Quad-County ARC Turns 40!

QCARC Logo TPHAPPY BIRTHDAY QCARC! On April 18, 1975, a group of about 30 local hams gathered at the DuBois High School for the first meeting of what would become The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club. From that auspicious beginning, the club grew in membership and activity. The members of the new club took part in Field Day that very first year from a hilltop in Clear Run. Later, the club placed the WR3AGV repeater at that location, coordinated on 146.13/73 MHz.

Traditions that continue to this day are monthly meetings at 7:30 pm on the third Friday of each month, Club Banquets, Field Day, and a number of Public Service activities, involving multiple served agencies, such as DuBois and Sandy Township Police Departments, the Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, and local schools. Club Founder, Joe Shupienis W3BC (then WA3IHK) conducted dozens of licensing and upgrade classes that continue to this day, in DuBois, Clearfield, St. Marys, Ridgway, Kersey, Punxsutawney and Reynoldsville.

In the 1970s, the club held meetings in several communities throughout the Quad-County Area, such as Sinnemahoning, Punxsutawney and Reynoldsville, but found that it was more convenient to keep the meetings in the more centrally-located DuBois area. In 1991, meetings moved to Clearfield at the County offices, and over the next couple decades the membership, meeting participation and activities declined, as the club became “the Clearfield Club. New clubs formed in Jefferson, Cameron and Elk counties in reaction to the long travel distances the move created.DSC_0581

In 2011, the club decided to conduct Field Day operations in a location accessible to the general Public, and moved operations from a small room in the Clearfield County Emergency Operations Center to a public pavilion at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. In November, the Club held its final meeting at the EOC, and began holding meetings in DuBois. Currently, we hold our monthly meetings at the Penn State DuBois Campus, which provides plenty of free parking, and outside space for experimenting with antennas and hidden transmitter hunting before the meetings.

Don KB3LES shows us how happy he was to find the fox!
Don KB3LES shows us how happy he was to find the fox!

2015 Spring Banquet A Success

T he DuBois Diner was the host for this year’s Quad-County Amateur Radio Club Spring Banquet. This year’s Banquet was special for several reasons. First, this year is the 40th Anniversary of the Club, which was founded in 1975. Second, the food and service was GREAT – Thanks to the staff of the Diner, and to Brie, our server.  And then there were our guests… Tim Duffy K3LR, the ARRL Western Pennsylvania Section Manager spoke IMGP0007_v2about the value of clubs and the ARRL’s focus on local clubs. Our Featured Speaker was Matt Welsh W3DEC from the Cleveland area. May of us know Matt as a sales agent at Amateur Electronic Supply’s Wickliffe store.

The dinner was served from the Diner’s extensive menu and everyone was pleased with their meal. MC Joe Shupienis W3BC, who is the club’s founder, recounted highlights from the Club’s long history, and made a tribute to the Founding members, many of whom are now Silent Keys.

More photos:

America’s PrepareAthon!

America’s PrepareAthon! is a nationwide, community-based campaign for action to increase emergency preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises conducted at the national level every fall and spring.

Please consider taking 5 minutes to view the video, “IT STARTED LIKE ANY OTHER DAY.”, attached to the America’s PrepareAthon! link below. It could have a dramatic impact on your life, the lives of your family and your friends.

Source: America’s PrepareAthon! – America’s PrepareAthon!

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PEMA HQ to participate in Field Day 2015

PEMAHarrisburg – Staff and volunteers with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) Auxiliary Communications Service will be demonstrating the commonwealth’s amateur radio capabilities during an annual “Field Day” at PEMA headquarters near Harrisburg.

The public is invited to observe the activities, which will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 28 and end at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 29 at 2605 Interstate Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Field Day is the climax of the week-long “Amateur Radio Week” sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (AARL), the national association for amateur radio.

Pennsylvania is home to 25,515 licensed amateur radio operators, often called “hams.” Many of them provide backup communications for emergency responders throughout the state. Using the call sign “K3P” for this event, PEMA’s Auxiliary Communications Service will join with thousands of others amateur radio operators showing their emergency capabilities.

Using only emergency power supplies, ham operators will construct emergency stations in parks, shopping malls, schools and backyards around the country. Their slogan, “When All Else Fails, Ham Radio Works” is more than just words to the “hams” as they prove they can send messages in many forms without the use of phone systems, internet or any other infrastructure that can be compromised during a crisis.

Amateur radio is growing in the US. There are now over 700,000 amateur radio licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world. To learn more about amateur radio, go to www.emergency-radio.org.

Antique Radio Flea Market and Auction – May 3

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Tri-State Radio Fest
10th Annual Antique Radio Flea Market and Auction

Vintage TV, Amateur Radio, Audio & Phonograph (No Computers.)

