BARC Meeting 3.23.23

The monthly BARC meeting and AUXCOMM meeting will be this Thursday, March 23rd. The AUXCOMM meeting will be at 6:30PM and the BARC meeting will follow at 7:30PM. We meet at the Fist Christian Church in Galax, VA. Hope to see you there!

New River Trail Marathon - Needing Volunteers

The New River Trail 25K and 50K Marathon will be held on April 15th. Our group has supported communications for this event in the past, however this year it is held on the same date as the No Frills horse ride which many of our communicators have already committed to. The marathon is held on a portion of the New River Trail between Fries and Cliffview where cellphone reception can be very poor. See map below. 

There are aid stations at several spots along the course and we would like to man as many as possible. The event starts at 7:10AM and runs no later than 3:00PM. This is a fun, simple event for anyone wanting to try their hand at a public service event. 

For more information you can see the event website here. To volunteer, please email me at

BARC News Update (2.24.23)

Here is some noteworthy news from our monthly meeting that was held last night (2.23.23). 

It was decided to relocate our meeting place back to the Carroll County Fire & Rescue building. The building has a large classroom to hold meetings and is equipped with amateur radio equipment that can be utilized for training and demonstrations. NOTE: this change is pending approval of Carroll County Fire & Rescue. 

To make meetings more interesting, we are going to attempt to have demonstration and training topics at the end of all BARC meetings this year. If you would like a turn to show off your knowledge on a topic, let us know! Current topics are posted on the calendar and at the bottom of the calendar page

The April VE testing session has been moved to Tuesday April 11th because of a conflict with one of our AUXCOMM public service events. 

Our club is planning on participating in the Carroll County Fair again this year and we will need some volunteers to help setup our booth as well as take a turn operating and taking public questions. The fair operational dates are August 23-27. The event conflicts with the Iron Mountain Jubilee equestrian event our AUXCOMM members participate in that weekend, so any extra help would be appreciated. We will not be having a meeting in August due to participation in the fair. 

We are planning on starting back with our annual Christmas diner. Currently we are planning on having it on December 14th @ 6:00PM at the First Christian Church in Galax. It will be a potluck style dinner. 

It was decided to hold our annual Field Day event at Higher Ground Christian Retreat on June 24-25 as usual. If you are new to the club or want to stop by and visit the event, the retreat is located at 924 Renfro Rdg Rd, Hillsville, VA. The retreat is a little "out of the way," but is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

BARC Meeting 2.23.23

Our monthly BARC meeting and AUXCOMM meeting will be this Thursday, February 23rd. The AUXCOMM meeting will be at 6:30PM and the BARC meeting will follow at 7:30PM. We meet at the Fist Christian Church in Galax, VA. Hope to see you there!

Appalachian Journey Bike Ride 2023

On April 1st there will be a bike ride around the area of Floyd, VA. The event coordinators are looking for a few good hams to help out with communications between checkpoints. This event should be very similar to the equestrian events our club usually assists with. Anyone interested in helping out should let us know by emailing For more information on the event and a map of the ride, see

AUXCOMM Radio Organization Holds Winter Drill

A Simulated Emergency Test (SET) Drill was conducted by the Southwest Virginia Auxiliary Communications and Training Organization, often called "AUXCOMM", on January 14th to hone their emergency communications skills. This years' winter SET was named 'The Iceman Cometh' and involved 37 amateur radio operators known as 'hams' stretching from Bethesda, Maryland to Hampton Roads, Virginia all the way back to Carroll and Wythe counties. AUXCOMM SETs are based on real world emergencies associated with various disasters, and this year was no exception with a simulated Nor'easter that caused havoc across Virginia. Drill organizers Frank Howard and Glen Sage crafted several scenarios into the SET including tidal flooding on the east coast, accumulated snow and ice across the I-77 and I-81 corridors along with power, internet and phone outages and an interstate wreck with stranded passengers.

During the SET voice communications were radioed over VHF and HF nets including over 400 emergency drill messages utilizing Winlink, an email messaging service that is passed across amateur radio frequencies and often used in real world emergencies when utilities and cell phone towers are out of service.

Along with individual amateur radio operators, participant sites this year included American Red Cross Roanoke, Walter Reed Nation Military Medical Center, National Weather Service Blacksburg, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, The Healthcare Emergency Amateur Radio Team (HEART) hospital group and seven Emergency Operations Centers across southern Virginia. Every participant is appreciated for their time and contributions toward this successful SET, per the SET coordinators.

Newly Elected Club Officers

Recently we held annual elections for club officers and have a few changes this year. One such change is our new PIO (Public Information Officer), Chris Ecker KY4QE. If anyone needs information about the club or thinks of any good PR to send to the press, be sure to send Chris an email at

Below is our current list of officers, which you can also find on the about page.

President: Frank Howard, WB1USN
Vice President: Dick Newell, WA4ZIZ
Secretary: David Todd, N4SH
Treasurer: Beverly Tipton, KI4JTV
Technical Chairman: Junior Diamond, N4VL
Public Information Officer: Chris Ecker, KY4QE
Web Master: Josh Greer, KM4AZW