Newsletter for February 2021 MCARC
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The Mercer County Amateur Radio Club

 The February 23, 2021 meeting
Mercer County Amateur Radio Club 
I am proud to announce that Bob Heil, K9EID is to be the presenter for the February Meeting.

The Elmer Zoom starts at 6 PM fellowed by the business meeting at 7 PM.

Join us February 23 at 7:30 PM form the main speaker.
MCARC meeting using Zoom meeting.  Download the App for your platform. Practice using Zoom each Thursday prior to the Thursday Net. 

Thursday Net Zoom HAM Talk 

Topic: Zoom Session
Time: Thursdays 8:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
ID: 563685301
Password: 73

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

        February 23 , 2021 at  06:00 PM
ID: 563685301
Password: 73

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

The February  23, 2021 meeting
Mercer County Amateur Radio Club 
Welcomes Bob Heil, K9EID
First licensed in 1956, Amateur Radio has been the foundation of my careers in the sound reinforcement industry as well as bringing high quality, articulate audio to Amateur Radio. Entering this great hobby during the best sun spot cycle helped me to focus on designing and building one of the first VHF SSB KW stations. Throughout the years, I have enjoyed designing many antennas, from the 128 element two meter ''J' Beam array in 1960 to the latest - phased arrays on 40 and 75 meters. I enjoy all of the bands from 160 meters through two meters working my many friends and especially newcomers to this great hobby.
Hamvention 2021 Cancelation Release:
Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic make necessary the difficult decision to cancel Hamvention 2021. Hundreds of volunteers have been working to do everything necessary to bring this Hamvention to the many amateur radio enthusiasts and vendors who support the Dayton Hamvention.
Vaccine distribution both in the United States and around the world is lagging behind what was planned. In addition, the emergence of a more communicable form of the COVID-19 virus increases the potential for further public health problems in the next few months. We make this difficult decision for the safety of our guests and vendors. Those who had their tickets deferred last year will be deferred again. 
Stay tuned for information about a QSO party for the Hamvention weekend. We’ll be back next year!!!
Executive Committee, Dayton Hamvention 2021
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

In these chaotic times

MCARC salutes club member Laura Gibson, N3BSN
Mother, Wife, Nurse, Ham
Thank you for your service.

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.

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

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.

Thanks to  Bart Jahnke, W9JJ with Rose Anne Lawrence, KB1DMW and thanks to Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R.
The QSL Bureau.

Photos curtesy of Harry, W3YQ
Bob and I wish to thank you and your club members for the opportunity to join your Mercer County ARC club meeting Tuesday night, offering us a forum to discuss the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau.  With nearly 50 Zoom participants on line, your member attendance was awesome!
As discussed, a Youtube version of the QSL Bureau tour is available – and it can now be accessed via
Also per our discussion, below is summary information from Rose-Anne (with excerpt from Dave Sumner) on areas that we presently find challenged or unable to be served when attempting to forward QSL Cards to those countries.
As always, thank you for the many ways you support amateur radio and ARRL!
73 Bart W9JJ
Bart Jahnke, W9JJ
Radiosport and Field Services Manager

