Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club

An ARRL Affiliated Club



 


To learn more about this information simply click on this picture for full details.



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


 

Amateur Radio Emergency Service
(ARES)

Providing 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.

 

 





Misc. items of interest that are for sale
by TBARC Club Members.

 

 

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 a MASK is optional.
All seating is spaced at 6 feet separation for the meetings.
You may bring a bag lunch but trash must be deposited outside in the trashcan.


FCC TESTING

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


IMPORTANT
Testing Information
.

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 : https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do

How to for a NEW FRN Number.

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.

Follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have your FTN number, log-in and password as this is required.  Follow the on screen instructions below to print and to save you license to your computer.

https://wireless.fcc.gov/uls

Following are the steps to print your license out:
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
will be held on Wednesday,
JULY 28th - 11:30~1:00 pm

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 location is:
N 35.12.32
W 82.14.23


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!


TBARC Membership!

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.

Click here for the TBARC Membership Application

Our mailing address is:
Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 1016
Tryon NC 28782-1016


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:

Free Study Guide :
https://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018-no-nonsense-tech-study-guide-v1-1.pdf

Sample Test for you to try :
https://www.mometrix.com/academy/ham-radio-technician-class/


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.

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 :

Robin Michael
KV4AL@CHARTER.NET


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.

Scanner Frequencies Listing




 

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 <<-

 


HAMFest Schedule

Definition of a Ham Fest for our visitors.
A Ham Fest is a super ham radio flea market. When you visit a ham fest then you are liable to find almost anything that is radio or computer related. You will also meet people that are involved in the 100s of different areas that a ham radio plays around in. Such as Moon Bounce, Radio Teletype, Morse Code, Contesting, to just name a few. These below are an easy drive from this area.  Plan to spend at least 2 or 3 hours wandering around through the Dealers / Vendors and the Flea Market. A lot of good deals can be had. Don't forget to check out the antique radios.


Shelby Hamfest at the
Cleveland County Fair Grounds
on Labor Day Weekend.

Sept 3 ~ 5 - 2021 - a 3 day event

 

Flyer on this Link:

http://shelbyhamfest.com

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

NEW PARKING AREA. 

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.


East Tennessee Ham Fest
September 25th,  2021
Gates open at 8 am

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:

www.seviercountyars.com/hamfest-2021



Greenwood SC Hamfest
January 8, 2022

Piedmont Technical College Event Center.
Doors open at 0900 hours. Over about 1500 hrs. Everything is inside - no outside tailgating is available.

Directions on this link:

www:ptc.edu/about/map-directions


 

Greeneville TN Hamfest
April 16, 2022

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:

www.greenevillehamfest.com






Old Heath Kit Novice Station

HR-10  RX           DX-60  TX




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:

www.scssb.net

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 Assaults
A Bicycle Challenge
YOU against "The Mountain"
A 102 Mile ~ 11,000+ Foot Total Climb!
You start in Spartanburg SC
and end up on the top!

For the Assaults History ~ Click Here

Notice:
This years event (2021) was canceled
due to the Corono Virus.

The event has been rescheduled for
>>> Monday, 16 May 2022 <<<

This event is held on the
3rd Monday of May each year.

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


145.330 Negative (-) offset
w/ PL Tone = 91.5 cps


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.

The Thermal Belt Amateur Radio Club is also a member of ARES emergency network. When an emergency in this area is declared, then this repeater becomes part of this ARES Network. This repeater has about a 5+ day battery pack so that in case of emergency's and no power, then this repeater will remain in operation for up to 5+ days.  Once power is restored to the mountain top then the battery pack will then require 3 or more days to fully recharge the battery pack to max capacity and return to float charge.

In case of an emergency, all area HAM that are members of the ARES Network are asked to check in when the NET is called. These members should be available for emergency services in this area. We provide all of the emergency communications for the 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 posting. Thanks.

Why radio amateurs are called "HAMS"
(from Florida Skip Magazine - 1959)
All copyrights acknowledged, but unknown

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.

At first they called their station "HYMAN-ALMY-MURRAY". Tapping out such a long name in code soon became tiresome and called for a revision. They changed it to "HY-AL-MU," using the first two letters of each of their names. Early in 1901 some confusion resulted between signals from amateur wireless station "HYALMU" and a Mexican ship named "HYALMO." They then decided to use only the first letter of each name, and the station CALL became "HAM."

In the early pioneer days of unregulated radio amateur operators picked their own frequency and call-letters. Then, as now, some amateurs had better signals than commercial stations. The resulting interference came to the attention of congressional committees in Washington and Congress gave much time to proposed legislation designed to critically limit amateur radio activity. In 1911 ALBERT HYMAN chose the controversial WIRELESS REGULATION BILL as the topic for his Thesis at Harvard. His instructor insisted that a copy be sent to Senator DAVID I. WALSH, a member of one of the committees hearing the Bill. The Senator was so impressed with the thesis is that he asked HYMAN to appear before the committee. ALBERT HYMAN took the stand and described how the little station was built and almost cried when he told the crowded committee room that if the BILL went through that they would have to close down the station because they could not afford the license fees and all the other requirements which the BILL imposed on amateur stations.

