HAM Radio Course – Nov 7, 14, 21

The first meeting for our technician course will be this Tuesday- November 7th! We hope to see you there- Please feel free to bring a friend, or several! Obtaining your license is one of the largest and most important steps you can take to get involved and open up a fun and exciting world in Amateur Radio!

We are meeting from 6-10PM, Nov. 7, 14, & 21 from 6PM-10PM. There will be an opportunity to take your Technician Exam at the end of the course.

Jackson County Rescue Squad
327 County Services Park
Sylva, NC 28779

(This is located on the WCU side of Sylva, Behind Lowe’s. Turn Right on County Services Park from HWY 116, and the Squad is at the top f the road directly across from the ECU Dental School)

Please reach out to the club’s officers if you need help with transportation!

Club Meeting

This Thursday, November 2nd, we will be holding our next club meeting in the UC Pisgah Room (322) starting at 7PM Eastern Time.

Unfortunately, this meeting is limited to 8 attendees so we will also be hosting a Zoom virtual meeting linked below.

We will be going over basic ham terminology!

We hope to see y’all either in person or virtually!


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 862 722 0240
Passcode: qUBdt9

Balloon Launch Moved to WCU

The Balloon Launch tomorrow will now take place at WCU’s Apodaca Terrace instead of the Balsam Building at SCC’s campus. This stemmed from an unforeseen complication. Communications will take place as needed on the NC-PRN DMR Network. More information is available on this network at www.NCPRN.net.

Michele, KK4NRB Sent out this notice detailing the upcoming flight-

“We are very excited to fly Saturday for the annular eclipse.  We will be launching from the Apodaca terrace, and not SCC (a last minute redirection) and trajectories are showing impact near Polkville, NC.  You can follow online on https://aprs.fi and enter the callsign of “W4WCU-11”  We will lift-off between 11-11:30am.

Our goal is to provide a verified vessel for atmospheric research in our region, and since this project is multidisciplinary, there are many avenues for you to participate in – from amateur radio for tracking and recovery, programming of onboard payload sensors, data extrapolation, technical writing, media communications to project management.  For those interested in the graphics of data representation or image editing, there are plenty of opportunities to dive in and analyze data, manipulate our images and showcase what Catamounts are capable of-  Stay tuned for a flight report!”

An info & track booth will be available at the prior scheduled launch site at Southwestern Community College (Balsam Building) to discuss the Amateur Radio Hobby and it’s roll in the project as well as show live positioning of the balloon. Much thanks to the Jackson County Amateur Radio Service for heading up this portion of the project!

Upcoming Events-

We have several upcoming events outlined below- we hope to see you at our demo day, and our club meeting- and more!

OCTOBER 11, Wednesday: On the Lawn! We will be back on the UC lawn all day, and have a “Get on the air” station or two setup for you and others to experience the fun of Amateur radio, come by- make a contact, and have some fun! If you believe you know of anyone else who may be interested in the hobby/club/technology – this is a great opportunity to bring them out! 

OCTOBER 12, Thursday: CLUB MEETING! 7:00 PM: We will be meeting in the Raleigh Room @ 7:00PM. The Raleigh Room (Room 226) is located inside the UC. We will be forming a club roster, finalizing other club decisions to kick us off, and going over the very basics of Amateur Radio- and answering your questions. Please come join us, and feel free (encouraged!) to bring anyone with you who may be interested. You do not have to be a licensed operator to be a part of the club!! 

OCTOBER 14, Saturday: Balloon Launch! 11:30AM: Balsam Building parking lot @ SCC. Apodaca Science Building @ WCU’s campus. We expect to launch between 11:00 & 11:30.  

NOVEMBER 7, 14, 21, Tuesdays: Amateur Radio Technician Course: 6PM-10PM @ Jackson County Rescue Squad. This course is an abbreviated course, with some self study required. We will take a few evenings to go over many things relating to your Amateur Radio Technician Exam, with the goal for you to pass the examination on 11/21. The Rescue Squad is located at 327 County Services Park, Sylva NC. (Turn left at Ingles again, before you get to the roundabout, County Services Park is on your right, across from the ECU dental school at the end of the road). If you are unable to arrange transportation, please let us know!  

U.C. Lawn Demo, SES – September 13, 2023

With Interest growing again at Western Carolina University, The Alumni Group- in joint effort with the physics department- will be conducting a demonstration on the University Center Lawn Wednesday, September 13, 2023. Listen for us on the air, on NC-PRN, and the HF Bands, using the call sign W4WCU!

We hope to see you there, or catch you on the air. If you are a student, faculty, staff, alumni, or community member who wishes to get involved, stay tuned to this website and social media for potential meeting times, or drop us a line to email at (this WCURadio domain).

Club Inactive, Alumni Club Formed

This Site is seeing more traffic as of late- and I just wanted to let everyone know that the WCU Club is currently inactive. A club has been formed for the Alumni of the university, and to further support students who may wish to reactivate this club in the future. If you are a student or Alumni looking for more information on reactivating the student club, or joining the Alumni club, please reach out to Daniel, W3WDD.

We appreciate the support from everyone, and will not forget the fun times we have had as a student body of HAM Radio Operators! In the mean time, this site will remain online as an archive of things we have done in years past. Please feel free to browse and enjoy!

-K4WCU, CARGO Student Club
-W4WCU, CARGO Alumni Club

Balloon Data to be Presented at NCUR

One of our own, Michele Coker – KK4NRB, has been invited back to the National Conference for Undergrad Research (NCUR) to present findings from the Catamount Balloon Flights. “(it is) a HUGE honor to be chosen on a national level” Coker said, Michele attended NCUR last year for the first time where her work was published through the group’s Proceedings. Catamount 7 (the most recent flight), launched Feb. 1, spent nearly a week in the Atlantic Ocean before being recovered and sent back to the mountains of North Carolina. Coker thanks everyone involved in the flights for their support from assembly, to testing, through the recoveries of each flight.

Though all equipment from the Catamount 7 is a total loss, it seems that all data was recoverable, and we look forward to see what we might learn from what we can recover.

Catamount 7 Drifting in the Atlantic Ocean after impact. To be later recovered in Nags Head, NC

Catamount 7 Drifting in the Atlantic Ocean after impact. To be later recovered in Nags Head, NC