Amateur Radio Workshop HF Antennas

Testing, Workshop

By: Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

Wendell, NC Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts (FCHRE) is pleased to announce it’s first amateur radio workshop topic and speaker.  The topic will be HF antennas by Curt Phillips (W4CP). The workshop will take place on August 7, 2021 at 1:00 PM. The location will be Wendell United Methodist Church, 129 N Main St, Wendell, NC 27591

Curt Phillips has been a licensed amateur radio operator since he was 13 years old, over 50 years now.  He has written on radio, electronics and engineering topics for numerous national publications, and has taught radio, electronics and energy engineering topics at NC State and Virginia Tech among other universities, as well for several local community colleges.  He is a Life member of the American Radio Relay League.

Amateur radio exams will be given following the workshop at 2:30. All applicants must have a FRN issued by the FCC or a call sign and a valid email address.  There is no charge for the exam. Walk-ins will be accepted but registration is preferred.  Please register at http://www.fivecountyhre.org/study-tips-and-registration/

For background

FCHRE was recently recognized by the largest amateur radio fraternity in the United States the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) North Carolina section manager for their superior efforts involved in organizing Volunteer Examination Sessions during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

From the Federal Communication Commissions website

The amateur and amateur-satellite services are for qualified persons of any age who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. These services present an opportunity for self-training, intercommunication, and technical investigations. Twenty-nine small frequency bands throughout the spectrum are allocated to this service internationally. Some 1,300 digital, analog, pulse, and spread-spectrum emission types may be transmitted.

Our regular dinner gatherings are held on the fourth Thursday of every month at Mclean’s in Zebolon starting at 6:00 PM.  

Image Description:  A rod supporting one end of a HF antenna.  The antenna was used at a special event station celebrating 80+ years of the Virginia Fone Net. 

 

Poll results

Amateur Radio, Testing, Weekly Report

 

Our Monthly Gathering 

Please Join us Thursday July 22 at 6:00 PM at our monthly gathering at Mclean’s  in Zebolon. 418 W Gannon Ave, Zebulon, NC 27597

Dinner starts at 6:00 PM tell them at the front the radio club.  

Repeater in that area is 444.875+  100.0 PL. 

Weekly Net

Please join us tonight at 7:00PM  for the Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts net on the Carolina 440 network. You will be able to find your closest repeater at https://www.carolina440.net/440uhf-repeaters/repeaters-on-link.html.  If you are not close to the repeater or  are unlicensed and you would like to  listen on line try  https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/34503 Tony Hall (WW4TCH) is our regular net control station. 

Thanks to the Carolina 440 net for the use of the repeater. If you would like to help see https://www.carolina440.net/membership/support.html.  Tell them FCHRE sent you.

Add to your QRZ page

If you are a US Amateur you have a QRZ page.  Go to their FAQ section to get help.  

Poll Results 

Amateur Radio Workshop topics top votes.  Looks like more of our voters are interested in HF Antennas with 17 votes followed by a tie Basic home amateur radio station and Portable HF antenna considerations.  Both of those had 9 votes.  If you have expertise in this area please send me a message we will get you scheduled.  We can start at 1:00 PM for the workshop and the exam would start at 2:30 so that will give you 90 minutes.  Our workshop will be on August 7at Wendell United Methodist Church.  

Our next exam

Don’t forget we will have two locations for our first Saturday exam.these exams will be August 7 in Fuquay Varina and Wendell.  Details and registration at http://www.fivecountyhre.org/study-tips-and-registration/

We have exams available at Banks Road on the Third Thursday and by appointment.

Weekly Net

Please join us tonight at 7:00PM  for the Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts net on the Carolina 440 network. You will be able to find your closest repeater at https://www.carolina440.net/440uhf-repeaters/repeaters-on-link.html.  If you are not close to the repeater or  are unlicensed and you would like to  listen on line try  https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/34503 Tony Hall (WW4TCH) is our regular net control station. 

Thanks to the Carolina 440 net for the use of the repeater. If you would like to help see https://www.carolina440.net/membership/support.html.  Tell them FCHRE sent you.

Mark Gibson 

Launch on need vehicle

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

As the shuttle program came to a close NASA decided to prepare a shuttle in case STS-134 had any issues they would be able to launch another shuttle to rescue the crew.     See Launch on needThe rescue shuttle launch was not needed and NASA launched the last shuttle as STS-135 and the Russians provided the launch on need support.

