Vintage Radio Exhibition at Virginia Tech Library

As part of the Wireless@VT 25th Anniversary Symposium, a vintage radio exhibition will be held at the Virginia Tech Newman Library on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 3 PM - 8 PM in the basement multipurpose room. This exhibit will feature radio equipment from early in the 20th Century through modern day. Radios on exhibit include vintage consumer radio receivers in wooden cases, early shortwave receiving equipment, amateur radio transceivers, morse code keys (and live demonstration station), vintage military radio, radios from the Motorola Museum, and a variety of cellular phones.

Many of the pieces for this exhibition have been made available by members of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA/K4KDJ) and may also be seen in this history video:

More information on the 25th Anniversary of Wireless@VT may be found here:

VTARA Supports 2015 Virginia Tech Cycling Classic

Dedicated members of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA) gathered in the cold, wet parking lot of the Black Diamond Ranch in Maggie Valley at 7 AM this past Saturday (April 26, 2015) to provide communications for the annual Virginia Tech Cycling Classic. Maggie Valley and the Black Diamond Ranch are located in a rural part of Virginia, approximately 20 miles north of the main Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg. Cyclists race around the 2776 ft elevation (846 m) Seven Mile Mountain in a series of races that begin at 8 in the morning and finish by 6 in the evening. Because of the rugged terrain and poor cell phone service in this area, the Virginia Tech Cycling Team asks VTARA to provide communications across the entire course. VTARA has now supported this race for at least four seasons.

K4KDJ and the Fall 2014 School Club Roundup

K4KDJ was on the air during the week of October 20-24, 2014 for the Fall 2014 School Club Roundup.  The School Club Roundup is a week-long, biannual ham radio contest sponsored by the American Radio Relay League with a focus on increasing ham radio activity in schools radio clubs of all levels.  This semester's effort was led by Virginia Tech student John Herrick, KK4BSM. Other operators included W2NAF, and KJ4OAP. We also had help from numerous loggers and people providing support in various ways, including KM4EGE, KV4RJ, K3IW, KB3WPR, and many others.

For Fall 2014, K4KDJ claimed 1057 QSOs (contacts) and 358,848 points.  This is the highest score for the SCR in VTARA history, and likely the second highest score in School Club Roundup history to date.

VTARA Participates in Jamboree On the Air

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, members of the Virginia Tech ARA and the Floyd Amateur Radio Socitety introduced about twenty scouts and parents to amateur radio at the Chantilly Festival Farm in Floyd, Virginia during the annual Jamboree On the Air (JOTA). JOTA is an internation event that takes place the third full weekend of every October with the aim of connecting boy and girl scouts around the world through amateur radio. The scouts came from Blacksburg Troop 704 and various cub scout packs in the New River Valley Area. All operations were conducted under the N4USA call sign of the Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service (FAIRS).

Ham Radio License Test/VE Session Tonight

The Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association will be holding a Volunteer Examiner (VE) session this evening:

A VE (Volunteer Examiner) Session is the time when amateur radio license exams are given.  At a VTARA VE session, tests are given for all three classes of the United States Amateur radio license.  In order, these classes are Technician, General, and Amateur Extra.  Higher class licenses come with more operating privileges.

Note that parking on campus after 5 PM is free in both F/S (Faculty/Staff) and C/G spots.  The Drillfield has different rules, so don't park there.  Town metered spots are also free at this time.

These tests are coordinated by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) according to the rules set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

When you come to take an exam, please bring:

  • Photo ID
  • $15 (Cash/Check/All Major Credit Cards)
  • Social Security Number or FCC Registration Number (FRN)
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Calculator (optional; we reserve the right to clear/check calculator memory or deny its use)

Homecoming Parade and NRV Rocket a Launch Success!

This past Saturday, September 27th, 2014 VTARA volunteers helped out with both the VT Homecoming Parade and a New River Valley Rocket Launch. Special thanks to all of the volunteers who came out to help make both events a success!

Homebrew Night during this Wednesday's VTARA Meeting

We've had a strong start to the year with an impressive turn-out at GobblerFest and a number of new members at our first two meetings.  We're kicking off our first non-business meeting with a call for all members to bring their works-in-progress.

VTARA Meeting, September 10, 2014

Our second VTARA meeting was held tonight at 7pm in Squires. Below are some of the topics discussed:

09/04 VTARA VHF Simplex Net Report

Since it was the first Thursday of the month, we ran a simplex net yesterday on 146.715. Here's the net report:

VTARA Attends Dayton HamVention 2014, ARRL 100th Birthday Celebration

Members of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association attended the 2014 Dayton HamVention from May 16-18, 2014. Many of the club members served as exhibitors while at the HamVention. In addition, VTARA took part in the 100th Birthday Party for the American Radio Relay Leage and the Annual Collegiate/Young Adult Ham Radio dinner, founded in part by VTARA in 2013.


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