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QC Weather

Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 07/18/2018 0%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. High 76F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Thursday 07/19/2018 10%
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A mainly sunny sky. High 81F. Winds light and variable.
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Friday 07/20/2018 10%
Partly Cloudy
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 84F. 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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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 station out to see how well it works. This is not a contest but an all mode event to locate and contact as many of the listed Thirteen Original Colonies special event stations. There is also a special event station located in England. They always have a very nice certificate available, if you are interested in such.

See all the details on the event web-site: http://www.13colonies.net/

 

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On-line Radio Wave Propagation Course

Sky, space, and surface waves

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 audio explanations that are given will definitely provide you with a greater knowledge of what goes on with the signals radiated to and from your antenna, even without getting wrapped up in the technical terminology. I sincerely believe that you will learn some interesting aspects relating to amateur radio which will give you a better understanding of the why and how radio signals work.

This course is also for the veteran amateur radio operator. There is plenty content that will likely get you thinking and recalling some of the information you may have learned years ago.

There are quizzes during and at the end of course. You can take them but again do not get overly concerned with getting all the correct answers. Then again, you may be surprised at what you have learned! Passing the final quiz will net you a printable certificate of completion.

This course has great graphics with very good explanations, turn your speakers on. Give yourself about 1.5 hours for the course and quizzes. You can’t beat this education, at no charge!

You will need to register to create an account to take any of the MetEd courses. Radio Wave Propagation is only one of many other informative topics, be sure to check the list of available courses.

Layers of the Ionosphere

“The source of this material is the COMET® Website at http://meted.ucar.edu/ of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), sponsored in part through cooperative agreement(s) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). ©1997-2017 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. All Rights Reserved.”   (Posted due to use of the graphics)

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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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Yaesu FT-991 A huge step for mankind….

Hello again

It was a while ago since I wrote anything here, but now I really have something to write about!

As maybe some of you know, I took the step, and bought a new radio, the Yaesu FT-991. It is an all band all mode transceiver incl C4FM, where all the best parts from Yaesu’s more exclusive transceivers come together in a very compact sized box. Already the first day, i was struck by the radios very quite receiver and ease of use, even though it’s the first time I’ve ever used a radio with touch screen. But, if you are familiar with a smartphone or a tablet, then you feel right at home with the FT-991. Last weekend, I got to test it’s phenomenal ability to pick out stations just above the noise, even though I had 59+ signals right beside, and without earphones, it was easy to hear what the weak station said, and, to work him! This time Yaesu really hit the head on the nail! I dare to say, that nobody in this price range come even close to the FT-991! It is a radio that will fit in any Go-Box, since it’s even got a built in tuner as well as a built in audio board for digital traffic.   Yaesu FT-991FT-991 Rear Panel

I will bring the radio to the next meeting, so you all get a chance to play a little with it. I hope we get a weather like we had today, so we can put up some antennas, and make a few contacts!

See you all at the QCARC meeting!

Lars KB3WBT

PS: The Yaesu FT-991 price is now even lower, $958 after mail in rebate at RandL electronics, which is a super deal!

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Contest Results – Fall 2013

WOW! THE DAUNTLESS QCARC contest team warmed up the ionospere during several on-air operating events in October and November. Thanks to the generosity of Club President Peach Caltagarone AB3OG, we were able to string up some pretty impressive antennas at Hummingbird Speedway and rack up some pretty impressive scores, operating from the really nice cabin overlooking Hummingbird Speedway.

Antenna Science

THE MOST IMPRESSIVE antenna was the N3QC Rhombic (orange in the photo), with its beam centered on Southern Europe and the Mediterranian Sea — an area encompassing the largest hotbed of DX Contest operators in the world. In case you’ve never heard of a rhombic, it’s a wire antenna with the wires oriented in such a way as to generate a high-gain “pencil beam” in the desired direction with a very low angle of radiation. Round-the-world communications along a narrow path are possible even in poor conditions.

