QCARC Calendar

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QC Weather

Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 07/18/2018 0%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. High near 75F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Thursday 07/19/2018 10%
Clear
A mainly sunny sky. High 81F. Winds light and variable.
Partly Cloudy
Friday 07/20/2018 10%
Partly Cloudy
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 83F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Quad-County Weather Page

Latest News

Tenth Annual 13 Original Colonies Event In Operation

Remember that the Tenth Annual 13 Original Colonies event is active. The 2018 Event Dates / July 1 (9AM Eastern) to July 7 (Midnight Eastern) (July 1, 2018-1300 UTC to July 8, 2018-0400 UTC) This event a good way to get some activity on your home HF station or even take your mobile ...

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Summer Has Officially Arrived!

With the official arrival of Summer on June 20, I expect most of us feel that considering the high temperatures and severe weather we've experienced, it seems like Summer has been around for awhile already. A couple weather issues that we need to keep in mind are lightning and the effects ...

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On-line Radio Wave Propagation Course

An interesting and informative course is available from Comet/MetEd titled Radio Wave Propagation. The course web-site: https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_module.php?id=1394#.Wylt6Rwnb4Y If you are relatively new to amateur radio do not be concerned with the technical aspect of understanding all of the details and terminology. You may be surprised that many of the graphics and ...

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Public Service Event: Baker Trail UltraChallenge 2018

Public Service Event: Baker Trail UltraChallenge 2018

he 2018 Baker Trail Ultra-marathon will be held starting at 6:30 AM Saturday August 25, 2018. This year will be on the "central section" of the trail (Summerville to Smicksburg).  Here is a link for information and to sign up:   https://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/events/ultrachallenge/uc18                  Scroll to the bottom of the page.   Map of ...

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Paul Silinsky K3PS - Silent Key

It is with deep sadness we report the passing of Paul Silinsky K3PS. Dr. Paul Stephen Silinsky K3PS of Ashland, Ohio, formerly of DuBois Pennsylvania, died following a brief illness on Saturday, May 5, 2018. He was Lecturer at The Ohio State University -- Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, and ...

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Public Service Event 2018 Brookville YMCA Adventure Race June 2, 2018

Public Service Event 2018 Brookville YMCA Adventure Race June 2, 2018

he Brookville YMCA Adventure race is set for June 2, 2018. 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 ...

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SOLD!! ICOM 706 MkII for sale

Selling my ICOM 706 MkII It comes with separation cable, face mounting bracket, and original mike. Everything works as supposed, very good radio, but, time for something new.... Comes from smoke free enviroment. I will not ship! Price $ 475.00   Email: kvantlars@gmail.com  

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Meteorological Spring Has Arrived

The National Weather Service, Spring Safety Campaign is in effect. There are many aspects of Spring weather that can ruin a good day and we have to be aware of such adverse weather. Being aware and recognizing is only part of the equation, we have to follow the advise to ...

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Another Recent NWS Addition

I briefly looked at this site before but today I decided to spend a little more time looking. It was worth the time! I found the GOES-East GEOColor screens, they are really interesting and the resolution is quite good. Be sure to click on the GeoColor Loop, located in the ...

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Expanded National Weather Service Information Web-Page

Expanded National Weather Service Information Web-Page

  The National weather Service has expanded some experimental winter weather informational pages. I believe that you will find these pages interesting and informative. They may assist you in planning for upcoming winter weather events in you locale. Be sure to scroll down the page and also check out the four ...

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NOTA Special Event

Here is another On The Air Special Event that you can get your HF as well as 2 meter and 70 cm rigs warmed up for. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is beginning their year long NASA On The Air Special Event beginning December 11, 2017 and will ...

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SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY OPERATING EVENT

SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY OPERATING EVENT

This year the official date for the SkyWarn™ Recognition Day event is December 2. The event will be in operation from 0000 UTC – 2400 UTC, December 2, 2017. This is a rather simple event, the purpose is to contact as many National Weather Service stations as possible on 80 ...

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2018 Dues Are Due!

