Alexandria Radio Club Virtual Meeting
We’ll use the Zoom app to continue getting together – look for an invitation via our email list. To subscribe send N8IK at ARRL dot NET a request to be added.
Field Day 2019 Chairman Don KI4D Report
It was a gorgeous weather weekend with over 70 members and guests participating with smiles. Please upload additional photos for GIF update at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/GNnGTjp5V7N232ih9
ALEXANDRIA RADIO CLUB
FCC LICENSE SCHOOL
DIGITAL REGISTRATION FORM
(Spring Class Schedule)
First Class Date: Each Tuesday, March 10th 2020 through May 5th 2020.
The required FCC Exam will be given on the last session in May.
Class Start Time: 1900 hours until 2100 hours ( 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM)
Teaching Site: Alexandria Police Department Headquarters, 3600 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA (Just off Duke Street about 1 block west of Quaker Lane)
Cost: ARRL License Manual $30.00 + FCC Exam Fee $15.00 + Class Material $5.00 = $50.00. We prefer cash or checks at the first class since PayPal charges us transaction fees.
FCC License School Coordinator: Rich Adamy, KA4GFY – contact Rich at (703) 969-6615 or email@example.com for additional information. Rich is assisted by a cadre of instructors who are FCC Extra Class licensees and former industry and military communications specialists
The FCC License Class Syllabus covers 400 question topics from which 35 pool questions make up the license exam. Classes incorporate ARRL PowerPoint Topics & Film Clips portraying the historical evolution of radio communications. License practice exam questions are available on the Internet.
Learning International Morse Code is no longer an FCC license requirement, but is highly encouraged.
Click here for FCC Electronic Code of Federal Regulations Title 47 ->Part 97 – AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE
Notices of Importance
Alexandria Radio Club – Tri-Fold for Public Service Announcement (PSA)
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 ( DMR IS UP AND RUNNING 442.4125 +5Mhz Color Code 1.)
ALL ARE UP AND RUNNING – HAM IT UP! Get on the air!
SPECIAL NOTE: DMR IS UP AND RUNNING 442.4125 +5Mhz Color Code 1. PLEASE USE OUR REPEATERS.
COVID-19 continues to make a huge impact on the way we interact with each over. A revised calendar for club activities is enclosed below.
In April we held our first-ever virtual club meeting using the Zoom televideo app software. At the meeting, over 30 attendees were present for the presentation on the City of Alexandria Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) by Dr Marjorie Windelberg, Alexandria CERT Co-Coordinator. Otherwise, we were able to complete the normal in-person club meeting agenda with a few exceptions. One unexpected and pleasant surprise we had was the attendance of club member Lane Thurmond who is with his family on Guam. Local time for Lane was 9:00 a.m of the next day for us when our meeting started. Lane has expressed interest in conducting HF QSOs with ARC club members once he completes his HF station.
At our May club meeting, our guest speaker will be speaking on the WINLINK email system for emergencies that do not rely on the Internet. Our guest speaker, Greg Butler, leads WINLINK practice across the state of Virginia every Wednesday using ICS forms and other forms used for disasters or emergencies. Since someday, we hope that the Alexandria EOC will have a WINLINK email system capability, we are hoping that this presentation will also be an introduction of WINLINK to the Alexandria emergency communications community.
Field Day Planning for 2020 has begun. The “kick-off” planning meeting will be held on May 13th at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. Attendance is open to all club members who join the Field Day 2020 planning group. Those included in Field Day 2019 planning are automatically included in the Field Day 2020 planning group. Needless to say, this year’s effort is complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The details of Field Day 2020 planning will be discussed in an on-going basis via a Google group that was set up exclusively for that purpose. If you are a member of the Alexandria Radio Club and would like to be added to the planning group, please send an email request to join the group to firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com . During planning, it will be important to stay abreast of ARRL guidance and ideas and monitor what other clubs are planning; and most importantly, constantly and carefully follow trends and changes in state and local restrictions and guidance regarding COVID-19. Important dates are as follows:
- * Field Day is scheduled for June 27-28 weekend
- * Existing COVID-19 restrictions expire on June 10th
- * The end-date for planning should be no later than June 12th.
