Richmond Amateur Radio Club

Sign up to operate the W4ZA Special Event Station during 2016

Six sponsoring clubs

Six sponsoring clubs

The roaming W4ZA special event station is ready for operations. It is to celebrate 100 years of (organized) amateur radio in Richmond Virginia and environs. If you have a valid FCC Amateur Service license and are a member of one of the six sponsoring clubs, you can sign up to operate as a “W4ZA Special Event Station.”

You get the reservation request form by clicking this link:

W4ZA Special Event Station Reservation Request Form 05Feb16

Because W4ZA is an FCC-licensed club station, there are some rules:

  • Jerry Williams, KJ4IT, is the manager. When you send your reservation request form* to him by e-mail, he will check for available dates and confirm the dates and times you can operate as W4ZA.
  • You request a band and mode such as 40m PSK, 80m CW, 20m SSB, etc. That means several W4ZA stations can work the same times and bands in different modes but you have exclusive rights to your chosen band-mode for the time you reserved.
  • CQ, CQ, CQ, whiskey four zed alpha special event station, one hundred years of ham radio in richmond virginia” is a good way to start. There are lots of hams who like special event station contacts so that will likely get you lots of responses.
  • You should say “Please QSL direct to KJ4IT. Be sure to include an SASE.” means send us a QSL card with a self addressed stamped envelope and we will send you a QSL card. We have a special and colorful QSL card sponsored by five metro Richmond clubs.
  • Log your contacts and send them by an ADIF-compatible file to KJ4IT at The collected logs will also go to the W4ZA trustee, Mac McNeer so he can know how the station is being used should the FCC make an enquiry.
  • Of course you can only operate on the bands and modes that your license allows. VHF and UHF contacts are allowed as long as they are simplex, that is no repeaters, Internet links, Echolink, IRLP, etc. The exception is satellites that are repeaters but challenging, so they count.


Richmond Amateur Radio Club Go-Box Contest

Judging date: February 12th, 2016

GoBoxPapersThe Richmond Amateur Radio Club (RARC) is proud to sponsor our first Radio Go-Box Competition. The concept is to have radio amateurs “show off” their portable base station, or Radio Go-Box. The demonstration will give radio operators ideas to develop, build, and enhance their own Radio Go-Box.

A Radio Go-Box is a portable base station consisting of, at a minimum, a transceiver, antenna, and power source. For the purposes of this contest, the power source does not have to be in the same container with the transceiver.

Contest Rules

Our first “RARC Radio Go-Box Contest” will be held on February 12th 2016. You do not have to be a member of any particular club to participate, but you must be a licensed ham to enter and participate.

See the full contest rules at RARC Go Box Contest.

Examples of Go Boxes and the papers on them are listed here.  Click a title and the PDF file will appear as if by magic.



Amateur Radio GoBox

Emergency Communications

Emergency Ham Radio Portable Go


William Waters III N7IPY Go Box

GoBoxVideosVideos of Go Boxes

These videos are on YouTube.  Go Box Videos on YouTube is a PDF with live links so you can click a link and go to the video.

The RARC and the 2015 RVA MakerFest

The RARC and the 2015 RVA MakerFestThere were so many people that the food trucks started running out of food. The first RVA MakerFest in 2014 hosted 4,500 visitors. The second 2015 RVA MakerFest had over 8,000 visitors. The RARC table was near the entrance to the pavilion so we got lots of traffic. A dozen RARC members wearing names tags saying “Radio Maker” had a continuous stream of visitors. Tom Flippen’s function generator fed a moving signal to Bruce MacAlister’s oscilloscope to attract attention. Visitors watched Rob Thomas’ Raspberry Pi based receiver display digital waterfalls and extract the text. RARC hams showed Armand Hamel’s home-built QRPp transceivers. Lots of RARC cards were handed out so visitors can come to meetings, sign up for classes and get involved in ham radio.

Classes start September 8th

ClassCollageFeb2015The twice-a-year classes start with registration Tuesday, September 8, 7 to 8pm at our teaching site, Bon Air United Methodist Church.  The license preparation classes run 10 Tuesday nights.  The optional classes are Thursday nights with some on Saturday mornings.

Check out the schedule from the links on the right.  That has class information, dates and times, tuition, textbook and exam fees and a map to the site.

Photos by Joe Mahoney, KI4GAP, from Fall 2014 classes.