QCARC Calendar

November 2017
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QC Weather

Partly Cloudy
Thursday 11/23/2017 0%
Partly Cloudy
Sunshine and clouds mixed. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Friday 11/24/2017 0%
Clear
Mainly sunny. High 49F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of Rain
Saturday 11/25/2017 30%
Chance of Rain
Showers in the morning, then cloudy in the afternoon. High 43F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Quad-County Weather Page

Latest News

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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Amateur Radio License Exam Session

Amateur Radio License Exam Session

EXAM SESSION 09/29/2017 ALL CLASSES OF LICENSE EXAMS WILL BE OFFERED. Sponsor: Quad County ARC Date: Sep 29 2017 Time: 6:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed) Contact: Joe Shupienis (814) 371-3235 Email: w3bc@arrl.net VEC: ARRL/VEC Location: Penn State Dubois Smeal Building Du Bois, PA  15801

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2017 Jamboree On The Air

2017 Jamboree On The Air

This year the QCARC will activating a station from the Hallstrom Building located at the Camp Mountain Run Scout Camp. The station, N3QC, will be operating on HF bands, considering propagation characteristics to a given part of the World that we intend to communicate with. VHF & UHF frequencies may be activated ...

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W3CDG-11 Balloon Launch In The Air From Pittsburgh

The W3CDG-11 balloon launch is in the air. To watch the progress go to: aprs.fi for the current info. Launch was from the Pgh. Zoo.     The Balloon has landed in the Brackenridge. PA area. Congratulations to those affiliated with the successful flight!

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High Altitude Balloons Pass Nearby

High Altitude Balloons Pass Nearby

          Two high altitude balloons with APRS telemetry reporting transmitters passed just west of DuBois on September 13. These balloons were reporting altitudes of just over 45,000' and temperatures around 12 degrees F. I happened to capture a screen shot one of the balloons as it was posted online, via the WA3UFN-1, ...

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Hurricane Irma The Latest Severe Weather Threat

Hurricane Irma The Latest Severe Weather Threat

  Even though the hurricanes are well south of Pennsylvania, amateurs in our area may still be able to help pass health and welfare traffic. The hurricane watch net should be active as you read this. The net will be active on 14.325 MHz, then switch to 7.268 as conditions change. Check ...

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Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon — Good Test Of Preparedness

Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon -- Good Test Of Preparedness

  Area amateurs recently had an opportunity to actually test preparedness at the Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon where amateurs provided communications along a 50 mile trail where cellular communication was mostly unavailable. This was the real deal in testing the functionality of equipment and abilities of the operators to set up effective ...

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Amateur Radio Parity Act Moves Into The Senate

Amateur Radio Parity Act Moves Into The Senate

  This important piece of legislation that may very well have an effect on more amateur radio operators than what you may first  expect, has moved into the Senate. The legislation has a history of bi-partisan support but we still need to keep aware of what is occurring with the bill ...

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SKYWARN TRAINING – WORTH YOUR TIME

SKYWARN TRAINING - WORTH YOUR TIME

Sometimes things do not all ways as they appear. SkyWarn training may conjure up ideas of intense detailed training for the likes of those who are meteorologists.  No so! This training is for the everyday person on the street, so to say. The training gives the everyday person the background to ...

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Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training Scheduled

Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training Scheduled

The SkyWarn presentation has been rescheduled for July 19, 2017. This training is open to amateur radio operators as well as the general public. It is not required but if amateur radio operators could, also email me if  you anticipate attending at: “bryan at wa3ufn dot com”. Since I initiated the planning ...

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North Western PA Tornado

Severe Weather Awareness Week started a bit early for folks in North Western PA. April 20, 2017 brought an EF0 tornado to Mathews Run in Warren County, just north west of Youngsville, PA. Fortunately there were no injuries or serious damage from the short lived tornado. Details of the tornado can ...

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SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK APRIL 24 – 28, 2017

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK APRIL 24 – 28, 2017

Since the National Weather Service outline for Severe Weather Week encompasses the weather that we encounter in our area, it might just be a great idea to check the State College, NWS website (http://www.weather.gov/ctp/SevereWeatherAwarenessWeek) for some important information. The information on the web pages just happen expand on the April ...

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WIRES-X , The New Kid on the Block

This article was originally posted January 15, 2016 Just above the horizon – WIRES-X! Recently you may have heard some rather odd noises and unlikely QSOs taking place on the N3QC, 147.315 repeater. The latest update to our repeater was added January 12, 2016 when the Yaesu Wires-X Voice Over Internet ...

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QCARC Events

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Website Update

QCARC-WebsiteI did some very much-needed maintenance on this website today. All necessary software updates were completed, configured and debugged. One or two small issues remain, but I think you will all enjoy the improvements!

Please visit the poll section on the left often to make your voice heard. Polls are once again working and will be changed weekly. you can click the link at the bottom of the poll box to see the results or participate in past polls. Have fun!

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2012 Annual Report

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

2012 Annual Report

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On The Road Again…

WWe hit the road once again on Saturday, August 11; this time to set up a public demo booth at the Super 322 Drive-In Car Show between Woodland and Bigler. Lars KB3WBT, Ed KB3VWX, Don KB3LES and Joe W3BC strung a G5RV from the 50-foot peak of the screen to a similarly high tree. Lars and Don set up the radios and some portable antennas, and we hit the airwaves.