Our group buy of safety vests and winter garments are in a hold status until we receive a new order of ARC patches. These patches are to be sewn on both garments.
Please stay safe and keep up with your social distancing.
73 Don, KI4D
NEXT CLUB MEETING
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will again be meeting on ZOOM on MAY 8th at 7 PM. Don, esteemed club president, will set up the meeting and send out the link. All you need is to download and install it on your phone, tablet or computer, you do not need a camera, but a microphone attached to your computer would allow you to talk back and ask questions. If you’re on a phone or tablet you will have the camera and a built-in microphone. Recommend you MUTE your mike when you sign in.
Our program will be Greg Butler, KW6GB, who runs the statewide WINLINK WEDNESDAY effort. Great training. Once a week you get to exercise your packet gear and the WINLINK 2000 system.
After obtaining his first amateur radio license in 1972, the distractions of being a teenage boy ensued and radio was quickly forgotten. Decades later, Greg was living and working 12 miles from the San Andreas Fault in southern California while pursuing a master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. At that point, he realized that amateur radio needed to be a part of his personal disaster plan, and Greg re-entered the hobby. Retired since June 2014, Greg and his wife live near Front Royal, where he is active in the emergency communications branch of the hobby. He volunteers with Warren County Fire & Rescue, both as an operations member and as the leader of Warren County EmComm, which supports the county Emergency Services Office with amateur radio.
6 METERS – NO INTERESTED Cancelled.
While there were no takers for the 6-meter net, using our repeaters while we are SOCIAL DISTANCING is a good way to stay in touch with our ham radio friends. I listen on 147.315 when I’m in the shack. I sometimes listen on 4464.6, 224.82 and 53.13. Join in, ANYTIME. Just drop your call. Rundown your HT batteries, Check your gear.
Thanks to our club president for making this up and we have been running well so far.
- * February 1st– FROSTFEST, Richmond, VA – Good turnout.
- * February 14th – Meeting, VA QSO Party Presentation – Always good to get Gordon to talk to us.
- * February 17th – George Washington Day Parade participation (9AM – 2:30PM) – Thanks to all who came out and helped make this a success.
- * March 2nd– License Classes begin (Ends May 5th with a VE Session). Now putting ZOOM to the test. It will be interesting to see what the pass rate is. Welcome to all our new students.
- * March 7th – St Patrick’s Day Parade – Great showing. Good PR for our club.
- * March 13th– Meeting, Member GO-KIT Exhibits & Discussions or ARDEN. MEETING CANCELLED.
- * March 21-22nd– VA QSO Party Weekend – GREAT EVENT. I hope those who worked the party will send in their reports so the club has a good score.
- * March 29thWINTERFEST, Annandale, VA (We have tables!) – RAIDED BY THE VIRUS, Maybe Barryville will make up for it. April 10th –
- * Meeting, Alexandria CERT – ZOOM !!!!!
You are here !!!
- * April 8th– Field Day planning committee kickoff meeting (John Marshall Library) TO BE RESCHEDULED
- * May 14th– Meeting, WINLINK presentation
- * May 15-17th– HAMVENTION, Dayton, OH – CANCELLED due to virus.
- * June 12th– Meeting, Field Day final briefing
- * June 27-28 – FIELD DAY 2020
- * July 10th– Meeting,
- * August 14th– Meeting, Marine Corps Marathon Briefing
- * September 11th– Meeting,
- * October 14st– Meeting,
- * October 25th– MARINE CORPS MARATHON
- * November 13th– Meeting, Club ELECTIONS
- * December 11th– Meeting, Christmas party
Programs in the works: AMSAT, AMRAD, HRO, EOC visit, SDRs
New requirements for ARES volunteers. First, to find out what’s going on in the state FACEBOOK is the place to get info (so I’m told), All ARES volunteers will be expected to sign up with ARRL ARES CONNECT VA. I understand that I will be able to keep records and post nets and events for our group on this site. Please sign up https://arrl.volunteerhub.com/
I am repeating the above because NO ONE other than the original 8 volunteers have signed up on ARES Connect to date. Many of you, when you took out Tech Class, stated that you wanted to SUPPORT emergency services in Alexandria. My general opinion as to the Emergency Coordinator for the past 15 years is that those who ONLY want to support EMERGENCY SERVICES when a REAL EVENT happens will NOT be prepared when that REAL EVENT happens. I have been active with Alexandria ARES sense 1979 and I can tell you that in the few events we’ve had during my time, those who are not active in nets and public service events DO NOT SHOW UP when a REAL EVENT happens. It is important that in a disaster we take care of our own and our family’s needs first, but, if you don’t have your gear ready and the KNOWLEDGE to use it in an emergency you will NOT be able to help. ARES is the PAYBACK to the community for the use of very VALUABLE RF spectrum, the ARRL’s fight to do away with HOA rules on antennas and our ability to have mobile communications without getting a ticket for talking on you mobile radio.
