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 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


Volume 2, Issue 3 — Posted February 26, 2022

Greetings! — This is the MARCH 2022 issue.

As I write this, it is just cold enough to make me want to stay indoors and play in the South Carolina and North Carolina State QSO parties.  But warm enough that Spring is clearly coming.

March is an optimistic month.  While war and rumors of war stalk the land, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be winding down.  And amateur radio is alive with special events, contesting, Parks on the Air (POTA) and other fun radio activities.

For our club, March is full promise.

Steve N3FWE and Harry K3EYL have been working very hard on the W3R 120th Anniversary of the Rockville Bridge Special Event. 
For a sample of their efforts visit…     https://www.qrz.com/lookup      and search for call sign W3R.

Thank you both! 

Please watch the CARC groups.io and the website for more information and to sign up to operate as part of the W3R team.
groups.io/g/RadioClub-CARC
https://www.RadioClub-CARC.com

 

The March meeting is hopefully the culmination of the club’s Field Day planning.

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

Field Day is 119 days away!  At the link above you will find a sign-up sheet.

We have a lot of members who have never seen Field Day at Shaffer Park.  I feel like that is such an “event” the name should be copy written, or have a T shirt. 

It is a fun time.   We hope you can come.

What we really need is a definite commitment.  In the past, Andrew AF3I showed up with all kinds of cool radio gear in a 2 vehicle convoy.  I have brought a car load of stuff.

Andy is stepping back and the club needs to fill his shoes.  For myself, all it takes is one phone call from work and you cannot count on me to be of much use at Field Day.  Depending on the event I may be really late, or get there and find a place to take a nap.  In an effort to have a greater chance of me participating, I took off work the day before, but again, I am still on-call.  So, If you want to be ensured of a successful Field Day sign up!  Bring stuff!

 

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 2 — Posted February 06, 2022

Greetings! — This is the FEBRUARY 2022 issue.

Winter!   This one has been pretty good as they go.  It is also a prime time for radio sport. 

Winter Field Day is behind us.  Hopefully you had  fun time.  For many it either seemed like great bands, or so much atmospheric noise (QRN) that it was not very productive.

 

February launches the State QSO Party Season.  Of local interest, South Carolina and North Carolina are coming in later in the month.

SC — Saturday February 26           Start at 1500Z.  End at 0159Z on Feb 27 UTC

NC — Sunday February 27             Start at 1500Z.  End at 0059Z on Feb 28 UTC

 

For those using the N3FJP logging software, please do not wait until the last minute to purchase, download and install the OUT OF STATE version of both.

Check out the Know-How Resources tab on the club website for more information on installing N3FJP software.

 

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 1 — Posted January 26, 2022

Greetings! — This is the JANUARY 2022 issue.

New year, new leadership, new opportunities, new challenges.

January begins the Radio Sport season on January 1 with Straight Key Night followed by a couple other contests and ends with Winter Field Day.  February begins the State QSO Parties which are really active virtually every weekend until May.  Then there is somewhat of a break and they return full swing in September.  But that is OK!  Because that leaves most of the summer open for special events and Parks on the Air and activities like Field Day.

 

Opportunities:

Steve N3FWE and Valli N8QVT have taken on feasibility and planning of a Special Event Station for late March to honor the 120th anniversary of the completion of the Rockville Bridge.  More to follow after the February meeting.

Andrew AF3I  stepped up and started the CARC VHF Digital modes net.  This is not DMR. This is analog FM using a computer and FLDIGI to send and receive signals.  This is a great way to learn digital modes and have a “friendly” audience.

Richard N3EPY is helping grow the wonderful wide world of amateur radio by teaching a Technician license class for the American Red Cross.

 

Challenges:

Meetings.  We are trying to be in-person at Hoss’s.  I know that is not compatible with the needs of some members.  The Zoom meeting is offered but we have had issues with sound.  I think we have those resolved, but please be patient.  Personally I like in-person meetings.  A Zoom meeting makes me wonder if I know what the audience is thinking.  The hybrid format helps by giving me that feedback.  Now I just need to figure out how to speak to both audiences simultaneously without feeling like my back is turned toward one group.  If anyone has ideas, please let me know.

Field Day.  We plan to be at Shaffer Park.  Now we need people.  Full planning kicks off at the February meeting.  Please bring your ideas.  Field Day is not something that just happens — it is people working together.  Historically Andrew AF3I sometimes seemed like he rolls in with the Field Day Rolling Radio Road Show (should be a ®), and it magically happens.  That is not really how this works and Andrew needs to step back a bit. 

There will be a sign-up sheet in the Member Area as soon as we get a couple technical issues worked out.  When the sign-up sheet magically appears please read it and put your name next to whatever it is that you do best.

