Welcome to Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club (SMARC)


Would you like to know more about amateur (ham) radio?

Are you a licensed ham and new to the area, been here forever or just have an interest in amateur radio, consider joining SMARC. Our 70+ members would enjoy meeting you, making a new friend and sharing the excitement. One good way to learn about SMARC is to join a Zoom session either every M-Th at about 8:30am to 10:15am or at a monthly meeting. Click the Join Zoom Link below. Passcode is w4olb. Are you already a ham and just need to ask a question and do not know who to reach out to, just click the Email us button below and ask your question.

SMARC IN-PERSON MONTHLY MEETINGS

The July meeting was held at the United Steelworkers Union Hall, 339 S Hall Road, Alcoa, lower level. For those new to this location, it is roughly across Hall Road from the Karm Store and next to the AT&T building. Meetings are the 4th Monday, at 7:00pm. Most start arriving before 6:45pm. Typical agenda will be recognizing guests and introductions, reports, announcement and then a program. SMARC will continue to have meetings also via Zoom. if you are unable to attend in-person.

CLUB MAILING LIST

To get on our email list, just join our groups.io by clicking here. You will then be on an email list where you will be sent for more information and announcements of SMARC club meetings and activities. Just want more information or to contact SMARC leadership, click the button below to email us.

As a little background relative to SMARC, there is some early history under the More tab on the ribbon above. If you are not yet licensed, SMARC holds a regular Technician class and also routine FCC tests are given locally (see below). Some ask, what does amateur radio cost?

  • Technician course book is $25
  • Technician class is FREE, just your time
  • FCC Test is $10 (administrative fee)
  • A basic two meter portable radio can cost as little as $50
  • A basic digital radio, $150 - $250
  • First year of SMARC Club membership as a new ham after completing the class is FREE ($25 per year thereafter)
  • Over time and assuming you enjoy the hobby, likely you will acquire more used and/or new equipment 

Now half way through 2021!

Our July SMARC meeting was held in-person and via Zoom. We had 40+ in attendance. The agenda included some much needed updates and reports, especially for Field Day 2021. (See "More" for pictures.) Some regular business was presented. Our Treasurer, Carroll, reported $8,354.84 in the bank account which includes the Fusion repeater fund. Paul wants to begin discussions relative to Field Day 2022. Steve talked about the newsletter and his plan to produce one soon plus an announcement of the upcoming Tennessee QSO party. Bob suggested we begin planning for the club's 75th anniversary celebration and Special Event Station. Melvin reported on the weekly nets and requested net control operators are needed. The evening program was from the ARRL Learning Series: "Ugly Baluns" by W6NBC. Mark your calendar for the next meeting, August 23rd. 

New Fusion Repeater Update. Planning is moving along for this new club repeater. The repeater has been acquired and the duplexer is available for programming as soon as the frequency pair is determined. The frequency coordinator has offered the club six pairs for consideration and each has been checked for Intermodulation Distortion at each of the present site options. Bob and Dave had a first meeting with the Maryville City Manager about the proposed site owners. A second meeting with the Utilities Director is planned. As a reminder, our club Treasurer is collecting the pledges for the repeater and if you have not donated and wish to, please send to Carroll. The fund now sits at $4550, which likely will not be enough for the total project cost.


Blount County Emergency Communications Service


Blount County has another amateur radio organization, Blount Emergency Communications Service (BCECS) which is an ARES, an Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) active group. This is not a club, rather a service group formed under the structure of the ARRL. ARES communications operators receive emergency communications training and offer services for the local community to such organizations as Blount County Emergency Management, Blount Memorial Hospital, the local American Red Cross chapter and other community organizations. 

In 2019, SMARC donated their communications trailer in support of the Blount County ARES group. The ARES group today meets at the Blount County 911 Center and its regular Thursday evening Net. Want more information? Contact the BCECS TEAMAPP button below and/or take part in the Net, it is open to all licensed amateur radio operators.


Weekly and Morning Nets


The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Weekly Net is held each Thursday at 7:00 P.M. on the W4OLB Club Repeater (146.655 MHz, Tone 100.0 Hz) with the backup repeater being the WB4GBI (146.625 MHz, Tone 118.8 Hz). All amateurs are welcome to take part. Net Control will ask only for your Call Sign, Name, Location and Affiliation. We also hold a simultaneous Zoom video conference which you are welcome to take part in by clicking here and using passcode 'w4olb'.


KK4XA Morning Net

Join the "The Bobs or Mike" every Monday through Thursday morning for the very informal KK4XA Morning Net beginning at 9:00 A.M. on the W4OLB Club Repeater (146.655 MHz, Tone 100.0 Hz) or the KK4XA DMR Repeater, 444.075 MHz, CC1, TG 314742. We also invite you to join the Zoom Conference, just click here and use passcode 'w4olb' to join the KK4XA Morning Net Zoom.

The W4OLB VHF Club Repeater and the KK4XA DMR Repeater are Linked

The KK4XA DMR repeater is connected to the internet via Brandmeister, thus these two repeaters can be accessed from anywhere by connecting to Talk Group 314742. 


New to Ham Radio or Want to Upgrade?


Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club is a social club with its membership having hundreds of years of combined experience in many of the various aspects of ham radio. Check out our local repeater, W4OLB (146.655 MHz, Tone 100.0 Hz). We meeting informally, in-person, at TCs restaurant in Maryville (see information in about TCs).
SMARC routinely offers a Technician licensing class to help newcomers get into the hobby. A Volunteer Examiner test follows the training class, typically on the last after a morning review. This training class is open to anyone interested in the hobby and you will learn the needed information to pass the FCC element 2 exam. To learn more about ham radio, click here.
For information on testing offered by SMARC and The University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club please click here

Amateur (Ham) Radio Tech Class and Regular Testing

>>>>> NEXT TEST SESSION <<<<<

September 13th, 7pm - Parish House, St. Andrew's Church, 314 W. Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN

SPECIAL NOTES - ALL TEST APPLICANTS

Applicants must use an FCC Registration Number (FRN) for all license transactions with the FCC. Examinees must register in CORES and receive an FRN before exam day. As of May 20th, ALL electronic batch filed applications that do not include a candidate's FRN will be rejected. The Social Security/Licensee ID Field will be disabled. The FCC will use the FRN rather than a Social Security number with all interactions after May 20th.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING AN FRN.  Register in CORES (COmission REgistration System) and receive your FRN (Federal Registration Number) before sitting for your exam to ensure your new license is processed quickly and easily through the FCC's ULS (Universal Licensing System). To conduct business with the FCC, you must register through FCC CORES and be assigned an FRN. This number will be used to uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC. View the FCC web page New Users guide to ULS for step by step instructions on the registration process or the Commission Registration System Video Tutorials page for videos that help guide CORES users through a variety of situations. For assistance, submit a help request on the FCC’s Support Services page or call FCC at 877-480-3201 (Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET

FREE TECH CLASS

SPECIAL NOTE: The class listed below has ended and as soon as the next class is scheduled information will be available here.

If you would like to obtain or register for the next class, please click here and we will contact you with more information.


Join Us for Our Monthly Meetings


The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club meets the fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 P.M. via ZOOM video conferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To join the video conference, click here. The passcode is w4olb. If you are not a member of our groups.io, please click here to join. There will be an email sent out to club members before each meeting including the credentials necessary to join the meeting. Thank you for your patience and we hope that you and your family are well.

CLUB MEETING: The meetings will be held both live and via Zoom. If you are able to attend in-person, the meeting will be at the United Steelworkers Union Hall, 339 S. Hall Road, Alcoa, TN 

SMARC also has a club board/staff meeting the week before (3rd Monday of every month) at 7:00 P.M. via ZOOM video conferencing. Announcement of the meeting and any changes to the schedule will occur via email. 

As an FYI: There is no meeting in June due to Field Day and in December our meeting is replaced by our Christmas Party. If you have any questions or need directions, please click here.



Regular Social Events


EVERY THURSDAY: Want to get involved in a face to face technical discussion? A number of members meet at TC's Grill on 2514 Old Niles Ferry Road, Maryville starting about 11:30am every Thursday. Just come in and look for the big group of folks in the back of the restaurant. All are welcome to stop by.

EVERY FRIDAY: We also welcome you to join a number of our members, spouses and guests for breakfast at TC's Grill on 2514 Old Niles Ferry Road, Maryville every Friday morning at 9am. Just come in and look for the big group of folks in the back of the restaurant. All forms of radio any other topics are likley discussed. See: S.M.A.R.C. (w4olb.org)

FOX HUNTS and PICNIC: This event will be planned as weather permits where the club sponsors a picnic and then has a fox hunt. Announcement of the event, location, time and date will be sent out via email to all registered on SMARC groups i/o. {NOTE: This event is subject to COVID restrictions.}

TAILGATE and POT LUCK: This event is usually held in the spring where members are invited to bring any ham related equipment to sell and then afterward for a pot luck with meat dish provided. {NOTE: This event is subject to COVID restrictions.}

CHRISTMAS PARTY: This event is held of course in December, in place of the normal club meeting where the meat dish is provided and attendees are required to bring a salad or desert to share. {NOTE: This event is subject to COVID restrictions.}

WANT TO KNOW MORE: Just go to the SMARC Team APP for most up to date information.


Field Day


The Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club has a long and rich tradition of Field Day operations. SPECIAL NOTE: This year, 2021, a successful Field Day was held at Smoky View Baptist Church, 2201 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. 
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Traditionally located at Middlesettlements United Methodist Church Field of Dreams, the food is always delicious, the fellowship enjoyable, and our competitive results always among the top in our class. We want all of our club members and as many visitors as possible to come out to help, get on the air and enjoy. Make plans now to be a part of the greatest tradition in ham radio. Field Day is always the fourth weekend of June 2:00 p.m. Saturday until 2:00 p.m. Sunday. We begin setup at 8:00 a.m. during the cooler morning hours. Since our regular monthly meeting occurs on the fourth Monday each month, Field Day takes the place of the June meeting. Click Link below for pictures from 2018 and 2019: 
If you have further questions or need directions, please visit our about page, just click: here.


© 2019 Smoky Mountain Amateur Radio Club