Field Day 2021
is in the Books

US Representative Scott Perry, Pennsylvania 10th District, meets with Field Day Operators

 

ARRL Field Day for 2021 has ended.  COVID 19 concerns and restrictions prevented the club from meeting at Shaffer Park, but some intrepid Cumberland Amateur Radio Club members ventured to Fred KC3KPD’s home in Dillsburg.

The Honorable Scott Perry, PA 10th District, US House of Representatives, stopped by to observe our Field Day operations and to share his perspective on matters of interest to us, as his constituents.  Congressman Perry seems very attentive to amateur radio operators and antenna restrictions.

 

Club members installed a dipole antenna and operated on the 20, 40 and 80 meter bands using phone, 20 and 40 meter WSJT-X modes digital, passed traffic using 2 meters and HF.  Andrew AF3I took advantage of a well-timed International Space Station pass and conducted a demonstration on receiving SSTV images.

Fred, thank you for hosting our event!

Club Members, other Ham Radio Operators, and Members of the Community pitched-in to help make Field Day 2021 a memorable event.  Thank you all!    They include:

  • Andrew AF3I,
  • Doug KC3CPT,
  • Steve N3FWE,
  • Fred KC3KPD,
  • Frank KB3PQT,
  • Dave W3BJG,
  • Dave W3VRE,
  • Harry K3EYL
  • Valli N8QVT
  • Maura, our about-to-be-licensed Club Secretary

 

For more information about ARRL, N3FJP logging software, contesting, Field Day and other topics, follow the trail to

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

 

Logging Question…                             

From our friends on the N3FJP groups.io site.

 

The resounding answer, from multiple people was NO!  

You worked it, you logged it.  You may never get a QSL card, but you made the QSO. 

Many operators had been licensed for 20, 30, even 40 years before the ARRL introduced Logbook of The World (LoTW).

Many DX operators are just now getting into LoTW and may take a while to transcribe their paper logs into LoTW. 

Be patient grasshopper, your QSL may come yet!

 

Logbook of the World is a free service, provided by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).  You do not need to be an ARRL Member to use LoTW.  

But if you are a US-based operator and if you enjoy rapid confirmations of contacts, then join ARRL and “help pay the freight”.  LoTW is the benefit I use the most often.

For more information about ARRL, N3FJP logging software, LoTW and another topics, follow the trail to https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

Q.)  “Do any of you purge your logs of unconfirmed entries after a set amount of time?  

I mean, an unconfirmed entry is not worth much.”

 

A.)  “NO!”

** Special Thanks to Vibroplex for hosting the author’s work on their website.  **

It is my pleasure to promote this man’s book.  W2VJN is the former owner of INRAD.
AF3I

Immediately Available for FREE DOWNLOAD

Visit the Vibroplex Website

 

Author’s Comments — by George Cutsogeorge, BSEE W2VJN

Whenever two or more transceivers are used in close proximity there is some
level of interference involved. This level can vary from practically no problem to
actually burning up components in the receiving radio. The purpose of this book
is to identify and quantify the various parameters that create the interference and
to show methods that will reduce or eliminate it.

 

#####

 

Hamfests Are Back !


When was the last time you attended a Hamfest?

Probably not during 2020.

Well, stuff your wallet with greenbacks, jump in the car, and get on the road to one of these upcoming 2021 Hamfests. 

They are returning this year.

Can any among our audience actually read those thumbnail-sized hamfest posters?

Not me.

Let me help…. use these links which will bring you to our CALENDAR OF EVENTS  where the FULL SIZE images await your arrival.

 

Firecracker Hamfest is for me

I am a BERRYVILLE fan

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

Firecracker Hamfest

Saturday July 3, 2021

Berryville

Hamfest

Sunday August 1, 2021

 

Why Play Radio… 

For many years, I was a member of the Yahoo Groups Sandpatch List.  Sandpatch, named for Sandpatch Mountain and tunnel, is where the Baltimore & Ohio, now CSX, crosses the Alleghenies.  It was built after the world famous Horse Shoe Curve near Altoona, PA where the Pennsylvania Railroad crosses the same mountain chain.  Sandpatch is steeper and has its own horseshoe curve at Mance, PA.

 

Yahoo Groups was a predecessor of groups.io, where you can find the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club group.   The Sandpatch list was fairly small, but one regular poster was Ted from Michigan.  The list went to Facebook as the demise of Yahoo Groups was imminent.  I lost track of the members. 

