Newsletter for November 2020 MCARC
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The Mercer County Amateur Radio Club

 The November 24, 2020 meeting
Mercer County Amateur Radio Club 
I am proud to announce that Dave Patton, NN1N will be our special guest speaker. His presentation will cover The Logbook of the World

The Elmer Zoom starts at 6 PM fellowed by the business meeting at 7 PM.
This month David Richardson, K3KDR will present a review and demonstration of a Nano VNA Vector Network Analyzer.

Join us November 24th at 7:30 PM with Dave Patton, NN1N.
MCARC meeting using Zoom meeting.  Download the App for your platform. Practice using Zoom each Thursday prior to the Thursday Net. 

Thursday Net Zoom roundtable 

Topic: Zoom Session
Time: Thursdays 8:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join the Zoom Thursday Session 
Check your E mail for the practice meeting ID


MCARC Club Monthly Meeting  (4th Tuesday of the month)

Topic: MCARC Monthly Meeting
Time: 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
        Every month on the Fourth Tuesday

        November 24th, 2020 06:00 PM

To Join Zoom MONTHLY CLUB Meeting
Check your E mail for the meeting ID

 The November  24, 2020 meeting
Mercer County Amateur Radio Club 
Dave Patton, NN1N will be our special guest speaker. His topic will cover The Log Book of the World. LoTW
David Richardson, K3KDR will be reviewing and demonstrating a Nano VNA Vector Network Analyzer. The VNA is much like a multimeter that measures a resistor at DC (0Hz), a VNA measures magnitude of a RF or microwave circuit at their operating frequency, measuring both the magnitude and the phase (they make up a vector) of the circuit. VNA can help you tune and analyze your antenna or find breaks in a coax. 
For this Demo David, K3KDR will be visiting Josh Reichard, K8KJR's QTH.

A Tribute to the Passing of Joe Vaccaro, W3JTV.

The Mercer County ARC has voted to adopt W3JTV as their official club callsign. This will take a few weeks to process through the FCC. 
Joe positively influenced so many MCARC members – this is a fitting tribute to Joe – who was a selfless member – who always helped anyone – no matter what.
Very 73
Tim K3LR
Roy Drake, W3RTY now SK

I am very sad to report that Roy Drake, W3RTY is now a silent key. 
Roy was a close friend and pal of Joe, W3JTV (also SK in June). He was also a big RTTY fan.
He loved quad antennas and working RTTY DX.
Rest in peace RTTY Roy.

In Memoriam for Duane Lee Riggs, AA3LI:

Duane Lee Riggs, AA3LI was born on April 1, 1925 in West Middlesex, PA and died on October 26, 2020 at the age of 95.  He was the son of Duane Leander Riggs and Arlene Boyles Riggs and is survived by his son Duane Lee Riggs III and his wife, Lenel Webber Riggs, of Canyon Lake, TX,  his daughter, Elizabeth Riggs Hancock and her husband, David C. Hancock, of Livingston, TX, Granddaughter Christie Hancock-Jones of Livingston, TX, Grandson Cody Hunter Riggs, of Houston, TX, Great-grandchildren Emily Margaret Jones, Abigail Lee Jones, Landry Walker Riggs, and Bryce William Riggs, and sister, Marilynn Riggs Dull of Fredonia, PA, and brother, Donald A. Riggs of Gainesville, FL. 
     Duane Riggs led an interesting life with many adventures and experiences, starting with being raised during the Great Depression.  When WWII broke out, he attended high school and worked nights at the steel mill to aid the war effort.  He still graduated 2nd in his class.   At age 17, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps (as it was called then), earned his flying wings, and became a Navigator and Bombardier on a B-29 Flying Fortress.  He met his future wife, Betsy Madeline Antee in flight training when he was stationed in San Angelo, TX.  She was pretty, charming, witty, and very classy.  He was smitten with this Southern Belle.  After the War ended, they were married and moved to Texas, where Riggs worked in the oil fields and went to school at night. 
     When the Korean War started, he was called back up by the Air Force and he saw combat action in Korea with B-29 bombers and was awarded the Air Medal for distinguished, outstanding achievements.   
     After Korea, back to Texas and the oil fields and more night school.  He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Accounting and became a CPA.  He also attended Pre-Med school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX.  He was also a pioneer in Computer Technology back when a mainframe computer used vacuum tubes and took up an entire room. 
     Riggs' diverse skills came in handy in his future career in Hospital Finance, along with his knowledge of German, which he learned from the Amish farmers in his home town.  Riggs loved to hunt and the Amish allowed him to hunt on their farms and he would share the meat with them.  He liked to hunt and they liked to teach him German.  When he began applying for Accounting positions, he was hired by a group of Catholic Hospitals which were run by an order of German nuns.  They liked his credentials, that he was Catholic, and the fact that he could speak some German.  Over the years, Riggs worked for Catholic Hospitals in Peoria, Illinois, Miles City, Montana, Lafayette, Louisiana, and in Michigan.   
     Riggs also worked for Imperial Sugar in Texas, and while there, he attended Law School at night and became an Attorney.  He had the 2nd highest score on the Bar Exam in Texas.  His education in Accounting, Computers, and the Law earned him a job offer from the FBI, but Riggs decided there was more money to be made in the private sector and declined. 
     There was one common thread throughout the life of Duane L. Riggs.  He loved his family, he loved to learn, he loved to hunt and fish, and he loved to eat good food.  He loved the food in Louisiana, and learned to cook a mean pot of gumbo.  He also learned a little French and Spanish there and became a licensed Hypnotist and Ham Radio Operator AA3LI.  He made an antenna out of a cookie sheet and stuck wires to it with alligator clips and could talk to other ham radio enthusiasts as far away as Australia.   
     Riggs always loved Pennsylvania and returned to live the last 30 years of his life there.  He requested no funeral, only a Catholic Mass to be said for him, and his remains to be shipped back to his children in Texas.  What a life well lived! 
Arrangements entrusted to the SHERMAN Funeral Home & Crematory.

