TEARA in 1992
Hi! Iím Dave Hockaday WB4IUY, the 1992 President of the Triangle East Amateur Radio Association. I wish that I had a way of knowing at what point you are located along the path of time when you read this. Oh well, whatever year it may be, I simply hope that the Association is still alive and well. Iím going to attempt to shed a little light about the creation of TEARA, and how it got where it is as of this writing.
On January 10th of 1989, a group of 12 Northern Johnston County Amateurs got together and decided to form a club. Many were already members of other organizations, and were interested in assembling a technically oriented club to interest amateurs in Johnston County and surrounding areas. So TEARA was born.
Early that year, they worked hard to assemble and commission a repeater to support the clubís activities. Many prospective repeater sites were located and tested as a possible location for the TEARA repeater. Felix Killette N4UOB secured a site that seemed to be the best of all. This site was in Clayton. The tower was a privately owned ex-business band system that was 200 feet tall and installed in a geographically high area to the South of town. TEARA would have the top of the tower for itís very own use!! This type of installation would lend itself to being a nearly omni-directional system. The VHF frequency of 147.39 was co-ordinated by the Southeastern Repeater Association for use in Clayton. Just weeks later, the TEARA repeater was on the air and putting out a beautiful signal. As of this writing, it is still operational in the same location, and sending signals as far as Chapel Hill, Kinston, Henderson, Fayetteville, Wilson, Cary, Rocky Mount, Greenville, Goldsboro, and most points in-between!!! Not bad for a low altitude repeater. In March of 1990, TEARA was formally incorporated as a non-profit organization and issued an exemption status.
Since the not-so-distant days of foundry, TEARA has grown to a membership upwards of 80 members (as of this writing). TEARA membership has branched out in all directions into the previously mentioned cities and beyond. The club is alive with activities involving the old and new ham alike. On-the-air antenna design projects, commercial equipment conversions, rig troubleshooting, DX hunting, and good old ďrag chewingĒ are the types of things that occupy the repeaterís air time.
TEARA now has a weekly net that meets on Tuesday nights at 8:30 PM and has check-in counts that run in the 20 to 30 check-in range. The nets often last 45 minutes+. Quite an accomplishment from the first days of 15 minute nets with 3-5 check-ins!! The net has become quite informal, with equipment trading, announcements, etc. It is more of a weekly meeting than a traffic net.
In mid-1992, a new UHF repeater was installed in Thanksgiving by Kirk Ellis KK4YP. It is located about 10 miles east of Clayton at about 235 feet on a commercial tower. The frequency is 444.0 and is one of the wider coverage UHF repeaters in the eastern part of NC.
The club now owns another VHF repeater on 147.015 due to be installed in Wilson and plans to link it back into the original TEARA VHF repeater are ahoof. The frequency of 147.015 belongs to Kirk KK4YP, and efforts are being made to coordinate a TEARA frequency for which to permanently install this machine on.
TEARA formed a VE Team in 1992 and, as of now, has given about 120 exam elements. We hold an annual Ham Radio Class (and are about to hold the 2nd class this year!!!). These two activities seem to have fostered growth within the club.
TEARA had its first official Field Day in the summer of 1992. It was a tremendous success and yielded lots of enthusiastic AND tired bodies. Everyone loved it and are looking forward to Field Day Ď93.
TEARA also had its first Fox Hunts in 1992. Many members were involved and built specialized antenna systems for the hunts. As of this writing, the hunters are getting better and show some serious promise as true RF hunters.
A major historical event occurred this year...the birth of the club historian!! It was the brilliant foresight of Patti Medico KD4PJG to capture the history of the club in the making. So, for a graphic look into the clubís history, give Patti (KD4PJG) a call and ask to see the club scrapbook! Oh well, so much for the historical aspects of the club for now. Hopefully this wonít be the last entry into this section of your handbook. 73 de WB4IUY...
TEARA IN Ď93...
Well, itís been a year since an entry was made here...so Iíll try to bring you up to speed! On January 1st, the new TEARA 2 meter repeater was commissioned on top of the NC Special Care Center in Wilson. During itís infancy, it operated on 147.015 that was co-ordinated to Kirk Ellis KK4YP at another site. It ran pretty good, with the normal aches and pains of a new system. Before long, the phone patch was operating smoothly, and itís performance was improving. TEARA got permission from SERA later in the year to try 147.300 as a permanent frequency. All looked pretty good, and before long it was operating on the new frequency under the call sign WA4UQC. Nearing Christmas, the Wilson repeater had a string of problems... controller bugs, duplexer problems, antenna problems, and to top it all...the power amplifier blew up just days before the TEARA Christmas Party was to be held in Wilson. Whew...bad luck..
