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Recent Articles

| August 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

RACES Net Banner

Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
W4AVA repeater, 146.625 MHz (-600) tone 107.2.
All Amateur Radio operators are welcome to participate in the net.

2 Meter Simplex and the Arlington 2m Simplex Test

| March 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

Embracing the Simplicity and Strategy of 2m Simplex in Amateur Radio

In amateur radio, the allure of 2m Simplex lies in its simplicity and direct approach to communication. This mode, free from the complexities of offsets, CTCSS codes, and digital repeaters, represents ham radio in its most elemental form. For licensed operators, especially those new to the hobby, 2m Simplex offers a straightforward path to making contacts while going beyond repeater-based QSOs. FM is the most common modulation when making a 2m simplex contact but some people also use SSB, CW, or digial modes.

The simplicity of 2m Simplex brings antenna positioning to the forefront of operational success. Without repeaters to extend the reach of transmissions, the direct line of sight between communicating stations becomes paramount. The effectiveness of a simplex contact can be greatly influenced by the quality of the antenna and how well an antenna is positioned. Achieving the highest possible elevation and ensuring clear paths can significantly enhance signal strength and clarity. This aspect encourages operators to experiment and learn the nuances of antenna theory and practical application, which is fundamental to mastering simplex operations.

A2ST: Arlington 2 Meter Simplex Test

In support of fostering skill and community within this mode, the Arlington 2-Meter Simplex Test (A2ST) is an event that highlights the effectiveness and enjoyment of simplex communication. Scheduled for April 6, 2024, from 4 to 8 pm EDT, the test is open to all amateur radio operators capable of making contact within Arlington County, VA, via 2-meter FM phone on simplex. The objective is to complete at least 10 QSOs (contacts), with a bonus for contacting an Arlington Fire Station ham station. Participants will exchange their call sign, location (using predefined codes for Arlington neighborhoods or nearby counties), and signal report. This event not only serves as a practical exercise in simplex communication but also as a valuable experiment in assessing the capabilities of simplex communication within a specific area. The data collected will be shared with local emergency services and amateur radio communities, offering insights into the effectiveness of simplex communication for public service and emergency preparedness.

The A2ST encourages participants to log their contacts, noting the call sign, signal report, and the specific frequency used for each contact. A log form is attached to this post. Suggested frequencies fall within the ranges designated for simplex use in the 2 Meter Band Plan. This event, sponsored by the Arlington Radio Public Service Club, exemplifies the community and learning spirit of amateur radio, encouraging operators to engage deeply with the technical and social aspects of the hobby.

Through the simplicity of 2m Simplex, amateur radio operators find a platform for learning, experimentation, and connection. The A2ST represents an opportunity to explore these aspects in a structured and enjoyable setting, emphasizing the importance of building your station, understanding of radio fundamentals, and local community engagement in the world of amateur radio.

More Information

For more information on 2m simplex and the A2ST, see the attached documents

Volunteer to be a Radio Operator for the 2023 Marine Corps Marathon!

| August 6, 2023 | 0 Comments

Calling all radio operators! We have an exciting opportunity for you to be part of a vital team supporting the upcoming 47th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) on Sunday, October 29.

The MCM relies on approximately 150 amateur radio operators to ensure seamless communication throughout the event. Your role? Provide essential situational awareness and rapid communication across the course. Using 2m and 70 cms frequencies, accessible with a dual-band handheld radio, you’ll help maintain a smooth and safe marathon experience.

If you’ve participated in our club’s 2-meter net on Wednesday nights, you’re already well-prepared! Additional training, scheduled around two weeks before the event, will get you fully up to speed. Picture yourself stationed at a mile marker, reporting runner progress, medical situations, and assisting as needed—a firsthand role in the largest amateur radio public support event in the DC-MD-VA area.

Scott Larimer, KN4RPA, the MCM amateur radio lead, has extended an invitation to potential volunteers, emphasizing the significance of your contribution.

Ready to jump in? Here’s how:

  1. Register as a Ham Volunteer on the MCM Organization website:
  2. Head to to sign up for an MCM Ham assignment. This user-friendly platform guides you through the process step by step, offering valuable information along the way.

Curious about the experience? A training session is planned for October, and you can catch a glimpse of the event’s spirit through the MCM Ham Radio Facebook group.

For details on the event’s schedule, course map, parking, and more, visit the Marine Corps Marathon site:

Don’t miss this chance to combine your passion for ham radio with a meaningful contribution to the Marine Corps Marathon. Join us in making this year’s event a triumph of communication and community support!

Repeater System Update

| May 1, 2023 | 0 Comments

The W4AVA repeater system is part of a broader linked system. Dave Jordan (WA3GIN) has been heading up the work on this as a labor of love for quite some time.

He has managed to put together a relatively nice linked repeater system with a couple of great friends down in the Northern Neck, Jeff KC8VFN and Andrew AF4AH, to provide awesome VHF coverage along the Potomac River from north of Great Falls to the mouth of the Potomac river and ChesapeakeBay (see attached). We fondly refer to the system as the Potomac River Repeater System (PRRS). We assume the coverage exceeds 10,000 square miles.

This linked system provides improved coverage to potential East and Southern evacuation routes from Arlington, NOVA and the NCR. It also provides hand-held VHF 5 watt radio access from the NCR to the Virginia State Emergency Operations Center in Richmond, VA.

There was nothing like this system in existence before 9/11 leaving the NCR vulnerable from an AUX COM capability perspective and to my knowledge this linked system is the only such system serving the NCR. There has been no downtime of the W4AVA repeater that was unplanned since it was activated 17+ yrs ago! The other pics are of our repeater maintenance facility here in King George. This is where we calibrate the transceivers, tune the duplexers, and program the repeater controllers, etc.

The W4KGC repeater’s Cellwave PD220-3A antenna has been upgraded to a COMSCOPSE DB-224E.

Arlington RACES Net Hams Go Portable During Winter Field Day

| March 18, 2023 | 0 Comments
K3SRF At Station
Will K3SRF in Virginia.

KC3ULX at station
Ryan KC3ULX in D.C.
K4RT at station
Brad K4RT in Virginia.

K3SRF, KC3ULX, and K4RT operated on battery power during a chilly, and at times, rainy winter weekend during the 2023 Winter Field Day.

Read the full article…

Update to Club Officers

| February 26, 2023 | 0 Comments

Now that we’re a few months into the new year, we’ve had our most recent board meeting and we’ve updated our club officers. As an all volunteer organization, we are very grateful for the folks that regularly participate in club activities from the club president to net control stations, each person makes a contribution to help things operate well and help us all be ready for any EMCOM situations that may come up.

It’s W4AVA’s 15th Birthday!

| August 25, 2019 | 0 Comments


15 Years ago, Arlington County RACES was formed and along with it, W4AVA was registered with the FCC. Through the support of our county and the work of our most active club members, we are now the proud caretakers of our Nation’s Capital’s most powerful and widest area coverage repeater system!