  • We are looking for some members to take a leadership position and help with the planning and organization of this popular event. The event is important.  You can be important too.
  • We are looking for some members to come out to the Field Day site on June 25 & 26 and execute those plans. Be the person who helps raise the antennas.  Pull some feedline cables across the lawn.  If you are really good, show us how to push some cables across the lawn.  Troubleshoot a finicky transmitter.  Show the new guy which end of the ground rod goes in the ground.  Make yourself a sandwich and wash it down with some Iced Tea. 
  • If you are new to the ham radio hobby we want you to learn something—and you will. Who knows, there may be a test at the end of the day.  If so, I am confident you will pass with flying colors.
  • If you have been a ham radio operator for such a long time that you remember when Single Sideband was new then we want you to share your skills with the new generation of ham radio operators. Tell us about the time you pulled an arc off the final amplifier tube using a graphite pencil and lived to tell about it.
  • Participation takes on a lot of characteristics. We have room for those who choose to stay near their home ham radio station.  Get on the air and work us.  You will earn points.  We will earn points.  And together those points will feed into our Club Aggregate Score.

 

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 1, Issue 2 — Posted December 11, 2021

Greetings! — This is the DECEMBER 2021 issue.

December is normally a quiet period for the club, but we have a couple things going on:

1.)  CARC Digital Net:  The first CARC Digital Net will take place this Sunday, December 12, 2021.  Andy AF3I has stepped up and will conduct this Experimental Proof Of Concept event.  This net is conceived as a test bed where members can try new (to them) digital modes. The initial session will take place using FM Simplex on 146.490 MHz at 6:00 PM EST – just prior to the Sunday Evening Two Meter Phone Net.

From Andy’s post on the CARC groups.io:

The Digital Net will begin at 6:00 p.m. on our two meter net frequency 146.490 MHz FM Simplex.  The initial session of the net will use the THOR 11 op-mode.  
Those who are familiar with FLDIGI will recognize that terminology and probably will know how to set up their application to use THOR 11.

I will act at the Net Control Station that evening.
I will transmit a preamble message announcing the Net and its purpose. I will invite check-ins and then sit quietly by the rig.

When I drop my transmission you can start your transmission. Send your Call Sign because that is the way I know you. 
And, for the benefit of anyone else who isn’t quite as familiar please send your First Name, and your Location (QTH Town, State).

If you need the FLDIGI software:   https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/

 

2.)  Zoom Meeting:   This is a fun, informal, virtual Christmas Party on Zoom.   Wednesday December 15 at 6:40 p.m.  So, even though there is not a formal December meeting, there is still the opportunity to get together.   Andy,  AF3I — Thank you for hosting this!

 

3.)  Luminaries:  Garry K3EYK  and his merry band of elves will be lighting the 400 plus candles around the Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs, PA on December 29, 2021.   We would like to have the process underway at 4:00 p.m. and ask that you arrive and report-in shortly before that time. 

 

4.)  Presidential Comments:  The year 2021 has been tough on the amateur radio community.  We have lost some very friendly, mentoring, skilled, and well-rounded hams including people at the cutting edge of innovation, active in public service, serving in ARRL and local club leadership roles, etc.  They will be missed.

In addition to their legacy, they leave some big shoes waiting to be filled.  I know not everyone has the time or inclination to help develop new digital mode software; or be an ARRL Section Manager; or a State ARES leader; or even president of their local club.  But do what you can to help steer newcomers into the great wide world of amateur radio.  New hams do not have to be kids.  They can be recent retirees looking for a new hobby. 

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 1, Issue 1 — Posted November 20, 2021

Greetings! — This is the NOVEMBER 2021 issue.

 This is the first of a new monthly column. Keep your eye on this page where I intend to produce something of interest for you each and every month.

Our club president for the past fifteen years, Andrew Forsyth AF3I, decided that term limits are not just for Washington DC bureaucrats.  He decided the best interests of the club will be served by stepping aside and opening the leadership ranks to those who dream up fresh ideas and who walk-the-walk with their enthusiastic execution of the club’s goals.

The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club is 57 years old.  It has seen many changes over the years and this transition will be no different.  I will be attempting to fill his giant shoes effective January 1, 2022 as the incoming club president.  That is an almost impossible task, but the club is a group, not one person, so together we will make it work.

Andy has done a fantastic job of growing the club and fortunately for us, he will continue to maintain one of the best, if not the best, radio club websites around.  There is a wealth of information there, regardless of your experience level or interests.  Follow the trail to https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

What does 2022 look like?  We expect to return to a public space for Field Day.  It is our intent to continue the PA QSO Party Portable, Multi-Operator outing.  Group activities similar to the September 2021 Antenna Clinic proved to be popular.  We want to expand our on-the-air activities such as a special event station and taking the CARC Radio Road Show to new locations from which we can operate portable stations. 

These goals require participation and stepping up to help.  We are not a large organization.  But we have a strong membership with centuries of combined experience and a corps of eager, fairly recently licensed operators.  

The members interests range from CW (Morse Code) from stations they operated when newly licensed 60 or more years ago, to contesting and nets on HF (High Frequency) to more local communication, perhaps in public service like the Fantastic Parade in Dillsburg or bicycle races on VHF and UHF frequencies.  We have quite a few members interested in digital mobile radio (DMR) and HF and VHF digital modes found in the popular WSJT-X and FLDIGI software suites. 

In short, no matter what brought you into the hobby, the great wide world of amateur radio has so much to offer.  Cumberland Amateur Radio Club can be your mentor and ready reference.

For more information, or if you would to get onboard and be a part of the CARC Radio Road Show, please see https://www.RadioClub-CARC.com/touch-base/
This is where you will find an eMail communication template.providing readily available access to the club’s top leadership.  Your voice will be heard.

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT


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