OCRA Membership Meeting – January 2019

Roll Call:

25 member’s presence, with 2 candidates for exams.

Treasurer report:

  • NCOCRA WordPress upgrade now provides website access on mobile phones…check us out.
  • Savings balance is strong, with 74 member’s current on dues, with 24 needing renewal.
  • The club has added 15 new members over the past 12 months.
  • Prepay for Holiday meal worked well, and may well use prepay moving forward.

Members approved 2019 Board:

  • David Snyder (W4SAR), President
  • Lad Carrington (W4ORD), Vice-President, Program Committee
  • Dan Eddleman (KR4UB), Treasurer
  • Keith Stouder (W1KES), Secretary
  • Steve Ahlbom (W3HAL), ARES EC
  • Karen Snyder (KD4YJZ), Member at Large
  • Dee Ramm (KU4GC), Member at Large
  • Wilson Lamb (W4BOH), Member at Large, Program Committee
  • Bill Bishchoff (N8BR), Program Committee

If you have ideas for enriching your club experience, we would like to know.  Please reply below.

Chatham County Radio Club Update, Nick (KA1HPM):

Chatham County radio club has established a club station at the county emergency operation center (EOC) with two VHF and two HR radios, and Winlink.   The club as applied for a vanity call, but with the FCC currently on furlough, it may be some time before the call is issued.

The club is preparing for an April 30 communication exercise at the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant.  Rehearsal for the event will be March 28. Please join the club net every Tuesday night on 442.15 MHz, PL tone 131.8. Hope to hear you on the air!

Vice President: Lad (W4ORD) – The Holiday Meal was well received.  However, suggestions to explore new food options are being considered.

“When All Else Fails:”

With the recent weather events in Wilmington, NC, hospitals are encouraging employees to become amateur radio operators offering communications when “all else fails.”  Opportunities for local radio clubs to assist may be forth coming.

NC QSO Party:

The NC QSO Party is quickly approaching.  This year, the event will occur on Saturday, February 24 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST.  This is a great event to sharpen your SSB skills with running or search and pounce.  Click on link above for more information.

Club Meetings:

If you are new to amateur radio, or would like to refresh your knowledge, the Program Committee would like your ideas.  Considerations are being given for having instructions on coax termination with soldiering or crimpers.  Or, how to build an affordable wire dipole.  Do you have any suggestions on program content?  If so, leave a reply below.

Club Program:

Pete (WA1YYN) provided an overview of several emergency and life saving devices.  First, Pete created a GPRS enabled apparatus comprised of a raspberry pi that can be attached to a fire fighter’s outfit that captures both health and situation metrics. For example, the apparatus can capture, record, and transmit fire fighters body temperature, pulse oximetry, acceleration, etc.  such data is vital for ensuring situational safety.

Pete also explained that many emergency response communication technologies are proprietary and expensive.  He mentioned that the national fire protection association (NFPA) and NIST, national institute of standards and technology are working together to develop emergency response data interoperability and deployment standards.

Pete (WA1YYN) discussing his use of GPRS and amateur radio in emergency response communication and coordination.






Pete demonstrated an open source solution providing GPRS tracking with real time monitoring and visual overlay perspectives of the rescuer, drone, and incident command.  This solution will more accuracy and quickly identify persons in need improving resource coordination thus reducing response time in saving lives.

Pete’s work in supporting emergency response fulfills several key goals of amateur radio:

  • Supports the awareness and growth of Amateur Radio worldwide;
  • Advocates for meaningful access to radio spectrum;
  • Strives for every member to get involved, get active, and get on the air;
  • Encourages radio experimentation and, through its members, advances radio technology and education; and
  • Organizes and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications.

What is your passion?  What aspects of amateur radio keeps you involved?  Let us know by leaving a response below.


NC QSO Party – Sunday February 25, 2018

NC QSO PARTY 2018 (2/25) – The NC QSO Party 2018 will be held on Sunday, February 25, 2018, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST. For further information, see http://ncqsoparty.org/  This year marks the 48th anniversary of this great event.

The South Carolina QSO Party is held on Saturday, February 24 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST. http://scqso.com/

Complete details, rules, categories and county activity may be found on the new NCQP website, www.ncqsoparty.org With 146 counties between the two states, these events are a county hunter’s dream. There are 22 operating categories, each one eligible for beautiful trophies and attractive certificates with some special prizes, including this year’s Spelling Bee. You don’t have to be an avid contester to enjoy these operating events. There is no shortage of casual operators participating, which make these QSO parties very enjoyable for all. Many regulars really look forward to the challenge of chasing our many mobile Op’s, as they travel from county to county in both states, racking up multipliers.

The NCQP continues to grow every year. Whether you operate Phone, CW or Digital, get on the air and have some fun. The North Carolina QSO Party is sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society (RARS). … Thanks to Marc Sullivan, W4MPS, NCQP Log Analyst, for providing this information! (sources: NC QSO Party website, W4MPS) ——————————————————————–

ARRL North Carolina Section Section Manager: Karl F Bowman, W4CHX w4chx@arrl.org

OCRA members and Club contribute to Bouvet DXpedition

With the interest expressed by OCRA members to provide some level of contribution toward the upcoming Bouvet Island DXpedition, OCRA facilitated member donations and provided a matching contribution up to a $200 maximum.

Member donations came  to a total of $210 plus the club $200 matching donation for a total of $410 donated to Bouvet Island DXpedition. The individual donors are (from the largest to the smallest were:

    • N8BR
    • NC4CX
    • KJ4UZU
    • W4BOH
    • KR4UB
    • KA1HPM
    • W4KIL
    • KA5JUJ

From Bob K4UEE Bouvet DXpedition:
We depart for Bouvet in under two weeks now, and the excitement level among the 20 team members is very high. Thank you for your financial help in making this historic DXpedition happen.
73, Bob-K4UEE

and…. OCRA’s logo is now on the Bouvet DXpedition website as a supporter

Further details regarding contributions, news and updates on the expedition can be found at https://www.bouvetdx.org/

OCRA member Tucker, W4FS and Sam, KI4TRG of Raleigh receive QCWA Scholarships

In the December 2017 issue of the QCWA Journal, it was announced that Tucker McGuire, W4FS of Efland, and Sam Brewer, KI4TRG of Raleigh, received QCWA 2017 Scholarships. Tucker W4FS is a junior at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro pursuing a career in information technology with a focus on data analytics. Sam KI4TRG is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina – Asheville pursuing a degree in Mechatronics, a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering.

NC4KW Team wins 2017 NC QSO Party Club/In-State/Mixed Mode Award

The NC4KW team (Jim KG4NEL, Bruce N1LN, Laurie N1YXU, Howie WA4PSC, and Sarah KM4WHL) won the NC QSO party for our division. Not only that, our team recorded the highest EVER score for the NC QSO party. Sarah commented “This was my first contest and I felt lucky and pretty intimidated to be part of such an experienced group. It was a blast! I have definitely caught the contesting bug.”

The placque shown above was presented to the team by Dwayne, N4MIO at the May 8th OCRA Club meeting.