W4H Sticky

W4H - 2nd Anniversary of the 470 Amateur Radio Group
Start Date: November 1, 2009
End Date: November 15, 2009
Frequencies:Voice - 24.450, 14.260, 7.260, 3.860
PSK31 - 14.070, 7.070.
QSL Info: Note the amateur's name and send QSL to the call that is working the W4H event. For example if you work me as W4H I will also give you my home call and tell you to QSL to me AJ4IJ.
More Info: The 470 Amateur Radio Group website

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Any Mt. Mitchell Updates

I'm not particularly fond of spreading rumors, but I heard a tidbit on the Mt. Mitchell repeater system and wanted to know if anybody out there knew it to either be true, or knew anything else.

I heard that the repeater owners were granted another year at the site. Does anyone know if this is true and/or has any other information?

Thanks for your thoughts... just leave them in the comments.

73 de AJ4IJ

Monday, June 22, 2009

Field Day Catastrophe

Well, our plans for field day have been placed on hold. Active readers will note that we frequently take the equipment to a real field, real high on a ridge top, and that we typically have great fun doing that.

The problem is, to get up there, we need a 4 wheel drive vehicle, and our poor little Jeep is sick. It's not a surprise that she is. She's 15 years old, and she's been through just about everything you can imagine. But this time, she's really sick. She's spitting out coolant by the quart every time we start her up. We're pretty sure there's a leak in the water pump seal, which means she needs a new water pump, and also that she may not be better before field day this coming weekend.

We took her over last night and left her with dad so he could go to school on her. Thank God for the Internets. Although, I know he knows what he's doing, but I'd never be able to replace that thing and get everything in the right places putting it back in. I'm one of those people that always has parts left over, and even though the gadget seems to work just fine after I fix it, I'm always wondering if those parts were important. haha I don't think it wise for me to work on the Jeep. :)

In any case, without her, there is no field day for us. There may be a "backyard" day, if worse comes to worse, but we were really looking forward to our quiet, private, and outdoor radio'ing. Maybe that'll be enough incentive to get her running before Saturday.

Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mt. Mitchell Repeater Update

Well... I just found that the QRZ thread has been closed. This is sad news to me, as it was really my only way to see updates on the matter. No one sends me emails, and I don't have contact with these people, so... I guess I'll be in the dark for a while on the topic.

But, I found two posts on the QRZ forum I'd like to share with you before I go under my rock...

1. Dated June 16th at 3:02pm

"Discussions are proceeding with the parties to resolve this issues regarding the Mt. Mitchell repeaters.

We appreciate all the help and encouragement from those who have lent their assistance.

If everyone will be patient and 'QRT' on further communciations to Blue Ridge Broadcasting, Samaritan's Purse or other 3rd parties, it will be appreciated.

They have heard your concerns and asked our patience in working out a resolution.

We will have an update at the appropriate time."

Thank you,
Dean Blair ~ k2jb

And 2. Dated June 15th at 8:01pm

"Ken Wood, NN4KW, a McDowell Amateur Radio Assoc member and a part time volunteer at WMIT, was able to meet with Alice Knighten, WMIT General Manager, on June 15. Alice was willing to talk with Ken about the development of events surrounding the request for removal of amateur radio repeaters from Clingman's Peak.

The issue began when a repeater antenna was moved without approval.
The consequences of this change forced WMIT to change antennas to resolve interference issues.

The Forest Service owns the site. Amateur Radio repeaters operate at the pleasure of Blue Ridge Broadcasting, using power supplied by Blue Ridge Broadcasting. There have been no written agreements up to now about the operating agreements. There is a question of liability as the repeaters now operate.

According to Alice, the issue can be resolved. However her boss, Franklin Graham, is now involved due to the letter writing campaign by hams. She is waiting for direction from him. Unfortunately, Alice has received some unpleasant letters which don't advance resolution of this matter.

Resolution will involve defining written agreements, agreement to pay for electricity, and perhaps some apologies.

Ken Wood NN4KW and David Houser WA9OTP"


So, please... for now... halt all letters and requests for letters to be sent to Franklin Graham. They are apparently aware of the situation and are asking for a QRT.

