Happy New Year! January 2019 Meeting Update

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Decatur Amateur Radio Club! We hope you have a prosperous and productive year ahead, and that you have more radio contacts than ever!

Because the first Tuesday of the month is January 1st (a.k.a. “New Year’s Day”) we are cancelling the January club meeting. It is felt that there will be more interest in family, food and fun (or football, to continue with the “f” theme). The next scheduled club meeting will be at the Morgan County Courthouse on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019.

At that time our new and returning officers will take their positions: President Mike Findlay – KD4TGC; Vice-President Steve Vibbert – KD2JSW; Secretary Richard Matthews – KB4CAY; and Treasurer Lester Christophe – W5GSU.

See you in February!

Tagged with Uncategorized on 30th December, 2018. No comments.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2019!

The Decatur Amateur Radio Club wishes all a wonderful Christmas time and a happy and prosperous new year!

Since the first Tuesday of the year is January 1st, we will not have a club meeting in January. Our first meeting of 2019 will be on February 5th. Hope to see you then!

Tagged with General,Meetings on 21st December, 2018. No comments.

DARC Christmas Dinner!

December is finally here, and it’s really hard to believe that another year is almost over!

As always for the December meeting, the Decatur Amateur Radio Club will hold its monthly meeting as a Christmas Dinner. We will meet at Libby’s Catfish and Diner in Priceville at 6:00 on Tuesday, December 4th for food and fellowship and a review of the year with the club. If you need directions, please e-mail one of the club officers or call on the 147.00 repeater for help.

It’s been a great year, and another great year lies ahead. Unfortunately we must also mourn this time with the passing of our long-time member and friend Lloyd Barnett – W4RFZ, whose services will be held on Monday, December 3rd. His obituary and details of the funeral are online here.

Come celebrate with us the joys of the Christmas season, the memories of a successful passing year, and the promise of a prosperous new year ahead.

See you at Libby’s!

Tagged with Meetings on 2nd December, 2018. No comments.

Lloyd Barnett W4RFZ – Silent Key

It is with profound sadness that we must report the passing of one of our most active and publicized members: Lloyd Barnett W4RFZ. He was a very active radio operator and loved operating CW, which truly makes him a “silent key”.

Lloyd has been a part of the Decatur Amateur Radio Club for many years. Several of our current members recount that Lloyd was instrumental in teaching them the basics of ham radio and supervising their tests for the Novice Class license back in the 1970’s

In 2011 Lloyd’s face graced the cover of CQ magazine. See this post. Just a few months later he was profiled in the Decatur Daily about his radio activities, including a conversation with the king of Jordan. Check out this post with a link to the article.

Visitation and services will be held on Monday, December 3rd, at Roselawn in Decatur. The online obituary is here. He passed away the day after his 87th birthday.

Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tagged with General on 1st December, 2018. No comments.

ARRL Field Day 2018 Official Results

The Field Day 2018 results have been posted on the ARRL website.  They are also printed in the December issue of QST magazine.

Our club’s standing this year returned to a level similar to prior years, which is a great improvement over the 2017 results.  We made a great effort, and we had fun doing it!

Here’s the breakdown of the results:

– Out of 2,902 entries overall, W4ATD was #676 (#1016 last year).

– Out of 232 entries in the SE Division, W4ATD was #59 (#85 last year).

– Out of 47 entries in the AL Section, W4ATD was #10 (#14 last year).

– Out of 328 Class 2A entries overall, W4ATD was #113 (#211 last year).

– Out of 20 Class 2A entries in the SE Division, W4ATD was #8 (#16 last year).

– Out of 7 Class 2A entries in the AL Section, W4ATD was #3 (#5 last year).

We could have done even better with greater participation. We improved everywhere, especially among ALL class 2A stations.

NOW . . . .

We’re going to be better next year, right? Field Day 2019 will be June 22nd and 23rd! Make plans to be there and help out!

