◊♦◊  Mattie J. T. Stepanek  ◊♦◊

A friend of Ham Radio shared with me one of the three quotes which follow.   Thank you for sharing and contributing to this webpage.    The other two quotes surfaced as I was researching the Author and his profound works.


•  Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.

•  Unity is Strength.   When there is Teamwork and Collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

•  Sad things happen.  They do.  But we don’t need to live sad forever.


•  Post Author:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I


I know the radio stations have TWO-FER TUESDAY.   Get over it.  😉

1.)  Frank Mellott, KB3PQT, has been prolific in his creation of content for the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club web site. 

Frank’s most recent creation is part of the How Do I… series.  The title of the latest article is Keeping Accurate Time

In this article Frank describes the various techniques he personally uses in order to achieve the high accuracy needed for reliable operation of the WSJT-X FT8 Digital Mode software.     
Here is a link to the article.


2.)  Andrew Forsyth,. AF3I, found a piece of computer software that appears to be just too much fun to pass up.   The software is called DOODLY. 

Andrew did a pretty good job with his first attempt at using the software and then created the expanded version  you will see today.  In my opinion this is a wildly interesting video.  Keep in mind that he thought nothing on Earth could ever out-do Double Stuffed Oreos.




•  Author:   Andrew Forsyth AF3I




Authors, Photographers, Story Tellers Invited. 
Reward Potential.

Everything is awesome.

Everything is cool
when you’re part of a Team.

Earlier today CARC Vice President Frank Mellott KB3PQT sent an email and invited Club Members to submit content for the CARC Web Page.  In particular Frank mentioned his desire for additional material as part of the HOW DO I… series of articles.  But this could just as easily involve photos, anecdotes, or news clippings of interesting topics you have come across.  If you have something interesting to show or tell, I bet there are other interested Hams out there who would enjoy seeing or hearing about you.

Let me toss an additional incentive on the table.  Each month I plan to enter the names and callsigns of those who contribute content into a prize raffle.  We will draw a winning name and that person will be rewarded handsomely. 

The content contributor prize raffle will begin as part of our January 2019 meeting.

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth  AF3I


Cutting Dacron/Polyester rope

This posting was contributed by CARC Club Member Glenn Kurzenknabe, K3SWZ.   

I just raised my 80 Meter vertical project for the first time with the help of Dave, W3SOX.  I decided to put a set of (3) guy ropes on it, just to be safe. I selected the standard Dacron/Polyester rope sold by DX Engineering, The RF Connection and others.  The biggest problem [when working with Dacron/Polyester rope] I have found  is, how do you cut it, without making a mess of the cut ends?  They seem to fray instantly upon cutting, making it difficult to seal them with a flame.

Dave is a member of the National Ski Patrol and is trained in mountain rescue, etc.  He knows all things knots and rope.  He said that he cuts it with a standard Propane torch, normally used for soldering plumbing connections, that we all have in our shops.  I tried it and it works super well and seals both ends in the process.

CAUTION: Do not let the drippings from the cut, drip on your hand!  Speaking from first-hand experience, they are very HOT and do not mix well with skin!

•  Andy Forsyth AF3i speaking — Thank you, Glenn.

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FT8 Contest Mode Test

Updated November 25, 2018.  In the RESOURCES page I have posted a PDF copy of a presentation I gave at the January 2018 meeting of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club.  The topic of this presentation is the FT8 Digital Mode and how to get started.  You may find that presentation interesting.  The version of FT8 software has changed since then, but the basic concepts remain the same.

A good friend of Ham Radio said to me the other day — Andy, if you want to attract more people to our Radio Club web site then you need to show them something they will consider interesting.  

In search of interesting topics I tried almost everything I could think of involving curly fries, jalapeno poppers, all-you-can-eat shrimp, calzones, stromboli, craft beer, and Grain-to-Glass distilled spirits.  Nothing changed very much.  I need to stick with the things I know.


Today’s posting is about the WSJT-X FT8 Contest Mode test that took place last night (November 19, 2018 local date and time).  I participated in this test and I had a pretty good time. 

Regardless of how some seasoned Ham Radio Operators feel about the new digital modes, FT8 and other digital modes represent the up-to-the-minute state of ham radio communications technology.  Some people would call this Cutting Edge technology.  I think it is great that Ham Radio has a Nobel Prize winning Princeton University professor (Joe Taylor, K1JT) who shares with us the results of his research and applies those results to the development of Ham Radio software.  Thank you, Professor Taylor.

I prepared for this contest by downloading and installing the WSJT-X Release Candidate 4 software onto my PC.  I also slogged through my muddy back yard to attach a Coaxial Cable to my antenna.  During the Lawn Mowing Season the antenna cables need to be coiled and moved out of the way each week when the Lawn Man is expected.  With the frequent rain showers and snow storms my backyard reminds me of Okefenokee Swamp.  it was my lucky day to find only one inch of standing water on the ground.

