About KB3VAX

I became a novice in 1967 as WN9IHI, transmitting CW at a blistering speed of 5 WPM; however with no local club or Elmer for motivation, my interest in radio soon waned and my license expired. After rearing four incredible children and having several career changes I settled down in Carlisle, PA with the wife of my youth, and amongst other things re-pursued ham radio. I passed the General exam in 2010 and became KB3VAX and eventually, got my Extra ticket. Praise God! I am sure glad that is over. Currently I am the president of South Mountain Radio Amateurs, (n3twt.org) and their CVE administering examinations for W5YI. SMRA is a dynamic and growing club with over 100 members, many who participate in the monthly meetings, nets and activities. Ham radio is just plain fun, interesting and an excellent way to spend quality time with good people. The diverse interests and skills of most Hams in this group are remarkable. What an enjoyable way to spend an evening when it is just you, your radio and the ionosphere! Life, sure is good, I am blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Time flies, years pass and our long standing traditions seem to lose their significance.  As I take time to reflect on my many blessings with my family, health, job and of course SMRA, please take some time to read and ponder this document written by George Washington in October of 1789.

Please make an effort on having a Happy and a blessed Thanksgiving!!

Don – KB3VAX

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – A PROCLAMATION
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor – and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

 

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation – for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war –for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed – for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

 

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions – to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually – to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed – to protect and guide all
Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord – To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us – and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

 

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

 

GO. WASHINGTON.

Here are a few reasons why I am a member of ARRL.

QST for “Contest Corral”.  Each month I note in my planner QSO contests that I want to participate in.

ARRL archives is a great way to look for past articles, technical advice and product reviews.

The QST index of Advertisers is an excellent resource to see what is popular on the market and compare costs of similar items and products.

ARRL has excellent articles that keep me informed of current trends and topics.

Many used ARRL to search for clubs who offer FCC testing program (this is how most new hams have found SMRA)

Here are a few of the services that originate from ARRL:

  • LOTW – simplifies the QSL process
  • Many ARRL sponsored contests
  • The Official Observer Notice helps Amateur Radio operators assist each other to operate their stations in compliance with the (FCC) regulations.
  • The hamfest calendar
  • Use of the incoming QSL bureau
  • Their unique interned email; xxxx@arrl.net

A Merry Christmas from 48 years ago

Merry Christmas from  South Mountain Radio Amateurs!  Do you remember what you were doing 48 years ago while the Apollo 8 astronauts were circling the moon?nasa-apollo8-dec24-earthrise

Earthrise at Christmas

Forty-eight years ago this Christmas, a turbulent world looked to the heavens for a unique view of our home planet. This photo of “Earthrise” over the lunar horizon was taken by the Apollo 8 crew in December 1968, showing Earth for the first time as it appears from deep space. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders had become the first humans to leave Earth orbit, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. In a historic live broadcast that night, the crew took turns reading from the Book of Genesis, closing with a holiday wish from Commander Borman: “We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.”

Here is a link to the actual message  https://youtu.be/XEmn0uaQCYc

If you are interested in the Apollo radio systems for voice, telemetry, and tracking, here is an interesting link about their radio systems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_S-band

As 2016 comes to a close, all of us at SMRA want to wish all who read this a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2017.

73

ARRL Calls on Members to Press for US Senate Passage of Amateur Radio Parity Act

ARRL Calls on Members to Press for US Senate Passage of Amateur Radio Parity Act

11/15/2016

ARRL once again is calling on its members to urge their US Senators to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act (H.R. 1301) when it comes up in the Senate during the “lame duck” session of Congress that adjourns in mid-December. The House of Representatives approved the bill in September, but if the Senate does not follow suit, the bill will die, and the entire process will have to be repeated. ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s Legislative Advocacy Committee and has been heavily involved in efforts to move H.R. 1301 forward, said today, “The clock is ticking!”

