The SMRA Adventure day Wrap-up

Well Gang,
The first SMRA Adventure day was fun! Scott, N3SW and I started our hike to the Flat Rock Overlook at08:00 Saturday morning. The weather was partly sunny with some humidity and a temperature of about 75 degrees. We were concerned that it was going to be a bit buggy but that never manifested itself.
The hike to Flat Rock is very steep with several long climbs. There are places that are so steep that you have to really watch your footing. The distance to the top is only 2.2 miles but it is very slow going. It took us just a bit more then an hour.
Once at the top, Scott used his Elecraft KX-1 QRP rig and made three contacts on 20 Meter CW using a telescopic whip antenna and a counterpoise. I set up my Yaesu FT-817 and Laptop computer in preparation for the SSTV and digital transmissions that we were going to make.
AT 9:00 AM, right on schedule, we started making contacts on the 145.43 repeater. Then for the next hour we made contacts on 2 meter simplex, 70 cm simplex, and successfully made our SSTV and digital transmissions.We had folks receive both of these.
Scott moved off the overlook proper and set up his Black Widow vertical in the forest about 25 yards away. There he made 2 additional CW contacts on 40 meters.
Since this overlook is very popular with hikers, we didn’t stay long. We had several hikers who were very interested in what we were doing and had an enjoyable chat with them. At about 1 PM, we broke down our equipment and hiked back down to our cars. I hope that everyone had as much fun as we did. Our contact log is attached to this message. I will have certificates ready at the next meeting.

Dick, WA3USG & Scott, N3SW

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Bike Races

SMRA provides communication at various points around the course – mainly for safety concerns, but also for reporting rider progress, need for supplies, etc.

Here are some benefits to helping out at a bike races

  • Learn to use radios in the field and sometimes in areas that is almost impossible to use radio.
  • Practice mobile operating.
  • Learning how to work together with others who have the same interests.
  • We help people who are injured.
  • We provide a feeling of safety for the riders. (Riders always tell me thank for your time to help keep them safe)
  • Entered for a chance to win a prize at the end of the year from the club for helping out
  • Gratitude we get from the riders and race officials. (I constantly get thanked by Riders and officials for helping to keep them safe)
  • Each bike race donates money to the club. This helps keep our monthly membership fees so low among other things!

Here is a tentative schedule of the races SMRA will be supporting:

2015 Events / Bike races

Date/Time Event
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bicycle Race Curse of Dark Hollow July 19th 2015
Michaux State Forest, Gardners PA
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bike Race Dual Sport August 23rd 2015
Michaux State Forest, Gardners PA
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bike Race South Penn Enduro Riders September 13th 2015
Michaux State Forest, Gardners PA
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bike Race Terror of Teaberry September 27th 2015

I urge all of you to clear your calendars and participate in as many as you can.
Besides providing a necessary safety service to the bike races, our participation also serves as:

  • Excellent training exercises for emergencies in the field, using portable, battery-powered equipment.
  • A chance to spend the day in beautiful Michaux Forest. There will be plenty of time for bird watching.
  • a day of fun
  • The way we fund SMRA activities and keep our dues low.

What do you need?

Here is a list of recommended items:

  • 2m mobile rig (15 watt min), rooftop antenna (don’t have your own – we might be able to arrange a loaner)
  • Note paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Watch/clock
  • Coat and hat per season
  • Snacks and beverages (WATER! LOTS OF WATER!)
  • Callsign badge or hat
  • Folding chair
  • Handi-wipes
  • GPS receiver



  • Reading material
  • Cell Phone
  • Compass
  • Camera and spare battery/film/memory
  • Kleenex/toilet paper/paper towels
  • HT to monitor optional simplex channel
  • Bug spray per season
  • Clipboard
  • Garbage bag



  • 2m vertical beam, mast, coax, tripod/support


To sign up for the events on the website.

  1. Go here for the list of races
  2. click on the race you would like to sign up for
  3. Scroll down and pick the number of people for which part of the race you can help out with
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and click the “CLICK HERE to send your booking” button.
  5. If you are not logged into the website please do so before sending your booking. That will prevent the need to fill out all the information fields.


If you need help logging in to the website you can watch the tutorial vides we made here



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SMRA name badge

If any club members are in need of a SMRA name badge and lanyard, please send me a return e-mail to KB3VAX  (at)  N3TWT (dot) ORG.  I will do my best to have them ready by the next regular meeting.

I will need to know the proper spelling of your name and your call.

thanks, 73

Don – KB3VAX

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new link

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Tonight we will try Google Hangouts.