2018 Dues Are Due!

The 2018 membership dues for the Quad County Amateur Radio Club are due. Please note the updated dues structure.   A  .pdf can be downloaded using the following link: 2018 QCARC Membership Application Please make checks payable to: Quad County Amateur Radio Club. You can print the completed application, mail it to Quad County ...

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National Weather Service Hazard Simplification Initiative

The National Weather Service is simplifying their hazardous weather products list. Please click on the below link for what they are doing for winter effective October 1, 2017. Looks like they are narrowing down to three categories. http://www.weather.gov/media/iln/HazSimp.pdf

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Autumn SkyWarn Newsletter Available

Autumn SkyWarn Newsletter Available

The 2017 Autumn SkyWarn newsletter is available on-line at: https://www.weather.gov/media/ctp/Spotter%20Newsletters/Autumn2017.pdf    

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QCARC Events

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QCARC Field Day

The Quad County Amateur Radio Club will operate Field Day June 25-26, 2016, at the Clearfield County Fairground Community Building, yes we’ve been there before. Operating hours are scheduled to be from 2:00 PM Saturday to 2:00 PM Sunday, antennas have to be installed after the VE exam session. All amateur radio operators are welcome as well as the general public. Since the public as well as a number of Clearfield County officials and TV stations have been invited, as Club secretary, I ask that members please wear their Club shirts if possible. Thank you – in advance.

Volunteer examiners are reminded that the exam session is scheduled for June 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM. VEC Round

Operations are scheduled to start 2:00 PM, Saturday June 25, continuing through the night, with the hopes of taking advantage of any changing propagation characteristics. There is to be a Get On The Air (GOTA) station activated. The GOTA station will give new hams and those not even licensed, the opportunity to experience operating the HF bands under the supervision of a licensed amateur radio operator.

Clf FD Map

Location Coordinate information:        41°01.840 N     78°26.540 W.

Follow the route depicted by orange arrows, on the map, after you turn off Rte. 322.
You can also try the inserted interactive map to zoom and obtain directions. You can use the satellite view on the small map to compare the orange arrow map to the right.

If you operate APRS, there will be an object beacon to help you locate the Field Day site.

Please consider what will make Field Day comfortable for you, like in the real deal you will be responsible for your own comfort and personal operating conveniences such as chairs, clipboards, pens, pencils, paper. flashlights, etc. – remember to mark your property -. The main equipment will be provided, such as transceivers and antennas. I do not recall that the building is handicapped accessible. If you have a spare HF radio or antenna to bring, all the better as a just in case but only 2 will be on the air plus the GOTA station. Additionally if possible, please bring along some type of food to share.

Plans are in motion to have breakfast Sunday morning and some picnic style food for later times.

To help with the items and food for Field Day, please down load the 2 page checklist and email the Club secretary (secretary@qcarc.org) as to the items that you will supply.  I’ll try to keep all the updates current on the download list. If you have anything to add, please email your input to the Club secretary.

Amateurs who are attending the QCARC Field Day, please advise the FD Coordinator by email at secretary@qcarc.org . This info is for overall planning purposes.

Click Here to Download List

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License Exam – June 25

VEC_patchLicense exams for all license classes will be given at the Field Day site on Saturday, June 25th at 11:00 am. The location is the Community House on the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. The address is North Weaver Street and Stadium Drive, Clearfield, PA 16830.

There is a $15.00 fee, payable to ARRL for as many exams as you can pass. Retests at the same session incur an additional fee. Those taking tests must present a photo-ID, a copy of their existing license (if licensed) and any CSCE forms.

 

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Special June Meeting – “New Ham Radio Operator Event”

Recently Licensed Radio Amateurs (l-r) James Withers KB3YJF, Ian Gerard KB3YJM, Joel Best N3UOA, Wayne Kocher KB3YJE, Jay Lorance KB3YJL, Bob Thunberg N3DIR, Nick Lorance KB3YJJ, Devon Lorance KB3YJK, Bev Hudsick KB3YJI, Jim WickerKB3YJG, Greg Donahue KB3WKD, Larry Whitten KB3YJH, Ed Stewart KB3WRX

The Quad County Amateur Radio Club will hold a “New Ham Radio Operator Event” at the regular meeting on June 17, 2016. The meeting will be held at the Penn State Du Bois Campus, Smeal Building at 6:30 PM. This event is open to those who recently obtained their amateur radio license and who have been licensed but inactive for some time. The meeting is also open to the public who may be interested about amateur radio.

