Polls

Should QCARC continue giving VE Exams before club meetings in even months?

  • Yes, but occasionally on other days and times (67%, 2 Votes)
  • Yes (33%, 1 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Yes, with more months (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Yes, but fewer months (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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QCARC WX

Upcoming Events

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Millcreek Adventure Race

triathlon-sign-image-300x244The Millcreek Adventure Race, sponsored by the Brookville YMCA, is set for June 4, 2016.

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. It would be great if 4-5 hams would make it out to assist with the race.

This will be the second year Amateur Radio has been requested to assist with 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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Skywarn 2013

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is pleased to sponsor a Skywarn training session, conducted by the National Weather Service office in Moon Township, PA. The date is 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at the Reynoldsville Fire Hall, 411 Jackson Street, Reynoldville, PA 15851.

This official Skywarn Observer training is now required for all applicants for the ARRL EC-016 course for ARES and Emergency Communications leaders.

This is the only Skywarn training in Jefferson County scheduled so far this year. The Reynoldsville location is conveniently located near the center of the county, just 12 miles from Brookville, 13 miles from Punxsutawney, 12 miles from Brockway and 11 miles from DuBois (although Clearfield County residents should attend a session conducted by the State College NWS.)

Those taking this course will learn how to identify and report severe weather to the National Weather Service as a Skywarn Weather Spotter.

Continue reading Skywarn 2013

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NIMS Training at Meeting

Twelve Hams from all four counties came early for the meeting on January 18th, to take part in an Introduction to NIMS Training session. Instructor W3BC described the courses availble from FEMA that are now required for the ARRL EC-001 and EC-016 courses, and other free NIMS courses that are useful for all hams wishing to imporve their understanding of emergency communications and the structure of incident management involving multiple agencies.

Those attending learned about the structure of the Incident Command System, and the National Incident Management System. They discussed the role of the Amateur Radio Service within this framework, and the positive contributions our service provides as a voluntary agency. The class concluded with an overview and discussion of the IS-700 course, and those attending were encouraged to complete self-paced, online IS-100 and IS-700 training.

The Website for the NIMS courses is training.fema.gov/IS. The public is encouraged to take any of the courses, and the cost is free.

Recommended Courses

Although there are many interesting courses, and no restrictions on taking any or all of them, hams interested in completing NIMS courses identified as prerequisites for the ARRL EC-001 and EC-016 courses are encouraged to complete the following courses first:

For EC-001 “Level I”

  • IS-100 b Introduction to Incident Command System
  • IS-200 b National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction

For EC-016 “Level II”

  • IS-120 a An Introduction to Exercises
  • IS-230 b Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • IS-235 b Emergency Planning
  • IS-241 a Leadership and Influence
  • IS-241 a Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • IS-242 a Effective Communication
  • IS-244 a Developing and Managing Volunteers
  • (Note: For EC-016, an additional prerequisite is Skywarn certification)

Of course you can (and should) take any others that interest you.

All members completing each of these courses are asked to send an email to Public Service Coordinator, Kevin Snyder KA3YCB for his records at PublicService@qcarc.org

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2012 Annual Report

THE QUAD-COUNTY Amateur Radio Club, Inc. proudly presents our 2012 Annual Report, detailing the activities of the past 12 months in this, our 38th year. You may view or download it here:

2012 Annual Report

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2012 Simulated Emergency Test

The annual ARRL SET took place on Saturday, October 6. Quad-County Public Service Coordinator / Jefferson County ARES EC Kevin Snyder KA3YCB set up shop at the Jefferson County EOC, and ably served as net control for the Jefferson County participants. Jerry Bosak WD3D acted as liaison, maintaining communications on HF and VHF with other counties across the Western Pennsylvania section. The American Red Cross PA Heartland Chapter participated as a joint exercise, and requested the communications services of the Quad-County ARC to set up radio links to shelters in Big Run and Brookville.

Saturday morning found club members Don Jewell KB3LES of Falls Creek and Peach Caltagarone AB3OG of Reynoldsville setting up 2-meter stations at the Red Cross shelters in Brookville and Big Run, with Greg Donahue KB3WKD and Joe Shupienis W3BC setting up in the Red Cross Headquarters in downtown DuBois. All stations set up and were able to maintain and relay communications with the Jefferson County EMA and the Red Cross HQ for the duration of the exercise.

The Western Pennsylvania Section scenario was severe weather disrupting power, transportation and communications in the section. The Red Cross disaster drill was coordinated with the WPA master plan, and included simulated tornado damage and hundreds of evacuees in the areas of Brookville and Troutville. As the mission progressed, routine and priority messages were exchanged, including requests for counts of evacuees at each shelter, requests from the shelters for supplies, EMA bulletins, and calls for additional volunteers. Red Cross officials at each shelter were able to communicate with HQ via our Amateur Radio links.

