Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club is based in Union City in Obion County of Northwest Tennessee. The club name is derived from Reelfoot Lake which was formed by a series of earthquakes in late 1811 and early 1812. These earthquakes were so powerful, that they could be felt as far away as Washington, D.C. and Quebec, Canada. The end result was an 18,000 acre lake that serves as a state recreational facility today. See New Madrid Earthquake for more information.
Amateur Radio Today
Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League and has the call sign K4RFT. The sparse "ham" population in this area has resulted in our having members from counties adjacent to or near Obion County. As we are located next to Kentucky, we often have members from southwest Kentucky visit and join the club.
We are a small group with growing enthusiasm and a desire to pass along the elements necessary to make new "hams". Membership is open to anyone expressing an interest in amateur radio. No license is required to become a member, although full voting privileges are reserved for members who are licensed amateur radio operators.
Virtually sitting atop of the New Madrid fault makes our primary interest emergency communications training. Lots of time is spent talking about emergency communication needs and capabilities in our communities. As part of our training, we participate in the annual Field Day operations to hone our emergency preparedness. Additionally, there is the weekly West Tennessee West Kentucky Emergency Net which meets on Sunday evenings at 9 PM on the local Union City WA4YGM repeater (146.70 / .10 MHz). Given today's world environment and the War on Terrorism, emergency communications is a necessary commodity and it is our goal to be an efficient part of that effort.
- -Glenn R. Snow, N4MJ - - President-Emeritus RARC
Amateur radio has been in existence as a service and hobby now for nearly 100 years and I have had the privilege of participating in its many facets for nearly half of those years. In those many years, much has changed technologically with the obsolescence of tubes, the advent of solid state, the miniaturization of electronics, the incorporation of microprocessors and computers in the Information Age, and the incorporation of digital methods in what was an otherwise analog medium.
The thing that hasn’t changed in all those years is the wonder and magic of listening to the captured signals from the “ether” ! In days past in my boyhood, that was with a crystal set with a wire as an antenna thrown out the bedroom window listening to many overseas broadcasts such as Voice of America, Morse code transmissions, and even Castro’s Radio Cuba. Today, the boyhood wonder is rather dilute with many technological wonders. It seems that every pre-teen kid has a “smartphone” - basically a microcomputer built onto a radio transceiver platform. Yet, you can still build a simple crystal radio if you wish and explore those same wonders. So much has changed, yet much remains the same.
The Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club exists primarily as a group to share the camaraderie of amateur radio, share in the experiences and knowledge of others who are so willing to share with newcomers and our youthful ones, and to project this to the public. Primary events include the Ides of March Hamfest in March which celebrates amateur radio and presents this to the public and the amateur radio community. The most popular operating event is the annual ARRL Field Day event in June which demonstrates emergency preparedness in less than ideal conditions wrapped in a fun summertime gathering with lots of opportunity to explore what ham radio offers.
If you are interested in amateur radio, we at Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club would be delighted to meet you and help guide you to achieve your goals. Come join us and explore !
73, James C. Hall, MD
Licensed since 1971
- - June 8, 2019