The Quad County Amateur Radio Club, which serves amateur radio operators in; Clearfield, Jefferson, Elk and Cameron Counties, was founded in 1975. Regular meetings are held monthly on the third Friday, 6:30 PM at the Penn State Du Bois Campus. For more information visit the Club website at www.qcarc.org

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What About Inversions

Lately many of us have heard stations from rather distant areas on the 147.315 repeater. It is interesting to hear those stations that we normally do not hear but often it is just due to a weather phenomenon called and inversion. I expect that some amateurs sit back and wonder just what is this inversion thing that some offer as an explanation for the unusually distant stations heard and some stations that we can even carry on a QSO with. Sometimes the stations seem as though they are just audible for enough time to hear a call sign but other times long enough for a typical QSO. Then there are times that you may not even be able to hear or access your local repeater and again you will hear folks offer the explanation as an inversion as well.

Consider the simplified diagram of an inversion below. Note that typically as you increase elevation the temperature lowers but with an inversion the opposite happens! You can see the yellow area depicting the inversion, which actually ends up acting as a boundary layer that can either attenuate the signal to and from the repeater or at times signal attenuation can occur to the extent of both blocking the repeater from hearing your transmitted signal and from you hearing the repeater’s transmitted signals. This occurrence can lead one to believe the repeater is off the air. I recall years ago there were trips made to the repeater site when we could not use the repeater, only to find the repeater operating. All due to an inversion. Sometimes the inversion layer is well above what the diagram depicts too, leading to other stations that you will be able to talk with that you would not ordinarily be able. There is another term used for this phenomenon which is called ducting that enables more distant than typical communications to occur, especially on VHF as well as UHF.

Inversions, ducting, tropo and what ever other titles the phenomenon of having radio signals reflected and refracted is an interesting and vast topic of which you can read up on. Look for propagation of radio signals either on the Internet or the ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications, what was previously called the Radio Amateur’s Handbook.

Inversion

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Get Ready For Field Day!

2015 Field Day Logo Red Design 1Every year, hams around the country start gathering their radios and warming up their grilles to get ready for the annual ARRL Field Day. This year, the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club has joined forces with the Punxsutawney Area Amateur  Radio Club to participate in a very special 40th Anniversary Field Day operation at the Punxsutawney Municipal Airport in Jefferson County.

In honor of the Club’s 40th Anniversary, the Quad-County Club will use the special-event callsign N3Q. The GOTA station will be operating with the Punxs’y Club callsign K3HWJ as in the past.

Of course there will be hotdogs with legendary “BUX” sauce, made from the secret recipe created by Dick Flanders WA3BUX (SK), served at every Field Day since the Club’s origins! Other food will be available, and everyone is encouraged to bring something to share with the group.

Plans are to operate around the clock, and to have a GOTA station set up for new hams, inactive hams and the public to operate. Additionally a VHF station will be set up to operate on 6-meter and 2-meter SSB/CW/Digital modes.

Most  importantly, a good time will be had by all, as we once again demonstrate to public officials and all of our guests how hams are always ready to work together to set up top-notch radio stations away from the comforts of home and communicate with each other across the miles, to serve our communities.

 

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Get Your Ham License – Classes Start September 10th!

CLASSES COMPLETED. ARCHIVE COPY.


The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is pleased to offer free entry-level license classes for those wishing to prepare for the Technician Class exams. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings at the Reynoldsville Ambulance building, on Main Street in Reynoldsville. Classes will begin at 6:00 pm, and will be held every Tuesday beginning September 10th, for 10 weeks.