The N3QC Rhombic is made up of four one-wavelength (on 40 meters) legs with a 53.4° apex angle, suspended 50 feet above ground. The main lobe radiates on a bearing of 63.3° toward Europe, with a take-off angle of 21.2° above the horizon on 20 meters, and 9.2° on 10 meters. Gain is 19.75 dBi on 10 meters, 15.08 dBi on 20 meters, and 10.85 dBi on 40 meters with a 45° takeoff angle and a 60° beamwidth!

The first thing you notice about the rhombic is how quiet it is. Due to its enormous size of 240 by 120 feet (2/3 of an acre!) the aperture is large enough that nearby terrestrial noise is picked up in common mode, and cancels itself out in the feed system. Which brings us to the second thing you notice: Received signals are HUGE! The large aperture means a gigantic capture area allowing the incoming wavefronts to generate strong currents along the wires. On transmit, the nearly 20 dB gain means our 500 watt signal results in an ERP of over 40,000 watts!!!

When we first hooked it to a radio, we could hear European hams on 10 meters. It was midnight in Europe, and they were just chatting with each other using low power. tuning around the 10 meter band, I heard one station in Spain calling CQ and answered him with only 100 watts. He incredulously asked if I was really in W3. He turned his yagi toward the US and we were both astounded by the S9 + 20 dB signal strength. That was a very good sign for our upcoming contest efforts!

The rhombic is a tough act to follow, but it’s highly directional and there was a need to cover areas it didn’t. So up went two G5RV antennas. The first (red in the photo) hung at 43 feet and was aligned parallel to the rhombic’s main beam, to provide coverage perpendicular to it. Specifically, the coverage was planned to cover Japan and the Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and South America. The second G5RV (green in the photo) was suspended at 60 feet and aligned north-south to provide coverage of the US on 80, 40 and 20 meters, and have four lobes on 15 and 10 meters to the NE, SE, SW and NW to supplement the first G5RV.

Although significantly noisier than the rhombic, the G5RVs proved to do their intended jobs and provided solid coverage to their predicted target areas, just as they were designed. Although yagis or tribanders would provide more gain and flexibility than the G5RVs, the expense and effort to install towers and beams was not feasable at this time. The G5RVs were a good compromise, and worked more than adequately. Perhaps in the future, another unterminated rhombic (bi-directional) would better serve Japan, the Pacific islands, the Caribbean and South America. (Or maybe a curtain array, say an HRRS 4/4/0.5, phase-steerable +/- 30°, centered on 330°/150°. Such an antenna would cover 80% of the world’s landmass with about 16 dBi on 20-10 meters.)

The science works in practice, and I am sure that were he still with us, QCARC’s first president Gary Boucher W3GNR would be very proud of our engineering work!

The Radios

WE ARE NOT wealthy. But our club is rich in the generosity we show each other! For example, the rhombic consists of 550 feet of wire, provided by W3BC. He also provided 50 feet of RG-8 coax (enough to reach the ground) and a 4:1 balun. WA3UFN provided 150 feet of RG-8 coax to continue the feed to the shack. W3BC also provided 500 feet of rope, and the insulators used to hold the four corners of the rhombic way up in the air. His baitcasting skills and equipment launched the support ropes over the treetops. AB3OG provided the racetrack location and permission to place the antenna there. Cost to the club: $0.00 — Value: Priceless!

When it came time to operate, W3BC transported a shackful of contest-grade radios. His classic Icom IC-751A transceiver, IC-R71E receiver, IC-2KL solid-state, fluid-cooled linear, and AT-500 automatic bandswitching antenna tuner made up one operating position for the first couple events. His newly-acquired Icom IC-756 Pro III replaced the erstwhile 751 for the Phone Sweepstakes. AB3OG brought his Icom IC-765 for the second operating position. His one-time world-champion Icom flagship rig performed admirably, allowing us to tune out the severe QRM and focus on the signals we wanted.

