Welcome to Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club (SMARC)

Would you like to know more about amateur (ham) radio?

Are you a licensed ham and new to the area, been here forever or just have an interest in amateur radio, consider joining SMARC. Our 90+ members would enjoy meeting you, making a new friend and sharing the excitement. One good way to learn about SMARC is to join a Zoom session either every M-Th at about 8:30am to 10:15am or at a monthly meeting. Click the Join Zoom Link below. Passcode is w4olb. Are you already a ham and just need to ask a question and do not know who to reach out to, just click the Email us button below and ask your question.

The next SMARC Meeting is August 22nd

Meetings are the 4th Monday, at 7:00pm. Most start arriving before 6:45pm. Where: United Steelworkers Union Hall, Alcoa, TN

Typical agenda will be recognizing guests and introductions, reports, announcements, and a short business meeting. Then of course a break with fellowship/goodies, followed by a program. August meeting will feature Scott, N0EDV, with a program about amateur radio microwave.

July Meeting Summary

At the May meeting a motion was made and second to change the present SMARC Constitution and last evening it passed by a vote or of all active club members. The updated constitution will be posted as soon as all the officers get a chance to sign it. It is mostly a cleanup of the constitution to meet State of TN requirements and for SMARC to reduce the need to this kind of major effort for voting in the future. Also at the July meeting Paul, W4LSM, was recognized for his efforts planning and organizing SMARC's very successful 2022 Field Day.  Lastly, we now have 105 SMARC members.

Try out the new SMARC Fusion Repeater. Remember it supports both FM and Fusion.

443.075 MHz / 448.075        Tone Encode/Decode: 100.0 Hz

CLUB MAILING LIST

To get on our email list, just join our groups.io by clicking here. You will then be on an email list where you will be sent for more information and announcements of SMARC club meetings and activities. Just want more information or to contact SMARC leadership, click the button below to email us.

As a little background relative to SMARC, the early club history is described under the More tab on the ribbon above.

If you are not yet licensed, SMARC holds a regular Technician class and also routine FCC tests are given locally (see below). A Technician Class will be scheduled soon.

  • You will need to obtain an ARRL Technician course book, about $25.  https://www.arrl.org/shop/Ham-Radio-License-Manual/
  • The SMARC Technician class is FREE, just your time
  • FCC Test is $10 - $15, depending on where you take it
  • A basic two meter portable radio can cost as little as $50, while a basic digital radio, $150 - $250
  • First year of SMARC Club membership as a new ham after completing the class is FREE ($25 per year thereafter)
  • We believe you will enjoy the hobby and likely you will want to acquire more equipment 

SMARC 75th Anniversary Plans

Paul, W4LSM, announced there will be a SMARC 75th Anniversary Special Event Station: The plan is to be on the air at 2:00pm September 30, 2022 to 2:00 pm October 2, 2022.  Club members are requested to contact Paul and plan to operate from home station using the club call, W4OLB. There is still the potential a club station will be set up in town. Right now, we need operators willing to work this event.  Once we have operators we will set a schedule bands and modes. A full and more complete announcement will shortly be forthcoming you can download. The announcement has been sent to ARRL.

Charles, K4BAL, announced plans are being finalized for the SMARC 75th Anniversary Special Event Station. He mentioned a possible social event, such as a dinner, and possible tee shirt, cups, etc. More information will be forthcoming.

Weekly and Morning Nets

The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Weekly Net is held each Thursday at 7:00 P.M. on the W4OLB Club Repeater (146.655 MHz, Tone 100.0 Hz) with the backup repeater being the WB4GBI (146.625 MHz, Tone 118.8 Hz). All amateurs are welcome to take part. Net Control will ask only for your Call Sign, Name, Location and Affiliation. We also hold a simultaneous Zoom video conference which you are welcome to take part in by clicking here and using passcode 'w4olb'.


