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Club Station: KN4DUA


Regular Nets & Activities

Loudon County ARES.
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Learning Morse Code:

The Right Way
Morse Runner
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Contest Calendar

TLARC Monthly General Meetings

The general club meeting is held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, starting at 7pm. We've just started meeting in person again. They are held at various venues to enable club exposure in and throughout the area, as well as to support local business in the area.

Remember when attending the club meeting, be sure to proudly wear your TLARC shirt!

Our meetings feature updates from all officers and special interest leaders, updates on what's happening in ham radio around TN, and other TLARC initiatives. By attending members get a good view of everything the club is doing! We often have a feature presentation on an interesting aspect of our hobby, and many of the members and spouses optionally gather for dinner before the meeting for camaraderie and good food.

TLARC Weekly Net Meetings

TLARC Radio Net -- 1st, 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month
7:00 pm on the 442.100 MHz repeater (PL 100.0)

Zoom Meetings -- For when we have them in parallel to the net meetings:

TLARC Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 815 823 5077
Passcode: TLARC

How to join TLARC

Just download the TLARC Membership Application and contact

or any of the other club officers!

Become a 'Net Control' for the TLARC weekly radio net!

You too can become a 'Net Control' of the weekly TLARC radio net on the 442.100 repeater from 7-7:30pm! Just contact Rand WK9M with your interest and he will provide you with the standard NET CONTROL SCRIPT and insightful guidance to enable you to take the command seat on your own!

TLARC Net Schedule


Dues for 2021 are $20 ... Send payment by check (payable to "TLARC"), Money Order or cash to TLARC Treasurer: George Sifnotis, WB9TFR

Monroe County ARC weekly net: Tues, 7:00 pm

145.270, PL 127.3 Hz. Also linked to 145.250 (PL 100)

Smoky Mountain ARC net: Mon-Thurs, 9:00 am
146.655, PL 100 Hz in / 77 Hz out.

SMARC repeater requires 100 Hz encode (incoming tone) and 77 Hz decode (outgoing tone). Users are encouraged to use Carrier Squelch because if one uses a 100 Hz tone to open their squelch then the controllers announcements will be missed.

East Tennessee 2 Meter Nets and Repeaters Directory
An amazing resource of clubs and repeater frequencies within a 114 mile radius of Knoxville!

When are the bands open?
See the probabilities for average HF propagation for this month, as provided by the ARRL on their Propagation page.

Hamfest Fever? K4MJF has a cure!

Dixie Trader Net -- Friday Nights at 8 pm via 4-plex repeaters on 145.370 (T-100), 145. 410 (T-127.3), 147.195 (T 1000), 147.345 (T 118.8).

Tennessee Digital Amateur Group Net -- An DMR Tennessee Statewide TG3147 at 9pm every Friday night. Good fellowship, discussions, tips and tricks.

World Wide Net on Talk Group -- 91 DMR starting every Saturday morning at 11am. This net takes check-ins from around the world and lasts until mid afternoon.

Frequency List for the Greater Knoxville Tennessee Area

145.370 K4KEV -600Hz shift 100.0 tone, linked repeater system for all of East Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia. North Carolina and Virginia to 145.41, 147.195 and 147.34, linked full time to 147.345 (W4KEV) Crossville, TN, also connected to ECHOLINK 459455 W4KEV
145.470 -600Hz 118.8 tone WB4GBI Wide Area Covers 5 States TN, NC, KY, GA, VA, also District 6 SKYWARN thru the NWS Morristown TN
146.850 -600Hz 118.8 tone WB4GBI Wide Area Coverage: Middle East TN
146.940 -600Hz 118.8 tone WB4GBI Wide Area Coverage
147.255 +600Hz NO TONE KJ4SI Wide Area Coverage ( 50 mile radius )
443.050 +5Mhz 100.00 tone W4WVJ Coverage Loudon, Blount, Knox, and Monroe County
Loudon County ARES Club Analog FM and Fusion Digital
444.250 +5MHZ 127.3 tone KF4DKW Coverage Loudon County Analog FM and Fusion Digital
442.100 +5MHZ 100.0 tone WB4BSC 25 mile radius Analog FM ONLY
146.625 -600Hz 118.8 tone WB4GBI Wide Area Coverage
147.180 +600Hz 118.8 tone W4GZX Wide Area: Chattanooga to Knoxville 102 mile radius
145.270 -600Hz 127.3 tone KK4DKW Wide Area: Blount, Knox, Anderson, Loudon, Monroe linked fulltime to 145.250 (W4YJ) in Sweetwater, TN
146.655 -600Hz 100/77 tone W4OLB Coverage: Blount County, including Cades Cove Campground and portions of adjacent counties (25 mile radius), linked to KK4XA/R 444.075 (+) DMR ID 314742 CC1 - Analog and DMR
147.300 +600Hz 100.0 tone W4BBB Wide Area Coverage Analog FM and Fusion Digital
147.345 +600 118.8 tone W4KEV Super Wide Area, Nashville to Knoxville, Chattanooga to Tri-Cities
Linked to 145.370 in Knoxville, Sharps Ridge, 147.195 in Gatlinburg, Ski Mountain and 145.410 in Greenville, Tn, Bald Mountain
147.195 +600Hz 100.0 tone W4KEV Super Wide Coverage Area and the Smokies, linked to the
145.370, 145.410, 147.345 covering all of East Tennessee, ECHOLINK 459455 W4KEV
147.150 +600Hz 118.8 tone WB4GBI Wide Area Coverage
This list does not include and D-Star or WiresX capable repeaters, and is current as of 9/26/2021

TLARC Field Day 2021

Our results were filed with the ARRL, and here are the preliminary results:
Total Score: 3,346

That score includes:

Total Bonus Points: 910

Contact Points Total: 2,436

QSO breakdown:

276 CW

228 Digital (FT8 and FT4)

210 SSB

The final tally will be published later in QST and will include contributions from the following stations:

Thank you to EVERYONE who participated!

Feature News89

Exam Session - Wednesday December 8 2021

The TLARC Admin Team invites you to our first licensing exam session of 2021 on Wednesday evening, December 8, 2021. 

If you're licensed and looking to upgrade to General or Extra privileges or know someone wanting to test for their Technician certificate, please join us at:
Chota Recreation Center
Conference Room D
6:00pm to 8:00pm EST. 

Our team of Volunteer Examiners (VE)  will be on hand to guide you through the process, provide the necessary materials, and proctor/grade the exams.  More details will follow soon regarding your identification and information requirements to sit for the test.

First Annual TLARC Chili Cook-Off and November Meeting

Winner Team Ferguson!

The first TLARC Chili Cook Off is in the books! With 8 entries to choose from, the competition was fierce but very tasty!

I must admit the chili champ is now the chili chump with all the very strong competitors yesterday, I did not stand a chance, I was just elated to be there to get a taste of all the goodness.
Congratulations to Team Ferguson! Outstanding chili!

Thanks to all who attended, helped set up and tear down, competed and subjected themselves to the delectable delights.

Holiday Party - December 4th!
The TLARC Holiday Party is rapidly approaching! 
Tickets will be available for pickup at the door.  Please bring your payment, if you have not already done so.

ARRL Field Day 2021 Final Results are IN!

The results for ARRL Field Day 2021 have arrived! TLARC received a total of 5,474 points!
Thank you to everyone who participated, whether at GCA or remotely.  We are looking forward to an even better Field Day in 2022!

Ongoing News:

TLARC Meeting - Wednesday October 20

Another GREAT Club Meeting is in the books. Many thanks to ALL who came out and showed their support for the Club.
As you know, the Club met at Bert's in Madisonville, TN for dinner, and then we had our normal Club meeting afterwards.
As you can see, we had a full house!! Club member Ralph, KM4TUY, who was on the nominating committee, told members about how he went about finding people who had an interest in being Club Officers.
The Officers gave their reports about past events, and plans for the near future! Like Nominations for next years Club Officers and the Holiday Party.

