Using a 25 ft Tape Measure to span a distance of 90 miles…

Come one, come all! Elmers! Newbies! Let’s build a portable 3-element yagi antenna from a common 25 ft. tape measure. How does it span 90 miles? By giving you the signal strength to get into the Mt. Mitchell repeater.  It is also very handy when hunting a pesky transmission that doesn’t want to be found.  (Fox hunting!)

GCARS February meeting is tomorrow night, Monday the 1st @ 7 pm at the American Red Cross Building in Gastonia.  During the presentation time, we will be building antennas that we may use on our next fox hunt which will be Saturday, Feb. 13th!!!!

We hope to see you tomorrow night! I’m going to get to solder for the first time ever and will probably burn myself! You don’t want to miss the fun! Let’s have fun learning together!

Blessings & 73’s, Chantel, KM4LWL


Who wants to hunt the Fox?? part 2

GCARS is having a fox hunt! Here are the details & logistics:

There will be a special prize for the winners of the Valentine’s Eve FOX HUNT!
The sly fox will be George Poteat (NC0G)
When? Saturday, February 13, 2016
Where? Breakfast – 8am @ Grits N Greens 125 N Main Street Lowell
What? The fox will transmit on 146.535 beginning @ 10 am
The Fox will be hidden anywhere in Gaston County!
You do not have to attend the breakfast to participate in the fox hunt. Although, Grits N Greens has a great breakfast menu!! We hope you can make it! Best wishes & 73! KM4LWL
Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

Coolest Kids Day 2016 QSL card!

My daughter, aka, “Pico-ham”,  had a blast doing third party on the ARRL 2016 Kids Day.  She received another QSL card today! (she has four total now and she’s not even a ham yet!)  She is very excited and is studying to get her tech license hopefully before she turns 7!  This QSL is so creative that we had to share it!

Kids Day 2016 QSL CardThanks AK9PL for the cool QSL card!!!

**GCARS Friday Meet Up Update**Update**

**GCARS Friday Meet Up Update**

As of January 21st, Pie Day has been cancelled due to the bad weather that is coming.  Stay home, stay warm & stay safe. No pie! 🙁

This Friday, January 22nd, GCARS will not meet at Friendly’s in Stanley for lunch but instead will meet at the Lucile Tatum Homemakers Center in Gastonia for the Annual Pie Day! $5 to sample different pies! Thanks KG4ZJF for this update!

Who wants to hunt the fox??

GCARS is having a foxhunt (transmitter hunt) on Saturday, February 13th (more details to follow). The first team to the fox will not only be the winners of the hunt but will also find a delightful surprise that will involve chocolate! This is a pre-Valentine’s Day fox hunt so let’s have fun (in the cold!).

To prepare for the foxhunt, we will be building portable tape measure yagi antennas at our next club meeting, Monday, February 1st during the presentation time! 

AJ4JZ needs to know:

who wants to build an antenna,

who could Elmer (help out),

and who has extra stuff laying around that could be donated to our antenna building cause!

Please leave a comment below and let him know. He wants to have everything precut and ready to build before the meeting (which he will do with your donations). He is willing to pick up materials if you have them.

Materials needed:

1″ wide 25 ft long  or so steel tape measure

1/2″ diameter pvc pipe

1/2″ pvc T’s and crosses

1 – 1 1/2″ metal hose clamps

RG8, RG58 (50 ohm) coax cable

PL259 connectors

Antenna analyzers (commitments to bring one)

This is going to be a great meeting and a fun foxhunt (unless the fox hides so well that he gets the chocolate!!!!) Thanks everyone for your help!

As always, if you have questions, please leave a comment.

Thanks & 73,


Homebrewing with Elmer!

Be sure to check out the updated information from AJ4JZ on our “Who’s My Elmer?” page.

1/6/2016:  Here are some web sites  to reference in Homebrew ham radio:

Peter Parker VK3YE- an excellent site, Peter is the guru of DSB (double side band) radio. Check out his website and his youtube page. Peter has a lot of projects that are within the reach and abilities of those new to homebrewing.

Wes Hayward is an authority on homebrew amateur radio designs, and the author of many articles and texts on the subject:

more to come…

Thanks & 73, KM4LWL

QST: 1st GCARS meeting of 2016!!!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is our first GCARS meeting of the new year!  You don’t want to miss it! KV4WB will be there!! I hope you will be there too!!!!

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 any interest in ham radio and electronics. You do not have to be a licensed ham to attend!
I hope to see you tomorrow night. God bless & have a good night!
73, KM4LWL

What’s NPOTA???

NPOTA is National Parks on the Air!!!

Throughout 2016, Amateur Radio will be helping the National Park Service celebrate their 100th anniversary. Hams from across the country will activate NPS units, promote the National Park Service and showcase Amateur Radio to the public.

What do you think about helping the NPS celebrate at Kings Mountain State Park??? This sounds like fun! This is happening all year long! Check out all the information at

We could maybe work it as a club or you can work it as an individual! It’s fun being a ham!! 73, KM4LWL

“CQ Kids Day”is tomorrow, Sunday, January 3rd!!!

Happy New Year! I’m so excited to start the New Year by sharing this day with my kids! ARRL is holding a “CQ Kids Day” and it is  tomorrow, Sunday, January 3rd! Get on the radio and make contacts with kids! Get your kids and grandkids on the radio tomorrow!!! Let’s show them how much fun ham radio can be!!

For all the important details check out the ARRL website:

Your kids can earn a certificate of participation!!!! You do not want to miss out on the fun!

If you participate tomorrow, leave a comment below and share about your “CQ Kids Day” experience!

ARRL will hold another “CQ Kids Day” on Saturday, June 18, 2016!!!

Hope to hear you on the radio tomorrow! 73, KM4LWL