When KK4FZI heard that a ham down in Wilkes needed help with installing a wire antenna, he immediately mustered the ACARC troops. Taking advantage of a gorgeous mid-December day, W4MLN and NE4W met at the home of Sam, W4WKC. Although the available trees had some drawbacks (two of the trees considered were actually in a neighbor’s field and guarded by a donkey of questionable demeanor), they finally succeeded in getting the G5RV into the air before darkness fell.
The antenna launchers that the club built during a recent meeting were invaluable – it was no problem getting the line up and over a tall oak. And, since we were using a lead fishing weight, there was no danger of making the donkey mad by using an arrow or other pointy projectile!
All in all, it was a valuable project for the club to participate in. We gained some experience using the pneumatic launchers in less than optimal areas, and, more importantly, we succeeded in getting a ham onto the HF bands. Win-win.
W4MLN, left, and W4WKC.
The club’s August program was a DIY pneumatic antenna launcher built from commonly available parts.
Here, Duane KF4ZS assists the club president Jayne KK4FZH with construction:
Here is Marc KK4OII (in the red shirt) getting ready to drill and tap the end cap of the launcher:
The Watauga Amateur Radio Club will hold a licensing test session on August 25, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Lois Harrill Senior Center, Poplar Grove Road, just west of downtown Boone, NC.
Walkins are welcome but, in order to insure that we have sufficient numbers of examinations, please indicate to the VE Team Coordinator, Vern Dyer, W5VM your intent to test. His email is
The Computer Automation Technologies WX-250 SAME Weather Alert Receiver has been installed along side the CAT-1000 Controller on the club’s 147.30 repeater just in time for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. The receiver will alert users when watches or warnings are issued by the National Weather Service. This unit is tuned to WNG588, 162.500 that transmits from Mount Jefferson. During the duration of the event, users will hear the automated voice periodically announce which alert is in effect.
KF4ZS hard at work at the New River rest stop.
An excellent article appeared yesterday in the Jefferson Post about our club’s contribution to the Blue Ridge Brutal bicycle race.
Once again this year the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club will support the Brutal with communication services. Adam Lawler, WK4P, is the club liason to the BRB organization and also serves as the base station control point.
Many other club members are volunteering as both mobile and stationary operators to help ensure the Brutal is as safe as possible.
We had great participation for Field Day this year! I’d like to thank the club members who contributed their time and energy to ensure that the event was enjoyable for all. Special thanks need to go out to Marty (W4MLN), Steve (KK4IDH) [who together with yours truly comprised the overnight super-crew…W4MLN was the facility manager and what a great facility!], the GOTA coaches Duane (KF4ZS), Wanda (N4UGS), and Jane (KK4FZH), and the food & refreshment team Lesley (N3TIA) and Julia Greene. Once again this year Todd (W4TRP) came though with the secret weapon and it was much-admired.
Many folks brought vital equipment together for the event, including David (KK4ING), Tim (N4SSK), Eric (KB4ER), and Richard (WA4ZBY). The set-up and tear-down volunteers, as usual, made the whole event possible. If I have neglected to thank someone, please know that it is not intentional!
Lots of contacts were made and some obstacles had to be overcome- chiefly the TenTec that died at 1 AM. It’s currently in the morgue but maybe some of our specialists can revive it.
Band conditions seemed poor for the most part on Saturday but were better on Sunday. It was gratifying to see some radio operators that I’ve not noticed working in prior years. One thing I’d like to see next year would be a digital-only station (not GOTA). This station would be only be used for digital contacts and Winlink messages.
A newspaper story is already out.
I’m looking forward to June 2014.
Field Day is almost upon us. We’ll be set up at Westwood elementary school on US 221 again this year. Hours of operation will be 2pm on Saturday continuously until 2pm on Sunday.
Don’t forget that we have a VE test session scheduled for 10am on Saturday. You can get your first ham license, or upgrade one you already have. Contact Jess, AK4NC, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 336-877-6213.
See everyone this weekend!
The club will be back at Westwood elementary school for ARRL Field Day 2013! A great location for several reasons…thanks to W4MLN and the school administration for allowing us to be be there again this year.
We have a new club member: Marc Scott, KK4OII. Welcome, Scott!
Some club members were able to attend a feature presentation last night, which was documentary on the HK0NA dxpedition last year. Crabs! Cliffs! Contacts!