WB4ARU is now the club call of the Brewton
Amateur Radio Union. BARU was the original call of Jimmy Godwin who was the real founder of the BARU. Jimmy was a police officer
on the Brewton, Alabama Police Department and was the main driving force behind forming a club and building a repeater.
Jimmy died of an accident while he and his wife were erecting his tower in 1976. Though he was the main charcter in securing
permission for the tower sites, securing a telephone link between the transmitter and receiver site with the Escambia County
Comission paying the cost of the telephone line, and acquiring the equipment from which the repeater was constructed, he was
killed before the repeater became operational.
The original repeater callsign was WR4BAE, with Johnny Miller, K4VMT
as trustee, followed by Scott Hillman, (WA4TYH) KT4CW, then Leroy Weaver, WD4SBV. The original repeater was a
100 watt tube type transmitter. The recieve antenna was on a tower 200 feet up. The transmit antenna was across the road on
a tower 160 feet up. Both antennas were conected by a telephone link.
The repeater went silent for about 10 years when
the trustee Leroy Weaver moved overseas. The club members lost intrest and the club disbanded.
Club President Larry Fussell N4CBS is
the driving force behind the revival of the club after years of neglect. If not for Larry, the local ham club would likely
have remained dormant, and there would be no amateur radio activity in the Brewton area. When Larry persuaded Leon
N4RTT to re-enter the hobby in 2003, They began to search for former club members. They found Scott
Hillman lived just a block away. (Larry and Leon live across the street from each other.) Leon sent Scott an e-mail,
and he responded with an interesting message about growing up in the house where Leon now lives. Larry then went by to visit
Scott at his home. The first informal meeting of the re-organized Brewton club was held in the ham shack of Leon,
N4RTT the following Saturday morning. Present were Larry N4CBS; Scott, then WA4TYH; Johnny
Miller K4VMT; and Leon, N4RTT.
Scott agreed to become trustee of the
new club and send all the paperwork to the FCC. The new club started out with just 4 people and has grown. Now
the repeater is back on, it's original frequency of 146.970, neg offset and no tone.
The 146.970 frequency has been used by
the Brewton Club since the mid 1970's.
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