Annual Santa Claus Net

Posted: December 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

December 19th 2015

Piedmont Spotter Group Presents: “The Round Man in the Big Red Suit”

Check ins and Ragchew 18:30-20:50

145.230, 146.940, 224.400 , K4NET-L echolink ALL Linked up for this once a year chance to Chat with the Big Man!

Net Control for the Evening: Greg “W4GCH” Huffman

Bring the Kids, Neighbors,and XYL’s Fun Will be Had by ALL!


We’ve been busy here at the PSG adding more Amateur Radio operators as Net Control Stations. Please welcome aboard:

Joel Lautzenheiser, KI4DKX, Newton, NC

Jeffrey LaBerdia, WX4LAB, Kannapolis, NC

Nick Hefner, KM4AVI, Mt Pleasant, NC

Rodney Moore, W2ROD Harrisburg NC

Some of these stations have been assisting the PSG for several months already, and Jeffrey makes a comeback after a brief break from the action.


Each year, the Piedmont Spotter Group in conjunction with Charlotte Regional Skywarn present a deserving amateur radio operator with the William Martin Award for Excellence.   William Martin (SK) was a huge factor in the formation of the PSG and we honor his legacy with this award.

This year we opened up nominations and received two worthy candidates.  Our membership has voted and the result was a tie! Therefore we will recognize both nominees as the winner of this award for 2015.

Earl Fortner K4KAY, a long time member of the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society (W4BFB), is a recipient this year. Earl has worked tireless for years as part of the W4BFB repeater committee, as well as being chairman. He has worked hard to keep the repeaters up and working flawless. Earl has been a great elmer to younger amateurs, and has passed down some of his knowledge of radio networks and tricks of the trade to the next generation. Earl is stepping down as chairman from the committee and his knowledge and experience will be hard to replace and someone will have some big shoes to fill.

Earl, thank you for the years of hard work and for all you have done for the Amateur Radio community. It is with great pleasure that we present the 2015 William Martin Award of Excellence to you.

Greg Huffman W4GCH, one of our very own was also nominated and is also a recipient of this prestigious award this year. Greg is always there to help out. Wether calling a PSG net, Skywarn Net, working a hamfest, or other event. He helped work the weather fest event this year at UNCC. At this event, Greg talked to all that stopped by our booth and told them about Amateur Radio and how we helped the weather community by taking and submitting reports. Greg recently accepted a Co-Net Manager position with the PSG and he along with John Crowe (N4LBX) has worked day in and day out managing the net and recruiting new NCO’s. Not too many nets go by that Greg isn’t there checking in and scribing for the NCO. He is a great Ambassador for Amateur Radio, never shy to promote the hobby in a positive light, as well as a representative of the Piedmont Spotter Group, and Charlotte Regional Skywarn.  

Greg, you are a huge asset to our organization, and I am glad you are a part of both PSG and Skywarn. We’re a better organization because of your efforts and hard work.  Thank you for all you do for us. It is my pleasure to present to you the William Martin Award of Excellence for 2015.

On behalf of the Piedmont Spotter Group, congratulations to both of our recipients this year and thank you both for everything you’ve done for Amateur Radio. 

God Bless and 73

Chris Gay, N1CRG

PSG Trustee

Charlotte Skywarn EC

The Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society (MARS) will be offering an Amateur Radio test session in Charlotte on Sept 19th at 09:00. The location is at the St Giles Evangelical Presbyterian Church at 2027 Emerywood Ave. They will be offering Tech, General and Extra Class tests, and the test fee is $10.00 (Cash only). Please bring a photo ID, If you upgrading, bring a copy of your existing ham license as well as the original. More information at

The Cleveland Co Amateur Radio Society (CCARS) will be offering an Amateur Radio test session in Shelby on Sept 10th at their regular meeting, which starts at 19:00. The location is at the Shelby Airport at the Civil Air Patrol building 830 College Blvd, Shelby NC. They will be offering Tech, General and Extra Class tests, and the test fee is $10.00 (Cash only). Please bring a photo ID, If you upgrading, bring a copy of your existing ham license as well as the original. More Information at

The Carolina Amateur Radio Club offers test sessions on Thursday nights, starting at 19:00 at 171 Joshua Ct, Iron Station NC. The only Thursday night they do not offer tests are on their formal business meeting.

