April 2018 WAARC Meeting

The April 2018 WAARC club meeting had lots going on. The “HOP” “Hour of Power” hour before the general monthly meeting this month gave new Hams an opportunity to ask questions and get comments from “older” Hams. It was good to have such information and experience sharing.

Then at the general meeting, Dino, KL0S, presented certificates of recognition to license class instructors and welcomed BJ, KN4KXF, as our new club PIO (see below).

WAARC Club president Dino, KL0S, presented license class instructors each with an ARRL Certificate of Recognition. Pictured are Wally, WA3RWP, Chuck, AI4WU, and Bob, AJ4RS. Not shown, instructor Ted, W3TB.

WAARC Club President Dino, KL0S, welcomes BJ, KN4KXF, as the new club PIO.

Our program was presented be Chuck, AI4WU, who gave an interesting introduction to Microcontrollers and Arduinos. It was a very well attended meeting.

CERT Licensed Radio Session March 2018

WAARC Technician licensing class graduates were issued JCC Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program hand held two-meter transceivers at a ceremony on Friday March 30, 2018.  Chris Courson KC4CMR, the JCC Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) Emergency Coordinator, provided eligible students who graduated from both recent CERT and ham radio courses with their radios free of charge.  These radios are issued to CERT qualified hams to be ready to respond to emergencies in their local areas and to participate in community service events providing communications support.

If you hear one of these new hams on the air, give them a warm welcome!

Technician class awards

WAARC President Dino Papas KL0S presents Michael Olds KN4KXL with a certificate commemorating Michael’s first ham radio contact between them on 2m. Michael is a graduate of the club’s recent Technician Class licensing program and received his license along with his eleven fellow students on March 17th at the club sponsored Volunteer Examiner (VE) session.

All members of the recent WAARC Technician licensing class were all presented with a one year free membership to the club and received their club call sign badges at a ceremony on March 17th.



Spring 2018 Bulders’ Group Session #3

Dave N4MW and Chris KK4WNQ troubleshooting their projects up at the workbench of Dino KL0s. Dave was working on troubleshooting a Z3801A 10MHz frequency reference. Chris had a new QRP HF SDR transceiver that would not power on and wanted to try and figure out why before sending it back for replacement.

March 2018 VE Session Results

From Mike, W4NYY

We had our Spring VE session Saturday morning and it went very well.  Before getting into the particulars, I want to thank the following VE’s and those who are not VE’s that lent a hand:  Wally WA3RWP for putting the class together and securing the facility, Kerry NH2A, Ted W3TB, Vince KX4HH, Dan WG4F, Willy K4MI and there was one other Ham who helped but for the life of me I don’t know his name or his call.  So to him please forgive me and my brain fart.

We served a total of 18 candidates and gave a total of 27 different tests to the 18.  We had 12 from the Technician class and 6 “walk-ins”. 15 passed the technician portion and 3 passed the General.  We had 2 attempted upgrades but they did not earn the upgrade.  I am very happy to report that all 12 of our Technician Class students passed at least the Technician portion and 2 of passed the General!  Great job to Wally and the other professors. This was the largest group we have served during my tenure as VE liaison. I think overall it went very efficiently with a few hiccups on my part.  I need to watch how I use the paper clips, they have a tendency to do whatever they want.  Again thanks to all who participated.

March 2018 VE Session

ARRL Volunteer Examiner Logo

The Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club (WAARC) will conduct a Amateur Radio license exam test session on Saturday March 17, 2018 at the Colonial Heritage Club House, 6500 Arthur Hills Drive, Williamsburg VA 23188, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Volunteer Examiners and candidates should inform the guard at the entrance gate that they will be participating in the test session at the Clubhouse. The exam will be held in the Kings and Queens Room on the clubhouse’s main level; there is a full-time receptionist at the front desk who can direct you to the site.

The cost for the exam is $15 for those wishing to either upgrade a current license or take the Technician Class exam. The fee can be paid by cash or check made out to “ARRL VEC”. Candidates who possess a current amateur radio license must bring a photo ID, a copy of their current original license or Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE), and have available either their Social Security number or FCC Registration Number (FRN). Those not possessing a license already must bring a photo ID and either your Social Security number or FRN number. Your Social Security number or FRN number must be included on the FCC Form 605 Application Form to be provided to the ARRL and the FCC (a copy of your Social Security card is not required). Calculators are allowed and scrap paper will be provided if needed, however, cell phones are not allowed to be used since they have the ability to store information. Candidates can take one or more of the elements and the cost is the same, $15. Candidates who pass an exam may take the next class license exam at no additional cost; candidates who fail any element may retake that element for an additional $15 fee. Mike Conte W4NYY is the WAARC VE Coordinator and may be contacted via e-mail if you have additional questions (michaelconte60@yahoo.com)

1st Jim Bailey KB4ZIN Memorial Award Presentation

At the 2018 WAARC Club Dinner the first Jim Bailey KB4ZIN Memorial Award was presented. This award was developed to honor a local ham that has made a significant contribution to Ham Radio recently. The honoree receives a plaque that has their name listed and the year they won it, as well as a small trophy with a microphone. The trophy is theirs to keep, however the plaque is returned after a year to be presented to the next honoree.

President Dino Papas, KL0S, presenting the 2018 Jim Bailey Memorial Award to Chris Courson, KC4CMR at the 2018 Annual Club Dinner.