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SMRA Breakfast Report for 14 Feb 15

Hi Guys and Gals…..we had 12 stations today that encompassed the following hams: KB3VID, WA3USG, W0BR, KC3EFN, KC3CAS, KC3CEK, W3SMF, KC3APE, KC3DXL, N3ACP, KC3CDL, and me W3HMS.

We measured several dummy loads brought by K3SWZ all of which showed fine SWR curves indicating a good load for a transmitter.

We will measure the rubber duck of KC3EFN with and without radials before/after the 17 Feb regular SMRA meeting.

KC3CAS and I continued the measurement of Matt’s fine new 2 m. J pole at my QTH and it now functions under SWR 1.6 from 144-148 MHz.

I have two J poles in my van that I can loan for abt 2 months, if that will help you, so pls see me at the Tues meeting.

Pls calendar 14 March for the next breakfast.

For Brandon…come try out rigs!!

For Ed…tnx tip on Romance, AR station with big signal….romance is not dead, HI!!

73, John, W3HMS, 14 Feb 15

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SMRA Repeater information

Here is a link that allows you to check the terrain between two points –
Here are the coordinates of our three repeater sites:
  • Mt Holly Springs   145.43:  40.077940, -77.223794
  • Three Square Hollow  146.46:  40.221411, -77.532345
  • Lambs Gap   443.30:  40.305550, -77.007076
The 443.300 repeater is currently off the air. The repeater is located at a county facility on Lamb’s Gap – several years ago the antenna tower was snapped in half by a wind burst.  They determined the lower half was still safe to use.  Just last summer, we had new antennas / feedlines installed.  A couple of weeks ago, we checked the repeater and found it had no output.  Given the age of the repeater (70’s vintage), we decided to upgrade to a Motorola MSF-5000.   We expect to have it back on the air late spring.
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FCC “Paperless” Amateur Radio License Policy

ARLB004 FCC “Paperless” Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into
Effect on February 17

Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper
license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The
Commission has maintained for some time now that the official
Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that
exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has
continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December the
FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official
electronic authorizations, as it had proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as
part of its “process reform” initiatives.

Under the new procedures, licensees will access their current
official authorization (“Active” status only) via the ULS License
Manager. The FCC will continue to provide paper license documents to
all licensees who notify the Commission that they prefer to receive
one. Licensees also will be able to print out an official
authorization – as well as an unofficial “reference copy” – from the
ULS License Manager.

“We find this electronic process will improve efficiency by
simplifying access to official authorizations in ULS, shortening the
time period between grant of an application and access to the
official authorization, and reducing regulatory costs,” the FCC
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) said. According to the WTB,
the new procedures will save at least $304,000 a year, including the
cost of staff resources.

In comments filed November 5, the ARRL had strongly recommended that
the FCC “give serious consideration to continuing a default
provision for sending an initial paper license document to new
licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, along with detailed, simple
instructions for how to make the elections set forth in the notice
relative to future modified or renewed licenses.”

The FCC said that applicants or licensees who include a valid e-mail
address under “Applicant Information” in the ULS will receive an
official electronic authorization via e-mail. New license applicants
who do not provide a FCC Registration Number at the examination
point will receive a printed license as well as an FRN and a
temporary password to access the Commission Registration System

The ARRL and other Amateur Radio commenters also worried that unless
a license document is printed on distinctive paper stock, its
authenticity could be questioned in such situations as obtaining
vanity call sign license plates. To address this, the FCC said the
watermark “Official Copy” will be printed on each page of an
official authorization that a licensee prints out from the ULS. The
WTB recently stopped using distinctive paper stock to produce hard
copy licenses and has been printing these on “standard, white
recycled paper.” The Bureau noted that the distinctive paper stock
it had used was six times more expensive than the plain recycled
paper it now uses.

The ULS License Manager now includes settings that allow licensees
to notify the WTB that they prefer to receive official
authorizations on paper. Once the final procedures go into effect
designating electronic access as the default, licensees can change
the ULS License Manager setting so that the Bureau will print and
mail a license document. Licensees also may contact FCC Support via
the web at, , or via
telephone or mail to request paper licenses.

The FCC rejected as “outside the scope of this proceeding” an ARRL
argument that Section 97.23 of the Amateur Service rules be amended
to replace “licensee mailing address” with other alternatives,
including e-mail, for use in Commission correspondence. The rule,
which requires that any licensee mailing address be in an area where
the licensee has US Postal Service access, has precluded FCC
issuance of location-specific call signs in such areas as Navassa
Island (KP1) and some Pacific islands.

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Because of HACC campus closure due to this weekend’s weather, we have postponed the hamfest until Jan 31.  Please see attached flyer for details.  Hope to see you then.
Hamfest Committee Chairman


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January Club Meeting


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