“Special” SMRA Net -March 17th

 “Special” SMRA Net on our 145.43 Repeater from 7:00 – 9:00 PM on Tuesday March 17.  Jack Himes will act as Net Control,  we will cover as much of general meeting reports and business as is practical under net conditions.

Below are a links to files to help you follow along during the meeting.

South Mountain Radio Amateur Club (SMRA) Executive Board elections were held during the January 21, 2020 monthly membership meeting at the Public Safety Building in Carlisle, PA.

Standing: Mike K3ESQ Treasurer, Gary K3MGB Director, Andrew W3AND Membership Secretary, Don K3ZR Director.

Seated: Todd KB3FGZ Recording Secretary, Jack NC3O President, Rick KC3DRU Director

Not pictured: Ed W3SMF Vice President

Andrew, Todd and Jack were re-elected for a two-year term. Don was elected for a two-year term.

The SMRA Radio Club meets monthly at 7:00 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Public Safety Building, 1 Public Safety Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013. Anyone wanting to learn more about Amateur Radio may attend any meeting as a guest. SMRA operates several local VHF & UHF repeaters under its N3TWT call sign.

For more information please visit the SMRA web page at www.n3twt.org.

In September 2019 ARRL designated SMRA as a Special Service Club!

Ralph K3HQI, ARRL EPA Affiliated Clubs Coordinator, presented the SSC Banner and Plaque to SMRA President Jack NC3O and SMRA Membership Secretary Andrew W3AND during the September SMRA monthly meeting.

A club that exists to go above and beyond for their communities and for Amateur Radio is what defines a Special Service Club (SSC).  They are the leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes, publicity programs and actively pursue technical projects and operating activities:

  • New Ham Development and Training
  • Public Relations
  • Emergency Communications
  • Technical Advancement
  • Operating Activities
  • Miscellaneous Activities

The SMRA Volunteer Examiner (VE) Team Recent Activities

SHHHH!! – Testing in progress at the SMRA General Class preparation/test event on February 10, 2019 at the EOC.

SMRA has a very strong and active W5YI-VEC Volunteer Examiner (VE) Team.  The W5YI organization is one of 14 appointed by the FCC to act as a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) to supervise VE Teams that prepare, administer and grade exams.  The VE Teams also prepare additional paperwork that gets passed back to W5YI-VEC and to the FCC to generate a Amateur Radio License or upgrade to a higher level license.  W5YI-VE teams charge a $14 fee to help with administrative, processing paperwork and filing the application with the FCC costs.

The W5YI-VE Team is headed by Don K3ZR with outstanding support from Ed W3SMF and Joyce K3APE.  All W5YI-VE Team members must be approved by the W5YI-VEC and hold a current General, Advanced or Extra Class license.  A minimum of 3 approved VEs are required to administer Amateur Radio License testing.  SMRA has about 26 active W5YI-VEC approved VEs.

Anyone can become a ham except representatives of foreign governments. There are no age restrictions. If you can pass the written tests, you can be a licensed ham operator. Recently SMRA had an 9-year-old get his ham operator license. The entry level license is the Technician Class license. To become a Technician Class operator, you need only pass one (35 question) multiple choice written test to obtain your FCC license.  The class for which each applicant is qualified is determined by the degree of skill and knowledge of operating a station that the applicant demonstrates by passing a license examination before a team of three volunteer examiners (VEs).

Amateur Radio License testing is provided at 6:00 PM on regular monthly meeting nights (3rd Tuesday of each month, except December), at our annual ARRL Field Day Event in late June and at other times as requested.  Last September, SMRA hosted a 2 day preparation/test session in North Middleton Township for the Technician Class Amateur Radio License.  Ralph K3HQI was the instructor and the SMRA W5YI-VE Team administered the testing.  The result was 7 new Technician Class Amateur Radio Licenses were granted.  Note: Ralph K3HQI is a member of SMRA and he is also the ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator for EPA.

On February 9 & 10, 2019, SMRA hosted a 2-day preparation/test event focused on upgrading from the Technician to the General Class license.  Ralph K3HQI was the instructor for this class also.  The result was 5 Amateurs upgraded their license to General Class.  Many thanks to Ralph for his extensive preparation and stamina for these 2-day events!

In 2018, the SMRA W5YI-VE team made it possible for 29 Amateur Radio Operators to obtain or upgrade their Amateur Radio License!  Many thanks to Don, Ed, Joyce and all of the SMRA VEs that helped make this happen!

73, Jack NC3O, President SMRA

SMRA Election Results from 15 Jan 2019 Monthly Club Meeting!

SMRA has 8 Directors with 2 year terms of office.  Every January, 4 of the Director Terms are up for election.  This year 3 Directors were re-elected and 1 new Director was elected to fill a vacant Director position.