The 2018 honoree is Chris Courson, KC4CMR. Chris was blessed to enjoy a decades long term friendship and collaboration with Jim.  He was personally committed to the dependable operation of Jim’s extensive system of repeaters, was directly involved in planning numerous upgrades, enhancements, and when required even coordinated the relocation of these invaluable community resources.  His commitment to continue the stewardship and dedication to the dependable operation of the repeaters is unmatched.  Chris was always willing to sally forth regardless of the hour or weather, responding to keep the repeaters in service.  Often offering more than advice, he lent time and equipment to help someone get on the air and introduce them to the local on-air community.

Chris spent hours upon hours of his personal time and energy organizing the innumerable ARES-supported community races and charitable events.  Local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course graduates have benefited by his involvement with the program, as have the programs themselves.  Chris’s great sense of humor, wide friendships, and commitment on so many levels, all speak to his personal character.

All this in addition to serving since 1990 as the James City County ARES Emergency Coordinator where through the years he attended and represented ARES at scores of meetings and overseeing emergency events in that capacity.   With few exceptions, he has served every Wednesday evening, for decades, as the net control station for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service’s (ARES) 2-meter net.  His diplomacy and patience with those struggling in some manner is an exemplar of the radio art.

Please congratulate Chris for this great honor and his continued efforts to support the local Ham Radio community

Builders’ Group 2nd Session, March 3, 2018

Picture of Chris at bench
Picture of Chris at bench

Chris Courson KC4CMR, a Mentor for the WAARC Builders Group, takes time to work on a project of his own at Dino KL0S’s workbench during the group’s second session for Spring 2018. Chris was recently named the first recipient of the club sponsored Jim Bailey KB4ZIN Annual Memorial Award for 2017; the award recognizes the ham who has made the most significant contributions in support of both local amateur radio operators and our civilian community during the past year.

2018 Officers

WAARC 2018 Officers. From left to right: President-Dino Papas (KL0S), Member at Large-Bill Conkling (NR4C), Secretary-Dan Ewart (WG4F), Treasurer-Ted Edwards (W3TB) and Vice President-Chuck White (AI4WU). The election was held at our monthly meeting on January 9, 2018. The club meets every month on the Second Tuesday at the Croaker Rd. Library.

The New Jim Bailey Memorial Award

In late 2017 Bill NR4C, our club’s Member at Large, made a recommendation that the club establish and sponsor an award to be presented annually that would recognize a ham in the local area who made the most significant contributions in support of both local amateur radio operators and our civilian community during the past year.  Bill’s recommendation called for us to establish the award in honor of Jim Bailey KB4ZIN who passed away in April 2017.

The club leadership agreed, the award was approved at a general membership meeting. Each year the president will appoint a committee of five members to solicit recommendations from the membership and select the award’s recipient. This award does not have to be presented each year if there are no nominees that the committee believes should receive the award.

Here is some background information about Jim Bailey, KB4ZIN:

James William (Jim) Bailey, was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Nov. 15, 1931, to Robert and Freda Smith Bailey.  Jim graduated from Western Michigan University in 1951 and during his career at the U.S. Army’s Diamond Ordnance Fuse Laboratory in Washington, D.C., he pioneered the development of the Army’s first missile ordnance delivery system.  Later at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, he managed the development of automated systems used to test and flight-certify spacecraft and their onboard scientific instruments.

He gave of his talents to the community in many ways.  For example, he developed electronic systems for the Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland, by designing and installing weather and communications equipment that enabled Freeway to become a state-of-the-art facility.  Jim would later go on to install a similar aircraft controlled remote landing light enabling system at our Williamsburg airport.

Jim began his electronics career as what we would call a “Maker” these days working in a radio store as a kid fixing radios.  During WWII when everything was in short supply Jim began his life-long affinity for gathering electronic parts for present and future projects and became a reliable component supplier and technical advisor to the ham community here in Williamsburg.  Jim loved to build both ham radio and non-radio related electronic projects and collect vintage equipment.

Originally licensed as K3SSF Jim built his first 6m AM transmitter with a tube final while he worked at the Goddard facility.  As for many of us life got in the way and he had a 25-year lapse as a ham.  But in June 1987 our club welcomed Jim back to ham radio with his shiny new call sign, KB4ZIN.  In 1987 Jim built and installed the first wide-area coverage 2m repeater system in Williamsburg, the 146.76 machine, which as we all know remains in active service today.  Jim believed that having a autopatch connected to his repeater was another important service he could offer to the community and actually built a homebrew repeater controller and autopatch system using 7400 series logic integrated circuits.  He later installed the 440.10 MHz repeater in 1993 and our second area 2m repeater on 147.105 MHz in 2000.  During local and state emergencies, Jim’s repeater network is used by the Amateur Radio Emergency Service for emergency communications and, during times of severe weather, the SKYWARN network gathers and provides local severe weather information to the National Weather Service.  Over all these years Jim’s repeaters have also supported scores of community public service events.  At Jim’s insistence his systems have always operated without a PL tone to ensure that all visitors to our area had immediate access to the local repeaters without having to search for a required tone.   Jim served as Vice President of the club in 1988 and was a continuous member of WAARC since 1987.  Five members of Jim’s immediate and extended family also became licensed hams.

Jim passed away on April 5, 2017 but his legacy lives on with his call sign KB4ZIN now assigned to the Williamsburg Area Repeater Network, a group of local hams who will continue to operate and maintain Jim’s repeater network.