147.39 in Clayton had itís share of problems, too. The power regulators for the PA failed twice during the year, but otherwise it ran smoothly. A remotely controllable squelch and voice IDír were added. Tower noise began to plague .39 from time to time, but the new remote squelch was a big help.
One of our members, Roger KD4MYE, began work on a new repeater system for Franklin County. His 2 meter repeater is on 145.11, and his 6 meter repeater is on 53.37. Both are working nicely and are really fostering amateur growth in Franklin County. There is also a new club forming in that area. The name looks as if it will be Franklin County Amateur Radio Club (FCARC)
A repeater site in Wendell (Lizard Lick) was procured by Hugh Cashion KD4WJD and readied for installation of a few member owned repeater systems. There was a picnic and major club gathering to clean up the property and remove some old CATV antennas from the tower. Hugh plans to install a 440 (itís under construction now) and a 220 repeater, and I plan to install a 6 meter and 10 meter repeater.
The 2nd TEARA field day was a big success. The Carolina Pottery site was used again this year, and all went smoothly and Field Day was pulled off without a hitch. 2 towers were installed at the site, and antennas were attached for 160 through 2 meters. Everyone had a great time and there were lots of members on hand for the event.
TEARA held 2 special events, complete with HF/VHF/UHF stations, and commemorative certificates were issued to those who made contact with us. One event celebrated the birthplace and birthday of the famous actress, Ava Gardner. The other event brought amateur radio into the famous Spiveyís Corner Holleríin Contest.
The TEARA Fox hunts were sporadic during the year, but were always fun for the group. The fox was especially sly, and getting smarter with each hunt. The Foxhunts are as much an excuse to get together and BS as to build DFing skills.
The TEARA VE team had an excellent year, and gained more member/VEís to work at the test sessions. Test sessions were held at Johnston Tech the first part of the year, then shifted to the Smithfield Public Library due to the costs incurred at the community college.
TEARA held itís first General Class upgrade session and produced 15 generals, 1 extra, and 3 tech+ís. It was a very successful class, and made a lot of members happy!
The TEARA Christmas party was held in Wilson this year, and we had a very nice turn out. The party was hosted by Gladys Tallant, and was a smash. Delicious food, music, and fellowship made the party a memorable one.
This was my 2nd year as president, and I was ready to hand the workload to someone else near the end of the year. TEARA had a good year, all in all, and I look forward to many more good years to come.
TEARA IN Ď94
TEARA got off to a rough start with repeaters this year. The Wilson WA4UQC repeater was off the air for about a week due to PA problems. A new Aerotron repeater amplifier was retrofitted into the RCA 1000 cabinet, and all was well...for about a week...the dc power supply gave up the game and it was down again. I patched my Astron 50 amp power supply into the system to get it up and running. Then the gremlins of repeater desense came to visit and was found to be a defective coaxial ďTĒ connector. The Wilson repeater ran the rest of the year without a glitch.
147.39 had a good year, with hardly a problem. Minor programming changes and such were about the only maintenance items needed. The transmitter got an alignment when it became a bit intermittent. Otherwise, a good year.
TEARA had itís 3rd Field Day exercise this year. Again, it was a great event. Antennas were installed for all bands 160 meters through 432! There were VHF/UHF all-mode rigs operating on 6 meters SSB, 2 meters SSB, 220 SSB, and 432 SSB. There were also FM rigs on 6, 2, 220, and 440. HF rigs operated on all bands except 160, where there was too much atmospheric noise. Again, the TEARA field day was a success.
For the first time this year, VHF/UHF contesting caught on. Contests were worked from the top of Bear Wallow Mountain, from the 147.39 tower site in Clayton, twice from Joe Motola N8RQRís home, and once from my home (but that was an HF contest). TEARA placed 1st in the VHF/UHF contest in our division once, and 1st in division in the ARRL UHF contest. What a year!!
The TEARA meeting site was relocated due to our old site, Truckstopís of America, closing the restaurant for repairs and renovations. The new site was P.Spencerís in Zebulon. The membership counts at the meetings dropped a little, but overall it was a good site.