We had an awards ceremony to recognize those who participated in the Lenoir City Fall Festival and Car Show on 9/25/2021.
Those who participated received a plaque and a long sleeve tee shirt with the Club logo on it.
Recipients included Brad, KM4OJK Mike, KK6OKU Mike, K4MJF David, KF4DKW Dave, N9KMY Tom, W8MKL Brent, K4BNN Chuck, N4CSF Karen Foley

In addition, Brent, K4BNN, received a certificate and shirt for his help at the Lenoir City Fall Festival during a recent POTA activation.

TLARC Holiday Party

The TLARC Holiday Party will be held at Grain bin Commodities, 5209 Hold Road, in Sweetwater, on Saturday, December 4th, 2021.
The menu is as follows:
  • Smoked Chicken
  • Lasagna
  • Green Bean Casserole with bacon
  • Loaded twice baked creamed potatoes
  • Tossed salad
  • Caesar salad
  • Garlic bread/knots
  • Variety of appetizers
  • Variety of individual desserts
  • Sweet and unsweet tea
  • Assortment of soft drinks and water

This will be served buffet style. They will not be serving any alcohol. If you wish to bring your own, you must bring your own glasses, openers and beverages. They are NOT ALLOWED to open, pour or serve. You MUST take your bottles/containers home with you. Also, they WILL NOT have any set-ups!

We hope you and your spouse/significant other will join us in celebrating the end of a great year. We do ask that let us know how many in your party will be coming, so we can make sure we have enough food for everyone. We must have a count no later than November 15, 2021.

To RSVP, please email Mike/K4MJF at k4mjf.1@gmaildotcom

2021 POTApalooza
(Or.... everything you wanted to know about Parks On the Air, but were afraid to ask)
You could not have asked for a nicer day to introduce people to activating a park. A beautiful, sunny fall day with mild temperatures.
The group set up at Lookrock Overlook on Foothills Parkway, park K-0034, with a beautiful view overlooking Maryville and the surrounding counties.

Operators from left: Mike (OKU), Gunther, Ken, Tim, John, Karen (non operator,) Mike (MJF)
Front: Lisa, David (Not pictured: Ned, K1GU)
We had the perfect spot to activate the park. Plenty of room for parking, picnic tables and room to put up antennas.
And yes, we had a small cook-out as well! Everybody brought what they wanted to cook. We had everything from hot dogs to steak...

We had 2 HF stations set up, each operating on different bands. We made contacts all across the US, including Alaska!

Everybody got to make contacts, if they wanted to. Everyone made at least 10 contacts to qualify for activating the park. Lisa did most of the logging for us, and provided everyone the file to send the activation manager once we were finished.

Thanks to ALL who participated and we hope you had FUN!
You can bet we will do this again... SOON!

Lenoir City Car Show and Fall Street Festival is a Huge Success

A learned experience. Kudos to the dedication and professionalism of the HAM Radio operators that participated in, and attended the Annual Lenoir City Fall Festival and Car Show this past Saturday, September 25, 2021.

To say the least, it can be very trying when dealing with the public. HAM Radio operators are great communicators when speaking with strangers. This experience is invaluable for an event such as this one to go smoothly.

With an invitation to return next year from the event coordinators, goes to show just how well we adapt, especially for a function we have not done in the past. It's the push to represent, the patience, and the urge to help others that makes great communicators, and with experience, whether on the hf rig or in a mutual aide scenario, the knowledge and experience that Ham Operators obtain via operating is outstanding.

We wish to thank the following, whether communicating with the Civitan Parking Staff, vendors, show car owners, LEO's or attending the booth:

You all made this event truly fun, and a success.
Chuck N4CSF
Mike K4MJF
Brent K4BNN
David KF4DKW
XYL Karen Foley

The dedication these folks have to support our hobby and make it shine, stood above and beyond the call, and before we even left the event, the invitation from the event coordinators to return next year to help, speaks volumes to the exceptional volunteers that did such a fantastic job.

Also thank you to the Club members that helped run the booth, made contacts, whether in-person or on the portable rig, demonstrating the hobby, passing out information, talking to those who showed in interest in our Club, and to what we represented to the community.


KM4OJK and his YL daughter

K4MJF and XYL Karen manning the booth

N4CSF and XYL Dianne

KK6OKU bragging about his contacts

WB9TFR 2021 Tennessee QSO Party
Reminder, the logs for the Tennessee QSO Party are due by October 5th. Visit their website at for more info.

East Tennessee Hamfest 2021 - September 25th

The East Tennessee Hamfest is going to be held on September 25th at the Sevier County Fair Grounds, 754 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, TN. The hamfest will feature the infamous Bone Yard, with 17 acres of ham radio and GMRS gear, as well as numerous indoor vendors, forums and prizes!

The keynote speaker will be Tom Medlin/W5KUB, host of the YouTube show Amateur Radio Roundtable. He will be launching a Pico balloon from the fairgrounds!

Gates open at 8am. Talk in frequency is 146.940 (no tone.)

Visit their websites at or

W4DXCC 2021 Convention - September 24th and 25th

The W4DXCC DX and Contest Convention will be held in Pigeon Forge, TN. The Ham Radio Boot Camp will be held on Friday evening.

Sterling Man, N0SSC, has recently been added to the lineups for both the Bootcamp and the main program. He joins a list of other presenters, including Gary Wise, W4EEY, whose YouTube channel features classes that has helped many amateurs get or upgrade their license.

They will be performing VE testing and QSL Card Checking at the convention. Visit their website, for more information.

2021 Tennessee QSO Party

Tennessee QSO Party stared at 1800 UTC Sunday, September 5th and ran until 0300 UTC, Monday September 6th. All bands except 60m, 30m, 17m and 12m, were allowed. Operating modes Phone (no repeater operation,) CW, Digital (must choose one) and Mixed. Categories are Fixed or Mobile; High Power (QRO >150W,) Low Power (<150W), and QRP (5W or less); Single-Op or Multi-Op.

For more information, visit website at

TLARC Summerfest 2021

TLARC held Summerfest 2021on Thursday, August 19th at the Tugaloo Beach in Tellico Village.

Club members and guests met at the Tugaloo Pavilion in Tellico Village for an evening of good food, fellowship and fun.

And everyone got a raffle ticket for the drawing later that evening.

Lots of smiling faces at the meeting...

A LOT of good food was brought in. Everything from fried chicken, meatballs, jalapeno poppers, pasta salad, strawberry pretzel salad, potato salad, sliders, chips, all manner of desserts and drinks were available as well. What a feast!

After the feast, we had a fox hunt. There were 2 foxes available to find, and we had several who had never participated in a hunt. We gave them all the information and help they needed.

Prizes were given to the ones who found them first. Randy, WK9M, and Lisa, W8LDK, both took home a $10 gift certificate from Casa Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in Lenoir City. Thanks to all those who participated in the fox hunt!

After those prizes were awarded, we held the raffle for a free medium sandwich from Firehouse Subs. Two tickets were drawn. Karen Foley won the first one, and Brad, KM4OJK, won the other. Congratulations to our raffle winners!

Afterwords, the general club meeting was called to order by President Mike Wagner, KK6OKU. Information about upcoming events was shared with all those present.

July 2021 Meeting

The July 2021 Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 21st at Z Fish House, 846 Mulberry Street, in Loudon.

July Metting at Z Fish House Great catch!

Antenna Party at KK6OKU's House!

Mike/KK6OKU recently performed some antenna work with the assistance of some of our club members who volunteered their time to help with this project.

Mike/KK6OKU spent some time a few months ago putting the cobweb together, as well as fabricating insulator blocks for the driven element and gamma match poles.

Randy/WK9M and Mike/KK6OKU spent five hours working on the new cobweb to get it tuned for the 6m-40m bands.

They had to relocate a J-pole up another 10 feet on the truss. The balun for the end-fed Chameleon, which does 160m-6m, was relocate to a different position. They used the EZ Hang sling shot to get the rope for the block-and-tackle 20 feet into a recently pruned tree, and ran the support rope for the far end of the antenna to the tree.

Dave/KF4DKW, Randy/WK9M and Rob/K4MBZ reworked the connections on the beam and swept it through all the bands.

Mike reports that utilizing the lift from Monroe Rentals was a real time and back saver!

Kudos to Randy, Dave, Rob and Mike for a job well done!

