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ARRL Sections - Virginia



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Dr Joe Palsa
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Well here we are on the last day of 2019 and looking at a new decade of the 20th Century. Many strides have taken place in technology during this last decade. All kinds of effects to our world environment, to our working environment, to our families, and finally to Amateur Radio. Our holidays will be over in a matter of hours.


I would like to introduce Ed Gibbs, KW4GF ,, as our new section PIO. Ed is a very experienced guy, former teacher, and great addition to our hard working Virginia Section staff. He is very interested in hearing from clubs as well as individuals with notices of meetings, training, events of any kind that ham radio is supporting. We will then try to get them announced in my letters as well as submitted to ARRL QST staff for good stories. This gives you all the opportunity to publicize your clubs and events.

I know that many of you are closely following our section ARES activities. I am pleased to announce the committee chaired by John Roberts, our SEC, to create new ARES strategic plan for 2020 has been completed.

It has been quite a few years that Virginia has had a real workable plan. This document spells out many specific items, but we must all understand this is a living document and is expected to be updated as necessary in the future. Emergency Communications has become a very visible subject to the public and the Federal Government (DHS/FEMA) as well as our states, cities, counties and towns. The word is INTEROPERABILITY. This is the federal government mantra established as the benchmark for emergency communications of all governmental services.

This includes professional as well as volunteer services. ARES CONNECT is moving forward with more agencies like Warren County is signing up.

Next, we finally had our meeting with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). As I noted earlier, VDEM has been undergoing a reorganization the last two years, from top to bottom.

This meeting was called by VDEM to reorganize the volunteer emergency communications capabilities in Virginia.  Present were myself, John Roberts (ARES/RACES), VA Defense Force, Civil Air Patrol, and ARCA (VDEM Amateur Radio Auxiliary). Mr.Edward Porner, who is the second in command of VDEM, Director of Response& Recovery, as well other division directors and managers were present.

I am very pleased to report that after many years of working to get our acceptance and recognition back from our original MOU in 2008, we are now back in the planning of VDEM operations. At this time, VDEM now is creating their overall plan to establish the criteria for these groups to develop an INTEROPERABILITY program will allow the groups to work together based on using amateur radio communications capabilities.

Simply said, which group VDEM will be notified first for the best fit of a specific declared emergency or disaster. However, all communications will be via amateur radio back to VDEM EOC as required.  Testing of local and regional EOC amateur radio (ARES) systems direct to VDEM and/or relay systems, will be available as needed. A call will be needed to VDEM EOC to request a test time. More details will be coming soon.

ODEN nets will continue and we hope to get participation back up on net calls. Some new nets may be developed to support new planning for the future. VDEM Specifics of requirements, training, etc. will be coming in the future. We are supporting VDEM, so must understand we have our ARES/AUXCOMM training and rules, but we expect there will be some VDEM rules which we will need to abide by. We will keep everyone updated as more information is available.

FROSTFEST Hamfest, is Saturday Feb. 1st at the Richmond Raceway complex.

As noted earlier, the FROSTFEST web site has interactive ability to purchase tickets for attendance as well as tables for flea market sellers. FROSTFEST will also be an ARRL Virginia State Convention.

Forums for ARES and other subjects can be found on the web site. This is the largest Hamfest in the East Coast Middle Atlantic area.

Vienna Wireless Society Winterfest Hamfest will be held March 29. This is an ARRL event.  This will also be an AUXCOMM Conference with ARES, SKYWARN, and Winlink forums.

Inside as well as outside fleamarkets will be available.

Winter Field Day activities , January 24-26, will be held at the Powhatan State Park.  This event will be hosted by N4POW, the Powhatan Amateur Radio Club. www.N4POW.COM

Virginia QSO party will coming in March 21-22. More details at: › sterling › VA_QSO_Party ›

As a local note for the Richmond area, the 146.88 repeater has had new antennas installed and other components updated and is back in service with its wide area coverage better than ever. In addition, work is being done to establish a mesh network in central Virginia which will be able to connect to other networks.

Legislation activities will be ramping up in a couple of weeks.  The city of Richmond government has passed a new law preventing the use of handheld devices in the city limits. This based on holding cell phones, but we are working with them to make the language specific to cell phones. We are keeping close watch on state legislators for proposed communications bills.

Happy New Year and welcome to a new decade.

Dr Joe Palsa

Virginia Section Manager



Virginia Officials

  • Joseph Palsa

    Section Manager,
    State Government Liaison

    Joseph G. Palsa K3WRY

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  • Howard Wood

    Technical Coordinator

    Howard E. Wood WA4PGI

  • John Roberts

    Section Emergency Coordinator,
    Assistant Section Manager

    John C. Roberts WB4AXY

  • John Johnson

    Section Traffic Manager

    John D. Johnson K0IBS

  • John Kanode

    Assistant Section Manager

    John C. Kanode N4MM

  • James Ritterbusch

    Assistant Section Manager

    James F. Ritterbusch WO4X

  • Edward Gibbs

    Public Info Coordinator

    Edward P. Gibbs KW4GF

  • Edward Krom

    Assistant Section Manager

    Edward V. Krom WD4KHP

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  • Rue Stuteville

    Assistant Section Manager

    Rue O. Stuteville W4RUE

  • Andrea Wayward

    Assistant Section Manager

    Andrea L. Wayward KG4IUM

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  • Donald Lynch

    Assistant Section Manager

    Donald F. Lynch W4ZYT

  • Ken Longnecker

    Public Info Coordinator

    Ken T. Longnecker KN4BAF

  • William Collins

    Affiliated Club Coordinator

    William David Collins N4WDC

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