General Class Course offered on line by Roland A Anders, K3RA

Looking to upgrade to a General Class License? a General Class course on Zoom beginning Thursday, November 5, and running for 9 sessions. Due to holiday breaks, the course ends January 21. Sessions will start at 6:30 Eastern Standard Time , and run 3 hours. No charge, of course. These are the classes sponsored by the National Electronics Museum that we have been holding for years. Please publicize this with anyone you know whom you think would be interested. Those wishing to sign up should email me at

In these chaotic times

MCARC salutes club member Laura Gibson, N3BSN
Mother, Wife, Nurse, Ham
Thank you for your service.
Our very own MCARC member, Harry, W3YJ has the cover and lead article in the November/December 2020 issue of the ARRL QEX magazine.
Harry wrote “Remote Operating with a Raspberry Pi, FLdigi/FLrig, WSJT-X and NoMachine”
Congrats Harry!

Tim K3LR, MCARC President

CQ News Release - Announcing: 2020 Inductees, CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame - congrats K8CX.

The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honors those individuals, whether licensed hams or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur radio; and those amateurs who have made significant contributions either to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet. 
Tom Roscoe, K8CX, a champion of amateur radio history who collects and makes available online his "Ham Gallery" of old QSL cards and other historic photos.
New members are also being inducted into the CQ DX and Contest Halls of Fame in separate online ceremonies, due to the cancellation of the Dayton Hamvention and related DX and Contest dinners. Contest Hall of Fame inductees were announced on May 14; new members of the DX Hall of Fame will be announced on May 20.

MCARC badges with logo are available from / phone: 513-702-4641
This is the White Badge, W/LOGO
Wooden Call sign Badge may be ordered from: 
The URL for the site

PLEASE be sure to include that you are with the Mercer County Amateur Radio Club.

Digital Training Net

From: "Kevin P. Lear" <>

First of all, please feel free to share this with 

anyone who may have an interest in digital communications.

I would like to thank Mike Coslo N3LI for his presentation on the more 

technical side of the digital modes last week. Although it is important 

to know how to set-up and operate the software it is also a great 

advantage to have some background on the technical side of the digital 

software. Mike will be joining us from time to time as we progress 

through the digital realm of amateur radio. Mike will provide us with 

technical background for you to have a more thorough knowledge and help 

grow the communication skills you are developing. I would also like to 

thank the NARC (Nittany Amateur Radio Club) for continuing to allow us 

to fill this time slot. Thank you ALL

Up this week we will begin to explore an upcoming digital mode JS8Call.

If you do not have it installed here is a link to the software and some 

supporting pages of interest. Please have it installed prior to 

Wednesdays session if possible as we will be sending and receiving 

messages with this software.