“We begin the e-mail campaign once again, as the US Senate returns to work this week after a month-long hiatus,” Lisenco said. “We were just beginning to build momentum in the Senate following the unanimous passage of the Parity Act in the House when Congress shut down for the 4 weeks prior to Election Day.”

The task is simple: Go to our Rally Congress page, enter your ZIP code, fill in your name and address, press enter, and e-mails will go directly to your Senators. Members may do this, even if they have already contacted their US Senators for support.

“We have to remind our legislators that we are still here and that we need the Amateur Radio Parity Act to become law,” Lisenco stressed. “We must to do this now as we have, at most, only 4 weeks left in the session to get the bill passed this year.  Otherwise, we will have to begin the entire process in 2017 with a new 115th Congress.”

There are no guarantees, Lisenco said, and we are subject to the political bickering that goes on daily between the parties, despite the fact that the bill is truly a bipartisan effort. “In order to have a chance at overcoming political obstacles that have little or nothing to do with the legislation, we need our voices to be heard,” he said. “And we need that input today!”

September’s victory in the US House was the culmination of many years of effort on ARRL’s part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect efficient outdoor antennas that support Amateur Radio communication. The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules “to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes.” While similar bills in past years gained some traction on Capitol Hill, it was not until the overwhelming grassroots support from the Amateur Radio community for H.R. 1301, and ARRL’s relentless and strident efforts on Capitol Hill that this bill made it this far.

As the amended bill provides, “Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas. There exist antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations while accommodating communications in the Amateur Radio services.”

W0BR receives Presidential Appreciation Award

From time to time our members exemplify true dedication to Amateur Radio here at SMRA and its mission statment.  On behalf of SMRA’s excutive board, we want to express our sincere thanks to Bob Raker W0BR.

w0br receives presidential appreciation award 10-2016

W0BR receives presidential appreciation award 

Be it known to all, that Bob Raker W0BR exemplifies the true spirit of Amateur Radio by the many ways he blesses us at SMRA.  Your knowledge of electronics and Amateur Radio you freely share with anyone who asks; your willingness to offer your shack and home for QSO contesting; your skills and abilities to take a worthless box of electronic components and transform them into something that works; your leadership for the club, and the Executive Board and your friendship has proven you worthy of this gift of appreciation. October 18th 2016.

Thank you

Don Evans  KB3VAX President SMRA

Mission Statement

  • To be a resource for advancing operational and technical skills, competency, and amateur radio licensing
  • To mentor new members and enhance fellowship among radio amateurs
  • To provide amateur radio communications resources and emergency communication services for the community
  • To honor The Amateur’s Code

Gary Hammaker (KB3EJZ) goes above and beyond during JOTA

SMRA Executive Board received this letter of thanks for Gary Hammaker (KB3EJZ) for his time and patience, and making the Cub Scout Pack 190 JOTA event a success.  

On behalf of SMRA-EB a very hearty “Thank you Gary!!”

To Whom it May Concern,

This past Sunday (October 16,2016) I set up a portable HF operation from my SUV located in Sheppardstown, PA for the 2016 Jamboree-On-The- Air (JOTA) event.  My purpose was to help get my grandson’s Cub Scout Pack 190 get on the air and make contacts with other HF radio stations during the JOTA event.  Well, things didn’t work out the way I intended. My HF radio speaker stopped working and I was unable to hear other stations.  In a panic mode I set up my 10 meter radio with a 102 inch whip but was unable to make any contacts.  As a last resort I set up my VHF radio and whip antenna and called for any station on 146.520. I didn’t want to use a repeater if I didn’t have to.  Fortunately, I received a call from KB3EJZ, Gary Hammaker, who was kind enough to talk to each cub scout, giving signal reports, name and location.  The cub scouts were very excited about talking on ham radio and I am sure the experience may get some of them interested in the hobby.

