AARC Moves to DFRC
In the Fall of 1976 Russ Lockett/WA3IBE advised the Club of the possibility of getting a clubhouse on the old NIKE site in Davidsonville. The DFRC (Davidsonville Family Recreation Center) had taken control of the property. A committee of Club members was immediately appointed to investigate this opportunity. They looked over the property and chose the present clubhouse building, requesting that the radar platform be left standing. A verbal agreement was made with the DFRC to occupy the premises pending a written agreement.
Fixing Up the Clubhouse
The building was in a sorry state. There was no heat, no water, no electricity. However, this did not deter the AARC. The members wanted more than anything to have their own clubhouse once again When Bob Miller/W3AZV became president, he immediately moved the AARC meeting place to Davidsonville. Since the new clubhouse was not yet a fit place for habitation, the Club met temporarily in the Boy Scout's room down the hill. Club members rallied around the new President. Work parties were scheduled every Saturday, and sometimes on Sundays, to clean up the place and make it liveable
Powering the Clubhouse
One of the first things was to get power. It was determined that power was available at the power transformers. A small room was constructed at the end of the storage building for the power panel, and 220 and 110 volts were supplied. Cables were obtained by salvaging the underground cable left by the government. A heavy-duty cable was run from the power panel to the circuit breaker box in the kitchen, and the lights were installed. The surplus cable was stored in the locked clubhouse, but someone broke into the place and stole it, apparently for the copper content.
The First Clubhouse Repeater
In December 1976 a quick trip was made to Lynchburg, VA to pick up a used repeater from WB4MOV. The repeater was taken to the home of Harry/N3DE, where he added the necessary accessories to make it workable on our new frequency of l47.105 Mhz, which had been assigned to the Club by TMARC (The Mid-Atlantic Repeater Council). The frequency of 146.430 Mhz was retained for simplex use when needed The Club obtained a Ringo antenna and mounted it atop the 70-foot pole for the repeater. A small room was built at one end of the kitchen near the circuit-breaker boxes for the repeater. Harry tested the repeater from his home during December of 1977, and on December 26th he moved it to the clubhouse and put it on the air.
A Christmas Gift for the AARC
This was like a Christmas gift to the Club members. The repeater had a coverage of about 35 miles even with a less-than-adequate antenna only 70 feet up in the air. It was decided that the repeater needed a higher and better antenna. In June 1977 the first edition of the Ham Arundel News came out with Derek/AA3A as the editor. Some of the highlights of this issue: -the attendance at the Linthicum parade with the PA system - work parties at the clubhouse - Field Day preparations - two new members. The newsletter proved to be a huge success. Twenty-eight persons joined the Club in 1977, bringing the total membership to 48. That year 20 members upgraded their licenses.