From the President’s Desk

A new monthly column, written by President Frank Mellott, KB3PQT, where you can expect to find something of interest each and every month.

 

Volume 3, Issue 02 — Posted February 01, 2023 (minus 2 days)

Greetings! — This is the FEBRUARY 2023 issue.

• Operating!

• VOTA!  POTA!  QSO Parties!

• Help Wanted!

 

VOTA

As I write this, a week earlier than usual, the ARRL Volunteers On The Air (VOTA) Leaderboard is still under construction.  So unfortunately I cannot provide an update on points earned by CARC members making contacts in the VOTA year-long event.

3830 Scores Challenge.   In early February, watch the NEWS tab on https://www.radioclub-carc.com/  for an update on how CARC members are doing one-third of the way toward the goal.

Our January 2023 meeting did not have the high turnout I was hoping for.  We added a new member, Art WA3NQA.  We have some cool stuff planned for this year, but it does not happen without YOU!

 

Help Wanted:

Zoom Audio-Visual Engineer:  Someone who is willing to attend club meetings with whatever gadgets you feel are necessary to create a satisfactory Zoom Experience for those playing along at home.  AF3I is temporarily unable to do this, and I cannot do the jobs of President and Zoom Audio-Visual Engineer.   This is a Volunteer position but Tangible Rewards® are possible.

 

Operations Guru  This is a working title.  Think of Car Talk.  Be creative.   Hint:  Coordinator of Fun Stuff is probably good.  Dictator or Tyrant, not so good. 

This intrepid individual should have the ability to spot events on the radio horizon, ask “What do we need in order to do that?”, and present a proposal to the club.  At that point an event committee will be created to make it happen.  Lead the committee and make it so!   This is a Volunteer position with Tangible Rewards®.

 

Please indicate your interest via eMail to  President@radioclub-carc.com

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


Volume 3, Issue 01 — Posted January 03, 2023

Greetings! — This is the JANUARY 2023 issue.

New year!  New things to do!

2023 should be an exciting year for CARC members.

What’s coming?

The CARC 3830 SCORES challenge!   That’s right!  Your very own contest.

How does it work? Easy-peasey!   Enter a contest!  Any contest listed at 3830scores.com. 

Enter your contest score there.  At the end of Q1, 2023, I will go to 3830scores.com and look up CARC Members and tally the number of contests each CARC Member entered. Any ties will be determined by the actual scores submitted.  The goal is to create a leaderboard so you can see where you stand.  The top scorers and top rookie(s) will receive Tangible Rewards!  If you are not listed in 3830scores.com as of 12/31/22, you are a Rookie! 

The idea is to operate often!  I would rather see someone submit double digit scores in 10-15 contests, especially using various modes, than someone who enters one contest and racks up a 10,000 point score.

 

VOTA! – Volunteers On The Air 

No sooner had I created and e-mailed out the 3830scores Challenge than the new QST arrived.  The ARRL must have heard you looking for reasons to get on the air. 

Their year-long VOTA contest is almost as easy!   Get on the air!  Make QSOs with other ARRL members.  

Follow this link for information:   Volunteers On the Air (arrl.org)

 

Various ARRL officials have point values.  Ordinary members are worth one point. 

Editor’s Note:  There are some juicy high-point value volunteer categories in that list.  I recommend reading and familiarizing yourself with the content.  For example:

Maxim Society Member earns 50 points.  We have at least one Maxim Society Member among the hams on our CARC Membership Roster. 

Card Checkers are worth 5 points.  If you work K3SWZ you will earn four more points than if you work an Average Joe.

Volunteer Examiners are worth 5 points.  I suspect that KB3PQT and N3FWE will be popular targets for VOTA QSOs.

ARRL Life Members are worth 2 points.  Woo Hoo!… but that is twice as valuable as the Average Joe one-point QSOs.  CARC has ARRL Life Members.  Can you find them?

Hint – Show up a few minutes before (or stay a few minutes after) the Sunday Evening Two Meter Net and/or the Wednesday Evening Ten Meter Net.  Make your Volunteer On The Air interest known by calling “CQ VOTA”, “CQ Volunteers On The Air”.  See who answers your call.

 

Every time you work an ARRL member, or anyone on the list that can be found by following this link…

https://www.arrl.org/files/file/VOTA%20-%20Volunteers%20On%20The%20Air/VOTA_2023_Points_v3_0.pdf,

…you will receive that many points once the “other guy or gal” uploads his/her QSOs to Logbook Of The World (LOTW).  You are not required to have your own LOTW Account.

You have nothing to do but operate and occasionally go check standings at the yet to be created leaderboard.  Things cannot get easier than that. 

