Next meeting – Friday February 6th

The Charles County Amateur Radio Club will be hosting its next monthly meeting on Friday, February 6th at 7:00.

Tim Morgan, chief of tourism & special events for Charles County will be stopping by to discuss with us the planned events for the 150th Commemoration of the Lincoln Assassination.  Charles County has a rich history pertaining to the Civil War, and several local connections with the escape of John Wilkes Booth.


Stop by our meeting on at the Charles County Rescue Squad located at 2 Calvert Street in downtown La Plata this Friday at 7:00!

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First meeting of 2015, Date change!!

Hi everyone!

Sorry it has been a long time since we have updated our information.

Hope everyone had a good New Year, and got lots of goodies!  We will be postponing our January, 2015 meeting until Friday January 9th.  Due to the proximity to New Years, the club decided to move the meeting back one week to allow more members to return home from vacation and have a chance to come by!

We will be discussing the year past, and looking forward to the year ahead!

Feel free to bring by and projects or presents the large Man-in-Red has left for you for a show and tell!


Meeting will be January 9th at 7:00, located at the Charles County Rescue squad, 2 Calvert street, La Plata MD.

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Friday, September 5th the Charles County Amateur Radio Club will be having its monthly meeting, starting at 7:00. The meeting will be at the Charles County Rescue Squad building, located at 2 Calvert Street in beautiful downtown La Plata.

An overview of this years Field-Day Event from a RF view will be the main presentation by Mark, KC4AFU.

This talk will provide a look at this years Field Day site examining both the Near Field energy distribution and the far-field antenna patterns of the various antenna configurations used during the event.
Coupling between the various antennas will be explored as well as examining the Power Density (W/M2) calculated in and around the shelter area based on various transmitted power levels.

Explanation of both the ideal dipole and monopole characteristics will be presented and will be compare to the calculated patterns over a real ground (i.e.. Dirt…)
Note: No Maxwell’s equations were harmed during the making of this presentation….


View Larger Map

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Meeting this Friday!

This Friday, August 1st the Charles County Amateur Radio Club will be having its monthly meeting, starting at 7:00. The meeting will be at the Charles County Rescue Squad building, located at 2 Calvert Street in beautiful downtown La Plata.

Mesh networks and their applications will be the feature presentation given by Keith Elkin, KB3TCB. Come down to learn about a cool new venture in ham radio! See you there!

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web updates and upcoming meeting

Posting a reminder that our next meeting is coming up this Friday, 11-July. Meeting will be held again at the Charles County rescue squad in beautiful downtown La Plata.

The website has been updated to include more hamfests and two re-activated repeaters in the area. See the calendar of events page and the repeater/net page for the updated information!

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Thanks for coming to Field Day 2014!

We had a great Field day this year, and we will have our logs submitted into ARRL soon!
See you in 2015!

As a reminder, our monthly meeting will be held on July 11 this month due to the fourth of July holiday!

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Field Day 2014 This Weekend!


Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.

Though it looks like a weekend of camping and continuous radio communication, the ultimate purpose of Field Day is to test the emergency preparedness skills of all who attend.  Stations attempt to operate from non-grid power (typically using generators and batteries) while establishing contacts with other stations participating in Field Day.

Field day will be held June 28-29, 2014 and is the largest emergency preparedness drill in the country!

CCARC will again be holding Field Day at the Laurel Springs Park in
La Plata, Maryland.

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The Red Pin above indicates the pavilion where we will be located. Use the zoom controls on the left hand side for a better view, and scope out the pavilion where we will be located this year!

The event is open to all club members, and the public is welcome and encouraged to stop by.

Visit the ARRL website for more information about Field Day!

Learning several lessons from last year, we aim to improve our operational skills as well as our effectiveness at communication!

The current plan is to operate in the 3A category, which means that we can have three simultaneous transmitters operating from a generator (or other non commercial power!)  Bands that are planned for use are 20M, 40M, and 80M.  Single Sideband as well as Digital operation will be utilized this year!  Below is a diagram showing the intended location for our antennas.  Antennas have been setup to minimize interference with each other as best as is possible.

Field day presentation

And a last bit on extension cords: Make sure you have the right size for your power requirements!


See you at Field Day or on the air!

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June 2014 Smoke Signals

CCARC_SmokeSignals_June 2014

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NEW! Pay your Annual Dues online.

Now current members can pay their annual membership dues online!

Please visit the MEMBERSHIP page here!

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Dreams of Space? Perhaps a short QSO will suffice!

Recently the Charles County Amateur Radio Club was advised of a unique opportunity to listen in on some radio signals beamed down from outer space.

From the International Space Station to be exact!

On March 20th, 2014 students from the Forest Knolls Elementary School in Silver Spring had the privilege of having a live chat with astronaut Koichi Wakata aboard the ISS via ham radio. The short duration QSO was hosted as part of the ARRL’s ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) program, which is a cooperative venture of NASA, the ARRL and AMSAT and other international space agencies that organizes scheduled contacts via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS and classrooms and educational organizations.

While it is not possible to have heard the signal beamed out from the Forest Knolls school in Southern Maryland, it was quite possible to listen in to the signal beamed back from the ISS on 144.800 Mhz. Tuned up with an Arrow 4-element yagi aimed at the sky and an Icom IC-R7100 receiver I was ready to try my not-so-steady hand at satellite chasing! Starting at the horizon in the North West, I was able to quickly fix onto the origin of the signal. I slowly panned across the sky, passing through the zenith, and then falling quickly to the horizon in the South East. In total the QSO only lasted about 10 minutes, but with this particular satellite whizzing around at nearly 5 miles per second, its no wonder that the ISS makes almost 16 revolutions of the earth each day! Take a short listen to the QSO recorded from Southern Maryland. The clip has been edited to remove the static during the schools transmission. You will notice the signal fade in and out as I attempted to track as best as one can by hand. At the end, it is clear to hear ‘NA1SS’ Signing off. Most definitely a unique experience!


The event even turned heads on a local news outlet, and a short clip from the actual QSO can be found on The Fox News Website

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