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

Good News, Monthly Meetings!

At our last meeting it was decided to switch back to having monthly meetings again. The club has only been meeting quarterly for the last couple years due to issues surrounding the pandemic. On our 26th of January meeting, members voted to switch back to our normal monthly schedule of meeting on the fourth Thursday of each month. 

Club Repeater Issues

It has come to our attention that the club repeater is having some technical issues. It appears that during nighttime hours there is interference that makes the repeater nearly impossible to use. During the day, the repeater seems to function correctly. Until this issue is resolved our weekly club net will convene on the N4VL repeater system. 145.130- 103.5T.

BARC/AUXCOMM Meeting 1.26.23

Our next club meeting is this Thursday, January 26th at 7:30PM. Our AUXCOMM group will meet one hour prior at 6:30PM. We meet at First Christian Church, 402 N Jefferson St, Galax, VA. Hope to see you there!

VE Testing Session 1.19.23

If you are looking to get your license or upgrade, our quarterly VE Testing Session is scheduled for this Thursday the 19th @ 7:00PM. 

Visit our VE Sessions section of the website for full details.