QCARC Calendar

November 2018
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December 2018
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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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QC Weather

Snow Showers
Tuesday 11/13/2018 50%
Snow Showers
Mainly cloudy with snow showers around in the morning. High near 40F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 50%.
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 11/14/2018 0%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy skies. High 34F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
Ice Pellets
Thursday 11/15/2018 90%
Ice Pellets
A wintry mix in the morning will transition to mainly snow in the afternoon. High 32F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 90%. Snow and ice accumulating 1 to 3 inches.
Quad-County Weather Page

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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Ham Radio at the DuBois Red Cross Carnival

On Saturday, June 2, 15 QCARC members and guests set up a demonstration station and and gave a public exhibition of foxhunting at the American Red Cross PA Heartland Chapter’s “First Bash of Summer” carnival in the DuBois City Park. Don Jewell KB3LES was the project leader, and provided the HF radio, VHF/UHF J-Pole, antenna analyzer, hardware and know-how. The Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club provided the tent, which turned out to be very much needed when Mother Nature showed everyone who was boss.

Jeff Rowles KA3FHV held down the fort on the HF rig, and the HF antenna system built by Joe W3BC was given a thorough workout. The results were good, and Jeff reported that he was able to work every station he heard. The entire operation was set up in under an hour and it was great to see so many hands make light work of all the heavy lifting. In a Quad-County first, at no time did anyone discover they had left something important at home!

Joe Rouse K3JLR drove in from Strattanville and brought Deirdre and Magi who gave us a special treat: Homemade Ham Radio cookies!

Technology Specialist Lars KB3WBT/SM7FYW led several teams on foxhunts, and fielded questions from curious fairgoers. There seems to be a growing interest in foxhunting locally, and it’s a great opportunity to show the public another side of Amateur Radio they probably didn’t know existed. It’s an activity for the whole family, and participants don’t even need a license to have some ham radio fun!

Jefferson County ARES EC Kevin Snyder KA3YCB, along with assistant EC and Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club President Steve Waltman KB3FPN were both on hand to help out and take part in the activities. Kevin also serves as the Quad-County ARC Public Service Officer, and brought portable tables and chairs for the event. Red Cross Liaison Greg Donahue KB3WKD made sure we had everything we needed, and connected us to the electrical power system for the duration. He also set up PA announcements directing fairgoers to our location.

Before the rainstorm hit, we discussed how much fun it was, and our desire to do more events like these. We look forward to the next events: Field Day, Race Day, Car Show, and Baker Trail Marathon.

Participants:
W3BC, KB3WBT and Kay, KA3FHV, W3DWR, KB3WKD, K3JLR, Deirdre, Magi, W3TM, Jeff, KA3YCB, KB3FPN, KB3LES, JoAnn

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Fox Hunt at Penn State DuBois

We finally stopped talking about it and just did it! Before the April meeting, several members tried their hand at finding W3BC’s hidden UV-3R somewhere on the Penn State DuBois campus. Lars KB3WBT brought his DF tape-measure antenna, and Don KB3LES brought one of his home-built log-periodic antennas with his UV-3R for a receiver.

Ed and Don close in on the fox, as passing drivers gape in wonder...

Stomping around the campus with antennas, the hidden transmitter turned out to be harder to find than expected. Lars reported the signal level picked up INSIDE the Swift building, and Don couldn’t get a good direction as he got closer to the fox.

The “winner” of the first heat was… Ed KB3VWX, who found it without using either a radio or antenna! We’ll have to call him “Eagle Eyes” from now on! Don took some time to introduce Bev W3BEV to the art of foxhunting before heading out to find the fox.

The first to find the fox using proper radio and antenna technique was Don KB3LES. After finding it, he got to silence it, and hide it in a second location. That second location was even harder than the first, utilizing a brick wall, a large flower pot, a metal trash can and a pile of leaves to hide out from the DF antennas. Lars was zeroing in on it when time ran out. Ed “Eagle Eyes” KB3VWX retrieved the radio and we all went inside for the meeting.

Reports were all positive, and some areas for improvement were discussed, notably signal attenuation when close to the fox. Others remarked that passing drivers gave us some astonished looks as we marched around campus with “space antennas!”

