It all began while Larry Oakley was stationed in Adak Island, Alaska where he filed an application for an amateur radio club license. K7UGT was issued on October 17, 1963 and was initially used as the call sign for the first repeater atop Slide Mountain on the 146.94 frequency.
Upon arriving back in Reno, Larry joined the Nevada Amateur Radio Association, W7YN. It did not take long for Larry to realize the club was not a great fit for a 23-year-old from Los Angeles, California. Each time he suggested building VHF dipoles, organizing fox-hunts, building a AM 2 meter repeater and starting classes it all fell on deaf ears. The members were not interested at the time and would at times call “point of order” and stated at times he was had not been a member long enough to have an opinion.
After realizing the current organization was not going to change and adapt to new ideas Larry decided that it was time to start a new organization. The organization was formed on April 1968 and originally tried to file articles of incorporation for Nevada Amateur Radio Society as the name of the organization. The Nevada Amateur Radio Association of course objected to the name of the organization and was changed to Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society, Inc. The founding members where F. William Rett, III (WA7FBU), Ronald E. Cerveri (WA7EKN), John Reinhold (K7JJS), Ray Bass (presently W7YKN), Robert Dickerson (presently W7VD), Frank Cherne (WA7DUL) and Larry Oakley (presently W7AB).
The organization flourished with many field day operations at Ophir Hill (current home of the W7TA Repeaters), Peavine Peak and the parking lot of the former Park Lane Mall. The group held numerous classes at the University of Nevada, Reno where Frank, Gary and Bill taught the theory and Larry taught morse code.
The club call was later changed to W7TA after passing of a member Guy Z. May who was well known and liked in the community and honored him by changing the club call sign.
There have been a couple of clubs over the years that have been formed from the founders of SNARS including the Wide Area Data Group which was formed in 1978. In 2013 the Wide Area Data Group and the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society decided to merge due to a lot of duplication of events and services both clubs were providing. After merging SNARS became northern Nevada’s largest amateur radio organization and possibly presently one of the largest in the State of Nevada.