CARC Two-Meter Net Check-Ins      Sunday January 27, 2019   146.490 Mhz FM Simplex

§  Frank, KB3PQT  Net Control Station

§  Royal, W3ZIF

§  Steve, N3FWE   Steve was our CARC NET BINGO Winner tonight with a diagonal of 4 callsigns plus the FREE space.

§  Doug, KC3AB

§  Andy, AF3I

§  KC3GEM Mobile joined us at the tail-end of tonight’s session.  We are glad you could hear us, and vice versa.


CARC Ten-Meter Net Check-Ins      Wednesday January 30, 2019   28.400 Mhz Upper Sideband


§ Garry, K3EYK  Net Control Station

§ Bobbe, WA3BKK   Bobbe was our CARC NET BINGO Winner tonight

§ Lance, WB3IOA

§ Andy, AF3I

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I



Ham Operators Have Other Hobbies As Well

I noticed a lot of my Ham Radio friends have a keen interest in trains.   There must be a reason.  Let’s save that line of thought for some other day.

For my entire life (so far) trains have always “been there”.  And they have always looked pretty much the same.

When I drive to work in the morning many times I am greeted by a Norfolk Southern pulling a big load.  At the risk of appearing paranoid, I think that train knows my schedule because many times I meet him again at the same grade crossing on my way home late at night.

Frank Mellott, KB3PQT is the biggest rail fan that I know.  He sat down and wrote us a nice article about trains and how Ham Radio Operators can leverage aspects of one hobby to increase their enjoyment of their other hobby.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Frank’s article in the How Do I… series — Playing With Trains.

I love hobbies that cross over. Finding time and money for one hobby is tough enough.
But when that time or money can help you enjoy two or more hobbies, it makes it so
much easier to justify it!

I am a railfan. I’ve been one for over 35 years. I read once that a true “train nut” has
10,000 photos. Let’s just say I have more.  And that was in in the pre digital camera
days.  I started with the classical “train set under the Christmas tree” when I was in first
grade and never looked back.

Thank you for that introduction, Frank.

If you would like to read the entire article click on the first link below. 

Frank also shared with us a list of channelized frequencies used by the train crews.  Many of these frequencies are adjacent to the popular Ham Radio Two-Meter Band.  Many Ham Radio Two-Meter transceivers are capable of receiving the frequencies that Frank lists in the second link below.

The Norfolk Southern train tracks are about a mile from my home.  Last night, after reading Frank’s article, I tuned my Two-Meter Transceiver to the frequencies Frank mentioned.  I set the radio to SCAN and waited to hear some conversations.  Sure enough, there was a bit of discussion taking place.  I enjoyed exploring the train frequencies.

Download: Playing With Trains [PDF]

Download: AAR Railroad Frequencies [PDF]

I hope you enjoy reading what Frank has written.  If so, tell your friends.  If not, tell me what I should improve.

• Author:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I



CARC Net Check-ins

Ten-Meter Net ** Wednesday January 23, 2019

K3EYK, Garry    Net Control Station

AF3I, Andy

WA3BKK, Bobbe

K3EYL, Harry

N8QVT, Valli


Two-Meter Net ** Sunday January 20, 2019

KB3PQT, Frank     Net Control Station

W3ZIF, Royal

AF3I, Andy


This was the first CARC Net Session for our CARC BINGO NET activity.  However, three check-ins did not provide sufficient material to make a winning bingo card.  We will do this again next Sunday on the 2 Meter Net.  The Wednesday 10 Meter Net is participating as well.

The game we are playing is based on the callsigns of those who check-in to the net.

We play the traditional Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal 5-box straight lines.  In addition, we play the Four Corners, Small Diamond (four squares around the FREE space), Large Diamond (4 squares a little farther out from the FREE space) , and any of the Postage Stamps (4 in a square with one of them being the corner square).

If you attended our January 16 meeting you had the opportunity to pickup a CARC BINGO NET card.  If you were unable to attend that meeting, of if at that time you did not realize how much fun this activity was going to be, please contact Andy Forsyth to request a CARC BINGO NET card (two on one sheet of paper).


How Do I Write a How Do I… Article?

William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Aldous Huxley,
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rachel Carlson, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Barbara W. Tuchman, Anne Frank, Robert McCloskey, Elizabeth Guilfoile, Maya Angelou, Frank Mellott, You!.

