In 1998, it came to the attention of a small group of Amateur Radio Operators in Olive Branch, Mississippi, that there were dozens of other licensed Amateurs in the city. With a desire to promote the art and science of Amateur Radio within the local community, this core group reached out to these local Hams, calling them to attend a meeting for the purpose of determining the feasibility of establishing a club.
This first meeting was held at the Maxwell Community Center in Olive Branch on December 16th, 1998. Twelve licensed Amateurs showed up. After some discussion it was decided to form what would be called the Olive Branch Amateur Radio Club (OBARC). Under the leadership of first club president Melvin Jerkins (W4STI), OBARC was formally organized. ARRL affiliation would come in June of 2000, and recognition by the state as a 501(c)(3) organization would be obtained in 2006.
The club has grown over the years and currently has over twenty active members. OBARC owns and operates two active repeaters that support communications in the local area. It also promotes community understanding of Amateur Radio through their annual participation in ARRL Field Day, Winter Field Day, and the Mississippi QSO party. The club also has a group of dedicated Volunteer Examiners who provide opportunities for testing of prospective Hams prior to each monthly club meeting.
After more than twenty years, OBARC continues to work to promote the art and science of Amateur Radio in the local community, and assist local Hams to increase their knowledge and understanding of the Amateur Radio service.
We operate two repeaters - a two-meter repeater in Olive Branch and a 70-centimeter repeater in Lewisburg, MS about 5 miles to our south. We focus on serving our membership, the community and provide communications services to the DeSoto County Emergency Response authorities in the event of area natural disasters.
The main objectives of the Club are to:
- Promote and facilitate community participation in amateur radio.
- Provide meeting and learning experiences for members to advance their skills in the art and science of amateur radio.
- Provide a responsive service to the community and emergency responders in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
- Encourage partnerships with local youth groups and encourage the youth to participate in amateur radio and communications as a service, and a recreational hobby.
The Club provides monthly testing for individuals seeking their Technician License and for upgrades to General and Extra Class licenses. The testing is normally conducted prior to our monthly on-site meetings. Due to Covid-19 in-person meetings have been severely restrictive during 2020 and the early part of 2021 but we will begin these in-person meetings again with the March 16 2021 meeting. Our normal meeting location is at the Fairhaven Fire Station at 13701 Center Hill Rd in Olive Branch, MS
We encourage all licensed Amateur Radio operators and guests to attend our meetings. Typically, we will have a short business meeting and a presentation of Amateur Radio interest. If you have questions, please contact us by sending an email to Contact Us
Active Members of OBARC *
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