Here's a few pictures showing all the hard work performed:

TLARC Field Day 2021 - A resounding Success!

What an event! What a day! See the photo recap of the club's activities at this year's TLARC Field Day at God's Cozy Acres on June 26-27.

And with a little coaching by Mike KK6OKU, Robin KO4PNC makes several contacts at the GOTA (Get On The Air) station:

RamSat Deployed from ISS on June 14:

RamSat, the CubeSat project developed by the Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, TN, was successfully deployed from the International Space Station on Monday June 14th. Post deployment activation occurred, and we have been receiving telemetry transmissions indicating nominal conditions. In the next week we expect to receive our first set of Keplerian elements, allowing accurate tracking by ground stations across the world.

We have an excellent blog detailing the efforts, including the fantastic videos of the actual deployment. Check it out at:

Additionally, we are working to create an online dashboard to view current and historical telemetry with visual trending. Stay tuned for additional details.

de N1ESK

May 2021 Meeting: "All About POTA"

Our in-person general club meeting for May was conducted in the open pavilion at the Toqua Golf Club in Tellico Village. The meeting's feature presentation, delivered by Sam Howard KV4XY and Robert Howard WW4WTF, overviewed their Parks On The Air (POTA) operating experience out in the fields, mountains and trees of East TN. More photojournalism coming soon, but for now click the photo below for a shot of the larger group in attendance!

Museum Ships Weekend Event:
More than 80 ships were on the air over June 5-6 weekend, each with separate callsign! See this link below (click image) and see the K4MFJ message below it.

Starting Friday at 6pm, it's Museum Ships Weekend! All you Ham Radio operators tune in for this 48 hour continuous broadcast from the historic naval fleet. This year, 75 ships have signed up to participate in the program. The Deep South Amateur Radio Club will be broadcasting out of the USS ALABAMA's Radio Central, using the ships original antenna. Call letters are: K4DSR. The USS DRUM will be activated too. Call letters are: K5LDA. Radios operating between 20 and 40 mm frequency. Museum Ships Weekend broadcast will go through Sunday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Tune in!

SpaceX launches Robertsville Middle School students' satellite to ISS

David N1ESK reported live from Cape Canaveral yesterday with the team of Oak Ridge middle school students.

After five years of work, Robertsville Middle School students got to see their satellite blast off into space.

RamSat, a nanosatellite designed and built by students, successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday. 50 middle schoolers who worked on RamSat traveled to Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday to watch the launch.

N1ESK: “Successful launch Busy day. The kids were interviewed via remote by WBIR Knoxville, then food, then walk to the beach. Rain and wind had us concerned, but it cleared and launch went well. Lots of pics. Kids are all smiles.”

When does the team’s CubeSat go live with telemetry?

“Hopefully soon. We need to wait until we have visibility, but the system is configured to activate 30 minutes after deployment and immediately start relaying telemetry.”

Congratulations to active TLARC member N1ESK and the student team that he and other teachers has been mentoring for more than a year!

See details of this huge adventure in the WBIR coverage

See also NASA coverage of SpaceX CRS-22.

Space Weather for a Modern World

Take a look at this interesting video in which Tabatha Skov (she's a ham too) describes how the Sun stirs up "space weather" that directly affects communications here on Earth. I think you'll like this one, as well as Tabatha's semi-regular Space Weather Updates that we post here in the TLARC website for all to enjoy. Hope you like this space weather backgrounder - I know I did!


The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921

A fascinating read on the geomagnetic storm’s impacts 100 years ago and the potential effects of a similar event today.
~ Chuck N4CSF

Retired cryptologist traces former naval base’s history
Another interesting part of radio history from the perspective of an ex-Navy cryptologist's tour at The Elephant Cage in northern Alaska. (See prior article about this site further down on this page.)
Contributed by Jim Jenkins AA1J

The Basics of Soldering
N2APB recently produced a short video demonstrating the basics of soldering, in concert with a professor from the EE department at the University of Tennessee. It might be interesting if you are new to homebrewing and kit building!

The Sounds of Ham Radio

This is way cool. It’s a 10-band audio equalization filter, in which all modes of communication are ‘hidden’ in the audio stream – just dial up/down the respective control to hear the data being transmitted. Quite amazing. Read more on it on its web page – love it!
(Thanks to David KF4DKW for spotting this gem.)

Results of the TLARC Fox Hunt 2021
Rain didn't stop us this time and on April 24th TLARC's second Fox Hunt was successfully conducted and the results are in! (See lots more details and photos!)

Check out the great presentation done by our very own Fox Hunt Wizard: Dave Andrews N1ESK

April 2021 TLARC Meeting ... in-person and a blast!

We had our first in-person general club meeting last night at the Countryside Restaurant in Vonore - over 25 members were in attendance ... almost half the club! Good country-style food was served in the large room in the back, interesting officer/committee reports were delivered and discussed

A terrific "Fox Hunt Overview" presentation was given by David Andrews N1ESK, just in time for the TLARC Fox Hunt being held this Saturday. View the N1ESK presentation in its entirety, and see the full photo report of the meeting HERE.

Our newest ham: Robin Monserrat, KO4PNC

Please welcome Robin Monserrat into the wonderful world of amateur radio. Robin attended the SMARC ZOOM study session for the Technician Class License last month and took the test Saturday. She passed with all 35 correct exam responses and is just received her new callsign from the FCC! Congratulations Robin, we are looking forward to hearing you on the air SOON!

HF Ionospheric Propagation

Het, instead of sitting around at the end of the day and watching the boob toob for an hour, why not watch something really interesting to us hams: “HF Ionospheric Propagation”.

The presenter is the famous Frank Donovan, W3LPL and I guarantee you'll learn something about how the Sun affects the Earth's ionosphere ... and hence how we hams are able to communicate! Let us know if you do watch this and what you think about it!

Juan AC6ZM and Randy WK9M do it again!

The records are in for the 2020 160 Meter Contest and AC6ZM and WK9M took first place for TN *and* took DIVISION HONORS for the four states in our Delta Division. They operated out of K0EJ (Mark) station in Soddy Daisy, TN and they traveled home for daytime break and drove back to the shack for the evening hours since 160 meters is primarily a night time band. They missed a clean sweep, but logged 57 of 63 sections, working all 49 states (missed ND) and missed the following VE-land sections LB, NF, NT, NU, and YT.)

Rig: TS-590S Kenwood
Amp: Alpha 78
Xmit Antennas: Inverted-L with 120 radials
RCV Antennas: Four 800 ft. beverage antennas
Logging: N1MM+

Way to go guys! TLARC contesting team shines!

... by Brad KM4OJK

At one of our meetings, these upcoming events were mentioned. Mark your calendars now!

The TLARC T-Shirts are here!

Contact Mike KK6OKU to pickup your order or to see if there are any leftovers yet to purchase.

AC6ZM and WK9M score big in 2020 RTTY Contest

The results are in and AC6ZM & WK9M came in third place for this annual event, operating as a 'Multi-2' station. They missed 1st place by 7 country multipliers ... So close yet so far! Juan reports that they were in the lead many times throughout the 48-hour contest.

The contest was hosted by WV4P (Ron) and N4RL (Trina) in Savanah, TN. The team used a pair of Flex 6600 SDR transceivers with phased verticals, two tribanders for 20,15,10; dipoles for 40/80 and K9AY receive antennas for the low bands. Linears were an AL1200 and Alpha 99. Way to go Juan and Randy!

TLARC Meeting of Feb 17, 2021

"Here we sit, broken hearted, wanted to meet but only ... ZOOMED!"
Good meeting this month - click on photo below for bigger view. Chuck N4CSF voted in as club secretary and N2APB presented on the Nostalgic-Yet-Still-Alive Joys of QSL Cards - click on presentation below that as well.

God's Cozy Acres now on the map!

... by David KF4DKW

The once-hidden operating outpost at God's Cozy Acres is now on the map!

With some help from your club President, we placed a permanent marker at the site.
Look for the blue and white reflective street numbers on a post at the entrance to the driveway.

The address is:
2315 Big Sandy Road
Philadelphia, TN 37846

Google Maps doesn't route you to the correct address.

