Wendell, NC The Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts will be operating an amateur radio during opening weekend of June 17 -19 at the Wendell Museum. The radio club received a special event call sign W4L for the amateur radio station. Amateur radio operators all over the world will be able to talk to the station. Mark Gibson said. Mark is a resident of Wendell and the founder of the radio club. On Saturday June 18 the station will participate in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Kids Day. Kids will be allowed to speak to other kids participating in the event on the amateur radio station.
The first documented amateur radio operator in Wendell, NC was in 1930. W4AVT G.H. Wright, Jr. He happened to be the post master of Wendell.
Amateur radio is a fun family activity. Ready gov suggest that you have alternate forms of communication available. During an emergency is not the time to learn how to use your communication.
The Federal Communication Commission charges a $35.00 fee for new amateur radio license. The fee is paid directly to the FCC and is not collected by the volunteers administering the exam.
Mark Gibson (N4MQU) will give a on air presentation on what goes behind the scenes at an amateur radio exam session. Mark Gibson has been the team leader of the Five County VE team since 2018 and the FCVET has conducted over 50 exams in North Carolina and Virginia and his team has processed had over 200 amateur radio applications.
Mark will give an overview of behind the scenes activities of the process a VE team goes thru to make sure you have a successful and pleasant process at your amateur radio exam.
Presentation will be on Tuesday May 10, 2022 at 7:00 PM on the K4ITL 146.880 repeater and on K4ITL/PCRN Facebook Group.
Thanks to the FCVET team of KK4QEF, KK4QDZ, K4WCA, K3UI, and W2CK We had a successful third Thursday exam session. Thanks to the Laurel VEC for allowing us to offer no charge amateur radio exams.
Congratulations to K4ZXX on upgrading to General
We have the following new individuals to welcome to the amateur radio fraternity.
- David Brown KO4YRT of Durham
- Frank Rinaldo KO4YRU of Raleigh
- Paul Jameson KO4YRV of Greenville
- Haoze Du KO4YRW of Raleigh
- Elena Jakubikova KO4YRX of Raleigh
- Daniel Brown KO4YRY of Durham
- Allan Meadows KO4YRZ of Holly Springs
Be sure to answer their call as they get on the radio.
The mentors all are part of the FCHRE but many are members of the other triangle area radio clubs including Franklin County ARC, Durham FM Association, Johnston Amateur Radio Society, Raleigh Amateur Radio Society.
The students were trained into how to program their radios so they could take it home and make changes on their on. The students were given instructions on how to get their official license copy so they can submit the proper documentation for DMR and EchoLink.
On the Air
About a dozen students were able to get on the air being instructed how to do so by an experienced mentor
At the request of our host Triangle Torah Fellowship, FCHRE was invited to conduct a Amateur Radio Workshop for their members and the public. Their request was for us to teach them how to program the radios and to to assist the licensed members to get on the air and to assist in any other way we could to assist in the area of their amateur radio career. The lesson I learned Is amateur radio clubs need to team up with the VE teams and schedule amateur radio workshops throughout the community.
By:Mark Gibson (N4MQU)
The first exam session is a pivotal movement for a new amateur radio testing team. The new team leader KX4ZQ took the two hour drive to Fuquay-Varina multiple times to witness how established teams did their exam session. In this case he had two teams and locations to learn from. Five County VE Team (FCVET) and Central Carolina VE Team (CenCar) do our testing session in similar but they both follow the rules under the administration of Laurel VEC. FCVET followed the process we learned in developing CenCar. Allow the potential new team leader to do everything. Update the computer print documents give instructions work through the computer glitches. I make it a practice to allow the VE’s on the team to learn how to do everything in the testing process. While training the CenCar team it got to the point doing exam sessions I was able to set back and observe. Giving the session manager (the person that operates the computer) during the exam session seems to be the best way to train an individual.
Computer issues during the exam is the biggest issue we’ve had. The computer tries to update and slows down the section manager program. The teams computer should pause the update of the computer. I found this article. The biggest problem I had doing the early days was the printer. I kept plugging the printer to the wrong connector on the printer. The printer I have now there is only one choice. Another problem if you use your printer on the WiFi at home and connect it at the test session there seems to be an issue transitioning to the portable operation.
Distractions During the Exam
Sometimes it is necessary to communicate during the exam. Try to keep noise down while testing is going on between team members. You can’t control noise inside the venue but you can do so within the exam site. After everyone completes the exam it is important to remain as quiet as possible while the session manager is completing the paperwork. Use the pass fail percentage chart to check your grading work. Don’t let errors get to your section manager.
Before and After the Exam
Before the exam the team leader has to establish the schedule. This will be based on venue and the teams availability.
The next thing is advertising. Initially the VEC’s website then ARRL’s website. After that any of the available ham radio sites QRZ, eHam, others. But don’t forget the community websites and Facebook community sites. We need to get the non hams to learn about the availability of people of all ages to get their license.
When I first became a team leader I heard from applicants that thanked me for responding so quickly. They had been to other teams and they never heard from them. I decided at that time to respond within 24 hours. I have a text document I saved with answers to frequently ask questions that usually answers all the questions. I acknowledge the registration of the applicants with the venues address and study tips. After the exam I notify them individually with their call sign and information for new ham radio operators. One thing we need to do better is getting new hams on the radio.
