AARC Field Day 2015, 27-28 June 2015

The online signup for all operating and non-operating timeslots is available at VolunteerSpot!

AARC Field Day 2015 Signup

Our Field Day site this year will be the Charlottesville-UVa-Albemarle Emergency Communications Center at 2306 Ivy Road in Charlottesville. Click "Read more" below for detailed information.

Upcoming Public Service Events

Check your calendars, we have two important upcoming public service events that will need lots of volunteers.

Sunday, May 31 is the Miller School Bike Race. This race takes place on the Miller School loop, with 4 race groups on the course in the morning and another 4 groups on the course in the afternoon. A number of AARC and CVRA members have volunteered, but more are needed. So if you have time on Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon, please let me know as soon as possible.

The MS150 Bike Tour de Vine is fast approaching. Check your calendars for Saturday and Sunday June 13 and 14. Many volunteers are needed for this event which has had AARC support for around 25 years. There are last minute changes to the courses, and details are still a bit fuzzy. Again this year, the tour will take place from Pollak Vineyard west of Crozet. This event requires manning 4-5 rest stops, as well as maintaining SAG vehicles on the course.

Both of these public service events are a great opportunity to get out and play radio in the field, and to showcase the Amateur Radio Service to the public. Don't pass up on this chance to participate in AARC public service.

Club Document Section Created

I posted the Club Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and Tax Exempt Letter to this new section of our website

April Treasurer's Activity

During April your club had deposits totaling $2,099.73 and debits totaling $292.53. If you are interested in "cash on hand" then you must attend our May meeting on the 12th.

Tax Exempt Status

This letter from IRS documents that AARC is exempt from Income Tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Furthermore, we are a Public Charity.

As such, donations to our club are tax deductible.

I placed a copy of this letter under the Club Documents section.

Updated: Member Directory Available After Login.

The Member Directory was updated and posted to the "Member Directory" section of the AARC Webpage, available upon logging in.

March Treasury Activity

For the month of March we had debits totaling $415.35 and credits totaling $218.19.

Do you remember?

I just received an email from a former youth member of AARC and am posting it here so that any of you that knew Brian can get in touch.

Brian Meadowcroft KJ4SYJ (former KF4FRP)
vmi2uscg at yahoo dot com


I hope all is well in Charlottesville? The clubs web page looks good, and y'all sound pretty active.

I just wanted to thank you and the club for getting me started in radio 20 years ago. A few things have changed, but I'm back into ham radio and have just passed my Extra test! My Coast Guard unit in Southeast Texas, has assigned me to the Communications Unit Team Leader, partially due to my radio knowledge.

I had no idea what I'd be getting into and learning when I took my class and tests with Greg, N4PGS, back then. The hobby has taken me a long way and really helped provide me a good foothold in college!

If you wouldn't mind forwarding this on to a few of the guys that were active back in the late 90's, I'd appreciate it.

Maybe I'll find you while calling CQ sometime!


Brian, KJ4SYJ

Technical committee April updates

April was quite productive for the technical committee. We began with installing the new tone board at Marshall Manor on our April 1 visit. This also involved updating the firmware in the controller to support some new macros that allow us to remotely enable and disable the outgoing CTCSS tone. We can now enable full CTCSS tone squelch on our radios to eliminate hearing other machines on 146.760 and other undesired noises.

March 2015 Public Service Committee Report

What a great start to AARC Public Service events for the year. On Sunday, March 29, 13 members of the AARC turned out to assist with the Jefferson Cup Bike Races. This was the 25th year of AARC support for this event, and you would have thought this year's volunteers had been working most of the years the event has been running.

We maintained fixed location radio communications at the staging area (Walton Middle School), the Start/Finish, at each of the 3 course corners, and with the Rescue Squad ambulance. In addition, we provided 4 mobile stations for each race and for one mobile medic.

So many thanks to the following: Marty W4MBW, Larry K4JZQ, Ed N3US, Mike KA4JJD, AJ KE4AJM, Shannon KJ4VJR, Greg N4PGS, Mike KQ9P, Jon KJ4RPW, Dayton AA4DH, Jeff K4OLW, and Don N4UVA.

March 2015 Technical Committee report

Other than some excitement late in February, this report contains good news. I had reported some interference issues on February 24 with the linked repeaters. The issue continued for a couple days, but then resolved and has not repeated. It took us a short time to restore some settings that we had changed while evaluating the issue, but since then, all repeaters have continued to operate well.

February 2015 Public Service Committee Report

There were no PS events scheduled for the month of February. The first AARC PS event will be the Jefferson Cup Bike Races on Sunday, March 29. Many thanks to the numerous AARC members who have volunteered to assist with this first event. A written plan with assignments will be going out by email soon. If you are on the list of volunteers, watch your email inbox for further information. If you are not on the list of volunteers and would like to be, contact me as soon as you can.

