Club Chronology

Chronological Peaks

The information below originally appeared in a past issue of the Rowan Amateur Radio Society’s monthly newsletter the “Harmonics“. This listing is subject to future updates.

August – New Meeting Location (Beginning August 11, 2014) Rowan County Rescue Squad Building, 1140 Julian Rd. Salisbury NC.
October – Gary Hattaway KQ1E donates 2 repeaters to the Rowan Amateur Radio Society, one is a 2 meter repeater (145.410 PL 136.5) and the other is a 440 repeater (443.250 PL136.5), antenna are located at approximately 880 feet on a tower in China Grove NC. Both repeaters are wide area coverage and each has a National Weather Service monitor installed. Currently both repeaters id as “N4UH”.
August – Society Member and Trustee Frank Waring AF4D announced that the vanity call sign “N4UH” was assigned to the Rowan Amateur Radio Society on August 12, 2008 replacing KJ4FJL.
July – 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. The new call KJ4FJL was issued July 23 2008, but don’t get too used to it! We hope to replace it soon with the vanity call N4UH in memory of club member Henry Elwell now a Silent Key. We will of course retain the W4EXU call sign as well.
March – The Rowan Amateur Radio Society moves it’s website to a new server and registers a new domain name …your here! 🙂
January – In years past the Rowan Amateur Radio Society has combined the responsibilities of Secretary & Treasurer into one roll, that is until this year when by majority vote we now have separate officers (Ralph Brown, WB4AQK Treasurer & Patti Stephens, KI4GUN Secretary) for those positions.
August – After a period of declining performance the W4EXU Repeater gets an upgrade. Thanks to the efforts of Butch W4WEE, Gary W1WBT, Grey KI4CKR, JC K4DFI, Ralph KU4PT, and Wade WC4NBW, and others, the W4EXU Repeater is now back on the air with a new antenna & feed line. Additionally the damaged pre-amp, and a faulty ground have now been repaired as well.
January – After serving as Secretary/Treasurer for 15 years, Ralph Brown – WB4AQK passes the baton to John Cundiff – N1JAC. Ralph was presented with a special award which read “For Years of Loyal Service”. Ralph will continue on as editor for the clubs newsletter the “Harmonics”.
December – Buddy Cauble – N4FCC was elected for a third consecutive term as President, the first time this has happened in the life of the club.
October – After many problems with the club’s tri-bander at FD this year the club sold it to K4PXU and assigned a committee to investigate and make recommendations for buying another.
August – Because the 4th of July falls on Friday in 2003 and all city workers are on holiday, preventing the access to the Convention Center for setup, the date is changed to the weekend after July 4th, July 12.
April – The club finally completes a total revision of the Constitution & By-laws.
July – The Firecracker Hamfest is honored by having Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel, Enforcement Bureau of the FCC to address the crowd.
April – Bobby Lewis – WD4IJX has been nominated for the position of Emergency Coordinator for Rowan County.
September – Herb Goodman – KF4TVI develops a website for the Rowan ARS implementing the clubs callsign in the domain name, as in:, which is no longer active or used by the club in favor of
February – The new meeting place is Rufty-Holmes Senior Center.
January – FCC brings out a new structure for Amateur Radio: three license classes, Technician, General and Extra. CW requirements will be 5 wpm for General and Extra classes.
July – The Firecracker Hamfest is a success.
May – The club votes to fund a competition for members who build an electronic project, homebrew or kit, the purpose of which is to enhance knowledge of ham radio.
January – The club’s first Lady President Carol Maher – W4CLM is elected.
November – The first class for Technician or Novice license is held. It has been over 12 years since the club sponsored a class. There were 7 new hams as a result.
October – The club adopts the Firecracker Hamfest, voting to hold it on July 3, 1999.
December – A Christmas party was held and served to celebrate the club’s 60th birthday. The “Operator of the Year Award was presented for the first time to Ralph – WB4AQK.
March – Proposal made for an annual award to the outstanding RARS member of the year. The proposal was adopted in June.
August & September – Procedures for the use of the funds obtained from Fred’s equipment set up and approved. The 7 points basically require the club to use the funds to promote Ham radio in Rowan County.
January – Procedures set up to dispose of WD4KJZ’s equipment by silent auction with club members having first shot at buying. Auction to be held in March.
December – Fred McGinnis – WD4KJZ becomes a Silent Key and wills his ham equipment to the club.
July – Walt Bastow – N4KVF operates the first Firecracker Hamfest. Many club members help out.
January – Work begun on revising the constitution.
January – The club is informed that the County Commissioners have put a price of $50 for meetings using the Ag. Building. We move AGN. Trial meetings held at Rufty-Holmes Center then later at various restaurants, before settling into the Library.
November – Larry Wright – N4QY wins Top Phone award for NC in the November Sweepstakes.
February – No Code Technical license becomes available.
January 14th – Henry Elwell – N4UH, Uncle Henry recorded his last notes as club Secretary/Treasurer, a position he served in for 11 years. He was recognized with a plaque noting his service.
September – Meetings are held at the Agriculture Building.
October – NC TSRAC (NC chapter of Tri State Radio Amateur Club) holds a swap fest at Dan Nicholas Park … The predecessor of the Firecracker Hamfest.
October – Hurricane Hugo comes through and Hams set up communications for Red Cross and EMS.
