Archive for October, 2020

PCARS Dues Reminder

Dear PCARS Members:
I want to remind you that your PCARS Membership renewal for 2021 is due on or before December 31st, 2020. If you will go to the PCARS website ( www.portcars.org ) and click on the “MEMBERSHIP” tab in the blue bar at the top of the page, the membership page will have all the information you need to process your renewal, either online or mail-in. Either way, please, complete a new membership application, with all of your current information, so we can keep your record up to date.
Now that 2020 is just about behind us, your PCARS officers have been planning for 2021 based on the “new normal” that we will all be experiencing as we move forward. While we are hoping to be able to get together at events in person, we are planning to make our events friendly to both “in-person” and “virtual” attendance so you will always have the choice as to how you feel comfortable participating. Yes, it is going to be a challenge, but PCARS will be here to support your Amateur Radio interests. Club meetings and activities will help you keep up to date and engaged in all aspects of the hobby!
73,                           
Tom WB8LCD
PCARS Pres.
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Antenna Special Interest Group IN PERSON Tonight October 20th at 7 PM

The October [IN PERSON] meeting of the PCARS Antenna Special Interest Group will be held on Tuesday, 10/20/2020 at 7:00 pm in the Radio room at the PCARS Club Site. Covid 19 safety protocols will be observed! The Antenna SIG meetings are to all PCARS members and guests. All ham radio operators or anyone interested in Amateur Radio are also welcome to attend. We will be discussing all aspects of antenna design, construction, test equipment and experimentation. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion and talk about your projects with the group.
 
This month’s special topic will be talking about a program called SimSmith and NanoVNA’s. Both of these are inexpensive, but extremely useful, tools for designing/analyzing/troubleshooting complex RF circuits (like antenna SYSTEMS). Plenty of time will be reserved for discussing member antenna planning/design/construction projects.
 
See you all there!
 
73 Tony WA8AR 
 

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Protest Increasing FCC License Fees

Greetings fellow Great Lakes Div. hams.
It is time to protest the imposition of fees for Amateur Radio Licensing.
The fees Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in this morning’s Federal Register (https://tinyurl.com/yyk8f2yp). The deadline for comments is November 16, and the Reply comment deadline is November 30.
With this in mind, I am extending the following suggestions you might consider using in writing to the FCC in response to the NPRM. Our thanks to Dave Siddall K3ZJ, ARRL Counsel, for these guidelines. Be sure to carefully review the paragraphs; “Some Suggestions” as the information therein will assist with much of the applicable background.
This subject is critical, the timing is critical. I urge you to contact the FCC. Address and related information is contained in the article referenced in the Federal Register.  Please use your own words to express your objections to the proposed fees.
(Good) Arguments Against FCC Fees for Radio Amateurs
Amateurs contribute to the public good. In many areas they provide an emergency communications backbone capability at no taxpayer cost. Consistently we have witnessed storms and natural disasters completely wipe out internet, cellular, and other means of communication. Radio amateurs often fill that void on an unmatched, flexible basis when needed. One recent example is the California wildfires.
Unlike operators in other FCC licensed services, Amateur Radio operators by law – domestic and international — must eschew using their license for any pecuniary interest. Amateurs are prohibited from earning or charging any money for any communications activity. The expenses for their equipment and activities come out of their own pockets, with no opportunity for reimbursement or payment of any kind.
The United States is experiencing a severe lack of RF engineers and expertise at the very time it is needed by the burgeoning wireless industries.  Amateur radio is helping to meet the deficit, but much more is needed and youngsters (High School and College-aged) are least able to afford licensing fees. RF knowledge and related digital expertise is needed to maintain U.S. leadership in wireless industries. At a minimum, young people (below the age of 26) should be exempt from the proposed license fees.
Amateur radio is self-regulating. (a) Amateur examinations are written and administered by radio amateur volunteers. (b) Examination results and paperwork most often are submitted electronically to the FCC. Electronic submission could be required if there would be a cost savings to the Commission. (c) Amateur radio educational classes are conducted by volunteers who by-and-large do not charge fees or tuition for teaching. (d) The amateur service, in cooperation with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, has a volunteer corps that monitors the amateur airwaves and has programs that try to prevent their misuse before FCC involvement might be needed. The amateurs also observe non-amateur signals both within amateur spectrum and outside it, and report unusual or suspicious signals.
Amateur radio continues to be a source of significant technological innovation that should be encouraged, not discouraged.
Some Suggestions
We do not recommend arguing that the $50. fee every 10 years, which amounts to $5.00 a year, will “kill” amateur radio, even though as proposed this is for each covered application, which includes upgrade applications. Tech-General-Extra could be $150. If exams taken at different sessions, a substantial amount. But it “rings” the wrong way to say the whole service turns on $5/year for each licensee. If that’s all it would take ….
The Commission argues that the charges are required by the statute. The word used is “shall”, which is mandatory, not optional. But the statute does not set the amount, nor does it prohibit reasonable exceptions – evidenced by the Commission’s proposal to exempt from fees administrative update applications based on policy grounds.
This is not “aimed at amateur radio to kill it.” There is a long history and precedent on charging fees for the licensing service involved, just as there is for passports, green cards, drivers’ licenses (issued by states), etc. Better to make pertinent arguments on why the fees would impair the public benefits of the amateur radio service than argue that the whole service might die as a result of a fee that, in fact, is less than the fee many of us paid in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
For background: this proceeding is being handled by staff unfamiliar with amateur radio. It is being handled in the FCC’s Office of Managing Director (OMD), not in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau where the amateur-specific Part 97 matters are handled. The focus of OMD is accounting – budgets and the like for the entire Commission. The fee proposals cover every FCC license and service across the board and the consideration was directed by Congress. It is recommended keeping “ham jargon” out of comments, it won’t be understood by the intended recipients.
Thank you.
ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK
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Massillon Hamfest

