NoBARC is an organization of about 150 Amateur Radio Operators (“Hams”) centered in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The club logo contains the emblem of Special Service Club, a designation bestowed by the ARRL on those clubs which provide a wide range of services to their members, to fellow hams, and to their communities. NoBARC has earned this designation for six consecutive years. NoBARC’s repeaters at 3500 ft have a typical range without obstruction of about 250/300 mi circle. Making this one of the widest coverage repeater in the Northeast.

NoBARC was created back in the 1960’s by a group of hams in Northern Berkshire County that got together every year to provide communications for the North Adams Fall Foliage parade. An event that we still do to this day, and what is probably our most enjoyable event.

Other Club Activities

NoBARC and its members are involved in many public-service areas. The 53.23, 146.91, and 224.10 repeaters hold ARES nets each Sunday morning. NTS nets are held weekdays on 146.91 at 1000 and 1300 LIMA. The 146.91 repeater is the venue for SKYWARN nets during severe weather, handling reports from parts of five states and funneling them to NWS offices at Albany NY and Taunton MA. Several members of NoBARC are involved as RACES members and with the Pittsfield Emergency Management Agency.

Communications support is also provided to the Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team, one of the premier organizations of its kind in the Northeast U.S. Dual membership on the part of key personnel helps to maintain a strong working relationship.

Parades, athletic events, charitable fund-raisers, also comprise areas in which NoBARC hams participate to provide safety communications. The Great Josh Billings Run aground triathlon, an annual event in Berkshire County is served each year by a group of hard-working hams, as are the annual Fall Foliage Festival Parade in North Adams and America’s Hometown Parade in Pittsfield, the only July 4th parade in the country to be televised nationally. In 1992, a group from NoBARC traveled the length of the state to provide medical communications during the visit of the “Tall Ships” regatta to Boston Harbor.

NoBARC also mounts a serious (but fun) ARRL Field Day effort each June at an abandoned airport in Windsor MA. We operate as N1WM on all bands from 80 meters up to 2 meters. We have a blast every year and the participation keeps growing.

What is a ham club without a hamfest? We don’t know. NoBARC hosts one each year at the Adams Agricultural Fair Grounds in Adams, MA. last year we celebrated our 25th annual HamFest with vendors and guests coming from all over the Northeast.

The annual club picnic in July and the awards dinner in December are the social highlights of the club year. At the dinner, several achievement and service awards are presented, including the WB1HIH Memorial award, named for our late President, Dick Goodman. The WB1HIH award is kind of our “Ham of the Year”. The person who wins this award, did so because of the large contribution that they made to amateur radio over the past year.

There is a second award named for WB1HIH: the plaque for the top “Rover” station in the ARRL June VHF QSO party, which is donated by the Mt. Greylock Expeditionary Force, the contest arm of W2SZ. Many of our members participate in the VHF contests by working with W2SZ or running their own stations. Not a few members also participate in various HF contests as well.

NoBARC also holds licensing and upgrading classes and fields its own VE team, which holds six testing sessions each year. The club calendar and further information on various activities can be found in the Squelch Tale On-Line, the electronic edition of the NoBARC newsletter.