Amateur Radio Club
An ARRL Affiliated Club
The Gray Line
Click here for the Manual on how to use and understand what this is all about.
Click here for the Actual Gray Line Program
Emergency Communications throughout
Polk County, North Carolina in times of any disaster.
Most of our members are trained Skywarn spotters.
If you wish to become a Skywarn Spotter then please contact us.
TBARC has resumed our monthly meeting.
All are welcome to come including anyone that want to find more out about Ham Radio.
Please note that
MASK is optional.
The TBARC now has to REQUIRE you to submit an email request to take the FCC Ham exam so that we can line up the VE's to give the test. This applies to any test level.Please include your name, phone number and test level that you wish to take in the email.
Send your request to: KV4AL@CHARTER.NET
Step 1: If you are planning to take the FCC Test for your Technician HAM radio license of you plan to upgrade, then the FCC now requires you to obtain or have your FRN Number from the FCC Web Site at least 1 week prior to taking the test. You must have this number to take the test.
The FRN web
address is :
Please >Click< on the >Register< link and follow the instructions. When the FTN Number is issued to you then write it down and also print out the screen. This will include the leading 000 before the number. Save a screen shot to your hard drive for future reference as you will need it again should you decide to upgrade or make changes to your license. You will NOT get an email with this information sent to you from the FCC. Place this information in a your password list for safe keeping. Without this you cannot get a copy of your CALL sign license from the FCC.
AGAIN : DO NOT LOOSE THIS LOG IN AND PASSWORD.
Are you upgrading your license?
Step 2: IF you are upgrading from Tech to General or Extra, you will have to bring a copy of your current HAM License and your FRN number with you as required by the FCC.
Warning : We do not have a copy machine at the testing site.
Step 3: For ALL Licenses you must have to have a photo ID card with you - IE: Drivers License is OK for the Photo ID.
Step 4: Next - DO NOT make your check out until you are asked to do so by the VEC in charge. You will then be told by the VEC to whom to make the check out to. Cash for the exact amount is also accepted. Currently the fee for taking the test is $10.00 at the TBARC Club location. Other testing centers have different fees.
Please be aware that the FCC will be
charging a fee for your license in the near future. We expect this will
start some time in towards the end of the summer this year (2021). We have not been notified of the
new official fee schedule yet.
When this information is available it will be posted here. However the anticipated
fee is $35.00, so get your license soon.
The link below will take you to where you will
log in to obtain a copy of your current FCC "HAM" license.
1. In License Manager enter your FRN number and your password you supplied when you initially got your FRN #, then click submit.
Forgot your password - never had a password ? Then click on the Contact Tech Support link. Follow instructions lost password instructions. Count the number of digits you enter carefully.
2. Under License Manager, My Licenses you will see your current licenses including your ham license.
3. At the tope of the page find: Change your paper authorization preferences HERE or download your official electronics authorizations NOW and click now.
4. In Licenses Manager download authorizations, My Authorizations (part way down the page) click on the License you wish to print, e.g. your ham license and then click ADD.
5. Finally click "DOWNLOAD" (farther down on the right).
6. Your license will appear as a *.PDF document for saving and or printing. Check your download folder to make sure it is there. The file will have a bunch of numbers as a file name.
7. Print it out and SAVE to a safe place on your computer where you can find it again when you need it, IE: upgrading to a higher license level.
Our next TBARC meeting
The Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club (TBARC) holds its in-person meeting once a month. The meeting starts at 12 NOON and usually adjourns about 1:00 PM or so on the Last Wednesday of the month. We have the doors open at the American Legion around 11:30 am if you should arrive early.
The Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club holds it meeting at the American Legion Post 250 , 43 Depot Street in Tryon NC.
How to find the meeting location
Directions : At the stop light in the center of Tryon at "Morris The Horse", turn and proceed UP OVER THE RAILROAD TRACKS. Go 500 feet and then turn RIGHT onto Depot Street. Park anywhere in the parking lot and look for the BLUE 2 STORY BUILDING. Enter through the Gray Double Doors.
The American Legion's GPS
Our meetings are open to the
public and we invite all Ham's and or their guest to attend the meetings.
All who have an
interest in radio are invited so bring your friends to visit as well. You will find that this is a very interesting hobby to dabble in and you
will learn something new as well. And for the Computer Techie - Ham radio has a
lot of very interesting parts that are totally computer or digital based for world wide
communications with other country's. For those that want to
listen to the foreign radio broadcast like in Europe, middle East, or Far
East, we have a whole lot of information available for this part of the
hobby. By the way it is called SWL or Short Wave Listening!
If you wish to join the Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club - please fill out the membership form and bring it to a meeting or mail it to the club with your dues.
