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October online now

Saturday October 31, 2020 (day 305/2020)
RARS in-person gatherings are cancelled. The RARS officers are making alternate arrangements for virtual meetings. Please check this website often for updated information.


6:00 PM: New Ham / Elmer meeting.
7:00 PM: General Social/Gathering.
7:30 PM: Business meeting and program.

Welcome to our newest RARS members
KD2PJP Joseph Rymer, Jr KC9PBW Jim Earles KD4JMJ Linda Gibson
KO4ISE Josh Owen K4WCA Bill Auld WB2IEL Burt Silverman

See why YOU should be a RARS Member
Network with 400+ Amateur Radio Operators
Access to experienced Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) who volunteer as mentors to enhance enjoyment of our popular hobby and service. With more than 400 members, RARS is able to offer a wide array of public service, education, and advocacy activities covering many aspects of the Amateur Radio experience.
Community Support through Public Service
Many RARS members members contribute their skills and equipment in support of community service organizations across the RTP area, providing communications to many worthwhile nonprofit and charitable organizations. Typically when organizations hold fundraising events such as bicycle rallys, walk/run marathons, and Special Olympics. For example, the National MS Society has several walks in the spring, and a major bike tour in the fall. These events are outdoors, spread over several miles (150 miles for the MS-150 Bike tour). Ham Radio and repeaters are ideal for providing both logistical and safety communications.

RARS members also provide a public service through participation in such organizations as ARES and Skywarn which provide Emergency Communications Services to Public Safety officials and Government Agencies.
Members Only Clssified Ads
The RARS website supports a very active classified add listing that anyone can see but only RARS Members have posting privledges. The classified ads are among the busiest pages of our website and the ads are a free service provided to all RARS members.
Membership Social Events
RARS members stay in touch in a lot of ways either in person or on-the-air
  • The RARS 2 meter net is held nightly on one of the 2 club repeaters.
  • The monthly RARS Dinner is on the first Tuesday of each month.
  • The RARS Membership Meeting is held on the second Tuesday of each month.
  • RARSfest, held each spring, is one of the laregest hamfests in the state, drawing commercial dealers and vendors from around the country.
  • The annual international operating event called "Field Day", an exercise in setting up emergtency communications sp where members show their ability to provide communications in an emergency or other adverse conditions.
Other RARS activities can often be found on the RARS Calendar or in our monthly newsletter, The "Exciter".
Education and License Exams
RARS conducts license classes for both initial licensing and advancement to higher class licenses. There are also frequent technical programs at our meetings as well as a weekly technical net on the club repeater. The RARS VE (Volunteer Examiner) team also conducts about half a dozen License Exam Sessions each year. For the newly licensed there is a NEW HAM meeting each month before the Membership Meeting. There is also a weekly Tech-Net on the club repeater.
Operating Events
Many RARS members participate in on-the-air events either as individuals or together such as:
  • Contests where points are scored for making a number of contacts, different locations, different types of stations, different operating modes, etc. Certificates are awarded to the high scores and bragging rights are always claimed.
  • RARS sponsors the NC QSO Party each year. A QSO party is an operating event "contest" where points are awarded for contacting ohter stations with special emphasis on contacts made with a specific state. Each state has an annual QSO party and RARS sponsors the one for North Carolina providing a plaque for the contest.
  • RARS also sponsors a "Sixty-four on Six-Four" award for confirming 64 contacts on the RARS 146.64 MHz repeater.
  • DXing is making contacts with foreign countries. The ARRL awards coveted certificates for confirming contact with 100 or more different countries. Higher level endorsements are also awarded for confirming contact with higher numbers of countries.
  • Special Event stations are often set up at historic sites or at special events and special call signs may be authorized by the FCC for use at these Special Event stations. Unique QSL cards are usually available for having made contact with a Special Event station.
  • Fox Hunts are an exercise in finding hidden transmitters. Transmissions will be made from an undisclosed location and hams compete to see who can find the transmitter first.
Special RARS "Members Only" benefits
While some of the RARS benefits are available without actually becoming a paid member of RARS, there are some great benfits that are restricted to Members Only:
  • A voice in club operation. Only RARS Members in good standing may vote on issues that are brought before the membership.
  • RARS Leadership. Only RARS Members may hold officer positions in RARS.
  • Access to the RARS Email-List reflector facilitating group discussions via email.
  • Access to the RARS Roster.
  • Ability to post items for sale in the online RARS Classified Ads.
  • Sell items on the RARS Table at RARSfest
  • Purchase RARS branded items: polo shirts, badges, etc.
Select a topic to expand details.