Program the information below in your GPS or cell phone for future contests, picnics and get togethers:
35°41'21.9"N 84°31'12.1"W

East Tenn. middle school first in country to send satellite into orbit with NASA

by David Andrews, N1ESK

For some time now I’ve been involved with the STEM program at Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge and their efforts to construct a 2U CubeSat. The project is about to complete a major milestone. On March 8th, Dr. Peter Thornton and I will hand deliver the satellite, known as RamSat, to our launch integrator contractor in Houston. We will place the satellite into the PPOD (Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer) which will then be integrated into a Cargo Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for delivery to the International Space Station in May. Further details here.

WVLT-TV produced a video segment recently on the program. I’ve also included a link to the RamSat project website. Start at the bottom of the page and work your way up to work forward in time. Lots of detailed descriptions and photos. We have an operational ground station at the school, and a backup ground station for redundancy and after-hours access.

Here's a handy chart!

TLARC assist in annual Whitestone 30k road race

Loudon County ARES assisted Roane County ARES for the fifth year with the Whitestone 30k road race (18.6 miles) on Sunday, Feb 21 in Paint Rock (Roane County). This joint public service event helps strengthen our relationship with our neighboring agencies and helps to practice our skills as communicators.

The communications volunteer duration was from about 07:00 to 13:00. The race began at 08:00 and ended around 12:00. A pre-operational briefing was conducted at the old (vacant) Paint Rock Grocery at the corner of Highway 72 and Paint Rock Road. Each communications member was paired with a Roane County or Loudon County ARES member.

We operated on a portable repeater. The backup was simplex, which means you needed a mobile radio with a mobile antenna.

The event is also designed as an exercise to practice skills such as relaying messages when other stations are out of simplex or repeater range. A dual-band HT with an extended range antenna will probably work just fine. Bring a backup battery or radio.

The Last Elephant Cage

A must-see video from the NSA regarding some fascinating radio history. And for those thinking Morse code is irrelevant! Sit back and enjoy the video.
de N1ESK

The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club is offering an entry level ham radio technician class. This course will be offered online via Zoom. Licensing exams will be offered following the last class. Each session will offer a review of the previous class and then introduce a new topic.
For further info:
Flyer and the Course Goals

Winter Field Day & 160 Meter Contest at God's Cozy Acres

2 The contesting sub-group of the TLARC club activated the club call KN4DUA for this annual event on Jan 29-31, with good participation, great food and lots of fun! Preliminary Scores show really impressive year-to-year performance. Click below for all the photos!

New TLARC Officers for 2021

Welcome to the new board for 2021. Meet them more personally here:

President: Mike Wagner KK6OKU

Vice President: Mike Foley, K4MJF

Secretary: Chuck Ferguson, N4CSF (interim)
Treasurer: George Sifnotis, WB9TFR

And meet them more personally here

Raising the new satellite antennas at N1ESK on Jan 16

Brush Clearing at God's Cozy Acres by Randy WK9M

Randy WK9M, Mike KK6OKU and David KF4DKW doing a little cleanup work out at the club's "field location" in late December for improved Beverage antenna installation.

Programming your FT3 to use the ISS Repeater by K4MJF

Here is a YouTube video on how to program your radio to use the repeater on the International Space Station. Many have tried to do this with some success, and others have asked how to do it. Maybe this video will help explain it. I know that I'll program my FT3 and use my dual band handheld beam to see if I can make contact..... how about you?!?? Good luck and talk to you "on the air" soon!
73, Mike, K4MJF

Increased Solar Activity Ahead! (click on image)

Final Club Net & Meeting of 2020 (Dec 16)

If you missed our final meetings on Dec 16, they were quite fun! The weekly TLARC radio net on the 442.100 repeater, expertly hosted by Sam KV4XY, had some 15** check-ins and we each reached out to welcome the newest club member: Tim, KO4JLL. After the net meeting our weekly Zoom session main topic of discussion and hilarity was "Where and how to use an ATU with an external power amplifier." Recommendations for use of the Alpha-Delta coax switch were quite valuable.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all TLARC members and their families! Stay safe until we next meet you individually and/or at the next TLARC radio net meeting on January 13.

** A new feature of 2021 will be an ongoing list of the check-ins for each net meeting!

Saturn-Jupiter 'Christmas Star' Conjuntion! (click on image)

Jupiter and Saturn will form rare "Christmas Star" on winter solstice
On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer in Earth’s night sky than they have since 1226 A.D. You can watch the event live here, courtesy of Lowell Observatory.

TLARC gathered in cool November evening for monthly meeting!

Lots accomplished at this month's in-person meeting at the Toqua Pavilion, including election of next year's officers and discussion of annual dues, disposition of the 442.100 repeater and the upcoming Holiday Party. Details on all forthcoming!

October Meeting Features An Auction!

So many good items auctioned off for the benefit of TLARC during the October meeting! ... NorCal 40 QRP CW transceiver, a Morse code key, a Sinclair Scientific TMS 1000 microcomputer and printer, a magnified 'third hand' pcb vise for the homebrewer's bench, and a Shortwave Regen Receiver (featured in QST circa 2000 and built by a Boy Scout back then), and more. What can you bring to the next meeting to auction off for the benefit of TLARC?!

Juan AC6ZM has been presenting a three part presentation on HF Contesting during the TLARC weekly Zoom sessions. Part 1 was on October 7. Part 2 was on October 14. Part 3 on Nov 4th. These presentations overview HF contesting for the licensed ham who wants to explore one of the most fun aspects of ham radio - also known as Radio Sport. (We'll soon have Part 3 available for download.)

TLARC October Meeting Recap

This month's meeting was a hoot, held in-person beneath the (open) pavilion at the Toqua Golf Club. We received the slate of officers for 2021 from the Nominating Committee. Voting to come in a forthcoming meeting. Nominations so far include:

President: Mike Wagner KK6OKU
Vice President: Mike Foley, K4MJF
Secretary: Eric Ressler, KD8LHZ
Treasurer: George Sifnotis, WB9TFR

The Financial Review Committee was also appointed, and a couple of impromptu "special entertainers" took the floor: one to auction off some cool, vintage and eclectic items (N2APB), and the other gave a demonstration of numeric mental prowess (KM4TUY). After these acts it's hard to imagine what will come next month!

'TEAM TLARC" Scores big in 160-Meter contest at God's Cozy Acres last weekend

Another TLARC member gets on the HF bands for the first time ... KM4TUY !!

Congratulations to Ralph Monserrat (KM4TUY) for his first ever HF contact!
At 23:13 local last night, Ralph logged his first contact with KW4Z in Florence Alabama.

The Earth gets a new 'mini-moon' mid-November

Around mid-month in November, Earth will have a new temporary moon. Designated Asteroid 2020 SO, the object is instead manmade. In 1966, the failed Surveyor 2 moon mission was powered to the moon by a Centaur upper rocket stage which was discarded near the moon. The rocket body went into orbit around the sun and after 54 years, is returning home.

Here is the link to article:

Amateur astronomer Kevin Heider said on Twitter that around the time of closest approach on December 1, 2020, 2020 SO will only brighten to about apparent magnitude 14.1, and would require a telescope with roughly a 150mm (6?) objective lens to see visually.

(Thanks to TLARCer Space Cadet Ben Edwards AD4BE for this heads-up reporting.)

TLARCers joined in on SMARC's October Foxhunt

SMARC conducted their foxhunt on a sunny Saturday Oct 17th morning in Everett Park, Maryville.
It was an "on-foot" hunt for two (2) small battery-operated "Fox" transmitters hidden somewhere in the park. Click on the photo to search for participants from TLARC, including K4MJF and KK6OKU.

ISS SSTV Experiments by TLARC Members

Several TLARC Space Cadets have been attempting to receive and display the SSTV images from the International Space Station, as transmitting during the SSTV this month. Images are downlinked at 145.800 MHz using an FM HT coupled to an Android app or the MMSSTV app on a computer. See this good backgrounder. The latest image is shown below, courtesy of KF4DKW. Great fun!