My efforts resulted in three contest QSOs during the one hour test.  This isn’t very many, but I had a great time observing the tremendous amount of activity on 7078.000 Mhz in the 40 Meter Amateur Radio Band.   I estimate there were 100 or more operators participating in the test.  I had my opportunity to observe how the new FT8 software works and the sequence of the contest QSO exchanges.  With this experience under my belt I will be better prepared for the ARRL RTTY Roundup Contest in January.

A couple of problems jumped out at me.  I will be watching the WSJT-X Discussion Group to see if my experiences were commonplace among test participants.    1.)  The WSJT-X software crashed when I tried to log the QSO.  2.)  The digital decoding died on me a couple of times.  I futzed around with the audio configuration, rebooted the PC, and was able to recover.

It is easy to predict that the Professor and his colleagues will develop some bug-fixes and offer another Release Candidate level of software.  I will be watching for it.   

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I

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Recommendation for Surplus City located in Carlisle, PA

CARC Member Bobbe Rothermel, WA3BKK, sat beside me at the most recent monthly meeting of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club.  This was the November 2018 meeting.  A good time was had by all.  (That sentence drives English teachers crazy.)

Bobbe told me about a great Local Business he discovered.  The name of the business is Surplus City.  What I heard was all about his good experience finding just about every piece of hardware a person could possibly need.  Bobbe had nuts and bolts on his shopping list and found exactly what he needed.   

When I hear good news I want to rush out and share it with you.  Here it comes.  Get ready….

Bobbe visited their store.  I visited their website.  Rather then me trying to duplicate everything Bobbe told me, or everything I saw on the web site, I am going to tell you how you can find this operation yourself.   My recommendation — Give it a try.


1880 Harrisburg Pike 

Carlisle, PA 17013                                 Other locations in:  Altoona, PA, Williamsport, PA, and LaVale, MD
(717) 243-8000 phone
(717) 243-8067 fax

Hours:   Mon-Thurs. 8-6,    Fri. 8-9,    Sat. 8-5,    Sun. 10-5

Auto & Hardware

Auto & Hardware

Tools · Bolts · Autobody Supplies Plumbing Supplies · Phone & Video Accessories · Automotive Supplies Hardware · General Merchandise

Crafts & Fabrics

Crafts & Fabrics

Fabric · Silk Flowers · General Merchandise · Ribbon · Giftware 
Seasonal · Foam Rubber

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth


  • Annual CARC Membership Dues are $10
  • Richard Johnson is our well-respected and professional 2019 Membership Secretary
  • He will receive your payment, and…
  • Issue you a personalized membership card.
  • Who could ask for anything more?

Membership Renewal for 2019

  1. We are so close to the beginning of a new year.  Happy 2019!
  2. Your CARC Membership runs on an annual calendar-year basis.
  3. In exchange for the many benefits we furnish as part of your Cumberland Amateur Radio Club Membership, each year we ask that you separate yourself from a Ten-Dollar Bill, US Currency.  This is the one featuring the portrait of Alexander Hamilton.
  4. Club Membership Secretary Richard Johnson is a great person to have on the Club Leadership Team.  He will receive your Dues Payment and issue a Club Membership Card in exchange.
  5. See Richard at our January or February 2019 Meetings.
  6. If it is not not convenient for you to attend one of the early-2019 CARC Meetings we will be pleased to receive your Dues Payment by mail.  Address:  Andrew Forsyth, 5 Northern Dancer Drive, Dillsburg, PA  17019-9300
  7. Thank You For Your Support !  



We Will Lead The Way

100 Years  of Heroes

In honor of Veterans Day 2018 the Patriot News dedicated an entire section of the Sunday November 11, 2018 edition of the newspaper to the stories and photos of veterans who served our country.

CARC Member Royal Kramer, W3ZIF, is one of the featured veterans.  Royal served in the US Army from 1957 to 1959.

Author:  Andrew Forsyth


Patriot News

Introduction to the story

Royal Kramer

Amateur Radio Operator

W3ZIF, and CARC Member


Field Day 2018 Results Have Been Published

The Digital Edition of December QST has been posted on the ARRL Web Site.  This edition includes the Field Day write-up and results.  If you are an ARRL Member you can download the entire Digital Edition as one of your ARRL Membership Benefits.

I snipped a little tiny part of the Field Day results showing where K3IEC stands in the 4A Commercial Power category.   We are in 4th place nationwide with 480 QSOs, 582 Points resulting from QSOs, 950 Points earned through Bonus Point Activities, for a Total Score of 2,114 Points

Regardless of the score or the points ranking, I know we were #1 in the Saturday Night Picnic Category based on the tasty provisions and expert preparation of our meal.  Thank you Doug Stenger, KC3CPT.  I believe Frank Mellott KB3PQT was part of that winning effort too.  Thank you.

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth  AF3I