The Banks Road campus was offered to the FCVET for a test facility when the various fire stations closed their doors to the community due to the pandemic. Our first exam at Banks Road was March 7, 2020.

Thanks to the owners of Supreme. T-shirts & Apparel Paulette (K4PKD) and Stan (W2CK) Disbrow that allows us to use their office in the capital city of Raleigh for amateur radio testing. While some the other established clubs in the area were cutting out the in-person exams in favor of the on-line exams or not doing it all the informal Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts (FCHRE) clubs VE team FCVET decided to continue to offer regular scheduled amateur radio exams. Here is an article  when we celebrated our first anniversary.

At our last scheduled Saturday testing session I congratulate the following upgrades to Extra.

KK4MZS of Fayetteville

KO4TWA of Wake Forest

I congratulate the following upgrades to General

KO4RNG of Garner

KM4BMQ of Cary

And the following  new amateur radio amateur radio Operators

New Generals

KO4RUA of Holy Springs

KO4RUG of  Cary

New Technicians

KO4RUB of Apex

KO4RUC of Hillsborough

KO4RUD of Raleigh

KO4RUE of Raleigh

KO4RUF of Clayton

KO4RUH of Raleigh

Please sure to welcome them as they get on the air.  

We will not have exams in July on the third Thursday but will continue testing at Banks Road on the Third Thursday of the month starting in August.  We will also continue testing by appointments at anytime agreeable to any FCVET deputy directors and two other VE team members. If you need this accommodation just check other on the   Registration page and make a comment about what day of week and the time frame.

FCHRE New Wendell Venue

Amateur Radio, Testing

Wendell United Methodist Church

By: Mark Gibson(N4MQU)

Lately I felt it necessary to explain FIve County Ham Radio Enthusiasts didn’t start off as a amateur radio volunteer examiner team.  A few of us wanted to have a place to go to locally where we would not have to drive to Smithfield and Raleigh but still get together to discuss amateur radio.  We started testing in 2018 in Wendell and found the fire stations in nearby towns very agreeable to allowing us to use their facility to test in.

When the pandemic closed the facilities to us one of our members offered to allow us to use their private office on Banks Road in Raleigh.  Due to the pandemic and parking limitations we had to start scheduling exams instead of having one session in a day we had several. We adapted and had over 130 Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) issued from Banks Road.  

So that brings us to today.  I started checking around for venues specifically in Wendell and found Wendell United Methodist Church agreeable to allowing us to use the facility.

The first Saturday in July wasn’t scheduled to be our exam date due to Independence Day but since the facility was available and we found VE’s willing to serve we decided to hold one.  This was mainly for us to check out the facility to see what was available to us.  The volunteers examiners for the inaugural testing session was KK4QEF, N4EVT, K4EUP, AJ4NX, AI8U, N4MQU, W2CK.  All but two were from Wendell! We had four visitors come to the meet and greet event.  One of them Gary Ybarra (KO4LRJ) decided to volunteer to become a VE. Two of the guest decided to take the extra class examination.  One of the guest suggested with this facility we could handle a amateur radio workshop event and offered to take the lead in this effort.  

FCVET was recently recognized by the largest amateur radio fraternity in the United States the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) North Carolina section manager for their superior efforts involved in organizing Volunteer Examination Sessions during the COVID 19 Pandemic. 

There are over 3,000 amateur radio operators in Wake County.

The team was the first team in North Carolina to offer no charge amateur radio exams.

Wendell amateur radio workshops will be held on the first Saturday of every month at 1:00 PM.  The no charge amateur radio exams will be held at 2:30.  Study tips and registration.

Thanks to the Wendell United Methodist Church for allowing us to use this facility.  

I had to put my portable office back in service

AI8U, W2CK, N4MQU, KK4QEF, AJ4NX, N4EVT

Fully equipped kitchen

Independence Day Net

Amateur Radio, Testing, Weekly Report

Happy Independence Day!

Amateur radio is one hobby that happens every day including on holidays! One year I was privileged to call the Virginia Fone Net on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
I will be your substitute net control tonight. Hope to hear you. A couple of weeks ago I received a message on Facebook about someone hearing our net from the Sandhills area. I gave them some information on getting a license and encouraged them to get licensed.
Please join us tonight at 7:00PM for the Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts net on the Carolina 440 network. You will be able to find your closest repeater at https://www.carolina440.net/440uhf-repeaters/repeaters-on-link.html. If you are not close to the repeater or are unlicensed and you would like to listen on line try https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/34503 Tony Hall (WW4TCH) is our regular net control station.