Sam KA3USM sat in at the operating position, and Herb W3TM and guest made the rounds and pointed us to the best car displays.

Lars worked DX station after DX station and tuned higher and higher bands as the day progressed and the MUF increased. He agreed that sunspots are a good thing. The weather was very pleasant with scattered clouds and nary a drop of rain. We handed out information packets to those who stopped by, and got the chance to browse through the car show at our own pace.

Theater owner Bill Frankhouser was very appreciative of our efforts, and hopes to have us back again next year.

Photo Gallery

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QC Hits the Road!

GGentlemen start your… Radios! That’s right, once again, we exposed our radios in public and let people see that we’re still around. On July 21, we visited Hummingbird Speedway and put up antennas atop the knob overlooking the track. We were active on all bands from 80 meters to two, and thanks to the generosity of Racetrack General Manager “Peach” Caltagarone AB3OG, we were invited to come to play radio and stay for the races.

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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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Super 322 Car Show Special Event

OOn Saturday, August 13, 2011, members of the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club set up an Amateur Radio Demonstration station on the grounds of the Super 322 Drive-In in Woodland, PA. The station used a typical mobile antenna system, but was still able to work stations all along the East Coast, and DX stations in the Caribbean as well!

Additionally, our members fielded questions from over 20 visitors, and offered the opportunity for members of the public to say hello to a distant Amateur Radio operator over the air. Many of the guests took us up on the offer, including the reigning Clearfield County Fair Queen Ms. Melanie Swartz and her Court. Each of the YLs made contact with a station in Florida, who encouraged them to consider getting their licenses.

The owners of the Drive-In were very happy with our operation, and enthusiastically invited us to return next year. Club members who participated included Lars Kvant KB3WBT/SM7FYW, Ed Neeper KB3VWX, Herb Murray W3TM and Joe Shupienis W3BC. Hopefully, by next year we will be able to mention those who visited and their new callsigns!

Photos:

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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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Meeting Report: June 2011

WWhat else could possibly be the main topic of the June meeting except Field Day? After getting the meeting started, things settled into a businesslike pace as minutes were read, and reports were given. W3BC reported the club’s ARRL Special Service Club status was renewed after many years of inactivity. He further commented that the Field Day Press Release had been picked up and published by several local news outlets, and that a television news camera crew is expected. The subject turned to Field Day, and visitors Lee and Mary Lewis (N3NWL and N3UDN) shared with us some very useful Field Day pointers from their years of experience at putting on a really great Field Day operation in Ridgway.

Hams from four counties gathered at the Clearfield County EMA Center for their June Meeting. Guests helped finalize Field Day plans, newcomers introduced themselves and guest Steve Waltman KB3FPN presented an engaging technology program to round out yet another good old QCARC meeting!

Mike WB3EQW raised the question of why the club covers four counties, and Club Founder Joe W3BC related the history of the Club’s creation and the rationale behind the large geographic area.

Under new business, W3BC suggested a new program for members wishing to do more for the club — the Dime-A-Day Donor Program. Club members may voluntarily contribute an additional $36.50 each year to go toward the Club’s Educational and Outreach programs. In recognition of these voluntary contributions, they will receive the status of “Sustaining Member” and a certificate bearing witness to that fact. Several contributions were given to the Treasurer. 15 members and guests were in attendance.

After the meeting, Coffee and Donuts were enjoyed, and a 50-50 drawing was held.

The program was then presented by Steve Waltman KB3FPN from Brookville, with help from Tom W3KWT. The program was a demonstration of the capabilities of a Communications Monitor, and how amateur transmitters could be tested easily to be sure they measured up to specs.

Photo Gallery

(Click any image to begin slideshow, press [ESC] to stop)

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Quad-County is an ARRL Special Service Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • New Ham Development and Training

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

  • Public Relations

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

  • Emergency Communications

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

  • Technical Advancement

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

  • Operating Activities

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

  • Miscellaneous Activities

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

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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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Website Update

It is said that engineers never know when to stop “improving” things. I certainly share that malady!

I think the website is close to its final, working form, and is almost ready for production. It already has plenty of new and useful functionality. There is one new and very exciting feature I’ve added… If you’re a registered user, YOU CAN ENTER YOUR OWN ARTICLES!!! As everyone uses this feature more and more, the website becomes a place you will have to visit often. It’s safe to say the website is never the same twice!

I’ve added lots of eye-candy. I think I may have missed my calling as a Graphic Designer. Or maybe it’s brain damage from my reckless youth!

You’re probably wondering what the “QRM” box is all about. Well, each item submitted to the website can be “tagged” with several keywords describing what it’s about. The QRM is a 3-D beehive of those keywords. The bigger they are, the more articles are related to those keywords. Clicking on a green one loads all articles with that keyword. Slide your mouse on over to the QRM box and watch all those pretty colors, man… (oops, another flashback!)… You know you want to!

This is YOUR website. Please feel welcome to reply to any post, vote in the polls, browse the Classified Ads, read all the “stuff”, and write your own posts to share with others. If you have photos of your shack, upload them! Let’s all make this thing grow!

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Suggestions for the Website

Hello everyone!

I’d like to open this discussion as a place for you to leave your comments and suggestions for the new website. Is there a feature you’d like to see? is there something that could be better. Is something missing?

These and many other concerns are just what we will discuss here!

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