VE Test sessions are scheduled for Saturday, November 23 and Thursday, December 5th, in DuBois and Clearield, respectively.

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Jamboree On The Air – October 19-20, 2013

Every year, thousands of Scouts get on the air to talk to other Scouts around the world via Amateur Radio. This activity first got started long before the days of social media, cell phones and Internet access, and is more popular today than ever before!

The Quad-County ARC is planning to set up a station and invite local Scouts to talk to their counterparts across the country and around the world on the weekend of October 19th and 20th. QCARC Vice President and Scouting Liaison Officer Peach Caltagarone, AB3OG has graciously offered the use of the hilltop cabin at Hummingbird Speedway in support of this event.

The plan is to open the station to the Scouts and their parents with several hams and Scout leaders present at all times the station is open to assist the Scouts in getting on the air and making radio contact with other Scouts worldwide. Volunteers are needed to make this a successful event.

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Upgrade Your License!

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is pleased to offer free upgrade classes for those wishing to prepare for the General and Extra Class exams. Classes will be held on Friday evenings at the Reynoldsville Ambulance building, on Main Street in Reynoldsville. Classes will begin at 6:30 pm, and will be held every Friday beginning February 8th, with three exceptions: Feb. 15th and Mar. 15th, which are the QCARC meeting nights, and Mar. 29th which is Good Friday.

Back by popular demand, as an added bonus we will offer optional Morse Code training beginning at 6:00 pm for those who are interested. Even though code is no longer required for any license, there is quite a bit of CW activity on the bands, and this unique skill is very useful to round out your abilities. Completely optional, this training will enable Technicians to operate legally on the 80, 40, 20 and 15 meter HF bands using CW. If you have any musical ability at all, the method we will use is guaranteed to get you up to speed or double your tuition back!

A VE Test session will be scheduled for a date following the completion of the class at a date, time and place to be announced.

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The Hamshack Net Moves To WAN-RS

During the month of January, the Hamshack Net has moved to the WAN Repeater System. Testing will continue all month. Meet us there every Wednesday at 7:00 pm on a WAN repeater near you!

The wide availibility of WAN repeaters should allow handheld users an opportunity to check in by using a local repeater instead of DXing the 147.315 machine which may be dozens of miles away!

Here is a recording of the first session (6.5MB download)
This is the second WAN session, January 9, 2013 (12.7 MB)

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Christmas Dinner Buffet

The plans have been finalized for the 6:30 PM December 15th dinner. The new owner  of The Arrowhead has initiated a prime rib buffet since purchasing the business. We have agreed on adding a tray of sliced turkey breast and a tray of stuffing to the regular fare. We will have our own table. The price is $13.99. Reservations may be made via email to treasurer@qcarc.org, or by contacting W3DWR after the Sunday night net.

 

 

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N3QC 2012 Contest Scorecard

Quad-County members participated in a number of contests over the summer months, with good results! Here are some of the official results:

ARRL June VHF Contest

Current Club President Herb Murray W3TM and Secretary Joe Shupienis W3BC hit the bricks to participate in the Rover-Limited category. Activating 5 grids and handing out 92 QSOs, their final official score was 5,406 points, with contacts being made in 48 grids! It was a lot of fun, and they activated some grids neither had operated from before, notably FN02, EN92 and EN91, along with FN00 and FN01. We are fortunate to live in or near so many “rare” grids, and the 6 meter stations were grateful!

That score was enough to win the WPA Section, and to take second place in the Atlantic Division!

Field Day

Overcoming confusion about our location, we stuck it out and had a great time. Finishing in the top 10 of all stations in the WPA section, we scored 2,550 points and most importantly had 26 participants who helped put our signals on the air for the full duration of the event!

That score allowed us to take First Place honors in our 2A-Commercial category for both the Western Pennsylvania Section and the Atlantic Division. We finished 6th place in our category, Nationwide.

Great work, everybody!