Silent Key, KC4YOT Milton Rice

Posted: August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

With sadness, I would like to pass along the passing of Milton Rice, KC4YOT of Gastonia. Milton was the former EC of Gaston County ARES for many years, as well as a dedicated City of Gastonia employee. He was tragically involved in a motorcycle accident yesterday and succumbed to his injuries.


The family will receive friends on Sunday from 5-7PM at Greens a Funeral Home at 1503 S York Rd, Gastonia 

Funeral will be held on Monday at 2:30PM, also at Greens Funeral Home. Interment to follow the funeral service at Evergreen Cemetery in Belmont 


73 Milton, you’ll be missed.

PSG & Skywarn Staff

A Mecklenburg ARES Exercise will take place this Saturday, June 20th starting at 9:00 AM and it will last until 11:00 AM. 

This net will be called on the 146.940- (118.8 tone) repeater linked to the 145.230- (118.8 tone) and 224.400- repeaters.  The alternate net frequency will be the 145.290- (118.8 tone).

Simulated message traffic or check-ins can also be sent via:

Winlink 2000 / RMS Express to NC4DP or

Packet to NC4DP on CLTBBS / W4BFB-9 (Access CLTNE /  KE4IYH-4 or Spence / W4BFB-6  and type BBS for easy access to CLTBBS)

Remember if using Packet, you do not have to connect the BBS or RMS Gateway directly from your station. Simply connect to the nearest packet node in your area and type C CLTBBS or C RKYRMS once connected. That node will connect you with the BBS or RMS Gateway.

Echolink is also available.  The Echolink node is K4NET-L

All Amateurs are cordially invited to check in.    Please feel free to check in via multiple modes – Voice, Packet and RMS Express.

I look forward to hearing you all on the net.


Tony Lewis – KE4VVF

Mecklenburg County ARES EC

The 3rd annual BIG 100 Net is in the books, and again was a huge success. The BIG 100 is a big undertaking, utilizing several modes and Net Control Stations to make it all happen. Our goal is to promote Amateur Radio, weather safety awareness, and get more than 100 people to participate in the exercise.


Amateur Radio

Radio: We linked up the W4BFB repeater network of 145.230 mhz, 146.640 mhz & 224.400 mhz. This created a wide coverage area of over a 100 mile radius of CLT Metro area.

RMS: We utilized digital modes using the Worldwide Winlink System, allowing amateur stations outside the area a way to check in VIA RMS Express (or similar program).

We used Echolink, giving Amateur Radio stations, yet another way to check in from anywhere.

Non-Amateur Radio

Email: We didn’t forget about our non-amateur radio WX Spotters.  We included our scanner listeners, Facebook & Twitter followers a way to get on the log by submitting a check in VIA Email.

Promoting the hobby

We encouraged non-licensed family members to check in as 3rd party check ins, either by radio, RMS or Email to further promote Amateur Radio.

Weather Safety Awareness

We had a station pass weather related traffic from the Storm Prediction Center with the Hazardous Weather Outlook.

We took over 100 check in’s from Amateur Radio stations as well as non-licensed from all over the Piedmont of NC as well as several different States. Among the states were, NC, SC, FL, GA, NY, OK, all using VHF, Echolink, Email or RMS Express. The net was a huge success, and lasted from 7:45PM till 9:30PM EDT.  Thank you to everyone that checked in with us, and to all the Net Control Stations working in the background. Special thanks to John Crowe, N4LBX for serving as the main Net Control Station.

If you missed us this year, the BIG 100 will be back again in May 2016. Check back later for the date. You can always check in with us during our regular nets held each night at 8pm on 145.230 mhz, the Piedmont Spotter Group Net. All licensed amateur radio stations are welcome!

Until next year, 73!