DARC October 2015 Meeting

The October meeting of the Decatur Amateur Radio Club is going to be a bit different.

Instead of the regular meeting at the Morgan County Courthouse, we will meet at the home of the former club president and current treasurer, Lester Christophe W5GSU.  If you did not receive the notification e-mail with his address and directions, please contact the club secretary (secretary <at> darc-w4atd.org or kb4cay <at> gmail.com) and we’ll get it to you.  Or call out on the 147.00 repeater and someone can help direct you to the meeting.

The meeting time is changing as well.  Since Lester needs his beauty sleep, and it’s close to his birthday (29th, or 39th, or something-9th – again!), we will meet at his home at 6:00 instead of 7:30.One more VERY IMPORTANT thing:  come ready to eat!  Lester’s wife Rosine is a fantastic cook, and we will be treated to some extremely tasty dishes from her kitchen.

And spouses are invited also.  Rosine would probably appreciate some company while we talk sports and radios and whatever else we guys talk about.  Oh, yes.  Club business.  That too.

Speaking of Rosine, she has asked that club members individually consider making a donation for a cancer walk that she will be participating in.  It’s being arranged by Bell P. B. Church, and it will be at Wilson Morgan Park at 8:00 on Saturday, October 24th.  Anything you can contribute will be appreciated, but she and Lester say that donations are NOT mandatory.

So, please DO NOT go the the courthouse on Tuesday, October 6th.  Do not arrive at 7:30 (or earlier, as we usually ask).  If you do, you can sit in the dark parking lot and think about the food and fun you just missed by not coming to the proper place at the proper time.

The proper place:  W5GSU’s home in Decatur.

The proper time:  6:00pm on Tuesday, October 6th.

See you there on Tuesday evening!!

Richard Matthews  KB4CAY

Secretary, DARC

Tagged with Meetings on 4th October, 2015. No comments.

Field Day 2015 Scoring

The scoring is complete, all of the bonus documentation has been collected and is being submitted, and Field Day is over for another year.

At least, until the scoring summary is published in QST Magazine in November or December.

Here’s the rundown on the club’s submitted score:

Number of participants: 23

CW contacts:            126  (THANKS Byron N4AX!!!!!)
Digital contacts:        0
Phone contacts:       508 (includes 145 GOTA contacts)

QSO points:

126 x 2 =        252
363 x 1 =        363
145 x 1 =        145

Total QSO points =                          760

Power multiplier:      150 watts or less = QSO x 2

Claimed QSO score =                     1,520

Bonus points:

200 points – 100% Emergency power
100 points – Media Publicity
100 points – Set-up in Public Place
100 points – Information Table
100 points – Site Visit by Invited Elected Official
100 points – Site Visit by Invited Served Agency Official
80 points – GOTA bonus
50 points – online entry form submission

Total bonus points =                        830

Total submitted score:       2,350 points

(38 points less than last year)


Photos taken by Richard KB4CAY, by Bob K4MLR, and by Craig KJ4LAA have been posted to the club’s Flickr account.  If you happen to have a photo or two of Field Day that you’d like posted in the album, e-mail it to the secretary and they’ll get included.  Here’s the address to look at the pretty (NOT!!) pictures:


Thanks again to everyone who participated in any way!  Please be thinking already about next June.

NOTE:  Post edited to correct error by fat-fingered typist who left out 100 CW contacts.  Apologies and thanks to N4AX for pointing it out!


Tagged with Field Day on 12th July, 2015. No comments.

Field Day 2015 Is Coming!

It’s that time of year that we all really look forward to:


2015 Field Day Logo Red Design 1

The Decatur Amateur Radio Club will hold its 62nd Field Day event at the usual location: the picnic shelter behind the Spirit of America Stage at Point Mallard Park in Decatur, Alabama.

Set will begin around 9:00 on Saturday morning, June 27th. The contest begins at 1:00 and continues for 24 hours. Then we clean up, lick our wounds (which will hopefully be few!), and tally up the score for submission to the ARRL.

Last year was a pretty good effort (see the previous post for details), but there is certainly room for improvement. There are already several newcomers who have expressed an interest. If you are reading this and are curious about ham radio, or if you are now or have been a ham and would like to get on the air (GOTA – there will be a special station for that!!), then come out and join us at Point Mallard on Saturday or Sunday.

Field Day 2015. See you there!!!

Tagged with Field Day on 7th June, 2015. No comments.

Field Day 2014 Results

The December 2014 issue of QST magazine has the results of this year’s Field Day contest.  This wasn’t our best showing.  But we DID make a great effort!

