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Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

"Discover the magic and comraderie of amateur radio!"


Amazon Smile Black FridayThe President’s View.

Welcome to the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club (CARC).

Wow!  What else can I say?  Yesterday’s (October 31st) hamfest is over.  As with all hamfests, we all enjoyed refreshing friendships with our radio friends, looking over gear of all kinds, and meeting new people.  The aisles and the outside flea market were crowded with shoppers and those interested in picking up a good buy on previously-owned equipment.  Our caterer provided excellent on-site food and I really wish I had had more time to sit down and savor it.

Grand Prizes were won by Bill Stott W4XK of Hixson, TN and Paul Chapman KO4R of Maryville, TN.  They will soon be enjoying their new radios!  Congratulations!

Perusing the wide variety of gear at hamfest, I was particularly impressed with some of the solar power equipment and purchased a kit from Be Ready Solar LLC, to add on to our current solar-powered backup at home.  I continue to be impressed with the depth of knowledge that our vendor & supplier community offer and their willingness to share that knowledge and help us make the appropriate purchase.  I’m looking forward to getting our new solar panels in place to “be ready” for winter and possible power outages.

Another hamfest supplier, Tower Electronics, always amazes me with how much they have that I need.  I always stock up on connectors, power cords, and some odd connections that I just can’t seem to find anywhere else.  Shopping Tower’s tables at hamfest, is like going to the produce section at your favorite grocery store and selecting the tastiest, juiciest fruit. But the real savoring happens when you get home and that little unfinished project gets done and works!

Theo Laughner KF4FAW & Daughter Costume Winners 2015

Theo Laughner KF4FAW & Daughter Costume Winners 2015

Our forum presenters gave interesting presentations and opened new avenues of thought about what we can do in amateur radio.  So I have a few new projects to undertake.  Amateur Radio, a hobby with so much variety of things to do, build, and enjoy!  Along with that our friends at the ARRL (American Radio Relay Leaque) provided lots of information on amateur radio from the national view and “watching our back in Washington”.  As one of our promo slides said “The ARRL speaks for us.” As always, we encourage you to become an ARRL member and if you already are, continue to renew. They ARE the national voice of amateur radio.

Our Hamfest Team and our membership rose to the occasion and did what they needed to do so that our guests’ hamfest experience was pleasant and fulfilling. Over the past few months our Hamfest Team has worked tirelessly on the myriad of details that must be attended to and met every week to collaborate and push on even though the to-do’s just kept coming and coming.  As with all human endeavors, we could do some things better so we live and learn.  I’m very pleased that some of our newer members distinguished themselves by their willingness to serve and come to the rescue when needed.

I would also like to recognize Phil Mullins W4PRE, a director on our Executive Board, (a.k.a. Peter Rabbit Ears in Halloween Costume Contest).  As Hamfest Insides Sales Manager, he fielded many calls from hamfest suppliers and vendors, resolved problems with table rentals, managed the space and layout, distributed hamfest promotional material at other hamfests, and the list goes on and on.  Thank you Phil!

Jim Knight KD4EHN, our club Treasurer, was ever present behind-the-scenes checking the club mailbox for door prizes, payments for table & space rental, and keeping the accounting side of hamfest up-to-date.  Thank you Jim!

One of our “invisible” helpers was Wayne James WB4IEJ.  Though he and wife Jan WD4JAN have been on much-deserved travels during the summer and fall and had to forego attending hamfest, Wayne has been as present-as-possible via email, text messages, phone calls, and attending hamfest team meetings when they were briefly back in town.  Wayne’s knowledge and guidance has been very helpful as the team swam through the ocean of hamfest details.  Thank you Wayne!  A big thank you also to Jan for sharing Wayne with us while you’re on vacation!

Gary Ownsby, CARC President 2015

Gary Ownsby, CARC President 2015

One person that I need to thank in particular is my wife Lynn KM4DUY (a.k.a. “The Fairy Godmother” in yesterday’s Halloween Costume Contest).  She has been tirelessly supportive and understanding when hamfest duties absorbed lots of my personal time which often resulted in me not doing things around the house or foregoing travel opportunities this summer & fall.  My granddaughter Katie (5 years old) has been a little less understanding though.  Often I would be walking out the door resulting in a question of “where are you going”.  My reply “to a hamfest meeting.”  Her reply “Again?”  So may be now, her “Opa” will have a little more time to be with her.  So my personal thanks to my family for “cutting me some slack” when I most needed it!

We have more photos coming so stay tuned for more.


Gary S. Ownsby, AK4ZX
President 2015
Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

Club Phone:  423-308-3477