President’s Letter for April 2023

Greetings to all.

April 3rd, 2023 was the 50th Anniversary of the cell phone. Inventor Martin Cooper of Motorola used the first portable handset … to make the first cell phone call … to his rival at Bell Labs.

Way to rub it in, Marty.

From 1973 until now, there has been an incredible proliferation of these devices. It seems like everyone has one and many have more than one. Yet, when I ask my students, most of whom are middle aged, “How many radio circuits are in an average smartphone?” their guesses are all over the map.

There are five, if you don’t know: The phone itself is the first one; wi-fi; Bluetooth; GPS and near-field communication (NFC – although you may know it as “Google Pay” or “Samsung Pay”) is the last one.

This is another reason why our VE Sessions are so important. Far from being “an old man’s hobby”, radio technology is very much current, very much in demand.

Cell phones, RFID, tablets, phablets, mobile devices of all kinds – we live in a time when radio and the need for radio has never been greater. The paradox to me then is that while so many people, especially the young, know of these devices, they don’t recognize that it is radio that they all have in common.

Our Training Officer, Mark, WA4KFZ, offered “You got your first FCC License, now what?” courses before the pandemic interrupted him. He was on the right track. Your Officer Cadre now gets license & contact information about new hams (and hams that upgrade their licenses), from our new leadership at ARRL Roanoke Regional HQ.

Letters will go out from us this week to those nearby new hams introducing our club to those folks, offering them a chance to visit our monthly meetings at no obligation, to visit us on Field Day, and to visit our Tailgate Party.

Lastly on this point, we have scheduled OVH’s own VE Session for May 27th, 2023. We will be at:

Lord of Life Lutheran Church
13421 Twin Lakes Dr.
Clifton, VA 20124

VEs are asked to please volunteer.

March 26th was The Manassas “TUNE UP TRI” event of the Tri-It-Now event series. This was the first event of the season. We were able to make it work, although we were short 3 positions.  A heartfelt thank you to the 7 who were able to work this event:  Andy, KJ4MTP (always our Lead Sled Dog); David, KG4GIY; Ken, KN4DD; Greg, KM4CCG; John, KG4NXT; James, KQ4CAX and Lynn, KX4HR. We could have used a bit more help. Please consider volunteering for our next event on June 11th.

A number of our members also participated in the VAQP back on March 18th and 19th. I hope everyone remembered to put our club down on their logs when they submitted them. If you haven’t yet submitted your logs, you have until April 15th, 2023.

Submit log entries by online portal or mail to:

The VA QSO Party
Call Box 599
Sterling, VA 20167

or e-mail them to:  If you have problems, please send an email to

Speaking of April 15th, Tax Day this year is moved to April 18th. Make sure your rich Uncle Sam receives his proper documentation from you on time.

Our monthly breakfast returns this Saturday, April 15th at 8:00 AM. We get together every Saturday before our meetings at a table or two in the back of Yorkshire Restaurant for some good food and good conversation.

Yorkshire Restaurant
7537 Centreville Rd.
Manassas, VA 20111
(703) 368-4905

Our next monthly meeting Tuesday, April 18th

W4OVH Monthly Meeting
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Buckhall VFD Hall
7190 Yates Ford Road
Manassas, VA 20111

John, KG4NXT, will present a video on “How to Build & Fly a Kite Antenna” for our presentation. I have previewed it, and I promise you, it is both interesting & shot quite well.

Speaking of projectors, all of you meeting attendees know that we have been experiencing adventures these last few meetings with the projectors that the VFD has loaned us. I am happy to announce that the OVH has a new (to us) data projector of our very own.

The projector was donated by John, KK4TCE, who said he didn’t “want a lot of fanfare”, so I’ll only mention it once. Thank you.

Acquiring a projector was only part of the effort.  We had to verify that the projector could throw a beam the 27 foot length of the training room and getting it to work with our equipment required identifying and purchasing an adapter.

A second thank you then, to the Projector Team: Jay, NQ4T; John, KG4NXT and yours truly, Ken, KN4DD. Quite a few man hours went into this project and on very short notice, too.

The Virginia QSO Party Award Presentations with Gordon Miller, NQ4K, will take place at our Tailgate Party (in lieu of a Hamfest) on June 3rd, 2023 @ 11 AM.

Speaking of our Hamfest, we’re replacing it with a Tailgate Party for 2023. The date is June 3rd, as I just mentioned in the paragraph above, but only if the weather is good. We have a rain date of June 10th as our club’s “Plan B”.  Planning is well underway, as is 2023 Field Day planning. Both committees could use some extra help. If you have the time and inclination, we’d love to see you there.

Looking to the slightly further future, the SOWW Warrior Bike Ride is happening again. The event will be on September 9th this year, and numerous volunteers will be needed for this very large event. If you are able to help, please save the date.  Additional information on the event and where to sign up will be passed along when I get it.

Questions, comments and/or war stories can be directed to my e-mail:

Ken / KN4DD

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