Current list of volunteers:
Marty W4MBW
Stan K2SSB
Larry K4JZQ
Mike KQ9P
Bill N0WP
Shannon KJ4VJR
Greg N4PGS
Jeff K4OLW
Dayton AA4DH

NEW: Member Directory Available After Login.

Although we will print and distribute a hard copy of the 2015 AARC Member Directory in April 2015, an interim PDF version of the
Member Directory has been posted. The link to it will appear in the "About Us" section after you login.

Member Roster Additions

Under the heading on the left "Club Call Roster" we have added a new listing that shows current members alphabetized both by call suffix and last name for easy lookup. These rosters show only current members for 2015. If you are not on the list and believe you should be listed, please contact me at: patcrosby73[at]gmail[dot]com.

February's Treasury Activity

During the month, we had debits totaling $51.05 and deposits totaling $259.82. Balances will be available at tonight's meeting.

Reminder: Northern-Piedmont Emergency Net

The Northern-Piedmont Emergency Net meets every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM (20:00) local time on the 146.73 repeater. The NPEN is a directed net with rotating net-control stations intended to assist local amateurs with building emergency operating capabilities. The NPEN provides an opportunity to learn the basics of many aspects of emergency communication.

Please join us on the NPEN and contribute to the important role that the Amateur Radio Service plays in emergency communication support for families, friends and others in our local community.

Roster Growing

Our Master Roster of AARC Membership for 2015 is growing. The current figures as of March 2 show:
Family Memberships = 15
Full Memberships = 60
Life Memberships = 09
Honorary Members = 05
Total current Memberships = 89

ARRL DX Phone Contest: a Great way to try DX

For those who want to get their feet wet in DX, try the 7-8 March ARRL Phone DX contest. It will be on all bands & Logs do not have to be submitted. It is a great chance to work some new countries. The Contest exchange is a signal report and state (59, Virginia). The DX wants to talk to you, so 100W and modest antennas will get you many QSOs. Have fun. Detailed info below.

Set aside your CW key, and shake those dits and dahs out of your ears. It's time to get your voice in trim or to program your digital voice keyer. The
SSB weekend of the ARRL International DX Contest http://www.arrl.org/arrl-dx is Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9 (UTC).

The DX will be looking for stations in the US and Canada. There are entry categories for single ops and for multi-operator teams as well as a choice of power levels in each category, from QRP to full legal limit. In other words, there's a place for Big Guns, Little Pistols, and everyone in between. Excitement and enthusiasm levels will be high, and it's a terrific opportunity to boost DXCC totals too.

The ARRL International DX Contest events offer great opportunities to expand your knowledge of MF and HF propagation and to tweak
your contesting skills. The basic objective is simple: W/VE amateurs work as many DX stations in as many DXCC entities as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. Participating DX stations work as many stations as possible on the 48 contiguous US states and Canadian provinces. US stations send a signal report and their state and DX stations send a signal report and their output power.

The action gets under way March 8 at 0000 UTC (Friday, March 7, in US time zones) and continues for the next 48 hours until March 9 at 2359 UTC. By the way, if you're planning to do this one without any digital voice assistance, keep those lozenges and maybe some hot tea and honey handy.

Jim Owen, K4CGY, was the first place winner for VA in last years Phone DX contest. This shows that you don't need a top contest station to get the job done.

Placing QST and CQ Magazines in Waiting Rooms to Promote Amateur Radio

Please gather up your old (within the past 6 months) ham radio magazines, such as QST and CQ, for placement in your favorite car mechanic, tire shop, dentist, doctor, etc. waiting rooms. You should obtain the OK from the office staff, but they will likely be glad to let you do so. Please staple or tape the attached Flyer inside the front cover that refers the reader to the appropriate section of our club website to learn more about Ham radio.

Attached is the “contact the AARC” flyer (Learn About Ham Radio).

146.760 repeater update on problems

Dave Damon called me last evening with news of some problems with the .760 repeater system. It seems that all 3 of our two meter transmitters were essentially transmitting full time. They were only timing out on the programmed transmit time out timer, but then immediately began transmitting a dead carrier. Dave and I worked briefly on this, and were successful in unlinking the .895 and the .925, bringing them back to “normal” unlinked operation. However, there is still something very odd going on with the .760. We were able to unlink it from the 440 link hub, but re-initializing the controller did not return the 2 meter transmitter to normal operation. It also seems we’re experiencing problems both with the 2 meter receiver and transmitter.

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