Open to buyers from 8:30 am – 12:00 noon
-Entrance fee $5.00 
Check-in for auction items 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Auction to begin at 12:00 noon
Auctioneer: Richard Estes-www.estesAuctions.com
Raffle Prize—restored Atwater-Kent 206
Featured: Contest – Atwater-Kent radios

Center Stage Banquet Hall

1495 Old Brodhead Rd, Monaca, Pa 15061 

  • I-376 “Beaver Valley Expressway, Exit 39, Route 18 North (13 miles North of Greater Pittsburgh Airport)
  • Near the border of Pennsylvania & Ohio
  • Near the Beaver Valley Mall, food and lodging close by
  • Look for  TSRF signs leading the way

Sponsored by: 

Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society (PARS) 

The Buckeye Antique Radio and Phonograph Club  (BARPC)

For more detailed information, Visit :  www.PittAntiqueRadios.org or call :

Chris Wells          724-942-1113
Andy Manko        412-884-6194
Tom Dixon            412-343-5326

Baker Trail Ultra Marathon

imagesThe 2016 Baker Trail Ultra-marathon will be held starting at 6:30 AM Saturday August 29, 2015. This year will be on the “central section” of the trail (Summerville to Smicksburg).  here is a link for information:   http://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/bt/ultrachallenge/uc15

Please mark your calendars, and plan to help provide amateur radio public service communications for a fun event. More details to follow.

Kevin Snyder, KA3YCB

 

Amateur Radio assistance is requested for Millcreek Adventure Race, June 6, 2015

logoThe Millcreek Adventure Race, sponsored by the Brookville YMCA, is set for June 6, 2015.

Chuck Shaffer, KC3EAJ has requested amateurs to provide public service communications for this race. His main focus is the orienteering course between Millcreek & Frozen Toe.

The actual race covers eighty four miles and there are opportunities for as many ham operators to participate as arrive to assist.  Chuck will find a place for you.

This is a first time request for assistance for this race. However, if you have helped with the northern leg of the Baker Ultra Challenge, you will recognize much of the terrain. There are safety checkpoints, and orienteering points that he would like covered.

The race starts at 7 a.m. with an 8-mile run in a loop around the Millcreek Boat Launch area just outside of Strattanville. From there, the opening runner tags off to a swimmer who goes on a 2-mile round trip before tagging to the next teammate who bikes 23 miles from Millcreek to Cook Forest State Park at the Clarion River bridge.

The biker then tags a kayaker who boats back to Millcreek some 12 miles away. An orienteer duo or individual awaits the Kayaker there for a 10-12 mile trip to find three checkpoints in the forest between Millcreek and Frozen Toe, which is just north of Corsica.

The final stage starts at Frozen Toe where the successful orienteer team tags off to the anchor leg, who finishes the day on a 9.74-mile run into Brookville and the finish line at the YMCA.

ANY radio amateurs wishing to help with this Public Service Event, Please contact me at KA3YCB@ ARRL.net.

Kevin Snyder, KA3YCB

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The QCARC 443.85 Repeater Is Now Dual Mode, Analog/Digital

system-fusionAs of approximately 2:00 PM, 4/8/2015 the analog only UHF repeater was replaced with a Yaesu System Fusion Analog/Digital repeater. This is the same type repeater as used for the 147.315 repeater.

You can still communicate as you have in the past, you will not have to buy a new radio, your radio will not be obsolete. The main difference is that at various times you may hear a noise similar to buzzing or a static like noise, this is likely a digital conversation. The digital conversation noise can be eliminated by setting up your radio’s receiver with a tone squelch of 173.8 Hz. The digital side of the repeater does not transmit the 173.8 Hz tone, therefore your radio will stay quiet until another analog FM radio transmission is received by the repeater. If you want to use the repeater, just talk as you have in the past. The repeater has the capability to automatically detect what type of signal it is receiving and switch to the proper mode to enable you to talk to anyone whether they have a digital radio or the traditional analog FM. Also if you happen to hear or know there is a digital conversation on the repeater you can join the conversation just as you have in the past. When the repeater “hears” your analog FM signal it will switch to your mode and the folks who are using the digital mode will be switched to your analog FM mode. Everyone on the repeater will be able to talk, all automatically!
If you need help setting up your radio with tone squelch, check with one of the officers in the Club, they will be able to direct you to the right ham to help you.

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R.1301

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 (H.R.1301)

farm2Attention all amateurs, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 ( H.R. 1301) has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. This bill pertains to amateurs obtaining permission to erect antennas where an HOA, or other covenant prohibits an antenna outside. If passed the FCC would amend part 97 rules to include homeowners’ association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions” (CC&Rs). Even if you do not currently live in such an environment, you may encounter this issue some day. Support for this bill will assist your fellow amateurs who may live with such constraints.

To read all the details and how you can assist in this very important issue to all amateurs, go to this web site: http://www.arrl.org/hr-1301

Weather-Ready Nation

WRN_Ambassador_logoIt is official, the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness, responsiveness, and overall resilience against extreme weather, water, and climate events.

You may ask, what does this mean for the Club. Basically the Club provides outreach services relative to creating a Weather-Ready Nation to communities and organizations. Also within our own organization such as, disseminating severe weather information on APRS and the Club repeaters, where we are already active. As well as the continuation of training for our members.

The Club has been involved in the SkyWarn® program for a number of years, this is just part of the next step in taking what we know and have experienced in weather preparedness to the next level of sharing that knowledge and experience.

There will be more information and a Q&A session at the March 20 meeting.

For additional information you can access the Weather-Ready Nation web site at:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/

Website Update

QCARC-WebsiteI did some very much-needed maintenance on this website today. All necessary software updates were completed, configured and debugged. One or two small issues remain, but I think you will all enjoy the improvements!

Please visit the poll section on the left often to make your voice heard. Polls are once again working and will be changed weekly. you can click the link at the bottom of the poll box to see the results or participate in past polls. Have fun!

An ARRL Special Service Club Serving Radio Amateurs in Clearfield, Jefferson, Elk and Cameron Counties Since 1975

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