MHRS First Deployment to St. John Catholic School
As previously reported, TARC was awarded a grant from the ARRL Foundation in December
2022 to build and deploy a Mobile Ham Radio Station (trailer) for Emergency Communications,
STEM education and training, and for Get-on-the-Air events to promote Amateur radio. As
such, a dedicated team of members formed the TARC Trailer Committee, consisting of Glenn
W4NMW, Steve KO4AFL, Mike KJ4TAC, John, KK4JS, Tom W4ID and Jim KO4MNB.
The Team worked tirelessly to complete the design and construction of the MHRS just in time
for our first operational deployment on May 19, 2023 at St. John Catholic School in North
Charleston for their Annual Field Day, which was a tremendous success.
Steve KO4AFL towed the trailer to the school, and Stephen K4OPZ and Jim KO4MNB erected a
telescopic mast along the side of the trailer with a Wolf River Coil and 17’ whip antenna using
the trailer as a ground plane via a wire from the antenna mount to a clamp attached to the roof
railing. We worked several stations across the US on 20 meters using an IC-7300.
Glenn W4NMW and Jim KO4MNB also worked VHF simplex and the Yorktown repeater on the
ID-5100A with Tom W4ID on the other end to talk to over 30 students from 3 rd to 8 th grade from
his QTH on Daniel Island. It was delightful to see their eyes light up when they talked on the mic
for the first time and Tom came back to them. In addition, K4OPZ had set up a code oscillator
on the second station whereby the kids had an opportunity to learn how to send their names in
Morse code, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
We operated two radios and the overhead lights for about two hours and still had over 95%
capacity left on our batteries. It was a cool day so there was no need to run the generator for
the air conditioner.
Karen Durand, the School Principal, asked us afterwards if we could come back in the fall to
help them integrate ham radio fundamentals into their STEM curriculum. She said she would let
the other local schools know about this great community resource, our dedicated volunteers,
and state-of-the-art equipment. Congratulations to the TARC team for a job well done!