This year, a few more member owned repeater systems went on the air. Kirk KK4YP put up a new repeater in Raleigh on 147.015+. It is on top of the CP&L building. This repeater was later sold to another TEARA member, Roger KD4MYE. Hugh KD4WJD installed a repeater on 442.400+ and another on 224.80- on the Wendell tower. I (WB4IUY) installed the 29.680 10 meter repeater on the same tower. Randy KD4DMS began work on a new 440 repeater for Spiveyís Corner. Tom WA4SIS built and installed a new repeater in Raleigh (near the fairgrounds) on 146.775-. Wow...lots of repeaters popping up!
The club constitution was amended this year to require new members to have a member to sponsor them, and to clean up a few odds and ends.
TEARAís fund-raiser this year was the club cookbook project. Many members contributed recipes, and the books were produced. They looked very professional and sold really well. There were a few left over to sell in Ď95, too!
TEARAís membership was down a little from 93. A few members moved to locations beyond TEARAís coverage. The end of 93 membership count was about 100, while 94 was about 75. Membership numbers do float about a bit, but things are still going strong for TEARA.
TEARA IN Ď95
1995 came in with a bang...the sound of thunder was too close to the 147.390 repeater in Clayton this year. The repeater was struck by lightning with a death blow early in January. A backup repeater was supplied by Tom WA4SIS to keep us on the air. It took me about a week to ready it for operation. The backup was struck twice in June, about a week apart. The second strike took it off the air. It was repairable though, and was back on within about one day. Meanwhile, parts of the old machine are being used to build the 3rd generation repeater. The new system will have many links, etc.
The 147.300 repeater in Wilson is still purring along, and work is currently underway to link it to the Clayton repeater full time. It had a new controller software upgrade, new custom built main power regulator rack installed, some much needed hardware work to permanently mount the Aerotron PA in place, 2 additional blowers to keep things cool, and several pieces of linking equipment and antennas installed. The TEARA membership in the Wilson area is still going strong, and should improve when the new linking system is in place. The system is currently linked to 442.400 in Wendell and 147.39 in Clayton nearly full time.
There is a new 440 repeater under construction for the club to be installed at the 147.39 site in Clayton. It is planned to be the TEARA gateway into a new ad hoc 440 repeater network now partially up and running.
The 10 meter repeater in Wendell is now linked to the 147.39 repeater nearly full time. Many of the members have worked much DX through the linking system. The system is finally getting off the ground, and looks like a lot of fun!
Randy, KD4DMS now has his repeater on 442.875 up and running in Spiveyís Corner. He has plans to move it to a 400 foot site to improve coverage.
Kirk KK4YP has a new 2 meter repeater in Pikeville on 145.33-. He is searching for a higher site to install it to improve coverage.
New repeaters are under construction to be installed in both Tarboro and at Kerr Lake. The new TEARA 6 meter repeater is completed and awaiting installation.
This is the first year that TEARA has gone to CTCSS (PL) access on itís repeaters. It was to control unintentional interference during band openings and was also needed to make the links run more smoothly. We are the FIRST in NC to have a dual squelch system that allowed access to both PL and non-PL users.
TEARA worked itís 4th Field Day as a joint venture with our sister club to the north - The Franklin County ARC. It was the most fun of all TEARA field days, and there were over 120 present through the weekend! I suspect weíll do that again...
TEARA ventured back up Bear Wallow Mountain this year for the ARRL VHF/UHF contest. Not quite as many members were free to go this year, but it was still quite an event. There is a group that is planning to go back up in the fall to run a special event station to celebrate the changing of the leaves... sounds like an excuse to go back to the mountains.
The club handbook received a major revision this year...I thought it was time, since it was first published in 1992. Lots of new stuff, new codes for the forthcoming linking system, and a few new operating guides for new hams.
The TEARA fund-raiser for this year was a raffle for a TV or VCR (choice). So far, the tickets are selling like hotcakes and it looks like TEARAís treasury will really benefit from this project. 1000 ticketís were printed, and about 1/2 of those are already spoken for.
As of this writing, TEARA is about to relocate itís meeting to the old site of Truckstops of America. They have completed renovations, and we think it may help improve the attendance at the meetings.
Well, those are a few of the highlights of TEARA during Ď95 to date. I hope this isnít the last entry into the history of this fine club. Since this should be an annual update area, maybe itíll provide us with a few smiles in years to come when we look back at how far weíve come...
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