 

Periodically I like to check on some other amateur radio club websites to see what they are up to and how they compare to our site, maintained by Andy, AF3I.  One of the “peer group” sites is K3SMT, the Somerset County (PA) Amateur Radio Club.  They seem to be an active group and their page has been improved a lot since my last visit.  They have a “Meet Our Members” tab.  There are profiles of some of the members there (sound familiar?)  One of them is Ted from Michigan!  Aka AC8SW!  

 

Thanks to ham radio, Ted and I are back in touch.

 

For more information on the great wide world of amateur radio, follow the trail to:

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

To see Ted, AC8SW’s profile on the Somerset Amateur Radio Club site:

http://www.k3smt.org/OurMembers/OurMembers.htm

 

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

 

“Thanks to ham radio, Ted and I are back in touch.”

Photograph (headshot) of ham radio operator KB3PQT.

Frank, KB3PQT

Rail Fan and
Amateur Radio Operator

 

Why Play Radio… 

 

For about 50 years or so, rail fans have used radio scanners to listen to the railroad frequencies in the land mobile FM portion of the 137-174 MHz band.  The railroad frequencies are right below the National Weather Service 162 MHz frequencies and can be found in the 159 to 161 MHz range.

Because the land mobile band is close to the Amateur Radio two-meter band, and many amateur radio transceivers can receive the Weather Service band, those transceivers are capable of listening in on the land mobile frequencies.  You cannot transmit, but you can listen.

 

The other evening I was at local rail fan spot waiting on a Norfolk Southern heritage unit.   Some other fans arrived.  I have noticed this before, but it was especially obvious that evening.  One of them was using a cell phone and a scanning app.  I do not know which one, but Broadcastify is a common app.  They have receivers and capture the radio traffic and put it on the internet where it can be accessed via an app or website.   There is a time lag as all this happens.  My amateur radio receiver, set to 160.980 MHz FM, would pick up something.  About a minute later the nearby cell phones would begin making noise and we’d hear the same conversation again. 

 

I have spent well over 30 years in pursuit of the perfect “scanner”.  I think I have almost found it…and used it for many years now.  But I am still slightly amused when I see someone rolling in and they sort of look down on this “old guy clinging to his outdated technology”.  Then they are amazed when I hear stuff they have not heard yet.

 

Radio is cool!

 

For more articles on two-meters amateur radio, railroad frequency lists, and related topics follow the trail to

 

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

Explore the content behind the GENERAL INTEREST TOPICS heading.

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

“… I am still slightly amused when I see someone rolling in and they sort of look down on this “old guy clinging to his outdated technology”.  Then they are amazed when I hear stuff they have not heard yet.”

Photograph (headshot) of ham radio operator KB3PQT.

Frank, KB3PQT

Rail Fan and
Amateur Radio Operator

 

It is my pleasure to promote this man’s book.  I learned about promoting books and movies by watching The Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson.
He did a great job.  I can only hope to do a fraction of a job.
AF3I

Immediately Available for FREE DOWNLOAD

Visit the K7UA Website

 

Author’s Comments — Bryce K. Anderson, K7UA

This is the second time that I have rewritten the handbook since its
inauguration in 2010. It remains my intention to give new DXers something
that will be easy to understand, yet quickly teach them the basic skills of
successful DXing. Those skills took me years to discover on my own. Now in
hindsight it all seems so simple.

To my pleasant surprise this handbook has gained an international readership
and is now available in several languages! That has been a great honor and I
give my thanks to the many translators who have done that labor.

Wherever you are, I hope that you will enjoy this handbook and that it will help
you gain some new skills. I truly hope that it will give a running start to those
new to our ranks. Nothing would please me more than to learn that I have
helped a new generation of young DXers get started.

Please feel free to email me your feedback or questions. My email address is
listed on QRZ.com.

Best regards,
Bryce Anderson, K7UA

 

Notes From The Shack…

Sometimes you just have to go play outside.  But there is life… so what do you do? 

Operate portable from the porch?

Or, get a good look this crowded setup…

 

Yeah, this little folding tray table is kinda full.  And it was Plan C after Plan A and Plan B did not do the job.

 

But with this table and a 1/4 wave Two-Meter mag-mount antenna stuck on the car, we passed message traffic between KB3PQT and AF3I on two-meters FM Simplex using Domino EX and BPSK31.  