Download: (Chose the link for your 

operating system.)

I will have my rig set to receive VARA P2P WinLink check-ins from 5:30 

until 6:55 pm.

WPA NBEMS 3580 dial frequency (Remember that center frequency is +1500hz 

or 3581.500 )

As usual bonus points for transferring a form.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Kevin Lear is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Digital Training Net

Time: 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

        Every week on Wed, until Dec 9, 2020

        Nov 18, 2020 07:00 PM

        Nov 25, 2020 07:00 PM

        Dec 2, 2020 07:00 PM

        Dec 9, 2020 07:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 713 1384 2323

Passcode: 226716

Questions: contact  "Kevin P. Lear" <>

Mercer County Amateur Radio Club targets area libraries with Radio Amateur books for those interested in radio science and Ham Radio.
Contact Alex, W3XH for information about the project at

PiAware SkyAware installed at repeater site. 

Josh K3LH project idea goes live with the Alex, W3XH and Jeff N3JD install team along with Cory, W3CDG and Barney, K3LA programming the link into the internet.
To view the PiWare SkyAwre page use this Link  MCARC PiAware SkyAware
 from the repeater site. The information is received at the repeater site via a Raspberry Pi to be displayed at the link shown above.
To view NEXRAD Weather click on the Gear wheel in the upper right next to "Hide All Tracks" In the window that appears select the box next to the words NEXRAD Weather.

Checkout the PiAware SkyAware view from the K3LH site in Phoenix  Click HERE

This group is for any western PA amateur radio club or WPA amateur radio operator interested in the special event station/s related to the 100th anniversary of KDKA radio in November of 2020. This group was started to help coordinate the effort between interested parties. All input is welcome and keeping everything civil is greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
Contact: Bob,WC3O Bastone at
To subscribe to the group click
Calendar: Click to see Upcoming Events
Here are a few of the many activities held & planned for MCARC in 2020. Support your club by becoming a member.
Elmer Sessions - Ideas wanted. Step up show what you know - help others 
Scouting Radio Merit Badge Saturday March 28th  
PA Cyber Hosting a Balloon Launch APRS tracking.
Monthly Hospital Tests - Check in from home. Your signal report helps.
VE Sessions - Become a VE - Let candidates know where they can test.
Fox Hunt - June Meeting @ Shelter 1 for Fox Hunt Demonstrations. Be the Fox June 30th 1:30pm
W3B Buhl Day - a great way to support the community
W3LIF Field Day - ELMER Classs. Bring friends, Picnic Food. 
July Club picnic - July, 2020 at Buhl Park
W3LIF PA QSO Party - just outstanding radio fun.
Field Trips - Day trips coming your way. Need suggestions for the new year.
ACS Support for Events. 

NEW -The addition of a 440 repeater at W3LIF its happening.
NEW - The addition of a 2M (146.685) repeater in Grove City at the Grove City Medical Center
Amateur Radio Get together in Greenville
Breakfast Saturdays @ Park Inn 9:45am - 10am in West Middlesex TBA
September 2020 Penn State Shenango Jane Williams 5K
November Sharpsville Food Bank 5K on or about Nov. 9th
September  Penn State 5K Downtown Sharon at Penn State Shenango

Club Picnic July at Shelter #4 in Buhl Park stating at 6:30 PM
SET Simulated Emergency Test April 4th, 9AM till Noon
ZOOM meetings and Zoom speakers

Hamvention QSO Party
Contest University 

Your Dues support expanding repeater operation and maintenance. Support your Club.
Thursday's at 9pm it's the W3LIF Soap Box Net 145.350. A friendly way to say hello. Early Check in for those on the go starts after 8pm ish.  
W3LIF expands coverage 145.350 and 442.675 repeaters are now linked full time. Thanks to KB3GRF, Jerry L Koewacich for his donation of the 442.675 repeater.
For Mercer County Amateur Radio Club Local Nets Click the photo.

Special Thanks to Tom Abernethy, W3TOM
Atlantic Divison ARRL Director

A good discussion with some hard questions that directly effects the future of Amateur Radio.
Click HERE to visit the Atlantic Division web site
Thanks also to Harry Bloomberg, W3YJ who joined us for the 6PM Elmer Session.  Harry W3YJ's review of the IC - 705 was excellent .