Standing L to R: Mike K3ESQ Treasurer (2020), Gary K3MGB Director (2020), Andrew W3AND Membership Secretary (2019), Todd KB3FGZ Recording Secretary (2019), Bob N3ACP Trustee/Photographer.  Seated L to R: Ed W3SMF Vice President (2020), Rick KC3DRU New Director (2020), Jack NC3O President (2019).                                      Not in picture:  Jon W3JON Director (2019)

After the conclusion of the January Monthly Meeting the Board of Directors met briefly to elect the 8 Directors to the specific offices as indicated above. 

In addition to the 8 Directors named above, many of our approximately 100 active members serve on various Committees as identified on both our EB  and General Monthly Meeting Agendas.  Assignments to these Committees will be re-affirmed in the SMRA General Meeting on 19 February 2019.

Feel free to contact me, any of our Directors or Committee members if you have questions, comments or that you would like to serve on one of our Committees.

73, Jack NC3O, President SMRA Club

SMRA-EB Meeting for Tuesday 12 Feb 2019 has been postponed!

Hazardous winter weather conditions in south central PA has forced the postponement of tonight’s Executive Board (EB) meeting at Hoss’s Restaurant!  The next available date of Tuesday 26 Feb 2019 has been reserved at Hoss’s.  A revised agenda and request to confirm your expected attendance at the make-up dinner and/or meeting will be emailed shortly.  Please respond as usual with your attendance plans.

If you must drive somewhere today, Drive Safe!

73, Jack NC3O, President SMRA


Sponsored by the York Hamfest Foundation
The Areas Oldest Continuous Hamfest, our 64rd Year
8:00 AM TO 1:00 PM
511 Roth Church Rd
Spring Grove, PA 17362

Click image for more information

SMRA Election Night Results 16 January 2018

Seated: Don KB3VAX out-going President, Ed W3SMF Vice President                                     Standing: Jack NC3O new President, Mike K3ESQ Treasurer, Gary KB3YDB Director, Todd KB3FGZ new Recording Secretary, Jon W3JON new Director, Andrew W3AND new Membership Secretary

Please welcome Todd KB3FGZ, Jon W3JON and Andrew W3AND as new Officers/Directors of SMRA as noted above.  The SMRA Club has a great team of dedicated radio amateurs providing expertise, time and energy to keep the Club functioning at a high level.  I look forward to working with the group pictured above as well as a long list of other Committee Chairs and volunteers that are detailed in the monthly SMRA General Meeting Agenda and the extensive and growing membership.

Upcoming events and meetings include:

Executive Board Meeting, Tuesday April 10 at 6:30PM (5:30PM if you want food) at Hoss’s Restaurant near Kissel Hill.

Saturday April 14 breakfast 8:30AM at Perkins in Camp Hill (RSVP with W3HMS).

SMRA Monthly General Meeting 7:00 PM (6:00PM if taking a test) on Tuesday April 17 at EOC in Carlisle.

73, Jack NC3O, President SMRA, jack.himes@verizon.net




Lessons Learned, second in a series. Cars are not trucks.

When I last posted, I had a half-installed antenna, a box of parts, and a bald spot from scratching my head trying to figure out how to put it all together. I now had the stud I needed, but it didn’t fit my car. The one I got was made for a truck, probably an 18-wheeler. Petro is, after all, a truck stop, not a car stop. I searched around some more and ordered what I needed, and some other stuff because, as long as I was spending money, why not.

One of the more awesome things about this community is that chances are, if you’re trying to do something, someone else has already done it and has written a blog with photos, posted a YouTube video, or has commented somewhere about it. Alan Applegate, K0BG, has a very detailed website, K0BG.com , that has just about anything you would ever want to know about mobile operations. One of the things I learned about is a nifty box called a RigRunner that is nothing more than a power strip for ham radio equipment that uses Anderson Powerpoles for both input and output and has fuses for each of the sockets. This turned out to be a perfect solution for me for three reasons. The first is that I already had a wiring harness from the battery to the cabin that had powerpoles already on it, so that took care of the input. The second is that my car is notoriously difficult to run anything from the battery to the cabin, and I wasn’t about to do it for the antenna’s motor control switch, so I took K0BG’s suggestion and hooked it up to powerpoles and from there, to the RigRunner. Easy-peasy rice and cheesy! The third is that I can be truly mobile. I don’t have to disconnect and re-connect a bunch of things if I want to change cars or do a demonstration. I can simply pull the antenna off the mount, pull the cables and the radio, hook a single connection to a single power source, and go from there.

I spent a few days in between rain showers and snow and got the antenna and radio up and working. The radio has to be mounted to a permanent location in my car, and I’m thinking about installing the brackets to the back of the back seat so it’s in the trunk and out of the way but still easily accessible. But that’s a project for a day off.