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LARC History

LARC History

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The First Five Years of the Lakeside Amateur Radio Club “LARC”


There were six of us. All were members of various other organizations in town. All of us had held different offices, participated in a variety of events, and ran a number of functions over the years. Collectively, we had decades of experience to draw from.  We decided that it was time to start a new Ham Radio Club with the focus on Ham Radio and helping our local community. 

We had our first meeting and discussed our goals. We came up with the name of the club, logo, and then we got the club call KJ6KHI “Knowledge Justice 6 Kindness Honesty Integrity”. The Club’s call really fit with the focus of the new club, Lakeside Amateur Radio Club, also known as the LARC! Then we moved forward with getting a post office box, developing by-laws and a procedures manual, and more discussions on to how to keep the club focused on Ham Radio, helping our local community, and moving in a positive direction.

Our very first club event was the 2010 Mother Goose Parade! It was a rainy day, but we were there to let everyone know there was a NEW Club in town called the LARC! It worked. We got the word out and people started to ask about us, and we did all this in three months! A real club with by-laws that worked, a repeater to use, membership forms, a meeting place, a Club Call Sign, a P.O. Box, logos, a Website, and our very first event under our belt.  
In the first year, we became a member of the San Diego Amateur Radio Council “SANDARC”, but we were waiting on the ARRL Affiliation. We now had done a few more events like, Bulls Only Rodeo, started License Classes, Lakeside Western Days Parade, Del Mar Fair, Alpine Days Parade, Fire Station Six Open House, and again the Mother Goose Parade. Can’t forget our very first Field Day up at the Shrine Camp in the Laguna Mountains where we used our new contest call, K6SEE!  Not too bad for a new club!  
In the second year of the club’s existence, we really started to get the ball rolling. The Lakeside Fire Department and some of our members got together and started talking about how we can help our local community in the next disaster. To keep this short, the Communications Volunteer Group was formed. The CVG is managed by the Lakeside Fire Department. Now we needed some radios! No problem… Let’s ask…  SANDARC “No!”  Ok moving on… We asked our friends at SURF, San Diego Running Organization, YEP! Got the funds for the radios, bought them and handed them over to them. Thank You SURF! We installed the radio gear and started using it. This year we added the Santee Street Fair.  

Well, the third year was something to remember. We were on schedule with LARC events, going down the list, as the month passed by.  However, we noticed an extra weekend in June and somehow the Shrine Camp in the Laguna Mountains had us down for the wrong weekend for Field Day. So we did what we do best! Put our Volunteers to work to find a new spot until next year! They came up with the Lakeside Fire Department Fire Station 2, where we have our Board meetings and run the LARC Nets from at “The Annex”. Well, we set-up and had a great Field Day! A week or so later we heard the sad news that Shrine Camp was totally destroyed in the big fire. This really hit us hard! Most of us had been going up there for years, well before the LARC was formed. Some for over 25 years! So again we did what the LARC does best and pulled together to help others. We took up a donation and we walked it right into the Shiner’s Head Quarters! Also, this year we started the Lakeside Fire Net on every second Sunday of the month where CERT Members and local Hams test their radios and get information on Fire related events. And, of course, we are still doing all of the now “annual” LARC Events! However, we are still waiting on ARRL Affiliation. Then the LARC received a letter from the other club apologizing to the LARC for their behavior.


Now, moving into our fourth year, the Fire Net is still going strong and many of our members are helping with the mapping of Lakeside’s Valleys and rough terrain. The CVG’s, who are members of the Fire Net and Lakeside CERT, are going out to points on a map and giving a report back to Net Control. With the report we are mapping the dead spots and key spots to use in the next disaster. The Fire Chief that oversees the CVG’s is very happy and surprised by the amount of information we are gathering from these exercises. This year we improved on Field Day! Got a Beam Antenna! Cool! We also did Ham Radio License Testing again at Field Day! All of these activities have resulted in a few more members to the LARC! The Nets are going well. A good part of LARC members volunteered in conjunction with SANDARC and SANDARC member clubs to put on the 2014 ARRL Southwestern Division Convention in September, 2014, in conjunction with running the LARC, LARC Nets, Field Day and all of the other annual LARC Events.  Finally, we heard back from the ARRL.  LARC obtained official affiliation with the ARRL. See the letter dated December 10, 2014. Wow! The LARC has almost met all of our goals for the club! And we also started the Motorcycle Division of the LARC. 


At the time I am writing this, we are four months into the year. The last goal we initially set for the club was to have its own repeater! We found out that Yaesu has this program and we should be getting it soon. The repeater will be setup to use in our local area. Due to all of the valleys and rough train, it should help in the next disaster (fire, flood or earthquake). LARC number 72 has been issued. We have come a very long way in less than five years! In my opinion, some groups take years just to approve by-laws and have lost focus on HAM RADIO! The LARC is very Radio Active in Ham Radio and helping out the local community. I am excited to see the path the LARC will take now that we have set a sturdy foundation on which the LARC can continue to grow.

I would like to thank all of the Members of the LARC! Hands Down, you are what make the Club strong! We have had members come and go and that’s ok as the LARC is not for everyone. We have had a few members become silent keys and you will be missed!

73 DE Paul, KC6QLS LARC Chair 2010-1016

Updated 4-6-2015