Category Archives: Updates

Roanoke HamFest – August 5, 2023 – Vinton, VA

Dear Fellow Amateur Radio Operator,

We are excited that, after an absence of several years, the Roanoke HamFest is returning to the William Byrd Middle/High School complex.  This year’s HamFest is a unique partnership between the William Byrd Middle and High School radio clubs, and the Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club.  Plenty of parking, a larger tailgate area, more space for indoor vendors, more and bigger door prizes and great food are just a few of the improvements that will make this HamFest a memorable event. Be sure to visit our HamFest website for details, which includes a list of our sponsors, door prizes and more:

We need more young people involved in ham radio.  The Roanoke Valley HamFest is a great way to support the school radio clubs and ham radio overall.  We hope you will make plans to attend. 

Darrell Little – KI4LLA
David Nance – W4SSE
HamFest Co-Chairs

William Byrd Amateur Radio Clubs and Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club
Roanoke HamFest 2023

Saturday, August 5, 2023
8 am – 1 pm

William Byrd Middle School
2910 E Washington Ave
Vinton, VA 24179

Admission:  $5.00 per person, free for under 18 or college ID under 25 years old
Tailgate Space: $5.00 (plus $5 admission)

More Parking – More Indoor Tables – Larger Tailgate Area

Contest year and the IARU

Well, Field Day 2023 Field Day operation is over. So, what’s next.

The amateur radio contest year starts on July 1, 2023.  So, things are ramping up for the 2023/2024 year.

This weekend is a celebration contest called the IAEU HF Contest.  You may be interested in trying your hand or voice in this contest, or you may not want to.  In any case, let me encourage you to learn a little more about the contest and what is being celebrated.

Take a look at this YouTube video, it is good.

It is produced by ND3N, Tom Shelton.  Tom is a Potomac Valley Radio Club member.  The PVRC is well represented with members in our area.  The video is about 12 minutes long, and if you are not a contester, it is still well worth your time as an amateur radio operator to watch the video.

After the video, take a look at the ARRL IARU contest site for more information at:

If you have questions, please respond to the group or me for answers or help.



Field Day Aftermath

To all who made FD 2023 great this year:  THANK YOU!!  

From the antenna crew, headed up by Ron Burch and Dave Haring, to the CW OP recruiter, Mr. Knight Smiley NJ4Q, to the incredible Kay Brown and her niece Angela (and Jade and Rennie) who put together the most amazing Saturday evening dinner ever, to Dave KV4JK who brought the tower trailer over, to Buck K4IEE who got the generator maintained so it ran perfectly the entire time, to John Price N4QWF who got our first satellite contact and 100 point bonus in a number of years (and got our served agency bonus by chasing down a deputy in the parking lot…) to all who came and operated SSB, CW and digital, to Rick and Henry who kept the GOTA station going…

I could go on and on, and usually do.  Dave KD4EMU and I tried organizing this year, and despite our best efforts, the event came off well.  I don’t think we broke any records this year, but I think everyone had fun, we did make a lot of contacts on all modes, and Dave Haring’s N1MM display on the big monitor was a huge hit!  It showed we worked all states EXCEPT doggone Alaska.  Not sure how that happens.  We got many Canadian provinces as well, but not all of them.

But, of course, WAS is not what FD is all about, rather, how many contacts can be made.  We will see what the results are in November, when ARRl publishes its FD report. I’m quite sure that our intrepid group of pro CW ops will lead the point score, but the phone and digital folks contributed too.  And, in another highlight, Jan K3JAN made what I think was her first (and only…) HF contest contact with great style!

Thanks again everyone who helped.  It was fun. 

Geep Howell (WA4RTS)


Looking for some new gear? Want to sell some gear?

If you have something to sell CLICK HERE and print the auction form.

Our club auction will be held on November 8, 2019 at 7:30 P.M.

Fire Training Center
613 Training Center Road
Lynchburg, VA

Click Here for Google Map

GPS Coordinates:
37°19’33.6″N 79°12’40.1″W
37.325985 N, -79.211132 W

2nd Friday of each month at 7:30 pm.
Anyone interested in Amateur Radio is welcome!

Refreshments provided!!

Antenna Building Workshop

This is happening at the local Maker Space: Vectorspace located in downtown Lynchburg, VA

Class Name YAGI Antenna Build Instructor Kurt Feigel
Class Level Beginner  Saturday, Feb 10, 2018 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Length 3 hours Class Size 6-10
Description Students will each build a YAGI antenna for radio direction finding, aka: foxhunting. We will build these using PVC and tape measures. They are great because they compact down and make for easy storage. At 2pm there will be a 1 hour foxhunt, where a person with a transmitter hides and other participants find him using YAGI antenna.
Required Knowledge Some Ham Radio knowledge is expected.
Required Equipment None
Required Materials All materials, connectors, and tools will be provided.
Can materials be purchased at class? All materials will be provided.
Class Cost  $35

Sign Up Here:


Funds Needed For Apple Orchard Site

We all enjoy the repeaters in the area. Most of us take no notice of what is and must be required to maintain a repeater site. Not the cost of maintenance or site fees. Please consider supporting WA1ZMS costs associated with the Apple Orchard site.

