1990 - 2013
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North Fulton Amateur Radio League serves Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, Milton and all of North Atlanta.
The purposes of the club are to further the Amateur Radio hobby, be a social club, and provide some form of emergency services to our local communities.
Our Executive Team consists of seven elected members (the Board of Directors) and additional members appointed by our President. Here are this year's Executive Team:
Board of Directors
President - John Kludt, K4SQC
Vice President / Program Chairman - Joe Camilli N7QPP
Secretary / eNews Publisher – Bill Reed, K4YJI
Treasurer / Repeater Manager - Fred Moore, N4CLA
Past President - Wes Lamboley, W3WL
Activities Chairman – John Tramontanis, N4TOL
Membership Chairman – Bill Weathers, K4WSW
Appointed Executive Team Members
HamCram – Chuck Catledge, AE4CW
ARES Liaison – Jim Paine, N4SEC
Field Day – Scott Straw, KB4KBS
Repeater Operations – Mike Roden, W5JR
Webmaster – Bill Cobb, K4YJJ
The North Fulton Amateur Radio League was formed in 1975. The founding fathers of the club were Dan Turner, WA4BRO and Terry Joyner, W4YBV.
Today’s North Fulton Amateur Radio League
The NFARL has gone through a major transformation since mid 2006. At that time, the club had seen a dwindling of interest and was basically a dinner meeting with anywhere from 6 to 10 members in attendance. There was very little usage on the repeaters and not many other activities.
At the August 2006 meeting with 12 in attendance, it was decided to make an effort to change things. Susan Swiderski, AF4FO, the GA section manager was invited to the next meeting to give us some ideas and suggestions on what it takes to be a vibrant club. At the September meeting, she challenged us to think big, try to build excitement, and above all abandon the dinner meetings and go to a traditional club format with very strong programs. At that time there were 56 dues paying members in the club, and most were not participating.
A team of 4 chose to take on the task of making this happen. The four became the executive team for the club and included Steve Knittel,KC4YBO; Fred Moore, N4CLA; Walt Woron, KJ4HE; and Jim Stafford, W4QO. This team met and laid out a plan for the remainder of 2006.
They found a meeting place, set up meetings, and recruited speakers. At the October meeting, there was a program on Winlink, and 26 attended. The following month Bob Allphin, K4UEE, presented his talk on the Peter I DXpediton. By the end of the year, over 30 were attending the meetings, and about that number attended the Christmas party.
By early 2007, there was interest in extra activities, and a program called Mid-Month Madness was begun. This included setting up a tables at local hamfests, field trips to local electronic stores, a strong Field Day effort (the club missed the previous FD entirely), shack tours, and a fund raising effort.
By mid-2007, the exec team had grown to 6, and word was spreading that the NFARL was on the move. Meeting attendance was running in the high 30s. For fund raising, the club members prepared a CD of ham material with contributions from all over the world, which included over 400 MB of information. It was called the NFARL Nuggets 2007.. The CDs were being sold at meetings and at hamfests, including a table at the Huntsville, AL, hamfest in August 2008. To date, the club has raised over $1,000 with the CD sales.
By the end of 2007, meeting attendance had reached 45, the club had hosted a “build-a-thon”, the newly appointed EC for North Fulton, Tom, Koch, W4UOC, had developed strong contacts with agencies and managed a very successful SET, and there were over 100 members in the club. Meetings with programs, such as D-star, QRP, DXpeditions, historical recaps, and technical tips/techniques, really drew crowds. Almost 60 attended the Christmas party in 2007. Club clothing was being sported by several dozen members, and 12 issues of the club eNEWS began to catch a lot of attention.
Other 2007 activities included a 3 month Techs on Ten net for newly privileged technician licensees and the Hungry Hams lunche activity on Wednesday. Both of these activities saw a lot of new faces.
Couple this with strong mentoring of prospective hams, and you can see NFARL is on a roll.
During 2007, all 3 club repeaters were restored to full service, and we added a fourth repeater -- a joint venture with a nearby club. In 2008, a fifth repeater was added; it is also a joint venture with the MATPARC club. Activity has picked up on the repeaters; therefore you can find someone listening if you call at most any hour.
2008 was a most exciting year with membership growing to 207 paid members with 75% belonging to the ARRL. At meetings, 60 to 100 people typically attended, and we moved to our new location to accommodate the larger attendance. Our weekly Hungry Hams luncheons usually had 20 to 30 people attend.
Multiple VE testing sessions were held with over 100 people served for new or upgraded licenses.
Exciting club programs were presented each month. These included: DX101, Repeaters, Southern Baptist Emergency Service, RF on the Railroad, ARRL Young Ham of the Year, Field Day, Using Linux in Amateur Radio, and VHF Contesting.
The club also participated in every local ham fest with a recruiting table and various items for sale. ARES affiliation with the North Fulton ARES continued to grow with most members belonging to NFARL.
Mid-Month- Madness activities included: A pancake breakfast and shack tour with over 40 people attending at Mack’s, W4AX, shack. Special emphasis was placed on recruiting new members, and over 20 new members joined the club at this event. A build-a-thon was held with over 20 club members building a rig keying and audio interface for digital modes. The club sponsored two Technician Class HamCrams with over 40 new hams joining our ranks. The club also sponsored a radio day at a local school and hosted a JOTA and Mini-Field Day event with over 30 scouts attending to earn their radio merit badge. Each month during the summer, the club sponsors a table at an Alive After 5 event in the town of Roswell with the purpose of recruiting new members. Many club members participated in a club building project to construct a 6M Squalo antenna. At a recent major hamfest, a bone yard guided tour was conducted to help new hams learn about the bone yard and about how to find bargains.
The club has a very unique weekly net each Monday at 8:30 PM to discuss technical topics related to ham radio. This net is unique because it integrates an internet chat room, Google, and Echolink. This allows for very rich content sharing.
In June, the club once again became active in the ARRL Field Day with over 200 people attending, including a U.S. Senator and many local dignitaries. The club operated 3A and was number 1 in the Southeast Division for total score and number two in the nation for total attendance.
In mid-January 2008, the club was elevated to the status of Special Service Club by the ARRL Board of Directors. We fully intend to be the example for radio clubs with our activities, support for emergency communications, mentoring, and the initiation of VE testing sessions.
One of the special benefits to club membership that began in 2008 is the ability to use a fully functioning HF/VHF/UHF radio on 11 bands via the Internet. This gives club members with restrictions the ability to operate HF in any mode from their QTH. Additionally, the Club established an Echolink node that is connected full time to the Club’s primary VHF repeater and allows members to work the world from their RF rig or the Internet.
We finished 2008 with an awesome Country Hams Holiday party with almost 100 people attending. A great evening was had by everyone.
The club that almost wasn’t continues to thrive as the premier club in the Greater Atlanta area. Now for a look at what happened in 2009, go to a special message by outgoing president Mack, W4AX at: http://www.nfarl.org/archives/WB4MAK_thank-you.html.
Last updated March 1, 2013