GCARS

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Gaston County Amateur Radio Society Monthly Meetings

Gaston County Amateur Radio Society (GCARS) has monthly meetings on the first Monday of each month, at 7 p.m., at 190 S. Oakland St. Gastonia, NC upstairs in the Red Cross Building.

We welcome all those who have any interest in ham radio and electronics. You do not have to be a licensed ham to attend!

Please contact KM4LWL by leaving a comment with any questions! Thanks & 73!

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GCARS at NPOTA Kings Mountain National Military Park 4-16-16

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GCARS at 2016 ARRL Field Day 6-25-16

GCARS Weekly Nets

GCARS nets are weekly on Tuesday evenings!!

The 440 net begins at 8 pm. The frequency is 444.550 mHz (no tone).

The 2m net begins at 8:30 pm. The frequency is 147.120mHz (100Hz tone).  The 2m net may also be accessed via ECHOLINK through the KG4ZJF-R repeater link, node 671596.

Both of these repeaters (N4GAS) are located on Spencer Mountain in Gaston County.

The GCARS Traders Net immediately follows the 2m net each Tuesday night!

Please tune in and join us for announcements and fun rag chew!!!

GCARS weekly lunch meet up details!

Each Monday, GCARS meets at Grits N Greens located at 125 N Main St. in Lowell, NC.  https://www.facebook.com/gritsngreens/

Each Friday, GCARS meets at Friendly’s located at 119 N Main St in Stanley, NC. https://www.facebook.com/Friendlys-of-Stanley-234106239958527/

Please join us for good food & fellowship!

Interested in Joining GCARS?? The application needs to be completed and brought to a GCARS meeting. Please contact KM4LWL with any questions by leaving a comment! Thanks & 73.

GCARS-Application

ARRL affiliated since 1978 

35 thoughts on “GCARS”

  1. It’s nice to see a webpage that I can access and have current information. Thanks for the great job. I’ll try to remember to schedule a break on Monday’s for the lunch in Lowell.

  2. Great job, KM4lWl, for maintaining such a resourceful website! This will definitely be a huge help for those seeking to become a ham. Keep up the great work!

  3. Hi, some friends of mine and I are interested in getting or Ham licenses and need to know where to start. I live in Dallas NC and looking for some help on this. Thanks for any help you can give, God bless.

    1. Hey Chris, when I was studying for my exam I used hamexam.org. They have flash card type studying, quiz type, etc. There are numerous websites that help you study for the exam for free. You can also buy books that contain all of the information in “textbook” style I guess you could call it. Also, when you take your exam, if you pass the technician test you can take general for free and if you pass that you can take the extra for free so I would suggest studying some of the higher exams if you understand the material. Good luck to yall, hope to hear you one the air!

      Matt
      KM4JKY

      1. Hey KM4JKY, Matt, Thanks for checking out the GCARS website and for sharing how you studied for the exam! It is great to hear from other hams!
        Thanks & 73,
        KM4LWL
        Chantel

        1. Thanks for the response KM4LWL. I go to school at NC State but live in Gastonia. I am interested in joining GCARS/ARES so hopefully this summer I can join and attend some events.

          Thanks & 73,
          KM4JKY, Matt

          1. Hi KM4JKY, We’d love to have you! If you’re going to be home the weekend of Feb. 13, you should join us for a “fox hunt” (transmitter hunt). It is going to be a lot of fun. Also, we are planning an event at Kings Mountain National Military Park in April to celebrate the national parks 100th anniversary (NPOTA – National Parks On The Air). I will post updated info on both events on this website. Our fun summer event is the ARRL Field Day! Last year, it was held at North Belmont Park. This year it will be June 25-26 and the location is TBD at this point. Our club has a 33ft. trailor with radio equipment and we make contacts all over the US and Canada! Stay tuned to the website for more details. Best wishes to you at school. Go Pack!
            73,
            KM4LWL, Chantel

    2. Hi Chris, I hope you received my email response to your inquiry.
      Thank you for your post on the GCARS website. We are excited that you want to get your ham radio license! There are a lot of great resources but my favorite is http://www.hamstudy.org and it is free. It has study flashcards and practice tests. I had no electrical or radio knowledge prior to taking the tests and I passed all three tests (technician, general and extra) using this website.

      You can print off all the questions from the technician level test pool from the NCVEC website below.
      http://ncvec.org/page.php?id=362

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      73,
      KM4LWL
      Chantel

  4. I have a radio tower behind my house with flat blade antenna . I want to sell it. I live in Indian Trail in house Lrwis Cloninger lived it Want to sell it. 9802530757

  5. Good morning all. From the looks of the traffic, it appears that the GCARS website is going all out. Thanks Chantel for such a great job. I look forward to very frequent visits.

  6. This is KD4HEX, Julie Millar. I teach 6th grade science at Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill. I have a student that is very much interested in forming a HAM Radio club at our school, but we need some help from a club. I know Rock Hill is a good distance away, but I have tried to contact the York County club without much success. I live in Gaston County and am a former member of GCARS. Any help you could provide would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you for your interest. I’ve talked with the GCARS President, Annlette Key and we are very interested in helping you. Could you make it to our next club meeting on March 7th? We would love to have you meet the club members and share a little about your goals for your ham radio club at Saluda Trail. We can converse more about this via email and phone if you would like. Blessings & 73, Chantel, KM4LWL

    1. Hello Don,
      Thank you for your inquiry! The GCARS President, Annlette Key, has emailed you in regards to your request. We look forward to meeting you! Blessings & 73, Chantel/KM4LWL

  7. The March 2016 Pacemaker News Letter has been posted.
    Page 2 is a March calendar.
    Download the PDF, print and stick on your “Frige”

    1. Hi Steven,
      Lunch is usually between 12 to 1 ish depending on who can show up. It really varies from week to week depending on our schedules. We would love to meet you. Please join us for our next GCARS meeting on Monday, May 2 @ 7 pm at Red Cross Bldg in Gastonia. Thanks for your inquiry. God bless & 73, Chantel, KM4LWL

  8. Greetings,
    Recently moved to North Carolina. Even more recently set up my Ham shack. Looking to test rig and meet new people. As I understand it there will be a net meet tonight. I will be listening in and perhaps give a call out to let my presence be known. I will try and come to the September meet and bring an application along with me.

