Category Archives: GCARS Special Events

DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is Coming to Spencer Mountain!


Here is some BIG news:

DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is coming to Spencer Mountain.  Due to a generous gift from Gerald Rankin, AG0R, the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society is very shortly (and Lord willing), going to have a DMR amateur radio repeater on top of Spencer Mountain, North Carolina, on the 70 cm band. The DMR repeater will allow hams with a DMR radio to communicate with other radio amateurs locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally using a quality of voice communications similar to 3G cellular phones.

We have a Hytera RD622 digital repeater,

which we plan to connect to the Brandmeister network, a global amateur radio DMR system with hundreds of talk groups all over the world.

Right now, we are in the process of setting up the repeater, getting things straight with our prospective internet service provider, and testing the system. We hope to have this working before the end of May 2017.

DMR is an exceedingly affordable and robust digital mode. HT’s can be had for under $100 dollars (Like the TYT MD-380). Users are required to get a radio identifier number from DMR-MARC, which is the master group for issuing DMR identifiers so that users can work all the current internet linked DMR networks.

Go to this link here to register for a DMR id number (it’s free):

You do not need to have a radio to get a number. If you are thinking about doing DMR, then you should go ahead and get a number from DMR-MARC.

If you want to experience the excitement of DMR now, you can listen to any talk group you would like on the Brandmeister “Hose Line” which is a web enabled dashboard for listening to DMR traffic on the internet. It only requires a current web browser and the ability to process sound. Give it a try:

More information to come about how to set up your radio “code plug” and which talk groups will be enabled from the N4GAS DMR repeater.


Bill Stevenson



GCARS works the Caromont Criterium at Belmont

This past Sunday, April 23, 2017, the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society provided supplemental communications, helped spectators and acted at crossing guards at the fifth annual Caromont Health Belmont Criterium bicycle races.  It was a rainy, cold day, but the hams of GCARS stepped up to the challenge, and volunteered from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. The action was exciting and we got a real taste of operating in less-than-favorable conditions. Many thanks to all the hams who participated! We received thanks from and an informal invitation to help again next year from the race organizers.

The Lonely Outpost at the Criterium in Belmont

NG2M, JD, and KV4WB, Annlette, walking to the infamous Glenway Curve!
AJ4JZ, Bill and NG2M, JD pose at the dangerous Glenway curve.
Tindol Subaru pace car leads the way!
Men’s C5 Races thunder to the start/finish line.
Lady Pro-Racers storm the first corner! NC1G, Mark, watches before the rain comes!
NC1G, Mark (in the blue coat) guards the crosswalk as the male pro-racers shoot by!
Some but not all of the hams at the Criterium. Sarah (wanta be ham); AK4BX, Jeff; Chantel, KM4LWL; Annlette, KV4WB; NG2M, JD.

Winter Field Day Update!

Winter Field Day begins tomorrow, January 28th & 29th!! Here’s some updated info.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!


Date:  Saturday, January 28th  & Sunday, January 29th, 2017 

Time:  10:00 am – SETUP

2:00 pm – ON THE AIR

Place:  1808 Ratchford Dr Dallas NC (across from the 321 Flea Market)

Contact:  NC0G (George Poteat) for more information about the event

Since all of our operations will be conducted inside the club camper/trailer, we will have 2-3 stations running (depending on weather conditions and the number of active operators that sign up).  Ideally, there will be 2 operators per station.  

We will have limited space inside the camper, so I will setup an Operator Schedule on 3 hour increments.  

There will be no need to tow the trailer to a location.  The trailer is already setup in the Poteat field, but help with antenna and rig setup will be needed at 10 am.  Winter Field Day will begin officially at 2 pm on Saturday Jan 28th.


Saturday 2 pm – 5 pm

Saturday 5 pm- 8 pm

Saturday 8 pm – 11 pm

Saturday 11 pmSunday 2 am

Sunday 2 am – 5 am

Sunday 5 am  – 8 am

Sunday 8 am  – 11 am

Sunday 11 am – 2 pm


As with all outdoor events, we have to eat well and be comfortable.  NC0G will fire up the smoker and smoke a pork butt and we will get hamburgers and hotdogs grilled on the BBQ.  Below is a list of additional items needed to make this event a success.


hotdog buns

hamburger buns



potato salad

fruit salad

specialty side items (cook’s choice)


sweet tea/unsweetened tea


potato chips

dessert (cookies, cake, pie)

plates/plastic ware/cups/napkins

gas for generator


Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best Regards,

Annlette Key

KV4WB  ann*lette*key*@*gmail*.*com (omit *)


Check out our Christmas parties coming soon! ALL HAMS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND ANY AND ALL PARTIES. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the festivities.
**GAARC Christmas Celebration
The Gastonia Area Amateur Radio Club (GAARC) will have their Christmas dinner at Amber Jack’s this year. GOOD FOOD, GOOD PEOPLE, GOOD TIMES!
Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Place: Amber Jack Seafood & Steaks Restaurant, 4253 S New Hope Rd, Gastonia, NC 28056
Host: AJ4QJ (Michael Ledford, President)
The Gaston County Amateur Radio Society (GCARS) is proud to announce we will have our Christmas Party at Be’s Noodles and Bahn Mi. Get ready for a culinary adventure with Vietnamese inspired cuisine. This will be an exclusive private event – the restaurant is opening on a Monday just for our party. The owner is very excited to have us.
There will be GAMES, GIFTS, AND FUN!!
Door prizes
Prize for Best Christmas Attire – this can be socks, ties, shirts, sweaters, hats, anything you have with a Christmas theme
Ham Trivia Games, and more!! Guaranteed fun for all that attend.
Date: Monday, December 5th, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Be’s Noodles and Banh Mi, 2524 E Franklin Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28056 (the corner of Cox and Franklin, behind the Walgreens)
Host: KV4WB (Annlette Key, President)
**ARES Holiday Potluck Dinner
The Gaston County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) will be hosting its annual Christmas Party with a covered dish affair. These potluck dinners are always a nice intimate party with delicious side dishes and great people. Bring a dish to share and enjoy the start of the holiday season with ARES. If you are attending, you will need need contact KM4LWL (Chantel Stevenson) to get on the potluck sign-up sheet.
Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2016
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Place: EOC Bldg, 615 N Highland St Gastonia, NC 28052
Host: AJ4JZ (Bill Stevenson, EC)
Hope to see you there!!!

NPOTA this weekend, 9/24/16 at Kings Mountain National Military Park!!

ARRL National Park Service on the Air logo

**September 24th – GCARS will be at Kings Mountain National Military Park (MP06) for NPOTA (National Parks On The Air)!

We hope to be transmitting between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.

For those interested in joining us on the air:

**We will be operating on the HF bands as conditions permit: tentatively anywhere from 40 to 15 meters. Please watch for spots on the packet and internet spotting networks. Time on air should begin near 14:00 UTC and conclude around 20:00 UTC. QSL via LOTW.

Thank you for the QSO!!!

For those interested in joining us at the park:

We will be setting up at 9 am and breaking down at 4 pm.  All help is greatly appreciated!

Kings Mountain National Military Park is located on South Carolina Highway 216. From Greenville, SC travel on I-85 North to NC Exit #2. From Charlotte, NC travel on I- 85 South to NC Exit #2.

Thanks! We hope to see you there or talk to you on the air!

73, Chantel, KM4LWL