Richmond Amateur Radio Club

Public Service Season

From April to September walks, runs, and bicycles races bust out all over. Many of them want hams to help with communications. What we can do – that cell phones can’t – is provide multi-party communications. (Cell phone calls are all one-to-one communications.) And we keep the event leaders up to date on the progress while doing the communications for them.

For hams it’s the chance to practice our network control skills that are so valuable in emergency communications. We also have fun with hams we know well and some we meet for the first time.

Here are some events that need ham radio support:





Ashland Railroad Run

Jerry Williams –


Powhatan Historic Bike Tour

Mike Hackett –


March For Babies

Roy Schultz –


Special Olympics

Matthew Kimball –


Bike MS Virginia

Mike Hackett –


Step Out to Fight Diabetes

Roy Schultz –


Marine Corps Marathon

Next classes start in September

We have over 30 students for the spring 2014 sessions in four classes, Technician, General, Extra and Morse code.  Spring classes end May 6.

For fall class dates click here or click the License Class Schedules link on the right. Registration will be the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 2, 7 to 8pm.

License prep, Morse code classes start February 25

fcclogotradcolorFebruary 25 is registration for the spring semester.  We teach Technician, General, and Extra license preparation classes.  They are ten (10) Tuesday nights ending in early May.  They are followed by our Volunteer Examiners giving the tests.

Although no longer required for a license, we are offering an introductory Morse code class this spring.

morse key instructionsUsing the links on the right you can see the class schedule, the costs, the school contact and the exam opportunities in detail.  You can print the registration form to fill it out in advance.

No reservation is required, just walk in February 25 with a check or cash.  We have forms there or you can use the one from this website.

Now for the fine print: if there are fewer than three (3) students for a class, we usually do not teach the class.

Officers and Directors installed at 2013 RARC annual banquet

The 2013 RARC annual meeting with installation of officers and directors was held Friday, November 8 at the Chesterfield County Airport.  Harry Dannals, W2HD, president emeritus of both the ARRL and Quarter Century Wireless Association was the speaker.  More on the meeting plans is in the announcement posting below.
Left to right Treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH; Secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ; Vice President, David Robinson, KJ4LHP; President, Joe Palsa, K3WRY; outgoing President Win Grant, WA4SSG at the microphone.

Left to right Treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH; Secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ; Vice President, David Robinson, KJ4LHP; President, Joe Palsa, K3WRY; outgoing President Win Grant, WA4SSG, at the microphone.

The officers and directors elected at the October meeting were installed.  They are President, Joe Palsa, K3WRY; Vice President, David Robinson, KJ4LHP; Treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH; Secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ; Director, Allan Johnson, WA3J; Director,Austin Thomas, N4CVA, the youngest director to date; Win Grant, WA4SSG, who, as past president, automatically serves as a director.  Marshall Ervine, N4XBP continues as Registered Agent.  The final director is appointed by the president each year.  Tom Flippen, KD4CMK, was appointed for 2014.

Harry Dannals, W2HD, guest speaker and Austin Thomas, N4CVA, the youngest director to date
Harry Dannals, W2HD, guest speaker and Austin Thomas, N4CVA, the youngest director to date

The photos are from Win Grant.  Since he is in some of them, the photographer was some anonymous ham whose identity may be revealed eventually.

Annual Banquet November 8 – ARRL President Emeritus to speak

The 2013 RARC Annual Banquet will be held on Friday, November 8. The board of directors decided to try something a little different this year.

First, we have a new venue with plenty of room for everyone. We set out to find a site with sufficient room, and RARC vice president Pete Fundinger, AA4PF, has found just such a place. The banquet will be at the King’s Korner restaurant at the Chesterfield County Airport. We will have a private room with a buffet set up just for us.

Chesterfield airport map

Second, rather than paying for whatever you order, the board of directors voted to charge a flat $15 for each person with everyone responsible for paying for any drinks you order from the bar. But we need everyone to make a reservation and pay the $15 per person cost in advance of the banquet. That is well before November 8.

Reservation forms are available on this website by clicking here (or see Forms on the right) and at the September and October Club meetings. The reservation form was also mailed or e-mailed to all members with the September newsletter.  You can mail your reservation to the address on the form.

Harry Dannals, W2HDMost importantly, we have past ARRL president, Harry Dannals, W2HD, lined up to be our guest speaker. Harry has an amateur radio biography that few can claim. He was president of the ARRL from 1972-82. He was named President Emeritus of ARRL in 1984. In 2010, Harry was named President Emeritus of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, an association he also served as president from 1989-94. In 2002, Harry was inducted into the CQ Magazine Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. And these are just a few of Harry’s radio affiliations and accomplishments. Harry lives in Charlottesville where he is still active in ham radio. Harry will be joined by Bob Patterson, K4DU, the president of the Albemarle Amateur Radio Club.

Excerpted from the “From the Prez” article by RARC president Win Grant, WA4SSG, in the September 2013 RARC newsletter. See News Letters on the right to read the entire article.

Electronics for Hams – really learning electronics

Electronics for Hams – Really learning electronics
Most hams learn their electronics in clumps. For those taking the more advanced FCC license exams, the lack of a linear view of electronics can make answering the exam questions tougher. For those with all the licenses they ever want or need, this is a chance to put the clumps together for a linear knowledge of electronics.

It has not been taught in several years owning to the lack of an instructor. Starting on September 3, 2013 it will be taught by Tray Murphy, N4PAT. Tray has all the FCC Amateur Service licenses a ham can get plus a commercial FCC license. Using whatever it takes – lectures, demonstrations, projected slides, hands-on, etc – Tray will take the students from the DC (direct current) in a battery to RF (radio frequency) pouring out of the antenna. It is not everything there is to learn about electronics but it is most of what is useful for a ham and his or her radios.

The course was developed several years ago for the RARC Radio School by Bruce MacAlister, W4BRU and Ron Chase, KD4XA. Ray Roberts, W4MYI (SK), Mel Ford, W4AHC, and Mike Owns, K4RKO helped with the demonstrations and class content.

License classes start September 3

The RARC Radio School starts the fall classes with registration Tuesday, September 3 at 7pm. Two instructors had to skip the fall semester owing to schedule conflicts. (All the instructors are unpaid volunteers.) As a result, the school will teach Technician and General license preparation classes, but not Extra, on 10 Tuesday nights.

Although Extra will not be taught, those wishing to study it can take the Electronics for Hams on Thursday nights, a class that has not been taught for several years. It teaches electronics from battery to radio frequencies and contains all the theory and formulas in the Extra test plus some. In the past it has been popular with both those with Extra licenses and those studying for it.  That class together with studying the other material in the Extra text and taking the practice tests on QRZ should help master the exam.

See the schedules on this website.