TLARC Meeting - A September Evening @ Tugaloo Beach

What fun! An in-person meeting after some 7 months via Zoom! Awesome turnout. And we had a Unicorn leading people in from the road. The 19th is the big Sevier County Hamfest and the 26th is the Sweetwater Hamfest. We had a non-ham visiting from Lenoir City.(Name?) Ralph, KM4TUY was introduced. Nominating committee volunteers stepped up. DJ Unicorn brought his equipment for music and meeting audio.

On Solar Flares -- CfA Scientists and Team Take a Look Inside the Central Engine of a Solar Flare for the First Time.

Using a Software Defined Radio (SDR) on the FM Broadcast Band to Foretell 2-Meter Band Openings

(Click photo for larger view)

Solar Storm Forecast 08.10.2020 -- Three Bright Regions and a Storm Generator

TLARC Officers at Work

The Perseids are Here Again!

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks from August 11 to 13. The Perseids are considered the best meteor shower of the year—thanks to meteors streaking across the sky every couple minutes and pleasant summer temperatures. Find out when to watch for the Perseids in 2020 and how to maximize your chance of seeing a shooting star!

TLARC Space Cadets News: Starlink: SpaceX's satellite internet project

Starlink is the name of a satellite network that the private spaceflight company SpaceX is developing to provide low-cost internet to remote locations. While SpaceX eventually hopes to have as many as 12,000 satellites in this so-called megaconstellation, the size and scale of the project have flustered astronomers and amateur skywatchers, who fear that the bright, orbiting objects will interfere with observations of the universe.

TLARC Space Cadets Make It Big

TLARC Online Meeting: July 15

Brief Summary from Secy' N1ESK ...

- K4MJF stated the Sevierville Hamfest is scheduled for September 19; see for updates.
- KV4XY reminds all to complete their 2020 FD logs before the deadline in two weeks.
- KV4XY reported great participation in the 13 Colonies event. Please send pictures of your 13 Colonies awards to N2APB for the website.
- No responses yet to the club flyer mailing. Time will tell if these efforts yield any fruit.
- KK6OKU seeking volunteers for NCS and logging duties for the weekly TLARC Radio Net.
- Revisions to the current Constitution and By-Laws discussed and questions answered. No objections heard. Vote to approve the new documents will be held on August 15.

- Full minutes here.

Solar Dynamics Observatory -- A Decade of Sun

June 2, 2010 -- June 1, 2020

Every second is a day in the video below ...

As of June 2020, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — SDO — has now been watching the Sun non-stop for over a full decade. From its orbit in space around the Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data over the past 10 years. This information has enabled countless new discoveries about the workings of our closest star and how it influences the solar system. (More at

13 Colonies Special Event

On-air activity was like cannon blast!

TLARC participation included: KV4XY, WW4WTF, AC6ZM, WK9M, KK6OKU, N2APB and a few more!

New QRP Radio Makes Big Splash in Ham Market

MCARC Hamfest held in Athens, TN on 7/18/2020

It was a hot one for about six TLARC members who were able to make it down to Athens for the annual MCARC Hamfest this year. Everyone was wearing a mask and some were even wearing gloves. The usual hamfestalia were hanging out, including some nice boat anchor sightings, so I heard! Even had some unicorn sightings ...

Jumping Off The Grid

(Contributed by TLARC Anonymous)

A lot of amateurs want to go off grid.

The demand and desire to take amateur radio off grid is absolutely there. The problem is that information about off grid radio is sprinkled around. It’s hard to find straight answers. Many radio and survival blogs occasionally address the issue, but to my knowledge, Off Grid Ham and OH8STN are the only two outlets that deal with off grid radio radio exclusively.

For readers who are not off the grid, or seek to expand off grid capabilities, I’ve put together this “off grid radio guide” for beginners that will answer the most common questions in one compact package. This is not a comprehensive guide; we’re just going to summarize main points. At the end of this article there will be links to additional information on the topics covered here.

// Lots of great resource links are at the end of this article. Thanks to Anon for submitting! - n2apb

Field Day 2020 is now in the history books. It was a great event for those that operated. Many operated from their QTH and many opted for portable operations somewhere in their own back yard, mobile or nearby location. Social distancing has definitely changed things but one thing that didn’t change is the great participation during field day. I personally operated for 21 hours. I participated in a Distributed M/M with the Tennessee Contest Group and the Deep Dixie Contest Club in preparation for the HF IARU Radio Championship July 11-12, 2020. We are representing the U.S. IARU HQ Society and will be using the callsign W1AW/4.
... Submitted by Juan Lopez, AC6ZM

Follow the SpaceX Program ...

KV4XY wows SMARC with WSPR
presented on the digital mode called WSPR to the Smoky Mountain ARC gang April 27. Over 24 people in attendance on Zoom!

The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921... Contributed by David Andrews, N1ESK

Ninety-nine years ago this week, people around the world woke up to some unusual headlines. They didn’t know it at the time, but those newspapers were covering the biggest solar storm of the 20th Century. Nothing quite like it has happened since. [Read more about this fascinating event]

Held on June 14, 2020 @ Chota Wellness Center

The first ever TLARC Fox Hunt was deemed a success, according to those in attendance on Sunday morning, June 14th. Eleven licensed amateurs participated in the event, assisted by the first and second harmonics of Jacob KN4WAV and Kayla KO4DEG Lindsey. Two foxes were laying in wait at the Tellico Village Wellness Center. The group was split into two groups and set out for two hours of frustration and learning. Most everyone found the hidden transmitters, which were hiding in plain sight.

With the first effort completed, participants have some data points to improve their techniques and equipment for the second TLARC fox hunt. Early planning has already begun. Now is the time to start building your portable antennas, attenuators, and other tools to find those foxes.

How To Build a 20m Dipole

Spot the Station ... N1ESK reels in the ISS on a clear & cool April morning!

Dave N1ESK says: "Your post [Mike] got my juices flowing. Sunday morning was overcast, so scratch that attempt. Looking at the prediction table and the weather forecast, Monday morning had potential. Set the alarm for an obscene time, pack everything up and head to a dark hill (back of the wellness Center). Take a few test shots, make final adjustments, then wait and freeze. Finally she appeared. 15 second exposure."

Way to go ESK!

Spot the Station (Sign-up for email notifications like this here.)

Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Canadian Amateur Radio Operator
(From the Daily Timewaster)
“Zombie” satellite shuts down critical NOAA NWS systems ...

There are more than 2,000 active satellites orbiting Earth. At the end of their useful lives, many will simply burn up as they reenter the atmosphere. But some will continue circling as "zombie" satellites — neither alive nor quite dead.

Scott Tilley, an amateur radio operator living in Canada, has a passion for hunting them down.

Recently, Tilley got interested in a communications satellite he thought might still be alive — or at least among the living dead. LES-5, built by the Massachusetts Institutehe found a paper describing the radio frequency that LES-5, an experimental military UHF communications satellite, should be operating on — if it was still alive. So he decided to have a look.

"This required the building of an antenna, erecting a new structure to support it. Pre-amps, filters, stuff that takes time to gather and put all together," he says.

British Columbia, where Tilley lives, was on lockdown. Like many of us, suddenly Tilley had time on his hands. He used it to look for LES-5, and on March 24, he hit the ham radio equivalent of pay dirt.

"The reason this one is kind of intriguing is its telemetry beacon is still operating," Tilley says.

In other words, says Tilley, even though the satellite was supposed to shut down in 1972, it's still going. As long as the solar panels are in the sun, the satellite's radio continues to operate. Tilley thinks it may even be possible to send commands to the satellite.

The MIT lab that built LES-5 still does a lot of work on classified projects for the military. NPR contacted its news office to ask if someone could say more about LES-5 and whether it really could still receive commands.

But after repeated requests, Lincoln Laboratory finally answered with a "no comment." It seems that even
elderly satellites still might have a few secrets they want to keep.

< Thanks to Barry K8NWB for this contribution. >

Newest Hams in the Maryville, Tellico Lake and Lenoir City areas

The TLARC Volunteer Examiner (VE) had a successful test session on Saturday April 25 at the Toqua Pavilion in Tellico Village.

