One Small Step For A Man.  One Giant Leap for CARC.

Wednesday August 28, 2019 is the first day of the rest of our lives.  Tonight, the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club Ten Meter Net added the additional dimension of Video Conferencing to our Weekly HF Round Table.  Tonight’s participants were treated to a simulcast of Two-Way Radio Frequency on the Ten Meter Band and a Web Conference carried on the Internet.

Five participants accepted the invitation and equipped their PC with the tools to do this job.  In the headline photo you will see a Gallery View of N3EPY, AF3I, KB3UWH, K3EYK, and N8QVT (left to right, top to bottom).

I plan to hold a Video Conference Simulcast again next week — Wednesday September 4, 2019.  Web Conference will open at 7:45 p.m.  On-Air will commence at 8:00 p.m.  I will email Web Conference invitations and brief instructions to the entire CARC Membership. 

You can join the On-Air Round Table at 28.400 Mhz Upper Sideband.  You can join the Webcast.  You can do both.  If there is one thing CARC is proud to offer it is MULTIPLE OPTIONS.  (I sense an oxymoron in there someplace.)

Posted by:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I


CARC is proud to offer MULTIPLE OPTIONS.

Cumberland Amateur Radio Club is extending its outreach through the use of ZOOM Online Meetings intended to engage club members who may be unable to attend our face-to-face meetings.

ZOOM provides the audio and video tools that enable our “Stay-At-Home” or “Away-From-Home” members to participate in club activities.  A typical participant could be one of our Snow Birds who spends the winter in a warmer climate.

The first test of this new option will take place in parallel with our weekly Ten Meter Net.  Interested club members can connect to the traditional Ten Meter Net using their Ham Radio Transceiver.  And, as an added bonus, club members can click a link that was eMailed to a group of testers enabling them to join the ZOOM Online Meeting.

I plan to have my Ham Radio shack on video during this experiment — Wednesday August 28, 2019 beginning at 7:40 p.m.  and continuing through 8:20 p.m.


Posted by:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I


Summer Reading List — The Bounty Trilogy

You had a summer reading list when you were in Grade School.  Why not have a summer reading list now that so many of us have grown up, and graduated? 

In eager anticipation of the upcoming Pitcairn Island DX-pedition VP6R I have obtained a few copies of the Bounty Trilogy by Charles Nordhoff.   The Bounty Trilogy includes Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea, and Pitcairn’s Island.  If this topic is of interest to you, and if you promise to be a good DXer, see me at the August 21, 2019 meeting of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club.  The meeting information is on our Events page.

My good friend Ralph Fedor, K0IR is leading a Team who will set up and operate their Ham Radios from Pitcairn Island in the mid to later part of October 2019. Between now and then you have time to read and learn about The Bounty, its crew, the mutiny, the Captain and his staff who were set adrift and survived a 4000 mile voyage to the East Indies, and the settlement of Pitcairn Island by Fletcher Christian and the mutineers.

Posted by Andrew Forsyth AF3I


Posted in DX


Celebrating Field Day 2019

Cumberland Amateur Radio Club recently participated in the annual ARRL Field Day Operating Event. 

A record-breaking 21 members and 7 guests participated in the operations.  I propose that everyone had a good time.  Thank You to all who participated and collaborated.

The accompanying PDF tells the story of our Field Day through the use of photos and text.

Be forewarned: The file size is 65 Mb. This download consumed 9 minutes on my slow-DSL connection.

Field Day 2020 Schedule


June 2020

Beginning 8:00 am

Carlisle Area, PA – Venue TBD


June 2020

Ending about 11:00 am

Carlisle Area, PA – Venue TBD

It was a dark and stormy night.

We’ve all heard that opening line at one time or another.  Here is the Summertime-In-Central-Pennsylvania version of the same concept:   

It was a hot and humid afternoon.

One of the creative writers, who is a vertebrae in the backbone of our club, spent this hot and humid July afternoon writing an article for our Resources page.  The article describes how Ham Radio Operators use the terms WAVELENGTH and FREQUENCY BAND to describe the location of their radio signals.  I hope you will read and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Here is a link to the article called:  Waves and Bands


Andrew Forsyth,  AF3I


It is a great day to learn something new, even if that something happens to be 50 years old… perhaps older.

A new article (in PDF format) has been posted on the Resources page, associated with the sub-heading OPERATING YOUR STATION.  The title of the article is Slow Scan Television.  Hams frequently abbreviate that name to SSTV.