Thanks to the Carolina 440 net for the use of the repeater. If you would like to help see https://www.carolina440.net/membership/support.html. Tell them FCHRE sent you.

Our next no charge amateur radio exam is next Saturday July 10. http://www.fivecountyhre.org/study-tips-and-registration/ This is our last scheduled exam at Banks Road. We will hold exams there by appointments and maybe continue our once a month weekday exams where the applicants get their call sign in a couple of hours. The VE team is discussing our options.

Two New VE teams formed

Amateur Radio, Testing, Weekly Report

 

A little history

As most of you know FCVET was the first Laurel VE team formed in North Carolina. I had never lead a VE team and maybe had participated in two or three VE sessions before. That first exam wouldn’t have been successful without WD1U coming all the way to North Carolina from Virginia to help with our first exam. We had a tech in a day class with an exam to follow on the same day. 5 of our 9 students passed. My passion is for free exams. AA5AZ approached me about doing an exam in the Goldsboro area. The Neuse River Basin Team is now set up in that area. W4CEC announced his technician class with the exam to follow the only cost was for the exam fee. I couldn’t let that happen. I got volunteers from several VE teams to sign up with Laurel. I twisted Chris’s arm to form his own team to serve his area and his merit badge and radio classes he teaches. He conducts his classes all they way to Camp Durant to the American Legion building in Wake Forest.

Central Carolina VE Team

Now that things seem to be opening up and K7RLH has decided to start his Central Carolina VE team and serve the Central Wake county area. He has excellent on hands experience and has been a great help on giving exams at Banks Road. He most likely will be testing at the American Legion building in Fuquay-Varina.

Westmoreland Amateur Radio Club VE Team

I also would like to welcome a new Virginia team to the Laurel VEC. I am a member of the Virginia Fone Net and they recently held their convention. I suggested to the manager to hold a VE session there and he agreed I needed a couple of volunteers from the local area and KX4ZG, KC8VFN and W4GMF were the first three from the local area to jump on board. Westmoreland Amateur Radio Club decided to start a new VE team and KX4ZG agreed to become the team leader. They are a ARRL special service club and now they can give exams for free. We tested Friday and Saturday and got two to upgrade to General and one upgraded to Extra. Thanks to the VE’s that volunteered to Friday and or Saturday N4WDC, KC8VFN, KX4VG, AA4GB, N4MQU and WD1U.

FCVET Future

As far as Banks Road we are limited for parking. We are able to keep Banks Road open for appointments and maybe keep our third Thursday exam going. I have an extra set of supplies I can use for testing at special events or private exams or I am also hoping to find a suitable place in Wendell where we could have exams. We have signed up a couple of new VE’s in the Wendell area to help.

Thank you

I really appreciate 76 people that have volunteered to be a FCVET member. I appreciate the 118 applicants we have tested this year (until end of May)This worked out to 65 new Technicians, 31 new or upgraded Generals, 8 new or upgraded to Extra. This represents a savings of $1,770 for the applicants. This does not include the fee for retakes. We had a recent upgrade to Extra class after taking the exam four times. That would cost them $60.00.

Thanks to the ARRL for promoting non-ARRL teams on their website. Thanks to Laurel VEC for offering free exams.

June Dinner Gathering

Our June dinner will be on June 24 at Mclean’s in Zebolon. 418 W Gannon Ave, Zebulon, NC 27597
Dinner starts at 6:00 PM tell them at the front the radio club.
444.875+ 100.0 PL. KF4AUF Wendell, NC

Astronomy

The new moon was Thursday. I still want to take that camping trip the Staunton River State Park.

Thanks for reading,

Mark Gibson (N4MQU)
FCVET Team Leader

20210502 First Sunday Report

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing, Weekly Report

Weekly net

Please join us 7:00PM Sunday for the Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts net on the Carolina 440 network. You will be able to find your closest repeater here If you are not close to the repeater or are unlicensed or you would like to just listen on line try here. Tony Hall (WW4TCH) is our regular net control station.

