Portage County Amateur Radio Service, Inc. (PCARS)


August 2005 – KB8UUZ, KB8VJL, KC8PD and WB8LCD, initiated conversations regarding the insufficient activities in the local amateur radio club and were eager to make some changes. It was decided that we would start our own amateur radio club to get fun ham radio activities going. They agreed to reconvene in early September to explore potential solutions. In the meantime, Hurricane Katrina struck and KC8PD offered to assist with communication efforts in Mississippi. As a result, the meeting was postponed.

October 2005 – 3 more people were asked to join in as founders – KB8DPN, W8KNO and N8KBX. During October the group conducted 2 meetings and after much consideration the decision to start fresh with a new club and have new goals was made. A Constitution and By-laws were written up as well as a Mission Statement. They wanted the club to be recognized as a club that would be active in ham radio as well as having an eye toward community involvement. The Club’s Constitution and Bylaws were modeled after the suggested text on the ARRL web site and written up by KB8UUZ. From the beginning the decision was made to become an ARRL affiliated club. Many club names were tossed around and after much discussion the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS) was chosen. This name reflected the club’s Mission Statement in that the club is: in Portage County; involved in Amateur Radio, and intent to provide a Service to our community using our skills as ham operators. Thus the name was chosen to reflect that. KB8UUZ designed the graphics / logo for the club. At the November meeting held at Ray’s Place in Kent, it was unanimously decided that the new club was now a tangible entity. Various meeting venues were considered, and Mike’s Place in Kent graciously offered their meeting space for our use on the second Monday of every month.

The Portage County Amateur Radio Service, Inc. was officially established during a meeting at Mike’s place in Kent. The Constitution / By-Laws and Mission Statement were thoroughly reviewed and approved. At that time, there were 9 paid members for 2005 and 10 paid members for 2006. The initial Club’s Officers were elected as follows: WB8LCD as President, KC8PD as Vice President, KB8UUZ as Treasurer, KB8VJL as Three Year Trustee, W8KNO as Two Year Trustee, and KB8DPN as One Year Trustee. Immediately after, the initial committees were formed with KB8DPN as Webmaster, KC8PD as PIO, KB8UUZ as Secretary, and KB8VJL as Club Call Trustee. The necessary paperwork was filed with the state of Ohio for incorporation and was successfully granted. Affiliation papers with ARRL were also submitted. An application for a club call sign was sent to the FCC. Additionally, a tax ID number was applied for and received, leading to the opening of a bank account. Behind the scenes, a lot of work was being done by all involved. The names and e-mails of over 400 ham operators in Portage County were obtained through QRZ.COM, and preparations were being made to go public in December. The club’s call sign, KD8CKP, was received and information about the club was promptly posted on QRZ.Com and HAMCALL.NET. The club’s website domain name, www.portcars.org, was acquired, and the first website was launched. A Member Certificate and membership cards were designed, along with the club QSL card.

WB8LCD reached out to N8KW and obtained permission to use the Kent Repeater (146.895) for a regularly scheduled net, which would take place every Thursday at 8:00 pm. A net control schedule was established for the upcoming months, and the first 2 meter net was scheduled for January 5th, 2006.

December 2005 – In December, more individuals learned about the new club and promptly paid their dues for 2006, increasing the membership to 12. The first ‘open to the public’ meeting was scheduled for January 9th. Initial E-Mails were distributed to local hams to promote the new club in Portage County. A follow-up E-mail was sent after Christmas to remind everyone about the upcoming meeting and the first 2-meter net. Press releases were crafted to publicize the club, resulting in coverage in both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Record Courier in Portage County. Jim – KC8PD engaged with the Portage County EMA Director and the National Weather Service to organize Skywarn training for the county in 2006. A reservation was made at Maplewood Career Center, and once the date was confirmed with EMA/NWS, the SKYWARN training session was set for April 19, 2006.

January 5, 2006 – the First PCARS 2 meter net was held at 8 pm on the Kent repeater and there were 18 check-ins.

January 9, 2006 – It was a remarkable day at the club. The meeting commenced promptly at 7:00 pm, and an impressive turnout of nearly 40 individuals was observed! Throughout the evening, a dozen new members eagerly joined, resulting in a total of 26 members. We spread the word that the club had submitted an application to the IRS for our 501(c)(3) status. Exciting activities were planned from February to April, with the first event being a QRP gathering in a nearby park on a Saturday in February. The inaugural monthly newsletter was scheduled for release on February 1st that year. The Radiogram, the club’s first-ever issue, would feature the monthly documentation of PCARS’ history for everyone to enjoy. Following the January meeting, WB8LCD organized the first 50/50 draw, and N4TIE emerged as the fortunate winner.

February 25, 2006 – First Freeze Your Acorn Off at Towner’s Woods Park

February 2006 – First edition of the Radiogram is published

April 2006 – ARRL Charter Affiliation was granted to PCARS

June 24-25th 2006 – PCARS first FIELD DAY

January to February 2007 – PCARS club site is established in Ravenna, OH. KC8PD was instrumental in the club getting the club site secured.

May 2008 – First Ohio State Parks On The Air Contest (OSPOTA) sponsored by PCARS

August 5, 2009 – First PCARS Annual Cruise-in

October to December 2009 – Renovation of Radio room and installation of computer server

November 23, 2009 – K8BF – New Vanity Call Sign assigned to PCARS – Kilo 8 Big Fun

March 22, 2010 – PCARS Recognized as an ARRL Special Service Club

October 2010 Tri-bander & Tower installed at clubsite

May 19, 2018 – 2018 Hamvention Club Of The Year

September 2018 The club acquires three ICOM 7300 radios and set them up at the club site for the convenience of all members

February 17, 2024 The club has acquired an additional Icom 7300 (4th), meaning that all four radio stations now share the same radio and configuration

Gallery of PCARS’ Presidents

1st President
3rd President
4th President
5th President
6th President

* We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Tom “Parky”, KB8UUZ, for generously sharing the historical documentation, photos, and descriptions detailing the history of our club. Parky, your dedication and commitment to the premier ham radio club in Ohio are truly appreciated.