The BEARS of Manchester are a group of licensed Amateur Radio Operators who maintain amateur band repeater radios on Box Mountain in Vernon, CT, USA. We also provide radio communications as a free public service to local groups who request our help. The BEARS are an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. Our chartered purpose is to provide public service, emergency communications, help educate new operators and encourage the maintenance of a pool of skilled radio operators upon which our community and nation can draw in time of need. To that end, we hold classes and FCC-sanctioned license exam sessions, participate in skill-building contests, participate in emergency drills with many public safety agencies, and practice our art and skill during events such as the Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race, the Hockanum River Canoe and Kayak Race, and many other public events throughout the year.
Officers of the club, elected May 10, 2017:
President: Paul Gibson, N1TUP
Vice President: Jonathan Allen, K2KKH
Treasurer: Cathy Phelps, KB1JKA
Secretary: George Carbonell Jr., N1RMF
Why the BEARS? Many of the club's founders were officers with the Manchester and East Hartford Police Departments. Although most have since retired or become silent keys, current members continue to honor their high standards of public service. Some say the phrase "BEARS" was less because of the affiliation with police and more because of the National Park Service signs that read, "Please don't feed the Bears." Whatever the real origin, the bylaws now say it means:
BEARS = Better Emergency Amateur Repeater System
We maintain amateur radio FM repeaters located on the Stanek's commercial tower on Box Mountain in Vernon. The repeaters are open for use by any licensed amateur radio operator. You do not have to be a member to use the repeater; but we remind users that the dues paid by BEARS members pay for tower space rental and transmitter upkeep, among other things. If you'd like to contribute your share, we encourage you to apply for membership in the BEARS.
Output = 145.110 MHz Input = -600, PL 77
The group provides gratis communications for public service events, and also acts as a social club. We meet on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm at 321 Olcott Street, Manchester (the Town of Manchester's Emergency Operations Center) to listen to guest speakers, exchange ideas and information related to amateur radio, and conduct club business. There are no monthly meetings for June, July and August, as we are contrarian BEARS who hibernate in the summer.