 

CARC Monthly Meeting Activity Programs

We have at least two programs lined up for meetings this year.  More details to follow at the January meeting on Wednesday January 18, 2023!

 

Looking for a contest?  January 28 and 29 is Winter Field Day.

Follow this link for information:  Home – Winter Field Day

Want to earn some VOTA points?  Want to play in the CARC 3830scores.com Challenge?  Winter Field Day could be your ticket!

 

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


 

Volume 2, Issue 12 — Posted four days before December 01, 2022

Greetings! — This is the DECEMBER 2022 issue.

The November meeting has come and gone.  We are looking forward to 2023.  But first we have fun and frivolity in December.

Sunday December 11 is the annual holiday gathering at T.J, Rockwell’s in Grantham, PA (Mechanicsburg).  We will gather at 11 a.m.  The event is BYOM — Bring Your Own Money.  Order from the regular menu — the All You Can Eat buffet brunch is no longer offered.  Great time to make eyeball QSOs.

On Wednesday December 21, we will meet on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m. for a virtual un-meeting.  No program, no agenda, just a chance to catch up on what’s happening.   Please come prepared to answer the question “My favorite radio is (fill-in the blank)”.   If none, what radio would you like or want to know more about?

December has other cool radio stuff as well.  The first Saturday, December 3, you will find National Weather Service facilities on the air, promoting Skywarn and weather spotting.   A great chance to collect some special event stations and learn more about amateur radio and public service.

I have not seen anything “Official” yet, but between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the International Space Station often transmits SSTV.  You can play along at home with a simple 2 meter FM transceiver and a computer sound card (like a Signalink) or an interface to connect to your PC’s onboard sound card and the MMSSTV software (free) although other flavors using the same engine sometimes charge for it.

Nervous about missing a unique set of SSTV images?  Check into the CARC digital 2 meter net on Sunday’s at 6 p.m. local.   Your genial host and net control, AF3I starts with Domino EX22 using the FLDIGI suite and we either stay there or switch to another mode such as Olivia, THOR, MFSK31, or change software and use SSTV or something else.  Don’t worry, AF3I leads the way and you know what to do, and where to be, and when to be there.

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


 

Volume 2, Issue 11 — Posted November 01, 2022

Greetings! — This is the NOVEMBER 2022 issue.

Wow!  That went quick. 2022 is almost over.

Our last business meeting of the year is November 16.

The last event of the year is the Holiday Brunch on December 11.

November is a very important meeting. We elect officers for 2023. Nominations were taken at the October meeting, and all the officers are running unopposed.

We have already started planning FIeld Day @Shaffer Park 2023!

We are looking for an Operations Guru to find and put forth future events. This position requires no great knowledge, just an appreciation of what the club and its members can do, plus the ability to manage projects. I have a bag of goodies for the person who volunteers!

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

See ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


 

Volume 2, Issue 10 — Posted October 01 (minus 5), 2022

Greetings! — This is the OCTOBER 2022 issue.

Wow.   Shorter days, cooler temps, great time to play radio!

October is my favorite month.  Instead of all this talk about making Daylight Saving Time permanent, let’s do something that really helps!  Enact legislation that October starts September 15 and ends on November 15. November is often a dull, dreary, wet month so I doubt we care if it’s shorter!.

PA QSO Party is coming.  The magic dates are Saturday October 8 and Sunday October 9, 2022. 
On Saturday, CARC Members will be operating portable from York County as K3IEC.  Details can be found elsewhere on this site and at https://paqso.org/.

The following weekend, on Saturday October 15, 2022, the bravest club members will be at the Dillsburg Farmers Fair Fantastic Parade providing communication support to the parade committee.  Bravery comes into play because we sometimes have the coldest temperatures of the young Fall season as the sun sets.  One year we had a rain storm just before the parade start time.  Another year we had an ice and sleet storm as the parade was nearing its completion.

The October monthly meeting of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club will take place Wednesday October 19 beginning at 6:40 p.m. and ending about 7:45 p.m.  
This is your chance to nominate candidates who will run for our elected offices for 2023. 
Unlike the campaigns taking place in Pennsylvania for US Senator and Governor, our CARC candidates are not going to pester you with advertising on television, radio, newspaper, social media, and direct mail.

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


 

Volume 2, Issue 9 — Posted September 05, 2022

Greetings! — This is the SEPTEMBER 2022 issue.

Wow.   August went whoosh.  September is here.  Lots of cool radio events coming up, to compete with lots of non-radio stuff.

 

Tennessee QSO Party was Sunday 9/4.

