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Good Day or Good Evening,

This is a brief report on the recently completed On-The-Air activity known as ARRL Field Day.

Cumberland Amateur Radio Club members, guests, and visitors enjoyed the lovely weekend weather by spending a couple of days at the Shaffer Park in Carlisle (North Middleton Township).  Those who participated fulfilled all the signature characteristics associated with ARRL Field Day — it was an Emergency Preparedness exercise, it was a great time to renew ham radio acquaintances, and there was an element of competition to see which group could amass the greatest number of two-way radio contacts during the Field Day weekend. Participants thrived on all three components. 

I am declaring that Member Participation was at an all-time high.  And, we had a greater number of guests and visitors than I ever remember.  I guess that qualifies as an all-time high as well.

I am reorganizing myself and my Field Day supplies following the highly successful weekend. I need a few days to tally our results and announce our standing.

The December 2019 issue of QST Magazine will publish the national results.  Look for Cumberland Amateur Radio Club in the results listing.  We operated using the callsign K3IEC.  Our entry will appear in Class 4A Commericlal Power where I expect we will rank near the top of the listings.

Posted by:  Andrew Forsyth,  AF3I



Amateur Radio Field Day,   June 22 and 23, 2019

Demonstrates Science, Skill, and Service to the Community


It is a little less than two months until Amateur Radio Field Day takes place.  Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and the Answers that describe what Ham Radio Operators have in mind when they use the words Field Day.

Field Day

What is Field Day?

ARRL Field Day is the most popular Amateur Radio annual event in the United States and Canada.  In 2018, nearly 3,000 ham radio clubs, groups, and individual ham radio stations tallied their results and submitted log reports.  Over 35,000 individuals attended and participated in a 2018 Field Day Event.

The purpose of Field Day remains the same today as it was in the beginning — back in the 1930s.  Field Day exists as a method of demonstrating the communications ability of the Amateur Radio community under simulated emergency conditions.

Ham Radio Operators take their radio station equipment and antennas to places representative of where they might be asked to set up a communications focal point if an actual emergency had occurred.  The Ham Radio Operators practice their ability to set up their equipment and make it operational in a fairly short time span.  Then, the Ham Radio Operators set out to make two-way radio contacts with as many other similar ham radio stations as possible during the next 24 hours.

Field Day provides an opportunity to practice the types of communication skills that come into play for other, non-emergency, situations such as walk-a-thons, parades, and fairs where some additional two-way communication support can be helpful to the organizers.

Field Day also is a fun time for Ham Radio Operators to renew friendships through face-to-face contacts with other ham radio operators.

Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under just about any conditions, from almost any location, and create an independent communications network.  That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.

In today’s electronic Do-It-Yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines. Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.  There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 9 and as old as 100.  The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club makes it easy for anyone to get involved in Ham Radio.  Read about our club meetings and activities on the Events page of this website.




When is Field Day?

Field Day takes place the 4th full weekend of June, every year.

The 2019 dates are Saturday June 22, and Sunday June 23.


Where is Field Day?

The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club has made plans to set up and operate several Amateur Radio Stations at Shaffer Park in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (North Middleton Township).  We plan to be on-site from 9 a.m. Saturday June 22 through 11 a.m. Sunday June 23, 2019.

The park is located at 1649 Spring Road, Carlisle, PA.  This road is also known as Route 34.  If you can visualize the Carlisle Car Show fairgrounds on the south side of the PA Turnpike you have a frame of reference.  Shaffer Park is located across the PA Turnpike, on the north side.

There is a green and gold “Shaffer Park” sign-board at the entrance.  The park cabin and a gravel parking area are located up a narrow, paved driveway.  Visitors to the Carlisle Dog Park share the same parking lot.



What can a Field Day Visitor Do?

Saturday Morning June 22, 2019, beginning about 9 a.m., there will be 15 +/- members of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club setting up their amateur radio station equipment and antennas.  They will gladly describe what goes into making a workable ham radio station.

As each of our stations becomes operational there is time to make some radio contacts with other ham radio stations who are setting up their stations.  Visitors are invited to talk on the radio under the direction of a licensed ham operator.  We will help you with some things you might talk about with the other radio operators.

This is a casual part of the day when there is time to have an actual conversation with another ham operator, perhaps located far away.

