BARC News Update (5.26.23)


Here's some noteworthy information from our club meeting held on 5-25-23. 

Dick Newell (WA4ZIZ), our Vice President ran the club meeting in Frank Howard's (WB1USN) absence. 

There will be a testing session held on June 24th during our Field Day activities. Testing will be at 1:00PM. If you would like to register for the testing session, please email Glen Sage (N4DN)

The Appalachian Trial Golden Packet event will be on July 15th. The event utilizes APRS and links mountain tops along the trail in order to send a packet the entire length. Frank (WB1USN), David (N4SH), and Josh (KM4AZW) are signed up to participate in activating the mountain top at Comers Rock. Anyone who whishes is welcome to attend. The event runs from 10:00AM to about 3:00PM.

Our club is still looking for a new Technical Officer or perhaps the establishment of a Technical Team. If you would like to be considered for the position, please email us at the club will vote for the position in the near future. 

It has been decided that our Christmas dinner will be at the Fiddler's Restaurant on December 9th at 6:00PM. 

It was announced that David Todd (N4SH) will be stepping down as our club secretary due to family commitments that will cause him to miss a number of our club meetings in the future. The club voted and decided that Chris Ecker (KY4QE) will take over the responsibility of club secretary. 

As for a technical report, Junior (N4VL) stated that there has been no progress in locating the cause of interference affecting the club repeater on Briarpatch Mountain. The repeater still works well during the day, but has interference issues at night. The club repeater will remain linked to the N4VL repeater system and the Critter Net Repeater on Groundhog Mountain for club nets. 

Our AUXCOMM team will be divided between two events again next month. The Old Dominion Horse Ride is taking place on June 9th-11th in the Shenandoah Valley and the Sparta Amateur Radio Club has asked us to help with the Tour de Mountains bike ride on June 10th. If anyone is interested in helping out with either of these events, please email

Higher Ground Christian Retreat Rates

With Field Day approaching fast, it's time to start thinking about your stay at the Higher Ground Retreat. Below is a link to the housing and camping rates. 

Higher Ground Christian Retreat Rates

Weekly Club Net Information

Due to the ongoing interference issues with the W4BRC repeater. Our weekly club net will meet on the N4VL/R system (145.130- 103.5T). For those in range of Groundhog Mountain, the Critter Net repeater (442.325+ 114.8T) will be linked also.

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!