ARC – Shorts – September 2012

October, 2012
By Rick 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, October 12th 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 this month will be presentations from our prospective new officers for next year and a timely presentation on D-Star.

September Meeting Program

Our September our program was presented by Mr. Art Blank, WA7NB, Art was part of the Midway Island DXpedition and has been on may other DXpeditions. He provided a great deal of insight into what it takes to put on a DXpedition and why folks do it. Lots of money and lots of effort go into putting rare entities on the air and being at the other end of the pile up sounds like one needs a great deal of skill and professionalism. It was a shame to hear that some operators don’t behave themselves when DX is on the air. The video was interesting, but the real interest was Art’s presentation and his response to questions.

September MEETING – Minutes KJ4FUU

1. Open meeting

2. Introductions: KJ4FUU, pass sign-in roster

3. Treasurer’s report: W9TCE, $20 dues, $20 DSTAR fund, 50/50 tickets

4. Secretary’s report: KJ4FUU – latest body count – 39 paid members

5. Committee reports:

a. Training Report – KA4GFY

Class begins 10/09 @ 3600 Wheeler Ave., 17 members, cost: $50

Exam on 12/11, no class on election day


October National SET Test, [Alexandria City]. We may have a drill in October. Marine Corps Marathon – Deanna Lutz offered to come back. Web site:

c. Repeater & remote receivers – KT4MV, KF7IJZ, K4GOR, KA4GFY

No changes in status reported. 33Cm, 2m up; 1.25m ½ done, 70cm, 23cm down


1 new user registered, new DSTAR capable ICOM models released

e. Webmaster – K4AXQ

Current, updated. 2 virus hits in 5 days, came in through WordPress. Roy will change the dinner time on the site.

6. Upcoming Events:

a. Marine Corps Marathon, October 28th,

7. Hamfests:

a. Virginia Beach – tomorrow – 9 – 4, $10 admission

8. Old Business:

a. Berryville hamfest report?

Nice, but nobody bought our junk.

9. New Business:

a. W9TCE – Ways and Means

b. Nominating committee for 2013 club officers

Current candidates: Tom KJ4FUU, president; Jeremy KF7IJZ, vice president; Steve W8RJH, treasurer; Bobby KK4CKJ, Larry KK4CBL, any position

c. Holiday Party – December 14th at Mango Mike’s

d. FAR Fest – T-MARC meeting

10. Net Controls: September 20: ____N4ASX______

September 27: ____KA4GFY_____

October 4: _______K4GOR______

October 11: _____KF7IJZ_______

October 12: next meeting

11. Last call for 50/50, then pull winning ticket – Winner: Jay KV3W

Speaker: Art Blank, WA7NB – DXpeditioning


Future Programs

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

SKYWARN Basic Class will be presented early next year, There may be a need to start our meeting early to cover all the material. I’ve asked NOAA to plan for February or March.

Let me know what YOU would like to hear. The alternative might be a DX video or How many ways you can mess up your wire dipole.

73 Rick N4ASX

CLUB ELECTIONS – Passing to torch

Craig Church has volunteered to be a officer nomination chair. If you are interested in running for office, please send Craig a short note at

So Far the nominees are

Tom KJ4FUU – President

Jeremey KF7IJZ – VP

Steve Wagner W8RJH – Treasurer

Larry – KK4CBL – VP/Tres/Sec

Bobby – KK4CKJ – VP/Tres/Sec

Nominations can be taken from the floor, but the nominee must agree to be placed on the ballot.

President’s Notes

With cooler days ahead and the days getting shorter, ARC members thoughts turn to preparing their outdoor gear for the cold days that lie ahead. The National Capital region was fortunate over the past two winters to have had a relatively mild winter season, but that doesn’t mean that “past success is a guarantee for future problem-free DX’ing!” As I mentioned last month, now in the waning warm days of October is the time to check all that outdoor gear for good seals and tight connections. Also, have you thought about what you would do with regards to outside equipment (cables, wire antennas, Yagis, towers, etc.) if we were to have a significant icing event?

A number of us have seen pictures in QST of the effects of significant snowfall or ice on antennas and how they can bow dramatically under the weight. ARC members who have outside equipment/antennas may want to consider what type of a plan they would implement to try and clear any significant accumulations off their gear that could be accomplished safely.

A few minutes of thought in developing a plan can be well worth the effort if issues develop later this winter!

Also, the latter part of October brings with it an annual ham activity, the Marine Corps Marathon. Hams have been actively engaged in assisting the Corps as well as the participants pretty much since the inception of the event in 1976. Our club has been particularly active in assisting, and that tradition of help continues on this year. I have been fortunate in being

able to assist in past years, and it has been one of the more gratifying events I have experienced as a ham. For those near the Mall area, there is nothing more exhilarating to see than the rising sun in the crisp October air over the Capitol dome and the Washington Monument in the inky early dawn. Many hams devote many hours of public service to this event, and the event officials have said year after year that without the ham’s assistance, they couldn’t do all that they do for the participants. For those who are assisting for either the first time or once again this year, my thanks go out to you for all the work and help that you do in providing service to the Marine Corps Marathon participants, and promoting the use of amateur radio to the public. I hope that all those amateur radio operators assisting this year have clear skies and warm temperatures, and once more have a successful, trouble free event!