That’s my rant. If you REALLY want to support the community when there is a REAL EMERGENCY, then you want to JOIN ARES, SIGN UP FOR ARES CONNECT and check into at LEAST one club net per month. Just as a short exercise. Pick up your handheld radio and check to see if it’s programmed for our area and is the battery still good?
CERT and ALEXANDRIA ARES
At our April meeting (on ZOOM) our guest was Dr Marjorie Windelberg who is the lead for Alexandria Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT). The purpose of CERT is to provide trained teams to react to an emergency when it FIRST happens and before the police and fire can get to an area. Local CERT groups would assemble, and provide first aid, pulling victims from unsafe locations, turn of utilities in buildings to prevent fires, flooding or electrical hazards. This is HANDS-ON. Very soon after the first activities, CERT will need to communicate with the city Emergency Manager to arrange for support from first responders. CERT members are now required to take a class from the city emergency manger’s office, and complete FEMA IS 100 and IS 200 (recommend for ARES volunteers as well). This is where ARES can support, but for an ARES volunteer to support, that ARES volunteer must also complete the CERT training and volunteer to support CERT in Alexandria. Once an ARES volunteer also qualifies as a CERT volunteer, the ARES Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to assign an ARES/CERT volunteer to each CERT (team). Our net would be upon our 2-meter repeater (see the banner at the top of this newsletter). No one can predict what type of communications equipment will be needed. Our repeater may be down, so you may need a handheld with a good antenna and if the repeater is down, you may need to work SIMPLEX on the output of the repeater. Most dual-band radios can cross-band repeat. To do this you would set up your handheld on a UHF simplex frequency that is UNIQUE to your set up. Also, recommend you pick a PL tone also unique to your set up. So, while you’re working with CERT you can be portable and relay to the ARES 2 meter net using the horsepower of your mobile radio.
When we get access to the hospital again, we will replace the DSL router for D-STAR and DMR repeaters. Hope to also figure out how to remote the two Dual Band radios from the machinery room to the office where the hospital wants us to set up our equipment.
Trailer work is now in the planning stages and CORVID-19 willing, we can get the trailer updated before Field Day.
73 Rick – N4ASX
FOR SALE or to a Good home.
My XYL says I have run out of storage space and need to get rid of a few radios. SO….
I still have TWO Kenwood TR-7950 2 meter transceivers. One only puts out 22 watts, all have some lights out, but they all work! All have 3 – tone, Tone boards (107.2,141.3 and 156.?) which will work on MOST of the local repeaters. Free to a good home.
- AZDEN 7500 6 meter mobile 50 watts out. $75
- YAESU FT-7500 75 watt 2 meter FM transceiver $75
- Kenwood TM-331 220MHz FM radio. $50.
- Ten-Tec Eagle HF/6m transceiver. With built-in tuner and filters. $700 with a microphone.
- IC V8000 2 meter high output (75 watts), $75
Send me an e-mail and we can plan.
If you have items you are looking for or want to sell, send me a note and I will include it in the next ARC SHORTS.
The spread of COVID-19 (AKA Corona Virus) has put a major damper on hamfests.
So far in our area, Winterfest, Fredfest and Hagerstown Hamfests have been cancelled. The Raleigh, NC Durham hamfests have been cancelled. The Delmarva hamfest has been cancelled. Added to that list is Olde VA Hams hamfest in June. The big disappointment to everyone is the cancellation of Hamvention 2020. The first time in their 68-year history.