Our mailing address is:
Contributions to the TBARC Repeater Maintenance Fund may be made by mailing a check for any amount you wish to the above address and note on the check that it is for the repeater fund. Any financial help would be most appreciated. Remember that this repeater becomes an emergency communication repeater for all of Polk & Rutherford Counties, Upper Spartanburg and NW Greenville SC Counties during really bad weather. Also if you monitor the repeater we simulcast over our repeater any Weather Warnings that the Greenville Weather Service issues for this area.
How to become a HAM
Material is available on the net for learning how to become a HAM Radio Operator and be able to pass the simple test to get your first license. There both free study guides as well as books published by various sources that will guide you through the process of study. We recommend the free guide on the link below. Sample test are free and on line as well. We can also assist you in learning of the study material if you come to one of our meeting and ask your questions.
Study Material that
is available on the net:
Moving on to other topics :
The 2021 Assault on Mt. Mitchell is canceled for this year. Rescheduled for May 15, 2022. Mark your calendars.
We provide communications for a number of special events in the Polk County and upper Greenville / Spartanburg SC areas. This includes Bicycle, Horse, and Running Events as well as providing Emergency Communications in time of disaster for this entire area including parts of Rutherford County and Upstate South Carolina.
History of the Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club
The Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club has been
serving Polk County for over 38 years.
In addition to the luncheon
meeting we also meet on the air (via radio). This is called a net,
held each Monday night at 7:30 PM on
the club’s repeater found on the frequency of 145.330(-) MHz
with a PL Tone of 91.5 Hz.
This radio net gives radio operators experience in using
their radio equipment in the case of any emergency. All licensed
Ham's are invited to join in and participate
in the NET activities or if you have a scanner then you may listen in on your scanner.
Simply punch in 145.330 and enjoy the NET.
All licensed Ham's are invited to join in and participate in the NET activities or if you have a scanner then you may listen in on your scanner. Simply punch in 145.330 and enjoy the NET.
It is fun to learn from supportive Ham's who will mentor you in the proper procedures, and provide you with instructions in the operation of and how the various HAM radios work. We can assist you in programing your 2 meter radio with the proper repeater frequency's for this area. Also, we can assist you in APRS if you travel.
If you want to learn how to become a HAM radio operator, then please come to one of our meetings and meet the members who will be more than happy to help you in obtaining your HAM license or ticket.
Currently you may contact Robin Michael KV4AL - our club president for more information or assistance by email at :
We are in the ARRL Roanoke Division which includes N.C. & S.C. Please visit the ARRL section on this link at: http://www.arrl-roanoke.com for more information.
This is a link to a listing of most all of the scanner frequencies for Polk County and the Landrum area. This includes Western NC and SC as well. I suggest that you print it out and remember that it will be about 6 pages long. If you have any additional frequency's to be added then please email full information to us.
Polk County NC is getting ready to switch from analog to digital shortly and that will make all older scanners obsolete. SC is using the P-25 Motorola system and NC is using the Viper System. The two systems will not talk to each other. So there will be problems when SC has to assist NC or visa versa. For a private citizen to hear the police / fire calls once this change over happens then a special scanner is require and these are high dollar radios.
The Tryon Daily Bulletin published an article about HAM Radio in the July issue of the Foothills Magazine. This was about HAM Radio in Polk County. On this link you can read the entire article in PDF format. Note that the very end of this article is found at the bottom of the picture on the first page (54). Why - I guess they ran out of space on the last page! Read the article on this link --> HAM RADIO <<-
Definition of a Ham Fest for our visitors.
Shelby Hamfest at the
Sept 3 ~ 5 - 2021 - a 3 day event
Flyer on this Link:
The Main day is Saturday but a lot of wheeling
and dealing takes place on Friday. Then you pack up on Sunday around 12 noon and
head home. On site camping is available - contact the Shelby Ham
Club for details. This is a 3 day event
You will be parking on the back side of the fair grounds this year now as the old parking area is being converted into school buildings.
As soon as you make the right turn you to go down to the old parking area you will then make a hard left turn and go down the hill a short way. Signs will be posted as where to go to the right. Follow the directions of the parking crew that is trying to park everyone.
Tennessee Ham Fest
This is near where the old TenTec Company use to be. Keynote speaker: Tom Medlin W5KUB - Host of Amateur Radio Roundtable.
Flyer on this link:
College Event Center.
Greeneville TN Hamfest
Greene County Fairgrounds. This is 1/2 way between Knoxville and Johnson City TX. Best way there is via I-26 from Asheville North to Johnson City and left (west) on US-11 then follow route signs into Greeneville.
Flyer on this link:
The South Carolina Single Sideband Net
Join us nightly on 3.915 MHz at 1900 hours local time.
For more information please contact the SC SSB Group at:
Yes, we do have members all over North Carolina that do handle NC traffic as well. This NET is not just for South Carolina but rather the South Eastern USA.
Bicycle Event that our club provides radio suppport for.
