Meetings & Nets
First Friday Monthly meeting at 7:30 PM at LaPlata Train Station; Net-Tuesdays 8:00 PM on 443.700 MHz, (No PL, TSQL 179.9 Hz)
Once a month social gathering for breakfast –please check the website for schedule
Second Tuesday Commex with the ARES/RACES team Charles County 7:00PM EOC LaPlata
How to Contact Us:
PO BOX 169, La Plata, MD 20646
President: Art Audley firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-president: Charles Hallock email@example.com
Secretary: Bill Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Andrew Davidson email@example.com
Membership/Activities: Bob Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Training officer Bob Curran (KE3GG) email@example.com
Smoke Signals is published monthly as the newsletter of the Charles County Amateur Radio Club, Inc. Items to be published in the Smoke Signals should be submitted by the Sunday before the first Friday of the month. Email submissions are most efficient firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Michelle Sack PO Box 1182 Waldorf, MD 20604. Permission is granted to reprint.
For March the plans are to have Mr. Patrick Burke coming to speak. He is the author of Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg and Battlefield Guide to Ghost Hunting and will give us a short presentation on the paranormal. Might make for a good night of activating a park.
For April it’s time to clean house! This would be a good time to bring in any of that radio stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of and pick up some new stuff! This will be in addition to a program, which is still being worked.
As noted at the last monthly meeting, elections will be occurring in the near future. Here is a listing of the positions available within the CCARC and all positions should be considered ‘available’:
President: The President shall preside at all meetings of this club, and conduct the same according to Robert’s Rules of Order. He/She shall enforce due observance of this Constitution, decide all questions of order, sign all official documents that are adopted by the club, and none other, set the dates for the annual and regular meeting, and perform all customary duties pertaining to the office of President.
Vice-President: The Vice-President shall assume all the duties of the President in his/her absence.
Secretary: The Secretary shall keep a permanent record of the proceedings of all meetings, keep a roll of members which shows their addresses, submit applications for membership, carry on all correspondence, read communications at each meeting, countersign such documents as his/her position requires, and
perform all other duties pertaining to the Office of Secretary.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive and receipt for all monies paid to the club, he/she shall keep an accurate account of all monies received and expended. He/She shall pay no bills without proper authorization from the Board of Directors. He/She shall report all activity upon his account at each meeting.
Activities Manager: The Activities Manager shall organize Club activities and advance Club interest and activity as approved by the Club. He shall maintain liaison with other organizations to fulfill-the Club’s projects and business.
If you have an interest in running for a specific position, please send an email to AA3RT and KB3KOW. There are no restrictions on which position may be held by any current member of the CCARC and there are a number of club members you can seek
out who have filled these positions before and who can further advise you on the time requirements.
Since there was interest expressed in having a Boat Anchor Operations Day, I’ve looked at the calendar and one option would be June 2nd, 2012, down at Cobb Island as this is currently slated to be the annual Cobb Island Festival day.
We’ve operated from Cobb Island in the past and have used it as a pre-field day test of the equipment. We normally get permission to set up at the filling station that is to the right hand side as you cross the bridge onto Cobb Island. This provide us an area to hand antennas, a roof over our head in the event of rain (or too much sun), shore power and the ability to put up a grill for some cooking.
While I know there is interest, I am looking for commitment as I can’t see working to secure a place only to have no one show up. So, please mull this over and we can discuss at the March CCARC meeting.
BSA Potomac Heritage bike ride
Just FYI, the Boy Scouts are gearing up for the ride this year
and they’ve noted that they are looking at doing the ride
on July 22nd or 29th. A reason for this is that it would be
earlier in the ‘biking’ year and as many of us experienced
last year, hopefully warmer weather. Information to follow.
From the President:
Hello again CCARC!
We seem to be starting the New Year out right-15 members were present for the January meeting and last night’s meeting saw 14 in attendance for February! It was great to see everyone, let’s see if we can keep this up! In attendance (Listed, as always, in alpha/numeric order): AA3RT Art, AA3WS Charles ,KA3AHI Wanda, KB3HCG Mike O, KB3HNP Joe, KB3KOW Boy Scout Bob, KB3UYZ Pat, KB3WYR Spencer, KE3GG Fly boy Bob, K3NHT Andrew, N2OMC Rob, N3YWZ Lee, WB3KAS Jim,
W1BJC Bridge Bob,
The meeting came to order at 7:40PM (AKA 1940L).
Congratulations to Spencer Johnson! Since we met last month, Spencer passed the Technician Class exam and now holds the call sign KB3WYR. As is CCARC tradition, we then opened the floor to suggestions for some unique phonetics for Spencer’s call. Suggestions weren’t readily forthcoming so we tabled this activity until next month to give those in attendance a chance to ponder the challenge.