Additionally, W3TM brought headsets, rig interfaces, voice keyer, CW paddles and footswitches to round out the operating positions. W3BC supplied the logging computers and software. He also made up Great-Circle maps centered on our QTH, with the patterns for each antenna and band superimposed. AB3OG paid the electric bill, and kept the lights and heat running in the beautiful, modern cabin, which made operating comfortable and fun. The nicely appointed cabin was the perfect blend of rustic atmosphere and modern convenience to make our time spent there very enjoyable. Those not operating were able to follow the games on a wide-screen TV, also courtesy of AB3OG.

The Club provided food, snacks and beverages, and KA3MKY brought snacks and served up the world’s best homemade chili. Nobody went hungry, and all the comforts of home were available. Again, the cost to the Club was small.

During the setup, KB3LES helped out with the heavy lifting, and brought his MFJ antenna analyzer which proved to be valuable in locatiing a faulty coax connector. That was the only equipment failure, and the CB-grade connector was completely burned up when we applied 500 watts to the feedline. (A PL-259 that meets specifications will easily handle well over 1000 watts at 50 ohms, but the cheap imitation ones sold in CB shops WILL fail at under 100 watts — catastrophically!!!) Thanks to W3TM who provided a replacement connector on a moment’s notice!

For the Jamboree on the Air, WD3D brought his Kenwood transceiver and a vertical antenna. He demonstrated the ease with which an Amateur Radio Station could be set up and talk to other stations around the world!

The Operations

THERE WAS NO shortage of operating events! We started out with the Pennsylvania QSO Party on October 12 and 13. We operated the full 22 hours of the event, and had a very sucessful experience. Not only did we score 145,000+ points, but we made a “Clean Sweep” of all 67 counties! It was very easy to bust a pileup on our first call, and we received many unsolicited comments about our “big signal”. Operators were AB3OG, W3BC, W3TM and WD3D.

Next was the Jamboree ont the Air on Saturday and Sunday, October 19-20. Boy Scouts from the local troops were invited to attend. A number of hams were present to help out. Wd3D brought a complete station and set it up, and talked to the world. Club members present were W3DWR, KA3FHV, AB3OG, W3TM, KB3LES, KA3MKY, W3BC.

This was taken 10/26/13 around 7:30pm shortly before the half million point threshold…CONGRATULATIONS JOE AND PEACH!!! [KA3MKY Photo]

Then on October 25-27 it was time for the big one… The biggest contest of them all, the annual CQ World-Wide DX Contest. Could we hope to even be heard with all the world’s biggest of the big guns? The answer was a resounding, YES! The rhombic showed its true colors as we again received many reports of a booming signal from all over the world. New Zealand at over 9,000 miles away was booming in on 10 meters. We often could hear “local” stations via long path, with their signals going 24,000 miles the long-way around the world with the characteristic 1/8 second delay or “echo”. The “red” G5RV delivered a dozen QSOs with Japan on 10, 15 and 20 meters! We worked well over 100 countries — DXCC in one wekend! We jokingly suggested that we should shoot for a million points. The truth is that we almost made it: Our final score was over 897,000 points and if we could have had even a couple more manhours on one or the other radio, we would have likely hit the million-point mark! Ops: W3BC, AB3OG. More would have been very welcome and appreciated!!!

Finally on November 16 and 17th, we set up shop for the ARRL November Sweepstakes phone contest. We entered in the multi-operator, single transmitter category. W3BC’s new Pro III was the workhorse, and the radio and antennas performed perfectly. Band conditions were fantastic. The long-path”echo” of our own signal was often heard when we let up on the transmit switch! 10 meters was wall-to-wall with stations all over the US and Canada. It was like being in one of those game show money booths, and we tried to grab as many QSOs as we could. We worked both Alaska and Hawaii right off the bat in the first few minutes, and had collected contacts in 60 different ARRL sections within the first six hours, leaving 23 to be worked for a clean sweep. By the time we shut down for the night, we had made a couple hundred QSOs, and had talked to station in all but seven states.

