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

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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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Field Day 2011

FIELD DAY IS many things to many people, but among amateur radio operators, it is popular! In the words of Francis E. Handy W1BDI (SK) the “Father” of Field Day, it offers “a great opportunity to get out in the open in this fine spring weather…”

All radio amateurs and people interested in personal communications in our entire Quad-County area are invited to participate in this year’s Quad-County Amateur Radio Club Field Day operation at the Old Town Sportsmen’s Booth on the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. This is a location open to the public, and there is plenty of free parking. Above and beyond that, there is a shelter where we will be setting up shop, and this will protect us from the inevitable showers and Mother Nature’s many otherinconveniences.

Quad-County Field Day historically has been a family affair, and we continue that tradition this year. There are facilities for a cookout, so we will have one, and a place to sit and eat in comfort! We emphasize again that we intend to make this a family affair and everyone is invited.

Activities begin on Saturday morning, June 25th, and continue around the clock until 5 pm on Sunday.

Field day is the largest event in Amateur Radio. Participate with your local club this year and get in on the fun!

W3BC is bringing a couple contest-grade radios which he has used to achieve numerous contest awards, and is fine-tuning the networked computer logging system. There are several recently licensed hams locally, and we are setting up a “GOTA” (Get On The Air) station for recently licensed amateurs, those without licenses yet, and long time hams who have not been active lately. The GOTA station is the ideal way for amateur radio newcomers and unlicensed family members to enjoy a meaningful part in the festivities by making actual contacts with other Field Day stations that will contribute to the Club’s overall score!

We also plan on having a VHF station on hand so if 6 meters and 2 meters open up we will be ready to go! Four transmitters, food, a public information area, shelter from the elements… It sounds like a large order, but we’ve done it before and we will do it again this year! There is a lot to be finalized at the meeting on Friday, June 17th, so plan on attending that important meeting!

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2011 Banquet: A Success

On Saturday, May 14, 30 local Radio Amateurs and family members gathered at the Fort Worth Hotel Restaurant in downtown Du Bois to take part in the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club Spring banquet. Those attending were from Du Bois, Clearfield, Emporium, Brookville, Big Run, Curwensville, Strattanville, Falls Creek, Rockton, Morrisdale, Centre Hall, Brockway, Bradford and Butler.

After an enjoyable buffet dinner of pot roast and stuffed chicken breast entrees, dessert was served from a cake featuring the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club Emblem. Club Founder and Master of Ceremonies Joe Shupienis W3BC, Publisher of The Parasitic Emission newsletter and the ARRL guest speakers presented Author Awards to all those present who contributed to the newsletter.

The longest-licensed and the newest Amateurs were recognized for their contributions to Amateur Radio and to their communities. Those who serve as Volunteer Examiners were also honored for their service.

John Rodgers N3MSE, Western Pennsylvania Section Manager of the American Radio Relay League, the National Organization for Amateur Radio, gave an update on current activities in the Western Pennsylvania Section and important information on matters affecting Amateurs nationwide. At the conclusion of his remarks, he introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Bill Edgar N3LLR, who serves on the ARRL Board of Directors as the Atlantic Division Director.

Director Edgar gave a very inspiring talk about the importance of local Amateur Radio Clubs, saying the local club is “where the rubber meets the road.” He discussed the services the ARRL offers local clubs, and strongly encouraged all in attendance to contact the ARRL for assistance in making their club stronger and more vital. He congratulated the Quad-County ARC on its 36-year history, and for its current accomplishments.

Following the keynote address, Club President Doug Rowles W3DWR was assisted by MC Joe Shupienis W3BC and the ARRL guests in distributing awards and certificates to the club members. Herb Murray W3TM received the Outstanding Service Award for 2010 in recognition for outstanding service to the club and membership while serving as Program Coordinator. The long-overdue Charter Member certificates were presented to those charter members in attendance: Sham Hollopeter W3QOS, Bill Zavatsky K3QEQ, Bryan Simanic WA3UFN and Club Founder Joe Shupienis W3BC (WA3IHK).