Everyone thought it was a lot of fun, and we look forward to perfecting our setups to do it again next month.

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April Meeting – LOCATION UPDATE!

Due to the Penn State Du Bois Convocation ceremonies this evening, we have been moved across campus to the meeting room of the Smeal Building. The Foxhunt is still scheduled for 6:30pm, rain or shine.

The Smeal Building is on the corner of DuBois Avenue (“Beeline Highway”) and College Place, near where the Mansion Building used to be. Parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the Smeal Building, or on the street going toward the top of the WPA stairway at the end of Liberty Boulevard.

TONIGHT ONLY: DIFFERENT MEETING ROOM!

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Group Purchase: Baofeng UV-5R mid-size, dual band, 5W HT

The big brother of the Baofeng UV-3R micro-HT is now available for a few dollars more. The UV-5R has a numeric keypad for entering frequency and DTMF tones, 128 memory channels, and 5 watts output power. It features a true drop-in charger, and a 7.4v 1800mAH (13.3 WH) Li-ion battery pack. The dot-matrix, alphanumeric display features tri-color LED backlighting, and the keypad has backlighting as well for night operation. See the article in the April Parasitic Emission for a review.

The group price is $60, and shipments are arriving within a week of ordering.

I am looking into sourcing for extra battery packs. The best pricing I can get is $16 each with approximately two week shipping time. This situation should quickly improve, as this is a brand-new model that was just released this month. So far in our area, 10 have been purchased. They sound great on the air, and no complaints have been registered! This radio is every bit as good and in many ways superior to its nearest competitor, the Wouxung dual-band HT and only costs half the price!

RIGHT-CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINKS AND SELECT “SAVE LINK AS” FROM THE MENU!!!

Here’s the manual:
Here’s the programming software: uv-5r (Caution! Primitive!)
Here’s a USB-Serial driver for “Prolific” chipsets that works with 32 and 64 bit Windows: PL2303_Prolific_GPS_AllInOne_1013
Here’s a local frequency list: QC-HAM+PS
Here’s a schematic for building a serial programming interface:

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Group Purchase: Baofeng UV-3R Dual-Band HT

NEW Baofeng UV-3R Dual-Band HT

I will be ordering 5-unit lots of Baofeng UV-3R HTs from China as orders come in. The cost is $46.00 per radio, shipped. I will program them with all the local ham radio frequencies of interest free of charge. (If you prefer to do it yourself, here’s the file: QC-Ham)

I can also obtain spare batteries at $3.95 each. Better deal: I found a supplier of 1800 mAH batteries for $4.00 each, which gives 20% longer battery life for a nickel more!!!

These prices are for 5 units or more, so orders will be held until I get at least 5.

Please note, these are the improved “Mark II” version with the dual frequency display and 19 menu functions. Color (red, blue, yellow or camo) units are $49.00 each and take longer to ship (two weeks). The regular ones take a few days. The first group order was for 8, I expect them to be here in time for the Meeting Friday.

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Demo Station at Cub Scout Klondike Derby

The winter air was filled with the happy shouting of nearly 400 Cub Scouts at Camp Mountain Run on Saturday, February 11th, as they gathered for their annual Klondike Derby. “It’s a great way for them to enjoy winter activities in the great outdoors,” explained District Director Carl Hall.

This year, there was a new activity that captured the interest of the Cub Scouts from the north-central Pennsylvania region served by the Bucktail Council. That activity was an Amateur Radio station and exhibit set up by members of the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club.

Nearly 400 Cub Scouts got on the air to experience Amateur Radio first hand, as Quad-County hams volunteered to help.

Club President Joe Shupienis W3BC led the hams in greeting each 50-60 Scout unit as they entered the room. Quad-County members Don Jewell KB3LES and Lars Kvant KB3WBT/SM7FYW demonstrated VHF antennas they built, and answered questions from the Scouts and their parents. Jesse Tucker KG4ZXC and President Shupienis W3BC discussed how Amateur Radio is a lifelong activity which can lead to careers in engineering, science and technology.