Marine Corps Marathon is on for October 28th. This is the BIGGEST public service event of the year. Many of the local repeaters will be in use to support this effort. Many of our members will be putting in some serious hours to provide some serious support to this event. To those members, my thanks

Trailer changes

Rich, KA4GFY and I did some upgrades to the trailer. The trailer now has a new Kenwood D710A programmed with the RT software (yes, we have the software and the cable). Packet frequencies were not installed but they will be dependent on what we do with APRS and Packet. We still need to find a suitable GPS receiver that can be mounted out on the roof and fed to the radio to use the APRS display or to beacon when we use the trailer. A new tri-band (1.2Ghz, 2 Meter, 440Mhz) antenna was also installed for the two D-Star radios. So, we now have 1200/9600 baud packet capability and D-Star digital voice and data capability as well as the ability to run 3 two meter and 3 440Mhz channels if needed. Further we have a 22 channel 60 watt Midland commercial radio on 6 meters an Alinco 235 on 220 Mhz, and a P-25 trunking scanner in the trailer. We will be upgrading the power distribution system and may look at installing a swing up awning for solar battery charging. We will have a trailer cleaning party prior to Marine Corps Marathon. The trailer will once again be on site with Rich KA4GFY and Cameron K6CLM at Aid Station 4.

73 Rick

Upcoming Contests –

Oct 13 – Arizona Centennial QSO Party. Exchange is your name and state.

Oct 13 – Pennsylvania QSO Party. Exchange is a serial number and ARRL section.

Oct 15 through 19 – Aimed primarily at school clubs, but anybody can participate. Exchange is the signal report, your class and state.

Oct 20 – Iowa QSO Party. Exchange is the signal report and state.

Oct 20 – New York QSO Party. Exchange is a signal report and state.

Oct 20 and 21 – W/VE islands QSO Party. Exchange is signal report and state.

Oct 20 and 21 – Worked All Germany. Exchange is signal report and serial number.

Oct 21 and 22 – Illinois QSO Party. Exchange is signal report and state.

Oct 27 and 28 – CQ World Wide SSB Contest. Exchange is a signal report and CQ zone. We are in zone “5.”

Nov 3 through 5 – ARRL CW Sweepstakes. Exchange for this one is a little more complicated. It’s the other station’s call, a serial number, a precedence, your call, the year you were first licensed and your ARRL section. For example: N8IK, number 1 A, KA4GFY, 79, VA. The ARRL website explains the precedence and categories. Most of us are “A.” Remember, you can’t work somebody more than once, regardless of the band.

Upcoming Hamfests –

Oct 21 – Mason-Dixon Hamfest. Located at the Carroll County, MD Agricultural Center, 706 Agriculture Drive, Westminster, MD, 21157. The entrance is located just off the intersection with Smith Avenue. Nice venue for a hamfest.

Classes –

We have a new venue this fall. The location is the Alexandria Police Department HQs, the same location as our meetings. In fact, the very same room. The plan is to do the Technician class in the Fall and the General in the spring.

As of Columbus Day, we have between 20 and 25 students that we know of. There can always be a few that read about the class and come to class without contacting us for information.

This is GREAT news. We look forward to a large class of new hams. The Amateur Radio Service is growing. The number of US amateur licenses is over 706, 000.

FCC News –

The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Oct 2 with some changes to the Amateur Service.

The first proposal is to allow Time Division Multiple Access emission. The idea is that more than one station can occupy a repeater channel at the same time. This emission is starting to gain traction in the public safety arena. We already have repeaters using the P25 protocol as well as DSTAR and even a few proprietary types.

The other parts deal with licensing. The first has to do with allowing credit for expired licenses. Many people may have held a license in the past and for one reason or another became inactive and may have let their license lapse. The proposal is to allow those people to claim credit for the material they past originally. So, if a former ham had a General license in the 1970’s and it has now expired, they would be able to get a new General license by proving they had the license. Keep in mind, this does not affect Certificates of Successful Completion.

Based on that, the 2 year grace period is reduced to 180 days, since the former ham would be able to claim lifetime credit for elements passed. This would also affect the vanity call system because somebody looking to get a vanity call would only have to wait 181 days before an expired call becomes available.

The other proposal is to reduce the number of VEs required at an exam session from 3 to 2. The reasoning is that many smaller areas have trouble finding 3 VEs to administer exams. There have been exceptions on a case by case basis, but the 3 VE rule has been around since the beginning of the VE program.

These are only proposals at this point. If you would like to comment on this NPRM, its number is 12-283.

TMARC News –

The Mid Atlantic Amateur Radio Council (TMARC), the repeater coordinating body for this area held a meeting at the Columbia ARA Hamfest over the Columbus Day weekend. The main topic was changes coming to the 70 cm repeater frequencies. As of now, TMARC utilizes repeaters with high frequency in and low frequency out as well as low frequency in and high frequency out 70 cm repeaters. The commercial/public safety standard is high in/low out. The Southeastern Repeater Association and coordinating bodies around us use that protocol as well. So, TMARC wants to standardize the 70 cm repeaters. This will not directly affect us, but will affect repeaters in the area because they will eventually need to flip their input and output frequencies. It is only a proposal at this point. Get ready to start reprogramming your 70 cm radio.

73, Rich, KA4GFY


Two of our members at NASM

CLUB Christmas Dinner

The Holiday/Christmas party will be at Mango Mikes on our regular meeting night December 14th (second Friday). , and it looks like we have four members interested in running for various offices at the moment


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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