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to speakers Bill Edgar N3LLR and John Rodgers N3MSE both for their participation in our banquet and in recognition of their extraordinary service to all amateurs in our ARRL Section and Division.

Finally the prize drawings were held, with Janet Lovesky KB3ABK taking home the Grand Prize, a brand new Puxing PX-2A portable UHF transceiver. After that, everyone stayed on and chatted with old friends and new for quite a while while the restaurant staff bussed the room.

The food was great, the speakers were interesting, the prizes were much appreciated, and the conversation shared with friends was extraordinary! Our thanks go out to everyone who participated and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon at our next event!

Photo gallery

Click for full screen…

[slideshow]

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April Meeting Report

The April Quad-County ARC meeting featured a very interesting program on APRS presented by Carmine Prestia K3CWP and Woody Brem K3YV. Twenty-one amateurs were in attendance—some from as far away as Clarion and Emporium—and all four counties were represented. President Doug W3DWR called the meeting to order and during the brief business meeting the upcoming Spring Banquet plans were finalized, Field Day discussion was opened and committee reports were heard.

The business meeting was adjourned and the program was presented. Carmine K3CWP and Woody K3YV discussed their use of APRS to track Santa as he visits the neighborhoods in State College every year. They explained how parents can see when Santa’s firetruck will be approaching their neighborhood and take their kids out to see him every Christmas Eve, and the positive public response this has generated.

Carmine demonstrated how this worked by showing their path to the meeting using the online map at aprs.fi. Woody explained the construction of the “dot-box” which is the self-contained APRS rig he constructed inside a toolbox. AS Woody passed his dot-box around the room for the members to look at, Carmine discussed how the boxes were mounted on the firetrucks.

The program was very well received, as indicated by the number of questions from the hams in attendance. There was ample opportunity to discuss APRS technology with the guests and our members who have been using APRS. There were a number of APRS stations on display. Scott W3EOD brought his Kenwood TM-D7 Hand-held APRS transceiver and wrist-mounted GPS that he uses on the trail, W3BC brought his Kenwood TM-D710A and his “Frankenstein” rig, which he constructed from old equipment in his junkox for very little cash outlay. WA3UFN’s Yaesu FTM-350R flexed its APRS muscles, and the equipment used to support the N3QC-2 APRS Fill-in digipeater at the EOC was on display as well.

According to many comments received this was the best Quad-County meeting in quite a while, and we are trying to have more meetings like this one in the future. We hope to see you at the next one!

Photo Gallery

Click on an image to see it full size.

[slideshow]
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2011 Spring Banquet

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is pleased to host a multi-club Spring Banquet on Saturday, May 14 from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the Fort Worth Restaurant, downtown DuBois. All radio amateurs and guests in the Quad-County area are invited, regardless of club affiliation.

There will be a multi-club awards ceremony, and valuable door prizes awarded after the dinner. The featured speaker of the evening is the ARRL Atlantic Division Director, Bill Edgar, N3LLR.

The Menu

Dinner Buffet, Including:
Stuffed Chicken Breast or Pot Roast of Beef
With Carrots, Celery and Onions in Gravy
Butter and Parsley Potatoes
Spring Vegetable Medley
Rigatoni with Alfredo Sauce
Soup or Salad
Fresh-Baked Bread or Dinner Roll with Butter
Choice of Beverage: coffee, hot tea, iced tea, lemonade, punch or Coca-Cola brand soft drink
(Legal beverages available at cash bar)
$13.95 + tax/gratuity at door
$17.30 per person
Reservations Required by May 7

Reservation email to: banquet@qcarc.org

Guest Speaker:
Mr. Bill Edgar N3LLR
Atlantic Division Director
American Radio Relay League

Awards Ceremony

Door Prize Drawings:
ARRL Publications (Courtesy N3LLR)
Handheld Transceiver (Sponsor: Parasitic Emission)
Drawing Tickets will be sold at door

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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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