Club Member Kevin Hoynoski W3PIG showed the Scouts his “Go Box”–a portable amateur radio station in an easily carried container.

Next, the Go-Box was put into action on the Quad-County 147.315 repeater, and each and every Cub Scout got to speak on the air with Phil K3PJ at his home in Clymer. They learned from talking with him that he is a Scoutmaster for a unit in Indiana County.

After putting 381 Cub Scouts on the air, both groups were very happy with the operation and look forward to working together again!

Photo Gallery:

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Quad-County Activity Gallery

Going through event photos I’ve taken this year, I found some that ought to be shared with our members! Have a look at some of the activities of your Quad-County club this year![more]

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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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May Meeting Notes

The Quad-County ARC May meeting was held Friday, May 20. Despite being the weekend of the Dayton Hamfest, there was a reasonable turnout. Routine business was conducted, the outstanding Spring Banquet bills were submitted for reimbursement, and several people volunteered for Club support positions.

Beginning his term as Technology Specialist is Lars Kvant SM7FYW. If anyone has technology questions, feel free to ask Lars! It’s only natural for Joe W3BC to accept the duties of Public Information Officer, which he did at the meeting.

Field Day discussion resulted in the formation of a committee to look into a location for this year’s effort. By a poll of members present, it will not be held at the EOC this year, but at the Fairgrounds or another suitable park. More details will follow as soon as arrangements have been made.

After the Business Meeting, the coffee and donuts were served, and the evening’s program began. Lars SM7FYW and Don KB3LES put on a very interesting program about radio fox hunting, and discussed the antennas, techniques and technology it takes to find an unknown transmitter.

A drawing was held for one of Don’s antennas that he kindly donated to the club. The lucky winner was Bryan Simanic WA3UFN from DuBois.

Next month’s meeting will be the finalization of Field Day planning, and the program will be Tweak and Peak night. Steve Waltman, KB3FPN will bring a commercial communications service monitor to help check out rig performance and tuning. Bring your VHF and UHF equipment, and Steve will help you get the most out of it!

Photo Gallery

Click for for full screen and other controls…

[showtime]

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Tape Measure Antenna for Foxhunting

Well, as most of you already read, I will show you how to have a chance catching one of those elusive Foxes… 

So, today I went to the local hardware store and got some plastic pipe, T’s, 4 way thingies and a pair of hose clamps, the tape measure itself, comes from a garbage bin at work, so its a little bit too thin, but works fine anyway. Apart from that, you also need a few feet RG-58, some electrical tape and 5 inces of 16 gage copper wire.

I was really going to let you come down to the meeting, to get the rest of the dimensions, but decided to give them to you here ;-)

Schedule 40 plastic pipe, think its 3 feet, about $ 1,67, 1 Tee end, that fits the pipe, 2 cross pieces, also same size, a few cents each….  ;-)  You will also need 2 hose clamps, that fits the cross things.

Cut the plastic pipe into 3 pieces, 11 3/8 , 6 7/8 and one more 11 3/8. Put the T on the one end of the 11 3/8 pipe, then put the one cross piece on the other end, next stick the 6 7/8 pipe into the already assembled parts, then the last cross piece onto the 6 7/8 and last but not least, the 3rd piece of pipe, its going to come out something like this:  ———————————->

Now to the tape measure itself, cut one piece 41 3/8 inch, two pieces 17 3/4 inch and one piece 35 1/8 inch, you can use ordinary pair of scissors, but be careful, the ends gets really sharp! (put some tape over ends)

Attach the 35 1/8 to the T, make sure its centered, (use electrical tape) next file of about 1/8 inch of the paint on the one end of both 17 3/4 pieces, attach the two 17 3/4 onto the middle cross piece with the hose clamps and finally the longest, to the next cross piece, using the tape again.

When all is put toghether, see picture 3, you will need to solder the 5 inch copper wire, which you have to shape like a U, presolder the ends first, solder it onto the feedpoint, (dont overheat, plastic will melt) then solder your RG-58 to the same point, coax running towards the handle…..

I hooked mine up to my Bird, and it shows very low SWR, so good luck, and if you are interested or have questions, come down to the meeting, and we will help  ;-)

Lars FYW

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