Here’s the breakdown:
  • Out of 2,686 entries overall, W4ATD was #761.
  • Out of 195 entries in the SE Division, W4ATD was #69.
  • Out of 26 entries in the AL Section, W4ATD was #12.

  • Out of 392 Class 2A entries overall, W4ATD was #157.
  • Out of 33 Class 2A entries in the SE Division, W4ATD was #14.
  • Out of 5 Class 2A entries in the AL Section, W4ATD was #2.

Looks like we had a mid-range showing.  That means that next year can be better!  Be planning for June 27th and 28th to help out with Field Day 2015!

The database can be found at the ARRL website’s contest page <link>.
Tagged with Field Day on 12th November, 2014. No comments.

Club Officers Elected for 2015

At the November meeting the club elected officers for 2015.  They begin serving at the January club meeting.

The officers for 2015 are:

President – David Stephenson KJ4OKJ

Vice-President – Craig McClure KJ4LAA

Secretary – Richard Matthews KB4CAY

Treasurer – Lester Christophe W5GSU

Another good year awaits our club!

Tagged with General,Meetings on 8th November, 2014. No comments.

Field Day Aftermath

Field Day is over a month gone, and some of us are just now recovering from the long weekend.  Special thanks to the club’s Vice-President, Craig – KJ4LAA, who put in a 28-hour all-day/all-night effort to help make Field Day (mostly) successful.

Our overall attendance was higher than before, but we had fewer contacts to show for it.  We had visits from Morgan County EMA director Eddie Hicks, Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long, County Commissioner for District 2 Randy Vest, and State Representative Terry Collins (who made a contact on the GOTA station!).

We had 148 contacts on CW and 483 contacts on phone (including 135 from the GOTA station).  Our QSO score was 1,558.  Bonus points add an additional 830 points to the total, for a submitted score of 2,388.  This is approximately 300 points less than last year’s effort, but still not terrible for the group we have.

Now we wait for November or December when the ARRL posts the final results.

And then . . .

Wait till next year!!!  June 27th and 28th will be the dates.  Reserve them now!!

Photos are posted on Flickr (click here).


Tagged with Field Day on 3rd August, 2014. No comments.

CQ Field Day! W4ATD Field Day!

It’s Field Day time again!  For the 61st consecutive time, the Decatur Amateur Radio Club will operate stations for Field Day.
We will be operating from the picnic pavilion behind the main stage at Point Mallard Park in Decatur.  You can see it on the map on the ARRL’s Field Day Locator (search for W4ATD).  We will have a 2-meter radio monitoring the 147.00 repeater if you call in for directions or for chat.

Last year’s results were OK, but we have proven that we can do better.  Hopefully we’ll have a great turnout and be able to operate all radios for the full 24 hours.

See you at Field Day!!!

Tagged with Field Day on 27th June, 2014. No comments.

March 2014 Meeting Change

The club officers have decided that the club needs regular sustenance, or at least a change of scenery.

Therefore, we are scheduling the regular meeting every 3 months (March, June, September, and December) to be at Libby’s Catfish and Diner on Highway 67 in Priceville.

The March club meeting will therefore be held at Libby’s in Priceville at 6:00 on Tuesday, March 4th.

Be there and enjoy the food and the good conversations.

Tagged with Meetings on 2nd March, 2014. No comments.

February Meeting Demo

2m SDR aAt the February meeting, the Vice-President, Craig McClure KJ4LAA, demonstrated a software-defined 2-meter receiver (SDR) that he has built.

His presentation was held in the Ham Radio room of the EMA office at the Morgan County Courthouse.2m SDR c The device was connected to a roof antenna for the 2 meter band and to his laptop computer via USB.

A waterfall display (by frequency) on his computer screen indicated transmitted activity. When he tuned to one of those energy peaks, one could hear the received voice transmission.

2m SDR aThe complete SDR setup cost less than 50 dollars (computer not included, of course). Everyone enjoyed the demonstration of what can be done with a SDR device.

Tagged with Meetings on 9th February, 2014. No comments.

Club Officers for 2014

At the November meeting the club elected officers for 2014.  They begin serving at the January club meeting.

The officers for 2014 are:

President – David Stephenson KJ4OKJ

Vice-President – Craig McClure KJ4LAA

Secretary – Richard Matthews KB4CAY

Treasurer – Ray Frederick KD4VCW

We’re going to have a good year this year!



Tagged with General on 5th January, 2014. No comments.
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