Alabama QSO Party is 9/10.

Iowa, Texas, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Washington State Salmon Run all take place on 9/17.

Maine QSO Party is 9/24.

 

Why do I mention these and not the other contests at https://www.radioclub-carc.com/calendar/ ?  These State QSO Parties are great places to practice your skills so you will be ready for the Pennsylvania QSO Party on October 8 and 9.

CARC will be returning to York County to defend our multi-operator portable crown!

The operation will take place at Pavilion #2 at Warrington Township Municipal Park located at 3345 Rossville Road in Wellsville, PA on Saturday 10/8/2022.  We will meet there at 0900, set up, enjoy lunch and be on-the-air at 1200 starting time.  Make lots of radio contacts, then dismantle, pack, clean-up, and gone by dark.  I would expect we have supper afterwards.

Not able to come along?  Play along at home:  Portions of the Phone Bands are allocated to General licensees on 160M, 80M, 40M, 20M, 15M and 10M.  Technicians have phone privileges on 10, 6 and 2 meters.  Use generally recognized calling frequencies on VHF.   CW operations take place about 40 KHz up from the bottom of the band and 1810 KHz.

Note:  The full rules can be found here  https://paqso.org/.  There is no provision for digital. Editor’s Note:  Digital modes were eliminated from the PA QSO Party in 2019. 
Just CW and phone.  Do you think CW is dead?  It is very popular in QSO parties.

AGGREGATE CLUB SCORING is allowed.  There will be more info on how to submit your log and contribute to our club score in the September or October newsletters.

 

Then on October 15 we will be back in Dillsburg in support of the Fantastic Parade.
More info at the September meeting and newsletter.  If you are eager to volunteer, please let Harry Fasick K3EYL know.  Harry can be reached by eMail at K3EYL@arrl.net

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


 

Volume 2, Issue 8 — Posted August 01, 2022

Greetings! — This is the AUGUST 2022 issue.

August seems to be a slow month.  Many folks go on vacation and are not on the air.

The State QSO Parties took a vacation in July and they are just beginning to show up on the calendar.  Watch for these State QSO Parties as they kick off the contesting season.:

Maryland-DC QSO Party                Saturday August 13

Ohio QSO Party                               Saturday August 27

Hawaii QSO Party                            Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28

Kansas QSO Party                          Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28

 

The weather conditions can be hot this month.  August begins with an average high temperature of 86 degrees and gradually tapers off to an average high temperature of 83 degrees at month’s end.  Don’t get fooled.  August has seen some Record High Temperatures above 100 degrees.

Easy to see why before air conditioning became common, people left urban areas and spent a week or more at places like The Bedford Springs Hotel; South Fork, PA; Cresson, PA; Mt Gretna, PA; Pen-Mar on the MD/PA line; Blue Ridge Summit, PA; Highfield, MD; Thurmont, MD, and other destinations.

So what if the weather is hot?  Amateur Radio can still have a place in your activities.  

A couple weeks ago I was coming back from dad’s house.  I took a really long way home.  Around McConnellsburg I heard someone operating on 2 meters from High Rock.  High Rock is located south/southeast from Waynesboro PA and northeast of Smithsburg, MD.  It is an overlook and has been a popular place from which to launch hang gliders. 

The station I heard was not a Parks On The Air (POTA) station, just someone with a desire to get some high elevation, a clear horizon and see how far 2 meters could reach.  By car, I first heard him about an hour’s drive or roughly 45 miles away.  I finally stopped in Scotland, PA and made a QSO with him.  I was only about 30 miles away at that point.  But I was on the back side of two mountains away from him in McConnellsburg.  I was pretty amazed at how he was booming in.

The Magic Band, 6 meters, can have unexpected openings.  The same unexpectedly good openings can take place on 10 meters.  So even with a Technician’s license, you can still make contacts a state or more away.

 

What have you done today?

 

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


Volume 2, Issue 7 — Posted July 01, 2022

Greetings! — This is the JULY 2022 issue.

Field Day 2022 is behind us.  Hopefully you had a great time, even if you could not join us for Field Day@Shaffer Park!

What was your favorite part of Field Day 2022?

What are you looking forward to next year?

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank Mellott KB3PQT


Volume 2, Issue 6 — Posted May 31, 2022

Greetings! — This is the JUNE 2022 issue.

Memorial Day is past us, and summer is here.  School is out.  Great time to get outside and play radio.

What can you do?

Simple HT?  Go for a hike, climb a hill, see what repeaters you can reach on 5 watts or less.