The activity for this month’s meeting was a two-parter: First Boy Scout Bob (KB3KOW) showed a DVD on WinDRM, an HF digital voice mode. The video was filmed in the shack of Mel, K0PFX near St. Louis, MO. After a discussion of the mode, there was a demonstration of an HF digital net-how it works and both the strengths and weaknesses of this mode. Rather than subject you to my possible misinterpretations, here’s a link to K0PFX’s website if you’d like to read more on the topic: http://www.melwhitten.com/
Friday, February 3rd had also been declared “Boat Anchor Night” for CCARC. Members were invited to bring in a piece of radio gear and share it with the group. Six members responded with the following:
AA3WS -Charles gets the award for the oldest piece of equipment-an 89 year old Freed-Eisemann Neutrodyne receiver, model# NR-5. I wasn’t able to easily come up with a picture of Charles’s radio but did find a photo of an NR-6. The radio is identical with the exception of a different battery. I should note that Charles’s radio was minus the cabinet and the tubes.
KB3WYR -Being newly licensed, Spencer really hasn’t had any time to accumulate any boat anchors yet so he appealed to those hams who also have an interest in photography by showing off a Mamiya rb67 film camera. For those of you with similar interests, here’s a write-up with accompanying photos of a modified rb67 similar to the one Spencer displayed:
K3NHT -Andrew brought in a Swan Cygnet 300B SSB transceiver. This radio is in pristine condition, still in its original box. Andrew stated that the transmit portion of the radio has never been used. It originally belonged to his grandfather who had an interest in amateur radio but became frustrated in his attempts to learn Morse code and never pursued obtaining his license any further. Andrew stated that he’s waiting for a “special occasion” before he tries transmitting with this unit. More on the Swan Cygnet 300B here:
KE3GG -Bob displayed a Drake TR-33C, a crystal controlled, all transistor 2 meter transceiver, dating to 1973. It was loosely described as a “handheld”. The radio had the capability to operate in either simplex or duplex mode by simply flicking a switch. The radio had a 1.5W output that Bob boosted with an amplifier and also had a touch tone microphone, rather “clunky” by today’s standards but 40 years ago seemed to be on the cutting edge of technology. Everyone appreciated the tag on the radio that read “This is ham, not CB”. A photo of the TR-33C can be found here:
WB3KAS -Jim brought along a Wilson Electronics WE800. This is another “handheld” dating back to the late 1970′s that had 1W out when operating on batteries or 10W when operating on an external power supply. The radio is fully synthesized and diode matrix programmed. More on the WE800 here:
AA3RT -Although I knew that many in the group had seen it before, I brought along my first scanner, a Realistic PRO-31. This is a 10 channel handheld programmable model that my XYL purchased for me as a Christmas gift in the mid-1980′s when I thought I “needed” a scanner to monitor the then Conrail railroad traffic through La Plata. I eventually became heavily involved in scanning which lead to me obtaining an amateur radio license in the fall of 1991 after much prodding (nagging) from Wes, W3ERU (SK). The scanner covers three frequency bands: 30-54, 138-174 & 380-512 MHz, uses 6 AA batteries and weighs in at just over 2 lbs with the batteries installed. Sensitivity is great, battery life terrible which is why it stays in the house connected to a 9V adapter to alert me to approaching trains. A PRO-31:
We then took a break to allow members to do a little catching up before proceeding with the boring ol’ business meeting. When we resumed:
President: My thanks to Boy Scout Bob (KB3KOW) for sending out the link to apply for a Popular Communications Pop’Comm Monitoring Station Identification sign and certificate. I applied for mine Thursday (Feb. 2nd) and received my “Monitoring Station Identification Sign” the next day. My listening post is now identified as WPC3ART. For those of you who may have missed Bob’s email here’s the link again:
Dues are due, thanks to everyone who has paid theirs thus far. Club elections are coming up next month, both the President and Secretary Positions will be coming open, however you can run for any position you wish. Sorry I can’t stay on as president but due to a couple of issues I can’t guarantee that I’ll be around much in the near future. The club needs, and deserves, a full-time president. Unfortunately I can’t be that person right now thus I will be stepping down at the end of this term.
We have the usual yearly activities coming up which I’m sure KB3KOW will cover later, including the March For Babies walkathon in April, Field Day in June and a couple of bicycle rides in the fall.
One other item to keep in mind, the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Charles County Amateur Radio Club will be this coming November. I’m not suggesting an elaborate celebration but something to commemorate 15 years would be nice.
(I forgot to bring my CCARC binder to the meeting but still have the letter, postmarked Oct. 9, 1997, inviting me [Then N3KUQ] to the first general meeting, to be held Nov. 7, 1997 at the Charles County Government Building. Also in the book are a copy of the original club by-laws and the first few issues of “Smoke Signals”. Vol. 1, Issue 1 is dated January 1998.)