If you would like to create content for the CARC website you can be in the company of those famous authors named above.  All you need to do is…

Navigate over to the RESOURCES page,   Scroll around until you find the Headline SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT.  There you will find the full article from which the above “teaser” was extracted.  Read the PDF version first.  If you envision yourself someday having a Pulitzer Prize on your desk then download the DOCX version as well.  It is the starting point in terms of the document layout.  What you write is up to you.  Good Luck!

•Author:  Andrew Forsyth,  AF3I


Cumberland Amateur Radio Club   International Grid Chase Results

It is my pleasure to report about the On-The-Air achievements of so many Cumberland Amateur Radio Club members.


Frank Mellott, KB3PQT provided the material in this section.

Leadership of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club (CARC) is pleased to announce that seven members participated in the ARRL International Grid Chase Challenge in 2018.  This year long contest  attracted 44,964 international users of the ARRL Logbook of The World (LOTW) software application and database.

In conjunction with the contest, CARC members competed against each other to see who could achieve the highest score based on six criteria:

  1. Contacts made
  2. Individual Maidenhead grid squares confirmed
  3. The highest monthly national ranking overall on the IGC Leaderboard
  4. Bonus points for being ranked in the top 10% monthly on the IGC Leaderboard
  5. Bonus points for being the highest ranked overall on the IGC Leaderboard
  6. Bonus points for having the most, 2nd-most and 3rd-most QSO’s (contacts)


Thank you, Frank.

Frank Mellott, KB3PQT tallied a ton of data that he harvested from the ARRL International Grid Chase site.  Frank also created a scoring system for our internal purposes.  The outcome of all that database analysis and mathematics is that Frank scored 800 on the CARC Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) for Math and another 800 for Verbal.  I think that qualifies Frank for membership in the National Honor Society.  Thank you for your efforts, Frank.

Did someone say — Show us the results?  Yes.  I have the results.  Here they come, 

CARC Grand Award goes to Roger Wheeler K3SU for placing highest among CARC Members.

CARC High Scorer also goes to Roger Wheeler K3SU.

CARC Tortoise Award goes to Andy Forsyth AF3I in recognition of slow and steady performance through the year.

CARC Second Place Award goes to Andy Forsyth AF3I because of the cumulative effect of his slow and steady pace.

CARC Third Place Award was presented to Richard Johnson N3EPY.

The first CARC Participation Award went to Steve Hancock N3FWE.

The second CARC Participation Award was earned by Frank Mellott KB3PQT.

The third CARC Participation Award is with Ed LeTersky KB3RKM.

Congratulations to all who participated in the ARRL International Grid Chase and who placed in the upper tiers of our rankings.



Members Area Access Update

The password for authorized user access to the Member Area and Member Photos pages has been changed.

If you received your new CARC Membership Card at the January 16, 2019 meeting you will find the new password on the back of the card.  If you are a Club Member who did not attend the January 2019 meeting and if you would like to access those pages sooner than we can get your membership card to you please email requesting the new password.


Coming Soon

Be one of the first to get in on this special activity brought to you as only CARC can do.

This is not your Aunt Edna’s BINGO game.

Come to the January 16, 2019 meeting to get your cards.

Tell your friends.


CARC Two-Meter Net Check-Ins      Sunday January 6, 2019

§  Frank, KB3PQT  Net Control Station

§  Royal, W3ZIF

§  Doug, KC3AB

§  Andy, AF3I


CARC Ten-Meter Net Check-Ins      Wednesday January 9, 2019

§  Garry, K3EYK  Net Control Station

§  Harry, K3EYL 

§  Valli, N8QVT

§  Lance, WB3IOA

§  Jay, KB3UWH

§  Andy, AF3I (listening on the side)

The nets are a good place to share ideas and information.  In the past few days I have learned how to adjust the VOX settings on my transceiver, and how to reduce the power level.  I picked up a few pointers related to web-based Weather Stations.  And I heard CARC Members having a good time chatting with each other on-the-air.  

All of this is going to play into a new competitive activity I plan to introduce at the next Cumberland Amateur Radio Club meeting to be held Wednesday January 16, 2019 at the Hoss’s Restaurant on Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA. 

I think you are going to enjoy what I have in store.  For additional information about the meeting please see our EVENTS page.  

