Special Event Station for Wendell Museum

Amateur Radio, Special Event


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.

No charge Amateur radio exams are offered throughout the year and are published at https://fivecountyhre.org/  and https://www.laurelvec.com/

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.

The kitchen is just inside the back door so we should have plenty of traffic. Photo Credit :KE4VNC

Photo Credit:KE4VNC

Photo Credit:KE4VNC

QSL Card designed by Tyler Church

Behind the Scenes at an Amateur Radio Exam Session

Amateur Radio

 

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

VE team member gets stuck

 

Exam Results for Third Thursday 2022

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

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.

  1. David Brown KO4YRT of Durham
  2. Frank Rinaldo KO4YRU of Raleigh
  3. Paul Jameson KO4YRV of Greenville
  4. Haoze Du KO4YRW of Raleigh 
  5. Elena Jakubikova KO4YRX of Raleigh 
  6. Daniel Brown KO4YRY of Durham
  7. Allan Meadows KO4YRZ of Holly Springs

Be sure to answer their call as they get on the radio.


FCHRE First Amateur Radio Workshop

Amateur Radio, Antennas, Class, Workshop

N4UBU, KS4DOW, W2CK, KB4KAC, N4MQU, K4ADH, KM4YTF

The Mentors 

 

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 Mentors

Programming 

 

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.

Programming Tips

On the Air 

 

About a dozen students were able to get on the air being instructed how to do so by an experienced mentor

The Mentees

 

 

Under Construction 

Portable J-Pole antenna set up

 

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.

Chameleon MPAS hybrid antenna. We made 1 contact with Oklahoma for demonstration purposes.

 

Amateur Radio Exam Training a New Team

Amateur Radio, Testing

By:Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

King Public Library PTVET

UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

 

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 Tips

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.  

Advertising 

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.

Customer Service 

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.

VE’s Responsibility 

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.

FCVET Job Titles

From Richard Hall (K7RLH) CenCar

K7RLH

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

W4CEC

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.

Percentage Chart

Pre-Test Instructions

BLANK_TEST_SESSION_POSITIONS

From Tony Hall (WW4TCH) Deputy Director (CenCar)
My Amateur Radio journey has been an interesting one.  I was originally licensed as KB4LWW in 1984.  I was 12.  But school, scouts, college got in the way and I allowed my license to expire.  I tested with FCHRE on June 6, 2020 and passed my Technicians exam and became KO4EBO.  Then I sat back and said , “Now I have it, what am I going to do with it?”  I decided in August 2020 that I wanted to get involved with emergency communication and realized I needed at least a General Class license to be effective.  I tested with FCHRE on September 26, 2020 and passed my General.  Once glitch was that I had applied for a new vanity call and that was granted the day that I took the exam.  There was some confusion but the FCHRE Team and Laurel VEC worked it out.  On Monday, I was WW4TCH, General Class operator.  I initially was not interest in going for my Extra but was told that while it wasn’t required, Extra Class was encouraged to be as effective as possible.  So I tested with FCHRE on November 7, 2020 and passed my Extra Class exam.  Mark immediately asked me if I want to be a VE.  I believe in giving back to the interests I have and said yes.  On December 5th, 2020 I was a VE on my first session. 
Each session after that was a learning opportunity.  The more experienced team members took every opportunity to train the new team members.  People took different roles are different sessions so they were fully trained. The team would go over the requirements and no corners were cut.  Ever.  Paperwork was checked and rechecked.  No one took for granted what the testing requirements were.  That makes an impact on the team members that are training.
In summer of 2021, The CenCar testing group was established and Richard Hall as leader and he asked me to be one of his deputys.  On October 2, 2021 I served for the first time as the Session Manager with Richard Hall providing instruction during the session. It has been an extremely rewarding 11 months. 
I believe the success in building these teams comes from Mark’s passion which is infectious.  The whole team is enthusiastic and motivated.  That, I believe, is the “secret sauce”.  You can teach someone how to grade the exam, check ID’s, provide testing instructions and run Session Manager.  You can’t teach them to care, and be generous with their time.
I am very proud of what FCHRE has accomplished and am honored to be part of such an outstanding team.
Tony

 

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.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

FCHRE Building on a Legacy

Amateur Radio, Testing

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.

Third Thursday of September Exam

Amateur Radio, BRTC, Testing

By: N4MQU 

KK4ZQ Jeffrey Webster Team leader Piedmont Triad VE Team

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.

K4WCA, KK4QEF

August Activity

Amateur Radio, Weekly Report

August Activity

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.

JARS Meeting

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.

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.

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.