale on Friday and Saturday on new and used Ten-Tec ham radio equipment! Door prizes! Tour of the Ten-Tec factory! Meet the Ten-Tec factory representatives! 4 HF stations will be simultaneously on the air to try out the latest equipment. License testing at 12:30 Saturday afternoon.


Friday 9/24/10 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. (NO TAILGATING FRIDAY) Saturday 9/25/10 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Ten-Tec, Inc., 1185 Dolly Parton Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862. We are 2.5 miles east of downtown Sevierville on highway 411 north, across the street from Sevier County High School.

President’s Message:

I hope everyone had a great summer, bit hot but there were some band openings. We will continue to meet at the Alex Hospital for our monthly meeting. Rick (N4ASX) has some great programs lined up. Don’t forget to bring items for the Ways and Means at the Club meeting. Check-ins has been good for the Thursday night Club net. See you on the radio…

Jack Hranicky K5OTZ Club President

Club Christmas Party

The Alexandria Radio Club Christmas party will be held at Mango Mike’s (4580 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA) on December 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm. Meals to be announced. We were there two years ago. This date is one week later than the usual monthly meeting due to booking problems with the restaurant. We have to book early in order to get space for this time of year.

Jack Hranicky K5OTZ Club President

Marine Corps Marathon

This is the LAST month to sign up for Marine Corps Marathon.  No more volunteers will be accepted after 29 September. We in amateur radio are great procrastinators, but IF you do plan to support this activity, please get your information in.  Assignments are being made this month.  If you want that choice position, now is the time!

Go to WWW.NCACDC.COM or WWW.MARINEMARATHON.ORG. One of the fields asks for a ‘rank’ – you can put ‘ham’ in this field but you can’t leave it blank.

This is THE premier ham radio public service event in this area.  The need is for more than 130 operators, The teams include, Net Control,  Iwo Jima Support,  Race A (half the course – mile and half mile points), Race B, APRS, Medical (D-Star 1.2GHz digital and 9600 baud packet).

The signups are doing well with over 87 volunteers so far but the event could use about 135 hams.  Good for MCM! If you want a specific assignment, but have not yet signed up, do it early so that special considerations can be made.  As of last year, once enough volunteers have been signed up, then the team leads will select from the list of volunteers and will make assignments based on 1 – requests, 2 – equipment and 3 – past experience / ability.

The 900MHz Project

As our overworked repeater gurus were making monumental changes to our repeaters, they came across a Motorola 900MHz repeater that was no longer in use.  Jim Schwitz (SK – WA4CCF) has built a 900MHz repeater on the narrow (12.5 MHz split) but no-one in the club had any gear to use it! Tim, KT4MV tracked down the owners of the Motorola 900MHz repeater.  The repeater was donated to the club and a new frequency pair was coordinated with T-MARC.

This brings us to the question of how do we use a repeater for which there is no amateur equipment made? The answer was to go COMMERCIAL! Many of our members like to work with and convert commercial equipment to amateur use.

After searching the web, a source for easily convertible Motorola GTX-900 handhelds was found and an initial purchase of 15 radios was made. They were delivered on August 30th and will be programmed by a willing ham within the next two weeks or so.  Cost was $70 per radio plus $10 to program them.  Depending on what you read these radios will hold either 4 or 8 or 10 frequencies. Not a problem as there are very few 900Mhz repeaters in the area.

The program plan is to put the national simplex in channel 1, the club’s new pair in channel 2 and the output of that new pair in channel 3. The fourth channel is a question at this time, but we are leaning toward the Bull Run 900MHz as some of the radios purchased will go to the folks who are part of that organization.

Additional requests have come in for others to get in on this project, so I have ordered 5 additional radios (if the vendor has them).

What is the use other than to operate on a new band!

Future Programs

SEPTEMBER – Eric Parker KG4DZA – City Communications System, Ten-Tec Hamfest ??

OCTOBER -Tim O’Neill, KT4MV will provide a program on using test equipment in radio troubleshooting

NOVEMBER – Club elections – Movie night. N8IK has 3 new DXpedition DVDs from Hamvention this year,

DECEMBER – Club Dinner – we normally provide some level of entertainment by giving awards to our members who have distinguished themselves.  If you have an idea for an award and a candidate to receive such an honor,  forward to our V.P. Rick (N4ASX)

Other ideas include Project nights, and local programs. Let the club officers know what you would like to hear.

Social Events

We expect to be meeting at the Alexandria Hospital from now until our October meeting, so the pre-meeting dinner is now at Atlantis in the Bradlee Shopping Center 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 McGee’s (Duke and Paxton Streets) on Monday evenings at 6:30 PM. A good burger and soft drink runs about $9.50.

ARC - Shorts

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