Please extend my sincere thanks to Gary Hammaker (KB3EJZ) for his time and patience, and making the Cub Scout Pack 190 JOTA event a success.  While some of the scouts were talking on the radio the other scouts were learning about the Morse code using my grandson’s MFJ Morse code keyer. They each sent one Morse code letter spelling out “Thank You” to me in Morse code.  That “Thank You” also goes out to Gary Hammaker, KB3EJZ.  This experience reminds me why I enjoy amateur radio as much as I do.

Best Regards,

WIlliam S. Lyter N3YQA

MSGT Pennsylvania Air National Guard (Ret)

Gary Hammaker KB3EJZ Field Day 2016

Gary Hammaker KB3EJZ Field Day 2016

N3TWT – Pennsylvania QSO Party

N3TWT competed in the Pennsylvania QSO Party on October 8th and 9th.  The event was hosted by and held at Bob Raker’s (W0BR) shack.  The goal, to “make contact with every county in PA” was was achieved.

61 CW and 759 phone contacts were made with a total score of 125,459 points.

Call: N3TWT – Station: W0BR

Operator(s): Jack Himes KA3GLQ;  Todd Raymer KB3FGZ; Justin Shulis KB3IPA; Don Evans KB3VAX; John Jaminet W3HMS; and Bob Raker W0BR all participated.

Well Done gentlemen!!!

pa-qso-party

Band CW Q’s Phone Q’s
160 9 16
80 25 201
40 25 376
20 2 150
15 0 13
10 0 2
6 0 0
2 0 1
total 61 759

Bike Race prizes Gold, Silver, and Bronze

At SMRA’s Septembers general meeting, a drawing was held for members who provided radio communication support at the last three bike races of the year;

·      Michaux Dual Sport

·      South Penn Enduro Riders

·      Terror of Teaberry

Throughout the summer SMRA provided communication at designated locations along the routes and courses of seven different races.   All of these events, located in the heart of the Michaux State forest are in secluded areas not usually covered by cell phones.   This gives the members of SMRA the opportunity to set up radio posts which provide valuable real time updates for the race organizers.

When asked why they would give up a Sunday to spend in the woods, one amateur said, “he participated out of love for ham radio and because it enabled him to do things with radios and antennas for example where cell phones don’t work” Another said, “We do this so we can de-bug our equipment and gain proficiency in the hobby.“

Cash prizes of $50, $40, and $30 were donated by John Jaminet W3HMS, Thanks John!

Below are pictures of President Don Evans KB3VAX handing out the awards to;

·      Ralph Barnie N1XGH, first place,

·      Ed Crossley W3SMF, second place

·      Jack Himes KA3GLQ, third place

Ralph Barnie N1XGH, first place

Ralph Barnie N1XGH, first place

Ed Crossley W3SMF, second place

Ed Crossley W3SMF, second place

Jack Himes KA3GLQ, third place

Jack Himes KA3GLQ, third place

So, What is SMRA?

cropped-updated-logo-12.27.15.jpg

South Mountain Radio Amateurs (SMRA) is a non-profit group of amateur radio operators dedicated to promoting amateur radio through education and assistance.  SMRA has provided community service and emergency communications throughout Cumberland County and the surrounding area in central Pennsylvania since 1976. 

SMRA supports numerous organizations in south-central Pennsylvania,  including the Cumberland County Department of Public Safety, Cumberland County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Cumberland County Search and Rescue Team, Carlisle Regional Medical Center, Three Mile Island – wherever radio emergency communication services are requested. 

SMRA is a group of local amateur radio operators (hams) who promote operational and technical skills through electronic building projects, theory education, mentoring programs, CW (Morse code competency) and FCC amateur radio licensing.  As an amateur radio club, SMRA uses both formal and informal meetings to advance local interest. Finally, SMRA promotes “The Amateur’s Code” as a goal of conduct for many amateur radio operators both on and off the air.

 SMRA Mission Statement

  • To be a resource for advancing operational and technical skills, competency, and amateur radio licensing
  • To mentor new members and enhance fellowship among radio amateurs
  • To provide amateur radio communications resources and emergency communication services for the community
  • To honor The Amateur’s Code