Remaining Hamfests for 2017

From JVann Martin

Here is a listing of remaining hamfest in Alabama that I am aware of for
AUG – DEC 2017. If there are other hamfests scheduled that I have not
listed below, please send me an email with the information so that we
can promote this at the Section Level.

Let me also remind everyone that the two Facebook sites Alabama ARES and
Alabama ARRL are the primary locations where we post upcoming events and
announcements outside of Section News email. We have attempted to copy
and paste it on many other Facebook sites but I continue to find new
ones and end up missing clubs and groups.

We have about 80 other Facebook pages dedicated to Amateur Radio
across our state and I strongly urge you to “share” what we post on
FB AL ARRL and FB AL ARES on all 80 Facebook pages so that we maximize
our use of social media. I also see many operators share on their
personal pages what we post on our official sites for Facebook AL ARRL
and AL ARES. Thank you so much for sharing and helping us promote
Alabama activities.


AUGUST – Southeastern Division Convention (Huntsville Hamfest)
AUG 19, 2017
WEBSITE for more information:

SEPTEMBER – Gadsden Hamfest
SEP 9, 2017
WEBSITE for more information:

OCTOBER – Helena Hamfest
OCT 21, 2017
WEBSITE for more information:

NOVEMBER – Alabama State Convention (Montgomery ARC Hamfest)
NOV 11, 2017
WEBSITE for more information:

FCC makes big changes FRS/GMRS/CB

Big changes announced! Highlights, based on my reading of the rules. So check the rules. Link below:

  • More FRS & GMRS frequencies
  • GMRS digital systems will be approved
  • FCC will be certifying FRS radios up to 2 watts PEP. (Previously limited to 0.5 W)
  • FCC will no longer certify FRS devices that incorporate GMRS capabilities
  • Existing GMRS/FRS combination radios that operate at power levels of less than 2 W ERP will be reclassified as FRS devices;
  • Existing GMRS/FRS radios that operate above 2 W PEP will be reclassified as GMRS devices, requiring an individual license. (Rumors were out that FCC might eliminate the requirement for GMRS.)
  • As I read it, they are maintaining the frequencies shared by GMRS and FRS. But, they’re just going to allow FRS/GMRS combination radios.
  • DXing will be officially permitted on CB.

The new rules:

Fayette Co. Frog-Fest 2017 on Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Fayette County Amateur Radio Club (K4ASF) is bring back the Fayette Tailgate of a few years ago,“Frog-Fest 2017,”  on Saturday, May 6, 2017, starting at 8:00 AM. The Grand Prize Drawing will be at 1:00pm but that does not mean that it has to end at that time.
It once again will be by the Lake at the Fayette Guthrie Smith Park located next to the Fayette  Airport, Richard Arthur Field.  Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, BBQ and more to eat, some great Bluegrass/Gospel Music and some great door prizes.

W4CUE/BARC 146.88 repeater back up at full power.

“The W4CUE – 146.880 MHz repeater in Birmingham is back up to the full coordinated power level. This comes after a repeater equipment failure and being forced to operate with a back up equipment for several weeks. The 88.5 Hz tone is again required on the input to active the repeater. Also, a tone of 88.5 Hz is on the output so that the users can set ‘Tone Squelch’ on their receiver if they would like.” — From BARC Facebook account.


From ARRL Alabama Section Section Manager: JVann Martin Sr, W4JVM

Hello Alabama Section,

I hope this email finds everyone doing well.

ALABAMA 2016 SET is right around the corner so I wanted to send out information for everyone to start promoting on social media, Club meetings, Club websites, and on community news outlets. We need everyone involved so please begin talking this up, sharing the date and times with other amateur operators, and promoting this event with as many served agencies as you can in your districts, counties, and communities.

Although our ARRL scoring results have continued to grow and demonstrate teamwork across many of our counties, we still have a great opportunity to expand our participation into all counties in Alabama. I encourage our EC’s to not only reach out to your county served agencies and local hams, but also reach out to your neighboring counties that do not have an EC and ask those EMA’s, and other served agencies to please participate. If you would like some assistance with knowing what counties around your area do not have an EC, please contact me or your SEC, David Gillespie, W4LHQ. [email protected]

We understand that not all counties will be conducting your 2016 SET on OCT 14-16 as you may elect to hold your SET event before or after those dates. Please send in your reports to your SEC David Gillespie, W4LHQ at [email protected] once you have tabulated your traffic and scores.

This year’s SET will be divided into small segments of time so that we maximize our ability to get as many hams and served agencies involved. We have met with the NWS representatives and they have asked that we partner with all three NWS offices that support the State of Alabama during our SET. This means that each NWS would like for those counties supported by the area NWS to please involve as many of your county EMA’s as possible so that we get them on the air during the SET activities. We are excited that the NWS sees the value in working with Amateur Radio and sees the value in having us involved in our local
served agencies.

To better our chances of getting as many of the county EMA’s to participate during SET check ins, we will start the Alabama 2016 SET at 1500 hours on Friday afternoon in hopes of collecting that traffic at our EMA’s and other served agencies that are normally closed on Saturdays.


We will send more details to all EC’s and DEC’s soon about the type of event and details about what will take place during the exercise.

I also want to encourage each county to participate in all modes of communication including standing up HF nets, 2m/440 nets, Digital nets and other Digital modes of collecting traffic. During a real disaster, we may not have the ability to utilize all of these types of COMM, but during an exercise, this is how we test, plan, and then test again our equipment, our reach, and our ability to work together with lots of people at one time.

Please share parts of all of this communication with your clubs and on social media outlets.

I want to personally thank each of you for your hard work and willingness to make our state a stronger partner with other served agencies by maximizing our skill and education through effective use of Amateur Radio.


October 14 Friday 15:00 to 17:00 NCS initial call out to county EMA
October 15 Saturday 08:00 to noon traditional SET for operators, Served
agencies, etc.
October 16 Sunday  20:00 Simplex Net with check ins per SET protocol


ARRL Alabama Section
Section Manager: JVann Martin Sr, W4JVM