That’s 12-15 miles as the crow flies.

 

For more articles on two-meters, digital modes and portable operations, please follow the trail below:

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

 

Fun with N3FJP software – An Update!

A few months ago, I shared some data that I had extracted from my N3FJP Amateur Call Log.

At that time about 41% of my lifetime QSOs were on 80 meters. 

In an effort to use more of the amateur radio spectrum, and to explore some of the other amateur bands, I tried a new approach — “Anything but 80”.

 

How did that go?

 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

(Number of QSOs by Band)

Band     CW       Phone          Dig         Total          %

——-       —-        ——-             —-          ——            —

   160          0                9           25             34            1

     80          0        1,279         186        1,465         39

     40          0           209         223           432         11

     30          0                0           82             82            2

     20          0             55         110           165            4

     17          0                8              6             14            0

     15          0                4           24             28            1

     12          0                1              0                1            0

     10          0           103              2           105            3

        6          0                2              0                2            0

        2          0        1,454              5        1,459         39

——- —   —–              —         —–              —

Total          0        3,124         659        3,787       100

 

  • Total QSOs went up about 400 since last October (2020).
  • 80 meters has slid to 39% of the total.
  • Thanks to robust activity on the Sunday Night 2 Meter net (146.490 MHz FM simplex), 2 meters went up to 39%.
  • 40 meters actually lost 2%.  If this was the Electoral College, 40M gained contacts, but not as fast as 2M, so 2M gets more votes.
  • I think my next goal is to get over 100 QSOs on 30 meters and over 200 QSOs on 20 meters.
  • 17 meters has been “okay” lately, and for some reason I prefer 17 and 30 meters to 20 meters. Not sure why, but I do. 
  • 10, 12 and 15 meters will probably have to wait for improved propagation over the next couple of years.

 

If you would enjoy reading more articles like this please follow the trail below:

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

 

• Do you have an interest in DMR radios?

 

• Perhaps you are hesitant to wade into digital radio communications because it seems as if there are so many different “standards”.

• D-STAR, WIRES, FUSION, C4FM — Where do I start?.

• Are you just itching to learn more about a new mode that has revolutionized the Plain-Jane HT?

 

• Have you been put off by new buzz words like CODE PLUGS and TALK GROUPS? 

 

Watch this space!

Do these questions sound familiar?

If so, we have some articles in place that take a 10,000 foot view of the digital landscape.

 

And, over the new few months, the digital world explorers at CARC expect to produce new material about digital amateur radio.

 

For more articles please follow the trail below:

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

Notes From The Shack…

Some months ago, this space introduced our readers to Kate Stephens.  Kate is a 16 year old YouTuber and social media star who is trying to educate people about where their food comes from.  She lives on a dry land wheat farm in western Montana.  

Her third video began a two part series on the “Essential Guide to Combine Etiquette” and she discussed among other things, proper protocols for using the operation’s land mobile service radios.  A friend of ham radio sent Kate an ARRL Technician’s .License Manual and “Radios to Go”, an ARRL publication about hand held radios.  In the episode titled “A Blast from the Past Part 1”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5fDzdPIBg4  Kate showed off her new acquisitions.

Kate has apparently met some other hams in the Great Falls, Mpntana area and intends to continue to pursue getting her amateur radio license.  That may take a bit as she is not only finishing up high school (a year early!) but launching her merchandise line.

My First Product!!  Made in the USA” is the launch video for her line of 100% cotton, made in the USA, tote bags.  She announced them on May 15 and sold out the first run the same day.  Follow this link to where you will find the video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmzeuJVTZew

So, if you want to watch a fun and educational group of videos just follow the links above.  

Kate has gone from zero to 10,000 subscribers in about 10 months.  
Please remember to press the LIKE button after viewing!  And subscribe!

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

Field Day is Coming !


ARRL Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada.

On the fourth weekend of June, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate their radio equipment from remote locations.

Notes From The Shack

 

Field Day is coming!  June 26 and 27, 2021

 

The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club is in the thick of planning their 2021 effort.

If you are a CARC member, please follow the trail to
https://www.radioclub-carc.com/special-topic-field-day/

 

If not yet a CARC member (what are you waiting for?), follow the trail to https://www.radioclub-carc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/How-Do-I-Field-Day-Tips.pdf

 

For even more info from the ARRL website:

Field Day Rules 

http://www.arrl.org/field-day#rules

What is Field Day? 

