The mid-1980s and 1990s

This is another time period for which little is known. But it’s likely the club was either barely active, or dormant, through most of this time. An excerpt from an email to Lee Moyer in 1991 gives some indication of the people involved at that time. From the email, it sounds like the club really died off after the farmhouse shack was done away with in ~1983. It was re-started (sort of) in 1987 by Richard Bradley (who is now EE faculty at UVa, working with NRAO). It sounds like times were rough in the 90s for W4UVA, with little equipment and few members, and no shack. (apologies for some of the typos in the email, as this is how it was relayed to us)

Date : 04-Feb-91 05:52
From : Jay Campbell
To : Lee Moyer
Subject : UVA Amateur Radio Club History
Replies : #724 <-

Wow! Thanks for the info. I made a copy of that to put on the record. That answers A LOT of questions. Well, I guess the next order of busines is to fill you in from 1983 to the present. In 1987, Richard Bradley reclaimed presidence of the club and began filling new paper work with Student Council to keep us up as an official Student Organization. Each year he would go and update the necesary paper work. In the Fall of 1989 (a year ago), a couple students began asking about such a club at UVA and we were all directed to Rich. Rich set up a meeting for all interested. The 4 that showed up were Rich (WB3DZC), Robert Pitsenbarger (WT8H), Peter Molnar, and myself. We met in a classroom over in the E-wing of Thornton. It was decided by vote (rather by default) that I would be president, Robert would be Secretary/Treasurer, and Rich and Peter would be active members. (We set it up this way till we could get a copy of our own Constitution and find out what the membership and office holders.

The next thing was to find out where all the equipment went to. The search was futile and I came up with nothing. I figured Student Council must have reposessed all of it and probably had put it into one of the University auctions. As for the donated equipment, I don't know what became of it. During this time I have dropped in on a few meeting at the Abermarle Radio Club and have kept them up to date as things got done. Well, not much has been done because since I took office in the Fall of 89, no one mentioned to me that budget requests for 90-91 needed to be done in January and I ended up missing the funding deadline for last year. However, this past week Robert and I got together and made up a list of equipment that the club would like to have to start up again. We came up with some HF gear, VHF gear, and a packet TNC, as well as books and other odds and ends that would benefit interested students. We are requesting $2100 in funding and I set a goal of $475 for us to earn (non-profit of course) to go into our budget to make up the difference that Student Council probably wouldn't give us (we need to be approx. 20% self- sufficient (earn 20% of our own funding) in order to receive funding). I figured we could probably get $5 dues from 6 members by the end of this semester to bring our checking account balance up to $50. Next semester, I set a goal of 25 members, paying $15 for dues for the year to give us $375, and then maybe possibly a small donation from AARC or we will try to raise it in some sort of fund raising activities. This I set at $50. (If all else fails, I guess I will scrape up some out of my own pocket to make it look good).

our funding conditional only if we can obtain a space (anywhere) for a station that is under lock and key, preferably on grounds. I put in a request for space with Student Council and am going to talk with Dr. Marshall in the EE department this week. I figure since the renovation is complete at Thornton, they should have some sort of closet available for us. If all this works out, we will be in good shape for next year. I plan to start putting up fliers about our club around grounds. I will probably mention the No-Code license as an incentive to join (since a lot of people hate code). I have also decided that the membership will include students with or without valid licenses (with stress that we would like all our members to hold a license) and for any professors or faculty interested. Student Council has only one rule that our membership be at least 51% students.

Another new piece of information I found out about…Student Council no longer will repossess any of the equipment purchased by funding, therefore, if we disband for some odd reason, yet someone keeps up our records with Student Council, then we will never lose our equipment. The only catch is for equipment that costs over $500. Student Council will then have a share of the equipment. I will try to organize a meeting soon so we can all discuss details of what direction we would like to put the club in. I have denoted Morris Jones as our Faculty Advisor for the club. At one time I was looking for a new club trustee but I think you took care of that already. Thanks. Robert may not be able to make any of the meetings this semester because of his work in med. school. Rich, I believe, is doing the same but he said a while back that if we need anything he would try to help. I think with a little bit of luck and a lot of advertising, we can get going once again. I now need to start compiling a list of all faculty and students with licenses. The last thing is our budget hearing with Student Council on Wed., Feb. 13. I am going to go to argue our budget and the various equipment items on it as being necessary for our club. I am hoping for 100% support from Student Council. And that about sums it up. Thanks again for the info, and I will keep you posted on upcoming events. I am glad to see you are as interested in this as I am. Talk to you again soon.

-Jay Campbell, N4YMY

Jay recently gave us some more information on the rather bleak situation of ham activity at UVa during this time (from an email between Bert WF7I and Jay N4YMY):

Back when I was at UVA (’88-’92) I didn’t have a lot of time or interest from others to get it off the ground. As a follow-up from the posted email, the request for funds from the Student Council didn’t yield any results. The other guys and I didn’t have a lot of extra time to organize a fundraiser and I didn’t have enough personal funds to buy anything of interest for the club. However, I did run a packet station from my dorm room in Stadium Rd. dorms for a couple years, but it was under my callsign and not the club. Later, I ended up running a dial-up BBS called “The Corner BBS” which replaced that hobby time. I also did my EE thesis on Yagi-Uda antenna positioning which should still be available in the Stacks, but this is about it for my ham radio involvement at UVA.

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