If you have thought you would like to serve the community during an emergency the best way to get ready is to learn to call a net. Let me know if you are interested in becoming a net control operator. This net is checkin driven meaning you can bring up other subjects like, building models or astronomy.

Thanks to the Carolina 440 net for the use of the repeater. If you would like to help out or join the group click on the link.Tell them FCHRE sent you.

Our  in person dinner gathering returns!

Tuesday May 4 6:00 PM Mclean’s 418 W Gannon Ave, Zebulon, NC 27597


April by the numbers

22 applicants 11 New Technicians 2 New Generals 6 Upgrades  to General 2 Upgrades to Extra 

Sunday net checkins 

I think the system is missing a net somehow but what it shows is 33 but I know that is in error. I think it is missing the net I called.  Help the numbers look different this month by checking in. You can check in even if you are not from the area.  Check the Carolina 440 link above.

Groups IO

We hit 202 members in April and had an all time record (since June 2019) of 350 messages that means everything was counted responses to posts etc. I’ve had people leave the group due to the number of posts.  Please don’t do that. At the bottom of the email are options like no emails or mute topics.  You have options.

May 1 testing session 

19 Applicants 11 new Technicians 3 New Generals 2 Upgrades to General

A visit from the section manager 

 

WA2KQY, NC4KG, WA4NC, KK4QEF, K7RLH, N4MQU

 

We had a visit from the ARRL North Carolina Section Manager Marvin Hoffman (WA4NC) at the test session May 1.  He presented the FCVET with the SUGAR award.  Supporting Upgrading Growing Amateur Radio. The certificate reads in part “Recognizes The Five County Amateur Radio Enthusiasts for their superior efforts involved in organizing Volunteer Examiner Sessions During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Thank you For coming Marv.  We also welcome Marv to the FCVET.  Several times during the year when COVID news got bad I had asked the team to make sure they were still willing to conduct the exams and never got one to say no. 

Astronomy Events

Photo Credit: KD4WJD Hugh Cashion

I see the local astronomy club went out last night.  The weather has been great for astronomy.  I was out Tuesday night. With the pink moon waning looks like May 4 – 6 is a good night for ETA Aquariid meteor shower.  Looks to be partly cloudy but maybe we’ll get lucky.

Age is no barrier

Age, Amateur Radio, Testing

Are you ever too old to upgrade? On the April 3rd exam we had two people I wanted to mention two that upgraded. One person upgraded to general and the other upgraded to extra. Congratulations to Kathleene Young (KM4BYD) and Robert Sepe (KO4LZT) Kathleen is 70 and Robert is 76. They gave me permission to use their age.

70 year old Kathleen Young (KM4BYD) upgraded to general

76 year old Robert Sepe (KO4LZT) upgraded to extra

20210403 Testing Session Report

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

We had a busy testing session with 13 new licensed amateur radio operators. 11 technicians and 2 new generals. Not to even mention the 1 upgrade to Extra and 6 General license upgrades granted. Congratulations to everyone. Thanks to the VE’s KK4QEF, WW4TCH, WA2KQY, AI8U, K7RLH, N4MQU, K9JWS for the successful session.

Parking lot full of applicants and VE’s

Amateur Radio Fee Effective Date April 19, 2021

Amateur Radio, Testing

By: Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

I just started reviewing this document. Looks like Amateur radio fee of $35 will go into effect April 19, 2021. This is not for your license exam this is for your License. Laurel VEC will not be collecting any fee.

38. After reviewing the record, including the extensive comments filed by amateur radio licensees and based on our revised analysis of the cost of processing mostly automated processes discussed in our methodology section, we adopt a $35 application fee, a lower application fee than the Commission proposed in the NPRM for personal licenses, in recognition of the fact that the application process is mostly automated.[66]

Link to Rule for the Application Fees.

 

Please if you know anyone considering taking an amateur radio exam please do so before April 19. For tips on how to study for the technician exam see Steps to tech. Five County VE team will do anything we can to support additional activity. We have 14 registered to take their exam at this time.

Our next no charge In-Person exam is April 3, 2021. Please register at Fivecountyhre.org .

  • For the nearest free exam near you see Laurel VEC
  • For the Amateur Radio License exam in your area try ARRL
  • For online testing sessions and in-person exams try HamStudy.org.

73,

Mark Gibson– N4MQU
Laurel VEC Team Leader

N4MQU At the FCC