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2021/2_1-%20FD%20Flier%20-%20What%20is%20FD%20generic.pdf

 

In addition to their web site, ARRL is also promoting a
2021 Field Day Facebook group.

Link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1966096706830030/

 

See ‘ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

Notes from the shack…

 From the ARRL Newsletter

 Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3, 2021

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order (R&O) governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted.  For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023.  After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antennas or placement, or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

 

 

The full text of the ARRL Newsletter article
is available here, as a PDF:   Click to read…

Notes from the shack…

The ARRL and Me

What does the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) do for me? 

I am a member of the ARRL.  The ARRL sends a nifty magazine, QST, to my mailbox every month.  QST provides news, equipment reviews, How To articles and upcoming events.

The ARRL has a very comprehensive line of books.  Topics cover everything from How To get licensed, to How To get on-the-air to the enduring annual ARRL Handbook and more advanced How To books.

The ARRL sends members weekly and monthly newsletters. Some of the info makes its way into QST and some does not.

The ARRL tries to offer something for everyone.   Various insurance programs, discounts, classes, seminars, awards and license exams are at your fingertips.

Cumberland Amateur Radio Club (CARC) is an ARRL Affiliated Club.  That relationship brings the club benefits when it comes to attracting new members and promoting our club!

 

See ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

##### 

World Amateur Radio Day

World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.

Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short-wave spectrum could support long-distance radio signal 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 promote the interests of amateur radio worldwide and to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges. Today, the IARU is a federation consisting of more than 160 national amateur radio organizations in as many countries and separate territories. The International Secretariat of the IARU is ARRL, the national association for amateur radio® in the United States.

On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.

IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities – even helping overcome online fatigue and social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized “wellness nets” to keep amateurs in touch and check on those who may be higher risk or elderly, “stay safe” special event stations across the globe, and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.

Doug Stenger on-the-air

CARC Member operating a radio at a 1978 Field Day event.

CARC member Valli operating a ham radio during Field Day event.

 

Achievement Test…  A+ Results


The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club is proud to recognize one of its members for producing A+ results in a recent Achievement Test.

Congratulations to Doug Stenger, KC3CPT for hitting the books, studying, and passing the FCC General Class License Exam.

As a follow-up, the other day Doug got on 20 Meters to exercise his newly earned privileges.  He was rewarded with a nice DX QSO with OS8A located in Belgium.  Doug worked Didier on the first call,  Impressive.

If you look to the left you will see a snapshot of Didier’s Club Log screen showing KC3CPT on the second line from the top. 

Ninety-eight more countries and we will have a DXCC Party for Doug.  

#####

 

Upcoming SSTV event

ISS SSTV 145.800 FM Simplex January 28-29, 2021

This information came to us from groups.io/g/RadioClub-CARC

 

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are planning to transmit Slow Scan TV images on 145.800 MHz FM Simplex using the SSTV mode PD-120 

The transmissions are part of the Moscow Aviation Institute SSTV experiment (MAI-75).

 

Thursday January 28, 2021 – Starts after 12:10 GMT and ends at 17:15 GMT*

If you are a fan of Eastern Standard Time, you may wish to…

  • Think of 12:10 GMT as 7:10 a.m.
  • Think of 17:15 GMT as 12:15 p.m.

 

Friday January 29, 2021 – Starts about 13:10 GMT and ends at 18:05 GMT*

If you are a fan of Eastern Standard Time, you may wish to…

  • Think of 13:10 GMT as 8:10 a.m.
  • Think of 18:05 GMT as 1:05 p.m.

 

Many ham radio hobbyists are equipped to receive these transmissions using their ham radio equipment and personal computer decoding software.  The Slow Scan TV images can be thought of as being photographs transmitted to Earth from the orbiting space station. 

During those dates and times, if the International Space Station orbit flies over our location some ham radio operators will be listening for their opportunity to receive the Slow Scan Television signals from outer space.

 

For more info on SSTV and other fun radio stuff you can do with your radio, follow the trail to: 
https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ya down the log.
Frank KB3PQT

 #####

 

Notes From The Shack….

Winter is coming……                                     

Winter Field Day  January 30-31, 2021


 Yep, it’s the most wonderful winter time event:  Winter Field Day!

This is your chance to compete on many bands and modes (sorry…FT4 and FT8 not allowed) from the comfort of your shack…or other indoor location, or earn lots of bonus points for going outside!