Current News and Events
Updated October 07, 2020 19:49:29

FCC Proposes $50 fee for Ham License Processing

On Aug 26 the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) seeking a $50 fee for Ham License Processing. The NPRM states that the fees "...derive from modifications to the Commission’s statutory application fee authority made by the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018.1 The current application fee framework was established more than 30 years ago by Congress.”
Comments from ARRL NC Section Mgr Marvin Hoffman, WA4NC
			  
by Marvin Hoffman, WA4NC
ARRL Section Manager, North Carolina Section

The proposal by the FCC to levy a $50 application fee has generated a
lot of comment during my visits with clubs and on the bands.  The
sentiment seems to overwhelmingly oppose to the proposed fee.    I have
heard a small segment of the people express an opinion that the $50
application fee is small in proportion to the investment people make in
their ham radio station which can easily cost several thousands of
dollars.  They point out that the $50 application fee occurs once during
a ten year license period unless someone upgrades.

Some have said they would support levying a fee if the funds were
dedicated to strengthening the enforcement of FCC rules, particularly on
ham bands where profanity and malicious interference is still occurring.

Some have said that a first-time Technician should be exempt in order to
attract more hams into the hobby.

However, the overwhelming majority of comments that I have heard have
been negative.  Comments that I have heard from hams include:

a.    The proposed application fee is too high, going from $zero to $50 in
one step is thought by many as being unreasonable.

b.    It is claimed that the application fee will be a huge deterrent to
young people getting into the hobby.

c.    There is a widespread belief that there will be an inevitable decline
in the numbers of ham radio operators which in turn will decrease
whatever importance the FCC attaches to ham radio.  If people are
dropping out of ham radio, the critics say, the FCC will probably need
fewer frequencies which could then be sold to business interests.

d.    If $50 is thought to be affordable, what is to say that in a year or
two, the FCC will not attempt to raise the fee to generate more even
more revenue for the federal government and not be earmarked for FCC
enforcement efforts.

Some hams have been quite vocal in asking why the ARRL has not organized
a letter writing campaign like they did when the ARRL seemed to be at
every hamfest in America urging hams to sign sample letters that the
ARRL gathered up and delivered to the offices of each Member of Congress
to show how important the antenna issue was to hams across the county.

Hams have been vocal in pointing out that, even though that the Amateur
Radio Parity Act effort failed, at least the ARRL was visible and
offered advice to hams wanting to contact the FCC and Congress.

Here are steps that you can take if you want to express your opinion
about the proposed fee. 

1.    You can go to https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/ and express your opinion pro
or con.  Be sure to mention Proceeding 20-270 and be polite whichever
side you take on this matter. 

As of this morning 876 comments had been filed and 35 of the commenters
were from North Carolina.

2.    It is election time and all 13 members of the US House of
Representatives from North Carolina are up for election as is U.S.
Senator Tom Tillis.

The FCC indicated that the fees were mandated by Congress two years ago
in the RAY BAUM ACT which directed the FCC to capture the cost of
processing applications.  Since Congress mandated the FCC study various
fees but also exempted certain groups of users from fees perhaps the
Congress could be persuaded to exempt Amateur Radio as well.

If you encounter Senators Burr orTillis, or one of the incumbent US
House Member who are seeking re-election to the US House of
Representatives, politely express your opinion whether or not you
disagree with the FCC proposal to levy a fee for amateur radio
applications.

3.    Send a letter to your representatives in Washington.  Our webpage,
https://www.ncarrl.org , has information on how to contact your member
of Congress. 

In addition, although the Senate and House members have left Washington
for a month of campaigning, their offices can be reached by calling
202-224-3121.  The Capitol Switchboard operator will transfer you to the
office of Senator Burr or Senator Tillis or to your particular member of
the US House of Representatives. 