August – The club is notified that it can no longer meet at Horizons Unlimited free. A search starts and while in progress the club meets at Overton Elementary School, various restaurants, The Rowan County Agriculture Center (site of 911), Rufty Holmes Senior Center, and finally the Rowan Public Library from 1993 to 2000.
November 18-25 – The club operates W200EXU, as one of only three historical Special Events Stations in NC to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the nation. Fifteen members operating at different times and modes make contacts to all states and the club is awarded a WAS certificate by ARRL.
October 10th – The club celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a big party, bringing back many of the people who were instrumental in starting the group in 1937.
September – The trusteeship for W4EXU is moved from Larry to Frank Waring – AF4D.
November – Ten members were active in the November Sweep Stakes giving the club a pretty good score. Most of the credit goes to Larry Wright – N4QY who was high scorer for NC.
July – The present club patch and QSL card were selected through a design contest of interested members. That submitted by J. C. Ludwig, K4DFI won.
April – The club conducts a contest/project in which members who are interested build identical kit QRP transmitters, put them on the air. Prizes go to most contacts and longest distance achieved. All are crystal controlled and tested before the on air contest. None have more than 2 Watts output. What do you expect from four 2N2222s as finals?
March – Club gets a notice that it must vacate its meeting rooms on the third floor of the City Hall. A search starts for a new place starting with the U. S. Army Reserve building on Jake Alexander Blvd. It eventually ends up meeting at the Supplementary Education Center (later named Horizons Unlimited) for a number of years.
January – Mike Hyman – WD4OCO starts publication of a club newsletter called “Harmonics.”
October – Due to changes in FCC licensing the call sign WR4AAA asigned to the Barber Junction Repeater Assn. expires. The club when requested, allows its call W4EXU to be used for the repeater.
September – The club presents a demonstration of Ham Radio at the County Fair by sponsoring a booth where 2 meter and HF rigs are operated with movies and displays from ARRL. This produces a class of 17 Novices and one of 13 up-graders taught at Rowan Technical College (Now called Rowan Cabarrus Community College).
June – The club sells its HW-12 and buys a TH-3 tri-band antenna that was used at FD (on loan from Bob Nemeth’s Amateur Radio Supply).FD was held at the Kiwanis Health Camp and site was so popular that the site was used for the next ten years.
February 13th – Larry Wright – N4QY becomes trustee of the club call … The first time it has changed since it was obtained by Barney Dodd – W4BNU.
October 24th – The club is going to have to find a new meeting place. It moves first to the Supplementary Education center and then to Overton Elementary school for a time.
October – There is a train wreck between Spencer and Salisbury and 11 hams assist emergency management. Unfortunately, they were delegated to traffic control for the most part, not communications.
At some time in this year there was a perceived need to form an association to support the repeater separate from the club and the “Barber Junction Repeater Association” was formed.
February 11th – The WR4AAA frequency changes from 146.28/146/88 to its present 146.13/146.73.
November 1st – Application is filed for a new call for the repeater. We were later issued the first call for a 4th area repeater WR4AAA.
March 1st – Radio class starting at Rowan Technical Institute. (Just had to put this in … This is MY class. WB4AQK)
December 13th – The repeater tower installation on Young’s Mountain is completed.
August – ARRL dues are $6.50.
March 22nd – The repeater is in operation, working fine from Bill Parris – K4GHR’s house. Inquires made into getting a site for it on Young’s Mountain.
October 26th – Dan Kirk – WB4RGS is to head up the first radio class at the Rec center. The High Portable Score in the GA QSO Party is won again.
September 14th – A FM repeater committee is appointed.
February 10th – The original club call W4EXU is received. On the same date the club wins High Portable Score in the Ga. QSO Party.
June – First FD since reorganization, Chaired by Clarence Beaver – K4SHU held at Nicholas Park lake with 10 participants.
May 2nd – ARRL Affiliation takes place.
February 12th – The club license WB4ISD was received.
January – Bill Overman – K4SNF reports that the 2 meter net is active with many check ins.
November – First transmitter hunt is held. J. C. Ludwig – K4DFI is the hider.
October 9th – The club was reactivated and named “Rowan Amateur Radio Society” with meetings being held in the Salisbury City Hall Building at 132 N. Main Street. A room was set up for a station and antennas were erected on the roof.
Sometime in the late 50s or early 60s there is a problem with upkeep and funds for taxes and support. Abbreviated notes dated Sept. 8, 1964 indicates that the property was listed with Home Savings and Loan for sale and a Nov. 29, 1965 note that a tax receipt was marked “sold for taxes”
The Piedmont Radio Club was incorporated as a nonprofit social club.
Stock was sold to buy land and a shell bldg. for $800 at the corner of Second and Sowers Street in Spencer. The building was completed October 20, 1949.
The call and license W4EXU was issued to the “Piedmont Amateur Radio Club” which met in a radio school bldg. At the end of Maupin Ave. until about 1946.
E. E. “Country” Lyerly – W4VM, and Harold Kliaff – W4QN operated from the Wallace Bldg. A while later at the street car barn near Spencer Ross Sigman – W4DOU, Bob Johnson – W4DJQ(?), Herman Long – W4EAM, and Jessie Clamp – W4EXX were operating. These were the ones who came together to form the first ham group in Rowan.

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