  • Our very own Greg Wilde KO4CYX passed his General AND Extra exams in a single session. Greg passed his Technician exam just two weeks ago.

  • Jacob Lindsey KN4YAV passed his General exam. Kayla Lindsey passed the Tech exam and is now KO4DEG. They are members of Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club in Maryville.

  • Stanley Swanson, W4SSF, passed his General. Stanley lives in Lenoir City.

Here's the note we received today April 25, 2020 from the newest ham in TLARC - Greg KO4CYX:

"I had to share I passed my General and Amateur Extra tests today. David, Alan, Brad, Joyce, and Larry (sorry if Larry isn't the right name, I am horrible with names) thank you all so so much. I am looking forward to meeting everyone eventually and truly start learning.

"If anyone is interested here are my study sources. I used 4 sources for study and wanted to share in case you have anyone that this might help. HAM College is excellent if you or someone you know is struggling.

1. ARRL study guides -- Hand-delivered to my house by David Andrews, lol

2. Ham Radio Prep -- This is great to get into the course but not really necessary if you do the HAM College. It is more about teaching you to pass the test.
3. Ham College on --They have courses for Technician, General and Amateur Extra. I did not know about them for my Technician.This is a fantastic course. They don't just teach you to pass the test. They have handouts, study tips, exact steps to process formulas on a calculator, formula sheets, sources for the many avenues with HAM, etc. The Extra course expires at the end of June so if someone wants to do it, START NOW. There are about 30 hours of video just for the Extra ...
4. Finally for practice tests. They have great apps for phones, tablets and a website. It tracks every question and shows your weaknesses. When you take a test you can immediately study the question pool where you were week. Each question has a detailed explanation you can open with hints. Invaluable in my opinion."

Congratulations on all our new hams! Please join us in welcoming these folks when you hear them on the repeater, see them on Zoom, or actually meet face-to-face at a club meeting or event.

Updated Prediction of Solar Cycle 25
Early this month SWPC published their official updated prediction of Solar Cycle 25 in a new user-interactive graph format. Their updated prediction is based on the results of NOAA's Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel.

ISES Solar Cycle Sunspot Number Progression

See the fully-interactive graphs

SWPC forecasts a solar maximum between 105 and 125 with the peak occurring between November 2024 and March 2026. There is broad consensus that Solar Minimum is ongoing this year -- or may have already occurred -- and that Cycle 25 will have no major change in the level of solar activity compared to Cycle 24.

For many years SWPC's solar cycle predictions have used the Royal Observatory of Belgium's International Sunspot Number. SWPC's official solar cycle prediction now uses the SWPC sunspot number. The International Sunspot Number is typically about one third lower than the SWPC sunspot number.

While this is SWPC's official Cycle 25 prediction, its important to notethere is still divergence among various forecasting methods and members of the space weather forecasting community. Most forecasts and forecasters agree that the Cycle 25 is likely to be within plus or minus 20 percent of Cycle 24 and is likely to occur between 2024 and 2027.

< Thanks to Juan AA6ZM for contributing this news item >

In World War I, British Biplanes Had Wireless Phones in the Cockpit.
Pilots on reconnaissance missions could immediately call in their findings.
As soon as the first humans went up in hot air balloons in the late 1700s, military strategists saw the tantalizing possibilities of aerial reconnaissance. Imagine being able to spot enemy movements and artillery from on high—even better if you could instantly communicate those findings to colleagues on the ground. But the technology of the day didn’t offer an elegant way to do that.
[More ...]

Courtesy: IEEE Spectrum

International Space Station (ISS) sightings in Loudon County -- Interest has peaked in viewing the daily ISS orbits, as reminded by Mike KK6OKU by his occasional postings of times and directions to observe. On the evening of April 5 an number of TLARCers saw the Space Station streak across the dark and near-cloudless skies on a NW-to-SE vector in less than 6 seconds! David KF4DKW snapped this shot below as its path was near a brilliant full moon and added some data. Ben AD4BE collected some interesting background on the ISS in his attached PDF. Our next goal will be to QSO with the astronauts on the ISS. One can easily determine when the next pass is coming at Spot The Station. Lots of additional ISS information can be found by searching on "International Space Station". My favorite go-to site is at N2YO.
(Click on the images below for a larger view.)

New ham in the village: Greg Wilde KO4CYX -- Yes, it's true, our newest TLARC member GREG WILDE passed the Technician license exam administered by our VE team on Saturday April 4 and we officially have a new ham in the world!

Sasquatch Stomp 2020 -- Results to be reported soon for this fun QRP CW event on the evening of April 3. Jim K0RGI, George N2APB and Juan AC6ZM participated along with maybe 100 other QRPers around the country. [And George was designated a 'Yeti', which gave a huge number of bonus points to those contacting him!]

Mobile Operation: An Experiment by Juan AC6ZM -- Juan recently tried operating "on the road" mobile on a trip driving from TN to OH. He says "results were great and much better than expected" ... Read all about it here in his presentation documenting those results!

March Meeting Recap -- We tried something new this time by virtually conducting our meeting on the club repeater by having members check in at the normal meeting time. David N1ESK conducted some normal TLARC business, and the mic was then given over to Sam Howard KV4XY who expertly walked us through his slide deck telling us all about WSPR (pronounced "whisper"), the "Weak Signal Propagation Reporter". This digital communications protocol was designed and first implemented by Nobel laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT for weak-signal radio communication between amateur radio operators and for sending and receiving low-power transmissions to test propagation paths on the MF and HF bands.

February Meeting Recap -- If you missed the February TLARC meeting, you missed a good one. Goals for 2020 were presented, and a grant of $2500 was received. Click to view the Meeting Minutes and the presentation: TLARC Vision 2020. You will see that we’re looking for several volunteers to help with the efforts. Specifically, we need a few people to step forward to assist with:

  • Creating a club flyer, to be mailed to area hams who aren’t yet members of TLARC;
  • Designing a club logo for T-shirts, hats, etc; and
  • Reviewing the current Constitution and By-Laws for proposed updates and for compliance with IRS rules.

If interested, please contact me (David N1ESK). Time moves fast, so we need to get started on these projects ASAP.

Hooray to TLARC's CQ World-Wide 160-meter Contest Team! -- Randy KG9M reports that the TLARC "Team 160" (KF4DKW, KK6OKU, KV4XY, KE4OTZ, KG9M) had record results this year: Contacts 333, Score ~49,980. (Last year: ~23,688) ... Quite the improvement, and they had lots of fun doing it at our club's remote site: God's Cozy Acres. Randy and David did a few things at the end of the contest to make setup easier next time. (The contest was held over the weekend of Jan 24-26.)
Operating Time: 34 Hours!
Total op time: 19:02
Total op time: 19:34
Avg Qs/Hr:: 17.5

Solar Wind Animation -- I found this and thought it was pretty cool ... n2apb

A NASA animation of the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere, and how the solar wind can reach Earth's atmosphere near the poles. [NASA/CILab/Josh Masters]

Tribander Trap Experimentation -- Juan AC6ZM has been doing some trap work and came across this excellent presentation that may also be of interest to others ,,, All You Need To Know About Tribander Antennas and Traps ...

December 2019 Meeting is History! ... The 2020 Officers slate was voted on and approved! President DavidS KN4LMM, VP Sam KV4XY, Secretary David N1ESK, and Treasurer Brad KM4OJK. 'Thank you' guys for stepping up to lead TLARC in the coming year! TLARC Team RunLoCo recognized (see item below). Great presentation by Randy WK9M on keeping *really* good accurate time using the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and his Raspberry Pi-based GPS hardware. Randy's NTP presentation file and all meeting details coming shortly. Thanks to members for attending, and especially to those who paid their 2020 dues.

TLARC Team RunLoCo Recognized at December Meeting ... Seven TLARC members were recognized for their gracious and capable communications support during the RunLoCo Marathon on December 7. Coordinator Tim KE4OTZ formally thanked team members: Brad KM4OJK, Mike K4MJF, David KF4DKW, Jim K0RGI, Randy WK9M and Alan A1AT. (Missing from photo: Brent K4BNN and Tom W8MKL.) Thank you guys!