Mobile rig?  Go for a drive.  Find someplace high, park and see how far that mag-mount quarter wave antenna will reach.  Now go find a flat valley, like the Cumberland Valley. See how far the same antenna can reach.   Then swap it out for 5/8 wave and compare the difference!

See if you can hear a satellite or the International Space Station on your mobile or HT.  Nothing is cooler than being 2200 feet up and it seems like the satellite is right overhead.

Want more fun?  Take your Arrow yagi and a Yaesu FT-60 (or similar dual band HT) and try to work the birds. 

More hard core?  Take your satellite gear to Walmart for Walmart Parking Lots on the Air the first weekend in July.  Check the web first as this event may have died.  I can find nothing specific posted for 2022 yet.

HF – the world is your limit.  Whether using a mag loop at 30 watts or less on CW or digital, or something like a Chameleon MPAS 2.0, or a Buddipole on SSB, lots of people have outdoor fun on the HF bands.   Want to be popular with the other operators?  Chased even?  Try Summits On The Air (SOTA), Parks On The Air (POTA),  Mines On The Air (MOTA), or one of the other popular programs.

Stuck at home?  Take the radio outside!  Patios, decks, picnic tables, and porches can all be great places from which to operate.  If you have a Kenwood, an Icom, or a Yaesu you can use your smartphone or computer to control the radio from a remote location.  The radio doesn’t need to leave the shack, but you  can operate from the porch!

 

Really not much else to discuss. Field Day preparation continues.

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/special-topic-field-day/.

 

At the link above you will find a sign-up sheet.  Sign-up to tell us you will be coming to CARC Field Day.  Sign-up to tell us you will be operating from home.  Sign-up to let us know you regret being unable participate in Field Day 2022. 

 

We have a lot of members who have never seen Field Day at Shaffer Park.  I feel like that is such an “event” it should be copywritten, or have a T shirt.  It is a fun time.
We hope you can attend and be part of the team.

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

Don’t think outside the box.  Flatten the box!  Just don’t put then radio in the box-then flatten it 🙁 

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


Volume 2, Issue 5 — Posted April 23, 2022

Greetings! — This is the MAY 2022 issue.

April showers bring May flowers.  Or so the rhyme goes.

What do Mayflowers bring?   Pilgrims!

What do Pilgrims do?   In 1620 the original English ex-patriots went west to America.
If you watch any John Wayne westerns you know Pilgrims go west in search of land, opportunity and a new life.

May often has nice weather.   OK, there was the Johnstown Flood of 1889, but that was at least a 500 or 1,000 year event. 

Nice weather?  A month for Pilgrims?  Seems like a great time to take your radio outside and head any direction!

Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen!  Take a raincoat and a radio with NOAA weather frequencies, just in case!

 

Really not much else to discuss.  Field Day 2022 preparation continues.

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/special-topic-field-day/.

 

At the link above you will find a sign up sheet.

  • We would like you to sign-up and say YES if you plan on coming to CARC Field Day at Shaffer Park.
  • We would like you to sign-up and say YES if you plan to operate Field Day from your own home station.
  • We would like you to sign-up and say NO in case you are unable to participate in CARC Field Day this year.

We have a lot of members who have never seen Field Day at Shaffer Park.  I feel like that is such an “event” it should be copywritten, or have its own T-shirt.  Field Day is a fun time. We hope you can be part of the fun.

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

Don’t think outside the box.  Flatten the box!

See ‘ya down the log.
Frank KB3PQT


Volume 2, Issue 4 — Posted April 04, 2022

Greetings! — This is the APRIL 2022 issue.

W3R is over.

A good time was had by all.  Thanks to Steve N3FWE for his creativity, bringing forward the Idea, and giving us a wonderful page on QRZ.com; Harry K3EYL for executing the 1×1 call sign application, and getting our event listed on the ARRL web page; and Andrew AF3I for all the behind the scenes work.

Thank you to nine intrepid operators — many of whom had never done something of this magnitude before!

Don’t think outside the box.  Flatten the box!

 

Field Day is 69 days away as I write — Saturday June 25, and Sunday June 26, 2022.   What is your plan?

Will we see you at Shaffer Park where you can be part of the K3IEC Class A operation?  Or, will you support your club in other ways by operating from home as Class D or Class E and contribute your points to the CUMBERLAND ARC club aggregate score?

Have you told us?

 

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/special-topic-field-day/.

At the link above you will find a sign-up sheet.

We have a lot of members who have never before seen Field Day at Shaffer Park.  I feel like that is such an “event” it should be copyrighted, or have its own T-shirt.  It is a fun time.  

We hope you can come.

 

What have you done today?

For more information, or if you want  to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see
https://www.radioclub-carc.com/touch-base/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


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