Founders remaining from November 1997 include:
KA3GRW Mike (First president)
W3TOM Tom (First activities manager)
Founding members still on the membership roll:
KE3RE Bill (AKA Tugboat)
Vice President: I’m headed to the Richmond Frostfest tomorrow that is being held at the Richmond International Raceway complex. Thanks to KB3KOW for setting up a network at my QTH. Everything is working well.
Treasurer: Absent (Taking driving lessons) but once again he conned the old man into giving the treasurer’s report for him. We have money with more to be deposited after a number of members paid their dues for 2012 this evening. There was one expenditure-a reimbursement for the HT’s that were given out at the Christmas dinner.
Activities/Membership: We held a WinLink class here at the train station on Monday, Jan. 16th (MLK Day). It was well attended and we strung an antenna on the caboose and had some interesting activities. Next month I hope to have a guest speaker, a local historian, author and investigator of paranormal activities who will be discussing his investigations and some of the equipment he uses.
A request from the president: Folks, I’ve mentioned this before but you’re going to hear it again. Having been the Activities Manager at one time I know how difficult it can be to try to find speakers and/or programs every month. We have members who are talented in many areas-won’t you consider putting on some type of presentation in an area of the hobby that interests you? It could be something as simple as soldering basics or how to use a particular piece of test equipment. How about a discussion on how to understand those SWR readings and what they really mean? We’re all friends here and no ones going to make fun of you (Maybe). Please give it some thought and help make Boy Scout Bob’s life a little easier.
From the members:
KB3WYR -I had a good time attending the a swap meet at the Anne Arundel club with Fly boy Bob (KE3GG) and picked up a 2 meter radio.
K3NHT -I’m still looking for photos of CCARC activities so that I can upgrade the http://k3smd.org website. If you have photos that you can share please contact me. Incidentally, the K3SMD.Org website is for everyone-if you have articles you’ve written or other items of interest I would welcome them at the site.
N3YWZ -Lee inquired if anyone had been to the Radio & Television Museum on Mitchellville Road in Bowie. No one answered in the affirmative so Lee went on to briefly describe the museum. He said that he was with a group of people and the docent inquired if anyone in the group was an amateur radio operator. Lee was the only one to raise his hand and he was ushered into another building where a group of about half a dozen people was working in various aspects of antique radio restoration. Lee suggested that a group visit to the museum would make for a good outing for the club. More information on the Radio & Television Museum here: http://radiohistory.org/
Incidentally, hours are Friday 10AM-5PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 PM.
N2OMC -I’ve just returned from 4 weeks in California and will be headed to Washington State in the next couple of weeks.
KA3AHI -Wanda stated that this will be a very busy year for EmComm (Emergency Communications). A cursory schedule of future events includes:
March 27 & 28 Quarterly EmComm exercise
April 20-A mass casualty drill at Andrews AFB
June??-A CMAX exercise in Bethesda
Oct.??-The yearly “Capital Shield” exercise
Wanda also discussed the need to develop interoperability between all of the EOC’s, hospitals and county health departments in Maryland. She mentioned inventorying a state supplied “GO kit” that was supplied to Civista Hospital in 2006 and noting many discrepancies.
WB3KAS -Jim mentioned talking to Donna Thomas of the Charles County Health Department who was January’s guest speaker. In conjunction with the exercise planned for Mar. 27 & 28 Jim asked how willing are we, individually and collectively, willing to support an exercise that may require as many as 8 or 10 people?
KB3HNP -Joe reminded us that the 10th anniversary of the devastating La Plata Tornado is rapidly approaching. (Saturday, April 28th). Thus far, the Town of La Plata website is sadly lacking in information as to how groups can become involved unless you are a business who wants to purchase a commemorative sign.
WB3KAS made a motion to adjourn, almost the entire group seconded, the motion passed unanimously, meeting adjourned at 10:07PM.
Next meeting-Friday, March 3rd.
Standard disclaimer: If I’ve left out anyone or anything, or misconstrued anything in my notes, my apologies, it wasn’t intentional. If the error was so glaring that you feel it needs correction, please send me an email and I will be glad to do so.
73, de AA3RT
I wanted to let everyone know that I started the CCARC Meetup.com group:
I am mainly going to track the monthly meetings, and will also post events that are definite for the group (Field Day, etc…)
It is free to join the group and sends auto-reminders for upcoming events and meetings. I will also link it with out facebook and yahoo group.