Personally, I'll uphold the QRT on letters as long as they are doing something about this issue. If it seems to begin to be swept under the rug, we will need to send those letters again! :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Save the Mt. Mitchell Repeaters!!

This is an outcry to the amateur radio community, even to those not in this area and even other parts of the world.

The Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society needs your assistance.

They have been asked to remove the multiple repeaters (53.63, 145.190, 224.54, 442.225, 443.600) from the Mt. Mitchell location by July 31, 2009. The reason for this is quite stunning.

I quote... from the letter I received:

"The only explanation given was that Amateur Radio was outdated technology and it no longer fit with the direction the station was going and that the only equipment that will be permitted would be FBI, CIA or Homeland Security UNLESS, they wanted to pay $1,000 per month per antenna at the site."

**Could someone please explain how radio waves are old technology?!?**

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here, so you can read about this on this forum:


And I'll add part of the letter I received at the end of this post. It's too large to add it all really. I'll post the important parts.

These repeaters have been in operation since 1982. They have an AMAZING coverage, with the 2 meter repeater being the highest repeater in Eastern America, and located specifically on Clingman's Peak. I don't think I've ever tuned into the 2 meter repeater and not heard someone.

I just wanted to pass it along. You can help, possibly, by public outcry. Be courteous, and email Mr. Franklin Graham by his secretary, here: rwinkler@samaritan.org

He's not the cause of this, so don't be rude. He's quite possibly the only person with any pull on the subject.

Thank you, all of you, for assisting.

Here's the letter I received:

Ladies & Gentleman,

There have been a lot of phone calls and emails today regarding the pending demise of the Mt. Mitchell repeaters.
Some of you may be hearing this for the 1st time.
Let me summarize the facts and then suggest some action items for everyone.

1. To recap, regarding the amateur radio repeaters on Clingman's Peak (Mt Mitchell), WMIT General Manager, Alice Knighten has informed Ken Woodard, WA4BVW to..."Please plan to remove all of your equipment from the site and return the access keys to our office by July 31, 2009."

2. Randy Johnston, KE4RQL who maintains the 3 WA4BVW repeaters and Jimmy Johnson, K4YR owner of 2 other repeaters located there have attempted to discuss the matter with Ms. Knighten. Her decision seems irreversible and there is nothing to discuss about the issue except to remove the repeaters.

3. I have spoken with Randy and Jimmy and they are appreciative of any assistance the amateur community can bring to bear to reverse this decision and have requested WCARS take a lead in coordinating assistance. We have the support of NWS, SKYWARN, ARRL and WCARS and I believe EOC managers.

From my conversations today, the consensus seems to be:
1. Find an alternative site with the Forest Service on Clingman's Peak. No guarantees this is possible and would be Plan B.
2. Generate enough attention to this issue with the people who may be able to appreciate the value of amateur radio on Mt. Mitchell and reverse this decision.

We think Franklin Graham is the person who can resolve this issue.
Jennifer Mauney, KC4LWX has obtained the contact information for Franklin Graham's executive secretary who screens his email. She spoke with her today about this issue and believes that he is not aware of this decision, and that we should contact him.

We need County EOC directors, ARRL representatives, SKYWARN representatives, NWS representatives and Amateur Radio Affiliated Club Officers to respond. Anyone with or without adjectives after their name needs to contact Franklin Graham.

I have attached a letter that you might consider using as a template to send. However, nothing will substitute for your own words.
Please keep your communication professional and to the point. There are no personalities in this issue. Simply a great deal of lost value to the amateur community if these repeaters go away. Lets keep that our message.

Time is of the utmost importance.

Dean Blair ~ K2JB

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Little Humor Never Hurt Anybody...

You know... the funniest thing happened to me. After contesting in the PODXS070 3 Day Weekend for what seemed like 4 days straight (utc time can do some strange things to ya, people), the oddest thing occurred.

I went to bed, finally, and my room looked like this:

You think maybe the waterfall should come with side effect warnings????

AJ4IJ :)

Scavenger Hunt Sticky

Thanks to all for helping me with the Scavenger Hunt!