As of late April, the Memorial Weekend Hamfest on May, on May 24, 2020, sponsored by the Maryland FM Association is still on the calendar. It’s held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD, right off Route 144 and I-70. Talk-in will be on the MFMA repeaters, 146.760 (-), 224.760 (-) and 444.000 (+). All need a 107.2 Hz PL tone to access them. Here is the link: http://www.marylandfm.org/Hamfest.htm
The Father’s Day Hamfest at Arcadia takes place on June 21, 2020, at the Arcadia Fairgrounds in Upperco, MD. It’s sponsored by the Baltimore Amateur Radio Club. Talk –in is on BARC 2 meter repeater, 146.670 MHz (PL 107.2 Hz). Here is the link: https://w3ft.com/hamfest/
With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, be sure to check the websites to make sure the hamfest has not been cancelled.
Our class began on schedule on March 10 with 18 students in attendance. There were four who indicated they were interested in coming, but other commitments got in the way.
By the second week, we were unable to hold class in the Police Department facility. Zoom has been our teaching platform for the duration of the class. Without access to the Police Department building, we are now teaching General class material to our students to get them up to speed to take the General class exam along with the technician when we do get access.
We have reserved the room in June after the restriction is lifted. If for some reason we still can’t into the building, we have a couple of contingency plans in place to make sure the exam goes on. I recently saw an article about a club that did an exam session in a park to comply with social distancing requirements. That is on our list as well.
- * May 2 and 3 – 7th call area QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
- * May 2 and 3 – Indiana QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
- * May 2 and 3 – Delaware QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
- * May 2 and 3 – New England QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
- * May 9 and 10 – Arkansas QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
- * May 16 – Hamvention QSO Party. Exchange is RST and the first year you attended. If you have never attended Hamvention, use “2020” as the year.
- * May 30 and 31 – CQ Worldwide WPX Contest, CW. Exchange is RST and serial number.
- * June 6 and 7 – Kentucky QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
- * June 13 through 15 – ARRL June VHF Contest. 50 MHz and above. Exchange is grid square. Most of us are in FM18.
- * June 20 and 21 – West Virginia QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
Don’t forget, be sure to send in your log within 7 days after the contest ends for all ARRL sponsored contests. ARRL now uses a web application for contest log submissions. Here is the link: http://contest-log-submission.arrl.org/ Be sure to convert your file to Cabrillo format before submitting. Most logging programs support the Cabrillo format.
REMEMBER to support the CLUB’S score for contests by providing Ian, N8IK your info (Name, Call sign and Grid Square location) and submit your scores for the contests you play in. If the contest asks for a club affiliation, the Alexandria Radio Club is on the list of contest clubs. Contesting is one way we show that we are using our frequency allocations.
Contests may not be your thing, but contests are a great way to show outside interests we do use our valuable spectrum. By showing we use our spectrum, other services will have a hard time proving that we don’t use our spectrum and it’s up for re-allocation to someone else.
Contests can also be a great way to become introduced to HF communications. While it can be intense, pick the contest and jump in. Most contests have a limited exchange so it is usually easy to get what the other station needs.
State QSO parties are a great introduction to contesting. Most are low-key and the exchange is limited.
Speaking of state QSO parties, there is now a state QSO party challenge. You can start accumulating multipliers by submitting a log in any state or provincial QSO party to 3830scores.com QSOParty Groups.io.forum and State QSOParty.com.
The club analog repeaters are all up and running. The receiver on the 70 cm DSTAR repeater appears to have a sensitivity issue. The transmitter is working normally.
We have resumed (semi-regularly) the follow-on net on one of the other repeaters after the Thursday net on the 2-meter analog repeater.
Once the access restriction is lifted at the hospital, we will be able to replace the modem and look at the 70 cm repeater receiver to see what needs to be done. Once the modem is replaced, our DSTAR and DMR repeaters will have internet access.
You can use the DSTAR repeaters in local mode by not filling in the “Repeater 2” position or link to another W4HFH DSTAR repeater by using “W4HFH” in the first 5 positions and “A”, “B”, or “C” in the 8th position in “Repeater 2.”
