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Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

"Discover the magic and camaraderie of amateur radio!"


Welcome to the Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club.

The Easter Bunny Fox Hunt Is On!

The Easter Bunny Fox Hunt Is On!
Get out of the house and smell the fresh air and sunshine (we hope).

Easter Bunny Kidnapping Search

The Easter Bunny has been kidnapped by Bad Hare- get it? Bad Hare- and his hopping mad mate Covid Bunny. Bad Hare is in the Highland Plaza-Northgate-Chickamauga Dam-Gold Point area. Find Bad Hare and follow his
instructions to release the Easter Bunny. Bad Hare’s picture will be visible from the road. Follow the printed directions. Adhere to usual safety procedures. Participation in this or any event is at your own risk so be careful as you drive and search for our furry friend.

Fox Hunting or RDF (Radio Direction Finding) Explained W4SET (Robert Berman)

Since the discovery of radio transmission, ways to detect the location from which a signal is coming have been highly sought after. The military wanted the capability to find spies transmitting wartime information to enemies. The ability to use Radio Direction Finding (RDF) is a science coupled with art and ingenuity since radio waves behave differently from moment to moment and place to place.

Enter amateur radio and the competitive spirit of hams. RDF became a sport that grew to worldwide acceptance. There are hidden transmitter hunts all over the world with regional and international competitions. Anyone can participate; no license is required since RDF is a “listening” or signal monitoring sport. All that is required is a receiver with some directional receiving sensitivity and knowledge of the way radio waves behave.

It is possible to spend a lot of money on complex equipment, but it is also possible to find the location of signals with simple receivers like a handy talkie and personal savvy. One person can pursue the hidden transmitter, or a team can work together. It can be done on foot, from a vehicle, or from a fixed base or a combination of these methods. Often a team of RDF operators will search for a lost hiker, a downed airplane, or the source of interference to radio traffic.

While RDF has many practical uses, to encourage hams and others to learn RDF, it was given more fun names- Fox Hunting in the eastern US, Bunny Hunting in California, and Armadillo Hunting in Arizona- to name some. What might it be called in Washington DC?

Note the Frequency Change Since Originally Posted:

Starting Sunday, May 17 through Sunday, May 24, W4SET will have a Bunny beaconing on 145.990 MHz from 1000L to 1800L daily.

To tie the exercise to the NIMS ICS disaster management methods that hams interested in EmComm have been studying, and to provide some clues, a set of ICS forms for the Easter Bunny Kidnapping Search are available by emailing W4SET@ARRL.NET.

Inexpensive DIY antennas and some instructions and tips for RDF can make the experience even more fun. Use the web to search for fox hunting antenna projects and videos of fox hunts. There are hundreds of posts to enjoy.
So, get up, piece together an antenna from scrap, check out the videos, and get into the game.

So get out there and find that fox and have some radio fun!

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Affecting Club Activities

In view of the public health crisis now upon us with COVID-19, a.k.a. “Coronavirus”, the CARC Executive Board has unanimously agreed to cancel the following club activities:

  • Executive Board Meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2020 is canceled.
  • The Thursday, April 2, 2020 monthly club meeting is canceled.

Decisions about club activities will be made on a month-to-month basis and announced prior to dates of any scheduled meetings, workshops, or other activities.

Our First Two Saturday Workshops

Our first two Saturday workshops for the new year are now scheduled.

Digital Radio – DONE
D-STAR, DMR, & Fusion
Saturday, Feb 8th; 8 AM – 1 PM
CHI Memorial Hospital Community Room
2525 de Sales Avenue
Chattanooga, TN

Winlink – DONE
Saturday, Mar 7th; 9 AM – 1 PM
CHI Memorial Hospital Community Room
2525 de Sales Avenue
Chattanooga, TN

We had a great turnout for Winlink…20 people!

Our Website is Transitioning to SSL

Due to changes in modern browsers, our website is now transitioning to use of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology.  What this means to website users, is that traffic between your computer and our website are now encrypted to minimize the risk of information being intercepted to or from our server.  This is a good change!

So the official URL of our website will now be:   (Note the “s” in http).

As our transition moves forward, any browser warning messages that you may occasionally receive will be come fewer and fewer.

Jack P. Thompson, N5UOV – Hamfest Volunteer Door Prize Winner!
Jack (right) was the lucky Hamfest Volunteer Winner of a new Icom IC-7300 SDR Radio. He was one of almost 60 hamfest volunteers that worked tirelessly to make Hamfest Chattanooga 2019 our best-executed event, two-day event in our club’s history. Congratulations to Jack and to all our volunteers for stepping up to the plate and making our hamfest great!

What A Great Thing To Do!