Be polite but let the staff member know how you feel on this question."
Information from ARRL NEWS

FCC Proposes to Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees

08/28/2020

[UPDATED 2020-09-01 @1845 UTC] Amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed this week. Included in the FCC’s fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.

The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act” of 2018 — the so-called “Ray Baum’s Act.”

The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated fee structure to a cost-based system of assessment. In its NPRM, the FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur Radio Service that had been excluded by an earlier statute. The 2018 statute excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but not from application fees.

“[A]pplications for personal licenses are mostly automated and do not have individualized staff costs for data input or review,” the FCC said in its NPRM. “For these automated processes — new/major modifications, renewal, and minor modifications — we propose a nominal application fee of $50 due to automating the processes, routine ULS maintenance, and limited instances where staff input is required.”

The same $50 fee would apply to all Amateur Service applications, including those for vanity call signs. “Although there is currently no fee for vanity call signs in the Amateur Radio Service, we find that such applications impose similar costs in aggregate on Commission resources as new applications and therefore propose a $50 fee,” the FCC said.

The FCC is not proposing to charge for administrative updates, such as mailing address changes for amateur applications, and amateur radio will remain exempt from annual regulatory fees. “For administrative updates [and] modifications, which also are highly automated, we find that it is in the public interest to encourage licensees to update their [own] information without a charge,” the FCC said.

The FCC also proposes to assess a $50 fee for individuals who want a printed copy of their license. “The Commission has proposed to eliminate these services — but to the extent the Commission does not do so, we propose a fee of $50 to cover the costs of these services,” the FCC said.

The Ray Baum’s Act does not exempt filing fees in the Amateur Radio Service. The FCC dropped assessment of fees for vanity call signs several years ago.

ARRL is reviewing the matter and intends to file comments in opposition.

Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. Interested parties may file comments by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. This docket is already open to accept comments, even though deadlines have not yet been set.


You can read the NPRM [HERE]
You can read previous commennts on the NPRM [HERE]
You can submit your commennts on Proceeding 20-270 [HERE]

COVID-19 Impact on RARS Meetings and Gatherings
Due to the current COVID-19 related mandates all RARS in-person gatherings are suspended until further notice. Information will be published as the situation evolves. Please utilize the RARS nightly net on the W4DW 146.64 repeater and the RARS-L Email Reflector to stay in touch with fellow members.

  • All montly dinners (2nd Tuesday of each month) are cancelled until further notice.
  • All RARS Board Meetings will be online (virtual) meetings until further notice.
  • Membership Meetings are online - notices emailed to members each month.


Refer any questions to the RARS president using the link on the RARS Contacts page.


Orlando HamcCation & ARRL National Convention Postponed
Read HamCation news [HERE]       Read ARRL Info [HERE]

ARRL List of Canceled Hamfests and Conventions

RARS CLUB SHIRTS NOW AVAILABLE
Order your T or Polo RARS Shirts directly from Supreme T-Shirts and Apparel in Garner.

powered by Surfing Waves

RARS and Scouting
Amateur radio has been a part of Scouting since 1918. RARS is working to develop contacts within the local Scouting community to foster and promote education, technical awareness, and achievement in Amateur Radio. If you are interested in helping the local Scouting youth programs, visit our Scouting page... http://www.rars.org/scouting/

Have you heard of the RARS Sixty-Four on Six-Four Award ?
RARS has sponsored this award for years but many newer hams are unaware of it.
Read about it <HERE> and get some new "wall-paper" for your shack.
Download the application/logsheet <HERE>

Build A Multi-Band Off-Center Fed Dipole For Your Attic
Article by Daniel Marks, KW4TI
This antenna is a 20 to 25 foot long (6.0 m to 7.6 m) off-center fed dipole antenna for the 20 m and 40 m bands designed for those who need to conceal an antenna. It is small enough to fit inside the attic of many homes. It can also be set up as  ......<more>

YOU can promote RARS with these Brochures
RARS Members are encouraged to download the brochure and use it to promote RARS at hamfests and other events attended by those interested in Ham Radio.

Check out the new RARS Kudos page.
Dick Bitner Benevolent Fund

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RARS · P.O. Box 17124 · Raleigh, NC 27619-7124