Newsletter for May 2020 MCARC
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The Mercer County Amateur Radio Club

 The May 26th, 2020 meeting turns to Zoom

Join us at the MCARC meeting using Zoom meeting.  Download the App for your platform. Practice using Zoom each Thursday prior to the Thursday Net. 

Thursday Net practice Zoom

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

Join the Zoom Thursday Net Practice Session

Meeting ID: 605 219 395
Password: 73


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 Tue, until Oct 27, 2020, 6 occurrence(s)
        May 26, 2020 06:00 PM

        Jun 23, 2020 06:00 PM

        Jul 28, 2020 06:00 PM

        Aug 25, 2020 06:00 PM

        Sep 22, 2020 06:00 PM

        Oct 27, 2020 06:00 PM

To Join Zoom MONTHLY CLUB Meeting

Meeting ID: 563 685 301
Password: 73

This Tuesday May 26th meeting starting at 6 PM Elmer session – 7 PM business meeting – 7:30 Computer Museum Tour with Josh, KE8MVV Reichard (shown Above during our last in person Elmer session)

In these chaotic times

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

Part of the Zoom Meeting attendees from the April Meeting.
Practice on Thursdays with your Zoom App and attend the May Meeting using Zoom
on May 26.

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

Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt
June 27 - 28 the 4th weekend of June


Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty. 


“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”


Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities:


  • Encourage club members to operate from their home stations on emergency power (Class E).
  • Use the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep in touch during the event.


  • Family members interested in operating Field Day and unable to participate as part of a larger group may want to consider setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna. 


One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus points you may have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with them in the future.


The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact with local or state public health officials for their advice and guidance on hosting Field Day activities.


Demonstrating an understanding of the health crisis we all face and your willingness to adapt will show that you and your club or group are good working partners with local or served agencies. 


“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not about adapting the situation to your operation, it’s about adapting your operation to the situation that presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something different. Learn something new about how you prepare. It may be a challenge, and you may have to ask yourself if you’re up to the challenge. We hope to hear you on the air over the June 27 – 28 weekend.” — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND



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.


FT8 Elmer session

Special Thanks to Michael W8CI Kalter. Our history making first Zoom presentation.
With no Hamvention this year Michael pointed out the event highlights this year which included keeping a ear on the bands for Hamvention Radio W8BI Special Event.

Want to play a bigger part in amateur radio? 
Michael pointed to these 5 things to develop your amateur radio persona. 
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

2020 WPA Section SET    April 4, 2020



Residential area of West Lake Road

Red Cross Shelter

McGonigle Ambulance

Sharon Regional Medical Center

Net Control


This exercise will be conducted from your home.  Duties will be assigned with tasks to perform during the drill on April 4th.  The drill starts following the 9am WPA ARES Net and concludes at 12pm.

Please follow the instructions provided in this envelope.  Do not share them with other participants.  Some items may be straightforward to perform while others may take a small amount of creativity and skill.

The scenario is a flooding event that will affect the residential area on West Lake Road just north of the Shenango Reservoir.  East Lake Road will be flooded but the houses along it will not be harmed themselves.  However, there may be people in those homes.

SKYWARN reports from all participating stations as well as other stations that check-in “on the fly” will be reported via email as instructed in the attachment sent to you earlier.  The email will include Mercer County and the number of reports.

A single SKYWARN report will be sent via 3993.5kHz consisting of our county name and a brief weather statement.

Radiograms may be required.  At other times, you may pass informal traffic over the air.  However, you can always resort to a Radiogram based on your judgement.

All communications to go through Net Control unless directed otherwise by Net Control.  Net Control can have a given location go direct with another location.

9:30-9:35    CHECK-IN     

9:45    Net Control takes hourly SKYWARN Report - Report current weather conditions – ALL STATIONS (those in drill and general check-ins).  Net Control make email report.  Send report to   {Net Control}


10:00    Authorities at West Lake Road area request boat for possible rescue of persons in and around affected area.  Initiated at West Lake Road (Residential area) via RADIOGRAM.  {West Lake}


10:05    Following request from West Lake, request delivery of a boat from Morraine State Park Marina in Butler County for purpose of locating stranded residents.  Use any means available (HF, 2m). [Upon contacting Butler County, it will be assumed that boat is delivered spontaneously.]      {Net Control} – May delegate any station to send RADIOGRAM.  If delegated, pass received Radiogram to station, who will then pass to Butler.


10:15    McGonigle’s relays request for evacuation of people from East Lake Road homes.    {McGonigle’s}  RADIOGRAM


10:20    Net Control asks Residential Area to deploy boat to East Lake Road homes, if boat available.       If not, delegated station to continue boat request from Butler.


10:20    SHELTER requests dry towels, blankets, food for twelve.  Hospital has these supplies.       {Shelter}  RADIOGRAM


10:35    Hourly SKYWARN Reports {Net Control}  []


10:48    Hospital, via Net Control, inquires on count from West Lake requiring medical attention for purpose of staffing ER appropriately.


10:50    EMERGENCY – West Lake advises Net Control of 4 persons in water – one of which is under surface – W. Middlesex Dive Team/McGonigle needed (2 ambulances)


11:00    Make SKYWARN report via 3993.5kHz.  Delegated by Net Control with return confirmation required.

11:15    Hospital requests MD to return to ER from Shelter.  RADIOGRAM


11:35    Hourly SKYWARN Reports  []


12:00    SET Concludes


Above is the complete scenario for the SET held on April 4, 2020.  This is for your personal use.  Hope you are all staying well.

Mike, 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
MCARC Secretary


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 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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