KK4XA Morning Net

Join the the very informal KK4XA Morning Net every Monday through Thursday morning at 9:00 A.M. on the W4OLB Club Repeater (146.655 MHz, Tone 100.0 Hz) or the KK4XA DMR Repeater, 444.075 MHz, CC1, TG 314742. We also invite you to join the Zoom Conference, just click here and use passcode 'w4olb' to join the KK4XA Morning Net Zoom.

The W4OLB VHF Club Repeater and the KK4XA DMR Repeater are Linked

The KK4XA DMR repeater is connected to the internet via Brandmeister, thus these two repeaters can be accessed from anywhere by connecting to Talk Group 314742. 

New to Ham Radio or Want to Upgrade?

Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club is a social club with its membership having hundreds of years of combined experience in many of the various aspects of ham radio. Check out our local repeater, W4OLB (146.655 MHz, Tone 100.0 Hz). We meeting informally, in-person, at TCs restaurant in Maryville (see information in about TCs). All are welcome to our Nets, out Meeting and to stop by for breakfast at TCs where about a dozen plus hams and their spouses show up to meet and greet.
SPECIAL NOTE:
The FCC is now charging for new licensees and some changes to licenses.
There is no fee to change an address, an email or an UPGRADE!
This change applies to all persons who obtain an amateur radio license, who renew their license or change to a vanity call. The new fee announced is $35 with the license being good for ten years. This fee will be paid to the FCC and not via Volunteer Examiners or clubs. The exact plan and procedure as to how this will be implemented and this section updated as more is known.
SMARC routinely offers a Technician licensing class to help newcomers get into the hobby. A Volunteer Examiner test follows the training class, typically on the last after a morning review. This training class is open to anyone interested in the hobby and you will learn the needed information to pass the FCC element 2 exam. To learn more about ham radio, click here.
For information on testing sponsored by SMARC and The University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club please click here

Amateur (Ham) Radio Classes by ARRL Instructors and Testing by Official VEs

>>>>> NEXT TEST SESSIONS <<<<<

August 6th, 9:30am - UTARC Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic, 1422 Old Weisgarber Rd, Knoxville, TN

Please Call Ahead to Register: 865-254-3067

September 12th, 7pm - Parish House, St. Andrew's Church, 314 W. Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN

Contact Carrol, W4PCA to RSVP/Register: w4pca1938@gmail.com 

ALL TEST APPLICANTS PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE

Applicants must use an FCC Registration Number (FRN) for all license transactions with the FCC. Examinees must register in CORES and receive an FRN before exam day. As of May 20th, ALL electronic batch filed applications that do not include a candidate's FRN will be rejected. The Social Security/Licensee ID Field will be disabled. The FCC will use the FRN rather than a Social Security number with all interactions after May 20th.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING AN FRN.  Register in CORES (COmission REgistration System) and receive your FRN (Federal Registration Number) before sitting for your exam to ensure your new license is processed quickly and easily through the FCC's ULS (Universal Licensing System). To conduct business with the FCC, you must register through FCC CORES and be assigned an FRN. This number will be used to uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC. View the FCC web page New Users guide to ULS for step by step instructions on the registration process or the Commission Registration System Video Tutorials page for videos that help guide CORES users through a variety of situations. For assistance, submit a help request on the FCC’s Support Services page or call FCC at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET

SMARC TECHNICIAN CLASS

Watch here for the next one.

If you would like to obtain or register for the next class, please click here and we will contact you with more information. In advance of taking the class please obtain an ARRL Technician Manual, about $25. Here is the link:  https://www.arrl.org/shop/Ham-Radio-License-Manual/

UPDATED SCHEDULE:

  • Next training class to be determined.

Blount County Emergency Communications Service

Blount Emergency Communications Service (BCECS) is an active ARES group. This is not a club, rather it is a service group formed under the structure of the ARRL. ARES communications operators receive emergency communications training and offers communications services to such organizations as Blount County Emergency Management, Blount Memorial Hospital, the local American Red Cross chapter and other community organizations. All licensed amateur radio operators are invited to take an active role in this organization.