The event has been rescheduled for
This event is held on
The TBARC participates in the Assaults on Mt. Mitchell and the Assault on Marion - which are a combined bicycle tour. These tours takes place normally near the end of the month of May each year ~ per the National and State Park Services scheduling. See above for the date schedule for this year. The TBARC provide emergency radio communications while the riders are riding through Polk County. The Spartanburg Amateur Radio Club provides the remainder of the HAMS require for this event. If you would like additional information on The Assaults History ~ click here. If you would like to read up on the progress of the Assaults for this year and see what is happening then go to the Spartanburg Freewheelers Website ~ click here.
You may listen on your scanner or on a 2 meter radio to the event on one of these frequencies: 147.285 in Polk County and 145.190 on the Mt. Mitchell Repeater. The first of these frequencies are used by the TBARC members and we cover from SC / NC State Line to Bills Creek Road at US-74 in Rutherford County NC near Lake Lure NC. This includes all of Polk County. When the last rider clears Polk County we then terminate our net and it is then transferred over to the Mt. Mitchell Net Control found on the Mt. Mitchell Repeater. The Mt. Mitchell repeater comes under net control and it is active all day starting at about 7:00 AM and continues well into the evening controlling and relaying bicycle traffic and emergencies. The Mitchell Net Control is located at the Tom Johnson Camp Ground in Marion NC with a sub net on top of Mt. Mitchell operating in Simplex Mode Only via HT's.
TBARC Repeater KF4JVI
Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club Two Meter Net is held on each Monday starting at 7:30 pm (1930 Hrs). All area Hams are invited to join in. Also anyone can listen to this net on a HAM radio, Short Wave radio or Scanner. If you are just monitoring then the PL Tone is not required.
The KF4JVI Repeater is an open
repeater. This means that any license amateur may use the repeater. This repeater has almost a blanket coverage of all of Polk County
NC and covers most of Rutherford County as well. We have a reach to well below Spartanburg SC and over towards Gastonia
NC. The coverage towards Greenville SC is spotty due to Hogback Mountain. Motor
Mile or the Laurens Highway is the basic line after which moving North and
West you will loose access to
the repeater until you get up to the top of the mountains near Hendersonville NC.
Going South West you will be able to "Hill Top" into the repeater. Going on
towards the North West
and the Asheville area via I-26 you will be solid till the Asheville Airport exit. Then you will drop down
into the French Broad River Basin. You will be
hill toping beyond that point. We have very little coverage in the town of
Lake Lure and North into Hickory Nut Gorge unless you can get high enough
to connect to the repeater.
Red Cross and backup to the Polk County Emergency Services Office.
This currently includes the Red Cross Chapters in both Polk and Rutherfordton
Red Cross and backup to the Polk County Emergency Services Office. This currently includes the Red Cross Chapters in both Polk and Rutherfordton Counties.
Origin of the Name "HAM" for Amateur Radio Operators
If you search
the Web for the origin of the term "HAM" for radio amateurs, you
will find two or three accounts that are evidently most believed.
However, this version seems to be the most credible. It was provided
to me by a very active and accomplished HAM, Mr. Cornell D., who is
not given to propagating bad information. I tried unsuccessfully to
locate an original version of the "Florida Skip Magazine" from 1959.
If anyone has a copy that can provide a scan of the article, it
would be a great service to all Ham's if you could send it to me for
amateurs are called "HAMS"
Have you ever
wondered why radio amateurs are called "HAMS?" Well, it goes like
this: The word "HAM" as applied to 1908 was the station CALL of the
first amateur wireless stations operated by some amateurs of the
Harvard Radio Club. They were ALBERT S. HYMAN, BOB
ALMY and POOGIE MURRAY.
ARRL North Carolina section
Call Sign Lookup
Western North Carolina Amateur Radio Club.
Elecraft HF QRP / 100w all mode
QSL . NET
Amateur Radio Clubs in this area
Western North Carolina Amateur Radio Club.
NC, Amateur Radio Club
, SC Amateur Radio Club
Good links to information and programs to
DX'ing and Contesting is fun.
Antennas and how to make them. Fine web site for
DX Spotting Sites INFO
DX Spotting Program (Free) ~ It's great
Contest Logging program (Free)
Meeting People with
/ on HAM Radio.
Morse Code source with lots of good
Most HAM software is / has been written for the PC Computers. You will find that some programs have been reworked for use on the Apple Computers as well but not always the way you expect them to operate. For those that do not want to use either of these system then there is the Linux "Mint" system that is very popular in Europe. It is recommended that you use only the Mint version since it works almost the same as that of the Windows system. Most of the programs are being redone to use this system. It just requires you to do a little research for the new version of the program. There is a little bit of a learning curve but it is still very easy to master this system plus it is FREE for the taking. You will find that you can operate the Mint system on older computers with very little RAM and small Hard Drives.
Ubuntu Software We suggest that you use the <Linux Mint> version.
http://www.cqrlog.com/ --- A Logging Program
http://www.hamradioandvision.com/installing-flrig-for-ubuntu/ --- for blind users
History and Development of the Morse Code
Plus a little bit of History !