Richmond Amateur Radio Club

RARC Radio School recognized in ARRL publication

RadioWaveWinter2015“Like many organizations of its kind, the Richmond Amateur Radio Club, in Richmond, Virginia, offers licensing classes for new and upgrading hams. But RARC has developed a robust core teaching team that also allows it to provide enrichment instruction to help radio amateurs enjoy their
hobby to the fullest,” began an article in the winter edition of Radio Waves.

The publication is distributed to instructors who are registered with the ARRL.  It’s a means to give other club schools ideas on how to teach and what to teach.

What brought the RARC Radio School to the attention of the ARRL are all the classes we teach in addition to the usual license prep classes.  Classes like “Electronics for Hams,” “Morse Code,” “DStar Setup,” “HF & DX Setup and Operations,” and “Antenna Modeling” caught their attention.

The article included photos taken at the classes by Richmond Times-Dispatch photographer and ham Joe Mahoney, KI4GAP.

Classes start February 24th

ClassCollageFeb2015The twice-a-year classes start with registration Tuesday, February 24th, 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.

Newly Elected RARC Officers and Directors Installed

RARCofficers2015cOutgoing president Joe Palsa, K3WRY, holds the Wouff Hong while administering the oath of office to incoming president David Robinson, KJ4LHP, secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ, treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH, registered agent Marshall Ervine, N4XBP, and directors Tim Farrell, KJ4NPB, and George Golding, W3PPY. Incoming vice president Ken Leidner, WV0L, was not present.

The November 2014 RARC meeting featured the installation of the newly elected officers and directors.  The ceremony included passing on the gavel and the Wouff Hong to the new president.  To see the stories on the Wouff Hong and the related Rettysnitch – the instruments of ham radio discipline – click here.  The RARC received its coveted Wouff Hong from the ARRL in 1938.  It does not possess at Rettysnitch.

RARC at first RVA MakerFest

The first RVA MakerFest at the Science Museum of Virginia was a very busy time. Since this was about “making” we emphasized how hams have been making things for abRVAMakerSept14 compout a century.  On one side of the table was a Panavise, a prototype board, oscilloscope, DMM, soldering station, parts, etc.  On the other side were tiny SDR receivers connected to computers like the tiny Raspberry Pi and Windows and Linux laptops.

At mid-day over 4,000 people had visited. I’ll find out later how large it really got. All I know that those of us staffing the Richmond Amateur Radio Club table hardly had time to sit down. We had 100 cards printed and had 17 left at the end, I was knee-walking by the end!

Bruce MacAlister, W4BRU

RVA Maker Fest includes ham radio September 27 at the science museum

RVAMakerFest logo
The Richmond Amateur Radio Club will be at the RVA Maker Fest at the Science Museum of Virginia September 27th, 10am to 5pm.  “Makers” are people leasing a shared workshop space and equipment where they make stuff.  Sometime it’s a prototype product they plan to sell, sometimes it’s offering to make things as craft, sometimes it’s just for fun.

Hams have been making stuff – building kits, scratch-building from designs, designing entire circuits – since sometime around 1900.  We’ll be showing our making from cobbling together SDR gear to melting solder.  Come visit and see what this maker movement is all about.

The RVA Maker Fest has Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can check it our there.

Ham radio antennas – and towers – for all neighborhoods

KM4HI tower from QRZ

KM4HI tower from QRZ

If you live in many neighborhoods you can put up most any antenna even on a tower. But in neighborhoods with home-owner association or developer rules and covenants you are forbidden. Wires in the attic or stealthy wires in the trees is the only option. The U S congress is considering HR.4969, a bill that will require neighborhood associations to “accommodate” antennas and towers to the same extent the local government does based on the FCC PRB-1 ruling. Bills have been introduced in most past congresses but this bill has more co-sponsors.
Go to hr-4969 where you get help finding your congress-man-woman and asking her-him to co-sponsor and support the bill.

Registration for license prep and optional classes 7pm Tuesday September 2

RARC class pics 010The fall classes run from September to November, 10 evenings (9 for the optional classes) of fun and learning. Registration is the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 2nd, 7 to 8pm at the church. You can fill out the registration form in advance by clicking here.

See the links above and to the right for information on what the classes are about, the FCC license levels, etc.


We have 30 students in the five classes this fall.  We’re excited to have them!  We’ll work out spring room scheduling later in the fall.  Usually we start spring classes in mid-March.

Third annual radio run results

Mic WM8CIf it’s June it’s the annual RARC radio run.  The idea is make one RF contact a day for the whole month and then report the results to Jim Bates, K8OI.  Here are the reported results for 2014:

  • K8OI Jim Bates 3rd Year in a Row
  • KV4VP Julian Bailey
  • N4MW Dave Meier 2nd Year in a Row
  • N4ZRW Cissy Meier 2nd Year in a Row
  • W3PPY George Golding
  • W4LEW Lew Best 3rd Year in a Row
  • WA3J Allan Johnson 3rd Year in a Row
  • WB4KXS Fred Towers
  • WV0L Kenneth Leidner