Christmas RARC Gathering 2016

December 10 , 2016


Sassafraz Restaurant , Union City, TN

The Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club's annual Christmas holiday gathering was once again held at Sassafraz Restaurant located in Union City, TN. The weather this year was quite a bit chillier than last year but tolerable and added to the festive time of year. The parking lot was full and there was even a Ferrari there - certainly not one of our club member's ! The party room was filled to capacity. Everyone enjoyed the setting and the food as usual was outstanding. We all enjoyed each other's company and a great time was had by all.


We had a truly excellent turnout - Glenn N4MJ, RARC President and XYL Linda; Bob K9IL, RARC Vice-President; Jamie WB4YDL, RARC Secretary-Treasurer and XYL June; Art WA4EQO and Tracey; Gene KM4MUN and XYL Pam from Bardwell, KY; Noel KJ4UNX and XYL Laura; Phillip N4PWG; Jeff W5VNH and XYL Diana; Harrell WD4LAR and XYL Carrie; Ray N4SLY and XYL Dolly KN4SLY, Michael AK4VU and his guest, Peggy, and Steve KK4NNH with Hannah KK4SJF and Samuel KK4SJE.

Door Prizes:

As is traditional, Bob K9IL and Rose W9DHD provided their wonderful array of door prizes constructed with great care over a considerable amount of time. Unfortunately, Rose was unable to attend the event. There were several snowmen and sleighs full of holly and lit Christmas trees and even a green Grinch ready to pounce on Christmas. All were beautifully constructed and added to the Christmas spirit and tradition of the event.

The Meeting:

As is normal for this event, no formal business occurred at this 'meeting' . Everybody was too busy enjoying the great food selections provided by Sassafraz Restaurant. Many selections included seafood, pasta, and steaks / burgers. Most enjoyed the pasta and steak.

No one ordered dessert this year as in previous years. Most of us were already making our New Year's resolution of getting up from the radio desk and getting a little exercise and dropping a few pounds !

The year 2016 began quietly. There was no entry this year for the ARRL RTTY Roundup as it occurred the day after New Year's Day and everybody was enjoying time with their families. As of right now, there is no plan to enter the 2017 ARRL RTTY Roundup, mostly due to lack of interest. Also we have lost Todd W4TZX as an active member of the club due to his new work obligations, and he was a major player in the club roundup entry.

There were several on air activities and a few horn toots for RARC members. Bob K9IL again had an excellent result in the Tennessee QSO Party with another 2nd place finish in the high power, TN, CW class. Glenn N4MJ placed 5th in the low power CW class of this event. Jamie WB4YDL, who normally participates in several contests during the year, kept a low profile this year. He did run the NAQP RTTY event as a team member with the Tennessee Contest Group, but that was about it. Jamie upgraded his station with the sale of his old Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V and the purchase of an Elecraft K3S. Several rotator issues have cropped up and this was the main reason for the lack of participation in much competition this year. Glenn and son Michael participated in the National Parks on the Air event this year held by the ARRL. They activated the Trail of Tears near Ft. Donelson, KY.

This year, Harrell WD4LAR became the new ARES Emergency Coordinator for Obion County and Noel KJ4UNX is now Assistant EC for Obion County. Congratulation to both ! As an aside, the Sunday evening net now has an ARES add-on called the ARES Minute that briefly announces any subject relevant to ARES and this counts as ARES training for the EC to report. This has been very well received and is a great addition.

The annual Ides of March Hamfest was the 9th in the club's history and landed on the Saturday before Easter Sunday ! It was a beautiful sunny day and attendance was good ! We had two new vendors with RARC's own Stan AA5XO and TN07 Engineering out of Eagleville, TN specializing in portable operations gear. The staggered prize ticket arrangement was again successful, particularly for the vendors. Looking forward to the Ides of March Hamfest 2017, which will be our 10th annual event!

The annual Field Day event took place during the last full weekend in June. It was miserably hot and humid with temperatures near the century mark. This year there were new bonus point opportunities including the addition of a Safety Officer. Noel KJ4UNX was our safety officer during the event, but there were times during the antenna raising that I thought a few of us were going to need IV fluids ! Band conditions were punk during the event and we did not do well with the phone station. Again, the GOTA station did very well and carried us to a 3rd place finish in 3A class in the state of TN. Our friends to the south of us in Springhill beat us by about 80 points. Murphy seemed along for the ride taking out the digital station computer. However, this was salvaged by a replacement laptop that Glenn had available. Nationwide, we dropped 20 spots to 39th. Next year, we'll correct our deficiencies and work to improve our score. That's Field Day !

Epilogue :

The year 2017 will arrive with changes on the horizon. Not only will there be new leadership for our country, but there will likely be new leadership for our club. Glenn N4MJ, our long-time President, has intimated that he would like to step down and let someone else take the gavel, and it is likely that all three officer positions may come open. The Ides of March Hamfest will be our 10th and will be on the last Saturday of March, the 25th - this time 2 weeks before Easter ! We'll see if RARC can meet the challenge for a great Field Day result in 2017. Hopefully we'll see more new members and our youth become interested in our wonderful hobby.

The next regular scheduled RARC meeting will be on January 26, 2017 at the Obion County Public Library in Union City, TN. The Net Control Station and Refreshment assignments are now posted. Until next time ...






Have a Very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Good DX!