SMARC donated their communications trailer in support of the Blount County ARES group in 2019. A grant request was submitted to Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) for funds to update the trailer and make some needed repairs. ARDC awarded a $11,750 grant to BEARS. The trailer roof and floors have been repaired, the carpet cleaned and door repairs are underway. The AC power system has been updated and updated DC lighting mostly installed. Soon a DC power system, replacement LED light fixture, two donated 100AH batteries, new chairs, U/V/HF radios and the antenna systems will be ordered and installed shortly. 

If you have an interest in ARES, the group meets at the Blount County 911 Center at 7pm on the 3rd Tuesday each month and there is a regular Thursday evening Net at 9pm on the 146.625 repeater. Want more information? Contact the BCECS TEAMAPP button below and/or take part in the Net, it is open to all licensed amateur radio operators.

Regular Social Events

EVERY THURSDAY: Want to get involved in a face to face technical discussion? A number of members meet at TC's Grill on 2514 Old Niles Ferry Road, Maryville starting about 11:30am every Thursday. Just come in and look for the big group of folks in the back of the restaurant. All are welcome to stop by.

EVERY FRIDAY: We also welcome you to join a number of our members, spouses and guests for breakfast at TC's Grill on 2514 Old Niles Ferry Road, Maryville every Friday morning at 9am. Just come in and look for the big group of folks in the back of the restaurant. All forms of radio any other topics are likely discussed. See: S.M.A.R.C. (w4olb.org)

FOX HUNTS and PICNIC: This event will be planned as weather permits where the club sponsors a picnic and then has a fox hunt. Announcement of the event, location, time and date will be sent out via email to all registered on SMARC groups i/o. {NOTE: This event is subject to COVID restrictions.}

TAILGATE and POT LUCK: This event is usually held in the spring where members are invited to bring any ham related equipment to sell and then afterward for a pot luck with meat dish provided. {NOTE: This event is subject to COVID restrictions.}

CHRISTMAS PARTY: This event is held of course in December, in place of the normal club meeting where the meat dish is provided and attendees are required to bring a salad or desert to share. {NOTE: This event is subject to COVID restrictions.}

WANT TO KNOW MORE: Just go to the SMARC Team APP for most up to date information.

Join Us for Our Monthly Meetings

The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club Meeting: We are now again having our monthly meetings in-person at the United Steelworkers Union Hall, 339 S. Hall Road, Alcoa, TN. We meet the fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 P.M. Members and non-members are welcome to attend.

As a special note, meeting will also be on Zoom, please carve out the date/time. To join the Zoom video conference, click here. The passcode is w4olb. If you are not a member of our groups.io, please click here to join. There will be an email sent out to club members before each meeting including the credentials necessary to join the meeting. Thank you for your patience and we hope that you and your family are well.

SMARC also has a Club leadership meeting the Thursday before (4th Monday of every month) at 8:00 P.M. via ZOOM video conferencing. Announcement of the meeting and any changes to the schedule will occur via email. All are welcome to attend this meeting.

Please Note: There are no meetings in June due to Field Day and in December, as this meeting is replaced by our Christmas Party. If you have any questions or need directions, please click here.


Field Day

The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club has a long and rich tradition of Field Day operations. June 2022 marked another successful Field Day, held at Smoky View Church, 2201 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. Planning now begins for 2023, possible at the same location.
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We want all of our club members and as many visitors as possible to come out to help, get on the air and enjoy. Make plans now to be a part of the greatest tradition in ham radio. Field Day is always the fourth weekend of June 2:00 p.m. Saturday until 2:00 p.m. Sunday. We begin setup at 8:00 a.m. during the cooler morning hours. Since our regular monthly meeting occurs on the fourth Monday each month, Field Day takes the place of the June meeting. Click Link below for pictures from 2018 and 2019: 
If you have further questions or need directions, please visit our about page, just click: here.

This Week's NCS

Michael J.

K4MJF

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