Banks Road February 2022 Amateur Radio Exam Report

BRTC, Testing

The FCVET famous monthly third Thursday weekday exam was another great success thanks to the VE’s W2CK, K7RLH, K4WCA and N4MQU.  Thanks to the Laurel VEC for allowing us to offer No Charge amateur radio exams. All of the applicants happened to be from Durham. Congratulations to Danna Lapple (KO4JYN) on upgrading to Extra.

Dana Lapple (KO4JYN)

We have three new General amateur radio operators.  That’s correct from no license to General.  All the VE’s were impressed.  Robert McFarland (KO4WVN), Jason Burns (KO4WVO) and Deepayan Banerjee (KO4WVP)

Robert McFarland (KO4WVN)

Jason Burns (KO4WVO)

Deepayan Banerjee (KO4WVP)

K4WCA, and W2CK Waiting for paperwork. (N4MQU behind the camera)

The applicants reported study materials included Ham Study and No nonsense study guide

The Bank’s road campus is continuing its famous tradition see the First year article for more information.

Are you a member of FCHRE?  Join up on our Membership Registration page and reply when you receive the group io invitation.

August Dinner Gathering

Amateur Radio, Dinner

By: Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

We had great food at Mclean’s for our dinner.  I appreciate all those that came.  We had a great informal discussion on various topics.  Looks like we have a lot of talent in the group.  It looks like our August gathering will again be on the fourth Thursday for August but we did talk about maybe changing. 

August 2021 Dinner


Being A CERT Volunteer

Amateur Radio, CERT

By Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

Third quarter moon at 3:30 AM

As an amateur radio operator we are able to serve our community using our amateur radio communication skills during emergencies or reporting changing weather conditions to Skywarn.  As a person with basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training you will get CERT Volunteer recruitment notices. I saw one the other day that sparked an interest in volunteering for it.  It said Could you be a decoy for a TSA K-9?  I thought that was interesting so I signed up for the first date available. The day came so I woke up at 3:30 AM and followed the directions to the airport they gave me and called my handler when I arrived at 4:30 in the morning.  I am not at liberty to tell you what I did exactly but I pretended to be a passenger going through the screening process.  They hid something on my person and had me go through the line.  I think I went through the line four times and the dogs discovered me each time.  I was handcuffed and pulled out of the line.  (Not really the handcuffs I made up) I was pulled out of the line.  You do have to wake up early for this activity but I had a lot of fun. I encourage you to get your basic CERT training and look for other than amateur radio opportunities you may wish to volunteer for.  I made sure the handler knew I was a member of JARS CERT.

One of the K9 dogs

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 If you are not close to the repeater or are unlicensed and you would like to listen on line try 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 Tell them FCHRE sent you.

Our next no charge amateur radio exam is next Saturday July 10. 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.

20210411 Ham Radio Enthusiasts Weekly Report

Amateur Radio, Weekly Report

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  If you are not close to the repeater or  are unlicensed and you would like to  listen on line try 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.

Thanks to the Carolina 440 net for the use of the repeater. If you would like to help see  Tell them FCHRE sent you.

JARS Meeting

The next scheduled JARS meeting is Thursday April 15

April 8 2021 Exam Results

I love those weekday exams!  We are able to report one new ham getting their license. They received the call the same day they took the test.  The team also decided to support a scheduled weekday session on the third Thursday. We will try it in May and June.  Hope we can support the additional traffic in anticipation of the possible new FCC fees.  

Next exam on May 1 and May 20. Registration

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 account. Also please add your call sign to your profile (If you are licensed) I usually put it in the name block. Due to privacy concerns I have kind of stopped taking pictures and introducing the new hams.  That’s no reason for you not to post your picture with your CSCE to the group. Please answer the question “How you got interested in amateur radio”

Add to your QRZ page

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


Our weekly DMR net is Wednesday at 9:00 PM on the TGIF Talk Group 1870.  The net is kind of in a stand by mode.  Feel free to throw out your call at any time.  A few of us try to monitor that channel.

Next Step Flyer

We are have started giving out the Next Step Flyer to new hams as the get their CSCE. Click on the link to see it online. 

JARS In-Person monthly meeting

Hopefully April will see JARS first regular meeting on the third Thursday in a couple of months.  We are meeting at The Cleveland Draft House this month 461 Shotwell Rd, Clayton, NC 27520.  Be there at 6:00 PM for dinner.  Program starts at 7:00. We will have some information on History of Tornados in Johnston County.  They have had three in 30 years.

Astronomy Events

New moon is on Tonight.  Time to look at the dimmer astronomy objects. One target suggestion Sombrero Galaxy M 104 in the constellation Virgo. Not interested in astronomy skip this section.  See the story on my new astronomy go box.

Thanks for reading.

Mark Gibson (N4MQU)

Team Leader FCVET 

20210418 Ham Radio Enthusiasts Weekly Report

Amateur Radio, Weekly Report
Weekly net

20 Checkins ain’t bad at all for a small unorganized club.
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 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.

AB4OZ Hamfest Meet and greet

It was great to see everyone yesterday.  If I don’t have your call below your picture send me an email and the number in the caption and I will add it. See the article on the Five County Website. Be sure to check the website frequently.  Sometimes I put content in there and don’t announce it until our Sunday newsletter.