Tactical callsigns and plain-language communication techniques were used throughout the drill, and greatly facilitated accurate and effective communications. Several “problems” were simulated, both by EMA and Red Cross officials, and our amateurs were able to quickly and satisfactorily respond to each with appropriate actions. A couple “real” difficulties occurred which added an air of realism to the exercise.

This was a great opportunity to put Amateur Radio Public Service on display for the public and the served agencies. We promptly got every message through, overcame difficulties and exceeded all expectations. Red Cross officials remarked on the high degree of realism they witnessed in our communications, and praised the operating skills and knowledge of the Amateur Radio Volunteers. They further indicated their desire to equip the headquarters and shelters with antennas and radios, and hope to plan a Red Cross disaster drill in the spring, with live “victims” and official vehicles actually travelling to shelters in all four counties.

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ARES Registration UPDATE!

AAttention all Emcomm personnel: You must register on the new WPA ARES website to become or remain a member of ARES! The new WPA ARES website is working very well, and WPA SEC Larry Keller has told us there is no longer any need to use the schedule previously published.

ARES Registration is now open for all WPA ARES members. You are requested to register on the new WPA ARES website, now.

Even if you already registered in the past using the ARRL website or a paper form, you still must use this new system to re-register!

Please visit http://www.wpaares.org to register. The registration system can be entered by clicking on the bottom left button.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I access the registration page?
    Go to www.wpaares.org. The registration page is accessed from a button on the left side of the homepage
  2. Is my information confidential?
    Information you submit will be available only to the Section Manager, Section Emergency Coordinator and the Emergency Coordinator for your County.
  3. Why collect this information?
    Collection of information on-line is more convenient , an easy to use roster is compiled to facilitate efficient communication with you and more effective response actions in your community and the Section.
  4. How will I know my registration was successful?
    You will receive a confirmation message after you hit the submit button at the bottom. PLEASE DO NOT use ENTER when completing the form. Use the TAB or Mouse to navigate between fields and use the SUBMIT button.
  5. If I make an error, can I correct it?
    Yes, just resubmit ALL data. We recognize duplicates and will use the most recent entry.
  6. Can I register in two counties?
    Yes, if you live on a boundary and serve two counties. You must enter two complete and separate forms.

There is a growing need for ARES emergency communications services, your willingness to help is greatly appreciated.

Questions, contact your EC or AB3ER@comcast.net.

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It’s Field Day!

TTHE BIG DAY is here! All the planning and preparation comes together today at the Old Town Sportsmen’s Pavilion on the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. This morning, we are setting up antennas and radios and computers, and the grill… and everything else!

The contest portion begins at 2:00 pm and ends Sunday at 2:00 pm. Help will be needed to tear down as well, so please stop by. Many hands make light work, you know!

The Public and media are invited, and this year we’re trying something new – a GOTA station. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a “Get On The Air” station to allow unlicensed people, new hams and old-timers who haven’t been active lately to make some contacts at a more leisurely pace.

We are there now, come on over!!!

Update Saturday 10:00 pm

Channel 6 News visited our Field Day site and depending on the other stories (of course) plans on airing their coverage of us tonight on the 11:00 news. Catch us tonight, and stop by in person Sunday after 10 am. The contest period ends for us at 2 pm, but we’ll be cleaning up and enjoying a hotdog and conversing with old friends for hours after that!

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WPA ARES Re-Registration Required

Word has been received from Larry Keller AB3ER, WPA Section Emergency Coordinator, that a new WPA-ARES website has now gone live. The address is the same, http://www.wpaares.org, but the design and content are all new.

All ARES members will have to re-register according to the schedule...
The big story, however is that the new website contains an ARES registration system for Western Pennsylvania ARES participants only. All WPA ARES participants are required to register using the new system to remain ARES members. Due to concerns about server load and manual processing, you are requested to register only by the following schedule:

District Registration date window
North-1 District

    Clarion, Crawford, Erie,
    Forest, Lawrence, Mercer,
    Venango, Warren
June 14-30
North-2 District

    Cameron, Centre, Clearfield,
    Clinton, Elk, Jefferson,
    McKean, Potter
July 1-14
South-1 District

    Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver,
    Butler, Fayette, Greene,
    Indiana, Washington, Westmoreland
July 15-31
South-2 District

    Bedford, Blair, Cambria,
    Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon,
    Mifflin, Somerset
July 1-14


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I access the registration page?
    Go to www.wpaares.org. The registration page is accessed from a button on the left side of the homepage
  2. Is my information confidential?
    Information you submit will be available only to the Section Manager, Section Emergency Coordinator and the Emergency Coordinator for your County.
  3. Why collect this information?
    Collection of information on-line is more convenient , an easy to use roster is compiled to facilitate efficient communication with you and more effective response actions in your community and the Section.
  4. How will I know my registration was successful?
    You will receive a confirmation message after you hit the submit button at the bottom. PLEASE DO NOT use ENTER when completing the form. Use the TAB or Mouse to navigate between fields and use the SUBMIT button.
  5. If I make an error, can I correct it?
    Yes, just resubmit ALL data. We recognize duplicates and will use the most recent entry.
  6. Can I register in two counties?
    Yes, if you live on a boundary and serve two counties. You must enter two complete and separate forms.

