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Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society™
* W4BFB * Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co. NC *

Repeaters on * 146.94-(118.8) * 145.29-(118.8) * 145.23-(118.8) * 224.40- * 444.60+(118.8)
Packet on * 145.010 * 145.090 * 224.400 * 446.500 * All 1200 baud FM simplex
Metrolina 2m Emergency Net™: 9:00 PM Local Time on 146.94-(118.8)
Mecklenburg ARES Net: Wednesdays, 7:30 PM Local Time on 146.94-(118.8)
ARRL Special Service Club logo

Welcome to the MARS - W4BFB Website

Welcome to the website of the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society, an active affiliate club of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Based in Charlotte, NC, the club has been serving Amateur Radio Operators, or Hams, in Mecklenburg County and the surrounding areas since it was founded in 1949. We are incorporated in North Carolina as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our primary focus is to provide valuable training, actively promote the amateur radio hobby, and most of all - have fun!



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Club Activities

Photos from our February 2015 Club Meeting. We had a great turnout, despite the fear of the storms coming!

Join Us for Dinner!

Come out and join us for dinner before the monthly club meetings and indulge in some great food and great conversations. Click here to see where we will be meeting this month!
We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Clubroom Activities

One of our goals for 2015 is to have more activities held in down in the club room. Below are some upcoming events planned:

   Monthly Club Meeting:

Our club's regular monthly meeting is held on the last Tuesday of each month (except December) beginning at 7:30pm, at St. Giles Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 2027 Emerywood Drive, Charlotte NC.   All visitors are Welcome.

Club meeting's are where we can all come together to see old friends, make new friends, meet the person that goes with the voice and the callsign, find someone to help with a radio problem, learn other's experience with a piece of gear, or just plain yak with someone. We tell war stories, encourage new Hams, encourage old Hams, divulge our secret techniques of operating or fixing, discuss current Ham radio events, promote upcoming public service events or remember those we have done. For most meetings, we try to enlist an interesting presentation of a program topic about something in the communications world. We have had some very interesting topics presented. Sometimes we explain what's required and how to accomplish the best hamfest in the southeast, sometimes we horsetrade radio fleas at a club auction, and when December comes, we get all gussied up for our annual Holiday party.

It's important to come to club meetings because that's where everything comes together. You get to lobby members of our Board of Directors (and they really like to hear what everyone is interested in because it makes their job easier). Club meetings are such an important part of our group that we require attendance of at least 7 of the last 12 meetings to be eligible for nomination to our Board of Directors.

   Latest MARS-W4BFB News:

Mobile users click here.
If you have news that needs to be added to the News box, send it to for review.
Posted 6/17/2015
W4DXCC is a DX and Contest Convention held in Pigeon Forge, TN If you’re a DXer, Contester or just an active ham you should attend this year.
W4DXCC header The attendees enjoy the fellowship of other hams and share their experiences. They meet old friends and make new ones. Once you attend you will be back every year. Representatives from Top equipment manufacturers will be on hand to demo new equipment and answer your questions One on One.
This will be the most informative and relaxed DX and Contest convention you have ever attended, not to mention the many great prize drawings.
It’s Time to make your reservations
1) Call the Mainstay convention hotel at 865-428-8350 to book your room and be sure to ASK for SEDCO special rates
2) Call Rosie KA4S at 865-898-2279 for Convention and Banquet tickets.
For More Details Visit us at - www.W4DXCC.com

Posted 5/12/2015
Ted Goldthorpe - W4VHF (ex-WA4VCC) SK
Ted a long time member of MARS-W4BFB, passed away Sunday morning May 10th, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Posted 3/2/2015
MARS-W4BFB in the NC QSO Party (Contesting and Testing Emergency Preparedness)

Posted 2/17/2015
K4DXA - Ken Boyd (CDXA President) SK
Ken - K4DXA, a long time member of MARS-W4BFB, passed away Monday February 16, 2015 after a short illness.

North Carolina QSO Party - Sign Up Now!
posted 02/16/2015  
The 2015 North Carolina QSO Party, NCQP, is quickly approaching - March 1, 2015. Those of you that were at our last club meeting in January got to see a sneak peek at what would be going on. If you missed it - We'll be discussing it some more at this month's meeting.
Don't worry if you are only a technician, or don't have an HF rig to operate - that is not a problem - you can absolutely still participate! And those of you that have been operating HF for a while, this is a great chance to show off some of those skills and be an elmer to a newer operator.
Our club will be activating in Mecklenburg County from our club room in the Red Cross. In order for the event to run as smoothly as possible, we are asking that you answer a few brief questions for us [here] so we can know who is interested in operating, and we can then come up with an operating schedule where as many people as possible can participate and have a great time.
Of course, if you don't sign up you can still show up - we'll never turn you away! Feel free to bring by friends and family as well. If, for whatever reason, you have any issues getting this form filled out, please shoot the board an email and we'll help you get that taken care of.
This will be the first of many events in March (it's going to be a busy month) and we look forward to seeing how active our club can be in participating in the different things we do!

FCC "Paperless" Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into Effect on February 17
posted 01/29/2015  
Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December the FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official electronic authorizations, as it had proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as part of its "process reform" initiatives.
Read More [here].

Carolina Cycling Time Trial Association
posted 01/18/2015  
The 2015 dates for the CCTTA Public Service Events have been announced!
4/1/15 (Wednesday evening)
5/7/15 (Thursday evening)
6/3/15 (Wednesday evening)
7/8/15 (Wednesday evening)
8/5/15 (Wednesday evening)
9/2/15 (Wednesday evening)
The events typically start around 6:30 pm. We have to be at the Speedway and in position by 6:00 pm.
We use a 440 simplex frequency at this event. If you do not have a radio for this, the club does have some available for use during this time.
If you can help with this event, please contact directly for complete information.