CQ WW DX (SSB)

This is “The Big One” — the 900 pound gorilla of contests. Current Vice-President Peach Caltagarone AB3OG graciously opened up his Hummingbird Speedway facilities to the club, and the 16 members and guests who stopped by to operate and observe. We strung up a number of antennas, including a pair of crossed G5RVs and W3BC’s “Half-Rhombic,” a 300 foot monster pointed at Europe.

Results were very good! We logged 91 counties — that’s almost DXCC in a single weekend! the antennas worked flawlessly, digging out European, African and Asian stations well into the wee hours. Then it was back at it Sunday morning, with all the comforts of home — W3BC brought an HD TV and antenna. We were able to receive 11 HDTV stations, and could keep an eye on the football games as we racked up our own score on the air!

Our goal was to introduce non-contesters to RadioSport, to allow everyone to try their hand in a big contest, and to have fun. We did that and more! We finished 2nd Place in the 3rd call district, 17th place Nationwide, 27th place in North America, and 96th place worldwide. With over 8,000 other stations sending in logs, that is quite an accomplishment!

The CQ WW DX (CW) weekend is coming up, as is the ARRL Sweepstakes (SSB) weekend. Gear up for these and be sure to include “Quad County Amateur Radio Club” as your club to help out our club aggregate score! Whatever you favorite on-air activity, it’s coming to your radio soon!

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Need a new antenna? Well find an old one, and fix it up!

      With the risk, that you might say, I can’t do that, I say YES YOU CAN!

The other day, I was looking around for a cheap and simple antenna for my brother in-law.  You see, he was asking me if it’s hard to get a amateur radio license, and if the equipment is expensive, so I told him that he could borrow a radio and coax from me, but, I didn’t have any antenna that he could use. 

That’s when I got to think about a neighbor of mine, a few years ago, he asked me if I wanted an old CB antenna that had been laying outside for the last 20-25 years, and at the time, I had what I needed, so I said no thank you, but now it might be a good idea to ask him, and guess what, it was still laying out there, he said, all he used it for was to knock down hornets nests. So I got the “antenna” for free, took it all apart, cleaned it up, and put it together again.

From what I could figure out, it was 11′ tall, and once it did have 3 ground plane-rods. Further more, it also had a coil of some sorts, connecting the center of the PL connector  with the 11′ radiator, and since I had no clue of size, or number of turns, I started to look on the net for a similar antenna, but it was still just guesswork. As you can see, on the picture at the right, I used what I had sitting around, so its about 1 1/2 turns. Then of coarse I didn’t know how long the ground-plane-rods originally were, so I came up with a “one of a kind” solution. Since I didn’t have any aluminum pipes that would fit, I went another route, if you look close, I put “inserts” into the 3/4″ holes, then 3 pieces of 6′ fiber-glass rods were inserted, and on the rods, I wound about 7′ 22 gauge insulated copper-wire. The fiber-glass rods can be found at Lowe’s, they are used as “driveway” markers. I used electrical tape, to hold the wires in place, but shrink-tubes would be nicer.

Now too the fun part, would this contraption work??  As I said earlier, this was an old CB antenna once upon a time, but what is it now?? I hooked up my trusty TS-440 sat, it has its own antenna-tuner, so I tuned in 28,500 and hit tune, well it showed SWR about 1-1:3, so I moved down to 28,020 and low and behold, it showed SWR 1-1:2! Well I thought, just because it shows low SWR, it doesn’t have to be a good antenna, so I tuned over the 10m band, and heard a station in El Paso Tx I had worked before, he was about S 5-5, so I called him, and he did answer, and gave me a solid S 5-9!! This told me that it was not just a pile of junk sitting on my back porch, so then I tried to tune it on 12m, and there it showed about SWR 1-1:3, which is not to bad!! This antenna turned out to work all bands, except 17m, and I guess 160m!! Not to bad of a pile of scrap!!

So now, I’m asking all of you, go out and “save” old CB antennas, give them a second chance, and put them to work on our HAM-bands! When you are done, tell us how good it works, and how you managed to save it from the “scrapyard” Good luck, and hope to see your article here soon!

Lars KB3WBT the Antennafarmer

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