de KB1DMW…
Bart, here are the areas with challenges with delivery of paper QSL cards.   It’s on the ARRL website (On the Air, QSL Service, Incoming, Outgoing).  These are the “green sheets” we put in the lobby and hand out at hamfests.    
These are the prefixes that jump out at me as not having Bureaus as I am slotting cards.   They go in the Lookup Slots.    Generally hams in a given country knows of their challenges, and they often put this info on QRZ (“stating: QSL Direct, or Direct Only, or LoTW only,” etc.)  A lot of special events are saying “don’t send a card.”   If the ham is not a member of the organization that is the country’s Bureau, they are not getting their cards.  Those countries are listed at the bottom.  I fear they just discard these cards.  These organizations often charge a lot more than the ARRL to utilize their services r to be members.
Here at the ARRL QSL Bureau, in normal times, we have a volunteer look up these cards that don’t have a Bureau to send to.  We started doing this because there were just too many of them.   Carey Harmon KB1SCS (who has been our the Thursday a.m. tour guide pre-COVID) did this for years.  My husband Rich KB1DMX still does them at home.   There aren’t as many cards at present as paper QSL’ing numbers have dropped a bit  
Of note:
Cuba does not accept cards from the US.   The go to Mexico – from which they ship them out for us.  If it says Direct, send it Direct.   Cuba has a lot of managers in EA Spain.
Have “VIA: ____” printed on your card in a visible spot and highlight it or write in color ink as close to the station contacted.   Don’t write on back unless it’s a picture postcard style.  
We forward Direct cards to the Bureau although they may not get to the person.   People don’t want to spend the money on postage. 
This is the info they are most likely looking for.   I started writing notes on the slots over the last two years to make it easier for any person - doing any sorting - to understand the prefixes. 
Some entities are all served by QSL Managers only.   Some examples are:
A9 – Bahrain CLOSED
H4 – Solomon Islands.   CLOSED
P4 – Aruba – Mostly US managers
PJ – Netherland Antilles (W3HNK).  Mostly Managers. 
S9 – Sao Tome.  Mostly Managers.
V7 – Marshall Islands  CLOSED
YN – Nicaragua.  Many manager US and TI.  
ZD – All lookup.   St. Helena, Ascension, Tristan  CLOSED
ZF- Caymen Islands.  Mostly Managers. 
ZK – Tokelau Island All islands CLOSED,  Some go to Manager in ZL
9M - Malaysia – JA managers
9Y – Trinidad and Tobego.   This is on a temporary hold due to poor postal service.  There is a dispute over customs payment although QSL cards have no monetary value.  
D4C and H2X go to I Italy.
These calls go to JA Japab, 
People don’t look up one by one calls which are special events.  Don’t go on QRZ because they are only issued for two weeks.  Go on the One by One Call Sign website ; and type in the call in the search box.  Most of these are US to US and can’t be delivered.   Send these direct to the trustee based on call and date of contact.   
We forward all the DIRECT cards, although we don’t guarantee they will get there.   There may be a person in the organization that knows the person and will get the card to them. 
We do the best we can forwarding cards; although it’s not our responsibility.   It’s the responsibility of the ham filling out the card to make sure the info is correct and written on the card. 
Countries Not Presently Served By the Outgoing QSL Service
Approximately 225 DXCC entities are served by the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service, as detailed in the ARRL DXCC List. This includes nearly every active country. As noted previously, cards are forwarded from the ARRL Outgoing Service to a counterpart bureau in each of these countries. In some cases, there is no Incoming Bureau in a particular country and cards, therefore, cannot be forwarded. However, QSL cards can be forwarded to a QSL manager, e.g., ZB2FX via G3RFX. Most operations from places without a QSL bureau have a QSL manager.
3B Agalega, Mauritius, Rodrigues 
3C Equatorial Guinea 
3C0 Pagalu Island 
3DA Swaziland 
3W Vietnam 
3X Guinea 
4J, 4K Azerbaijan 
4W Timor-Leste 
5A Libya 
5R Madagascar 
5T Mauritania
5U Niger
5V Togo
7O Yemen
7P Lesotho
7Q Malawi 
8Q Maldives
9L Sierra Leone
9N Nepal
9U Burundi
9X Rwanda
A3 Tonga
A5 Bhutan
A6 United Arab Emirates
C2 Nauru
C5 Gambia
C6 Bahamas
CN Morocco
D2 Angola 
D4 Cape Verde 
E3 Eritrea 
E4 Palestine 
E5 North & South Cook Is. 
ET Ethiopia 
HH Haiti 
HV Vatican 
J5 Guinea-Bissau 
J8 St. Vincent 
KG4 Guantanamo Bay
KH0 Mariana Is.
KH1 Baker & Howland Is.
KH4 Midway Island
KH5 Palmyra & Jarvis Is.
KH7K Kure Island 
KH9 Wake island
KP1 Navassa Island
KP5 Desecheo Island
P2 Papua New Guinea
P5 North Korea
PZ Suriname
S0 Western Sahara
S7 Seychelles
S9 Sao Tome & Principe
ST Sudan
SU Egypt
T2 Tuvalu
T3 Kiribati
T5 Somalia
T8 Palau
TJ Cameroon
TL Central African Rep
TN Congo
TT Chad
TU Cote d'Ivoire
TY Benin
V3 Belize
V4 St. Kitts & Nevis
V6 Micronesia
VP2E Anguilla
VP2M Montserrat
VQ9 Chagos Diego Garcia
XU Cambodia
XW Laos
XZ Myanmar
YA Afghanistan
Z2 Zimbabwe
ZA Albania
Countries that currently deliver QSL cards only to members of that country’s national radio society include the following:   
Belarus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Zambia.
Here’s the latest from Dave Sumner, on behalf of IARU:
                                       IARU ADDRESS CHANGES IN THE BUREAU COVID SHUTDOWN 
                                      March 23, 2020 – June 23, 2020 (dated back to 9 months ago…)
Per Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, Secretary IARU
New Address for Brazil PY:
PO Box 004
70275-970 Brasilia - DF
Temporary Address for Portugal CT: Covid
Praceta D Mecia n 15 – 2  Dto
2605-247 Belas
Note:  There are degree signs after the n and 2
Hold Cards for Greece.  Don’t Send Any Cards:
SV – No address changes given. 
New Address for Estonia ES:
Estonian Amateur Radio Union
Ravala pst 8-111B
PK 80
10143 Tallinn   ESTONIA
RAL, KB1DMW, Nov. 12, 2020

Thanks to Cory Gibson, W3CDG who joined us for the 6PM Elmer Session. Cory, W3CDG presented and demonstrated on printed circuit boards.
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.
Health and Welfare Nets
>Lawrence Co. Health & Welfare on 444.750MHz at 5pm daily
>Butler Co. Health & Welfare on 147.300MHz at 7pm Monday - Friday
>Monday Through Friday 147.30MHz
Time 7:00 PM
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

ARES Connect
Mercer Co ARES:


Please use ARES Connect at to sign up for the Monthly Hospital Testing.

Thank you!



Mike Varga, NR3C

Mercer Co. ARES EC


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 © 2021 Mercer County Amateur Radio Club, All rights reserved.

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