BARC News Update (4.29.23)

Here is some note worthy information from our last meeting on April, 27th 2023.

Field Day will be held at the Higher Ground Christian Retreat on June 24-25th and all hams are encouraged to bring gear to show and share. We are going to be working on some signage to help visitors locate the pavilion. Some BSA members have been invited this year, so hopefully we will have a good turnout. The VE testing is scheduled for 1PM which will allow hams to start contesting at 2PM. There will be a Saturday afternoon potluck dinner and a Sunday morning breakfast. Everyone should feel free to invite and spread the word about the event. 

The BARC repeater is still having interference issues at night and needs further investigation. Until issues are resolved we will continue to utilize the N4VL repeater system for our weekly nets. 

Frank, WB1USN, reviewed the mandatory deadline for the FCC compliance on posting antenna radiated energy minimum safe distances. Handouts were distributed and the May 3rd deadline was emphasized. Discussion was had on mobile and portable antennas that also fall under these rules. David, AJ4BD relayed that we, station operators, are held responsible for foolish actions of anyone coming near our antennas. 

Junior, N4VL stated that he has been managing the technical side of the repeaters for 40 years, and is planning to step down as our Technical Officer in August coinciding with his 80th birthday. We are truly grateful for everything that Junior has done for the club! BARC will begin looking to appoint a new Technical Officer. 

The monthly presentation was provided by David AJ4BD and Brandy KI4CPJ comparing three coax lines loss with a Tellway meter, a dummy load, and a Yaesu 8900. 

Our next club meeting is scheduled for the 25th of May. 

NRT Marathon 2023 Great Success

The club's communication support for the New River Trail 25/50K Marathon on April 15th was a great success. While a majority of our members were preoccupied with the No Frills Horse Ride, our remaining members along with volunteers from Sparta and the local area managed to provide a useful service along the length of the New River Trail. Because of sparse cellular coverage, ham radio was the only form of communication between many of the aid stations that were setup along the course. Event staff as well as event participants were very happy to have us available and are looking forward to continuing next year!

Click here to take a look!

Multi-Event Weekend

This weekend our club is split between two events. As of Thursday April 13th, the majority of our AUXCOMM members are heading up to the Shenandoah Valley to start setting up for the No Frills Horse Ride. The ride will take place Friday and Saturday. 

Our remaining members along with support from many other volunteers will be supporting the New River Trail 25/50K Marathon. This event is held between Fries and Galax, VA on the New River Trail and will occur on April 15th. 

Briarpatch Amateur Radio Club would like to wish both groups good luck and great success with all the helpful public service they will be providing this weekend!

BARC News Update (3.24.23)

Here are a few notes from last nights monthly BARC meeting. 

The Appalachian Journey Bike Ride will be on Saturday April 1st. If anyone wants to volunteer to assist, please email us at

As a reminder, the VE Testing session for April will be on Tuesday the 11th due to the No Frills Horse Ride taking place on the 13th. 

Our AUXCOMM group is heading up to the Shenandoah Valley for the No Frills Horse Ride on the weekend of April 15th.

The club is also helping with communications for the New River Trial Marathon that takes place on Saturday, April 15th. If anyone would like to help participate in this event, email us at

Field day will be on June 24th through the 25th at the Higher Ground Christian Retreat. Frank, WB1USN said he will bring breakfast Saturday morning and we will have a potluck dinner at around 5PM. There will also be a VE testing session held that afternoon. All are welcome!

The BARC Club repeater is still having interference issues at night. However for the Tuesday night nets, it is linked to the N4VL repeater system 145.130- 103.5T. Linking into the system has been beneficial and has increased the number of check-ins to the net. 

Frank, WB1USN gave a good presentation on what Winlink is and how the system is used. 

Our next club meeting is scheduled for April 27th. Hope to see you there!

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.