Clay County ARES Net – December 13, 2016

Check-ins for the Clay County ARES Net

KK4AMM – Ray – Blairsville, GA – OUT
K4SMW – Jim – Young Harris, GA – OUT
WA5JFT – Arthur – Hiawassee, GA – OUT
K4CTE – Charlie – Hayesville, NC – IN – Echolink
K4KVE – Josh – Robbinsville, NC – OUT – Echolink
W4MXY – Pete – W. Cherokee Co. – IN
W4WSR – Ott – Hayesville, NC – OUT

Net Recording

Support the Amateur Radio Parity Act

I can tell you myself not being able to have an outdoor antenna has pretty much kept me from getting more involved with amateur radio. I, the guy who hosts, only have a technicians license and thought to myself what is really the point of getting a general when I’ve no where I can put an antenna due to the home owner’s association. HR 1301 aims to lift the restrictions on antenna use on private land (that means your home owner’s association). It is very clear that amateur radio is not just a hobby but a valuable resource during emergencies. Personally I feel these restrictions are another good reason people choose not to take up the hobby and practice of amateur radio.

Click the link to write to your state’s senator. When you go to the page you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code. Fill out the form and the ARRL will send the letter on your behalf.

Urge the Senate to Support the Amateur Radio Parity Act



May 17, 2016 Check-ins

Clay County A.R.E.S. Emergency Net                   May 17, 2016

K5PRE-R 146.955 MHZ

Net Control: K4AEC

Emergency Traffic


Announcements / Net Business

K4CTE – Cherokee Co. ARES will have their brunch this Saturday at 10 AM Main Street USA. Afterwards will conduct a VHF (146.460 MHz) fox hunt within the Murphy city limits.
K4AEC – The warriors outreach of Cherokee county a walk from Andrews to Murphy and Ranger (22 miles) on Saturday May 28th. Requesting communications for the march at 7 AM, the march is expect to take 8 to 10 hours to complete. You will need to bring your own food/drink. Will meet at the rest area on US74/129. Contact Kevin at or call at 828-557-3363
Antenna replacement is underway for the repeater. Anticipated date is Memorial Day weekend.
The Clay County ARES lunch will be at Mariah’s Hayesville Family Restaurant at 12 PM tomorrow (Wednesday).
KK4EKN – The clay county ARES website ( has been moved off GoDaddy to a new server which will reduce the operating costs.

Mobile / Portable / QRP


Out of State

WA5JFT – Arthur – Hiawassee, GA
KK4AMM- Ray – Blairsville, GA – OUT
K4SMW – Jim – Young Harris, GA – ARRL VE – OUT
Fixed Base Stations

K4CTE – Charlie – Brasstown, NC – Cherokee Co Logistics
KK4CEP – Ed – Shooting Creek, NC – OUT
KK4JQV – George – Brasstown, NC – OUT
KK4NUJ – Bob – Suit
W4MXY – Pete – W. Cherokee Co
KK4EKN – Mike – Hayesville, NC
W4WSR – Ott – Hayesville, NC – OUT

Late Check-ins


NC ARES – Western Branch Fall Meeting

North Carolina ARES Western Branch Fall Meeting


Meeting Date: November 02, 2013
Start time 9:00 AM – Hard Stop 12:30 PM


Western Piedmont CC
Higher Ed. Center
2128 S. Sterling St
Morganton, NC

Paul Robinette – KD4OZI@ARRL.NET  (NC ARES Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator – Western Branch)

Links: N.C. Western Branch: http://www.KD4OZI.ORG

K4OGB Web Page:

Convert a Mobile 2m/70cm Vertical Antenna to Ground Plane Antenna

On July 15, 2013 KG4GPJ, Larry gave a presentation on how to convert a typical “mag mount” antenna into a ground plane antenna.

MFJ 1401 – Ground Plane Conversion Kit

So the question is why would you want to do this?

  • Much more efficient, therefore a more effect antenna
  • Very easy to do – you don’t need to know all the technical stuff
  • Easy to implement

Generally speaking mobile antennas use the vehicle’s body as the ground plane, however most mobile antennas are capacitive coupled to the vehicle therefore making the antenna less efficient.


Monitoring Times to Cease Publication

monitoring times logo

EDIT: Watch HamRadioNow interview with Bob Grove, W8JHD

“Its time for us to retire.” The Monitoring times after 33 years will be ending its monthly publication. Grove says the decision wasn’t easy and was mostly based on the declining subscribers due to a slow economy and availability of content from other sources. Monitoring Times, which promotes itself as “The World of Radio All in One Place,” covers — among other topics — shortwave and broadcast listening, scanning, military, maritime, and aviation monitoring, equipment reviews, clandestine stations, and public safety monitoring. You can read more about the Monitoring Times ending its publication on the ARRL website. Source: ARRL – Monitoring Times to Cease Publication,


2013 Annual Western Carolina Hamfest 

Saturday July 27, 2013
Sponsored by Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society
WHERE: Haywood County Fairgrounds
758 Crabtree Road, Waynesville, NC
(GPS Coordinates: Lat: 35.533414 / Long: -82.960174 )

Gates open at 6:00 AM (you won’t find me there at 6AM!), Doors open at 8:00
AM. Advance tickets are $5.00, Tickets at the gate are $7.00, correct change
is appreciated.

Hamfest Flyer and Advance Ticket Order Form: 

KG4GPJ/R: Coverage Map vs. Real World

I’m always skeptical when it comes to simulations. Earlier this week I posted coverage maps of our repeaters to get an idea of where exactly one can be and be able to reach the repeater. However, what good is a coverage map if it isn’t accurate?

Today I had to make a run up to Robbinsville. On the way over I decided to ping the repeater going through Andrews, NC. My mobile rig consists of a Yeasu FT-2900D, 75-watt 2 meter radio and a 5/8 wave antenna, with some terrible coax that I need to replace. So I’m positive my setup is less than optimal.

Likewise very good coverage between my QTH and Murphy along the main highways of US 64 and US74. However, I was curious of the results once I reached Andrews. I was lucky that Charlie, KK4JTF was on the air and was able to hang out and have a QSO while I was driving down the road. Signal reports were pretty much on par with what I was expecting, scratchy but full copy. This was the case until I got past Andrews, about a couple miles past Hardee’s going along 74. My destination was just a few miles outside of the city limits of Robbinsville right off US 129 and gave one last call on the repeater. I was able to open the squelch but was not readable and vice versa. I heard only a portion of Charlie’s transmission and was below the squelch threshold.

So looking at the coverage map and my route, I think we can agree that the coverage map is remarkably accurate. Each pixel on the map is equal to 100 meters x 100 meters, so this doesn’t take into account of mobile flutter. At the VHF frequencies, moving a few feet in any direction can make the difference between an S5 signal to nothing given the terrain and distance. Folks up in Andrews may or may not get into the repeater down here, propagation favors those on the northern parts of Andrews and at the peaks of the mountains. Realistically however, once you get past Andrews it’s time to switch to the KI4AIH repeater.

Overall the coverage map is a reliable way of determining where you can reach the repeater with a decent mobile setup. I will also be looking into producing coverage maps and site to site maps that would determine coverage from handheld and low powered stations from strategic locations. It’s a good thing to know as hand held radios often have a -5 db gain on the “rubber duck” antennas and have a reduced range and yet are very important part of a ham’s arsenal. More on that coming soon.