Club News

Skywarn Spotter Class Information

Good Evening Everyone,

This evening on the ARES net Howard WZ4K reminded the group about some upcoming Skywarn spotter training classes in the area. If you are interested in being a Skywarn spotter and would like to attend a class, you can check out the NWS Wakefield Skywarn page, https://www.weather.gov/akq/SKYWARN.
Skywarn training is good for three years, so if you are an existing spotter but haven’t been to a class recently this is a good opportunity to refresh your training.
This web site also has other good information about the Skywarn Spotter program, with good resources that you can reference. The class schedule on the page is updated throughout the year when new classes are scheduled. If you are not able to attend one of the current ones, there will be others scheduled later in the year.

Jim Bailey, KB4ZIN, SK

Jim Bailey, KB4ZIN, passed away on April 5. You might recognize his call sign from the local repeaters in the Williamsburg area. He set up the 146.76 machine in the area in 1987, which has proven to be rather useful in emergency situations throughout the years. It is also a place for hams that pass through Williamsburg to pop in and chat with someone on their journey.

While Jim was not very active as of late, he would check in to the Wednesday night ARES net every once in a while, and monitored the repeaters when he could. He had a passion for electronics and home brew projects, and enjoyed chatting about them with others.

Jim’s obituary was published in the April 15th edition of the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg. Click Here to read it.

A memorial service for Jim will be on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 5PM at the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, 100 Marclay Road, Williamsburg.

MPARC Technician and General License Classes

The Middle Peninsula Amateur Radio Club (MPARC) is sponsoring license classes for the Technician (entry level) and General license levels.

The dates for these classes is as follows:

April 2, 9, 23, 30, May 7, and 21, 2017
(no classes on Easter or Mother’s Day)

The location is the Gloucester Public Library, Study Room 1
6920 Main Street, Gloucester Courthouse. Map to Library.

For more information or to sign up for the classes, please contact Will Grant, WS3G.

Will Grant, WS3G  Telephone: 202 431 3538 Email: ws3g@arrl.net

2017 Virginia QSO Party

The Virginia QSO Party takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19, 2017. The hours for Saturday are 10am-10pm, and Sunday 8am-8pm local time.

The exchange for the contest is a sequential serial number + your county/independent city designator. A list of counties and independent cities can be found at the web site below.

The rules for this year, as well as a wealth of other information, can be found on the VaQP Web site: http://www.qsl.net/sterling/VA_QSO_Party/2017_VQP/2017_VQP_Main.html.

If you can, get on and make some QSOs. This is one of the rare times where people are looking for YOU!

Club Site Fixed Again

**Update 3-6-17** Scott from QTH, the hosting company for the Web site, responded to my inquiry about what might be happening to our site. He has guided me through the use of some other tools that I can use to beef up security on our site. This will help plug any security vulnerabilities that may be discovered and hopefully eliminate further attacks.

If it happens again I will let him know and leave the damage visible for him so he can see what is happening and suggest further measures to take. This is all a new experience for me. While I have read about things like this happening with a WordPress site, I had never experienced it.

Original post:

Several people brought to my attention that the club’s web site was vandalized again over the past couple weeks. I am not quite sure who is doing this or what the motivation is behind the attacks. I thought that the changes I made a few weeks ago were sufficient enough to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. However, I have found that the damage was more extensive this time and required more work to solve the problems.

I have taken additional measures to try and keep this from happening again, as I do not want to go through the work again to restore the site to proper form. I will also be contacting the company that hosts the web site on their servers to see if they can assist me with trying to prevent future attacks on the site. Maybe they can clue me in as to what is going on and what I may not be doing correctly on my end that would cause such things to happen.

I thank everyone again for alerting me to what has been going on. This is not something that I have experienced before, but it serves as a good learning tool for future sites that I may be involved with maintaining.

Spam Posts on the MPARC Web Site

Earlier this evening I was alerted to something that was not quite right with the MPARC web page. Kenny KM4KZC notified me of the problem and I immediately took care of some spam postings that had been made, apparently using my admin account. The vandals did a good job in making it look as if these posts took place a while ago, though I do not believe they were up there for more than a couple weeks.

I have an idea of what might caused this and have taken any and all appropriate measures to ensure that this kind of vandalism does not happen again. This kind of thing is something that can happen to sites that are based on the WordPress platform, which is what I have built the MPARC site on. I thought I had done everything I could to ensure this kind of thing does not happen, though you don’t ever know for sure until the security measures are tested.
I will do a better job at not only ensuring that the security for the MPARC web site is up to the latest standards, but also verifying that there is no vandalism-like behavior taking place. I thank Kenny for brining this to my attention, as I may not have noticed this otherwise. I encourage everyone to visit the site from time to time and contact me if and when you see something that isn’t quite right, whether it be spam-like content or a mistake I may have made. I will respond to any inquiries promptly to ensure our web site represents the club in the best way possible.

2016 Christmas Dinner Wrap-Up

Dear MPARC Members and Friends,

A heartfelt thank you to all of you who attended last night’s MPARC Christmas Dinner at Nick’s and who donated to the WXGM Toy Drive. I’ll be delivering the toys to WXGM tomorrow. They always appreciate our interest and generosity and this year will be no exception!

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There was a great turnout – 38 people RSVPed and 38 showed up. Mark Lowell, N1LO was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his tireless efforts for the club.

We had a most successful raffle of four items donated by MPARC members:

  • YAESU VHF/UHF Dual Band Transceiver FT-60R/E
    (Donated by Will Grant, WS3G)
  • GAP Titan DX Multiband Vertical Antenna
    (Donated by Bill Sale, AE4RB)
  • Heathkit SB-303 Receiver
    (Donated by Bill Sale, AE4RB)
  • Yaesu YS-2000 RMS/PEP wattmeter
    (Donated by Bill Sale, AE4RB)

Thank you to the donators and the folks that bought raffle tickets!

Two poinsettias were given away as door prizes.

Nick’s did their usual great job with the decorations and we appreciated their good food and service.

A great way to end 2016 and set the stage for a productive 2017.

Please contact me if you have any comments or suggestions. See you at the MPARC meeting on January 3, 2017

Will Grant, WS3G
President, Middle Peninsula Amateur Radio Club
ws3g@arrl.net

Richmond Frostfest

Frost Fest 2016 takes place on Saturday, February 6 at the Richmond Raceway Complex. Show hours are from 8:30am-3:00pm. It is the mid-Atlantic’s largest hamfest, and a great place to socialize and meet other radio amateurs.

If you would like more information about Frostfest, please check out www.frostfest.net

Club Facebook Page

MPARC now has a Facebook page. You can go check it out at https://www lexapro online.facebook.com/mparcinc. You do not need a Facebook account to view the page.

Many thanks to Joy W2JMS for her hard work in getting the Facebook page put together. Having a presence in social media will help us present ourselves to a wider audience.

February Club Meeting

The February MPARC Meeting will take place on February 2nd, 2016 at 7PM at Abingdon Fire and Rescue Station 3. The program for this month is presented by Charlie Stokes, WB4PVT on QSLing. Some of the topics to be covered are:

  • What are QSL Cards
  • Where do you get them.
  • How to send them.
  • And lots of other useful information.

If you are new to the hobby or want a refresher course, come check out the meeting this month. The program will follow a short business meeting.