The Field Day results database can be found at:


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DARC Officers for 2019

At November’s business meeting, which was held at the Canton House Chinese restaurant in Decatur, the club reelected two of the current 2018 officers for 2019 and promoted one.  They will continue serving at the January club meeting. The club elected a new vice-president.

The officers for 2018 are:

President – Mike Findlay KD4TGC

Vice-President – Steve Vibbert KD2JSW

Secretary – Richard Matthews KB4CAY

Treasurer – Lester Christophe W5GSU

2018 was a another good year of growth for our club. We have a number of new members, some as a result of the VE exam testing we now offer. We’re anticipating that 2019 will continue to improve!

Tagged with General,Meetings on 9th November, 2018. No comments.

November Club Meeting Info

November is here already! The first Tuesday of November, the 6th, is Election Day, and our normal meeting place at the Morgan County Courthouse will be occupied by election officials as they tally up the results of the day’s voting in the county.

SO . . .

The November meeting of the Decatur Amateur Radio Club will be held at 6:00 on Tuesday, November 6th, at the Canton House restaurant on 14th Street in Decatur. The restaurant is between 6th Avenue (Highway 31) and the railroad overpass. Please look up directions, or call someone, or email someone, or hitch a ride, or do whatever you need to do to be there. This is an important meeting, because it is also our club’s Election Day, and we will be electing the officers for 2019.

So please note the change of time and location:

Place: Canton House, 609 14th St SE, Decatur, AL 35601 (256) 350-8868
Date: Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm
Purpose: Regular business PLUS election of 2019 officers

See you there!

By the way, speaking of elections, please exercise your privilege as a citizen and vote on Tuesday!


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October Club Meeting Info

The October meeting of the club will be a birthday celebration at the home of the treasurer. We will meet there at 6:00 on Tuesday, October 2nd.

If you’re interested in attending and need more information, please contact one of the club officers for details.

Tagged with Meetings on 30th September, 2018. No comments.

Apologies Are In Order

The September meeting of the club was held on Tuesday the 4th at Libby’s Catfish and Diner in Priceville. I was remiss in not posting that information here and updating the post on the club’s Facebook page, and I understand that there were some who arrived at the Morgan County Courthouse (our usual venue) for a meeting that never occurred. I am sorry for causing this confusion and will work hard to prevent it from happening again.

Along that same line, there was an announcement in the Sunday, September 9th edition of the Decatur Daily stating that there is a meeting scheduled at the courthouse this coming Tuesday (the 11th) at 7:30. This is incorrect. Please do NOT go to the courthouse on that day. The next scheduled club meeting is in October at a place to be announced later.

I don’t expect an apology from the Daily for the error.

Richard Matthews  KB4CAY

Tagged with General,Meetings on 9th September, 2018. No comments.

Field Day 2018 Scoring Submitted

I’ve finally finished and submitted the scoring for the Decatur Amateur Radio Club’s 65th Field Day last month. Here’s how it looks:

Number of participants:  30

CW contacts:                37
Digital contacts:          82
Phone contacts:         477

QSO points:

37 x 2 =          74
82 X 2 =        164
477 x 1 =        477

Total QSO points =     715

Power multiplier:      150 watts or less = QSO’s x 2

Claimed QSO score =                     1,430

Bonus points:

200 points – 100% Emergency power
100 points – Media Publicity
100 points – Set-up in Public Place
100 points – Information Table
100 points – W1AW message
100 points – Natural Power QSO’s Completed
100 points – Site Visit by Invited Elected Official
100 points – Social media (Facebook)
60 points – GOTA bonus
50 points – Online entry form submission

Total bonus points =                        1,010

Total submitted score:       2,440 points
            (638 points MORE than last year’s 1,802)

I think a 30% increase is a good thing! Some of that was due to the 82 digital contacts (thanks Mike KD4TGC!) and the 37 CW contacts we made (thanks Bill WB8ELK!).

So now it’s time to mark your calendar for next year! Field Day 2019 will be on June 22nd and 23rd, 2019. Make plans to come help us and improve the score again!

Tagged with Field Day on 21st July, 2018. No comments.
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