2014 Ham of the Year
posted 01/10/2015  
Each year we reward an individual's efforts with a "Ham of the Year" award. Our reigning Ham of the Year chooses his successor, and at our holiday party, presents the award. It's then the job of the new Ham of the Year to pay attention throughout that next year, because he knows he has to choose a worthy successor. Choosing the right person is a difficult task, but we try to give most consideration to service to our club, our community, and to other Hams.
Congratulations to Paul Jones, K4VCF, on receiving the 2014 Ham of the Year Award! Keep your eye peeled for January's newsletter to see all the things that Paul has helped out with not only in the club, but in the community as well!
To see the previous recipients of this award, please see the "Ham of the Year" page under "Activities", or click here.

MARS Membership Renewal
posted 11/13/2014  
You can now renew your membership to MARS online using PayPal (even if you don't have or don't want a PayPal account). PayPal is easy, secure and fast. Anyone with an email address can use PayPal in a minute or less, and you can pay with a major credit card!
After the first portion of the MARS online renewal form has been completed and submitted successfully, you will be returned back to the form to complete the PayPal portion by selecting the correct [Pay Now] button which will take you to a secure PayPal website. When completing the PayPal porting please enter your [call] in the notes section of the PayPal form.
If you prefer not to renew on line, you can still complete a paper form on line, print it, and then mail it in with your check or bring it to a meeting and give to the treasure. We hope this makes it easy for you to renew your membership.

W4BFB Receives 501(c)(3) Designation
posted 12/3/2014  
On behalf of Andy, K4GKK, and your Board of Directors, I am pleased to advise that the Internal Revenue Service has approved our recent request to be listed as a 501(c)(3) organizations. This means any and all donations to MARS, a charitable organization, are deductible.
As we approach the end of 2014, we hope that club members, in addition to renewing their annual membership, will give serious consideration to making a contribution to the club. In addition to cash, any donation of equipment that can be sold at the Hamfest is tax deductible, as long as the contribution is made before the end of the year and you are given a receipt for the fair market value of the item.
The Board wishes to express its gratitude to George W4GEH, Patrick W4PFI, Patrick's dad Don Fink, for the time, energy, and attention to getting the application tuned up before it was submitted. Yes, I was involved, but it was a team effort.
Having the 501(c)(3) can and will open some doors for MARS that can have the effect of improving the club's bottom line and allow us to have a greater impact on our community.
73, Paul

(SK) Bill Martin, W4AFU
posted 11/13/2014  
GASTONIA - William "Bill" Eugene Martin, 86, passed away Nov. 13, 2014, at Caromont Regional Medical Center.
He was born July 24, 1928 a native of Gaston County, son of the late William Alexander and Esther Hollifield Martin.
He was a member and Past Master (1977) of King Solomon Masonic Lodge #704 in Gastonia. He was a member of the Valley of Charlotte Scottish Rite. He was an Oasis Shriners and co-founder of Oasis Radio Car. He was a co-founder of Gaston County Amateur Radio Society. His amateur radio call sign was W4AFU.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Betty Martin; son, Patterson "Patt" Martin; brother, Ronald Martin; grandchildren, Connery, Ross and Hillie Martin; nieces and nephews, Rick Hill, Rita Short, Ken Beach, Sandra Porter and Brian Martin.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his grandson, Gabriel Martin and brother, Jim Martin.
A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Saturday at Greene Funeral Service, South Chapel, 1503 S. York Road, Gastonia, officiated by the Rev. Jerry Millwood.
Visitation will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your choice of: Shriners Hospital, 604 Doug Mayes Place, Charlotte, NC 28262 or Oxford Masonic Home for Children, c/o King's Solomon 704, PO Box 704, Gas-tonia, NC 28053.
Arrangements are with the South Chapel of Greene Funeral Service and Crematorium, Gastonia.
Condolences may be made online at www.greenefuneral.com

Radio Links posted 10/24/2014  
Check out the updated Radio Links button in the navigation bar. It now has links for back issues of CQ Magazine, 73 Magazine and American Radio History which has links to many other radio and electronic magazines.

220 Jabber Net: posted 8/12/2014  
For those of you who have been around the MARS club for a while, you may be familiar with the "220 Jabber Net" that used to be run by Bryan, K4NET. With busy schedules and new nets, this net fell to the wayside.
However, due to many requests for it, Bob, K9TMU, has offered to get this net back up and running! He would like your input as to what day/time would be the most convenient for everyone to have this net. We would like it to interfere with as few other nets as possible (we know this will be difficult due to the number of popular nets in our area, but we would like to try our best).
If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions for this net, please get in touch with Bob, K9TMU or Bryan, K4NET.

New Meeting Location posted 6/10/2014  
MARS has a new meeting space, starting in July, 2014.
We will be moving our monthly club meetings to the newly completed Fellowship Hall at St. Giles Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The church is located in the Montclaire neighborhood at 2027 Emerywood Drive. Here's the [link] to a short slideshow to give a bit of a photo tour of the new facility so that you know what to expect and what to look for.

Charlotte Talks updated 2/25/2014  
Tuesday, Feb 25, Ham Radio will be the topic on "Charlotte Talks" with Mike Collins, WFAE FM 90.7. The show airs live @ 9AM and is replayed at 9PM. MARS's own Paul Jones K4VCF and TIm Slay N4IB will be in the studio live talking about ham radio, the upcoming Charlotte Hamfest and the ARRL's Centennial.
Hear the show now at http://wfae.org/programs/charlotte-talks-wfae

Upcoming Public Service Events

For more information and to sign up to help, go to Ridemaps

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This page last revised:  02/24/2015 06:25:33 PM