Our goal is to have our Field Day radio stations fully operational by 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  At that time the participating ham radio stations in the United States and Canada begin to make two-way radio contacts with each other.  If you would like to “sit in the chair” and make some radio contacts we will show you how and what to say.  Ham Operators have a special name for these contacts — GOTA which stands for Get On The Air.  It is our pleasure to show you, and let you talk on our Ham Radio stations as part of this GOTA activity.

This is a focused part of the day when the radio conversations are brief and to the point.  The two stations that are in radio contact with each other take turns transmitting a Radio Call Sign, a number and letter code that describes the type of radio station in use, and a location code that tells where the station is located.  The other station — the one on the receiving end of the radio contact — captures that information as it comes across the airwaves, and enters the details into a computerized logging and scoring application.  You will see our scores grow after each radio contact has been completed.

We usually have maps of the United States and Canada on display showing the states and provinces where we have successfully communicated. This blends a little bit of geography into the mix in case we have students who wish to remain sharp during their summer vacation.


We stay on-the-air Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, continuing through the early hours Sunday morning.

Our activity winds down about 10 a.m..Sunday morning.  At that time we shift into our “Packing Up and Moving Out” mode.  Our goal is to have all the radio equipment and antennas dismantled and loaded into cars and trucks by Noon Sunday for the trip back home.


FYI — The number code represents the total number of ham radio transmitters in use at a particular location.

FYI — There can be up to six types of radio stations in use on Field Day represented by Letter Codes A through F.
A — a portable radio station operated by three or more people at a location where a ham radio station does not normally exist.
B — a portable radio station operated by one or two people at a location where a ham radio station does not normally exist.
C — a radio station installed in a car, truck, or other vehicle in a way that could be used while the vehicle is in motion..
D — a radio station located at a person’s home
E — a radio station located at a person’s home, and which is being operated using electricity from a source other than the commercial power lines.
F — a radio station that is being operated as part of an Emergency Operations Center such as a 911 facility.




World Amateur Radio Day — Thursday April 18, 2019

Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.  Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.  From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with more than 3,000,000 licensed operators!

World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.


Newly Licensed Hams — Welcome to the CARC Two-Meter Net

A good friend of Ham Radio shared with me a story.  The story involved a newly licensed Amateur Radio Operator who set out to make some radio contacts after receiving his license from the FCC.  His callsign and his on-the-air techniques revealed that he was a newcomer to ham radio.

To make the story short — this newly licensed ham received a somewhat chilly reception to his on-the-air communications attempts and may have been turned-off by the whole experience.  How sad.

The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club would like to warmly welcome newly licensed hams. 

We stand ready to provide assistance enabling you to get on the air and to make contacts with other hams who appreciate the hard-work you put into studying and passing the Licensing Exam.

First, we invite you to attend our Club Meetings.  Details are in the EVENTS page of this website.  We have a special FREE MEMBERSHIP OFFER for newly licensed hams.  How can you beat that?  If you are looking for help selecting and setting up your first radio station this is a good place to begin.

Second, if you already have ham radio equipment we invite you to participate in our weekly Two-Meter Net.  CARC Members and guests gather each Sunday Night at 7 p.m. local time on 146.490 Mhz, FM Simplex in the Two-Meter Band.  No Repeater Offset, No PL Access Tones.  Simply tune your transceiver to 146.490, listen for the Net Control Station to announce the net.   Frank, KB3PQT usually is our Net Control Station.  He is a friendly guy and a great supporter of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club and ham radio in general.

When it is time, key your microphone, say your call sign, release your mike, and wait to be acknowledged by the NCS.  The Net Control Station will say a few words welcoming the people who checked into the net, and then give each person his or her opportunity to speak by saying that person’s call sign.  Tell us your name, your location, and perhaps let us know if you have questions.  After you have said what is on your mind, simply say “This is [your call sign], Back To Net Control.” and release your mike.  It is that simple.  No worries, No pressure, No cold shoulders.  

If you experience any difficulty when trying to participate in the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club Two-Meter Net please email me your name, call sign, location, and a few words about your radio and antenna.  We will try to perk-up our ears and listen more carefully for you the next week.   eMail:  Andrew Forsyth


• Author:  Andrew Forsyth AF3I