Notify your team leader as soon as you know you may miss the exam or if there is a possibility you may miss it. Three VE’s is the minimum but I like six. Review your policy manual frequently. If you want more responsibility or a different job let the team leader know.
From Richard Hall (K7RLH) CenCar
Repeated opportunities for operation of SM is essential to grasping the nuances of the software and easing one’s mind when operating as I did (by myself) for the first time without your presence on 5 June 2021. I believe that, while everyone learns by different methods, this is the surest approach to retention of the process. Call it ‘hands on’ or ‘OJT’ or whatever, but practice makes life easier and hopefully one will have a session without errors.
From Christopher Cancilla (W4CEC) W4CEC VE Team
Procedure is important.
Not my procedure or your procedure, the new team leaders procedure
Each person is unique, learns and understands a different way, but all of the way, the paths, we use will get to the same result.
The result is important, not the way you get there.
A core team is important.
Use the core team to train new VE’s
Do not train them yourself, you have enough to do.
From Tony Hall (WW4TCH) Deputy Director (CenCar)
Editors Note: Tony Hall is not related to Richard Hall. We had to do a manual entry for Tony’s general exam because the database we use hadn’t been updated. A question on the 605 asks does the applicant has any applications before the FCC that had not been acted upon by the FCC. The answer was no but it wasn’t updated in the db. We had to do a manual application and Tony had to come back to sign the paperwork. At the time I wasn’t sure what was going on.
By: Mark Gibson (N4MQU)
The first document amateur radio operator in Wendell, NC in 1930. W4AVT G.H. Wright, Jr. He happened to be the post master of Wendell. Five County Ham Radio Enthusiast started testing in Wendell on July 3, 2021. We have had 20 applicants testing so far. 9 have passed the technician exam, 6 have passed the general exam and 3 have passed the extra class exam.
Thanks to the VE team KK4QEF, K4WCA, W2CK, N4MQU, KX4ZQ
We have three new amateur radio operators to announce!
KO4TIN of Raleigh
KO4TIO of North Myrtle Beach, SC
KO4TIP of Raleigh
Be sure to welcome them as they get on the air.
I love those weekday exams the new amateurs getting the call the same day as the exam. Thanks to KX4ZQ for being the session manager. Good luck to him as he establishes his new team in Winston Salem.
By Duane Cutlip (AI8U)
A child of the 60’s, Dock’s bent toward anything with a wire was fed by a burgeoning DIY home electronics industry. Heathkits, three-inch-thick technical manuals, and a variety of radios (and radio parts) littered his childhood. A shortwave radio purchase in the 70’s surpassed all the old transistor experiments, and it was on. A variety of scanners (and experiments on them) fed the move to Amateur Radio in the 80’s. But, he fell short of convincing any of his family to take up the hobby along the way.
For more than 30 years, Dock’s hobby was his own. He found friends in Ham and roped any family members he could into attending Ham Fests in multiple states along the East Coast, but couldn’t get any to “officially” join him. Finally, in 2021, all that changed.
At the beginning of this year, Dock sent his youngest brother a radio and unwittingly sparked a competition. You see, unable to gain the interest of his family in the intervening years, Dock had been content to achieve his Novice, Technician, and then General licenses, but (despite all intentions) had not yet attained his ultimate goal – Amateur Extra. After learning this, on the first Saturday of February 2021, Duane snuck by Dock and passed his Amateur Extra exam with the FCVE Team (much to Dock’s chagrin). Dock promptly earned his Extra license a couple of weeks later (but forever after his youngest brother had earned his).
That competitive nature, with a few HF conversations over the 300 mile distance, and the rest of the family soon took interest and gathered in Wendell on the first weekend in September 2021 for some last-minute group studying to take exams with the Wendell FCVE Team. Dock’s son Austin, brother David, and niece Amelia (Duane’s daughter) passed their Technician exams on September 4. Austin doubled down and also passed his General exam the same day.
Thanks to Laurel VEC, Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts, and the FCVETs, Dock went from no family to four in the hobby in the space of a few months. The wait (and a radio investment) paid off. Word has it, David, Austin, and Amelia intend to take their Amateur Extra exams in the next month so they can join Dock and Duane on the full spectrum. There’s also been talk that they’re planning to bring some of their friends into the hobby, too.
Editors note: Duane was our first Trifecta meaning he went from not being licensed to extra in one sitting. Due to nepotism rules he did not participate in the testing session when his family tested.
We welcome the following new members to the group. N4EWE, KY4SLR, NC1PA, KO4SFQ, KO4SFQ, and Jetter Lewis to the group so far this month. They completed the application on our website at https://fivecountyhre.org/application/. If you receive our group io emails and have not completed your application I invite you to do so. We have 240 group io subscribers and 103 members on our application.
The meeting of the Johnston Amateur Radio Society will be Thursday. We meet at the Cleveland Draft House 461 Shotwell Road, Clayton, NC 27520. It is not uncommon to belong to multiple clubs. The meeting starts at 7 if you want dinner be there at 6 PM.
If you are new to the group please introduce yourself
Please post an introduction to yourself if you haven’t don’t so. Just post a new message to the group.io account. Also please add your call sign to your profile (If you are licensed) I usually put it in the name block.
Add to your QRZ page
If you are a US Amateur you have a QRZ page. Go to their FAQ section to get help.
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.
Third Thursday Exam Session
Due to a scheduling need at Banks Road Thursday we will reschedule the exam there to Wednesday if we get any applicants so far we have no applicants.