This is an urgent request to all users of the Apple Orchard repeaters — 2 meters, 220, 440 and 900 Mhz.

Many of our members use the Apple Orchard repeater stack — 146.685, 442.650 and others — owned and maintained by Brian Justin WA1ZMS. Brian has always taken care of the costs of operating the repeaters out of his own pocket, with an occasional request for donations. We’re very blessed in this area to have many dedicated people who maintain the repeater systems at no cost to the users, and all of the LARC sites have no operating costs. Count your blessings folks, it does cost real dollars to be on AO.

BUT — Brian found out yesterday that the Forest Service, under pressure from our beloved money grubbing Congress, no doubt, had to re-assess user fees for the entire stock of sites. He got a bill for $816 — fortunately, supposedly, a one time charge — to keep his site on the mountain. It’s due September 1, 2017.

I’m going to send him a check, and urge anyone who uses the system to do so as well. His address is 1704 Cottontown Road, Forest, VA, 24551. Please help if you are able, preferably before you press the PTT on 685 the next time.


Roanoke Ham Fest – August 5,2017

Sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club 
SATURDAY, August 5, 2017
8 A.M. until 1 P.M.
Vinton Moose Lodge
2127 E. Washington Avenue Vinton, VA  24179
Talk-in On 146.985 (- 600) T=107.2  
          Free Hamfest PARKING!!!
      “Night Before” Dealer Set-Up Friday, August, 4, 2017
              “Day of Show” Set-Up 6:00 – 8:00 A.M. 
Include ARRL gift certificates  & Much More!
*Do not have to be present to win.* 
ARRL VE EXAMS at 10:00 A.M.
Walk-In Registration–$15.00  
Breakfast and Lunch Food Concession 
Admission required for ALL attendees: $8.00    
Large Outside Flea MarkeArea 
Tailgate: $6.00 per space  
Air Conditioned Inside Exhibit  Hall 
Commercial Dealers — Tables, 8 foot: $12.00 —–
— Electric Hookup $10.00—  
For general information:
Nancy Wood, KG4ETP  540-330-7101  
For vendor information:
Nancy Wood, KG4ETP  540-330-7101  
From I-81 – Exit 143 (I-581, 220 S).  Take Exit 6 off 581, Route 24 E. to Vinton.  Through Vinton on 24 E Past stop light at E. Vinton Plaza on left. Turn right at the second driveway into the Vinton Moose Lodge. 
From Rt. 460 East – Turn left at light, Gus Nicks Blvd. (at Hardees) Go to Vinton on Washington Ave. Look for East Vinton Plaza (as above)
From Bedford – Look for East Vinton Plaza. Make UTURN at stop light to second driveway.

Field Day – June 24-25,2017 – Izaak Walton Park

Field Day 17

LARC will once again be returning to the lush green fields of Izaak Walton Park in Amherst County for the 24 hour operating period, beginning at 2 PM on June 24th.

But the setup will get started on Friday morning, and lots of help is needed. We are making a major change this year — for the first time in many years, K4CQ will be operating in the 3A category — that is three main transmitters on air, with a VHF station and the Get On The Air (GOTA) station. More antenna work than we usually do will be needed.

Buck Clark K4IEE is FD Chairman once again this year and can use all the help that can be rounded up! We have a great evening meal on Saturday night, open to all participants and family, and there will be food available for the whole time.

FD is a wonderful opportunity to enhance and develop your contesting skills, or to get your feet wet for the first or second time. The GOTA station offers an opportunity for first time operators as well as those who have not operated HF for a long time to get some air time in. There will be an experienced op in place to coach and help. And having the third transmitting station will also allow more on air opportunities.

Please make plans to come out for part if not the entire weekend. Its FUN, educational, fills your stomach, and helps LARC stand out as a club. The program for the June Meeting, on Friday, June 9th will be devoted to FD. We’ll demonstrate a station, the logging program, discuss some of the bonus points that can be earned, watch a FD video from prior years as well as go into some of the LARC history of prior FD’s.

Learn Morse Code (CW)

Here are some good videos I’ve been finding to learn morse code.

Experience the nostalgia of a good old training film. Beats me what the purpose of the lady,gun,and piano is.

KC4D has turned me onto CW Academy. They use the KOCH method of learning CW. Here is a link to the resources page:

Learn CW Online is another resource:

Why CW? Because you can send long distances with lower power using less bandwidth than a phone transmission.

I am learning it because a lot of the el-cheapo QRP kits are CW transceivers.



Lynchburg Fox Hunt – Saturday July 23, 2016

Fox Hunting is where HAM operators try to find a hidden transmitter somewhere in an area.

This can be done as teams or individuals.

Prize: The pride of getting their first.

Location: Somewhere in Lynchburg,VA

Repeater to monitor 147.195 tone 136.5 (this is not the fox)

The fox is at 146.565 with a 136.5 Tone

DATE: Saturday July 23,2014 (Alternate to Sunday if there is a thunderstorm on Saturday)
TIME: 1400hrs (2pm)
You’ll need a directional antenna like this one linked above. Easy to build. Don’t worry about tuning it. You will be primarily using it for receive.