Ervin Sweet, WA9ERT, was one of our two Grand Prize Winners at Hamfest Chattanooga 2019…winning a new Icom IC-7300 SDR Radio.  As it turned out, he already had a 7300.  Knowing of the theft of some club radios this past July when our communications trailer was stolen, Mr. Sweet decided to donate his less than two-year old 7300 to the club to replace one of the stolen HF radios.  Our club is honored by Mr. Sweet’s donation.  We’ll all remember his generosity when his donated radio is fired up for club events.

Mr. Sweet presented his radio to the club at last night’s monthly club meeting.

CARC Stolen Items List

Help us find the items that were stolen from our club.  Please review and print our stolen items list.  Take the list to ham radio events, flea markets, and any place you think it might be sold.


Stolen Items List Revision Log:

2019-07-14 Through the diligence of Our Club Treasurer the serial number for the Kenwood 450S HF Radio has been located and added to the Stolen Items List.

Status MCP Trailer Theft & Donations

The recent theft of our MCP Communications Trailer was one of the saddest events in the almost 65-year history of our club. The quick recovery of our trailer was possible because of the tremendous attention that the theft received in our local community & media, on social media, and within the Amateur Radio community-at-large. The officers, directors, and members of our club have been astounded by the outpouring of goodwill.

Since yesterday’s interview with our wonderful media friends at WRCB TV 3 was broadcast, we have received additional information about the theft. That information is in the hands of the Chattanooga Police Department which is moving quickly to determine its validity. We remain cautiously optimistic that with the continuing support of our local community and the worldwide community of Amateur Radio Operators (Hams), we will locate the remaining equipment and bring those responsible for the theft to justice.

Following the announcement of the theft, the strong desire of many to financially help our club replace the stolen equipment through donations has led to various on-line, crowd-funding type efforts…none of which are approved or sanctioned by our Board of Directors, our operations officers, or our members.

As our honored friends, we ask that you be cautious of any on-line fund-raising allegedly on behalf of our club, as it is unauthorized and not connected to our club in any way.

After the dust settles on the theft, we will assess its full impact and decide what our next steps will be. Should external or non-local funding be sought, we will accept donations through our own website or via direct mail. In so doing, the path of donations will be direct to our club. We genuinely appreciate the zeal and desire of some to help, but as a 501(c)(3) organization we desire to conform all legal and tax requirements for solicitation and acceptance of donations and to make sure that any donations made are received as intended…to our club.

Comprehensive efforts are underway through a variety of channels to locate and recover the remaining stolen equipment. So, let’s focus a bit longer on recovery then we’ll determine what to do about equipment that is determined to truly be lost.

I would like to also note that a 1999 Black Toyota Tacoma Pickup truck (with ladder rack, tag number H116715) was also stolen during the theft of the communications trailer. That vehicle is owned by one of our members. That vehicle was used by the thieves to tow our comm trailer through a security fence. Our efforts to locate our club’s stolen equipment includes our member’s vehicle as well.

We continue to count our blessings in the recovery of our communications trailer. The actions of our community, our local media, and our global family of Amateur Radio operators is a wonderful reaffirmation that there are still good people in the world. Thank you.

Gary Ownsby, AK4ZX
President 2019
Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

Communications Trailer Recovered!

Thanks to Everyone. A Special Thank You to NewsChannel 3 and Its Viewers!

CARC ARRL Field Day 2019 is a Success!

Field Day 2019 lived up to expectations and then some.  It provided much-needed opportunities to set up and operate in less than perfect conditions…just as might be encountered in a disaster scenario.

Our field-operating radio skills were dusted off as was our teamwork, how-tos, and abilities to make on-the-spot repairs and improvisations to equipment.  Our new, more flexible operating plan for radio operators helped better match personal scheduling to the event.  At times there were as many as 45 operators, guests, and youth on-site…a wonderful turnout!

Mother Nature tested our mettle with heat, sun, severe thunderstorms, lightning, strong winds, and horizontal rain…so much so that shelter was taken in the on-site restrooms during the wee hours of Sunday morning.  Band conditions continued to challenge us to persevere and make those contacts.  Patience was a virtue well-tested as was knob-spinning to squeak out that last bit of signal and intelligible traffic.

As the event drew near, the invitations to youth went out and our future generation of hams responded.  It was great to see the blending of generations to learn and promote our love of radio.  Equally important was the response from our “more senior” staff to sharing a radio with a young person.  Lots of folks found out that they can be an “Elmer” too.  Sharing radio time and helping others to learn was one of the greatest pleasures of the day.

An extra special “reward” was being able to provide an environment for radio time to hams that no longer have an easy way to practice their favorite hobby…those in retirement center environments where outside antennas are not permitted.  Seeing the child-like glee of our more senior hams is another full measure of “reward” for all the planning and efforts of the event.