 

Official website: https://www.winterfieldday.com/

Check out the CARC website for more information on how to compete in our own intramural contest and earn points for your club while operating from the location of your choice! 

 

For more info on Winter Field Day  and other fun radio stuff, follow the trail to:

https://www.radioclub-carc.com/resources/

 

See ya down the log.

Frank KB3PQT

 

#####

 

Winter Field Day 2021
Special Rule modifications for CLUB entries

 For those members of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club who will be participating in the Winter Field Day 2021 on January 30-31, please make note of the information presented below.

When preparing your Cabrillo File for submitting your contest log to the Contest Sponsor, it is important that we all use the same CLUB/GROUP NAME… spelled exactly alike.  We will use CUMBERLAND ARC

Those of us who operated in the June 2020 ARRL Field Day may remember that we did something similar.  The same concept applies here in the Winter Field Day.

 

The actual rule appears below.  If you carefully read and understood the above sentences then you can skip reading the rest of this posting.  

CLUB: club/group name only

Covid 19 Pandemic scoring changes for Clubs/Groups: 

These changes apply ONLY to groups who, due to the Pandemic, won’t/can’t be congregating to compete this year.

If your group wishes, you may have a “group/club” score tallied by having individual members fill in the “CLUB:” line in their Cabrillo log file (above). Individual members would send in a log under their own callsign (operating under their own privileges) with the name or call sign of the group noted on the “CLUB:” line. If a simple call sign is used in the “club” line, it cannot be one used in the contest or on another member’s entry log (it’ll confuse the scoring software). If your group uses a club name, be sure to advise everyone in your group to use the exact same unique name. Choose wisely Grasshopper! There are dozens of clubs with the same abbreviation (as in LARC, PARC, etc), but it’s unlikely there’s more than one Livonia ARC, or Lincoln ARC. Club scores will be the aggregate of the individual members’ scores, regardless of how they operated ad will be posted as distinct “Club/Group” scores once tallied. Your individual members’ logs and scores will be tallied and posted as well (each under their own call), the same as any other entrant. It might be a good idea to have someone in your club/group collect members’ logs and check them to ensure the logs are correct before sending them in. It’ll save us time and you aggravation. “Club/Group” scores will likely be the last to be posted as we can’t be sure all the individual logs are in until the actual log deadline.

 

We will be using Cumberland ARC.

#####

2020 marked the end of our Second Full Year of How Do I…? articles

Amazingly we have not yet been evicted from this space!

 

In 2020  we looked at some new ham radio toys… err, important amateur radio gear, such as the Comet HFJ-350M portable antenna system and the PowerWerx Test Buddy. 

There were several articles on VHF/UHF radios and how to get the most out of them by using FM repeaters, DMR, Echolink, and other technologies.

We looked at Radio Teletype (RTTY) and Slow Scan Television (SSTV) software.

We went off the beaten path and looked at two locations along the Norfolk Southern Lurgan Line where you and your radio can enjoy some train watching.

And, thanks to a new contributor, we published several articles on CW (Morse Code) operations and equipment.

All in all, it was a pretty good year.

 

What does 2021 have to offer?  Some of the stuff we didn’t get to during 2020: 

  • Antenna Analyzers – What they are and what do they do?
  • Terminal Node Connectors (TNCs) – What do they do?
  • Do I really need TNC hardware or can software replace them?
  • Successful amateur radio satellite operation – Can I really talk to the birds?
  • Contesting Tips, with a focus on the popular State QSO Parties.
  • Multi-Operator Contesting with Social Distancing
  • Licensing and License Upgrades – Questions and Answers with our “Elmers”.

 

If you have thoughts on these topics and want to write an article, please jump right in! 
Sort of like the Federalist Papers, How do I is a collaborative effort.  If you want to write about something we have not thought of or gotten to yet, go right ahead! 

New to the hobby?  What info do you want?  Or even better, what have you learned that you wish you knew sooner?  How did you study for the Technician or maybe the General license exam?

As our esteemed editor says…particularly when steamed…..it doesn’t take a great deal of skill to write these articles.  A poorly written article just makes his job a bit more challenging.  So go ahead… dive in!

And please, tell us, good or bad, what you want to read.  Send your comments, concerns, questions via eMail to: webmaster@RadioClub-CARC.com

 

Catch ‘ya on the air!