Five County First Contact Program

I contacted 8 people in our first month of the first contact program.  This is where you can sign up to be contacted until you make your first contact.  I had four responses and 3 reported their first contact.  One reported being out of town. The other 3 reported their first contact! I will be following up with the others as I promised. Did you pass your amateur radio exam thru another organization or thru us and haven’t made your first contact yet? Sign up for the Five County First Contact here. Be sure to subscribe to our email too!

Our Next Testing Session

Is May 1 at the unique Banks Road Testing Club Facility.  See the article about our First Year Anniversary. Have your friends register at the website.  We also have our famous weekday test on May 20.

Astronomy Events

First Quarter moon is Tuesday. The peak of the Lyrid meteor shower is on April 22. That means the waxing moon will interfere with the show. But what about listening to meteors on the radio? Take a look at this article. Looks like something I can look into before the 22 is to figure out how to use my 7100 to make contacts on meteor scatter on the various modes.  Including on 70 cm (Technicians can do).  I talked to several people yesterday but I think it was N4IZE and I talked about grid squares.  Meteor scatter would be interesting to see where you could work during a meteor shower.  Meteor showers occur throughout the year. Find the list here





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

W4CEC Technician class and Exam at Camp Durant

Amateur Radio, Camping, Class, W4CEC

Some groups have had to change the way we do things during Covid.  This is definitely true with groups testing for amateur radio.  When Chris Cancilla (W4CEC) offers a amateur radio class you should take it! See his About page for his credentials. Chris found a outdoor venue using Camp Durant in Carthage, NC. Chris offered anyone wishing to camp to do so. Only three of us ended up camping in the Cold winter of North Carolina. The only problem I had was that I got cold Friday night.  The 23 degree weather we had Friday Night on December 11 gave me an issue. Chris insists that the low was 43 but I know It was 23. I had camped earlier this year with putting a sleeping bag in my Ford Flex but hadn’t done any tent camping in 28 years.  This was billed as a free amateur radio technician class and exam. Free amateur radio exams you ask? Check the LAUREL VEC website for testing near you or how to start your own free VE team.  

Chris built a small repeater for the licensed attendees to use while at camp.  You can get the details here.

Chris went thru all the technician questions and students were able to practice fox hunting, hunting for a hidden transmitter.



Father and Son practice finding the hidden transmitter


We also heard the repeater on the International Space Station (ISS) Check this Youtube Video

Group shot getting ready for ISS

We were not successful in making a contact but it was fun trying.

Chris had 8 students register but some had to cancel out at the last minute due to other issues. Exam results revealed 6 new technicians, 1 General Upgrade, and 2 upgrades to Extra Class. 

We were successful with the HF radio contact. Making contents in Maryland and Georgia.  The radio was a Icom 7100 using a 40 meter commercial dipole antenna. 



Icom 7100 Demo for Tech Class

40 Meter Dipole Commercial Antenna

Sorry about the formatting for the images but I haven’t quite got the word-press formatting figured out.


FCHRE Logbook

Amateur Radio

The Logbook of the FCHRE

Monthly Gathering 

March Gathering

Our return to Mclean’s

Our return to McLeans found two of our newest members Larry Hill KO4BYM (a new ham) and Mike Beamon (KN4DPX) coming to the gathering along with AJ4NX, KJ4TUC, KD4JMJ and N4MQU. 
We welcome our newest members Mike Beamon (KN4DPX) and John Garrett (N4YFU) to the group.  Mike joined via our website and John came in as a VE team member.

If anyone wishes to add their bio to this website send me something.

This graph shows our growth so far this year. I add a new VE as a member and people that sign up at Membership Application

Our 2020 new members graph

March 7 Testing Session 

VE team


Thanks to Contentnea Fire Department In Wilson, NC for hosting our March amateur radio testing.  This was the first time we allowed walk-ins and we had two.

We had 8 applicants taking 10 elements (exams). One applicant returning to the hobby Domingo Rogers KO4CKE Be sure to welcome him back to amateur radio. Two applicants received their Extra Class license Upgrade N4YFU John Garrett and KO4BHV Jason Lind.  Not everyone received what they came for but they didn’t have to pay for it either!

N4YFU has joined the FCVET. I’ve know John since I first moved to North Carolina and I am sure he will be a great asset to the team.  

Thanks to the Volunteer Examiners that helped out at our testing session KK4QEF, NC4KG, AJ4NX, KK4QDZ and W4BRG.  I appreciate all of the VE’s and completely understand other commitments that prevent everyone from coming. I think it is important to note since we have a wide area and we don’t test in the same facility I think that in itself is an asset bringing the testing session to the people. I am reaching out to other facilities to schedule our next testing session.

Larry KO4BYM and Glenn NC4KG

Activity of the FCVET

W4CEC Receives ARRL Service to Scouting Award

A couple of years ago I saw a post on the Franklin County ARC page  talking about a new class for scouts and others for the technician exam and the only thing they have to pay for was the exam.  Naturally I had to attempt stop that and contacted W4CEC Chris Cancilla and remarkably he agreed to allow FCVET to administer the free exams.  We had the biggest group at a  testing session to date (37). We gathered VE’s from multiple groups and it was a great learning experience. Chris later received his Extra class license and joined the FCVET and after encouragement from me he started his own VE team. I didn’t really know how involved Chris was in scouting. Chris informed me that he was going to receive the ARRL Service to Scouting Award at the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club meeting. The ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, Karl Bowman – W4CHX, presented the award. Here is the link to the YouTube Video.

Thank You

Thank you for reading this blog.  If you are not a member of the Five County Ham Radio Enthusiasts join by signing up here.  Our next dinner gathering is April 13 at Mclean’s.