The “cherry” on the icing was a singularly-focused group of people that set aside their personal schedules to prepare, set up, operate, feed others, fellowship, welcome youth (and those not-so-young), and put it all away again without strife or flared tempers…in 90+ degree weather.  This alone speaks highly of our membership and the camaraderie of Amateur Radio as a whole.

A very special thanks to CARC Field Day Manager, Barclay (Mac) Thomas, WT4BT, for his guidance and leadership in this event.  Mac, you did a great job!

Well done Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club!

Photos of our event may be seen here.

Gary Ownsby, AK4ZX
President 2019

A Future Ham Radio Operator
Katie B. operates an HF radio under the supervision of a licensed ham radio operator.
Stephen Hamill KN4NSZ
13-Year Old, Stephen Hamill listens intently for radio traffic during ARRL Field Day.
Ham Radio Always Draws A Crowd
Kids have fun, parents & grandparents beam as they watch their children learn ham radio.

This video was made by Jonathan Hamill at today’s CARC ARRL Field Day 2019.  Great fun, food, and fun for all.

Amateur Radio & the New Tennessee Handsfree Law

Legislative Update.

Thanks to the good sense of our Tennessee Legislature, Amateur Radio use/operation is exempted from the new hands-free requirements which go into effect shortly.

Click here to read the actual wording of the new legislation.  We would suggest that you also have a copy of your FCC license just in case law enforcement requires more proof of your status as a valid, licensed Amateur Radio operator.  A wallet-sized version is available for even more convenience.

Scouting News Radio Merit Badge Training.

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, Scouts from Troops 172 & 20 took part today in earning the Radio Merit Badge and learning about Amateur Radio.  Extra thanks to CARC members Garland Eubanks, Robert Wilson, David Wilson, Bill Price, Chad McFarlin, and Robert Berman for their time and enthusiasm.  See photos below.

New Meeting Location.

As of November 1, 2018, our new meeting location is:

Parkridge Diagnostic Center 
First Floor Conference Room
2205 Oak Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404

This is next door to Parkridge Hospital.  Park in the lot in front of the Diagnostic Center then walk into the main entrance.  Turn right at the Security Desk and enter the room.  Remember this is at the Diagnostic Center not the hospital.

Parkridge Diagnostic Center
Parkridge Diagnostic Center

Quick Notes:

  • CARC Zello Channel.  Install the Zello App on your smartphone and get instant information via voice, text, images, etc.  Zello is a free app.  Learn more about it here.
  • Membership.
    The new membership & renewal form is available here.  We encourage you to join our club or renew your membership now.  We strongly encourage membership in the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).  They are the “voice of amateur radio.”

Details on most events may be found on the club web calendar.

The President's Corner.

Each new day and every new year provides opportunities for each of us to learn more about our Amateur Radio hobby and to encourage others and ourselves in fun, learning, and community service.

Ham Radio is a lifelong adventure because with each new generation of hams, we re-invent the hobby using the latest technology and do things that would be science fiction to hams in the infancy of our hobby.  Digital radio, software-defined radios and such bring a new layer of enjoyment and learning. Yet our older communication modes have not been left behind and are still there for us to enjoy and use.

In more recent years, “radio sport” has been added to our vocabulary.  This is contesting at a higher level and several of our members enjoy this new level of activity in addition to the less frenzied contesting that has always been available to us.

In the ham radio world, there is a phrase that bears occasional repeating “another arrow in the quiver”.  Simply put, every new communications protocol, new mode, or “new-fangled” gear gives the Amateur Radio world more capabilities so I encourage you to not be so quick to discount or avoid new modes that come along but to pick your niche and get on the air.

This coming year, we plan to rekindle hands-on workshops, fun & learning outings, quick & simple “events” and more opportunities to get on the air and increase your comfort level with radio operation and use.  We also want to encourage you to take a more active role in our club and consider getting on-board the club management team.

Our club continues to support Scouting in various ways as we seek to introduce and help scouts of today learn more about Amateur Radio and achieve merit badges within the scouting world.

The YL Group associated with our club is continuing to grow and expand its presence and service within our area and elsewhere.  For the first time ever, this past year, our club encouraged and sponsored YL forums at Hamfest Chattanooga. Ham Radio has a place for all and especially you.

This year we also hope to encourage youth and more “young adults” to join our hobby by rejuvenating our Elmer Program.  Camaraderie and Amateur Radio go hand-in-hand and having more folks involved in helping each other is where we want to be.

Our relationship with the ARRL continues to be strong and we are honored to be host to the 2019 ARRL Delta Division Convention at our Hamfest Chattanooga in the fall.

So whatever your interest in Amateur Radio, come join us this year.  Amateur Radio can be fun-filled, full of personal achievement, and community service.  All we need is you!

Gary Ownsby, AK4ZX
President 2019

Gary Ownsby, CARC President 2019