The club started in 1987 with a constitution. The earliest historical documentation, such as newsletters and/or meeting minutes begins at the end of 1999.
The latest approved constitution is the May 2011 LETARC Constitution.pdf.
Based on all documentation reviewed, there has been on average somewhere around 50 or 60 paid members during any particular year.
At the end of 1999, the club was having monthly meetings and a weekly 2M net. These continue today.
A snapshot at the end of 1999:
-The club was looking for a trunk tracker scanner to monitor the Longview PD
-Holding meetings with the Longview City Manager to discuss communications between the City of Longview and the Emergency Response Team
-Setting up rules for operation of the HF equipment at the club station and the use of a log book at each HF rig.
-The first LETARC tailgate sale held on October 16th was a success!
-The LETARC EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM was activated from 10:00PM (31 DEC) through 2:00AM (1 JAN) in order to monitor and be prepared for the pending Y2K disaster!
–European stations were monitored for signs of problems
–Team members were stationed at 8 fire departments, EOC, Longview Comm Center and both local hospitals.
-The East Texas WeatherNet was activated December 4 because of the Severe Thunderstorm Watch #720
From 2000 to 2015, the club had an annual cycle which consisted mostly of participating in annual events such as:
-Boy Scout Jamboree on the air
-Various Red Cross training events
-ARRL Field Day (Red Cross Building, Lake O’ The Pines, McWhorter Park)
-Longview Jaycees Gregg County Fair and Exposition
-Longview Mall Patrols
Some notable events from 2000 on:
November 2000 – Ham Radio to the rescue! N4KI finds a stuck mike for the Union Pacific railroad yard in Longview on 160.410 Mhz — Offending transmitter was a locomotive halfway between the yardmaster tower and the Eastman Rd overpass
March 2000 – Since 54% of club members are also ARRL members, the club can seek ARRL affiliation
April 2000 – GCEC founding officers: Darrell Toland N5REO – President, Butch Graves KK5WD – Vice President and Clay Richardson N5VGS – Secretary/Treasurer
June 2000 – ARRL Field Day at the Red Cross, 1,552 QSO’s claimed
August 2000 – Club call sign now KI5UA
December 2000 – LETARC members put in grueling week at Ground Zero in NYC
March 2001 – LETARC Repeater call sign changed to KI5UA
June 2001 – ARRL Field Day at McWhorter Park, just under 600 QSO’s claimed
October 2001 -Nine LETARC members assisted in the coast-to-coast USA Flag Run as it passed through the Marshall-Longview-Gladewater-Big Sandy area
February 2002 – Calls for a “movement” to proactively promote amateur radio
June 2002 – ARRL Field Day at McWhorter Park, excess of 300 QSO’s claimed
July 2002 – Some comments in the newsletter about being friendlier to hams passing through
August 2002 – Discussions of replacing the 20 year old Yaesu FT-301 and labeling feed lines at the club
April 2003 – LETARC and GCEC aided in communications for the Art Peddler’s bicycle ride
June 2003 – ARRL Field Day at Lookout Point at Lake O’ The Pines deemed success!
September – October 2003 – Repeater off the air due to duplexer problems
March 2004 – LETARC repeater moved from the KYKX radio station tower to a temporary tower in northern Longview
June 2005 – ARRL Field Day at Scenic Overlook at Lake O’ The Pines, 933 QSO’s claimed
March 2006 – Yahoo Group created for club members
June 2006 – ARRL Field Day at Longview Mall Parking Lot, next to Payless Shoes
September 2006 – LETARC/GCEC members provided communications support for the Texas State Guard MP units assigned to hurricane Katrina/Rita shelters around North-East Texas
November 2006 – Licensing classes held at LeTourneau Glaske Engineering Center, ARRL affiliated VE team assembled
December 2006 – Pro/Cons of pursuing 501(c)3 status explored
December 2006 – Morse code requirement for General and Extra dropped
March 2007 – Explored changing names from “Longview East Texas Amateur Radio Club” to “Longview East Texas Amateur Radio Communications”
June 2007 ARRL Field Day at the Red Cross building
June 2007 – New antenna, new repeater
June 2008 – ARRL Field Day at Lake O’ The Pines interrupted by severe thunderstorms
August 2008 – club QSL cards and business cards approved/ordered
2009 – Looking for a new repeater location and the club newsletters were moved to the LETARC web page
Jun 2009 – ARRL Field Day at the Red Cross Building, 300 QSO’s claimed
2010 – Patrols for Longview High School during high profile games and talk of moving the repeater to East Mountain
January 2011 – 1st meeting aimed to define the direction of the club
January 2011 – structure of membership dues changed
June 2011 – ARRL Field Day at Red Cross building, 750 QSO’s claimed
December 2011 – New repeater installed and is operational
May 2012 – Celebration of the 25th anniversary of LETARC. Recognized by U.S. House Representative Louie Gohmert, Texas Governor Perry, Texas State Representative David Simpson, Longview Mayor Jay Dean, Longview Fire Chief Steelman, ARRL NTX Section Manager Walt Mayfield
June 2012 – ARRL Field Day at the Red Cross building deemed a success!
July 2012 – Great Texas Balloon Race special event station KI5UA deemed a success! 194 contacts made!
2014 – DSTAR “B” node installed
2015 – WinLink system installed
June 2016 – ARRL Field Day at the Red Cross Building, 195 QSO’s claimed
2017 – Red Cross went out of business, Club became homeless
June 2017 – ARRL Field Day at McWhorter Park, 163 QSO’s claimed
2018 – Space at the Mims Volunteer Fire Department reserved for LETARC. Work continues to make it habitable.
…and the history of the club continues to be written!