    KB1NJJ

    1. Welcome to North Carolina! We missed you on the net last night and hope to hear you on the net next Tuesday. We hope to meet you at the GCARS September meeting. We are having a foxhunt (hunting for a hidden transmitter) on Saturday, August 13th. We will meet at Grits N Greens in Lowell, NC at 8 am for breakfast. The foxhunt will begin at 10 am! Thanks for reaching out to us on our website. Chantel, KM4LWL

  9. Rob, KJ4LWN, out of NoVA WARC. We have a radio station on Crowder’s Mountain and the rangers let us park our test van there for a couple of weeks to troubleshoot a radio problem with our ADS-B site. They reached out to us (Larry Hyde, Park Superintendent, and Dan Tenney, Ranger, 704-853-5375) to see what problem we found. Ours in an internal radio software issue but they’re having problems with their Ericcson 164.24 MHz analog FM repeater. They went to narrow band several years ago and say it’s not working right. The symptoms they describe indicate an antenna/line problem or a receiver sensitivity problem. They’ve had two commercial radio technicians out with no resolution. Say there’s no SWR problem but . . . I suggested they test the repeater tone programming on their Kenwood TK2180 handhelds and TK780 mobiles. Their base station antenna at the main ranger station can power in but not the handhelds or mobiles. I see you’ve been in their area and maybe you can give them some help. Might get some really good contacts for events in the future. They’re a state park so maybe not NPOTA but you never know. Thanks,

  10. Thank you for the welcoming words. I did not key up the transmitter because my license had expired and wanted to adhere to the rules. I have had it renewed without a problem. Yes, Tuesday evening I will attempt to make the net meet. Foxhunt sounds like a good time too.

  11. I may have been to happy to find a group in North Carolina. I am located in Harnett county and I can not get to your tower. 147.120 with a 100 tone and still silent. Will continue to work on it. I believe my transceiver is in working condition. I can pick up the NOAA weather with strong signal. Have yet to find a freq with any chatter.
    Disappointed,
    KB1NJJ

    1. I’m sorry that you could not get into the repeater. The most distant point east that has successfully reached our repeater is towards the west side of Asheboro, which is still another 70 plus miles from your location. It is doubtful you can hit our repeater. We appreciate your efforts and we have a solution for you to join us, which we would love. If you have a tablet, smart phone or computer, you can download “Echolink” app for free and find many different nets out there. Our Echolink station is KG4ZJF-R and our node is 671596. I used Echolink to get into our Net tonight. It works great. We’ve had people from FL, OH and ME to check into our nets. You will have to email a copy of your amateur license to the echolink admin but it is not difficult to do. Here’s the link to Echolink:
      http://www.echolink.org/ Maybe we will hear from you next week.

      On another note, I lived in Harnett County from ’94 to ’99. I was a student at Campbell and I worked in Dunn upon graduation. I have fond memories of Harnett County!

      Best wishes & 73,
      Chantel, KM4LWL

  12. Follow-up from the rangers. Had them check their tone but doesn’t sound like it from the last reply. See below. They’re (no kidding) out on their own in the woods.

    I think I have hit a wall. I have checked everything that I can physically check and can’t find anything wrong. Our radios aren’t programmed so that I can pull up information on the radio itself. I have asked more than once for permission to obtain programming software and cables and have been summarily denied. The Division Radio Engineer (which we do not currently have) is the sole entity with access to programming and peripherals. Thus, I am firmly anchored in the physical realm.

    To that end, I made a trip up to our repeater site and looked critically at everything I had access to. I checked every single connection that wasn’t weatherproofed. The ones that were seemed to still be weatherproof. I couldn’t find anything physically wrong with the setup, either internally in the repeater housing, or all the way out the hardline to the antenna. There are no kinks, severe bends, or breaches of any kind on the hardline running to the antenna. As far as I can tell, everything is properly grounded.

    I misremembered about our repeater having a gain control; it does not. It only has a squelch control, which made no discernible difference. I phoned another ranger at the visitor center and had him try several different combinations of handheld/base transmissions while I fiddled with the squelch. From an observable performance perspective, I could tell no difference whatsoever in the different squelch settings.

    Both my handheld and mobile work great from 100′ away from the antenna; the repeater not only acknowledges them, but broadcasts clearly. As I start down the hill, however, my handheld drops out within 1/4 mile and by 1/2 mile, my mobile will no longer work. I tried various places around the park, and, with a few exceptions, you can pretty much only hit the repeater line-of-sight. By 3 to 4 miles, even line-of-sight is gone even with my mobile.

    Bottom line is I’m going to have to find someone with more tools and knowledge. If you have any luck with the amateur radio folks, please let me know. I am very curious to get their take on what we have going on and see if they may have experienced any problems lately.

    I do sincerely appreciate all your help!

    Thanks Again,

    Daniel

    Daniel Tenney, Park Ranger
    Crowders Mountain State Park
    522 Park Office Lane
    Kings Mountain, NC 28086
    704.853.5375
    704.853.5391 (Fax)
    daniel.tenney@ncparks.gov

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