About Us

 

BARC was formed in 2007 after discussions between Cal Neff K4JSR and Bill Wilson KJ4EX about the need for an amateur radio club between Atlanta and Athens Georgia.  Letters were sent to all ham operators of Barrow County announcing an upcoming meeting to discuss plans to form a radio club. To see the original letter, --click here--.  A modest attendance was present at the first meeting and a name was chosen.  The club would become known as the Barrow Amateur Radio Emergency Services Club (BARES).  For nearly 3 years the club operated under this name until a rapid growth and interest in ham radio swept through Barrow County.  It became evident that the need to realign responsbilities was necessary.  In July of 2010 the Barrow Amateur Radio Emergency Services Club voted to disband and start a new club under the name of Barrow Amateur Radio Club (BARC).  This club serves the hams of Barrow county as a social organization.  The ARES functions were transitioned into what is known as the Barrow County ARES group.  This realignment was practical and mirrored that of surrounding counties.  Today the Barrow Amateur Radio Club (BARC) enjoys a healthy membership and is continuing to grow under its current leadership.  The club participates in various activities and events, and enjoys learning about ham radio.

 

Cal Neff, K4JSR          President - 2007-2009

Cal was first licensed in April, 1954, as KN4JSR. Upgraded to Technician and General.   Cal was also an active radio operator in Civil Air Patrol from 1954 until 1962.  Cal let his ham license lapse in 1962 while freshly married, working full time and a student at North Avenue Trade School (Ga. Tech).  Life was just too busy. Cal was drug back into ham radio by Dean Maples, K4EQQ (SK) in 1971 as a Novice (WN4BMA). Back up to General in 1973 and Advanced in 1974. Extra came much later as Cal did not want to give up his Advanced ticket, but the good DX beckoned! Cal started teaching ham radio classes in 1973 and in five years time had churned out over a thousand new Novices.  He lost count of how many upgraded to General and beyond because he did not administer those tests. The FCC did all of those back in the day.  Cal was awarded “Atlanta Ham Of The Year” in 1977 because of all of the new hams.  Many of whom are still around. Cal still thinks the most fun in ham radio is to encourage others to get into the hobby and to help them along. Cal has been active in Civil Defense, ARES, and is a Journeyman Certified Electronics Technician, CERT Trainer, W5YI and ARRL VE, ARRL Certified Instructor, Past EC for Barrow County ARES, and Member of the Barrow County L.E.P.C. (Local Emergency Planning Committee-E.M.A).

 

 

Bill Wilson, KJ4EX                    President - 2010

President of Barrow Amateur Radio Club 2010, Bill is one of the founding members of the organization.  Bill is also a Certified Master Communications Electronics Technician, and a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician.  First licensed as a Novice in 1971 as WN0DLV, Bill spent a number of years as DX himself (HL9RC, VK5AEZ, KA2EX, KJ4EX/KH6, and 7J1AIB) while assigned to various locations in the Pacific during his US Air Force Career.  Now living in Winder, he planted his antenna farm on his one acre lot, and the produce continues to evolve.  Bill enjoys Contesting, chasing DX, and building and testing antenna systems.

 

 

 

Steven Donellan, N5SMD President - 2011

Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, Steve was licensed in 1993 as KC5ELH.  In the mid 90’s he operated a high volume packet BBS forwarding messages and traffic all over the world.  Steve has also been NCS for many different ARES and non ARES nets.  After moving to north Georgia in 2001, he remained active in the ham radio community by serving as a W5YI and ARRL VE.  In 2007 Steve became a member of the Barrow Amateur Radio Emergency Services club and started a VE group for Barrow and North Georgia.  In 2009 he was chosen to fill a vacancy in the Executive Committee.  He was elected to Vice President for 2010 and President for 2011.  Steve also serves as an Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the Barrow County ARES group. He is married with two children and enjoys spending time with his family.

 

 

Mike Wolcott, W4WYI          President - 2012-2013

An actual Atlanta native, born in 1947 and raised in Decatur. First licensed as WN4WEJ in 1961 or 1962 (Can’t remember!) so I’m claiming 2012 as my 50th year in ham radio. Got my Tech class, WB4OEX, in 1964 and started the first, and only, radio club at Decatur High School. When the vanity callsign program was introduced I picked up my Dad’s call, W4WYI.  I went into commercial broadcasting during my senior year in high school at WAVO in Decatur and did contract engineering at several area stations. I was the youngest engineer on the staff at WSB-TV for several years and was then offered a job as Chief Engineer at WLYF in Miami, FL. Went from there to Jacksonville, FL (WKTZ), then to WDUN in Gainesville, GA. The next step was to Scientific-Atlanta as a field engineer in the Cable TV division. Cisco bought the company around 2008 and I retired July, 2011, with 33.5 years service. I joined BARC in 2008 and I’m enjoying retirement so far and I’ve been able to get involved with the Barrow County CERT program. Both daughters are grown and there is one grandson, now 5 years old. Nancy, my XYL is WD4EDE.

 

Bill Allen, AJ4TX          President - 2015

Bill was originally licensed WN4YHL in Knoxville TN, about 1973. As a Novice, he didn't spend enough time on CW and ended up with Technician fever, upgrading a year or so later as WB4YHL. The power transformer in his Novice Transmitter smoked up the shack (bedroom), and CW was history! Several moves around the country interrupted radio, but in 2001 brought him to Barrow County. In 2009 Bill upgraded to Extra, as AJ4TX, after being QRT for a couple of years after being so busy he forgot to change address and renew! About that time Bill became involved with BARC. As one who has relied on the helpful and generous nature of various Elmers throughout his radio career, Bill enjoys seeing young people get interested in the hobby. His youngest son, Daniel, is KK4KXJ. Bill is 2014 and 2015 President of BARC, and operates as time allows. Bill enjoys operating HF and VHF phone, some digital modes, and a little CW when the other ops slow down enough! Chasing ES on 6M is as fun now as it was in the 70’s. Bill also enjoys some lightweight building,  tinkering with antennas and keeping the rigs operating. Data driven and hands-on, most of Bills career has included support to electronics manufacturing as test and quality engineer, and since 2004 as owner of Allen Backflow Calibration and Testing.