Category Archives: amateur radio

ARRL New Licensees Privileges Request!

ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician Licensees

02/28/2018ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

“This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills.”

Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide Technician licensees, present and future, with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, plus RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of various digital modes over the past 2 decades. Under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP. The few remaining Novice licensees would gain no new privileges under the League’s proposal.

ARRL’s petition points to the need for compelling incentives not only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to upgrade and further develop skills. Demographic and technological changes call for a “periodic rebalancing” between those two objectives, the League maintains.

“There has not been such a rebalancing in many years,” ARRL said in its petition. “It is time to do that now.” The FCC has not assessed entry-level operating privileges since 2005.

The Entry-Level License Committee offered very specific, data- and survey-supported findings about growth in Amateur Radio and its place in the advanced technological demographic that includes individuals younger than 30. It received significant input from ARRL members via more than 8,000 survey responses.

“The Committee’s analysis noted that today, Amateur Radio exists among many more modes of communication than it did half a century ago, or even 20 years ago,” ARRL said in its petition.

Now numbering some 378,000, Technician licensees comprise more than half of the US Amateur Radio population. ARRL said that after 17 years of experience with the current Technician license as the gateway to Amateur Radio, it’s urgent to make it more attractive to newcomers, in part to improve upon science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education “that inescapably accompanies a healthy, growing Amateur Radio Service,” ARRL asserted.

ARRL said its proposal is critical to developing improved operating skills, increasing emergency communication participation, improving technical self-training, and boosting overall growth in the Amateur Service, which has remained nearly inert at about 1% per year.

The Entry-Level License Committee determined that the current Technician class question pool already covers far more material than necessary for an entry-level exam to validate expanded privileges. ARRL told the FCC that it would continue to refine examination preparation and training materials aimed at STEM topics, increase outreach and recruitment, work with Amateur Radio clubs, and encourage educational institutions to utilize Amateur Radio in STEM and other experiential learning programs.

“ARRL requests that the Commission become a partner in this effort to promote Amateur Radio as a public benefit by making the very nominal changes proposed herein in the Technician class license operating privileges,” the petition concluded.

Check it out here


Special Meeting Jcares

There is a special JCARES meeting tonight to prepare for next Saturdays Strawberry Plains Half Marathon. All JCARES members and other interested amateur radio operators are invited to attend. The meeting will be held at the usual JCARES monthly meeting location: EMS Station 3 in WhitePine, Tn.  The meeting will commence at 6 PM.

2018 Hamfest

Thank you all for an amazing turn out to this years HAMFEST!

An amazing group of people came together to put this event on! However with everything we had some unfortunate growing pains and we will strive to improve on those for next year! That being said we had the largest tailgate turn out since we moved into our Host venue at the Walters State Expo Center!!!! Who by the way we can not express enough thanks to!!! John Baldy and his staff has been incredible to us over the years, but this year they went above the top!!! Thank you to our sponsors as guest speakers for An awesome presentation(s). As soon as we get a few things ironed out we will post pics and other fun facts!!! Again The LARC family thanks EVERYONE involved with putting the event on!!!!!
73 and more to come!!!!!

Online Store

Online Store is live, Purchase your Hamfest / Builders Fest tickets now. Click now to go to the Store or look for the Tab on the Menus

Special Grand Prize this Year.
Yaesu 991a Hf vhf/uhf radio!



Next Club Meeting

uBitx radio kit

Buy It Now!

The uBITX is a general coverage HF SSB/CW transceiver kit with features you NEED for operating ease, convenience and versatility. If works from 3 MHz to 30 MHz, with upto 12 watts on SSB and CW with a very sensitive receiver. It features digital tuning, dual VFOs, RIT, CW Keyer and more.  The uBITX is a general coverage HF SSB/CW transceiver kit with features you NEED for operating ease, convenience and versatility. It works from 3 MHz to 30 MHz, with upto 12 watts on SSB and CW with a very sensitive receiver. It features digital tuning, dual VFOs, RIT, CW Keyer and more.


The uBITX is a joy to operate. Press the tuning control to access all the features. Dual VFOs, RIT, CW speed, sideband selection. etc. are all accessible from a single menu. The transceiver automatically selects the proper sideband for you (you can override it too).

Technical Specifications

The uBITX is an understandable radio. The complexity is kept to a minimum so you can always repair and make changes if you so desire.

The the uBITX has a carefully thought out operator interface. The tuning knob features a number of menu options on a click. From RIT, to dual VFOs, to the keyer and many more featuers are all accessible from the tuning knob by simply tapping on it.There are intelligent defaults everywhere (these are easily overriden). Example : below 10 MHz, it auto-selects LSB and vice versa. To operate CW, you just press the morse key.