Click below on First impressions of IC-705 or on Harry, W3YJ to view the YouTube presentation.
Scounting Tech Merit Badge On Air March 28th in the morning AM
Mercer County ARC supports Radio Scouting. Our Club contact is Bruce, K3BEG.
Want to learn more? Click on the Radio Scouting LOGO.
Activities to be announced at the EOC 911 center in Mercer
Monthly Test of Hospital Radios:
Dear MCARC members:
ACS/RACES/ARES conducts the monthly hospital tests on the last Friday the month, around 6:45pm.  

Monthly, we need volunteers to go to the EOC for the test and at least one at each site committed to UPMC Horizon - Greenville, Grove City Medical Center, Sharon Regional and UMC Horizon - Farrell.  It is good to have one better to have two available to go to a specific site. Then each month visit a different site so the operators know the location and operation of each radio at any of the hospitals.
ACS/RACES/ARES applications to be turned in ASAP 

ARES Community Support of the Sharpsville Food Pantry November 9th - 5K Run/Walk.

Reply via Email:
Mike Varga, NR3C

ACS/RACES/ARES personnel:

We will be resuming the monthly hospital tests.  On the last Friday of the month, we will conduct the test as usual.  You should arrive at your facility between 6pm and 6:30pm.  We will begin the net at 6:45pm.

Having been away from it for several months, I hope that there will be ample resources to have someone at each location (four hospitals and the EOC).  Everything is as usual with one exception on the door to enter at the EOC.  If you plan to cover that site, please let me know and I will give you more details.

Thanks in advance to all who will be able to assist in this month's test.  The hospitals really do want us to maintain the equipment should an emergency arise.

Mike Varga, NR3C

Michael S. Varga, NR3C
Mercer Co. ACS/RACES Radio Officer
Mercer Co. ARES Emergency Coordinator
WPA Public Information Officer
MCARC-sponsored VE Team Liaison
ARRL Registered Instructor
MCARC Secretary

Michael S. Varga, MA, MS, DABR
Medical Physicist

724-813-9412  cell

MCARC Membership and Renewal 

Check the members list at to see if
Your on the members list.  Be a part of YOUR Club.

Full Membership  - $30
Family Membership - $40
Student Membership - $10
Click HERE to buy
Clicking on the PayPal button will give you the option to use PayPal or your own Credit Card.

Your Membership makes possible the operation and maintenance of the W3LIF repeater sites. - The Loan of Amateur Equipment - Voice and vote at meetings  - Field Day Lunch and Sunday Breakfast. - The W3LIF Annual Picnic - Helps to off set the W3LIF Christmas Party Venu. Support Your Club.
Click HERE to view the Zoom tour of W1AW hosted by Joe, NJ1Q station manager
Click HERE to view Vintage Computing and Amateur Radio presented by Josh Reichard, KE8MVV
Click HERE to view THIS IS HAM RADIO are you interested in Amateur Radio?
Click HERE to view The Raspberry Pi and Ham Radio presented by Harry Bloomberg, W3YJ
Click HERE to view Techniques to WAS & DXCC presented by Anthony Luscre, K8ZT
Click HERE to view the PDF presentation from Tim, K3LR entitled Radio Wave Propagation
Click HERE to view the PDF presentation from Mike, NR3C entitled ARES, RACES, ACS
Click HERE to view the PDF presentation from Cory Gibson, W3CDG entitled NVIS, Near Vertical Incident Skywave antennas

ARRL Special Service Club and ARRL Affiliated Club

Amateur Radio has so much to offer and as a MCARC member we want you to "own-it" as an ARRL Special Service Club (SSC). MCARC is recognized as a positive force to improve the visibility of Amateur Radio in the community, to assist in emergencies, to encourage training and to provide activities for the betterment of the membership and the Amateur Radio Service. The Club thanks all its members and what you do to become a ARRL Special Service Club. Lets keep moving forward in making Amateur Radio a positive force in our community.

Amateur Radio Exam: To Be Announced 

Walk-ins are welcome. There is a $15.00 testing fee due the day of the examination.

Anyone seeking a modification in testing procedures must contact VE Liaison Mike Varga, NR3C, prior to the exam session and provide him with a written doctor's excuse explaining the need for the modification requested.

Contact for confirmation and additional information.
Copyright © 2020 Mercer County Amateur Radio Club, All rights reserved.

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