SVEN and WINFRED ARES Nets Moving to the K4USS Repeater Until Further Notice

If you attempted to join into the SVEN on 3/31 at 7 PM, you probably shared in the experience that resulted in Net Control (and Net Manager Tony, KM4HUE) moving the net to the K4USS Repeater (145.39 MHz) mid-stream. The noise levels at the W4RKC 146.82 MHz repeater receiver when the squelch was open were not able to be overcome with sufficient signal strength to create high enough signal-to-noise ratio to facilitate even minimally-intelligible voice communication at that time. Tony’s quick thinking moved the net to the idle K4USS repeater at 145.39 MHz (minus offset direction, CTCSS tone 146.2 Hz), and several of those attempting to participate in the net followed suit.

Following the net, I discussed the issue with Tony, and then had a conversation with Royce. The consensus is to that until further notice, the SVEN will continue to meet as normal, but with one change – the net will be conducted on the K4USS repeater. The day of the week remains Tuesday, and the time remains 7:00 PM local time. This is expected to be temporary until the W4RKC club repeater can be troubleshot and remediated of whatever ailments it is found to be suffering. The K4USS repeater sits about 3/4 of a mile southwest (down the same ridge) of the W4RKC repeaters on North Mountain, and should have similar coverage characteristics.

Similarly, Dave, KG4BIR, the ARES Emergency Coordinator for Winchester and Frederick County (Virginia) has also opted to move the Sunday night 8:30 PM ET nets to the K4USS Repeater in similar fashion as the SVEN. One thing to remember about the ARES net is that it is on the repeater with one caveat – on the last Sunday of the month, the net is held on a simplex frequency  (147.510 MHz) in lieu of using repeaters.

If you require assistance configuring your personal equipment to access the K4USS repeater, please reach out to me or others in the club so that you might be assisted via e-mail, over the air, or over the telephone. In honoring the idea of not contributing to the risks of the current pandemic, I will politely decline invites to meet in person until such is deemed no longer a high risk activity, and would encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for your participation in this net, and if you are not a net participant, please consider joining us on Tuesday evenings!


Mike – KG4Y (kg4y at arrl dot net)

Next SVARC Meeting Special Guest Speaker – Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH

Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH portrait
Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH

On Thursday evening, August 15th, 2019, at 7:30 PM, the Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club is pleased to host Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, to speak to us regarding the future of amateur radio enforcement since the discontinuation of the official observer program.

Riley is no stranger to the rules enforcement business. He held a position for many years at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) leading the Enforcement Bureau’s efforts to maintain order on the amateur radio bands. Following Riley’s retirement, the activity of the Enforcement Bureau seemed to drop off. The American Radio Relay League’s (ARRL’s) Official Observer program was discontinued last summer, to be replaced with the Volunteer Monitoring Program.

We look forward to hearing from Riley about the Volunteer Monitoring Program, and invite you to join us at the club house to come hear it for yourself.

The 2019 Richmond Frostfest Report

On the very chilly first Saturday morning in February of 2019, many SVARC members were up well before sunrise, and on the road. Where were they headed? Off to the Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. What would be the reason for otherwise seemingly sane people to leave the friendly confines of a warm, comfortable bed before daylight to brave the single digit temperatures for a two-and-a-half hour (plus or minus) drive to our Commonwealth’s capitol city? Continue reading “The 2019 Richmond Frostfest Report”

January 13th 2019 VE Session Canceled

The VE Team management has decided to cancel today’s VE session in the interest of everyone’s safety. The plan at this point is to resume normal schedule, where the next VE session is now scheduled to be Sunday, February 10th, 2019, at 1:00 PM EST at the SVARC club house house. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this may have caused anyone, and appreciate your understanding.

New Year, New ARES Net – Kicking Off the First Sunday in January 2019

Here’s a quick reminder that the inaugural kick off of the Winchester / Frederick County (Virginia) ARES net will be held at 8:30 PM ET on Sunday, January 6th, 2019, using the SVARC 2 Meter repeater. This repeater operates with an FM mode at a frequency of 146.82 MHz, with a standard ‘minus’ offset (listens 600 kHz below at 146.22 MHz) requiring the use of CTCSS tone 146.2 Hz for access of the repeater. This is an ARES net; however, membership in ARES is not required to participate. The net welcomes all interested and properly licensed amateurs to join us.

The intent for this net is to be a weekly net at 8:30 PM ET / Local on Sundays, on the SVARC 2 Meter repeater, with the exception being the last Sunday of the month holding the net on an FM simplex frequency of 146.58 MHz to practice communication skills and identify available communication paths in the event that the repeater would somehow be unavailable in an actual emergency situation.

Please drop by and check in!

Reminder – NO VE Session in May

We were made aware of some confusion on the club web site that our calendar was showing a VE Session scheduled for May 13th, 2018. This was in error, and has since been removed. SVARC and the VE Team have refrained from holding VE sessions on Mother’s Day, and will continue in this manner in 2018. If you are looking for a session, please check with the ARRL session finder, or please come and see us on Sunday, June 10th, 2018, at the SVARC club house at 1:00 PM. Thank you for patience and understanding, we look forward to serving you as VE’s in June.

Frederick County BZA Hearing Results – April 17th, 2018

At 3:30 PM on April 17th, 2018, one of our newer members (David – KN4IOY) that operates a local wireless internet business attended two hearings at the Frederick County Administration Office in Winchester regarding on-going disputes at two distinct locations in western Frederick County. One location is on the Great North Mountain Ridge at the far west edge of the county, and the other slightly east and south of there in the Mountain Falls subdivision of the greater Winchester area. A handful of members from SVARC, in addition to a couple of other hams attended to speak on behalf of the amateur radio interests in these hearings. Continue reading “Frederick County BZA Hearing Results – April 17th, 2018”

Growing Family of Hams – March 2018 VE Session Success Story

Second Sunday of Most Months

Many people in the local ham radio community are aware of the Northern Shenandoah DX Association’s VE Sessions that have been held the second Sunday of most months at the SVARC club house

What Made March 2018’s Session Special

Megan, Sandy, and Audrey Photo
On the left, is Megan Strite, who successfully passed her Technician class examination. On the right, is her older sister Audrey (KN4CHI/AG), who successfully upgraded to General class. Sandra Bowen (KF4EKA), a VE, active member, past officer and retired Loudoun County school teacher, was honored and proud to pose with these two wonderful young ladies showing off their freshly minted CSCEs.

This past Sunday’s VE Session (March 10th, 2018) at the club house yielded several successes in the pursuit of Amateur Radio Licensing. Among those were two daughters of our current club treasurer, Mr. Bradley Strite (N3RBU). Continue reading “Growing Family of Hams – March 2018 VE Session Success Story”

70th Anniversary Special Event QSL Card Sneak-Peek

Gary Fortun (K4GJF) has been hard at work on design of a QSL card specially crafted to celebrate 70 years of the SVARC with all those who work our special event (W4R) during the days of April 5th to the 14th of 2018 (UTC), and request a QSL card. He has received a lot of feedback and input from a tight circle of folks, but we’ve got a sneak peek right here on of what it will look like for presentation to the club members at the next meeting. Click ‘Continue Reading’ to see it. Continue reading “70th Anniversary Special Event QSL Card Sneak-Peek”