Architecture The uBITX uses upconversion to the first IF of 45 MHz. This eliminates the need for a large number of band pass filters, keeping the design simple and virtually image free. The roofing filter at 45 MHz is 15 KHz wide. The signal is then down-converted to 12 MHz where a low ripple SSB filter with 8 crystals is used to provide a sparkling audio.

The transmitter has push-pull PA using two IRF510s for a clean output. The low cost IRF510s are not  a bother to replace should you ever blow them up.

Receiver :

  • Sensitivity a 0.2uv signal is clearly audible
  • Selectivity 2.4 KHz,  low ripple SSB filter with 8 crystals
  • RIT (Receiver Incremental Tuning)
  • Continuous coverage from 500 KHz to 30 MHz
  • Sideband selection
  • Dent-less encoder tuning. Tunes with larger step rates when tuned quickly


  • More than 10 watts upto 10 MHz, 7 watts upto 21 MHz, 2 watts on 28 MHz
  • CW transmit with the built-in keyer
  • Uses   IRF510s  x 2 as PA and  2N3904 x 4 drivers in push-pull mode for low distortion transmission. Blown IRF510 are inexpensive to replace

Raduino Features

This is a small board with an Si5351 clock generator, an Arduino Nano and a 16×2 LCD display. It plugs into the main radio board. The software that controls the radio is written in Arduino’s C langauge.

All the features are available implemented in Raduino software. The menus are accessible by pushing the button on the tuning encoder. You can add more features by hacking through the open source code available on

  • Dual VFOs
  • RIT
  • Manual override of LSB/USB selection
  • CW Keyer Speed and tone selection


MiscDotGeek Co-Sponsoring

MiscDotGeek Co-Sponsoring Builders Fest 2018

We’re quite excited to announce that MiscDotGeek is co-sponsoring Builders Fest 2018! What, you haven’t heard about Builders Fest 2018? The first annual Builders Fest is going to be at the Lakeway Amateur Radio Club’s 26th Annual Morristown HAMFEST, Saturday, January 6th, 2018.

The Builders Fest is the brainchild of Craig Thibodeaux, KM4YEC. Craig has partnered with a local Radio Shack whose franchise owner is focused on bringing back the core values of the Radio Shack of days gone by. They’re offering Licensing classes, soldering classes and more. They along with a few others, are sponsoring the Builders Fest 2018. 

What will you see at the Builders Fest?

On the speakers list is Jack Purdum, W8TEE. He’ll be bringing along a certain SSB QRP transceiver, but more on that in a moment. Be sure to scroll down to find out more!

Randell Curtis WB5YYM will be displaying some of his epic builds. He’s known for the gorgeous hand built cases which hold equally excellent equipment. His BITX40 and and 49er builds are as functional as they are great looking. Also at the fest will be his dual IFR-510 amplifier.

You’ll be bound to come away with ideas and inspiration for your next build, whether it be from scratch or from a kit- or in Randell’s case- both!

Craig Thibodeaux KM4YEC will be displaying his BITX40 build as well, and you’ll get a chance to see a great portable configuration suitable for just about any setting.

Of course I’ll be there in spirit, as the Multi-Band BITX40 will be on display along with the QRP Labs goodies that make the conversion possible. You’ll get to see all the bad soldering, battle scars and hot glue that holds this thing together. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can do it. Come check it out! 

Along with these builds will be a mover and shaker in the Ham Radio community, Jack Purdum W8TEE! He’ll be presenting a talk, and will autograph ‘Arduino Projects for Amateur Radio’ and his other books, magazine articles, 49er project from QST in 2016, and his Antenna Analyzer in Nov QST 2017, and others.

Jack will be displaying and demonstrating his Forty-9er, dummy load/wattmeter, frequency counter and…

He’s also brought along a special treat for the QRP/Builder community- the highly anticipated uBITX kit! This thing isn’t even out yet, but he’s managed to get his hands one one just the same. Rumor has it that you’ll be able to see the uBITX in action.

Many thanks to the sponsors and co-sponsors of the Builders Fest. You’ll have a blast if you can attend, and there are bound to be some QRP related door prizes- a BITX40, and perhaps some QRP accessories? We’ll see! Check out for all the details and schedules. 73!


Hamfest Builders Fest anouncement

Come out and see in person a µBITX at the

Morristown Hamfest Builders Fest on Jan 6, 2018, also see MiscDotGeek’s Multiband BitX40, and WB5YYM’s Expandable boards in his All Homebrew 40m Station- BitX40, and maybe take one home (BitX40) for Best in Show, Bring your Homebrew, W8TEE talking about Homebrewing, and sitting down at the Roundtable…see you there.