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth, AF3I


Newly Licensed Hams — Welcome to the CARC Two-Meter Net

A good friend of Ham Radio shared with me a story.  The story involved a newly licensed Amateur Radio Operator who set out to make some radio contacts after receiving his license from the FCC.  His callsign and his on-the-air techniques revealed that he was a newcomer to ham radio.

To make the story short — this newly licensed ham received a somewhat chilly reception to his on-the-air communications attempts and may have been turned-off by the whole experience.  How sad.

The Cumberland Amateur Radio Club would like to warmly welcome newly licensed hams. 

We stand ready to provide assistance enabling you to get on the air and to make contacts with other hams who appreciate the hard-work you put into studying and passing the Licensing Exam.

First, we invite you to attend our Club Meetings.  Details are in the EVENTS page of this website.  We have a special FREE MEMBERSHIP OFFER for newly licensed hams.  How can you beat that?  If you are looking for help selecting and setting up your first radio station this is a good place to begin.

Second, if you already have ham radio equipment we invite you to participate in our weekly Two-Meter Net.  CARC Members and guests gather each Sunday Night at 7 p.m. local time on 146.490 Mhz, FM Simplex in the Two-Meter Band.  No Repeater Offset, No PL Access Tones.  Simply tune your transceiver to 146.490, listen for the Net Control Station to announce the net.   Frank, KB3PQT usually is our Net Control Station.  He is a friendly guy and a great supporter of the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club and ham radio in general.

When it is time, key your microphone, say your call sign, release your mike, and wait to be acknowledged by the NCS.  The Net Control Station will say a few words welcoming the people who checked into the net, and then give each person his or her opportunity to speak by saying that person’s call sign.  Tell us your name, your location, and perhaps let us know if you have questions.  After you have said what is on your mind, simply say “This is [your call sign], Back To Net Control.” and release your mike.  It is that simple.  No worries, No pressure, No cold shoulders.  

If you experience any difficulty when trying to participate in the Cumberland Amateur Radio Club Two-Meter Net please email me your name, call sign, location, and a few words about your radio and antenna.  We will try to perk-up our ears and listen more carefully for you the next week.   eMail:  Andrew Forsyth


• 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.


  • 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 !  

Thermometer is for demonstration purposes only:

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin 29 9Every Member Counts31%We are ON-TRACK to ACHIEVE OUR GOAL! ( 9)


Preparations for Holiday Brunch are Underway

The date of our event is Sunday December 9, 2018.

The time of our event is 11 a.m.

The location of our event is T J Rockwell’s Restaurant at 897 West Grantham Road in Mechanicsburg, PA.  This location is next-door to the Ashcombe Garden Center

The photo to the upper-right has been updated to show the main entrance to T J Rockwell’s in Mechanicsburg.  

I am delighted to report that a Duo of Volunteers stepped forward and will provide a wealth of creative flare to this core element of our Brunch.  I will recognize this duo by name if I first request and obtain their permission.  

I am equally pleased to report that Pete Matangos and I struck a deal that will place several of the fine products he makes and sells at Matangos Candies in Harrisburg into the Door Prize pool.  Assorted Chocolates in a 1 lb. box and his iconic Venetian Mints in a 1 lb. box.  I need to perform some Quality Assurance Testing prior to the brunch.  Not because there is any concern with the quality or consistency of Matangos’ fine chocolates.  Instead, the reason for this testing is so that I can savor the true meaning of Quality and Consistency.  If any candy remains unopened after this testing it will be offered as a Door Prize.

Valli Hoski will want to know the head-count of those CARC Members, Friends, and Guests who will attend the brunch.  You could take this cue and send me your intentions which I will tally and share with Valli.

• Author:  Andrew Forsyth



The Story Behind Our Wooden Nickel TUIT

This story begins with my wife, who has a long list of household chores that I am expected to complete in order to qualify for prepared meals, laundry services, and companionship.

Many times I am guilty of responding to her chore requests by saying
“I will do that chore as soon as I get a Round TUIT.”

Darling Wife made sure that I would have whatever it takes to get the jobs done.  She outfitted me with a lifetime supply of Round TUITs.  A fresh shipment of 500 Round TUITs arrived this week.

I have so many Round TUITs that I would like to share them with my Ham Radio friends and anyone else whose interest in Ham Radio is developing.  If you would like to have your own Round TUIT please attend one of our CARC Meetings and let me know.  

•  Author:  Andrew Forsyth