The Massillon Hamfest is still scheduled for November 1st. But check their web site in case this changes. http://www.w8np.org/
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(Sept 21, 2020)  This year the MARC will hold their annual hamfest on Sunday, November 1, 2020 at a brand new location.
It will be located at the MAPS Air Museum in Green. The address is 5383 Massillon Road (St Rt 241), Green, OH. This is along State Route 241.
Admission will be $5.00 per person. Tables will be available for $15.00 per 6 foot length. Some electric will be available. Masks will be required for entry.
Other changes may be necessary as we prepare for our hamfest. These will be posted on the website as we need.
We still plan to hold our auction but it will be limited in size.
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General Upgrade Class

If you have a Technician class license you need to upgrade to General to be able to participate in all of the HF activities that PCARS sponsors. Here’s your chance!
I will be starting a “self-study” upgrade class on Tuesday October 20th. It’s open to all PCARS members at no cost for the class. We will be using the ARRL study guide, so that will be your only cost for the class. You can get it from DX Engineering or the ARRL directly. We will also be using YouTube videos, followed up with local, live zoom sessions to keep everyone on track.
Send me an email directly – tomsly29@gmail.com – if you want to be registered for the class.
Presuming no “bad-news” on the COVID front, PCARS will be having a VE session on Saturday, December 5th.
73,
Tom WB8LCD
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PCARS Dues

Dear PCARS Members:
I want to remind you that your PCARS membership renewal for 2021 is due on or before December 31st, 2020. If you will go to the PCARS website ( www.portcars.org ) and click on the “MEMBERSHIP” tab on the far right in the blue bar at the top of the page, the membership page will have all the information you need to process your renewal, either on-line or mail-in. Either way, please, complete a new membership application, with all of your current information, and submit it so we can keep our records up to date.
Now that 2020 is just about behind us, your PCARS officers have been planning for 2021 based on the “new normal” that we will be experiencing as we move forward. While we are hoping to be able to get together at events in person, we are planning to make our events friendly to both “in-person” and “virtual” attendance so you will always have the choice as to how you feel comfortable participating. Yes, it is going to be a challenge, but PCARS will be here to support your Amateur Radio interests. Club meetings and activities will help keep you up to date and engaged in all aspects of the hobby!
73,
Tom WB8LCD
PCARS Pres.
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PCARS Flexnet

Join us Wednesday at 8:00PM EST for the PCARS Flexnet. This month we’ll test our 2M simplex coverage on 146.400 FM. If you’re interested in being a net op or assistant net op contact Mike N8WCP at n8wcp.us@gmail.com.
See you on the air!
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Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)This Weekend October 16-18

The third weekend of October is designated as Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTA). This year, starting on Friday and ending Sunday, Scouts all over the world will be jumping on the air and trying to make contacts from “around the corner to around the world!” Does that sound familiar? It’s a great opportunity to connect young people with the hobby and this year, PCARS member J.C. KC3JXQ will be out at Camp Manatoc with Kent Cub Scout Pack 3250 running a station. There will be 6 groups of Scouts ranging in age from Kindergarten through fifth grade moving through the station from 9 AM up to 4 PM.
Given that the station will be running QRP and that no Scout wants to listen to an adult talk about radio for 15 minutes and then NOT talk on the radio to another person, there will be a D-STAR hotspot on site. JOTA has staked out REF033A as the reflector of choice for the weekend. If you have the equipment and can spare a little time it can be a lot of fun. There will still be attempts to connect on any HF band that might cooperate so keep your ears open.
The listing of suggested frequencies and more information can be found here:
The Scouts hope to hear you on the air this weekend!
J. C. Wilson, KC3JXQ
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PCARS meeting tonight!

Don’t forget the PCARS meeting tonight.
50/50 tickets on sale until 4:00 PM on the PCARS website. Buy a bunch – this could be your lucky night!
Anthony – K8ZT will have a presentation guaranteed to enhance your RF communications skills. Please, join us in person at the Kent American Legion Hall, or via zoom :
Either way, we look forward to seeing you at PCARS!
73,
Tom WB8LCD
PCARS Pres
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PCARS Meeting Monday October 12

The Monthly PCARS Meeting is coming up!
I would like to invite all PCARS members to attend the PCARS meeting this coming Monday evening (10/12) at 7:00 PM. We meet at the Kent American Legion Hall at 1945 Mogadore Rd. in Kent. Food and beverage are available – you can show up as early as 5:30 to eat prior to the meeting. We have a very large room, so there is plenty of space for social distancing. Because of the COVID Pandemic, we have been offering our meetings either in person or on ZOOM so that everyone can still participate in whatever way they feel appropriate for themselves. The ZOOM link is as follows:
Our presentation will be given by Anthony Luscra – K8ZT who will also attend via ZOOM (we have a large screen and projector for those at the American Legion) and he’ll be giving a presentation on techniques and ideas to help you attain WAS and DXCC. This is a good program to help get Tech licensees motivated to upgrade and Generals and Extras to get on the Air! Hope to see you Monday.
73,
Tom WB8LCD
PCARS Pres.
OH Section ACC
330-554-4650
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