History of Andrew Johnson Amateur Radio Club
The AJARC originated as the Greeneville Amateur Radio Club (GARC) back in the 1950’s. The original club call was W4RUL. This call was allowed to lapse and W4WC was later obtained through the vanity system. W4RUL is now held by a group affiliated with the club called Camp Creek Bald Contest Club and used for VHF contests most of the time.
The AJARC has maintained a repeater on Camp Creek Bald Mountain since the early 1970s and began with WR4AHP when WR4 call signs were mandatory. W4KKP and WB4CXL (SK) were engineers that worked for Magnavox at the color TV manufacturing plant in Greeneville and were the original motivators/ builders, and were instrumental in obtaining the 146.70 repeater site on the mountain, which was just a few feet from the fire tower where it now resides. It was originally mounted in a weatherproof rack strapped to a tower with underground cable to the same pole that supplies power to the fire tower now. The repeater was powered by batteries that were continuously charged from a battery charger.
Later Carolina Virginia Repeater Association (CVRA), the forerunner of SERA, asked our club to help resolve a repeater problem between the Asheville, NC and Kingsport TN repeaters that were on 146.760. W4KKP agreed at called dinner meeting/conference to move our repeater to a new frequency of 145.25, which is now well known as the “national TV leakage frequency.” The other repeaters were to coexist by moving the Kingsport repeater to 146.70 and Asheville staying at 146.76. Kingsport didn’t move there but to 146.745 for a short stay and then returned to 146.76.
The AJARC club couldn’t live with the new 145.25 frequency and asked CVRA to change that almost immediately. CVRA assigned 145.390 MHz because that was the only unassigned pair left. The club repeater has been there ever since. The GARC, now AJARC, has maintained a continuous presence on the mountaintop since the initial installation of the homebrew repeater system in the early 70s. This repeater was the only amateur repeater on the mountain for several years, and is located now in the Camp Creek Bald Mountain USFS fire tower atop the TN/NC state lines at approximately 4860′. We also house the 443.200 MHz repeater in the same bldg. More information and a few pictures can be found at http://www.ajarc.org
Camp Creek Bald Mountain was part of a failed ski venture in the 60/70s time frame. It was called the Viking Mountain Ski Resort, but never really got off the ground and soon closed due to lack of snowfall and the access road was not well maintained. Many newcomers to the area took it upon themselves to “rename” the mountain, but this has never officially been done and there is no reference to Viking Mountain on any maps other than Viking Mountain Road which goes all the way to the top. Most of the younger generation and newcomers to the area still want to call it Viking Mountain.
73s and enjoy the repeaters.
Editing by N4FV