We started up again on Sunday morning, and found 10 meters was good for DX but not the US. We went to 15 meters and could hear that “long-path echo” on almost every station. I’ve never seen conditions that good in 47 years of being a ham. We settled into systematically tuning the band, and it seemed that on every QSO we picked up one of the needed sections. Before long, we were down to single digit numbers of needed sections. Over the course of an hour, we brought it down to the final four: Newfoundland and Manitoba in Canada, and North Dakota and Kentucky in the US. We tried tuning 20 meters, but the approaching weather front was producing S9 + 20 dB of “static” on that band. Back up to 10 meters, but not many signals, and those we heard we had already worked long before. Then on 15 meters, we almost immediately found a VY2 and the “NL” multiplier was ours. On the TV, the Steelers had just scored a field goal, so that must have been a lucky time for Western Pennsylvania.

A little more tuning around and there was Manitoba! Now we were down to two more sections. On 40 meters, there was Nancy K9DIG calling “CQ Sweepstakes” and in a matter of seconds, North Dakota was in our log! Only one more setion to go! We went down to 80 meters for an hour or two and began to give up hope of the Clean Sweep. We did work a large number of stations in an hour-long pile-up of stations who needed Western Pennsylvania, but none of them were from Kentucky. We then went back up to 40 meters to take a quick run across the band and pick up the few stations we hadn’t worked yet.

The Steelers game was over, everybody had worked everybody else and boredom was setting in. We heard one guy calling CQ and answered him. He replied, “N3QC You blew me out of my chair with that big signal. You’re the loudest station I ever heard!” Yes, our modest station was acting much more like a Big Gun than the little pistol we really were!

As evening fell, the rain was coming down and 20, 15 and 10 meters were closing when we heard a W4 calling CQ on 40 meters. Was he in Kentucky? We threw out our call. No reply. We called again a couple more times. Still nothing. And then…

Another pile-up of stations started calling us. We worked through them, and when they tapered off, we tried calling “CQ Kentucky” a couple times in the closing hours of the contest. We could visualize our hopes for a Clean Sweep sprouting wings and flying away. But up from the ashes, a friendly voice came through the speaker, “There’s a Kentucky down on 3702.”

Off we went!

Sure enough, the Kentucky station was there, working a huge pile-up. We got our ducks in a row, and AB3OG sent our call once along with the dozen or so other stations who sounded like feeding time at the hog trough. But thanks to the rhombic and the amp and the Pro III audio and the operating skill (along with a little luck), there was Kentucky calling N3QC!!! Peach finished the QSO and entered it in the log and then we all cheered the accomplishment. We had made our Clean Sweep!!! Of course that implies that we also worked all 50 states… In only a 24-hour period!

That Winning Season

THE WEATHER WARNINGS started flowing in when there were still a couple more contest hours left to go. Putting safety first, we made the difficult decision to forego the hundred or so more QSOs that would have put us over the 100,000 point threshold and opted to shut down and load all the equipment up. Mother Nature even sided with us and suspended the drenching downpour that had been going on all afternoon and evening. We tore down and removed all the equipment from the cabin, loaded it in the vehicles and then set about securing the antennas for the winter.

Sweepstakes operators were W3BC, AB3OG and KA3MKY, with a nice visit by KB3LES and his XYL Jo. We all had a great time in the Sweepstakes and all the other events. Everyone had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. The radios and antennas worked perfectly and more than lived up to our expectations. We proved that we could get the techincal part right without spending a fortune. We also proved that we could operate efficiently for long periods without succumbing to exhaustion.

The 2013 Fall contest season had come to a close. Our club suited up and showed up. We made very good scores without overworking ourselves, and probably won some awards — we definitely won two “Clean Sweep” awards — and really, really enjoyed ourselves. The silent key founding members of our Club would be very proud of our efforts, both in the technical and the competitive aspects of the events. We did our best to honor their heritage.

The only dark cloud was that we missed you. There was plenty of fun (and food) to go around, and even if you don’t think you’re up to contesting, you could have shared our excitement and fun while watching us win each little victory and by cheering us on. Yes RadioSport is a spectator sport too, and your team spirit and support would have meant a lot to those of us who were competing on the air. Can we count on your support next time? It really does mean a lot to those of us in the thick of the competition.