There is a growing need for ARES emergency communications services, your willingness to help is greatly appreciated.

Questions, contact your EC or AB3ER@comcast.net.

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Quad-County is an ARRL Special Service Club

OON MAY 24, the ARRL renewed the Special Service Club status for the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club. QCARC has been an ARRL Affiliated Club since 1978, and became a Special Service Club in 1985. This renewal indicates the Club’s continuing commitment to providing additional services to its members and the communities it serves.

Is it a big deal? Yeah, it kind of is. Of the 43 ARRL Affiliated Amateur Radio Clubs in the Western Pennsylvania Section, the Quad-County Club is one of only three Special Service Clubs currently listed in the ARRL online Club Directory. Nationwide, only 137 SSC clubs are so designated from 2,000 ARRL Affiliated clubs. The national average is under 7% of all ARRL Affiliates are SSCs.

A Special Service Club is not “bigger and better” than other clubs; the designation is conferred upon those clubs that in addition to the usual ham radio activities have made an extensive effort to reach out to their members and communities, provide education and technological expertise to their members and the public, encourage and assist their members in keeping their operating skills sharp for emergency communications should the need arise, and present Amateur Radio to the public in a positive light, attracting new members and new hams by their activities rather than promoting with empty words.

The following description of Special Service Clubs is from the ARRL:

"TRULY SPECIAL Amateur Radio clubs are well balanced in their programs for serving the community, developing club members’ Amateur Radio skills and social activities, striving each year to build on their successes to improve their effectiveness. The objective of the ARRL’s Special Service Club program is to help good clubs organize and focus their efforts on those things that really count. Being an SSC should mean that members have certain skills, that the club as a group has the ability to improve service inside and outside the Amateur Radio community, and that it does so when needed.

To be accepted under the ARRL SSC program, a club must be actively involved in each of the following areas:

  • New Ham Development and Training

    Purpose: Develop an effective, coordinated program of public relations, recruiting, training and ongoing assistance targeted to prospective hams in your community to foster needed growth in Amateur Radio.

  • Public Relations

    Purpose: Establish an effective Amateur Radio presence in your community, including contact with local media and coverage of your activities; Public Information Officer appointment.

  • Emergency Communications

    Purpose: Club members should become skilled in communicating effectively during communications emergencies and be prepared to assist when needed; Official Emergency Station appointment and participation in ARES.

  • Technical Advancement

    Purpose: Continuing education in the technical aspects of Amateur Radio to ensure that your club members are technically competent, familiar and comfortable with modern radio-electronics technology; Technical Specialist appointment.

  • Operating Activities

    Purpose: Active participation as a club in one or more major operating or operating support activities to ensure that your club maintains a high level of operating skill.

  • Miscellaneous Activities

    Purpose: Every active club has its special interests and activities that make it unique, that give it special personality. At least three such activities are required to become a Special Service Club.”

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ARES – There’s Room for You!

There is a place for you in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. A.R.E.S. (please don’t say “Aries”) is part of the ARRL Field Service organization, and organizes hams desiring to serve the public through emergency communications (“EmComm”).

You do not have to be a member of ARRL or any other organization. The only requirements are a valid amateur radio license, and the willingness to serve. If you meet these basic qualifications, you are welcome to become part of ARES. To get started, introduce yourself to your county Emergency Coordinator, and complete an application.

What does ARES do?

Just because there is an emergency somewhere, don’t expect to be called. We are not “first responders.” ARES units provide supplemental communications when a “communications emergency” exists, and a served agency requests ARES activation. Your county ARES Emergency Coordinator’s job is to develop and maintain working relationships with served agencies in your county, including Public Safety agencies (such as Fire, Police and Rescue departments), the County Emergency Management Agency, National Guard and Reserves units, Civil Air Patrol, MARS, RACES, SATERN, REACT, Hospitals and Schools, as well as support and relief agencies including The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Travelers Aid, and Catholic Charities, to name a few.

In a large-scale disaster, all of these served agencies may have communications needs to be filled by ARES volunteers. Periodically, ARES leaders in counties, districts and sections will conduct classes, training nets and exercises to help ARES members learn and sharpen their emergency communication skills. Additionally, the ARRL and FEMA both offer online training courses to help ARES volunteers improve their EmComm capabilities, and prepare in advance for “that phone call in the middle of the night.”

Get Going!

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, take the first steps: Fill out your registration form online, and go to your next club meeting and introduce yourself to your County EC (or assistant) and offer your services. Take part in the training, nets and exercises, and prepare yourself to serve the public in the oldest and very best of Amateur Radio traditions!
Continue reading ARES – There’s Room for You!

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