Secret TLARC Workshop Project Unveiled ... The Phaser ... A single-board, 4-watt Digital Mode SSB Transceiver for 80, 40, 30 or 20 Meters. Specifically designed for using digital modes with computers running WSJT-X and FLDIGI applications. All information and kit ordering info is at the Phaser website.

Solar Storm Forecast: October 24 ... A Coronal Hole in the Strike Zone & A Meteor Explodes Over Wisconsin

(This is a regular installment also found on Let me know if you enjoy this accessing this on our TLARC website ... de n2apb)

2nd TLARC Workshop: The Secret Project ... 8 club members participated in our club's 2nd workshop held at chez N1ESK - this time building a secret digital mode transceiver project of N2APB. The kitbuilding skillsets ranged from novice-to-medium, and construction was straightforward while following a good assembly guide and some personal guidance. We had reserved two afternoons this past weekend to complete the kits, and by the end of the second session five hams had successfully completed and tested their boards and immediately got on-the-air getting to achieve their first digital mode contacts! The others needed some extra time to finish their assemblies, but plan to be on the air soon. Soldering skills were honed and everyone came away with newfound talents for winding toroids!

October 2019 Meeting -- Huge success! This is just one man's opinion, but this was the BEST meeting we've had since I came down here 18 months ago. The "project show 'n tell" was of such great great interest and I was intently listening and taking notes throughout the entire meeting. AND when coupled with it being a PIZZA MEETING, well ... giddyup!! Detailed notes and project photos are at our Show n' Tell web page.

On Being an ARRL-Affiliated Club ... If you have attended recent club meetings, you no doubt have heard discussions about us becoming an ARRL-Affiliated Club. Here's some more information and several documents describing the process and benefits. We'll be making a decision on this shortly. Please consider the topic and information, and let me know your thoughts or concerns ... David N1ESK

TLARC Happenings ... Fall is here, and with it comes the start of contesting and general club activities again after the long hot Summer. Our TLARC leadership team highlighted a number of contests (and other club activities) for each month of 2019 that best reflects the interests of its membership ... whether it be taking to the field with QRP, hiking up a mountain to do some QRO work, working from a homebrew or boatanchor station, or just operating from a nice and comfy position there in your own shack!
==> Take a look at the ones listed on our Fall Happenings page and circle your calendar. Maybe plan to get together with another like-minded ham for a combined or instructive "adventure" of using CW, phone, or even the newest cool digital mode: FT8.

Smoky Mountain ARC ... Info on our neighboring club, as reported recently by Mike K4MJF and Sam KV4XY ...
- Club repeater: 146.655, -600 offset, PL tone: 100
- Location: Maryville, TN
- Website:
- Daily net: 9am (excluding Fridays)
- Tech Lunch on Thursdays: Midland Restaurant
- Friday breakfasts: 9am, TC's Grill
- Club meetings: Last Monday of the month, 7pm, basement of Union Steel Workers of America Hall
** Note:
Monday, Sept. 24, meeting will start at 6:00 pm with a swap meet followed by a BBQ dinner!

September Meeting was a Winner! ... Discussion of new antenna rules, the DXCC convention in Pigeon Forge this coming weekend. and various website additions: For Sale pages, Solar Storm Forecasts and Propagation curves for September. Oh yeah, and watch your glucose readings too ;) Take a look at the Meeting Minutes.

Tennessee QSO Party ... Our participation results from this Sept 1st event are coming shortly. .

W4DXCC ... "Hello from W4DXCC 15 DX and Contest Convention. We are mere days days away from the Best DX and Contest Convention in the South East. We have the best equipment manufacturers at the convention ready to speak with you. For the latest News Go Here W4DXCC."

TN Section winner: ARRL DX CW 2019 ... Our very own pres, Juan Lopez AC6ZM, teamed up with buddy K4OWR at Bill's QTH in Oakdale to operate a multi-single station ... to take FIRST PLACE in the Tennessee Section! Over a 16-hour period, they used a Zero5 full size vertical with 35 radials, and two 160 meter band full size dipoles oriented east-west and north-south, and ran 1500 watts from an Ameritron AL-82 using an ICOM 7600, and N1MM+ logging software. Kudo's to Juan!!

East Tennessee 2 Meter Nets and Repeaters Directory ... An amazing resource of clubs and repeater frequencies within a 114 mile radius of Knoxville!
==> Mission: "To facilitate Ham Radio licensees getting full use and benefit of the 2 meter repeaters in ETN and to inform non Ham licensees of the possibilities with Ham Radio and motivate them to get their license."
==> Value And Purpose Of This Directory:
> To help people get active in ETN Ham Radio
> To Facilitate the finding of nets to listen to and clubs to attend.
> Protect nets from interference.
> Help new Hams to get a quick start in understanding and use of the 2 meter band.
> Help non Ham (listeners) to get interested in the Ham Radio world by listening to nets. The hope is they will get
interested enough to get their license.
==> Who? This is a work in progress (and will always be) and we need a lot of help. This directory was developed using Rtsystem radio programing software, RepeaterBook and SERA. For questions, corrections, and additions,
contact: Bob Hill at
(Thank you Bob!! ... n2apb)

August 2019 Meeting: "Surge Protection, Isolation, Grounding & Bonding (Whew!)", as presented by Randy WK9M. See the cool and informative presentation slides, photos and resources here!

TLARC For Sale Page -- Check out our latest website feature ... the new TLARC For Sale Page ... What a way to move your ham-related gear! Only available for TLARC members to post items for sale (though our webmaster) for up to 3 months. Sellers accept all responsibilities for claims and ownership. Buyers purchase independently from TLARC and assume all risks.

Minutes from July 2019 Meeting -- It was all about the wrap-up of our Field Day adventures! The presentation made by Sam KV4XY will be available here soon. And here are the Meeting Minutes.

ARRL Field Day 2019 ... with TLARC! ... Success! Click here to see all the details of our big event of the year!

Minutes from June 2019 Meeting -- It was a good one at which we brushed up our plans for the coming Field Day event. Read the Meeting Minutes here!

Waterproof logbooks for rugged field ops adventures
We recently came across a really handy collection of pocket logbooks that are rugged and waterproof ... and just right for wet & wild field operations. You need to give these guys a looksee!

Recap: A QRP Field Ops Adventure by K0RGI and N2APB on June 1, 2019 -- Jim K0RGI and George N2APB took to the field on a fine and sunny 83-deg, low-humidity day ... Why? Because we could, and it was the most glorious spring day we've had yet this year! We went to the TVA Park on Tellico Lake, located near on the boat launch area one normally sees on the right when you turn left onto the ramp heading to Maryville. (See map below - click for larger view.) Birds in-air, boats lazily en route to some swimming hole and a mini-park with picnic benches, parties happening under shelters and kids splashing in a roped-off area. Click on the video below to get a flavor that only scratches the surface of our outing. (Video will download, then double-click the .mov file to play it.) We had our usual antennas set up unobtrusively (Jim's PAC-12 mini vertical and George's 4'-diameter magnetic loop) and nobody bothered us. Not even bugs! Over the course of about 2-3 hours we made a large handful of contacts, ranging from PA to CA (and even an LA8 in Czechoslovakia!), then we packed up to go home. A fine outing it was indeed!

Minutes from May 2019 Meeting -- You didn't come? Well, read all about it here!

Membership Survey Results -- Click here to see the very interesting results of our first-ever Membership Survey, presented at the April meeting by David N1ESK, TLARC Secretary.

The Great Tower Drop of April 27, 2019 -- A team of TLARC members went out to Oakdale TN (Morgan County) to take down a huge tower and antenna array that was generously donated to the club by Bill Radice K4OWR. See the photo essay within!