Congressional debate began on the WIRELESS REGULATION BILL and little station "HAM" became the symbol for all the little amateur stations in the country crying to be saved from the menace and greed of the big commercial stations who didn't want them around. The BILL finally got to the floor of Congress and every speaker talked about the "...poor little station HAM." That's how it all started. You will find the whole story in the Congressional Record.

Nation-wide publicity associated station ""HAM" with amateur radio operators. From that day to this, and probably until the end of time in radio an amateur is a "HAM."





Links to good place to explore concerning Amateur (HAM) Radio

www.ncarrl.org
ARRL North Carolina section

Call Sign Lookup
By name or call sign USA ONLY

Western North Carolina Amateur Radio Club.
Home to the WESTCARS Ham Radio Fest at the Fair Grounds
~ Last Saturday of August Near Asheville NC.

Elecraft HF QRP / 100w all mode radios
These radios are rated #1 and are available in Kit / Semi Kit / or fully
assembled. Want to build a HF All mode Kit - then you must check this
one out.  You put it together and you can then fix it yourself!

The Wireman
The BEST supplier of antenna, wire and antenna parts out there!

QSL . NET
Go to QSL.net and do a web page!

Amateur Radio Clubs in this area

Western North Carolina Amateur Radio Club.
Home to the WESTCARS Ham Radio Fest at the Fair Grounds
~ around the end of August near Asheville NC.
 Please visit their web site for date and times.

Spartanburg SC, Amateur Radio Club

Hendersonville NC, Amateur Radio Club

Shelby NC, Amateur Radio Club
Biggest Ham Fest in the South East - Labor Day weekend

Greenville , SC Amateur Radio Club
Ham Fest held at the Spartanburg, SC Fairground

Gastonia, NC Amateur Radio Club

Gastonia, NC Area Amateur Radio Club

Good links to information and programs to make operating
your station a lot more fun.

AC6V's Mega Links Ham pages

Gray Line and Current Time

Large Selection of Ham Related Links to check out.

HAM Swap / For sale / Trade Page

On the Short Wave Bands

HF Radio Org for all of your HF Needs

DX'ing and Contesting is fun.


Antennas and how to make them. Fine web site for more information.
http://www.hamuniverse.com/antennas.html

Free Newsletters INFO
http://www.425dxn.org/
http://www.papays.com/opdx.html

DX Spotting Sites INFO
http://www.dxsummit.fi

DX Spotting Program (Free) ~ It's great
 http://ve7cc.net/default.htm#prog

Contest Logging program (Free)
http://www.n1mm.com

Contest Calandars INFO
http://www.sk3bg.se/contest/index.htm
http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/

Good DX news letters for pay ~ not free, oh well, can't have it all for free!
http://www.dxpub.com/
http://www.dailydx.com/

Meeting People with / on HAM Radio.
http://www.datehookup.com/content-meeting-people-with-ham-radios.htm

Morse Code source with lots of good stuff
http://www.createqr.org/closer-look-morse-code.html

HF Military Radio from the MRC-108 ROMAD Jeep used in the Vietnam War.
http://www.pocatelloarc.org/k0ip

http://www.afdasf.org and click on the DASF Link

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. 

PC Software

http://www.kc1cs.com/
http://w3wvg.com/
http://sourceforge.net/directory/communications/hamradio/os:windows/freshness:recently-updated/

http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/
http://www.westmountainradio.com/content.php?page=links
http://ac6v.com/software.htm
http://www.hamuniverse.com/hfdigitalmodessoftware.html
http://www.echolink.org/
http://hflink.com/software/
http://hflink.com/pcale/
http://www.dmoz.org/Recreation/Radio/Amateur/Software/
http://www.dxsoft.com/
http://www.hosenose.com/
http://www.k6sgh.com/software.html



Ubuntu Software   We suggest that you use the <Linux Mint> version.

http://www.linuxmint.com

http://www.arrl.org/ubuntu-linux-for-hams
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuHams
https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-hams-updates/+archive/ppa
http://www.linuxjournal.com/ham
http://shackbox.net/
http://www.cqrlog.com/ --- A Logging Program
http://packages.ubuntu.com/quantal/hamradio/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/
http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/hamradio/
http://radio.linux.org.au/?sectpat=All
http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Linux/Linux_Distributions/
http://www.dxzone.com/dx23102/ubuntu-ham-radio-software.html
http://www.hamradioandvision.com/installing-flrig-for-ubuntu/ --- for blind users

 


History and Development of the Morse Code


Plus a little bit of  History !

History of Communication Through Morse Code



Field Service Management Guide:
Telecommunications Timeline


 


Site constructed by
Robin ~ KV4AL
kv4al@charter.net