The History of the Rowan Amateur Radio Society
Long before cell phones, the Internet, or web pages like this one, our club was an active and vital part of the community. Since it’s early day’s back in 1937 our club and it’s dedicated members have freely shared their skills in Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications with those interested or needing our assistance. We are continually working to expand our radio knowledge, and hone our individual, and collective operating skills.
We take pride in our accomplishments, being there in times of emergency, offering our expertise to those in need. Many of our members are specially trained for Emergency Communications, many are Severe Weather Spotters in the Skywarn Network having been trained by the National Weather Service, others take part in Community Emergency Response Teams assisting with Search and Rescue, First Aid, and Damage Assessment.
The photograph above was taken November 20, 1937 and depicts the first station thought to be on the air with the call sign “W4EXU” and operated by the Rowan Amateur Radio Society, or “Piedmont Amateur Radio Club” as it was called back then. The W4EXU call sign has been used as a station ID for many events throughout the years and even appears on our official club emblem.
Until recently, the W4EXU call sign had been used to ID a 2 meter repeater located on Young Mountain at Barber Junction near Cleveland NC. However, antenna towers on Young Mountain have been sold and access to the site and repeater curtailed, so during the October 2010 meeting of the Rowan Amateur Radio Society, a motion was made by Butch Edge, W4WEE to tell the Barber Junction Repeater Association that we are removing our call sign from the 146.73 repeater. The motion was seconded by Clarence Beaver, K4SHU. The Motion passed.
The FCC’s rules that govern the Amateur Radio Service have changed many times throughout the years as well. It is now possible to obtain your Amateur Radio license without even having to learn the International Morse Code! That does not mean Morse Code is no longer being used, or that they have done away with it all together. It simply means that proficiency in sending and receiving Morse Code is no longer a requirement, or hurdle as some would call it, in obtaining your Amateur Radio License.
At some point the FCC felt it would be alright for a club to hold more then one call sign. Armed with this knowledge the Rowan Amateur Radio Society decided to add another call sign to the clubs repertoire, and through the diligent efforts of Billy Stewart WA4PVI, Tommie Wood N4YZ, and Wayne Ashworth W4HG, the FCC has issued another call sign to the Rowan Amateur Radio Society. A new call “KJ4FJL” was issued July 23, 2008 to the Rowan Amateur Radio Society, and then on August 12, 2008 that call sign was replaced with the vanity call “N4UH” in memory of club member Henry Elwell now a Silent Key.
The “N4UH” call sign has now been assigned to a pair of repeaters owned by the Rowan Amateur Radio Society, one a 2 meter repeater (145.410 PL 136.5) and the other a 440 repeater (443.250 PL 136.5) both are located at approximately 800′ feet on a tower in China Grove NC. Both repeaters are wide area coverage and each has a National Weather Service monitor installed. We will of course retain the W4EXU call sign for future use. Frank Waring- AF4D is the current Trustee for both the W4EXU and N4UH call signs which are assigned to Rowan Amateur Radio Society.
Anybody with additional information, corrections, or photographs featuring W4EXU, N4UH or The Rowan Amateur Radio Society’s history in general are asked to contact our webmaster so we may update this page.
Thank You & 73, Rowan ARS Webmaster