Slow Scan Television is a technology that enables the transmission of images using shortwave radio.  There are some similarities between SSTV and FAX.  Slow Scan Television was created in the 1960s.  At that time there was a tremendous dependency on using cathode ray tubes with very long phosphorescence to display the images.   The more modern version of SSTV leverages the power of the Personal Computer and its Sound Card to create and preserve the images.

You may wish to read the article. Here is a link to the file SSTV.PDF.

We have at least three club members who have taken the bait and tried their hands at sending or receiving SSTV images.  If you have questions on the topic perhaps we can get you connected with one of the three and share their knowledge.

73, Andrew Forsyth   AF3I



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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 Month

ARRL Field Day is an annual event in which Amateur Radio Operators across North America exercise and demonstrate their capability to provide community service communications in times of need. 

Elected Officials often recognize the Amateur Radio Operators who volunteer their time and talents to benefit their communities.  Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania is among the officials who offer best wishes for continued success.



“…on behalf of all the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am pleased to recognize June 2019 as Amateur Radio Month.”

Tom Wolf, Governor


A Good Friend of Amateur Radio has been cleaning his garage.  This fine gentleman has collected a lifetime of books that have something to do with Amateur Radio.  He asked for help getting those books into the hands of anyone who would give them a good home.  I volunteered.

When I volunteer for some big project it usually involves work for you too.  Surprise.  This is one of those times.

The books will follow me to the many places I visit during the upcoming weeks.  Maybe just a few books from the collection.  Maybe all of the books in the collection.  Feel free to browse.  If you see a book that interests you then it can be yours for nothing more than the pleasure I will receive knowing that the inventory load has been lightened.  

The books and I will be at the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club meeting on Wednesday June 19, 2019.
The books and I will be at the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club Field Day Exercise on Saturday June 22 and Sunday June 23, 2019.

I have four 12 gallon flip-top tote boxes filled with books.  I estimate that the total load is on the order of 200 pounds.

If I return from these outings with the same books Momma is not going to be happy.  And, if Momma isn’t happy then no one is happy.  Please do your part to spread happiness. 

If I was trying to prevent forest fires I would have a mascot by my side and a catchy slogan.  So, in order to give books to good homes I propose I need my own mascot and my own catchy slogan.  Here goes…. My mascot will be Archie the Atlantic Puffin.  My catchy slogan will be:  “Free Books Are Priceless.  Take One or More”

Best Regards,   Andrew Forsyth  AF3I


UPDATED : Wednesday July 19, 2019

I have inventoried the entire collection of books and placed a PDF in the Member’s Page listing each Book Title, Author, Publisher, Publication Date, and Page Count to the extent the information was readily recognizable.  CARC Members may visit the Member’s Page, and look for the Other Downloadable Files heading.   If you are not yet a CARC Member I invite you to join.  If you are a Good Friend of Amateur Radio you may email me your request and contact information.  After CARC Members have had their first opportunity to review the list I will send a copy of the Book Inventory File to recognizable Good Friends.


Part of the How Do I… Series

It is a Great Day for Ham Radio.  As the Administrator of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club website I am glad that you found us.  I hope you will enjoy the content that one of our most active members has shared.

Newly added content appears on the RESOURCES page in three parts.  The topics and the titles are:  Clubs, Nets and Social Activities.

I hope you will read and take interest in what we have to say.  Enjoy.


Post written by:  Andrew Forsyth AF3I



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When just about half of all club members show up for the monthly meeting there must be something pretty good taking place at the meeting.  I am not talking about the magician trick where they appear to saw the lady in half and then magically restore the pieces back into a single entity with a wave of the magic wand.  I am talking about 15 people making a strong commitment to their club and spending the evening with other club members conducting our business and social activities.

Thank you for being the life-blood of our organization.  


Part of the “how do i…” series

Field day — carc style

Field Day has its origins in the 1930s.  The idea was to prepare for emergencies by being able to set up ham radio stations away from home and successfully making two-way radio contacts with similar stations in other areas.

Over time Field Day has evolved into THE primary operating event in North American amateur radio.

For many clubs and individual ham radio operators Field Day is a combination social event, preparedness event, operating event, educational event, and just plain fun.

Click the link to read more about the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club and its plans for Field Day.  We welcome visitors.

Field Day CARC Style [PDF]


Cumberland Amateur Radio Club is a 2019 Sponsor

“Event features free pool admission, live music, old-fashioned baseball exhibition, inflatables and games, cotton candy, food trucks, BBQ chicken and much more !”

“Over 1,000 people came out to Community Day last year!”

“Organized in collaboration with Mechanicsburg Area Churches.”

Members of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club will participate in the 2019 Mechanicsburg Borough Community Day in the Park event on Saturday August 10, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Mark your calendar — it is not too soon.

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.