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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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Pennsylvania QSO Party

Mark your calendars for the weekend of October 12 and 13th. The Pensylvania QSO Party is “The Friendly Contest” and an on-the-air activity that is a lot of fun. Each year, you can represent your county as other hams try to work a “clean sweep” of all 67 counties, and our Quad Counties are some of the most sought-after!

Here's your chance to see how it feels to be a ham some place in the Western Pennsylvania Section that's important for a change!

You can operate from your home (be sure to list Quad-County ARC as your club when you submit your log!), or we may get together at a central location and try to set an all-time record high score for one of our counties as a multi-operatior, multi-transmitter entry.

Even if contests aren’t your thing, you should give the PA QSO Party a shot anyway, since it’s more like an on-the-air “Old Home Week” reunion rather than a hard-core contest. Every year, you will find lots of former Pennsylvania hams who enjoy talking to us back in the old home state, and you’ll also run into a lot of old friends you haven’t talked to in years! You might even run into a ham down the street who you’ve never heard on the air before. You’ll never know just who you may run into unless you get on the air and join in the fun.

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Just worked JE1LET on 15M

I just worked a Japan station on 21.365.00 100watts!!

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I thought I saw a Pussycat…(And now it’s gone)

Well, here we go again!

Remember a while ago, when I wrote about needing a project in order to stay sane, while my shoulder healed? Well, I sure found one!

If you look at the picture at the right, that’s it!

It’s a fantastic little rig from Kenwood, when they still made simple but very good HF stations –  no menus, no electronic band-switch, etc.

The model number is TS-130s, and it covers 80m -10m, including the WARC bands, it’s got 100w output and is a cw/ssb rig only, but hey, its a great rig for ragchewing, field-day, beginners’ rig, or when going camping!  :)

When I got it, someone had dropped the top lid while looking inside, resulting in tearing the wire off from internal speaker, but with the help from some junked speakers, that was an easy fix. Then came the question why the RF power came and went. Well, what really was wrong, was a voltage regulator, sitting on the heat sink, and it was supposed to be insulated from ground. As you might already have guessed, it was not really…that is to say, the little washer with a little flange on, that is supposed to keep the screw from touching the regulator, was damaged, so when keying the rig, sometimes it made contact, and sometimes not….  After having found this, it now works just as new!

Speaking of cleaning, now I’m going to tell you what not ever to do!! (AND I MEAN THAT!)

When cleaning knobs, do not EVER try to do that in a sink, without a strainer! Why? I’ll tell you why, if you haven’t felt your heart fly up into your throat, YOU WILL! Also, if you haven’t had to take the drain apart, YOU WILL!

Now, if you have stopped laughing, and stopped saying S****D I***T, I can tell you, I now know how it feels! I was just lucky that the knob wasn’t flushed out. Having  put it all together again, I buffed up the scuffed paint on the case. It looks  so good, that I don’t want to let it go, but since it’s only a project rig, I must (at least that’s what XYL says…)

A radio in this condition sells really fast, and so did this. Roger KB3ZKJ, is now the happy owner. Congrats Roger!

Your storyteller

Lars KB3WBT

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Torn rotator cuff, so what to do till it’s healed?

Hello all Lars here.

Looks like I will have about 6 months, before I’m healed and so I have been thinking of a little something to do in the meantime.

You see the rig at the right here, it’s my beautiful Kenwood TS-520 and its a so called “hybrid rig” it means that the radio have both old time tubes and transistors, the tubes are just used in the transmitter “PA”, but easily delivers a nice and clean 100w out.

Now to my crazy idea, if you guys know of anybody who wants to get rid of his old non working TS-520, 520s or 520se, even TS-820, 830 or even TS-530 would work fine, I would be happy to buy for around $90- 100, just as something to do….  As you might have figured out, cheaper is better, since trying to get back to shape, (torn rotator cuff) so I can get back to work again, isn’t cheap…

Mind You, I’m not a repair pro, but hoping to learn “how to”

Thank you for taking time to read this…

Lars KB3WBT

PS: E-mail me at sm7fyw at hotmail.com

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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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