NEW APPOINTMENT: ASSISTANT SECTION MANAGER
We are pleased to announce that Wanda Montgomery, KA3AHI, has been appointed to the ARRL position of ASM to work with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, MEMA and the Amateur Radio structure in the counties to bring about a coordinated effort for interoperability among local health departments and hospitals. Wanda brings much experience to the task with her work on NIMS compliant quarterly exercises with the six hospitals and health department in Prince George’s County.
New Rules for 5 MHz (60 Meters) To Go Into Effect March 5
On November 18, the FCC released a Report and Order (R&O), defining new rules for the 60 meter (5 MHz) band. These rules are in response to a Petition for Rulemaking (PRM) filed by the ARRL more than five years ago and a June 2010 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). In the February 3 edition of the Federal Register, the FCC announced that these new rules will go into effect on March 5, 2012.
Details can be found at,
In summarizing the new rules, the FCC explained that the new rules amend the current rules to facilitate more efficient and effective use by the Amateur Radio Service of five channels in the
5330.5-5406.4 kHz band (the 60 meter band): “Specifically, and
consistent with our proposals in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding, the Commission replaces one of the channels with a less encumbered one, increases the maximum authorized power amateur stations may transmit in this band and authorizes amateur stations to transmit three additional emission designators. The Commission also adopts an additional operational rule that prohibits the use of automatically controlled digital stations and makes editorial revisions to the relevant portions of the Table of Frequency Allocations and our service rules.”
The Amateur Radio Service in the United States has a secondary
allocation on 60 meters. Only those amateurs who hold General,
Advanced or Amateur Extra class licenses may operate on this band. Amateur stations must not cause harmful interference to — and must accept interference from — stations authorized by any
administration in the fixed service, as well as mobile (except
aeronautical mobile) stations authorized by the administrations of
THE FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO, INC., a non-profit organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C., plans to administer fifty (50) scholarships for the academic year 2012 – 2013 to assist licensed Radio Amateurs in the pursuit of higher education. The Foundation fully funds two of these scholarships. The remainder is administered by the Foundation, without cost, for various donors. Licensed Radio Amateurs may compete for these awards. They must be planning to pursue a full time course of studies beyond high school and be enrolled, or have been
accepted for enrollment, at an accredited university, college or
technical school. The awards range from $5,000 to $300 with preference given in some cases to residents of specified geographical areas or the pursuit of certain study programs. Non-US residents are eligible to apply for some of the scholarships. Clubs, especially those in California, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin (areas of preferred residence for some of the scholarships), are encouraged to announce these opportunities at their meetings, in their club newsletters, during training classes, on their nets and on their club’s web pages. Additional information and an application
form may be requested by letter or QSL card to:
Post Office Box 911
Columbia, MD 21044-0911
Applications are also available for download from the Foundation’s web site <http://www.farweb.org/
The Foundation for Amateur Radio, incorporated in the District of
Columbia, is an exempt organization under Section 501(C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. It is devoted exclusively to promoting the interests of Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary and educational pursuits that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio Service.
Pictures: I am looking for images to use on the header of K3SMD.org as well as possibly putting together a photo gallery. I’m mainly looking for
images that represent the club, things that have our banner or a significant sized group shot.
I have something I’m putting together right now, but I wanted to cull the membership so I can put something comprehensive together.
Some photos from years past that need to be sorted/captioned/organized- some of the past members we need help to recall their names/callsigns. Thanks, -Andrew-contact Andrew directly at: email@example.com
Greetings All, Popular Communications has brought back the SWL Licensing program for you SWL’er out there: http://www.popcommmonitors.blogspot.com/
Saturday, March 31, 2012 Greater Baltimore Hamboree & Computerfest Location: Maryland State Fairgrounds
2200 York Road Timonium, www.gbhc.org
Baltimore Amateur Radio Club Talk-In: 146.67 (Pl 107.2) Contact: Bill Dobson, N3WD PO Box 120 Reisterstown, MD 21136 Phone: 443-590-1444 firstname.lastname@example.org The Maryland Emergency Phone Net, MEPN, will hold it’s meeting at this Hamfest. The precise location and time is to be announced. Listen at 6:00 PM EST daily on 3820 kHz for details.
April 21, 2012 Delaware State Convention
(Delmarva Amateur Radio & Electronics Expo)Georgetown, DE
http://www.radioelectronicsexpo.com Sussex Amateur Radio Association & Sussex Technical High School
Saturday, May 5, 2012 The Great Hagerstown Hamfest
Washington County Ag Expo Center, 7313 Sharpsburg
Pike (Route 65), South of Hagerstown near Sharpsburg, MD
Antietam Radio Association (W3CWC) http://www.w3cwc.org/HamFests.html
Contact: Page Pyne, WA3EOP, 204 North Locust St,
Hagerstown, MD 21740-4051, Phone: 301-393-8772
email@example.com Talk-In: 147.090 (+) No PL