The local mode for the DMR repeater is talk group 27500. Most code plugs label the talk group as “Local.”
As always, ham it up and get on the air.
73, Rich, KA4GFY
Gene Jenkins, N4JEE | engaged in ARC Trailer Construction Team for National Capital Area: Amateur Radio Community Service
History as told by Gene Jenkins, N4JEE, Alexandria Radio Club Member
“The idea for the trailer came during the support for the Salvation Army at the Pentagon after 9-11. They had us set up net control at their headquarters. It was like field day stringing wire in the trees and all. There was a clear need for a mobile command center for Ham Radio. One that could be towed to a location and be on the air in minutes. A while later, a lady donated her silent key husband’s ham shack to the club. We sold off the equipment and dedicated the proceeds to the project. That money with a number of us digging into our own pockets gave us enough cash to buy a trailer. We parked it in my driveway in Fairfax and had work parties most every weekend…
One of the members had a friend in the Manassas club that had a vinyl cutting machine that volunteered to cut our graphics for us for the cost of material. When the time came, his equipment was down. I got some estimates from sign companies and none were in our budget. I bought a machine and some vinyl and we learned how to make signs. The machine and vinyl cost much less then the estimates from the sign companies. The original intent was to allow other clubs to use the trailer for emergencies and events. That’s why the graphics are generic and there are points for any club to attach their own banner. Again, the original plan was that an operator could bring their own equipment and be on the air in no time. Over the years the club has populated the trailer with their own equipment so loaning it out wasn’t a good idea.
Everyone contributed ideas as well as labor to build the trailer. Some of the ideas worked and some didn’t. Those that didn’t have been retrofitted over the years and I’m sure that there are plans for future
enhancements in the queue. I’m proud to have been a part of project and glad that it is still in use on a regular basis and that should a disaster occur in the DC area that the Alexandria Radio Club will be there, with the trailer, to provide support.”
Prepared by Don Lewis, KI4D
_________________________________________________EVENTS PLANNED FOR AMATEUR RADIO ENTHUSIAST
You are invited to Amateur Radio Roundtable, a new series of W5KUB.com live weekly webcasts. The webcast is every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM EDST (0200 UTC Wednesdays) at W5KUB.COM. To watch click on Live Events and sign in with your existing User Name and Password.
Amateur Radio Roundtable is an informal discussion of all aspects of ham radio with the intent of allowing viewers to watch this live webcast or be a guest via Skype or Google Hangout. A question and answer session with viewers will follow each topic.
The show covers all aspects of ham radio; such as, balloon launches, Satellite, go-kits, emergency communications, SDR, digital modes, DXing, home brewing, and much more. This week’s guests include Arnie Shatz, N6HC, a team member of many great DExpeditions; Eric William discussing SRD; and Franc Dunatov, ZL1SLO, discussing Special Event operations from New Zealand.
All – this is a critical time for survival of hopes that amateur radio will have the same rights and privileges as, or parity with, commercial radio interests regarding antenna installations in communities across the U.S. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has issued an urgent call for League Members to contact Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation members representing their states to urge their support of S. 1685, the US Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015. Action on this legislation in the Senate is scheduled this week.
Neither Virginia Senator Warner or Senator Kaine is on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, however, they could be persuaded to be a co-sponsor S. 1685 as is Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who is also not a member of the Committee. See link below for ARRL details.
If the legislation becomes law, radio amateurs living in antenna-restricted communities would have the opportunity to negotiate with homeowners associations to install antennas that reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communication.
Taking the time out to contact our Virginia Senators for support of S. 1685 would contribute to passage of this legislation, and may contribute to amateur radio capabilities to support to the public in case of emergencies. Phone numbers are listed below,
- Senator Mark Warner
- 475 Russell Senate Office Building
- Washington, DC 20510
- Phone: 202-224-2023
- Senator Tim Kaine
- 231 Russell Senate Office Building
- Washington, D.C. 20510-4607
- DC Phone: 202-224-4024
- DC Fax: 202-228-6363
WEEKLY NET REQUEST:
Be sure to copy and submit the practice emergency message each week.