Left to right: David KF4DKW, Bill K4OWR, Tim KE4OTZ, Randy WK9M, Emily KB1NXN, David N1ESK

TLARC Field Nuts did it again on April 20 -- Saturday, April 20, 2019 marked the traditional first major QRP field event of the year - QRP To The Field. This year's theme was "Any Ole Park" and the TLARC Field Nuts set up our KN4DUA club station at the Tellico Family Park pavilion on Tugaloo Dr. Recap to come soon!
72, Juan AC6ZM and Randy WK9M

SOTA Gang I Stumbled Into On My Last Vacation To Roan Mountain TN On The AT -- from David KF4DKW. If you haven't heard about Summits On The Air field ops, you're in for a treat. "Grassy Ridge Bald shares the same trail head as Roan High Knob. Getting to the Grassy Ridge Bald trail head is a two hour drive from my house to Carvers Gap. I left my house at 6:45 AM and went to the old law office of Scott, in Asheville (about halfway) to meet and carpool up to Carvers Gap. We arrived at Carvers Gap about 9 AM. We got out of the car and the wind was a steady 25mph or so with higher gusts." ... Read the entire blog.

GPS Clock Workshop -- Wow, what a time we had on Saturday, April 6. Some 14 members gathered at N2APB's home and assembled their GPS Clock Kits in the first-ever TLARC Workshop! Eight of us got the kit built and working without a flaw, while 3 others had some repairable issues, and 3 others had time-crunch issues in completing theirs. See more pics inside.

Adventures of the TLARC Fantastic Five in Episode 4: The Great Tower Retrieval

(Click on image)

Hello? Hello? Anybody out there? -- A February without sunspots :( See details at Thanks to Mike Henry KM4H for the find. The good news is that propagation is all uphill from here for the next 11 years!

Images Credit & Copyright: Alan Friedman (Averted Imagination)

TLARC February 2019 Meeting -- Sumptuous dinner beforehand (at Lorenzo's) and a great meeting right after, with a presentation from David N1ESK covering his recent trip to 2019 HamCation the week before in Orlando ... slides below and meeting minutes coming shortly!

Download and view: as PDF ... or as PowerPoint slides with embedded video on slides 18 & 46)

KN4DUA now a bonefide QRP member of NAQCC -- It's official, we are now a member of this very cool-and-fun national QRP group that sponsors a month-long "contest" ... every month! The NAQCC events (called "challenges") throughout the year are based on using the letters in the stations contacted to fill out a "bingo card-like" grid to construct a set of words related by the monthly theme. See the RULES paragraph to learn how these wacky challenges work! (The bingo card worksheet is a way to track progress, as shown in the tutorial.)

CQ RTTY WPX Contest ... our biggest score so far! - We activated KN4DUA with a big Team effort on Feb 9-10 and recorded the BIGGEST score of our recorded history! All the member activity in the events leading up to this point are sure paying off, with team members this time including David KF4DKW, Mike KK6OKU, Brad KM4OJK, Sam KV4XY, Randy WK9M and Juan AC6ZM racking up the sweet score. Full details and photos coming soon ... including those about the portabella mushroom & cheese steakburgers on the grill. (Those who participate are learning that partying, eating and drinking are wonderful side benefits of on-the-air activities with TLARC :)

Stealth Antennas ... New section for our website, exploring and discussing "stealthy ways" for TLARC members to get on the bands in HOA-sensitive communities. For now just click on the desired antenna type below to learn more about that one. Soon, we'll have a dedicated Stealth Antennas page full of additional tried-and-true antennas, references and guidance to enable us all to be on the air from 160m-70cm!

KN4DUA activated for FBYO Winter 2019 QRP Sprint ... It was rather short notice, but it was SO nice outside on Saturday Feb 2 that we activated the TLARC club call for the annual FYBO ("Freeze Your Butt Off") QRP Winter Field Day event! This event occurs each year on the first Saturday of February, which is usually a cold winter day .. but we got a wonderful gift that day with a break from our cold temperatures so we grabbed our field antenna and headed for the hills! George N2APB was located up at the Ft. Loudon Dam Overlook "grassy knoll" by the power station, and made enough contacts to (hopefully) get a certificate.

George N2APB working the "KN4DUA Station" with a W4OP Loop antenna and an FT-817 on his belly.

CQ World Wide 160-Meter Contest (CW) ... KN4DUA scores big at host WK9M QTH !!! Operators this time included: WK9M, AC6ZM, N2APB, KF4DKW and KK6OKU.
Click on any of the pics: (L-R) "Master Juan", "Sustenance", KK6OKU aka "The Man!", N2APB, and "The Score!"

Post-Holiday Club Dinner 2019 ... What a blast on Jan 19th at Classico's! Great fellowship, great food and great fun ...

North American SSB QSO Party (Jan 19) -- Great results from the KN4DUA club station on Jan 19th, operated at N2APB, with participating club members: Randy WK9M, Juan AC6ZM, George WB9TFR, David KN4LMM, David KF4DKW, Mike KK6OKU, and Sam KV4XY. (Click on the photo!)

January 2019 TLARC Meeting ... Minutes and the Program: "Online HF Prediction Tools," presented by Juan AC6ZM. Refer to the Voice of America Coverage Analysis Program (VOACAP).

Another "first" ... TLARC participated in the North American CW QSO Party on Jan 12-13 ... as a distributed team! Randy (WK9M), George (N2APB) and Juan (AC6ZM) each operated from their own home stations under the registered name of TLARC Gold, and their impressive combined score have already been submitted. Look for TLARC Gold in an upcoming issue of National Contest Journal!

ARRL RTTY Round Up contest ... We activated the KN4DUA club station from Juan's QTH, from 6pm Saturday Jan 5 onward into the night and during Sunday. Seven members helped us get a score of 17,892 ... nearly triple of what we did last year! Great Going TLARC Team! (Operating time: 13 hrs 43 mins)

Results now posted for last month's 160 Meter Contest and KN4DUA scored in the top of our operating category!

TLARC Club Station KN4DUA ... was activated for ARRL Straight Key Night on Jan 1, 2019 ... (score coming shortly)

December 2018 Meeting Minutes ... It was a good meeting! Read all about it here.

ARRL 160m CW Contest -- Some of our TLARC Field Nuts setup shop at WK9M on Dec 1-2 to work the club station KN4DUA in this annual Top Band contest! Read all about our adventure here:

Run LoCo Marathon -- TLARC assisted with checkpoint communications in the recent (Dec 1st) marathon in Loudon County. It was a chilly and wet day, but a good number of hearty members braved the elements to provide rest stop runner status via the club repeater. "Thank You" to those participating: N4RPR, KF4DKW, KM4OJK, K4BNN, W8MKL, WK9M, KK6OKU, KN4LMM, K4XZT, K4TYS, K4MJF+Karen, and especially to communications organizer/director KE4OTZ. And BTW, the Lenoir City's News-Herald reported "Marathon runs without hitch!"
(Click images below for higher res views.)

November 2018 Club Meeting -- What a blast! See the presentations by clicking the image below ...

NEW ... Please enjoy "A Tail of Three Antennas" ...
It was a cold-yet-sunny November 17th afternoon atop the Overlook Park at Fort Loudon Dam. High tension power lines abounded leading in/out of the power generation facility, yet the airwaves were clear of that characteristic buzzing and the noise floor was low. It was destined to be a good Field Nut day. [Read more]

Feature Presentation from our October meeting: Portable Operations in the Field (N2APB)

What is Ham Radio? -- Whether you are new to Ham Radio, or an OT in need of a refresher ... you'll find these resources very helpful in better understanding our wonderful hobby!

HamClubOnline - The online amateur club management system. Active members of the club will receive an email stating they have been successfully added to the roster. You can log into the system for the first time by following the directions in the email .. de Juan AC6ZM

New "TLARC Education Series" for October ... Learning Morse Code! -- We're starting a new "Education Series" here on our TLARC website, wherein we focus on various specialties of our Ham hobby ... Emergency Communications, Contesting, Digital Modes, SDR, and more! We're kicking things off this month with Learning Morse Code and will be providing lots of good resources for just that ... whether you haven't tried using CW on the air, or even if you have and want to improve your "fist". See the first installment (video) below, and look forward to more cool, easy and free resources to appear soon on a separate page here in
ENJOY ... and feel free to ask AC6ZM or N2APB about "anything Morse"!


(left-to-right): Dave KF4DKW, Sam KV4XY, Brad KM4OJK, Juan AC6ZM, Randy WK9M, George N2APB
(Not pictured: Robert WW4WTF)

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